Which tank to choose: Meet the Sherman M4A3E2 Jumbo

The modified M4A3E8 received a 75 mm German grenade hit, and the only damage was the separation of the middle part of the additional armor from the hull. The tank continued action and managed to “knock out” the enemy vehicle. The crew’s lives were saved by this additional protection modification. The officer of the 6th Armored Division described one of the clashes in which the American tank Sherman M4A3E2 Jumbo found itself. It is actually a modified, better armored M4A3 Sherman tank. Two hundred and fifty-four of them were made during World War II, which was less than 1% of the total number of M4 tanks. However, Jumbo became an icon of tanks and tank fighting. In full war readiness, it had 104 75 mm projectiles for the main cannon, 600 bullets for the .50 caliber, 6,250 bullets for the .30 caliber, 900 bullets for the .45 caliber, 18 hand grenades and 18 smoke bombs. The first 128 tanks arrived in France on September 22, 1944. Undoubtedly, the most famous of all M4A3E8s was the Cobra King, the first tank to enter Bastogne, Belgium, a busy and vital city at the center of fighting during the German offensive and the Battle of the Ardennes in 1944.

On December 26, 1944, Cobra King fought enemies on the road from Assenois to Bastogne.

The Cobra King was far ahead of the rest of the column and had just destroyed a German bunker along the road when Lieutenant Boggess, the tank commander, spotted several uniformed figures in the woods near the bunker. They were wearing American soldiers’ uniforms, but knowing the Germans were disguising themselves as Americans, he was extremely careful. He called out to the people. When he didn’t get an answer, he called again and a man approached the tank. “I’m Lieutenant Webster of the 326th Engineering, 101st Airborne Division. Nice to see you.” That meeting was at 4:50 p.m. “On December 26, 1944, Patton’s Third Army broke through the German lines around Bastogne,” wrote Charles Lemons, a former curator of the Patton Museum. After that decisive victory, Cobra King proudly bore the inscription “First in Bastogne” on its armor. The tank was destroyed in Operation Hammelburg, an attempt to rescue prisoners of war. After the war, the Cobra King became a tank monument and was exhibited at various U.S. bases in Germany. It was returned to U.S. soil in 2009 and restored. Of the 250 tanks sent to Europe, eight are believed to have “survived”.