The Israeli Super Sherman

While Sherman tank, build by the United States, was an inadequate piece of mobile armor. It had a short barreled 75 mm gun, and if was underpowered, that would be the understatement of the century. The original Shermans had thin body armor and could not stand up to hits from even small caliber cannons.  British up gunned the Sherman by removing the 75 mm short barrel and replacing it with the 17 pounder cannon. The better Sherman was called the Firefly.


In March 1956 Israeli tankers began to up-gun their Sherman tanks with 75mm tank guns taken from gthe French AMX-13s. So this 75mm tank gun was known in Israel as the M-50 and, as a result, the up-gunned Sherman was referred to as the Sherman M-50.


In the 1960s, 180 Sherman tanks received the more powerful French 105mm F1 gun.  They took twelve feet off of the barrel. The barrel length of the gun was reduced from 56 caliber to 44 and it was equipped with a unique double-baffle muzzle suppressor.


Yes, the Sherman wasn’t great and that said, any tank is better than no tank. And we made 39,000 of them. Let it be stated that all of our allies had to re-make the tank and increase the gun caliber, yield and size. In fact the new French gun was so heavy and long that engineers had to put a counter weight on the Sherman turret.


1 thought on “The Israeli Super Sherman”

  1. Robert E Warner

    Sherman Fireflies also had a counter-weight welded to the rear of the turret. It was a rectangular steel box that contained radios.
    A Sherman Firefly of the (Canadian) Sherbrooke Fusiliers killed SS Captain Michael Wittman in France during the summer of 1944. British propaganists tried to assign credit to British Trooper Eakins, but Ekins was a kilometer farther North and busy shooting up a second group of Tigers.

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