The M4A3 Sherman Medium Tank is the main workhorse tank of the US Forces in the war. Known for it's reliability and ease of production, more than 49,000 tanks were built during World War II and it remained in service until after the war. In Company of Heroes 2, the variant used is the A3 version, which is the most widely used version of the tank.
Overview and Tactics Edit
The M4 Sherman is the main tank used by the US Forces, and can be unlocked after upgrading the Battalion Command Post. A normal M4A3 Sherman costs 340 manpower, 110 fuel and 12 population, which means that it is a very cost effective and efficient unit to have, yet is more expensive and overall superior to the Soviet T-34/76 Medium Tank, yet overall slightly weaker than the Ostheer Panzer IV. Sherman tanks are equipped with a 75mm M3 cannon which can use both AP and HE rounds, and this allows Sherman tanks to engage light and medium tanks with ease; however against heavier tanks such as the Panther, Tiger I, Tiger B, IS-2 and other heavy units, the Sherman would be easily defeated. To counter heavier vehicles, it is best to either use numbers and overwhelm the enemy with the Sherman's manoeuvrability and attack through the side and rear; or to used mixed combat methods by incorporating the M36 Jackson tank destroyer, M26 Pershing tank, or the M10 Wolverine tank destroyer. All three vehicles have stronger cannons than the Sherman, and the Sherman can be used as bait, while the other vehicles defeat heavier units. The M26 Pershing has stronger armor and cannon and can interchange roles with the Sherman easily.
As a support to infantry, the M4A3 is excellent as a supporting unit as it's cannons are effective against all units and it has 2 coaxial machine guns on the hull and turret, with room for a .50 caliber rear mounted machine gun on top. This makes the Sherman an effective infantry support and can defeat infantry units easily. Although it should be noted that it is not recommended to fight anti-tank guns with just Sherman tanks as they can be easily destroyed. The Sherman also has little penalty to firing when moving, and this makes it very useful for harassment or skirmishing tactics.
Overall, the Sherman's reliability extends far from early-mid game to late game due to it's versatility, however it does need support from other vehicles to make sure that it can engage the enemy properly.
The US Forces allows for vehicle crews to exit the vehicle to make emergency repairs (or escape their doomed vehicle and continue to fight on foot), this includes the Sherman tank and allows the Sherman to have some form of survivability when damaged. It gains access to the Radio Net passive ability when reaching Veterancy 1, which increases the rate of fire and speed of allied tanks based on the amount of vehicles nearby.
On the tactical side, a standard US Force should include at least 2 or 3 Shermans and one of the aforementioned support vehicles such as the M36 Jackson or the M26 Pershing. This allows a standard US Force to effectively engage infantry and armor. Because of it's cost-effectiveness, multiple Shermans can be called in if one or more is destroyed.
Because of the versatility of the Sherman, many variants have been made and included in Company of Heroes 2. These are the notable Sherman variants that exist in the game, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, and each with their own difference cost in resources and obtaining method:
Soviet Union Edit
M4C Sherman: The M4C Sherman is the Lend-Lease version of the Sherman which was leased to the Soviet Union during World War 2. This is the M4A2 variant which was equipped with a 76mm gun, which again makes it a very versatile unit to have, and can be upgraded to have the M2 .50 caliber heavy machine gun on the top. Compared to most medium tanks, the M4C has a good rate of fire and can be a significant menace to other medium vehicles. Like all Shermans, it is better to support this unit with the Su-85 Tank Destroyer or the T-34/76 to effectively engage heavy units, although it is significantly better against infantry than the T-34/76 because of it's coaxial weapons and upgrade. This variant is only available through the Lend-Lease tactics doctrine for the Soviet Union as a doctrine unit and can be called in from the Mechanized Armour Kampaneya.
British Forces Edit
Sherman Firefly: The Sherman Firefly is perhaps the most famous version of the Sherman to be used outside of the US. Based on the M4A3 chassis, the British replaced the M3 75mm gun with their most powerful anti-tank gun, the Ordnance QF-17 pounder gun; this creates one of the few Allied tanks with the firepower to defeat a Tiger tank in combat. The Firefly is an excellent anti-armor tank that can easily destroy medium tanks, although it does need support against infantry or heavy vehicles. The Firefly sacrifices the rear-mounted .30 caliber machine gun to support the 17 pounder gun, although it can be upgraded with a Tank Commander and the RP-3 "Tulip" rockets that are effective against buildings. The Sherman Firefly is a core unit which can be called in after upgrading the Company Command Post, and should be used in conjunction with the rest of the British armors such as the Cromwell Mk.IV Cruiser tank and the Centaur AA Mk.II Cruiser Tank. It is also advisable to utilize Hammer tactics and use Comet Tanks to support the Sherman Firefly as it has better anti-infantry capabilities and an almost equal anti-armor capabilities.
US Forces Edit
Being the primary users of the Sherman, the US have a large variety of Shermans that they can use aside from the standard M4A3 Sherman. Also note that all US Sherman variants allows it's crew to exit the vehicle to perform emergency repairs and most can be upgraded with the M2 .50 caliber machine gun on rear mount, which increases it's anti-infantry and anti-aircraft damage.
Mechanized Company Edit
The Mechanized Company has 2 "upgrades" to the Sherman tank. The first allows the Sherman to be upgraded with a bulldozer, which allows the Sherman to create or destroy cover for infantry forces. The second is the ability to call in an upgraded Sherman tank, the M4A3(76) Sherman, this Sherman has the M1 76mm gun instead of the M3 75mm gun, which is more powerful and allows the Sherman to engage heavier vehicles, although it slightly loses it's effectiveness against infantry units, which necessitates the use of the standard M4A3 Sherman.
Armor Company Edit
The Armor Company can requisition a support variant of the Sherman, the 105mm Bulldozer Sherman. This variant is equipped with a bulldozer to create and destroy cover and it equipped with a 105mm howitzer which is excellent against buildings, cover and infantry. This means that this Sherman is not to be used against other armored units and should only be used as a fully support unit for infantry forces.
Rifle Company Edit
The Rifle Company can requisition another variant of the Sherman tank which is probably the most famous among all US Shermans, the M4A3E8 Sherman "Easy Eight". This is considered to be the pinnacle of Sherman development, with the Sherman receiving various upgrades: a HVSS suspension system allows it to have faster speed and weight distribution, allows the Easy Eight to have slightly better armor, and allows it to fire on the move with little loss of accuracy. The firepower is also significantly increased with the use of a high velocity M1 76mm gun, an even more powerful version than the M4A3(76) Sherman: this effectively increases the overall firepower of the Easy Eight Sherman with little loss of effectiveness on all sides; this allows Easy Eight Shermans to effectively engage medium and heavy vehicles with ease, although heavy vehicles does need numbers or manoeuvrability tactics. Using the Easy Eight effective combines the above tactics to one as the firepower from Easy Eight tanks is much better than that of a combined US armored force.
Tactical Support Company Edit
The Tactical Support Company has the last variant of the Sherman tank, the T34 Sherman Calliope. This Sherman variant is attached with a rail above the tank to support the 60-rocket multiple rocket launchers on top. This effectively puts the Calliope as a support unit like the 105mm Bulldozer Sherman as it's cannons cannot be used, although it has a frightening advantage in firepower. While keeping it's coaxial machine guns, the rockets attached to the Calliope gives it a deadly support weapon against infantry and buildings, and with it's armor and coaxial machine gun, allows it to fire the rockets closer without fearing it's destruction.