In the late 1940’s, Argentina bought nearly 450 M4 Sherman’s from Belgium in many British variants, over 250 of them were the Firefly version, with the long barrelled 17pdr gun that could take on the Tiger 1.
In the late 1970’s, the Argentinian Army needed to modernize their armoured units. The TAM project was under way, but the border crisis with Chile required an urgent reinforcement until the TAM was operational and the Army ordered the modernization of 250 Shermans, mainly the Firefly version then in service.
This program included a new engine and a new armament. Many versions of M4 in the Argentinian service were used, and the Repotenciado (Lit; Upgraded) was born. Most of the Sherman Repotenciado are the British Sherman Hybrid Firefly IC, but it`s not the only version. The principal advantage in using the Firefly was the easy adaptation of the internal configuration to the new 105mm ammunition storage.
The modifications included the french Poyaud 520 diesel engine, french made 105 mm cannon, built under license in Fábricaciones Militares Río Tercero, and other minor improvements. These included a rear modification of the turret, with a counterweight for the new longer and heavier gun, four smoke grenade launcher, storage baskets and new positions for radio antennas.
In the hull, the modifications was more extensive, the engine compartment was redesigned for the new Poyaud 520 diesel engine, the suspension was revised and upgraded, and the tracks are rebuilt. This project began in 1976 and finished in 1978, just in time to be deployed during the border crisis with Chile, in December of that year.
A total of 252 Shermans in many versions are upgraded to ‘Sherman Repotenciado’ standard and the last vehicles stayed in service until 1994, when all the TAM VC medium tank were completely active in the I and II Brigadas Blindadas (1st and 2nd Armoured Brigades). Even now, in 2002, a few (12?) ‘Sherman Repotenciado’ are still in service for support roles with the URDAN mine roller. The rest are now momuments and in museums.
British India possessed a number of Ex-British Shermans at the time of the 1947 Partition and the M4 found itself in both Indian and Pakistani inventories. In the 1950s another 200 Shermans were bought from the US. In the 1960s, India operated M4A3 and M4A4 both with 76 mm gun and some Sherman displayed as war monuments in India are still equipped with French CN 75-50 75 mm gun (as used in the French AMX 13 light tank).
India also upgunned some Shermans with the Soviet D56-T 76.2mm gun also used by Indian PT-76 tanks. Indian Shermans were used in the 1965 War to provide support to the Centurions in the Battle of Assal Uttar and were in service with the Indian Army until 1971. A number of Sexton SPGs were in service until the 1980s.
Pakistan received Ex-British Shermans in 1947, which had the retro-fitted US 76 mm gun. Pakistan also bought 547 M4A1E4(76)s during the 1950s. Around 300 M4s saw their fair share of combat in the Indo-Pakistan wars in both 1965 and 1971. After 1971 war the Pakistani Army retired the M4 from service. At the time of the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War, Pakistan owned 200 Shermans re-armed with 76 mm guns. The Sherman fought on both sides of the Second Kashmir War and Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Some of the surviving Shermans fromIndo Pakistani wars are also displayed at Pakistan Army Museum.
Iran received an unknown number of Shermans and some were used in 1980. Iraq captured some Shermans during the Iraq-Iran War. Iraq also captured at least a single M-50 Sherman, supposedly an Israeli Army tank, and displays it in Tikrit. The Japan Self-Defense Forces received 250 M4A3(76)W HVSS and 80 M32 TRV IN 1954. The indigenous Type 61 only slowly replaced American tanks over the 1960s.
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After World War II, demilitarized Shermans were widely available and relatively cheap. Many were heavily modified for use in the construction, forestry, and mining industries. Often, the turret and upper hull were completely removed and replaced with whatever equipment was required for the vehicle’s new role.
The Finning Tank Drill,a rock drill used in logging road construction, was produced for many years in British Columbia, with the models M32F and M40F using Sherman chassis. The M32F utilized the standard M4 VVSS suspension while the M40F used the HVSS system. The earlier M4 tank drill used the M4 High Speed Tractor as a carrier. Traxxon also produced a similar machine using the HVSS suspension. Also built and used in British Columbia was the Madill 071 minitower yarder.
This was a Sherman undercarriage, either original or a new mild steel copy, with a 45 ft tower and 3 working cable drums mounted on top built for cable logging.
A Canadian company, Morpac Industries, Inc., still produces heavy-duty, off-road load carriers based on Sherman components. These vehicles are used in the construction of electricity transmission lines in remote areas.
In 1947 Vickers produced the Shervick which was a Sherman chassis converted into a heavy tractor. It was designed to be used in East Africa to clear land for peanut farming as part of the Tanganyika groundnut scheme.
Latin-American countries used the Sherman for a long time after World War II. The Chilean army acquired ex-Israeli Shermans to convert to their M-60 variant with 60 mm HVMS gun, using them into 1989. Mexico only have 3 recovery versions of the Sherman, no tanks and in 1998 it upgraded its Sherman-chassis M32 Chenca TRV. Paraguay still have 10 Shermans in service, used for operational training, in addition to 5 that are kept in storage.
In Central America, Nicaragua used the M4A3 Sherman. It was in Nicaragua where most likely the Sherman saw action for the last time, during the Sandinista Revolution in 1978-79, Nicaragua’s National Guard made use of their tanks in urban warfare against the insurrection. After the Sandinistas took power the new Nicaraguan Army soon received Russian-made tanks and the Shermans disappeared from the scene.
Cuba purchased seven Sherman tanks to fight Castro guerrillas. Some of them were used during the Battle of Santa Clara and captured by rebel forces. They were displayed on parade when the rebels entered in Havana riding on them. It is believed a Sherman was used by the Cuban Army against the invasion at the Bay of Pigs.