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So what happened to the 450 Argentine Shermans? 40 images may just tell the story …

Sam Dickson

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.

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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.
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