Fury and the Sherman


First off, I just want to say that this is a fantastic WWII film that shows the dark side of American Armored Warfare at the time.  We learned of the Sherman’s handicap not from school… but from a different movie.   In school we were taught of the American Supremacy thanks to the Sherman’s great design and heroic manufacturing output from Detroit.

The reality of the Sherman was far from what we were told in school.  too little armor, too little gun, and running on gasoline instead of diesel.  It was probably one of the very worst tanks we could have fielded.   I can’t say it was one of the worst in the war – because the Brits and the Russians take those honors.  The Germans had the best tanks on the planet.  They were not as fast, but they were fast.  And they had big accurate scary good guns.  Their armor was incredible.  Basically everything the Sherman was not.

This movie, Fury, brings this all to light in one scene that had me at the edge of my seat and gritting my teeth.
Go to the theater, and watch FURY.

32 thoughts on “Fury and the Sherman”

  1. The troops didn’t call it (the Sherman) the “Ronson” cause it lights first time every time for nothing. One German General after the war was quoted as saying “We ran out of ammo and you didn’t run out of tanks” if memory serves…

  2. The Russians certainly did have some crappy tanks (the T-26 and T-60 come to mind) but it’s hard to deny the effectiveness of the T-34. All the upsides of a Sherman along with better armor, a better gun, and nearly twice the range (there’s that diesel you mentioned). It wasn’t a Tiger, by any means, or even a Panther, but it also didn’t take a horde of skilled artisans to make. The Sherman was undeniably awesome but in my mind the Russians win for the best tank of WWII.

  3. Your *reality* is false. Both the panzer v and vi, were unreliable garbage. They would have been better off sticking with the iii and iv. *they had awesome armor and guns!* so?
    If you don’t get to the objective in time the enemy has the advantage, smaller guns or not.

    1. The Sherman was a battlefield monster … against 1940 vintage tanks At El Alemain, it was a beast.

      Army ordinance had no clue what it was going to be fielded against it in Europe.

      Up against 88s, and the tanks made in response to the T-34, it was fail.

  4. As bad as many British tank designs were they were masterpieces of engineering when compared to Italian ones. Even without the joke about the number of reverse gears they possessed they were dreadful.

    1. The Sherman Firefly ( Britsh ), and the E8 ( American ) were major upgrades, but they were still inferior to the Panther.

      Crew could not count on only facing 1942 vintage tanks.

      What really fucked up the Panther Vs and Tigers was the P-47 Thunderbolt.

  5. You have to boil it down to arrogance. How many lives were lost because of a bad opinion. We don’t learn from history either. Look how many soldier’s lives and limbs were lost sitting in unprotected humvees before realizing that another country had solved IED problem in the 80’s. How long did it take before the mrap was born (@ 500 grr per). Now they will be destroyed because it’s too expensive to ship them home for the next war (ISIS, Iraq, etc etc), so they will have to be built all over.
    Good to be in the military industrial complex business…

  6. http://www.amazon.com/Tank-Driver-Armored-Battle-Bulge-ebook/dp/B00BIP0LHI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414727550&sr=8-1&keywords=tank+driver

    memoirs of a Sherman driver in ww2.

    There is a book by a tank officer who was incharge of tank recovery and getting new tanks from ordnance for either the 4th AD or 3rd army, I can’t remember the title, but iirc he also talks about repair of abandoned tanks, where, they strip out the turret and steam clean out the bits and repaint and put parts in where the turret took a hit, if the engine took a hit and burned you just stripped off good bits, the hull integrity was gone.
    and the smell of corpses was still in the turret.
    Doesn’t do a crew’s morale any good to see where a turret hit was filled in with welding and rough ground to barely hide where the tit landed.

  7. Unfortunately the US of A didn’t develop a decent AFV diesel until the 1960s and the M-60 tank. The “lessons of war” were largely wasted on the US Army bureaucracy in Washington, while field commanders like Patton were ignored in favor of “theory.” Unfortunately the M-1 Tank was the first designed with input from the guys actually working in tanks! The M-48 and M-60 were adequate at best and the weapons M-85 and M-73 developed for the M-60 were an embarrassment to US weapons design. Don’t get me started on the great silliness of the M-60, just things like having bolts for mounting things to the turret wall, in five different lengths. Cherry juice and FRH.
    Who in his youth was a Tank Turret Inspector 45L30 E-6 US Army at Fort Knox.

  8. Regarding big, accurate, scary guns – What about the Sherman Firefly? Just take a Sherman and stick the fearsome 17-pounder gun on it.

      1. The long barrelled gun on the posters suggest that it an up-gunned version, but as far as I know the US never used the Firefly specifically.

        1. Yeah, the Firefly was a British tank, albeit one where everything below the gun was designed by Americans.

  9. Saw the movie. Altough the technical aspects of the movie is very interesting, I wonder was this the way allied soldiers behaved in WW2, I see that it could be incidents where the rules of war did get bent, but shooting a surendering man in front of a whole company, was that something that happened often, I flelt that the crew of the tank was portrayed unecesery cruel. If that is because I would like to se “us” as better than the enemy or maybe beeing in a war makes us all loose our humanity I dont know.


      1. Yes, that is what i think too, and hope. But the people I watched the movie with did not reflect on the behaviour of the soldiers.

    1. I had to sign in to comment: As I remember the movie, they make a casual comment that the surrendering German was wearing an Allied uniform.

      That is considered a crime, punishable by execution.

      In the movie however, it appears that there was certainly an absence of due-process…

  10. /cliff claven voice/

    It’s a little known fact that ahhhh…

    The raid at Dieppe was a strategic success for the Allies. One reason was the commando effort that got Brit radar tech Jack Nissenthal close enough to the German aerial to disable it and the EW folks back home to assess the German backup capability (read “Green Beach”, great read).

    The other “win” at Dieppe relates to this thread. That was the first combat outing for the Churchill tank. It was a disaster. Tracks coming off in the cobbles and all in that FUBAR scene.

    The Germans hauled the Churchills off the beach and took them apart, They wrote up a comprehensive engineering report detailing the shortcoming and making engineering recommendations. In one of the greatest unreported Allied intel wins, that report was grabbed by a spy and returned to Britain where changes were implemented in time for later action on the Continent.

  11. I was reading some Wikipedia earlier when Fury came out and a large part of the reasoning was that tanks were to support infantry and tank killers were for taking out tanks. And for the brass that felt that way, battlefield results confirmed it for them. Apparently that started changing during Korea.

  12. Wrong generation I suppose, but doesn’t the name of the movie “Fury” reflect the name of the Marvel comic book character “Sgt (Nik) Fury”. Doubt any current movie goers even know the name…but I spent a lot of hours reading his exploits as a yout.

    1. > doesn’t the name of the movie “Fury” reflect the name
      > of the Marvel comic book character “Sgt (Nik) Fury”.

      The original Nick Fury comic book stories were set in World War II, but originally published in 1963.

      > Doubt any current movie goers even know the name

      The Avengers made over $200 million on its opening weekend (May 2012), and was the top U.S. grossing film of 2012.

      1.The Avengers $623M
      2.The Dark Knight Rises $448M
      3.The Hunger Games $408M
      4.Skyfall $304M
      5.The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey $303M

      I think plenty of current movie goers know the name “Nick Fury”.

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