In March 1941 the United States Army decided it needed a new tank to replace the Grant M2A1. After looking at five different proposals the Sherman M4 was chosen. Production began early in 1942. The original armament was a 75mm gun capable of firing high explosive shells. Its 500hp engine had a maximum speed of 26mph. This was replaced by a 76mm high-velocity gun in February 1944. The tank's suspension was redesigned and improved by the beginning of 1945.
Although inferior to the best German and Soviet tanks in armament and protection, it was superior in terms of reliability, serviceability and cost-effectiveness. The British Army used the Sherman Tank at El Alamein in 1942 and by 1943 was the mainstay of Allied operations in Africa and Europe.