Degem Alef Krupp, Israeli salvage modification

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caid’s suggestion #39


I would like to suggest unique vehicles for Israel. the Degem Alef Krupp

The Sherman arriving in Israel in 1948 were M4 105mm tanks, only they were in various conditions. Israel bought those tanks in an Italian scrapyard where they had the choice over the large number of WW2 tanks which were for most of them very damaged. they still could find some pretty decent vehicles. of the 43 tanks they bought, 13 were already in decent working condition. of the 30 others, various repairs were to be done and since all of them were designed to have the 105mm gun, they had to replace them with the 75mm M3 gun. most of them did receive the 75mm which was also salvaged in the same scrapyard from other tanks whose gun was in working condition. only Israel didn’t have enough of those guns available for all their tanks.
they mounted in the tank any gun that was decently fitting there. this is how they came to the idea of fitting some of those tanks with a 75mm M1903 Krupp field gun. this gun was available in Israel but was also a real downgrade over the 75mm M3 used in the other Sherman. still, as fire support, this gun was about as effective as the regular gun. most Israeli Sherman of 1948-1949 had fought few tanks. As such the Krupp gun was not a problem for his combat use.
6 of those tanks were fitted with the Krupp gun and remained using it for a few years until they were converted to mount a 105mm M4 gun like a proper M4 (105). this makes this tank quite interesting to have ingame given we can find a proper anti-tank round


the main armament was a 75mm Krupp M1903 gun. the gun was imported from Switzerland and while it is unsure which round was imported with it, I just went through all the rounds the Swiss had available. and found at least 1 round could be considered a semi-armour piercing. which makes it capable of dealing with some tanks. but it would be genuinely less punchy than the 75mm M3 gun. the penetration is greatly weaker on paper. getting to around 65mm of penetration at combat distance, a lot of tanks will be difficult to penetrate. but the round still carries twice more explosive than the M3 does for the APHE. it is packing as much explosive as the HE round and is considered a SAPHE because of the bottom fuze and thick steel around the explosive. this makes it deal a lot of damage once it penetrates the armor. the gun most likely keeps the same elevation as the M3 but would likely not have the stabilizer. overall, it makes it a weaker Sherman in firepower.

the tank also have a 7.62mm M1919 as coaxial and another m1919 in the hull for close defence. but during the war of 1948 the Sherman wasn’t mounting the 12.7mm, those guns seemed to be installed later during the 50s


The mobility of the Degem Alef Krupp is not his best feature, but it’s not lacking either. powered by R-975 engine C-4 providing 460 hp , it remains in his best condition a decent engine. weighting 31,500 kg , the tank would be capable of reaching 38 km/h which is nothing bad. The power-weight ratio of 13.2 hp/ton , would allow the Degem Alef to move around decent and be where it belongs, in the frontline.

the Degem Alef Krupp has the main disadvantage of being a rather big target. but outside his size, the tank delivers good protection. with a hull featuring 51mm at the front with an important slope, 38mm at the side and rear , the Degem Alef would be hard to penetrate by a frontal hit. his side being more vulnerable still can offer good protection. but there is an important detail to note on the M-3 suggested here. even if the chassis is the M4 105 late, the turret has the M34 gun shield which was smaller, and most of the turret only gave 50mm of armor with a rather flat surface this made this particular Sherman closer to the US M4 than the M4 105 from any nation. The crew of 5 men would also allow the tank to take good damage before being destroyed. It wouldn’t be rare to survive and return fire even if you lost 1-2 crew members during a fight.


IDF ARMOR חיל השריון-צה"ל: Sherman M4A4 tank in the IDF service
M4 Sherman variants - Wikipedia
Israel’s Early Shermans | Armored Warfare - Official Website
Medium Tank M4 Sherman
Suenkler, Soeren, and Marsh Gelbart. IDF Armoured Vehicles: Tracked Armour of the Modern Israeli Defense Forces. Erlangen, Germany, Tankograd Publishing, 2006
Israeli Sherman, by Thomas Gannon




When we get Israel’s lower ranks, we must have this one! +1

just added some details as I recently found a proper primary source for the ammunition as I researched the Swiss archive.

turns out there is one really interesting round. it would be good enough for the game I guess, but much weaker than the M3. there is all the info needed. filler weight, round weight, velocity, even a blue-print of the rounds.


with @Minus1234 we believe to confirming the use of the APHE and HE rounds

with this, we can go with 2 rounds for this tank with the specifications as fallow by the Swiss archive

this allows me to estimate the performance to be around those shown in this chart based on the penetration calculator from Gaijin and the comparison to the other guns with similar rounds

in overall, this gun is a bit weaker that the 75mm M3 but not useless