M50 Mk.1 (Degem Alef), the workhorse of Suez Crisis

[Would you like to see this in-game?]
  • Yes
  • No
0 voters


I would like to suggest a decent tank for the Israeli ground forces, the M-50 Mk.1 (continental) Sherman

the Genesis of the M50 Sherman goes back as far as 1951 when Israel acquired 27 M10 tank destroyers. finding the 76mm gun used by those tanks a bit obsolet, they look to their allied from 1948, France who was previously going against the weapons embargo and provided Israel with tanks and weapons. France was at this time rebuilding their military industry but had made huge progress with the absorption of the WW2 German technology and developed their weapons from there.
proposing to upgrade their M10 with the 75mm SA50 gun, the Israelis could have a weapon that was capable of penetrating a heavy tank of the time. or at the very least a medium tank. the 75mm SA50 was indeed a punchy gun but was initially designed to be fitted in an oscillatory turret with an auto-loader. they made an agreement with France to fit the gun in their M10 which France agreed, more than happy to make a bit of business that could stimulate their military industry.
the M10 was refitted with a 75mm SA50 gun by 1953 but the contract for 27 guns wasn’t so juicy for France. Besides Israel was also receiving the brand new AMX 13 with the same SA50 gun with an autoloader which kind of made the M10 a bit inferior as the AMX 13 was way more mobile and smaller for the same armament and more fire rate.
they came to the suggestion from France instant of selling them 27 guns for the M10, they could sell them twice as many guns for their Sherman. this was an idea that Israel loved as they did have a lot of Shermans who were making the bulk of their armored forces by that time. replacing their guns would simply simplify their logistics and training as they would have serial tanks with the same armament and the Sherman was already in service which meant they didn’t need to retrain their crew for a new machine and their tanks would still stand a chance against the tanks found in the neighbor countries. France built the prototype with one of their own Sherman M4A4 and the test showed that with a counterweight in the back of the turret, the tank was working perfectly. this followed with an upgrade package for 50 Sherman rearmed with a 75mm SA50 gun to which Israel added a pair of smoke grenade launchers on each side of the turret (which the French prototype didn’t have) and put this tank in services with the designation M50 as it was the fashion for the Israeli Sherman to have their name based on the gun’s name (SA50 was called model 50 by some of the other countries) this tank was converted in Israel by Israeli engineer after they were been taught by the French engineer and provided with the needed part. the tank was then put into service with little more difference, most of them been M4A4 Sherman and the 25 first was in service just in time for Operation Kadesh in 1956 where it performed very well against the Egyptian M4 Sherman refitted with the French FL-10 turret who was also armed with the same gun. this is mainly due to the better use and better training of the Israeli army. 25 more were built in the following years until the upgrade of the Sherman with a new Cummings engine and a new suspension was entering services. this led to the redesignation of the M50 with the Continental engine into M50 mk.1 and the improved design with the better engine known as the mk.2. Much more M50 was converted directly into the M50 mark 2 standard 1961.

when it comes to the firepower, the tank is having quite a punch for his time. only it did not have much post-penetration damage. the 75mm SA50 built by France incorporated a lot of the knowledge learned from studying the German WW2 guns. the gun offering a high velocity with conventional round was considered for his time very effective for a 75mm, it was even the best of his caliber as to overmatch it, you had to go with a larger caliber closer to 90mm or use subcaliber rounds who deal a lot less damage. the gun has a fire-rate close to 8 rounds a minute’s which is pretty decent for his kind.

the tank also feature a Hull LMG , a coaxial LMG and a 12.7mm M2HB on the roof . this shall allow the players to deal well with the aircraft. for the 12.7mm, this is a feature the French prototype didn’t have (but was surely capable of getting it)

the tank will not feature a particularly good mobility. it pretty much has the same top speed as any other Sherman. only it also has a bit more weight for the same engine. this makes it a bit slower to accelerate. but the difference will not be so noticeable compared the the other Sherman. it will feature the vertical suspension which is the same as the early Sherman

as for his protection, the M50 has nothing exceptional to offer. it is simply a normal Sherman with a normal armor thickness. only it will feature the add-on plate on the side of his hull to protect the ammunition storage and the additional plate at the front to protect the known weakness on the driver and hull gunner front. those are features that the French prototype didn’t have but can be found in many late WW2 Sherman. the Israelis did install a smoke launcher on the side of the turret which gave it a bit more chance to escape on the battlefield. the crew of 5 men remains unchanged from the usual Sherman


  • Super Sherman - Wikipedia
  • https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/2016/09/14/sherman-tanks-of-the-israeli-army/
  • https://mikesresearch.com/2020/08/30/israeli-super-shermans/
  • https://idf-armor.blogspot.com/2008/12/kadesh-operation-1956-sinai-war.html
  • 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

Should have been in the Israeli tree from day one. +1


The position a TC choses when he hates his gunner and loader.

Its already in the French tree.
If it goes to Israel it should get an APHE/APDS or a HEAT.

there is 3 tanks with the same gun, this one is the weakest. the Mk.2 (Degem Bet) has a better suspension and engine. there is also the Degem Yud which is also based on the M50 only with all the Mk.2 modification and they reduced the height of the tank so it does not have the tall slouches of the Sherman.

to make them more interesting to play at different BR, they can easily give them different ammunition. if there is APDS and HEAT, they could go with the two others. but this one, I like to have it pretty basic.

over the French one, this tank has smoke on the side of the turret and no roof armament. The French one is the prototype of this tank.

the sa50 didn’t feature any of those. An apds was developped (by france) for the sa50, but never used.

We are talking about the Israeli M50. SA 50 - Wikipedia

it is full of mistakes.

The HEAT wasn’t tested on the SA50 but designed for the SA49 and only theoretical as they wanted to give the gun 100mm of penetration at 1000, the SA50 did not have this issue as they already had more than that. but the HEAT they sudied was Ex-WW2 which had an unreliable 100mm of penetration. it could only do it 1 out of 3 times. so they decided not to even convert it into a gun.

the APDS was indeed developed by Singapur in the late 80 and the french one was a prototype. neither was ever used by Israel as the M-50 was already replaced by that time.

Werent these tanks M4A4T’s (transforme) that were re-engined by the french to use the contenental radial engines?

That would mean that the HP would either be 400 or 460 depending on if the french used C1’s or C4’s.

Not really, M-50s of this variant (in hebrew called Degem Alef) have been seen based on M4A3T, M4A4T, M4A1, M4 Composite and captured variants such as Egyptian M4A4s, M4A2s, and M4A4 FL-10s and possibly M4 (105)s, a part of the M-50 standard was to standardize the engine, the Degem Alef, the variant produced until 1962, used the R-975 engine, all Shermans which did not have this engine already in it were re-engined, no R975 was capable of 460 horsepower as you describe, the 460 hp engine used on the M-50 was the Cummin’s VT-8 which became standard on the Degem Bet, not the variant described in this suggestion.


Maybe I was wrong about the details, but was right about the net effect. All of these M-50s should be using a Continental Radial engine.

The C1 produced 400 gross HP, the C4 produced 460 gross HP. If you look at the M18 “Black Cat” premium and the M18 Hellcat, you can see that both of these values are reflected in game (as the Black Cat represents a early M18 and the tech tree one represents a later version)

So, if you agree that the M-50 used a Continental Radial, the question becomes which version.