The M4A1(76)W medium tank was the first 76mm armed version of the Sherman to enter production and had a cast hull, work on the M4 series of tanks (final design) began in the summer of 1943, the goal was to combine all the major upgrades and improvements developed since the M4 went into production, into a standard basic design that could be used with the various hulls and engine combinations used for the M4. The M4A1(76)W mounted the 76mm gun and had the new “wet” shell storage system, in the original M4 the shells were carried on racks in the sponsons, where they were very vulnerable to damage, in the “wet” system ” the racks were moved into the floor, on both sides of the crankshaft sixty-five shells were carried, protected by 130 liters of water, another six rounds were carried in a ready-for-use rack in the turret floor, protected by 8 liters of water, to allow access to floor racks, other modifications included the use of a sharp-point differential and final drive housing, 6.5cm thick front armor and a vision dome for the commander. The first production tanks were armed with the M1A1 gun, lacking a muzzle brake and featuring a circular hatch in the turret, the smaller oval magazine hatch was introduced on the 1,225 tank, in August 1945. Later tanks they also had the M1A1C or M1A2 versions of the 76 mm gun, both equipped with a muzzle brake. The M4A1 76W was the first of the “final” design tanks to go into production, the first was completed by the Pressed Steel Car Company in January 1944, between then and the end of the war a total of 3,426 were built, it was the first of Sherman 76 tanks to see combat in US hands. After the Second World War, many M4A1 (76) W were assigned to the European countries that joined “NATO”, including Italy which received 50 units in 1948, which went on to form the renewed Armored Divisions “Ariete” and "Centauro ", and was redesignated M4A1 76/52. The addition of this tank would help the Italian TT to be more competitive thanks to its performance.
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