M4A3E2 Sherman ‘Thunderbolt VII’


Le Teich, France

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Lt. Col. Creighton Abrams, Horazdovice, May 1945. ‘Thunderbolt VII’ was the seventh and last tank of Lt. Col. Creighton Abrams, Company then Batallion commander during the allied assault from the Normandy beaches to the heart of Germany. As saif by General Patton, “I’m supposed to be the best tank commander in the Army, but I have one peer—Abe Abrams.” Leading the 37th Tank Battalion from the front, Abrams and his crew are estimated to have destroyed about 50 German armored fighting vehicles, including at least a dozen tanks. So this made him the second best American tank ace of ww2 (after Poole), but best remembered because of his commander skills on a tactical level, which made him more than a simple “tank commander”. Abrams served with the 1st Cavalry Division from 1936 to 1940, then adjutant in the 4th Armored Division until June 1942, ending as regimental commander of the 37th Armor Regiment in 1944. He took part in the battle of Bulge. He was 28 when promoted to lieutenant colonel. After the war he also commanded units in Korean and in 1964 appointed Vice Chief of Staff of the US Army and Chief of Staff in 1972. His last Sherman seen here, was up-armored with side armoured boxes to deflect the effect of a Panzerfaust charge. The famous cold war MBT M1 was named after him.

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