The Tank on Roblin Boulevard

History of the Tank

This tank, Model M4A2 76mm (W) HVSS serial number 69139 was built by the Fisher Tank
Division, of General Motors, Detroit Michigan, in April of 1945.

One of 2915 of this particular model built between May 1944 and May 1945, it was intended for
delivery to Russia under the Lend-Lease program, but the shipment was cancelled at the end of
the European war in May of 1945. This is one of the last models of Sherman tank built. A total of
49,243 of all versions were built from 1942-1945.

The Canadian Army had used earlier versions of the Sherman than in Italy and North-West
Europe from 1943, but all these tanks were disposed of in Europe at the end of the war.

In 1946, to equip the post-war Canadian Army, 300 M4A2 Shermans were purchased from the
USA at a cost of $1,460 each. They served with the Regular force until the adoption of the
Centurion tank in 1958 and Militia unit the last ones were retired in 1970. A number of them
became range targets and several become monuments such as this one. A few have been restored
to running condition in private ownership.

The nomenclature of the tank decodes as follows:
M4 – Model Number, A2 – Diesel Engines, 76mm – calibre of main gun,
(W) – Pressurized wet stowage of ammunition, HVSS – Horizontal Volute Spring Suspension.

The vehicle carries the marking of The Fort Garry Horse (Militia) for the period 1946-1959.

Arm of Service Sign The left front and left rear carry the arm of service sign of the Royal
Canadian Armoured Corps. A square with read and yellow halves, divided diagonally. Above, a
2-inch white bar carries the unit’s abbreviated name “FGH (M)”

Formation Sign The right front and right rear carry the Prairie Command shield. Prairie
Command was the organization responsible for Saskatchewan, Manitoba and NW Ontario. After
1959, Prairie Command was absorbed by Western Command, and the Green Western Command
flash was carried until 1968 and the unification of the Canadian Forces.

Unit Name. In the mid-1950’s the unit name in the form “FORT GARRY HORSE (M)” was
added to the sides of the vehicles located in Winnipeg for recruiting purposes.

Turret Markings. A yellow triangle on the turret indicated “A” Squadron of the regiment. A
square was used to indicate B Squadron, a Circle for C Squadron, and a Diamond for D


Overall Semi-Gloss Olive Drab, Federal Standard number 24087. Manufactured by Gillespie
coatings, Texas. Available in Canada through Willys Acres RR#2 3224 Conc 7. Oro Station ON,
L0L 2E0 (705) 835-5739

It takes two gallons to paint the entire vehicle with a professional spray gun and compressor.
Thin the paint with Synthetic Enamel reducer, ratio Paint: Reducer 2:1

  • Rubber road wheels and support rollers – Tremclad Flat Black, painted by brush.
  • Grease points on wheels – highlighted in red.
  • Markings. Gloss Red, Yellow and White Tremclad spray paint.
  • Re-painting – 2003
  • The tank was repainted in June 2003 by volunteers Gord Crossley, RSM of The Fort Garry
    Horse, and Don Trueman and Doug Young of Prairie Command Military Vehicles Collectors

Tasks performed.

  1. Manufacture and install covers for periscope and vision block openings (10)
  2. Remove surface rust and apply rust-proofing
  3. Paint and apply markings
  4. Clean memorial plaque

The Fort Garry Horse was formed in Winnipeg on April 15th 1912. The new unit quickly
filled its ranks and began to receive equipment and train as sword and rifle armed cavalry.

On the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the regiment was mobilized and moved to
Valcartier, Quebec. There it was combined with other Western Cavalry Regiments to form the
6th Battalion C.E.F. (Canadian Expeditionary Force). The 6th Battalion sailed for England in
October 1914, and trained there as Infantry throughout the remainder of the year.

In 1915, the Canadian Cavalry Brigade was formed and the 6th Battalion was converted back to
Cavalry under the name Fort Garry Horse. Crossing over to France, the Regiment took part in
many actions, acting as Cavalry and relieving Infantry in the trenches throughout 1916 and
1917. In November 1917, as part of the famous tank attack on Cambrai, “B” Squadron of the
Garrys distinguished itself in the Cavalry role. Lt. Harcus Strachan was awarded the Empire’s
highest honour, the Victoria Cross, for this action.

The Garrys continued to serve in the Canadian Cavalry Brigade, taking part in the important
actions of Moreuil and Rifle Wood in March and April 1918. In October 1918, the Regiment
took part in the battle of Gattigny Wood, members earning 21 decorations for this action. After
the war ended in November 1918, the Regiment did a short period of garrison duty in Belgium
and came home to Winnipeg in 1919.

After demobilization, as a unit in the N.P.A.M. (Non-Permanent Active Militia) the Regiment
continued to soldier on throughout the 20’s and 30’s keeping standards and traditions alive.
At the beginning of the Second World War, the Garrys were mobilized and converted from
Cavalry to Armour. After basic tank training in Canada, the Regiment sailed for England where
they continued to train for the planned invasion of Europe.

The Garrys were among the first to land in Normandy on “D-Day”, June 6th 1944. Special
floating “Duplex Drive” Sherman tanks were used for the D-Day landings. The Garrys were part
of the Vanguard of the Canadian Army as they pushed through France, Belgium and Holland
into Germany and fought successfully in many actions earning 16 Battle Honours.

After the War, the Militia carried on as they had between the wars. In 1953, volunteers from the
Garrys served in the Korean War as First Troop “A” Squadron of Lord Strathcona’s Horse.
Many members of the Garrys have served in United Nations missions in the Sinai, Cyprus,
Egypt, the Golan Heights, and the former Yugoslavia.

In 1958, a Regular Force component of the Garrys was formed in Petawawa, Ontario. The unit
served in Germany and was later based in Calgary. Several sub-units took part in UN missions
in the Sinai and Cyprus. The Regular component was de-activated in 1970.

The Garrys have served in the Reconnaissance role since 1969. Members train in “Recce”
driving and tactics, weapons, navigation, and communications. Some serve as clerks, cooks,
technicians and other support trades. Services to the community have included flood fighting,
assistance in blizzards, and the yearly tradition of delivering Christmas Cheer hampers.

All Garrys, past and present, are members of the Regimental family. They can be proud of their
long list of accomplishments and of their Regimental motto:

Facta Non Verba (Deeds Not Words)

The tank in service with The Fort Garry Horse, 1959.

Army Day parade, June 1959

The Fort Garry Horse Museum and Archives – June 2003

The tank prior to re-painting. The colour is modern NATO Forest Green

The crew-commander’s cupola. Covers were made for the missing periscopes and vision blocks

The Fort Garry Horse Museum and Archives – June 2003

The tank with rust paint applied, prior to painting with 24087

Hard at work, June 2003

The Fort Garry Horse Museum and Archives – June 2003

Painting the suspension

Hand-painting the Unit Name

The Fort Garry Horse Museum and Archives – June 2003

Looking down inside the turret, gunner’s position

Driver’s seat and tiller bars for steering

The Fort Garry Horse Museum and Archives – June 2003

Looking down at location of commander’s position

Turret floor, showing 6-round armoured ammunition bin

The Fort Garry Horse Museum and Archives – June 2003

M4 Sherman Tank Model M4A2 76mm (W) HVSS

The first M4 Sherman tanks entered service with the U.S. Army in 1941. They were also
adopted and extensively used by British and Canadian forces during World War II and
continued in use through the Korean War. The Sherman went through many
improvements and upgrades during its service career, ending with this model,
manufactured in 1945, incorporating many changes learned from wartime experience.
The last Shermans were retired from Canadian service in 1970. Some Shermans
continue to serve today in Israel as armoured ambulances and chassis for self propelled
artillery and mortars.

Crew: 5 Crew Commander
Bow Gunner


Weight 38.5 tons
Width 9 ft 9 ¾ in
Height 9 ft 10 in
Length 20 ft
Ground Clearance 18 in


Maximum speed 30 mph
Maximum trench crossing width 7 ft 6 in
Maximum obstacle height 2 ft
Maximum fording depth 3 ft

Tracks and Suspension:

Model T80 steel and rubber, 23 inch width
2 rubber bonded pins per link, 79 links per track
12 double bogie wheels in 6 horizontal volute spring suspension units
4 double and 6 single support rollers

The Fort Garry Horse Museum and Archives – June 2003

Power Train:

Engines (2) General Motors model 6-71 (6 cylinder, 2 stroke
diesel OHV direct injection)
Lubrication Wet sump full force feed
Combined horsepower 375 bhp
Combined weight 2700 lbs
Transmission Manual 4 forward speeds 1 reverse synchro-mesh on
all except 1st and reverse
Steering Controlled differential through steering brake levers
Electrical system 24 Volt


Diesel fuel 120 gallons
Engine oil (each) 7 gallons
Transmission, differential and final drives 30 gallons
Engine coolant (each) 13 gallons
Auxiliary generator fuel 4 gallons


No. 19 radio set A and B set combined, VHF and HF, voice and CW (Morse)
Intercom Headset and handset for each crew member.

Other Features:

• Fixed fire extinguisher system controlled from inside or outside vehicle.
• 1 powered intake ventilator in hull roof, 1 powered exhaust ventilator in turret rear.
• Emergency escape hatch in hull floor behind bow gunner.
• Internally controlled searchlight mounted on turret roof.
• Homelite auxiliary generator/engine heater, single cylinder, 2 stroke 30 Volt 1500
Watt output.

Crew’s vision equipment

1 fixed periscope each for Driver and Bow Gunner (M6 or M13)
1 rotating periscope each for Driver and Bow Gunner in hatches (M6 or M13)
6 all around vision blocks in rotating cupola for Crew Commander
1 rotating periscope in hatch for Crew Commander (M6, M13 or M15 binocular type)
1 rotating periscope in turret roof for Loader Operator (M6 or M13)

The Fort Garry Horse Museum and Archives – June 2003

76mm M2A1 weight 1164 lbs
Main gun Quick-firing, semi automatic breech
Manual loading, 12 inch recoil length

.30 cal M1919A4 weight 31 lbs
Machine Gun (2) muzzle velocity 2800 FPS
cyclic rate of fire 425-450 rounds per minute

.50 cal M2HB weight 84 lbs
Machine Gun muzzle velocity 2930 FPS
cyclic rate of fire 500 rounds per minute

9mm Mk II Sten weight 6.6 lbs
Sub Machine Gun (5) muzzle velocity 1280 FPS
cyclic rate of fire 540 rounds per minute

Grenades 3 types: No 36 HE, No 80 Mk1 WP smoke, No 82 Mk 2 smoke.

Gun sighting and control equipment

M71D sighting telescope in gun mantlet, x5 power, 13° field of view
M4A1 periscope, x1 power 45° field of view with internal M47A2 telescope
x1.44 power 9° field of view
M9 elevation quadrant for indirect fire mounted on gun breech
M1 gunner’s quadrant (issued 1 per Squadron)
M20 azimuth indicator mounted on turret ring

Crew Commander
No 5 CDN Mk 2/4 7×50 binoculars
Vane sight on top of turret for aligning gun

Turret traverse: Hydraulic: gunner’s hand control with commander’s override.
Manual: manual traverse handle for gunner.
Gun elevation: 25° elevation 10° depression
Manual: handwheel controlled by gunner.
Stabilizer: Bendix stabilization system maintains
gun in set elevation.

The Fort Garry Horse Museum and Archives – June 2003

Ammunition carried:

76mm: 71 rounds carried
6 rounds in ready bin on turret floor
35 rounds under turret floor in pressurized water jackets (wet stowage)
30 rounds in lower hull on right hand side behind bow gunner
Percentage carried: AP 45%, HE 45%, SMOKE 10%

.30 cal: 6250 rounds 25 boxes of 250 rounds, belted, 1 tracer for each 4 ball
1 box in feed tray with co-axial machine gun
7 boxes on left side of hull above batteries
1 box in feed tray for bow machine gun
16 boxes on right side of bow gunner’s compartment

.50 cal: 660 rounds, belted, 1 tracer for each 4 ball rounds
6 boxes of 110 rounds stowed in hull right side

9mm: 320 rounds 10 x 32 round magazines stowed under radio set

Grenades: 12 8 in box under commanders seat
4 in rack below radio set

Signal cartridges: 18 in box on turret floor (used with flare pistol)

76mm Ammunition:
Type Muzzle velocity Range

HVAP M93 Hyper-Velocity-Armour-Piercing 3400 FPS 2500 Yards
HVTP-T M315A1Hyper-Velocity-Target-Practice-Tracer 3400 FPS 2500 Yards
APC M62Armour-Piercing-Capped 2600 FPS 2500 Yards
HE M42A1 High Explosive Full charge 2700 FPS 14000 Yards
HE M42A1 High Explosive Reduced charge 1550 FPS 7600 Yards
SMOKE HC M88 Hexachlorethane 900 FPS 2000 Yards
SMOKE WP M312 White Phosphorous 2700 FPS 14000 Yards