The M4 Shermans were used by everyone. I think there was 50,000 of them built. The thinking was quantity not quality. The krauts even used captured ones. Your father was lucky to survive because the German guns would go right through them. Tankers and flyers had the highest casualties in WWII. The Germans nick named the Shermans "tommy cookers" because they would burn so easily. The British added their 76.2mm main gun so that it would have a better punch. They were known as "fireflys" but there wasn't nearly enough of them in Europe. Later, all had the 76.2mm main gun and were known as the "easy 8" model. This was used in Korea.
There was a series of shows about armor battles on TV, 10 years ago. One of the people was a Canadian Trooper talking about some of his close calls. I really liked the guy because he was very understated and matter-of-fact about some very scary situations. I think that I later learned that he was Canada's top tank Ace. Try to see it to have a better understanding of what your dad went through. Good Luck, Rick
I tested the link and it worked for me.
The Allies won on manufacturing ability (98% USA) over the Germans.
The German planes had fuel injection and could maneuver more rapidly without loosing power vs the carbureted allied aircraft for the most part. Especially at the beginning of the war. WHile no US planes were fuel injected they did improve handling and tactics to gain the upper hand. (For example in a dogfight if a ME-109 and a P-51 were in a dog fight the ME could simply push down and dive without stalling the engine, the 51 pilots eventually learned to invert then dive to keep the fuel flowing.) The one thing the Germans could not do was make more planes than the US.At the beginning of the war the P-40s were completely outclassed by German Technology. The Spitfire was more than equal, but could not be produced in enough numbers. Once planes such as the P-47, 38,51 came into production the Luftwaffe began to decline. However if planes like the ME 262 had been put into service in larger numbers, and as a fighter as intended instead of a bomber like Hitler demanded, it wudl have been a very different story.
The German tanks were far superior to the US tanks. When the US first entered the war there was not a single piece for mechanized artillery that could damage a German tank unless it got very lucky.
I read a book written by a US tank mechanic during WWII and he talked about the huge number of tanks lost that had to be replaced ever night. They would scavenge through the destroyed tanks for parts to repair the functioning ones. He was one of the ones that helped improve armor and armament for the Shermans to make them somewhat competitive. The main problem we the Sherman's ammo storage so close to the hull. One hit and the whole thing was a rolling bomb.
There was one story of a battle where Sherman's were against Panzers. One Sherman was sitting just below grade in defilade. Panzers crested the embankment without knowing the Shermans were there and began to shell a town. One tank pulled up and stopped directly in front of the Sherman's barrel. The crew began to fire as rapidly as they could. After several round at very close range they discovered they were damaging themselves more than the Panzer and managed to escape without the Kraut crew ever figuring out what was beating on their hull.
In the end, it was the destruction of Axis supplies and manufacturing, and the overwhelming superiority of the Allied ability to resupply that won the day in Europe.