Top Photo: The Signal Corps information identifies
these as 3AD 105mm Sherman howitzers of the 2nd Bn, 32nd
Armor, in action in the Valley of Trou De Bra, Belgium, along
highway N432, 20 kilometers west of Trois-Ponts, in January 1945
(Battle of the Bulge).
Bottom Photo: [Info from Dan Fong, Web Staff] This
is not a 3AD Sherman, but is used here as a demonstration of
the little-publicized fact that the M4 and M4A3 models of the
Sherman had versions mounting a 105mm howitzer. Their purpose
was to give the tank battalion its own internal artillery support.
Standard Army organization at the time specified six such versions
per battalion, broken down as follows: one in each tank company
and the remaining three in an assault gun platoon under the control
of the battalion HQ. These Shermans were used in both indirect
and direct fire roles. In some battalions, the 105-armed Shermans
in the companies were combined with the three in the assault-gun
platoon making a six-gun platoon. But we do not yet know if this
practice was in the 3AD. The 3AD could have had up to 24 total
of these vehicles in its four medium tank battalions. We do not
know what the two light tank battalions would have had.