index -> Sherman Encyclopedia -> Yugoslavia


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During the 1950s Yugoslavia was supplied with both WW2 surplus and new military equipment from the United States for use by the Yugoslav armed forces.
Of the 3,000 US trucks provided between 1952 and 1958 the majority were GMC CCKW-352 and -353 trucks (these were later fitted with local bodywork). Armour included examples of the M8 Greyhound Armoured Car, M3 Half-Track, White M3A1 Scout Car, M3A3/M3A5 Stuart Light Tank, M18 Hellcat 76 mm and M36-series 'Jackson' 90 mm Gun Motor Carriages and the M7/M7B2 Priest 105 mm Howitzer Motor Carriage. Furthermore, 630 Sherman M4-series (including M32, M32B1 and M74 Tank Recovery Vehicles) and 300 M47 Patton Medium Tanks were supplied. Other vehicles included IHC M5 13-ton and M4 18-ton High-Speed Tractors, and Pacific M26 armoured tank transporters.
In due course it was superseded by Soviet and indigenous material. Although it was thought that by the late 1980s the WW- II era equipment had been taken out of service, many of them could be seen on television and in newspapers when the Yugoslav conflict raged in the early 1990s.

(Please click on the photos (as applicable) to jump to large-scale copies)

M4A3-E4 76MM
As far as can be ascertained, the Shermans of the Yugoslav Army were all M4A3-E4 76MM Shermans, remanufactured and retrofitted with 76 mm guns in the M34A1 gun mount. These long guns in the standard Sherman turret gave rise to the rumour that the Yugoslav Army was equipped with Sherman Fireflies. 
In 1970 the film "Kelly's Heroes" was shot in Yugoslavia. Besides other Shermans and T34s (convincingly dressed up as Tiger tanks) several M4A3(75)W Shermans retrofitted with 76 mm guns were used in the making of this film. 

Contrary to the tank destroyers, no Sherman tanks were seen in action in the Yugoslav conflict. However, many survive as memorials in towns and army bases all around former Yugoslavia. 
The picture on the left shows a Sherman on the small arms range of the VJ barracks just west of Pristina, Kosovo.

M36 90 mm Gun Motor Carriage retrofitted with Soviet diesel engine
Scan courtesy of Tom Gannon
The Yugoslav Army was supplied with the M36, M36B1 and M36B2 90 mm GMC. Before being transferred, the M36's were rebuilt and many if not all were retrofitted with the M3A1 90 mm Gun with bore evacuator (as used on the M26A1 and the M46 Medium Tanks). Many of the ex-Yugoslav M36s currently preserved have the M3A1 gun, but with the bore evacuator removed (you can see the holes in the barrel). 

During the Yugoslav civil war, the media showed several M36s in use by the Croatian National Guard and an M36B1 abandoned JNA (Jugoslovenska Narodna Armija, Yugoslav People's Army). M18 tank destroyers could also be seen in action.
Reportedly, some were used in action as recent as Spring 2001. There are still 20+ runners formally left in VJ army inventory, but these will have left by the end of 2002.

Scan courtesy of Tom Gannon
The Yugoslav Army retrofitted their M36s with the V12 diesel engine from the Soviet T55 tank. The conversion was done somewhere during the 1970s.
This photo shows the rear of the hull. Clearly visible is the cut- out from the upper hull overhang and the extended lower hull to accommodate the V12 diesel engine. 

Note: see the Beltring 2000 page for pictures of a Yugoslav M36 clad in rubber conveyor belting.

M7 105 mm Howitzer Motor Carriage
This picture was scanned from a photocopy of a U.S. Army manual dated 1973. A better quality or more recent picture would be welcome. 
This picture shows a pair of Yugoslav M7 Priest on a parade. Note they have early style bogies and the "single ring" machine-gun pulpit, both features of early M7's. The Priest on the right retains the three-piece final drive housing, while the one on the left has been retrofitted with a single piece "round nose" final drive housing.

Although a number of them were still listed as on strength with the various factions, no Priests were reported in action during the 1991-1999 civil war. The last M7s were retired in the early 1980s when the 2S1 SP Gun became available, so they were probably scrapped during the late 1980s.
Information pertaining the number of Priests originally in Yugoslav Army inventory, as well as those left today, is eagerly sought after.

Scan courtesy of Geoff Walden 
On the 10th of September 1999, Geoff Walden took pictures of several Serb AFVs, collected at a British military post on the outskirts of Pristina, Kosovo. Included in the lineup was one M32B1 TRV. These vehicles were apparently undamaged (see more of these vehicles at Geoff Walden's page.)
Apart from having been repainted and given the number '3375' on the turret, this vehicle remains in the configuration is was built in half a century ago.


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Page created: 20-03-1999
Last update: 28-01-2002

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