Tank Tears - Pz Kpfw IV Ausf H Versus The M4 Sherman
Which one is better, the Pz Kpfw IV Ausf H or the M4 Sherman?
Welcome to Tank Tears, a series where we pit two similar tanks against one another and judge which one is the best. Today, we have the M4 Sherman and the Pz Kpfw IV Ausf H on the chopping block. It’s going to be a difficult task to determine a victor, as these two tanks are unbelievably similar. It could very well come down to a single attribute that separates the winner from the loser. Either way, let’s dive in and learn more about these two tanks!
Pz Kpfw IV Ausf H
The German Panzer tanks are one of the most manufactured tanks in the German army with the Pz Kpfw IV Ausf H, or Panzerkempfwagen IV, having more than 8,500 units constructed over the course of World War II. The Pz Kpfw IV Ausf H was an upgrade over the G variant and included an increased armor thickness (coming in at 80mm), and side-skirting to protect the tracks.
The Pz Kpfw IV Ausf H is a tank with a rich history and one of Germany’s best vehicles. The real-world Pz IV was able to shoot over distances of 1200m. Although the in-game Pz IV is unlikely to do this, it doesn’t disappoint and comes with the extreme accuracy and range standard to German tanks.
The Pz Kpfw IV Ausf H has strikingly similar stats to the M4 Sherman, with only a few attributes being either better or worse. The M4 Sherman has an easier time surviving close encounters, but the Pz IV’s frontal armor is a bit thicker and will be able to bounce shots when angled properly.
When the Pz IV H’s stock gun, engine, tracks, and radio are upgraded it makes for a formidable opponent. Arguably the best way to play the Pz IV H is as a sniper, which is where it truly excels. It may not have the M4 Sherman’s even stat spread, but it can hyper focus on one role.
The 105mm Kw.K L/28 has the same dispersion as the M4 Sherman but with greater penetration and damage (without having to rely solely on HE rounds). When used from a sniping range, the Pz IV will be able to dominate unsuspecting enemies thanks to the accuracy and camouflage values.
The Pz Kpfw IV Ausf H is a tank that won’t excel at a role it’s not supposed to do, but when given a task it is equipped for, will become a powerhouse and a very difficult tank to play against. Another benefit to the Pz IV is that it belongs to one of the best German tank lines in World of Tanks.
The M4 Sherman is a USA Tier 5 Medium tank and one of the most produced tanks in history. We've already covered the the M4 Sherman’s history, but let’s revisit some of the highlights.
Debuting in North Africa for the British Army during the Second Battle of El Alamein, the M4 Sherman wasn’t used solely by the American Army, and as such, saw many battles for the Allies. Beginning as an improvement upon the M3 Lee, the M4 Sherman had specific requirements for its design, one of which was it had to be tactically flexible and capable of traversing a variety of terrains.
Much like its real-world equivalent, the M4 Sherman in World of Tanks doesn’t have one attribute to write home about. Instead, it acts as a “jack of all trades.” While it didn’t excel at one particular thing (it was just a quality tank), the M4 Sherman went on to become the second most produced tank in World War II with 49,324 units produced.
In terms of how the M4 Sherman is played in World of Tanks, it performs well as a scout or in peak-a-boom scenarios. Arguably the best armaments for the M4 Sherman is the 76mm Gun M1A1 with its high penetration and damage, and the 105mm M4 which sacrifices penetration for high damage HE or HEAT rounds.
Due to the poor accuracy of these weapons, the M4 Sherman needs to be closer to its target than the Pz Kpfw IV Ausf H, potentially exposing itself to counterattacks. This is unfortunate, as the M4 doesn’t offer the amounts of armor required to maintain these close-quarter encounters. However, when using the 105mm, it will be able to one-shot an array of lower tiered tanks and potentially even higher tiered SPGs.
The M4 Sherman is one of those tanks that’s a treat to operate and is also part of an appealing USA tank line in World of Tanks. Nevertheless, it does suffer from not having a set role for it to fill. It doesn’t have the armor to bully, nor the accuracy and radio signal to snipe. More often than not, the M4 Sherman will find itself simply following allies and helping shoot.
Winner: Pz Kpfw IV Ausf H
This was a difficult decision because the M4 Sherman is a decent all-rounder, but you won’t find anything it excels at, making it difficult to perform well in niche situations. However, the Pz Kpfw IV Ausf H (while weak in some areas), makes up for said weaknesses with its laser-like accuracy and powerful 10.5cm Kw.K gun, allowing it to perform well at a specific task.
At stock value, the M4 Sherman is better, but when fully upgraded the Pz Kpfw IV Ausf H pulls ahead. If you weren’t planning on upgrading a tank, the M4 would have to win. However, because these tanks are both so enjoyable to use—and it’s more likely that players will upgrade and keep these tanks—we’re going to hand the victory over to the Pz Kpfw IV Ausf H.
What do you think of these results? Do you think the M4 Sherman should have won? Let us know what you think in the comments!