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UNIQUE ID 775: M4A2 SHERMAN TANK

Memorial, Écouché, France

(Location: Ecouché)


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Sample Photo from Tank with UniqueID 775


Unique ID: 775
Added to Database: April 2009
Last Edited: April 2009
Type (ID): M4A2 Sherman (1320)
Model (ID): M4A2 (1320)
Location Category (ID): Memorial (6083)
Location (ID): Ecouché (6083)
Serial Number:
Registration: “420830” painted on nose.
Name: “MASSAOUAH” painted on hull sides (previously “MASSAOUA”).
Other Identification:
Collection Reference:
Links:
References:
Associated Tanks:

Location History:
(see map)

1: General Motors - Fisher Body Division, Grand Blanc, Genesee County, Michigan, USA (Primary manufacturer)
2: Memorial, Écouché, Orne, Basse-Normandie, France (Current location)


Text in original Preserved American Tanks publication:

[No entry]

Text in Preserved American Tanks Update:

[No entry]

Text in original Preserved Tanks In France publication:

This M4A2 is now named with the spelling “Massaouah” although the accompanying plaque and label use the previous spelling. The plaque is mounted in front and reads as follows:

MASSAOUAMASSAOUA
EN HOMAGE
A LA 2EME D B
LIBERATRICE
D’ECOUCHE
13 AOÛT 1944
IN HOMAGE
TO THE 2ND ARMOURED DIVISION
LIBERATOR
OF ECOUCHE
13 AUGUST 1944


There are three large holes in the armour on the left hand superstructure side. The rubber is missing from much of the tracks and many of the roadwheels; this is consistent with the tank having been penetrated and then burned out.

There is a large display board behind the tank with photographs, maps and information about the battles that took place around Ecouché. The English text describing the background of this tank reads as follows:

The Massaouah
It takes its name from a victory won by the Foreign Legion in Erythrea. Thanks to the mayor at this time, the firm put in charge of collecting war wrecks donated the tank to the commune in commemoration of its liberation. It only needed to be moved a few metres.
In September 1952, General Vézinet, President of the National Association of the friends of the 2nd DB recounted the history of this tank:
“…The morning of the 13th August, the first division of the 501 RCC enters Ecouché.
The Massaouah is stationed on the western outskirts of the city, ready to block the road to Falaise from the columns of the 116th Panzers who are flowing towards them from the west. In the middle of the afternoon the opportunity the team has been waiting for presents itself: a “Mark IV” comes along, spots the Massaouah, manoeuvres itself into a firing position and prepares to open fire. It never has a chance to start. At the first shot, at 800 metres, the “Massaouah” puts it out of commission: the Keren Is avenged”.

The end of the Massaouah:
“On the 15th of August the Massaouah is still in its position on the outskirts of Ecouché, where the section is recuperating after the preceding hard days. Whilst the other crews are carrying out maintenance on their machines, the Massaouah and the Bir Hakeim are keeping watch. Suddenly some German tanks hidden in a wood north-east of Ecouché on the other side of the Orne river, open fire unexpectedly. The first shell hits the ground at the feet of Aspirant Malin; the second shell hits the Bir Hakeim; the third shell penetrates the ammunition compartment of the Massaouah which catches fire. A counter offensive firing occurs but it’s too late: the Massaouah is lost. Sergeant Major Mahaeo, thrown out of the turret, is unscathed (he will later die courageously in Massaouah II in front of Baccarat). Ancel, the first pilot, is safe and sound, but Léonard, the radio charger, has a broken foot, while the rifleman receives a heavy blow in the chest”.


The phrase “the Keren is avenged” is, of course, a reference to the Sherman at Le Vieux-Montmerrei (q.v.).


Images - Photographs and NavPix (click to expand or browse)

August 2007

Front left view
1: Front left view

Taken: 21 August 2007
Contributor: T. Larkum
Photo ID: 1233
Added: 4 May 2009
Filename: 54CNV17_...
Views: 72
Select/Has Priority: 17/0
    

 

Front right view
2: Front right view

Taken: 21 August 2007
Contributor: T. Larkum
Photo ID: 1230
Added: 4 May 2009
Filename: 54CNV19_...
Views: 57
Select/Has Priority: 17/0
    

 

Rear left view
3: Rear left view

Taken: 21 August 2007
Contributor: T. Larkum
Photo ID: 1231
Added: 4 May 2009
Filename: 54CNV24_...
Views: 74
Select/Has Priority: 4/0
    



Left view
4: Left view

Taken: 21 August 2007
Contributor: T. Larkum
Photo ID: 1234
Added: 4 May 2009
Filename: 54CNV18_...
Views: 59
Select/Has Priority: 17/0
    



Right view
5: Right view

Taken: 21 August 2007
Contributor: T. Larkum
Photo ID: 1235
Added: 4 May 2009
Filename: 54CNV20_...
Views: 70
Select/Has Priority: 4/0
    



Label
6: Label

Taken: 21 August 2007
Contributor: T. Larkum
Photo ID: 1236
Added: 4 May 2009
Filename: 54CNV23_...
Views: 65
Select/Has Priority: 17/0