40 images of captured Sherman tanks in German hands!

by Jack – Mar 30, 2016


All through the history of warfare, soldiers always knew how to make good use of captured equipment. Clothing, food, and inevitably, weapons. The latter were especially attractive if they were easier to obtain and of better quality then the ones issued to troops originally. Using the enemy’s weapons did mean on the other hand that ammunition and spare parts were sometimes hard to get, and in the case of vehicles, one had to be careful not to be shot by friendly forces.

During World War II the German forces made extensive use of captured equipment.  This started directly after invading Czechoslovakia and it also took place in France, Belgium and The Netherlands. I am referring to vehicles like the LT vz.38 Skoda, later used by the German 7th and 8th armoured divisions, the French Char B1bis, the Somua S-35 and the Renault R-35. [The Germans made good use of some DAF M38 armoured cars, captured in The Netherlands during the Blitzkrieg in 1940, and transported to the USSR, and deployed in the fights against the soviet partisans.

The Russian T-34 tank was used a lot by the German forces, usually with very large white Balkenkreuz markings to prevent being shot by their own comrades. In North Africa also, British and American equipment and vehicles were used by the German forces, often to compensate for the huge shortages of material.

Also in the ETO, German forces made good use of captured vehicles, a very well known example being the use of American vehicles by Otto Skorzeny’s 150th armoured brigade during the Ardennes offensive

The Germans were known to use captured Sherman tanks in attacks (Normandy, Bulge) and paint crosses on them. In the East, captured T-34s were used as well. In the Ardennes offensive, the German Panzer spearheads were often led by captured Shermans.

Normandy 1944

1944, mid June. Captured Firefly from 4th County of London Yeomanry after Villers-Bocage battle
firefly-21(Two pictures above from book Regenberger, Dr. Werner: Scheiben. Horst. Beutepanzer unterm Balkenkreuz.)

firefly-28(From “Trucks and Tanks” Nr 10 magazine)
1944, mid July, between Giberville and Cuverville, south-east of Caen. Firefly from 148th RAC / 33rd Armored Brigade captured by sPzAbt 503

(source Ysec editions 45 tiger en Normandie)
firefly-29(Picture from Bundesarchive)

firefly-30(Picture from Bundesarchive)

firefly-291(Picture from book “Deutsche panzer 1917-1945” Uwe Feist. Action Publication)

firefly-31(Source unknown)

firefly-32(Source unknown)


Unknown location but Netherlands too.  (Pictures from Library and Archives Canada)



Holland 1945

1945, July, Utrecht. Probably this Firefly is always the same and  belonged to 3.Panzer-Kompanie of PzJagAbt 346.

(Source Panzerwrecks blog and Pictures from”PANZERWRECKS 1. German armour 1944-45″)




Strange Firefly – may be from a film?firefly-23


image0011943, November. M4 captured by 3.Pz-Grenadier-Division

image0031944, March, Nettuno.

image0041945, 17 January, Herrlisheim. Erwin Bachmann (I. / SS. Panzer-Regiment 10 ) captured 12 M4A3 75 W of 43rd Tank Battalion.

image0101944, March, Nettuno.

sherman-75-01(Source unknown)

sherman-75-03“Nicht Ausschlachten, Für Okh-Wa.Pru, Erbeutet durch I/Pz.Rgt.5. translated”.”Don’t cannibalize, for Okh-Wa.Pru, captured by I/Pz.Rgt.5.”  Another M4A1 was captured in North Africa by the 1st Company of the 501st Tank Battalion, nicknamed ” War Daddy II”.


sherman-75-061945, May, Berlin. M4 “Sherman” probably from Kampfgruppe “Berlin”. Probably on the right turret side put german cross. This group include two M4 “Sherman” tank (possibly from Kummersdorf proving ground).

sherman-75-09“Nicht Ausschlachten, Für Okh-Wa.Pru, Erbeutet durch I/Pz.Rgt.5. translated”.”Don’t cannibalize, for Okh-Wa.Pru, captured by I/Pz.Rgt.5.” Another M4A1 was captured in North Africa by the 1st Company of the 501st Tank Battalion, nicknamed ” War Daddy II”.


sherman-75-14Italy, M4 “Sherman” captured by germans in American dump. Note balkenkreuz on the rear of the turret and hull and turret.

sherman-75-15Italy, same dump same captured M4 “Sherman”. Note absence of balkenkreuz on the side of the turret or on front. American white star has been covered.


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