The French M4A1 added a unique turret design to the classic Sherman tank in the form of the oscillating turret, which was designed by the French and also used in the French AMX-13.
Oscillating turrets consist of an upper and lower part and enabled the cannon to elevate by tilting the entire top of the turret, whereas the lower part connected to the turret ring and enabled horizontal movement. This design provided multiple advantages, including high gun placement, smaller turret size, and a simpler, more reliable autoloader mechanism.
French engineers introduced several innovations to the Sherman tank design, including the oscillating turret, which was very different from all previous turret designs ever mounted on a Sherman chassis. However, the French only ever modified a handful of Sherman tanks to the M4A1 FL10 standard and never used it within the ranks of their own army. Instead, the M4A1 FL10 was purely intended as an export vehicle for Egypt. The oscillating design enabled smaller turrets and reduced the weight and size of the tank—which also made it a smaller target. However, it also made for cramped crew quarters.
Fortunately, the turret crew didn’t need to load the 75mm cannon on the M4A1 FL10. Similar to the AMX-13, an automated mechanism automatically reloaded the cannon. The autoloader consisted of two drum magazines, each of which held 6 rounds.
With twin “six shooter” drums, a gunner could fire a total of twelve shots in quick succession without reloading. Unfortunately, to reload the autoloader, the tank would have to withdraw from the battlefield, and the crew would have to exit the tank and reload the mechanism manually from the outside of the tank.
In War Thunder this process is simply simulated through a lengthy reload time before the gun is ready to fire again.
The M4A1 FL10 is being readied to join the ranks of the upcoming French ground forces tree as a premium vehicle for the intermediate ranks.