Belgien / Denkmal

The American M4A1 Sherman tank




This Sherman, enthroned in front of the Mons Memorial Museum since August 2019, is the emblematic tank of the Liberation. Designed specifically for mechanized warfare, the Sherman was well suited to the pursuit operations of August 1944. Relatively weaker in armor and weaponry than its adversaries, it was agile and fast.

The Mons Memorial Museum's tank pays tribute to "In the Mood", the tank of the man still known as the US Army's most illustrious tank commander of the Second World War, Staff Sergeant Lafayette Green Pool. Lafayette was born on July 23, 1919 in Odem, Texas. He joined the Army in 1941, with the 3rd AD. At the end of June 1944, he landed in Normandy with the 32nd Armored Regiment. As tank commander, he christened his tank "In the Mood", in tribute to Glenn Miller's famous jazz standard.

This first tank was hit by a Panzerfaust (German anti-tank rocket) during the first attack by Combat Command A (the American armored divisions of the time fought in two groups, A and B, and a divisional reserve) at Villers-Fossard (Saint-Lô). Its second tank was better armored and better armed, with a 76mm cannon and fireproof ammunition bunkers. This second tank was destroyed by friendly fire on August 17, 1944, near Fromentel. It was with his third tank that Sergeant Pool entered Belgium and took part in the liberation of Mons. He lost it on September 19, 1944, destroyed by a Panther tank (the Sherman's "best enemy") at Münsterbusch near Aachen, on the Westwall. Lafayette lost a leg in the action, and the war was over for him. He remains credited with the destruction of 12 tanks and over 250 vehicles in the summer of 1944 alone. He was awarded the Silver Star, Distinguished Service Cross, Légion d'Honneur and 1940 Belgian Fourragère.

Bd Dolez 51, 7000 Mons