In David Ayer’s war film ‘Fury,’ Don “Wardaddy” Collier leads a group of U.S. Second Armored Division soldiers against the Nazis in a tank nicknamed “Fury.” The tank eventually becomes the soldiers’ “home” and they decide against abandoning it when they confront a group of hundreds of Waffen-SS soldiers. Don joins his four subordinates to kill the German soldiers one after the other while hiding inside Fury. In the war drama, the tank unifies the soldiers and protects their lives in the face of danger!
M4 Sherman: The Real Fury
The production department of the film loaned a real tank from The Tank Museum, located in Bovington, England, and transformed it into “Fury.” The tank is a M4A2 HVSS Sherman with a 76mm gun. The M4 Sherman, also known as Medium Tank or M4, was the prominent kind of medium tank used by the United States and the Allies in general in World War II. The reliance on the kind was because it was relatively cheap to produce, which ensured availability. The M4 was evolved from the M3 Medium Tank. Through Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Lend-Lease Act, thousands of M4 tanks were distributed to the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union.
The main gun of the M4 tanks was at a fully traversing central turret. It was introduced in the North African campaign of World War II. In addition to the Second World War, the same tanks were used in the Korean War, Arab–Israeli wars, Vietnam War, and Indo-Pakistani War. Although the production department had a real tank, it was impossible to shoot inside the M4 Sherman due to the lack of space for both the cast and crew. Thus, the production designer Andrew Menzies constructed a set to shoot the scenes set inside Fury.
“That was the biggest technical challenge. It’s a very small set, and every wall had to fly away, allowing [director] David [Ayer] to shoot from any angle,” Menzies told Popular Mechanics. “At the same time, it would be on a gimbal, moving around, so that it would feel like a moving vehicle. And of course, as we were shaking it around, it couldn’t have any wobbling or loose parts,” he added. Menzies started his work by scanning the real M4 Sherman. He then increased the measurements by 10% and built a set using a box metal frame with a resin-fiberglass coat. The set was made using forty-two pieces of flyaway wall that float in and out, which allowed Ayer and cinematographer Roman Vasyanov to shoot from any angle.
To increase the authenticity of the set, assistant art director Gary Jopling gathered equipment from real tanks. “We gathered pieces from various tank enthusiasts around the country to ensure the interior looked authentic,” Jopling added to Popular Mechanics. The M4 Sherman is not the only real tank in the movie. The crew also loaned Tiger 131, a German Tiger I heavy tank captured by the British forces during World War II, from The Tank Museum. The particular tank is the one that gets defeated by Fury after it destroys multiple M4 tanks in the film.
Read More: Is Fury Based on a True Story?