Lent at a high price by Canadian forces, the AA tank "M4 Skink" (Tank AA, 20 mm Quad, Skink) was a deadly enemy for any plane flying over the battlefield. Using its quad Polsten 20mm guns on the M4 Sherman chassis, each firing explosive shells at a tremendous rate, it could cover the sky with deadly black clouds. With the armor of a Sherman and quite fast, it can drive alongside other tanks as a mobile air defense or use its guns to tear apart enemy infantry and light armored units.
As the invasion of Europe was impending, and it was felt a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun able to keep up with armored formations might be required, the Canadian Ministry of Defence (MOD) arranged with Waterloo Manufacturing Co. for the design of a cast turret with four Hispano-Suiza 20 mm cannons (later changed to the simpler British Polsten, a derivative of the Oerlikon) capable of firing about thirty rounds per second combined. They were aimed by periscope or roof-mounted reflector sight via electrohydraulic joystick control.
Early in 1944, the first test models were ready. Plans to build these, as well as conversion kits for existing Grizzly and Sherman tanks, were quickly superseded by the realization that Allied air forces had achieved air supremacy over Normandy. Since the Skink was now redundant, the project was cancelled in April 1944 after only three vehicles and eight conversion kits were completed. The original program had planned for the production of 135 Skinks for the Canadian Army and 130 Skink turrets for the British forces.
Reportedly the sole Skink sent to Britain for evaluation actually saw action. After being transshipped to Antwerp on 24 January 1945, it reached the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade a few miles south of Nijmegen, Holland, on 4 February, and entered combat in support of the 6th Canadian Armoured Regiment (CAR) north of Nijmegen bridge, later with 22nd CAR at the Battle of Hochwald Forest.
Pros & Cons
+/-The armour and speed is "good enough" for an AA vehicle.
-It's way more expensive than the german rival. It also lacks the hull MG.
Light Twin AA Gun