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I was always under that impression as well, but then a few weeks ago I was looking something up on Wikipedia on the M4, where it says this in regards to the name of the M4:
>It has been the general conception that in the United Kingdom, the M4 was named after Union General William Tecumseh Sherman, following the British practice of naming their American-built tanks after famous American Civil War generals, and that subsequently the British name found its way into common use in the U.S. This has however been put into question since U.S. documents of proposed names for equipment was found, naming several tanks including the M4.
I haven’t really done any digging into it yet though, and that particular bit is unsourced, so I’m really curious as to what it could refer to. Gotta refine my google searches though it seems, since the first couple I tried just brought me to random M4 related pages without any relevant info pertaining to the naming origins. If I do find anything, I will report back if you have interest (or if you are interested, and do your own research, I would love to see what you find as well).