The Medium/Heavy Tank M26 Pershing is an American tank, classified as both a medium tank and a heavy tank, that was briefly used both in World War II and in the Korean War
About this creation
The M26 Pershing was named after General John J. Pershing, who led the American Expeditionary Force in Europe in World War I.
Development of the M26 during World War II was prolonged by a number of factors, the most important being opposition to the tank from Army Ground Forces commander General Lesley McNair. As a result, only the initial 20 M26 (T26E3) tanks deployed to Europe in January 1945 saw combat in World War II. However, McNair was accidentally killed in a friendly fire incident involving several B-17s in 1944, allowing for the M26 to enter production.
Photos by Bernard Zee
The M26 was the culmination of a series of tank prototypes which began with the T20 in 1942 and represented a significant design departure from the previous line of U.S. Army tanks that had ended with the M4 Sherman. The prototype series began as a medium tank upgrade of the M4 Sherman and ended as the U.S. Army's first operational heavy tank.
The M26 was introduced late into World War II and saw only a limited amount of combat. Controversy continues to exist as to why the production of the M26 was so delayed. Tank historians such as Richard P. Hunnicutt, George Forty and Steven Zaloga have generally agreed that the main cause of the delay in production of the M26 was opposition to the tank from Army Ground Forces, headed by General Lesley McNair
McNair contested the M26's development for several reasons:
McNair, who was an artillery officer by trade, had promulgated the "tank destroyer doctrine" in the U.S. Army. In this doctrine, tanks were primarily for infantry support and exploitation of breakthroughs. Enemy tanks were supposed to be dealt with by the tank destroyer forces, which were composed of lightly armored but relatively fast vehicles carrying more powerful anti-tank guns, as well as towed versions of these anti-tank guns.
A sense of complacency fell upon those in charge of developing tanks in the U.S. Army because the M4 Sherman in 1942 was considered by the Americans to be superior to the most common German tanks: the Panzer III and early models of the Panzer IV. Even through most of 1943, the 75-mm M4 Sherman was adequate against the majority of German armor, although the widespread appearance of the German 7.5 cm KwK 40 tank gun during this time had led to a growing awareness that the M4 was becoming outgunned. The Tiger I and Panther tanks that appeared in 1943 were seen in only very limited numbers by U.S. forces and hence were not considered as major threats.
Regardless of how it came about, production finally began in November 1944. Ten M26 tanks were produced that month at the Fisher Tank Arsenal, 30 in December, 70 in January 1945, and 132 in February. The Detroit Tank Arsenal also started production in March 1945, and the combined output was 194 tanks for that month. Production continued through the end of the war, and over 2,000 were produced by the end of 1945.
The heavy U.S. tank losses in the Battle of the Bulge against a concentrated German tank force composed of some 400 Panther tanks,as well as Tiger II tanks and other German armored fighting vehicles, revealed the deficiencies in the M4 Shermans and tank destroyers on the U.S. side. On 22 December 1944, while the battle still raged, the brand new M26 tanks were ordered to be deployed to Europe. The unexpected German tank attack had settled the question once and for all as to whether the M26 was needed.
Below is the M26 at the museum I work at.
Weight - 46 tons
Length - 20 ft 9.5 in or 6 m without the gun
Width - 11 ft 6 in or 3.5 m
Height - 9 ft 1.5 in or 2.8 m
Crew - 5 (Commander, gunner, loader, driver, co-driver)
Main armament - 1x 90 mm Gun M3 w/70 rounds
Secondary armament - 2× Browning M1919 w/5,000 rounds and 1 × Browning M2 .50cal w/550 rounds
Engine - Ford GAF; 8-cylinder, gasoline engine
Range - 100 miles or 160 km
Speed - 25 mph or 40 km/h on-road, 5.25 mph or 8.45 km/h off-road
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I like this creation very much, specially because I have recently became a fan of (post)WW2 tanks. the only complain: you could try improving the curves (check out my only tank model so far). But it still looks awesome.
also, the rest of you tanks look great, I just didn't comment on all of them.