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Osprey New Vanguard 35 : M26/M46 Pershing Tank 1945-1953
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Osprey New Vanguard 35 : M26/M46 Pershing Tank 1945-1953

From the moment that the M4 Sherman had been matched against German Panther and Tiger tanks, the American tank crews had known that their vehicles were outclassed by the opposition. What was needed was a more powerful tank, more heavily armed and armoured, that could take-on the powerful German panzers on a more equal footing. Although it took time to develop by the latter months of the war numbers of M26 Pershing tanks were reaching the frontline US armoured units. Well armoured and with a powerful 90mm gun the Pershing was a match for any tank in the German order of battle. The frustration was that political in-fighting had delayed the arrival of the Pershing in the frontline until January 1945, with them seeing their first action in February. Their excellent battlefield performance led to the Army requesting as many Pershings as possible as quickly as possible. In March 1945 full production began and the tank was standardised as the M26. Wartime production of the M26 totalled 1,436 but only 200 actually made it to units and barely twenty saw action. The Pershing and its 'cousin' the M46 Patton went on to see much more widespread service in Korea where along with upgraded variants of the M4 it provided the backbone of the US armoured formations. the M26 and M46 equipped both US Marine Corps and Army units, often carrying colourful tiger-mouth paint schemes. These vehicles took part in every major campaign of the war from the defence of the Pusan perimeter to the Chosin reservoir and the Inchon landings to the largely static warfare of the final months. Both the Pershing and the Patton have also seen service with the armed forces of a number of nations around the globe. Text by Steven J Zaloga with illustrations by Tony Bryan.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Development of the M26 Pershing tank
  • Combat Record of the M26 in WWII
  • Development of the M46
  • Combat Record of the M26 and M46 in Korea
  • Foreign Export of the M26 and M46
  • The Plates
  • Index

 

Osprey New Vanguard


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