The M26 Pershing

     The first shipment of twenty M26 Pershings finally arrived in Europe in January of 1945, much more than a day late and a dollar short.  In fact, the German Tiger I, which was heavier and just as capable as the M26, was introduced almost two and half years earlier.  Research has shown that, had Army brass not again intervened, the first production U.S. heavy tank could have been fielded as early as mid-1944, early enough to be present for Operation Overlord.   General Jacob Devers tried hard to get the tank accepted, but again General McNair hindered production because he thought he knew better than everyone else, including the tankers that reported the inadequacies of the Sherman.  Unfortunately even General Patton put down the M26 as uncessary to do the job.

Below is a picture of the main culprit behind the failures of the United States to field an adequate counter to progessively more armored and up-gunned German tanks and tank destroyers.  Lieutenant General McNair was killed by friendly fire in a botched air attack in France in 1944, making him the highest ranking U.S. Army fatality in WWII.


Fox, Jacob, "The Wrong track: Errors in American tank development in World War II" (2013). Masters Theses.