Weekly Discussion 10/22-25/19

Heavy tanks M26 Pershing

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Many people accept the premise that the Germans wasted too many resources on heavy and super heavy tanks. The Americans had many prototypes and heavy tank projects, of which the Pershing is the most famous. Many resources where spent on the design, testing, production, and last-minute transport to Europe. The numerous prototypes, T20-T26, many of which went no where, sat in motor pools and yards for years. Especially considering the resources used to get the few Pershings overseas, do you think that the expedited development and transport of Pershing was a waste of time and resources or not?

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There are a few key differences between the Pershing and say the E-Tanks or the Tiger II. First, the Americans had the resources to keep them running for significant periods of time, and could afford the cost in resources to develop a heavy tank that may only have sat in a motor pool. Second, we cannot discount the fact that the Tiger and Königstiger were excellent defensive weapons, especially when properly concealed and employing ambush tactics. Third, the Pershing was used until the early-mid Cold War, as where the Nazi heavy tanks only had a few years of service. Overall, I would say that the Pershing is not well enough respected, as compared to its German and Soviet counterparts.

At that time of the war no? The allies had more resources in the pipe, the US were confident on the wars end. Like tigerace pointed out they were midiocre in combat but as a developmental line of tanks proved successful.

was the tank line itself a waste of resources, no. it was a crucial first steps toward the very successful m48 and m60 series. however its expedited rush to the front was absolutely a waste of resources. first off, only about 20 tanks saw combat. Those 20 tanks were credited with roughly 6-7 confirmed enemy tank kills (at least half being panzer 4s) for a cost of 4-5 lost or knocked out Pershings. That's not a great record. Second I've read several accounts from crews (both ww2 and korea) claiming they hated the damn thing. it was apparently very hard to drive and suffered from many mechanical issues. lastly, for the most part the US didn't need a heavy tank. The war department did extensive studies of tank engagements vs German heavy tanks during the Italian campaign and found that even the low velocity 75mm equipped Shermans were achieving high kill to loss ratios due to thier number advantages. by the time the Pershing showed up the sherman W76 could reasonably engage and destroy %95 of enemy tanks. Only the incredibly rare king tiger and jagdtiger would prove to be difficult targets ( if they weren't abandoned on the side of a road when they ran out of fuel or tossed a track). however even the Pershing's 90mm main gun would struggle against such a threat.