The last two years of WW2 were difficult for American tank building. Their first few wartime tanks were quite modern and even surpassed those of leading tank building nations of the time, but a wave of failures followed, resulting in them falling behind. Mass production of the planned replacement of the Medium Tank M4 only began in November of 1944, and officially this was a heavy tank to boot. This article tells the tale of the M26 Pershing, a tank with a complex but ultimately successful history.
Aiming to reinforce
The spring of 1943 was a difficult time for American tank building. To start, work on the Heavy Tank M6 finally came to an end on March 25th, 1943. Development of the Medium Tank T20 family stalled to the point where the variant with an electromechanical transmission designated Medium Tank T23 suddenly took the lead. The T23 was the leading choice for the replacement of the Medium Tank M4, but the void formed by the departure of the Heavy Tank M6 could not be filled. The Ordnance Department decided to take the traditional route: why build one tank when you can build three?