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Late War US Tanks

Late War US Tanks Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2005 Title Late War US Tanks
Author David Doyle Publisher Letterman Publications
Published 2005 ISBN N/A
Format 107 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) Out of Production


Here is a nice title from Letterman Publications, Late War US Tanks. In this installment of AFVisual, the author looks at the T26 Pershing, T26E 'Super Pershing', M24 Chaffee, and the M40 Self-Propelled Gun.

Before the United States entered the war against Germany, it supplied armor to its allies. Combat experience gleaned from allied operations showed the American designs to be outdated. These early tanks were flat-sided, under-armed, and powered by aircraft engines. As the US entered the war, work was already starting to replace these older tank designs.

The first was the M24 Chaffee. This was a light tank designed to replace the Stuart, with its 75mm gun a significant improvement over the M5A1's 37mm main gun. The T26 (later re-designated M26) was designed to replace the Sherman. Its 90mm main gun had significantly more punch than the 75mm and 76mm guns of the Sherman. Due to political and technical delays, the Pershing didn't enter the war until 1945. Nevertheless, its armor and armament was a significant improvement over the Sherman and was able to hold its own agains the Panther and Tiger tanks. The M40 was self-propelled 155mm howitzer mounted on a chassis bearing a strong resemblance to the M4A3E8. It was designed to replace the M12 gun motor carriage.

Late War US Tanks

There are nice rare color photographs on the front and rear covers and the title is very well illustrated with wartime black & white photos. In fact, there is a sequence of after-action photographs examining the damage on a pair of Pershings after encounters with Tiger tanks that left the Pershings disabled. Where available, black & white photo walk arounds of each subject are included from armor museum examples.

The details behind the coverage of these title will definitely be of interest to the armor historian, though the details provided the nice selection photos for each subject are oriented towards the armor modeler. This is another nice reference from Letterman Publications and fills a void in the published information about these tanks. Definitely recommended!