Medium Tank M26 Pershing.

The first T26E3s were accepted just over two and a half years after the first M4A1 Shermans, but the Pershing appears thoroughly more modern thanks to its long gun tube, torsion bar suspension, and wider stance. The 90mm gun M3 was fitted with a large muzzle brake, contrasting with the smaller single-baffle muzzle brake on the M26A1 Pershing and M46 Patton. Note the stowage of spare track links on the turret sides. (Picture from TM 9-735 Heavy Tank T26E3.)

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing at the World War II Vehicle Museum and Learning Center.

This tank is fitted with the 1000cfm ventilator between the drivers, and the front hull casting can be contrasted with the earlier vehicle above.

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing.

The turret is reversed and the main gun is stowed in the travel lock. The drivers were provided with a periscope mount in the hatch door above their position as well as a second periscope inboard of their doors. The .50cal machine gun and barrel are stowed on the turret rear. (Picture from TM 9-735 Heavy Tank T26E3.)

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing.

This rear view of the M26 Pershing differentiates it from the M46 Patton. M26's engine exhaust was vented through the port in the upper rear plate, and M26 lacked the transmission access plates that M46 featured in its rear hull plate. The arrangement of the main gun travel lock on the exhaust port can be seen, as well as the stowage of a towing cable on the hull rear. When not in use, the travel lock could be swung down to below the exhaust port. (Picture from TM 9-735 Heavy Tank T26E3.)

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing.

The drive sprocket of the M26 is noticeably lower than that of later related tanks like the M46. (Picture from TM 9-735 Heavy Tank T26E3.)

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing.

The complex shape of the turret can be seen in this top-down view. The gunner was provided with a periscope in front of the commander's cupola, and the loader had a rotating periscope in front of his hatch. Stowage boxes line both fenders. The grille doors at the very rear of the hull are the air exhaust doors, while the grilles just aft of the turret are the air intake doors. The guard for the right-hand fuel filler can also be seen just to the gun shield's left. (Picture from TM 9-735 Heavy Tank T26E3.)

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing.

A cross-section of the tank is drawn here. The .50cal MG pedestal folded to the rear when stowed. (Picture from TM 9-735 Heavy Tank T26E3.)

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing.

Details of the driver's position are illustrated here. (Picture from TM 9-735 Heavy Tank T26E3.)

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing at the World War II Vehicle Museum and Learning Center.

This view is peering into the open driver's hatch, and it provides us with a real-life counterpart of the above image. The fire extinguisher bottle is obvious, and behind this with the two red knobs is the master switch box. The white-tipped lever in front of the fire extinguisher is the left throttle lever, and in front of this is the left speed range selector in its gated quadrant. The white-tipped right throttle lever can be seen on the opposite side of the tank, and in the middle is the black-tipped parking brake lever.

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing at the World War II Vehicle Museum and Learning Center.

The bottom of the driver's position is shown here. The floor escape hatch contrasts with the white of the vehicle interior, and the large accelerator pedal can be seen to the front of the tank. The steering brake levers flank the driver's seat, and the black-tipped lever next to the escape hatch is the left fuel tank shut-off valve control lever.

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing at the World War II Vehicle Museum and Learning Center.

The position of the drivers' instrument panel can be seen in this image. The ventilator bewteen the drivers can also be seen on the hull roof.

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing.

The assistant driver's position is shown here. Like all American tanks equipped with a bow machine gun, no sighting device was provided beyond his normal periscopes. (Picture from TM 9-735 Heavy Tank T26E3.)

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing at the World War II Vehicle Museum and Learning Center.

The assistant driver was provided with a duplicate set of controls as well as the bow machine gun. The left steering brake lever and the speed range selector lever can be seen through the hatch. Unlike the driver's position, the accelerator pedal was under the assistant driver's left foot.

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing.

The gunner's controls are shown here. The gunner was provided with a trigger switch for the 90mm gun on the power traverse control handle as well as a foot firing switch. The legend is as follows: A. Gunner's seat. B. Seat adjusting handle. C. Gunner's platform. D. Air cleaner. E. Gun elevating wheel handle. F. Power traverse control handle with trigger-type switch. G. Cal. .30 coaxial machine gun firing button. H. Elevation quadrant M9. I. Battery container. J. Telescope headrest. K. Telescope M71C. L. Gunner's periscope synchronizing link. M. Traversing mechanism gearshift lever. N. Manual traversing handle. O. Commander's turret traversing lever. P. Brake release lever. Q. Gunner's interphone headset hook. R. Azimuth indicator. S. Turret switch box. T. Step. (Picture from TM 9-735 Heavy Tank T26E3.)

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing.

The 10-round ready rack for the 90mm gun is shown here, looking forward through the loader's hatch. The recoil guard for the 90mm gun is to the right, and the .30cal coaxial machine gun can be seen between the ready rack and the recoil guard. (Picture from TM 9-735 Heavy Tank T26E3.)

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing.

Stowage for the rest of the 90mm rounds was provided in the hull floor. The front of the hull is toward the top of this image, and the drivers' seats can be seen with two fire extinguisher bottles between them. (Picture from TM 9-735 Heavy Tank T26E3.)

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing at the World War II Vehicle Museum and Learning Center.

The driver's seat back and turret floor are shown here. The 90mm ammunition stowage compartment lids create a smooth surface when closed. Hinges and handles for these compartments and the fighting compartment rear floor stowage plates can be seen across the floor.

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing.

The right side of the Ford GAF engine is shown here. The engine was the GAA of the M4A3 Sherman but lower in height. The carburetors were different between the two designs, with the GAA using two NA-Y5G Stromberg carburetors and the GAF using two HD-5 Stromberg carburetors. Displacement was 1,110in³ (18,000cm³) with a 5.4" (14cm) bore and 6" (15cm) stroke, and compression ratio was 7.5:1. (Picture from TM 9-1731B Ordnance Maintenance--Ford Tank Engines (Models GAA, GAF, and GAN).)

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing.

The power train of the M26 is shown here. (Picture from TM 9-1735A Ordnance Maintenance--Medium Tanks M26 and M45, Power Train.)

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing.

This image shows right-hand and front views of the torqmatic transmission. The first speed range was a 1:1 ratio, and moved the tank from 0 to 9mph (0 to 14kph); second range was 1:2.337 and could operate from 6 to 19mph (10 to 31kph); third range was a 1:4.105 ratio and could operate from 12 to 30mph (13 to 48kph). Reverse was 1:1.322 and could operate from 0 to 9mph (0 to 14kph). (Picture from TM 9-1735A Ordnance Maintenance--Medium Tanks M26 and M45, Power Train.)

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing.

The controlled differential and steering brakes were encased in the same housing carrier. Using one brake to slow its track caused the power to be sent through the differential to the opposite side, increasing the speed of the non-braked track. Applying both brakes would stop the tank. (Picture from TM 9-735 Heavy Tank T26E3.)

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing.

The layout of the engine and powertrain is sketched in this image. The orientation of the engine is opposite that of the vehicle; i.e., the left cylinder bank is on the right side of the tank. (Picture from TM 9-735 Heavy Tank T26E3.)

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing.

An exploded view of the left side final drive is shown here. The final drives reduced the input speed, with a gear ratio of 3.95:1. The final drive housings were made of cast iron. (Picture from TM 9-1735A Ordnance Maintenance--Medium Tanks M26 and M45, Power Train.)

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing.

The idler wheel was mounted on an eccentric spindle on the upper end of the first road wheel arm. When the first road wheel encountered an obstacle and moved upward, the idler wheel consequently moved forward and downward and thereby reduced the slack caused in the track by the first road wheel's movement. The front spring arm shackle transmitted the movement of the first road wheel to the front spring arm, which was attached to the torsion bar. (Picture from TM 9-735 Heavy Tank T26E3.)

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing.

A cross-section of a road wheel station is shown here. Note the anchored end of the torsion bar from the opposite side of the tank; due to their length, the torsion bars of the opposite sides overlapped each other. Consequently, the wheels on either side of the tank were slightly offset from each other. (Picture from TM 9-735 Heavy Tank T26E3.)

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Medium Tank M26 Pershing.

The cooling system was helped by four five-bladed belt-driven fans. The first three American medium tanks that were sent to South Korea after the North invaded were M26s found in the Tokyo Ordnance Depot. These tanks and eight of their crew were lost on 31 July 1950 because the fan belts used when the tanks were rebuilt for action were not the usual type. The replacement fan belts were prone to stretching and caused the engines to overheat once the fans had stopped running. Replacement fan belts had not been received by the time the tanks, which were unable to endure a road march in their condition, were overrun by the enemy. (Picture from TM 9-735 Heavy Tank T26E3.)

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Medium Tank M26A1 Pershing at the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History.

The single-baffle muzzle brake and bore evacuator on the 90mm gun M3A1 could lead to this vehicle being mistaken as an M46 Patton, but the stowage boxes instead of engine mufflers on the rear fenders and relatively low drive sprocket mark it as an M26A1 Pershing. (Picture courtesy Dackelone.)

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Last updated 27 Aug 2015.
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