M26 Pershing | variants


  • M26 (T26E3). M3 gun with double-baffle muzzle brake. Main production model.
  • M26A1. M3A1 gun with bore evacuator and single-baffle muzzle brake.
  • T26E1-1 (T26E4-1 or M26A1E2). Version armed with a T15E1 large exterior stabilizer springs single piece ammo (used in combat).
  • T26E4. Experimental version armed with a long T15E2 gun two-part ammunition, improved mounting removed the need for springs.
  • M26E1. Longer gun, single-part ammunition T54 gun. (post war)
  • M26E2. New engine and transmission and M3A1 gun. Reclassified as the M46 Patton. (post war)
  • T26E2, eventually standardized for use as the Medium Tank M45—a close support vehicle with a 105 mm howitzer (74 rounds).
  • T26E5. Prototype with thicker armor—a maximum of 279 mm— based on the experience of the heavily armored assault tank M4A3E2.
Prototypes, variants, and conversions[77]
Model Main armament Glacis thickness (inches) Suspension Transmission Engine Tread width (inches) Production Dates Number Produced Notes
T20 76 mm M1A1 3 HVSS Torqmatic Model 30-30B GAN 16-9/16 May 1943 1 First test of new hydraulic torque converter transmission, which proved leaky and prone to overheating
T20E3 76 mm M1A1 3 torsion bar Torqmatic Model 30-30B GAN 18 July 1943 1 Effort to improve the ride and ground pressure
T22 76 mm M1A1 3 HVSS modified M4A3 Sherman GAN 16-9/16 June 1943 2 Reversion to the known reliable transmission of the M4
T22E1 75 mm M3 autoloader 3 HVSS modified M4A3 Sherman GAN 16-9/16 Aug 1943 1 Test of autoloader for 76 mm gun, new smaller two-man turret with only a gunner and commander, converted from a T22 tank
T23 76 mm M1A1 3 VVSS Electrical GAN 16-9/16 Jan–Dec 1943 250+
Used same vertical volute spring suspension (VVSS) of the M4 Sherman. New cast turret mounting the 76 mm gun (used for the 76 mm M4)
T23E3 76 mm M1A1 3 torsion bar Electrical GAN 19 Aug. 1944 1 Test of torsion bars, electrical transmission, and 19-in tracks together
T23E4 76 mm M1A1 3 HVSS Electrical GAN 23 late 1944 3 HVSS, electrical transmission, and 23in tracks
T25 90 mm T7 3 HVSS Electrical GAN 23 Jan 1944 2 Test of 90 mm gun and electrical transmission on converted T23s. The 90 mm T7 was later standardized as the 90 mm M3[78]
T25E1 90 mm M3 3 HVSS Torqmatic GAF 19 Feb–May 1944 40 Improved version of Model 30-30B Torqmatic transmission. The Ford GAF engine was a minor modification of the GAN engine.
T26 90 mm M3 4 torsion bar Electrical GAN 24 Oct 1944 1 Weighed 95,100 lbs, with 90 mm gun, 4 in armor, electrical transmission
T26E1 90 mm M3 4 torsion bar Torqmatic GAF 24 Feb–May 1944 10 Prototype model selected for full production after testing
T26E2 105 mm howitzer M4 4 torsion bar Torqmatic GAF 24 Jul 1945 185 Standardized as M45 tank post-war
T26E3 / M26 90 mm M3 4 torsion bar Torqmatic GAF 24/23 Nov. 1944 2000+ Standardized as M26 tank in March 1945, later production had 23in tracks
T26E4 90 mm T15E1, T15E2 4 torsion bar Torqmatic GAF 24 Nov. 1944 25 "Super Pershing", the first pilot was a converted T26E1 and the only one to see combat. Its T15E1 gun used one-piece ammunition. All other T26E4s had the T15E2 with two-piece ammunition
T26E5 90 mm M3 6 torsion bar Torqmatic GAF 23 June–July 1945 27 Based on the experience of the M4A3E2 "Jumbo" assault tank.[79] Uparmored T26E3, weighed 102,300 lbs. Tracks could take 5 in "duckbill" extenders
M26E1 90 mm T54 4 torsion bar Torqmatic GAF 23 after June 1945 25 Improved version of "Super Pershing" high-velocity 90 mm gun and ammunition with short, fat propellant casing instead of very long casing. Converted from M26 tanks
M26E2 / M46 90 mm M3A1 4 torsion bar Allison CD-850-1 cross-drive Continental AV-1790-3 23 1948–1949 1 / 800 Upgrade of existing M26. New compact transmission and engine with increased power to 810 hp (600 kW). Improved 90 mm M3 gun, with bore evacuator and other modifications. Additional conversions beyond the prototype were redesignated as the T40, then were standardized as the M46 Patton. A total of 800 M26 tanks were converted to the M46.[80]
M26A1 90 mm M3A1 4 torsion bar Torqmatic GAF 23 1948 1200? Lack of funds postwar prevented conversion of all of the M26 tanks to the M46. Most of the remaining M26s only received a gun upgrade with the M3A1 gun.[81]
M26 T99 x2 T99 multiple rocket launchers 4 N/A N/A N/A N/A 1945 N/A Potentially made to replace the T34 Calliope and T40 Whizbang, it was tested at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in late 1945. However, it must've proved unsatisfactory and was likely cancelled in 1946. It had a total of 44 rocket tubes, 22 on each side of the turret.
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