From the Vault: Newspaper articles on US Korean War tanks

It’s been said that newspapers represent the “first draft of history.”  We were reminded of that quote when a reader recently sent us a link to a newspaper article concerning UN tanks in the Korean War.  The reader figured we would be interested since the article makes mention of the term “Ronson” to describe the Sherman tank, a topic we have looked at in previous posts.  Reading the article got us curious as to what other newspaper coverage there was of US armor in the Korean war and how they represented US armor.  We found a number of articles, fourteen of which we have included in a gallery in this post.  Many are from the first year of the war when UN forces found themselves having issues dealing with North Korean T-34/85 tanks.  These articles tend to focus on the new line of tanks the US has coming out (M41, M47) while also generally praising Soviet tank design.  It is interesting that many of these articles mention the IS-3 in quite glowing terms, stating that the US has nothing in it’s arsenal comparable.  As we know now, no IS-3 or any other Soviet heavy tank was used in the Korean war.  The articles from later in the war tend to focus on the new US tanks entering service.  It’s interesting to note that these articles regularly describe the new US vehicles as more maneuverable than the older WW2 era Sherman tanks in service.  This is not a view shared by some veterans who drove these vehicles and found the Sherman more suited to the very rough and mountainous terrain of Korea.

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