Tank researcher Nicholas Moran has posted a new article in his “Chieftain’s Hatch” web forum. The post is a description of an Armored Board report from 1948 concerning future requirements of the heavy tank program.
After the war, the US heavy tank program was in full swing. However, there was still some debate as to just what the heavy tanks would look like, or even what it is they were going to do. As a result, though it was accepted that the T28 and T29 series tanks were dead ends, they still provided some kernels for thought on the matter. Armored Board decided to put a more detailed writing down as to where the heavy tank program should go, if at all. Specifically, “to secure sufficient information on the employment of heavy tanks to form an intelligent basis on which future requirements for heavy tanks in the US Army may be determined.” The report was dated 30th June 1948.
This is a fairly long report, so I’m going to split it up into two parts. One the more philosophical outlook as to just what heavy tanks were supposed to be doing and the second, next week, will be on the practical matters relating to tanks of the T29 class in particular. Extract follows:
By current definition the term Heavy Tank includes those from 56 to 85 tons. The United States first developed a tank (Heavy Tank, M6) in this weight class in 1942; however, it failed to meet service requirements and was not produced. The German Mark VI (Tiger) appeared in 1943 followed by the Mark V (Panther) and a heavier more powerfully armed version of the Mark VI (The Royal Tiger). The Russian 50-ton KV, new in 1941, was succeeded by the Josef Stalin series in 1944. The Josef Stalin -3, a vastly improved fighting vehicle of the heavy tank class, weighs approximately 60 tons, is armed with a 122mm gun and as early as the summer of 1945 had been produced in considerable numbers.
Read the full post here.