Chieftain’s Hatch: How Suitable was T29? Pt.1

chieftains hatchTank 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.

Excerpt:

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:

Background:

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.

The Chieftain’s Hatch: The Super Pershing

chieftains hatchWargaming’s resident tank expert “The Chieftain” has posted a new article on the T26E4, commonly called the Super Pershing.  Using materials unearthed from the archives, the article explains how the extra long 90mm gun of the Super Pershing (T15E2) was found to be unsatisfactory by army testers.

The exploits of the T26E4 in Europe are well known. Indeed, there is much anticipation for the release of the HD model of the tank in the upcoming update.  It is, of course, known that the Super Pershing we all know and love was not an entire success, not least because the ammunition its T15E1 rifle used was single-piece and incredibly unwieldy. It is also known (albeit slightly less so) that an improved version of the T15E1 was developed, the creatively named T15E2, and that was designed to use split-piece ammunition, supposedly to fix this problem. Yet when M26’s replacement was developed, M46, it still retained the shorter 90mm M3-based gun. What happened?

Read the full article here.

The Tank-Infantry Battle of Munoz, Philippines by Harry Yeide

chieftains hatchThe Chieftain’s Hatch section of the World of Tanks website has posted an article on the Tank-Infantry Battle of Munoz, Philippines by guest writer Harry Yeide.  Mr. Yeide is the author of several books on US armored forces in WW2, including The Infantry’s Armor, The Tank Killers, and Steeds of Steel.  Earlier this year we published an interview with Mr. Yeide.

Excerpt:

General Douglas MacArthur intended to invade Luzon, the Philippine Islands, right where the Japanese had conducted their main landings in 1941, and for the same reason: The Lingayen Gulf provided direct access to the central plains and Manila. He gave the task to Lieutenant General Krueger and his Sixth Army, supported by the air and naval forces of the Southwest Pacific Area. Once ashore, Sixth Army’s I Corps was to protect the beachhead’s left flank while XIV Corps drove south to Clark Field and then Manila.

General Tomoyuki Yamashita, the Japanese commanding general, did not intend to defend the central plains-Manila Bay area with his 260,000 troops because American superiority in armor and mobility would have its greatest advantage there. He sought only to pin down MacArthur’s forces in order to delay Allied progress toward Japan.

Read the full article here.