General Barnes Tank Patent

Here is a short new video looking at an interesting tank patent we found from General Barnes, head of Ordnance during WWII.


From the Vault: The Patents of General Barnes

For those with an interest in the history of US Armor, the name General Gladeon Barnes may be a familiar one.  Barnes served as the head of the Technical Division of the Ordnance Department during World War 2.  In his book “Armored Thunderbolt”, Steven Zaloga refers to Barnes as “the single most influential U.S. Army officer in the development of wartime tank designs.”  During World War 2, Barnes and the Ordnance Dept. often butted heads with Army Ground Forces and the Armored force.  in particular, Barnes and the ordnance dept. were known for their advocacy of a heavy tank for the US Army and for the development of the T20 series of vehicles to replace the M4 Sherman.

Barnes started his career with the U.S. Army in 1910 as a lieutenant of Coast Artillery.  He transferred to the Ordnance Department and spent World War 1 designing heavy artillery. According to the book “Faint Praise” by Charles Baily, Barnes’ post war assignments gave him experience in both production and design, and he owned some thirty-four patents.  We thought it might be interesting to do a search for some of these patents and see what they looked like.  A quick search in Google patents revealed four pages of results (click here to view them.)  Most of the results are for various gun designs or vehicle components.  However, there are two rather unusual patents from 1942 and 1944 simply described as “tank.”  Both patents seem to describe the same vehicle.  Let’s take a look.

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