By War Department
The Pershing was the first operational heavy tank of the US Army; originally the T26, the tank was eventually re designated the M26 Pershing medium tank. Named after General John J. Pershing who led the American Expeditionary Force in Europe in World War I, it was briefly used both in World War II and in the Korean War.
Intended as an improvement of the M4 Sherman, the prolonged time of development meant only a small number saw combat in the European theatre, most notably the 9th Armoured Division's dramatic dash to take the Bridge at Remagen. On December 22nd, 1944, while the battle still raged, the brand new T26E3 tanks were ordered to be deployed to Europe. Twenty were sent in the first shipment, arriving at the port of Antwerp in January of 1945. They were given to the 1st Army, split between the 3rd and 9th Armoured Divisions. A total of 310 T26E3 tanks would be sent to Europe before VE Day, but only the first twenty would see any combat action.
Created in 1945, this technical manual reveals a great deal about the T26E3’s design and capabilities. Intended as a manual for those charged with operation and maintenance, it details many aspects of its engine, cooling, power and other systems. Originally labelled restricted, this manual was declassified long ago and is here reprinted in book form. Care has been taken to preserve the integrity of the text.