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M36 Jackson

M36 Jackson near Werbomont / Belgium (December 20, 1944)
M36 Jackson near Dudelange / Luxembourg (January 3, 1945)

The M36 Jackson was an American tank destroyer during World War II.

As usual with main battle tanks, it was also named after a general: Thomas Jonathan Jackson.

history

The M36 Jackson (aka Slugger) was a radical evolution of the M10 Wolverine.

The Americans basically treated tanks as support vehicles for the infantry; therefore fighting enemy tanks was not one of their tasks. This mistake was only recognized when the first fighting broke out with the Germans. What was needed was a vehicle that was light, fast, agile and yet effective against enemy tanks. It was the hour of birth of the M10. It was lighter armored than the Sherman, but better protected from projectiles by the sloping armor. Thanks to its 76mm chariot gun, it was the most dangerous armored car used by the Allies in North Africa.

However, when the first Panzer VI (Tiger) appeared on the battlefields in 1942, the Americans realized that the M10 had become ineffective. While the Tiger could destroy any tank from 2,500 meters, the Wolverine had to get close to it at around 1,000 meters in order to destroy it. So the M10 lost its only strength.

It was therefore decided to install the 90 mm M3 gun in a tank, after tests with this gun on German tanks had shown excellent results. After several unsuccessful attempts on other chassis, the M3 was tested on the Wolverine. It turned out that the turret of the M10 was too small for the gun. A new, bigger and better armored turret was needed. Due to disputes in the Army, whether the 90 mm cannon or a 76 should be used, production was delayed; the first prototype was not tested until mid-1944. However, these showed that the new M36 had insufficient armor. Therefore, the armor was doubled in some places. So it happened that the M36 had stronger armor than the Tiger on some parts of the front end. Weak spots were provided with additional armor plates, so that he came to a weight of almost 30 tons. A new Chrysler engine with 500 hp, which, unlike its predecessor, hardly caught fire when hit, accelerated the Jackson to up to 50 km / h. The crews of the M36 recorded many kills in combat. In addition, the new fighting technique "Shoot and scoot" (fire and run away) was introduced. A total of 1,700 units of this tank destroyer were produced, of which 153 were lost in battle.

variants

M36
Standard model of the M36

M36B1
M4A3 Sherman tank with the turret of the M36. Used in the Battle of the Bulge in the winter of 1944–1945. Officially, they did not take part, but there are both photos and first-hand reports from eyewitnesses that unequivocally confirm that they were involved in the fighting.

M36B2
Rebuilt version from hulls of the M10A1 with a diesel engine from GMC and new M36 turrets.

Technical specifications

M36

  • Crew: 5 men (commander, 3 gun operators, driver)
  • Weight: 28.6 tons
  • Length: 5.97 m
  • Width: 3.05 m
  • Height: 3.28 m
  • Top speed:
    • 42 km / h (road)
    • 8–32 km / h (off-road)
  • Driving range: 150 km
  • Engine: Ford GAA V8 500 HP
  • Suspension: VVSS
  • Armor:
    • Tower 10-76 mm
    • Trough 10-108 mm
  • Primary armament:
  • Secondary armament:
  • Number of items: 1413

Later also with GMC diesel (375 hp), with a longer range but lower speed.

See also

Web links

 Commons: M36 - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files