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M26 or M46?
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MarkHolloway
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:55 am
Post subject: M26 or M46?



BIG farm1.static.flickr.co...6eb9_o.jpg

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:29 am
Post subject: Re: M26 or M46?

Suspect M26 (no bore evacuator).
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MarkHolloway
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:51 am
Post subject: Re: M26 or M46?

That's what I was thinking due to the low drive sprocket. The person posting this on Flickr said it was an M46 in Heilbronn, Germany in the early 50's.

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toadmanstankpictures
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:57 am
Post subject: Re: M26 or M46?

- Doug_Kibbey
Suspect M26 (no bore evacuator).


Also, a M46 would have mufflers on the rear fenders like a M47.

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JeffStringer
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:41 am
Post subject: Re: M26 or M46?

The low arrangement of the drive sprocket is the dead giveaway. Not all Pershings had bore evacuators. Those that did were M26A1's and the M46.
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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:40 am
Post subject: Re: M26 or M46?

Hi Folks!

That duce and half in the back ground looks like a M34. That M26 must have been very close to the time they were cut up and rebuild into M46s.

Sgt, Scouts Out!

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mrkhan
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:44 am
Post subject: Re: M26 or M46?

Having built one not too long ago, i can say that there are a few major distinctions that make this an M26.
-No bore evacuator (All M46s had one AFAIK)
-no mufflers on rear fenders
-downward-angling engine deck (M46s were flat for the most part)
-low sprocket placement
-no track tension idler wheel between the last road wheel and the sprocket (AFAIK all M46s had them)
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Przezdzieblo
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:04 am
Post subject: Re: M26 or M46?

Hello

Been here for a while, now would like to have a question.


I try to find information about total M46 number.

There were plans to modernize 800 + 1215 M26s.
Untill War in Korea 319 (of those 800) were produced.

What about the rest (491 of 800)? And how many - if any - of the 1200+ M26 tanks were turned into M46 later?


Also, problem with M46A1.
During War in Korea 360 tanks were turned into M46A1. But not sure if those 360 tanks were only modernized M26s, or in that number were also 8 T40 prototypes. So, not sure if there were 360 or 368 M46A1.

Is there any registration list for Pershing and early Pattons?


P.
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TrevorLarkum
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:12 am
Post subject: Re: M26 or M46?

Przezdzieblo,

Welcome to the forum!

Regarding the second question, I'm thinking you are aware of Hunnicutt's Patton book (p14):

"Nine of the ten T40 tanks were used in test programs at Aberdeen, Fort Knox, and Detroit Arsenal. The tenth tank, registration number 30162865, was retained at Detroit for conversion into the armored engineer vehicle T39. Eight of the nine test vehicles were later returned to the Arsenal for conversion into medium tanks M46A1."

My interpretation is that the figure of 360 tanks quoted included these, i.e. no distinction was made about whether they started as M26 or T40.

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Przezdzieblo
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:43 am
Post subject: Re: M26 or M46?

Thanks Trevor!
Sometimes hard to interpet right.
Hope somebody could anwer other questions.
One more thing - after reading Hunnicutt Patton`s part about M46 never thought that it was just product improvement pack for M26. Is it only my impression that great Author did not write it clear that M46 tanks were just modernized M26s (plus 8 new-build T40s)?
P.
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BasileusIoannis
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:55 pm
Post subject: Re: M26 or M46?

Hi all -

Since the scope of the T40/M46 program was to rebuild M26s with new components, I believe the T40s were rebuilt M26s; considering that only a couple T26s were lost during WWII, but a bunch of them were modified for various purposes post-war, that would explain why the M46 program only had 800 + 1215 = 2015 tanks programmed out of 2212 built. While Hunnicutt's PATTON and PERSHING are excellent sources, I was a little disappointed after acquiring them and expecting details like actual quantity produced, which units got them and when, or even registration numbers.

Steven Zaloga's M26/M46 PERSHING TANK actually gives registration numbers: 30162866 to 30163664 in sequence for the original M46 program (799 tanks, one hull was finished as a T39 engineer armored vehicle prototype), and 30163849 and higher for the 360 M46A1s (30163848 was the single M46E1). Since the M46E1 was delivered in March 1951, that would be the logical start point for the M46A1 "production" run, which was authorized the prior month and scheduled to begin by 1 April 1951.

Combining the two sources, we get:

production M46s delivered from November 1949
319 built by 25 June 1950

This comes to about 40 per month from November 1949 to June 1950. I believe the reason for the low rate isn't because of modern LRIP concepts, but because they first had to take an M26, tear the thing apart, install the new components, and put it back together. Since all this work was being done only at Detroit Arsenal, it might not have been possible to "ramp up" production rates significantly, which is possible with new production on multiple assembly lines (like the M60A1s after the Yom Kippur War). Assuming we keep up the 40 tanks per month, the remaining 480 tanks of the original 800 contract would take 12 months, or June 1951. Since we know that M46E1 was delivered in March, there must have been a bump in production rate after the Korean War began, probably to a maximum of 60 per month; at this increased rate, finishing 480 more would take eight months, or February 1951...just in time to make the one-off M46E1.

After popping out the M46E1, then Detroit would need the 360 hulls to convert...but almost all M26 runners were committed, a few left with the 1st Marine Division in Korea and at least 900+ for the upcoming NATO augmentation (one armored, four infantry divisions, three ACRs). Since US forces in Korea were going to homogenous tank battalions, getting rid of howitzer tanks by November 1951, it is conceivable that USAREUR also did away with its M45 howitzer tanks, making 185 hulls available for the M46A1 program. Add the eight T40s, and you're still short 167 hulls. M46A1 production began in April 1951, but if they kept up the 60 per month rate, they would be out of hulls by July.

Zaloga says 300 M26s and 200 M46s were sent to Korea by the end of 1950, but by mid-January 1951, they only had 50 M26/M26A1 and 97 M46 runners! While the precipitous retreat from the Yalu may have cost us 250 M26s and 103 M46s, such a disastrous loss of equipment seems unlikely, even counting the M46s lost on railway flatcars near Pyongyang. If we lost that many M26s, Kubinka would be overflowing with Pershings! What I suspect happened was, knowing that more hulls would be needed for the M46A1 program at the same time that M26 runners were needed for USAREUR, they withdrew all Army M26s after the front stabilized, leaving the 50 runners with the Marines. These withdrawn M26s would need to be rebuilt even to use them for the NATO augmentation, so why not channel them into the M46A1 program and do a thorough rebuild? 300 M26s deployed less 50 remaining and 167 put into the M46A1 program would leave 83 M26s unaccounted for: either combat losses, damaged and being repaired in theater, or retrograded for redistribution.

The one fact that sticks out is the fate of the M45 howitzer tanks: with 185 built, and only six sent to Korea with the 6th Medium Tank Battalion, and twelve with the 1ID and 18 per ACR in Germany, that leaves 113 presumably in CONUS. Still, they were in Army inventory until July 1954, which is a very late date for them to be sticking around if they were inhaled by the M46A1 program. So what happened?

Perhaps not all M45s were converted to M46A1s, maybe the ACRs did not relinquish their assault gun platoons until 1954...without intermediate inventory figures, it's harder to speculate. Three ACRs with 18 M45s each would be 54 M45s, leaving 131 available for M46A1 conversion...which means 221 M26s were converted...300 M26s less 50 runners less 221 conversions would leave 29 combat losses or damaged being repaired, which is really tight...so maybe some spare M26s in CONUS were included.

Therefore, it is most likely that the M46A1 program ran at 60 per month, from April 1951 to September 1951, and perhaps Detroit's production rate of M47s ramped up starting in FY52 after clearing the workbench of M46A1s. Eight T40s, 167 to 221 M26s, and 131-185 M45s could have been converted.

If anyone has more definitive info, please correct my assumptions, thanks

John
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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:33 pm
Post subject: Re: M26 or M46?

- BasileusIoannis

The one fact that sticks out is the fate of the M45 howitzer tanks: with 185 built, and only six sent to Korea with the 6th Medium Tank Battalion, and twelve with the 1ID and 18 per ACR in Germany, that leaves 113 presumably in CONUS. Still, they were in Army inventory until July 1954, which is a very late date for them to be sticking around if they were inhaled by the M46A1 program. So what happened?


www.jedsite.info/tanks...5/m45.html

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BasileusIoannis
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:40 am
Post subject: Re: M26 or M46?

Thanks Jim, that may be where I got the "out of inventory by 1 July 1954" from. As far as digging them in on the North Korean border, since the front didn't stabilize until November 1951, which is also the same month the 6th Tank Battalion reorganized from a four-company medium tank battalion to a three-company heavy, that makes sense that the assault gun platoon of six M45s could have been disbanded and the M45s redistributed to the three companies as HQ tanks. During 1952, T/O&E was changed to reflect all tank companies in infantry divisions being homogenous, replacing HQ howitzer tanks with identical gun tanks as the rest of the company. At that point, the M45s, if they were still in use, would have become surplus. Still, there's no photographic evidence of M45s after the Pusan breakout.

Here's a list of known M26 units sent to Korea during 1950:

US Army - 180-194 M26s:
Provisional Tank Platoon, A-77TK - 3 (Lt. Fowler's platoon, lost 7/31/1950)
5th Regimental Tank Company - 14 (replaced by M4A3s by 1951)
70th Tank Battalion - about 22 (all M4A3s by February 1951)
72nd Tank Battalion - 63-69 (replaced with M4A3s January 1951)
73rd Tank Battalion - 63-69 (replaced with M46s January 1951)
89th Tank Battalion - about 15-17 (all M4A3s by 1951)
(note: 89th had 4x 17-tank companies until 10 November 1951)

USMC - 80 M26s:
1st Marine Tank Battalion - ~65 (M4A3(105)s retained as HQ tanks)
1st, 5th, 7th Marines - AT platoon of 5 each, 15 total

I got the total sent wrong, Zaloga said 309 M26s were sent. Thus, total of 260-274 fielded, out of 309 sent, leaving 35-49 float

Zaloga's T-34-85 vs M26 Pershing - Korea 1950 states on p74 that the US sent 1,326 tanks to Korea during 1950: 138 M24s, 679 M4A3s, 309 M26s, and 200 M46s. On p75 it is stated that the US lost 136 tanks during 1950, with 69% due to mines. Averaging 309 M26s out of 1,326 total comes to 23.3% of total tanks shipped...so out of 136 losses, 23.3% comes to about 32 M26s lost. I know that doesn't reflect actual losses, but 309 - 50 = 259 M26s gone less 32 combat loss would still leave 227 M26s that were replaced by M4A3s or M46s.

The Army apparently did retrograde its M26s by February 1951, and if 227 survived, then 360 M46A1s - 8 T40s - 227 M26s would leave 125 M45s needed for conversion...leaving 60 M45s unconverted. The three ACRs in Germany had 18 each, 54 total, with maintenance float around 60...so it looks like the M45s in Korea were retrograded along with the Army M26s, unless they had no floaters in Germany.

John
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Tichenor
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:27 am
Post subject: Re: M26 or M46?

Just adding some numbers to it, Belgium recieved 423 M26/M26A1's and 8 M46A1 in 1952 as MDAP. The number of Pershings seems a bit high to me, but that's what the documents say. The M46A1's arrived at Antwerp harbor on 21 januari 1952.

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BasileusIoannis
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:53 pm
Post subject: Re: M26 or M46?

Thanks for the figures, Michel, that sheds some light on where USAREUR's M26s might have ended up. Just off the top of my head, one armored division (2AD), four infantry divisions (1ID, 4ID, 28ID, 43ID), three ACRs (2ACR, 6ACR, 14ACR) and Berlin Command (6th RCT) would have needed a total of:

1st Infantry Division - 135 M26 (was 123 M26, 12 M45)
2nd Armored Division - 282 M26
4th Infantry Division - 135 M26
28th Infantry Division - 135 M26
43rd Infantry Division - 135 M26
2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment - 51 M26, 18 M45
6th Armored Cavalry Regiment - 51 M26, 18 M45
14th Armored Cavalry Regiment - 51 M26, 18 M45
Berlin Command - 22 M26

Total required: 975 M26, 54 M45

This doesn't include any maintenance float, which averages two tanks per company; so add about 12 M26s per infantry division, 30 M26s per armored division, six M26s and two M45s per ACR, and two M26s for Berlin. Thus, about 98 M26s and six M45s more, for a grand total of 1073 M26s and 60 M45s (not counting any war reserves). The M45s in the ACRs may have been replaced by 105mm HMCs.

If 423 M26s were distributed to Belgium, that leaves at least 650 M26s available for distribution to France and Italy; Zaloga doesn't give numbers transferred, and only mentions that Belgium received "a batch" of M26s during 1951, but since they were in very short supply at the time, your date of 1952 sounds more likely. Zaloga does say that Belgium received 784 M47s during the 1950s, France received 856 M47s during 1954-56, and Italy received a whopping 2,480 M47s during the 1950s. The Italians used their M26s in the divizione corazzata "Ariete" into the 1960s.

The M46A1s may have come directly from Stateside; I don't have any reference to USAREUR units receiving M46s or A1s, as these were earmarked for Korea and the M26s were stop-gaps until the M47s were ready.

Quick math: 1,215 M26s originally scheduled for M46 conversion that got derailed by the war minus 309 sent to Korea leaves 906, not enough for USAREUR after NATO augmentation in 1951...so at least 167 M26s withdrawn from Korea had to have been forwarded to Germany, leaving approximately 60 floaters. Looks like the M45s got converted along with the eight T40s, and any experimental M26s laying around Stateside got converted too (probably why so few of them survive in museums today), because USAREUR M26s didn't begin being replaced by M47s until 1952, and they apparently got exported from there (probably because the M46A1 program was finished by then). Man I wish I had access to the Detroit arsenal manifests showing exactly where the conversion tanks came from, and what model they were...grr...

John
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