Hobby Master HG5402 US GMC M36 Jackson Tank Destroyer - 703rd Tank Destroyer Battalion, "Battle of the Bulge", December 1944 (1:72 Scale)
"Seek, strike and destroy."
- Motto of the Tank Destroyer Command during World War II
Standardized in June, 1944, the Gun Motor Carriage M36 was a modification of the 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage, M10A1, and was designed to provide a more powerful self-propelled anti-tank gun. The M36 "Jackson" was equipped with a potent 90mm gun that was mounted within a semi-open top turret with 360-degree power traverse.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a US GMC M36 "Jackson" tank destroyer that was attached to the 703rd Tank Destroyer Battalion, then participating in the "Battle of the Bulge", during December 1944.
Length: 4 inches
Width: 1-1/2 inches
Release Date: July 2013
Historical Account: "On Safari" - With the advent of heavy German armor such as the Panther and Tiger, the standard U.S. tank destroyer, the 3in Gun Motor Carriage M10, was rapidly becoming obsolete, because its main armament, the 3in M7 gun, had difficulty engaging these new tanks past 500 meters. This was foreseen, however, and in September 1942, American engineers had begun designing a new tank destroyer armed with the M3 90 mm gun. This was several months before any Allied unit encountered a Tiger in combat, as the British First Army in Tunisia was the first western Allied unit to encounter the Tiger I in the lead up to the Battle of the Kasserine Pass at the start of 1943, and well over a year before any US unit encountered a Panther in combat.
The first M36 prototype was completed in March 1943, with a new turret mounting the 90 mm M3 gun on a standard M10 chassis. After testing, an order for 500 was issued. The prototype was designated T71 Gun Motor Carriage; upon standardization the designation was changed to 90 mm Gun Motor Carriage M36 in June 1944.
Like all US tank destroyers, the turret was open-topped to save weight and provide better observation. Postwar, a folding armored roof kit was developed to provide some protection from shell fragments, as with the M10. The M36 had a large bustle at the rear of its turret which provided a counterweight for the main gun. Eleven additional rounds of ammunition were stored inside the counterweight.