Easy Model EM36201 US M26 Pershing Heavy Tank - E Company, 67th Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored Division, Northwest Europe, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
"The only way you can win a war is to attack and keep on attacking, and after you have done that, keep attacking some more."
- General George S. Patton Jr., January 1945
Early in June 1944, Army commanders expressed a need for a new breed of tank that could mount either a 90mm or 105mm main gun. This request was approved by the Army Staff soon thereafter even though trials of the new T26E1 had already begun back at Fort Knox earlier that year. Unfortunately, the first limited run of procurement vehicles did not occur until December 1944, largely due to in-fighting among the Army brass who were unsure which gun to use. The first twenty T26E3s were finally shipped out to the ETO in January 1945, with some seeing action in western Germany the following month. Full production of the heavy tank began in March 1945 when it proved itself time and again against some of the more formidable German tanks fielded by the Wehrmacht. At the same time the tank was redesignated the M26 Pershing, in honor of WWI General 'Black Jack' Pershing. Total wartime production of the M26 reached 1,436 vehicles with a further 992 tanks produced in late 1945.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a US M26 Pershing heavy tank that was attached to E Company, 67th Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored Division, then deployed to Northwest Europe during 1945. Sold Out!
Length: 4-1/2 inches
Width: 1-1/2 inches
Historical Account: "Hell on Wheels" - The 2nd Armored was organized as a "heavy" armored division having two armored regiments of four medium tank and two light tank battalions of three companies each. Along with the 3rd Armored Division, it retained its organization throughout World War II while all 14 other U.S. armored divisions were reorganized as "light" armored divisions having three tank battalions, each consisting of three medium tank companies and one light tank company. Both types had an infantry component of three mechanized battalions, although the heavy divisions maintained an "armored infantry regiment" organization.
The core units of the 2AD were the 41st Armored Infantry Regiment, the 66th Armored Regiment, the 67th Armored Regiment, the 17th Armored Engineer Battalion, the 82nd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, and the 142nd Armored Signal Company. The 2nd Armored had three artillery battalions (the 14th, 78th, and 92nd). The Division also had support units, including the 2nd Ordnance Maintenance Battalion, a Supply Battalion, the 48th Armored Medical Battalion, and a Military Police Platoon. Elements of the division participated in Operation Torch, landing at Casablanca on November 8th, 1942, but the whole division first went into action in the Operation Husky landing at Gela in Sicily, July 10th, 1943, and fighting through to Palermo.
The division then landed in Normandy on June 9, 1944, operated in the Cotentin Peninsula and later formed the right flank of the Operation Cobra assault. It blunted the German attack on Avranches, then raced across France with the rest of the Third Army, reaching the Albert Canal in Belgium on September 8th. It crossed the German border north of Schimmert, on September 18th to take up defensive positions near Geilenkirchen. On October 3rd, the division launched an attack on the Siegfried Line from Marienberg, broke through, crossed the Wurm River and seized Puffendorf 16 November and Barmen on November 24th. The Division was holding positions on the Roer when it was ordered to help contain the German Ardennes offensive. The Division fought in eastern Belgium, blunting the German Fifth Panzer Army's penetration of American lines. The Division helped reduce the Bulge in January, fighting in the Ardennes forest in deep snow, and cleared the area from Houffalize to the Ourthe River of the enemy. After a rest in February, the division drove on across the Rhine on March 27th, and was the first American Division to reach the Elbe at Schonebeck on April 11th. It was halted on the Elbe, 20 April, on orders. In July the division entered Berlin-the first American unit to enter the German capital city.
During World War II the 2nd Armored Division took 94,151 prisoners-of-war, liberated 22,538 Allied prisoners of war, shot down or damaged on the ground 266 enemy aircraft, and destroyed or captured uncountable thousands of enemy tanks and other equipment and supplies.
In 238 battle days the 2nd Armored suffered 7,348 casualties, including 1,160 killed in action. The division was recognized for distinguished service and bravery with 9,369 individual awards, including two medals of honor, twenty-three distinguished service crosses, and 2,302 silver stars, as well as nearly 6,000 purple hearts. The division was twice cited by the Belgian Government and division soldiers for the next 50 years proudly wore the fourragere of the Belgian Croix de Guerre.