Forces of Valor 80016 US M26 Pershing Heavy Tank - 2nd Company, 67th Armored Battalion, 3rd Armored Division, Germany, 1945 (1:32 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.
This particular 1:32 scale replica of a US M26 Pershing heavy tank was attached to the 3rd Armored Division fighting in western Germany during the spring of 1945.
Length: 10 inches
Width: 4 inches
Height: 3.25 inches
Original Release Date: September 2004
Historical Account: "Spearhead" - The 3rd Armored Division landed in Normandy and entered combat on June 29th, 1944, taking part in the hedgerow fighting. The Division broke out at Marigny and, with the 1st Infantry Division, swung south to Mayenne in a general exploitation of the St. Lo breakthrough. In August 1944, the Division participated in the heavy fighting involved in closing the Falaise Gap, pocketing the German Seventh Army. Six days later, the Division had cut across the Seine River, and was streaking through Meaux, Soissons, Laon, Mons, Namur, and Liege. Liege fell on September 8th and Eupen on the 11th.
The Division breached the Siegfried Line with the capture of Rotgen on September 12th, and continued a slow advance against heavy resistance, to the vicinity of Langerwehe. When the Battle of the Bulge broke out, the Division was shifted to Houffalize, Belgium, where it severed a vital highway leading to St. Vith. In January, it participated in the reduction of the German salient west of Houffalize. After a brief rest, the Division returned to the front, crossed the Roer River- into Duren, broke out of the Duren bridgehead, and drove on to capture Cologne on March 6th, 1945. The Division swept on to Paderborn, assisted in mopping up the Ruhr pocket, crossed the Saale River, and after overcoming stiff resistance took Dessau on April 23rd, 1945.