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 nicknamed 'Alles Kaput', that was attached to A Company, 18th Tank Battalion, 8th Armored Division, then advancing through Northwest Europe during 1945. Sold Out!
Length: 4-1/2 inches
Width: 1-1/2 inches
Historical Account: "Thundering Herd" - The 8th Armored Division was an armored division of the United States Army that served in the European Theater of World War II. After some additional training and acquisition of new equipment at Tidworth, England, the 8th Armored Division landed in France, on January 5th, 1945, at Le Havre and Rouen. The division assembled in the Bacqueville area of upper Normandy as part of the (then) still secret US Fifteenth Army and was placed in reserve. In mid-January the Division was seconded to the US Third Army and raced 350 miles (560 km) across France through heavy snow and ice to Pont-aMousson to help stem the German drive for Strasbourg, part of the German Operation Nordwind It was at this point that the division was assigned the call-sign 'Tornado'. A detachment of the 88th Armored Cavalry undertook the division's first combat action a reconnaissance of the best route to contact with the enemy. The division, finding the enemy already halted and beginning to fall back, took part in the Third Army drive against the Moselle-Saar salient. The 8th supported the 94th Infantry Division's attack on Nennig, Berg and Sinz, 1928 January 1945 aimed at reducing the salient between the Saar and Moselle Rivers.