The best videos showing functioning tanks of the Second World War [Part2]
Part 2: Armoured vehicles of the US Army
American tanks served on every front of World War II. Apart from U. S. armored forces, they were also used by Russians, British, French and other Allies. Although, at the beginning of the war, American fighter wagons were not armed and armoured enough to face the Wehrmacht’s power, immediately after the French campaign, the US military leadership realised this and initiated a large-scale modernisation of armoured vehicles. Despite the fact that their tanks still did not surpass the German tanks during the struggle in North Africa, they were already able to fight with them relatively equally. More and more efficient and newer machines were hit on the front, and their fire and armour contributed significantly to the victory of the Allies over the Third Reich.
In the early twentieth century, Americans did not pay much attention to combat tanks, but under the influence of impressions of German tanks and their destructive force, which could not be resisted by allied tanks, the modernization of armoured troops began. The light tank M3 was created in this way and manufactured in the years 1941-1944 it was sold to many armies fighting against the Axis. Designed in many variants, e. g. as a commandant’s tank, with mounted fire thrower or as a self-propelled gun.
It was the M3 tanks that were the answer to the German combat wagons. Despite many disadvantages, such as too high figure, low cannon position, so that every shot had to reveal the whole tank, and too weak armour. Their first fight was the battle of Gazala. The video shows the version of M3 Lee used by British people, i. e. M3 Grant.
Sherman was based on many components of the M3 Lee tank, so that American factories quickly switched to their production. Thanks to this, by the end of the war about 49 000 pieces had been produced. Used for the first time in the Battle of El Alamein, it quickly became a basic allied medium tank. It was developed to destroy medium-range enemy tanks and support attacks of fast-moving infantry. At the beginning of his fights, he managed perfectly well against German tanks known at that time, the situation changed when heavy German tanks like Tiger and Pantera entered the battle. Produced from 1942 until the end of the war.
Lightweight tank, which was supposed to replace quite obsolete tank M3/M5 Stuart. For the first time, a torsion stick was installed in the armoured forces of the Western Allies in the tank as an alternative to double-wheeled trolleys. The unexpected effect was that the allies were shooting these machines, due to the large similarity of their chassis to the German Panzers II, even to Panter. Manufactured from 1944 to August 1945, they fought on the Italian front, in France and in the last fights in Germany.
After German successes in the destruction of allied tanks, caused to a large extent by the installation of an anti-aircraft gun into tanks, the Americans decided to do it again. This is how the plans to fit a 90 mm cannon into a new medium tank were made. This is how T26 was created (the name was changed to M26). During the Second World War it was classified as a heavy tank in order to encourage tanks fighting against the “Tigers”, but after the war it was considered a medium tank. Pershings fought in Europe in recent months of war and contributed to a large extent to the building of bridges over the Rhine. His successor, M46 Patton, started a completely new line of Patton tanks, which are still in use by many armies in the world.