It might be argued that in the end it was, the 90mm high velocity gun of the M36 appearing in combat on March 7, 1945 as the main armament of M26 Pershing Tank. The dates are critical in explaining what American tank destroyers and tanks were in combat in WW2. There was a major race for development which forced decisions on temporary and compromise solutions. In 1940 American armored forces did not have a vehicle mounting even a low velocity 75 mm gun. In August 1940 there was a desire for a turret tank of at least this calibre, but the clash between need and engineering knowledge was such that the M3 (Lee/Grant) with the hull mounted gun was put into production. Similarly, as higher power guns were needed in the light of combat experience, the 76 mm, + 90mm, heavier, with larger breeches and heavier recoil, it was in the first instance quicker to produce vehicles of the tank destroyer configuration. Heavier guns often appeared first in assault gun format in the the Russian and German armies too. The British were probably least successful in their designs, but that the Archer was produced, and fought in Normandy and later with some success, demonstrates the pressure to get the guns on the battlefield fast, even in a "fudged" design For the rearward firing Archer: http://www.msu.edu/user/storto/britspg.htm. http://www.tankdestroyersociety.com/tank_destroyers_history.htm
how were the destroyer tank M36was used? US tank detroyers, the M36 and others, were called tank destroyers to improve the morale of their crews and make them more aggressive. The effectiveness of this nomenclature is unknown, but "tank destroyer" sounded more macho than what they really were: armored anti-tank artillery. And the armor was only enough to protect against anti-personnel bullets and fragments. Unlike the German equivalent, US tank destroyers could not stand a hit from a tank, even the 20mm cannon of the Panzer II. The M36 probably used its mobility to best advantage, firing and moving a lot. They had a gun specially designed for destroying tanks, but they did not fight like tanks because they did not have the armor of a tank. * It has been said with some validity that the best weapon for destroying a tank is another tank. Where tanks cannot be available, tank destroyers could certainly fill the gap to defend and delay an armored assault. Just don't try to lead your own armored assault with them. It will not work.
The U.S. Army's 652nd Tank Destroyer Battalion was not attached to a particular division as it was one of seven tank destroyer battalions that remained stateside in World War II and was not deployed overseas. It was based at Camp Hood (now Fort Hood) in Texas, the headquarters of the Tank Destroyer Force.
The 671st Tank Destroyer Battalion served in the Pacific Theatre during World War II and was equipped with M18 tank destroyers. It landed in the Philippines in July 1945 but saw little combat during the final weeks of the war. You can find more information about this unit and others by visiting Google and typing in Tank Destroyer Society, a website that has much information about the Tank Destroyer Force in general and links to other websites that have information about the various tank destroyer battalions.
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