December 22, 1944 – M26 Pershing heavy tanks were ordered to be deployed to forward US Army units. In mid-1943, United States Army generals argued amongst themselves over the need for heavy tanks. Those who supported the effort introduced the T25 and T26 prototype tanks which were equipped with 90-millimeter guns and heavy armor plating. Production of these heavy tanks was delayed and did not start until Nov 1944 for a number of reasons, some of which political; for example, General Lesley McNair believed the best way to handle enemy tanks was to build a powerful force of lightly armored and mobile self-propelled guns, ie. tank destroyers, which were cheaper to build than tanks. They were first deployed to the front in Jan 1945, with US 3rd and 9th Armored Divisions receiving the first examples; the US 3rd Armored Division would be the first to put them in combat.
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