The M36 first served in combat in Europe in September 1944, where it proved to be a match for any of the tanks being fielded by the Germans. It also saw use in the Korean War, able to defeat any of the Soviet tanks used in that conflict. Some were supplied to the Koreans as part of the Military Assistance Program and served for years, as did re-engined examples found in Yugoslavia, which operated into the 1990s. Two remained in service with the Republic of China Army at least to 2001.
With the advent of heavy German armour such as the Panther and Tiger, the standard U.S. tank destroyer, the 3in Motor gun carrier M10, was rapidly becoming obsolete. It was not until September 1944 that the M36 first began to appear in the European Theatre of operations About 1,400 M36s were produced during the war. The need for 90 mm gunned tank destroyers was deemed very urgent to combat the heavy German tanks. After World War II, the M36 was used in the Korean War; it could destroy any Soviet-made AFV deployed in that theatre of operations. One post-war modification was the addition of a ball-mounted machine gun on the co-driver's side, as in many other armoured fighting vehicles of the time. Due to the shortage of M26 and M46 tanks, the M36 became one of the preferred armoured vehicles for MAP (Military Assistance Program) transfers. South Korean tank battalions were provided with 110 M36s (along with a small number of M10 tank destroyers) during the Korean War.
Technical book covering all of the M36 which includes History and development cut through sections showing materials to complete breakdown of the various parts of the tank
The first section of the book covers the History and development of the M36 and its variants. It gives an insight into changing the M10 and trying to improve it by adding a 90mm anti-aircraft gun. This was evaluated at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in November 1942, and this was the start of the making of the M36 which unfortunately did not make the war until 1944.
The history section goes into detail as to what companies were involved with the design and building of the tank which I found very interesting. The technical detail data sheet was full of information which again for anyone with the skills could add realism to a model kit by scratch building parts that may have been over looked by the manufacturer. It then moves on to a more picture orientated publication with some great pictures of the tank from production and evaluation showing various views of the M36. If you are a modeller who likes to improve model kits by scratch building, then the drawn cut through section picture shows all the detail that you will need to achieve this.
Being a technical manual there are pictures showing different variants and displaying various parts of the tank (outside).
There are loads of pictures showing the tank in action during World War 2, some of these pictures provide great ideas for dioramas, with several pictures in the snow showing the harsh winter of 1944/1945. One of the pictures I found fascinating was two of the M36 Tank destroyers of the 9th U.S. Army just crossing the Rhine in LCM (landing craft Mechanized) near Wesel Germany, 6th of April 1945.
The book shows some mishaps where some of the tanks had rolled over slipping down an embankment before rolling over, fortunately a second M36 was at hand using a couple of steel cables to rectify it and put it back on its tracks.
Some of the damaged tanks that could not be repaired were put to use in various forms, including one picture of one being changed into a prime mover and towing a large trailer with an armoured caterpillar D7 on it. Another picture depicts a couple of M19 tank transporters that have been disabled by mines somewhere in Germany in 1945 and there M36 tanks were fine and were parked in the woods next to the road where the mines were laid.
The book then moves on to the fifties and the French using the M36 during winter exercises in the snow, the tank being covered in white sheets as a compromise to disguise it. The next section of the book moves onto the Korean War with the R.O.K. (Republic of Korea) using the M36's against North Korea. You can see the subtle changes to those that served during World War 2. Again a selection of fantastic pictures shows the tank at work during the war used by the U.S. Army and the R.O.K.
Moving on in time periods the book goes on to show the M36 in Indo China (Vietnam) being used by the French forces with a few pictures going on to 1954.
The last section of the book concentrates on the more technical aspect and starts with internal pictures of the Drivers Controls and Instruments they are covered by pictures and listings of all the different panels and controls.
Covered next is the engine and engine compartment, again listing all the various parts before moving onto the Power train and suspension with drawn cut through pictures listing various parts. Moving onto the hull of the tank, which provides various pictures again, from the lights and assembly of them to equipment carried on them.
The business end of the technical section comes next, Turret and Armament with another series of pictures showing and listing all the various parts. The next two sections cover the Sighting Equipment and Ammunition and Radio Equipment all done in the same way as the other technical parts. The last section is on the references used to bring this book together
I have to say that I was not sure what to expect as I have to be honest until I was passed two Tankograd books to review, I had not ever seen any of their products before. What I can say now is that I will from now on be looking out for the products.
Highs: Highs the technical manual was easy to pick up and follow with some fantastic detail that went into lots of interesting points without being over whelming. The pictures are clear and precise with lots of them. Lows: Ermmmmm well I guess not enough colour pictures (thought I had to find some faults). Verdict: Excellent, from start to finish very easy to follow yet still had good detail for anyone like me full of ideas for dioramas and any scratch building projects. for anyone into American Armour it really is a must.
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