- "Pershings Dead Ahead!"
- ―Sunflower Team
The Pershing was a heavy tank of the United States Army. It was designated a heavy tank when it was first designed in World War II due to its 90 mm gun, and its armor. The tank is named after General of the Armies John J. Pershing, who led the American Expeditionary Force in Europe in World War I. It was briefly used both in World War II and the Korean War.
The M26 was the culmination of a series of tank prototypes that began with the T20 in 1942 and represented a significant design departure from the previous line of U.S. Army tanks that had ended with the M4 Sherman; a number of design features were tested in the various prototypes, some of which were experimental dead-ends, but many of which would become permanent characteristics of subsequent modern U.S. Army tanks. The prototype series began as a medium tank upgrade of the M4 Sherman and ended as the U.S. Army's first operational heavy tank.
Improving the M4
The army's first lineage of tanks had evolved from the M1 Combat Car and progressed to the M2 Light Tank, M2 Medium Tank, M3 Lee, and finally the M4 Sherman; these tanks all shared the common traits of using rear-mounted Continental air-cooled radial aircraft engines and a front sprocket drive. The rear engine-front sprocket drive layout required a driveshaft to pass underneath the turret, which increased the overall height of the tank, a characteristic shared with German tanks of World War II that also used this layout. In addition, the large diameter of the radial engines in the M4 line of tanks added further to the hull height. These mechanical features accounted for the high silhouette and large side sponsons that were characteristic of the M4 lineage.
In the spring of 1942, as the M4 Sherman was entering production, U.S. Army Ordnance began work on a follow-up tank. The T20 tank reached a mock-up stage in May 1942, and was intended as an improved medium tank to follow the M4. An earlier heavy tank, the M6 had been standardized in February 1942, but proved to be a failure. The U.S. Army had no doctrinal use for a heavy tank at the time.
In Girls und Panzer: Der Film
M26 Pershing is the Selection University's tank, Serves as a Main Battle Tank for Azumi, Megumi, and Rumi's group.
First encounter with the Pershings is when the Morning Glory Team was crossing the forest and Dandelion Team in the area of the river. In the forest, Azumi's Team is trying to break through Morning Glory defense to do an encirclement againts Sunflower Team. Kay gave the order to hold up, but the Pershing concentrating their fire makes Morning Glory could hardly do anything. The Chi-Ha-Tan who upset is begin to attack, but they failed and resulting of 1 Chi-Ha and 1 Shin-Ho-To destroyed. Kay ordered Alisa to lead a pursuit, but once again failed, shells began to rain Alisa's M4A1(76), damaging it's Track, Transmission, and Turret.
Sunflower has taken the hill and prepare for the invading forces that going through Morning Glory, but when they start to attack, Artillery started to bombard them and destroying 2 Kuromorimine's Panthers. Maho gave the order to move before the next attack, but they later realized that they had been sorounded from two directions and began to panic. Maho gave the order to retreat and regroup with Dandelion Team.
While retreating, Katyusha gets into trouble with the pursuing Pershing. Klara, Nina, and Nonna sacrifice themselves in order to protect Katyusha and to allow her to escape. Nonna immobilize 2 Pershing before finally being defeated.
After Miho decides to take down the Artillery first, Acorn Platoon find Karl in a dry river bed area, protected by a platoon of 3 Pershings. Mika and crew of BT-42 serving as a distraction started an attack and immobilize 1 Pershing. 2 remaining Pershing started chasing BT-42, and when the shot from Karl misses and hit the bridge, 1 Pershing got hit by rubble and immobilize. Finally, the remaining Pershing also immobilize after a long fight, which also resulted in the defeat of the BT-42.
- In WWII, Pershing is designated as Heavy Tank, but after the war, it is reclassified as a Medium Tank.
- In the Anime, if anyone can see more clearly, the immobilized Pershing is mostly taken hit at the Turret ring.