|This page is about the American heavy tank T26E1-1. For the other T26, see T26E5.|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The Heavy Tank T26E1-1 "Super Pershing" is a rank IV American heavy tank with a battle rating of 6.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.57 "Battle March". The tank takes the basis of a normal M26 Pershing, then increases its armour with welded-on metal slabs and up-guns it with a T15E1 cannon, which is nearly identical to the one in the T32. This gives the tank a much appreciated armour protection and firepower for the battle rating and is comparable with the premium M26E1.
Survivability and armour
- Cast homogeneous armour (Front, Turret)
- Rolled homogeneous armour (Side, Rear, Roof, Turret appliqué armour)
- Structural steel (Hull appliqué armour, Rear turret counterweight)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 101.6 (42-46°) + 38.1 (47°) + 38.1 mm (57°)
162.5 (25-60°) + 38.1 (47°) + 38.1 mm (57°)
Upper front glacis
76.2 mm (53°) + 38.1 (41°) + 38.1 mm (48°)
| 76.2 mm Front
50.8 mm (0-2°) Rear
| 50.8 mm (4°) Top
22.2 mm (68°) Lower
|Turret|| 101.6 mm (1-55°) Turret front
114.3 (1-84°) + 80 mm (3°) Gun mantlet
|76.2 mm (2-54°)||76.2 (0-79°) + 100 mm (3°)||25.4 mm|
|Cupola||76.2 mm||76.2 mm||76.2 mm||25.4 mm|
- Suspension wheels and tracks are 20 mm thick.
- The left turret side has a few tracks welded on, providing an additional 30 mm of armour where they are.
- The "ear flaps" on the turret provide 38.1 mm of armour. The steel on the gun mantlet gives an additional 80 mm of armour.
- Front glacis have sheets of 38.1 mm armour added on, sloped at varying angles.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
As with every ground vehicle, Parts and FPE are an absolute top-priority. Following that both types of shells should be researched. Either Adjustment of Fire or Suspension should be researched as the second module in tier II, depending on playstyle. If undecided - choose Adjustment of Fire. Mandatory modifications in tier III are T44 shot and Crew Replenishment. After that: Filters -> Engine -> Transmission for improved mobility, in that particular order due to the efficiency in RP/hp increase. Further modifications at will.
The T26E1-1 utilizes a very powerful 90 mm T15E1 cannon, nearly identical to the gun on the T32. The gun's greatest weakness is its reload time, allowing more than sufficient time for the enemy to move out of their cover, aim, and take a shot. Therefore, staying in cover between shots and near friendlies might be preferable. A mix of T41 APCBC and T44 APCR shells is recommended as a typical load-out.
|90 mm T15E1||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
For less mobile tanks usually a mix shells is recommended, with the Super Pershing being no different. For Arcade Battles, 15 shells is typically sufficient, majority APCBC with roughly 3-5 APCR shells dedicated to enemies with better armour. The APCBC shell is a good default for a majority of targets, it typically should be loaded when venturing towards the unknown.
- T43 shot - - Acceptable performance against majority of targets
- T42 shell - - Usable nearly exclusively against soft targets. Due to long reload time it's typically safer to use other shells than committing to the HE
- T41 - - Deadliest round, very wide post-penetration effect.
- T44 shot - - Much higher penetration, suitable against more heavily-armoured targets, however it has the narrowest cone of post-penetration shrapnel.
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|42||39 (+3)||35 (+7)||31 (+11)||27 (+15)||23 (+19)||19 (+23)||15 (+27)||11 (+31)||1 (+41)||No|
- Ammo rack 9 is a ready rack, and takes priority in being filled at the beginning of the battle.
- Full reload speed will be realized as long as ammo exists in the ready rack. If the ready rack is empty, a penalty to reload speed will occur.
- Simply not firing when the gun is loaded will load ammo from racks 1-8 into rack 9, as long as there is ammo in racks 1-8. Firing will interrupt the loading of the ready racks.
|12.7 mm M2HB|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|7.62 mm M1919A4|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The T26E1-1 is a mid-range tank destroyer, perfect for pushing the enemy on offense, but far less capable when it comes to defensive action. It features a very strong frontal armour, bouncing nearly all of the shells found in its BR range, unless hit in one of several weak spots or at a wrong angle (e.g. lower frontal plate when going over the hill). The key to staying alive is staying on the move, even if only moving two metres front and back, making sure these small, but numerous weakspots remain difficult to hit. A good reverse speed helps with staying mobile. Unlike with T34 simply staying hull-down is not viable due to weak spots at top of the turret and bottom turret cheeks - it's best to hide an entire body between shots, letting allies lure the attention of the enemy team.
It's also one of the weakest tanks when played solo, owning it to low mobility, very weak side armour and a very long reload time. Situational awareness and map knowledge of the maps is an absolute key to playing this tank. While pushing the enemy team one has to balance between staying in front of the line and applying pressure, while also avoiding enemy flanking maneuvers. In fact: if need be, tactical retreats and relocating to other positions can be the best choice, as a single hit without mobility kill on a hostile unit can mean a near-certain death.
Specific enemies worth noting
- T-44 - Its armour can bounce surprising amount of shots, unless the sides of the tank are exposed it's a very difficult target no matter the range or shell.
- Tiger II (P) - At the range of over 100 m an entire frontal plate of this tank is immune to all of the shells available. The only large, reliably penetrable areas are the turret cheeks, but a large gun mantlet makes it more tricky to hit than it might seem.
- M-51 - Default shell from its gun can reliably penetrate even the up-armoured sections of the Super Pershing from any range, making it one of a few opponents in lower BRs that can pose a lethal threat. A sniping duels with this tank should be avoided at all cost.
- IS-2 - Its armour can be easily, but not reliably, penetrated. Its main gun as far longer reload time, so once it fires - Super Pershing is free to rush the target and conveniently fire into a weak portions of its armour. However, it should not be dismissed - below 500 m range its shells can reliably penetrate turret cheeks on the Super Pershing, and given the size of the explosive filler, a single penetration is all but a guaranteed kill.
- Soft-body vehicles - Whenever possible they should be destroyed with the .50 cal rather than the main gun. Using the main gun with such a long reload time against a fast-moving targets can be risky, while the pintle-mounted heavy machine gun can destroy a number of them without reloading (with a notable exception of BMPs)
Pros and cons
- The added spaced armour makes this tank very resilient to common guns like the Tiger II's 88 mm and even large calibre HE shells. Despite of numerous weak points armour can be relied upon unless enemy is allowed time to carefully aim at a specific locations
- An excellent choice of shells
- Default shell has a good penetration values and a decent post-penetration effects despite of being a solid shot
- T41 is able to either one-shot or cripple most of the enemies while maintaining more than adequate penetration for the BR
- The T44 APCR shell can penetrate up to 336 mm, rivalling or even beating some rank VI APFSDS ammunition
- -10° gun depression is on pair if not better than most of the medium tanks and other tank destroyers
- Roof mounted .50 cal machine gun can deal with a number of soft-body targets, while also allowing for an occasional potshots against aircraft or destroying tracks on other tanks
- Several weak spots on armour allow enemy to penetrate it, if the tank is stationary
- Weak armour on top of the turret makes it difficult to engage in a long-range sniping, and force the entire tank into hiding behind hard cover while the main gun is reloading
- The vertical aiming drive can be damaged by simply shooting the two springs on the turret roof with mere machine guns
- Penetration of the left side of the turret will detonate ammunition stored there, so extra-care should be taken to protect it
- Even with an ace crew, the gun will take 12.5 seconds to reload, being outmatched by a vast majority of medium, heavy and even tank destroyers. Thus, directly trading shots with enemy tanks is ill-advised
The M26 Pershing helped the American armoured forces by bringing in the heavy 90 mm Gun M3 into service on a tank mount. The gun was similar in performance to the German's Tiger Is 8.8 cm KwK36 cannon, but Army Ordnance wanted something to match the more powerful 8.8 cm KwK43 cannon on the Tiger II. The development to match this cannon made the T15 90 mm gun; the gun was 73 calibres long, compared to the 90 mm Gun M3's 53 calibres length. The first produced guns were called the T15E1 and had large, fixed ammunition. To test the gun's viability in the tank, the gun was mounted onto the very first production T26, T26E1 tank serial #1, registration #0103292, with the conversions being done by the Wellman Engineering Company. This upgraded tank was titled the T26E1-1 by means of a painted-on designation on the turret's left side to distinguish the design, although this title was not official, and few if any sources refer to it as such. The extreme length of the T15E1 gun barrel caused the manufacturers to add a very prominent counter balance on the mantlet, which could be seen on the left side of the turret when facing it. The T26E1-1 tank was sent to Aberdeen Proving Grounds on 12 January 1945 for testing purposes.
In March 1945, following the Aberdeen tests, the T26 tanks mounting the T15 gun was officially classified as the T26E4. As such, the mentioned T26E1-1 would be classified as the first of the T26E4 models, with an initial procurement plan for 1,000 more units. The first T26E4 (henceforth referred to as T26E1-1) would be the only M26 model with the T15 gun to see service in Europe. Among the troops, the T26E1-1 in Europe would be known by its eponymous name "Super Pershing" when compared alongside to the normal M26 Pershing.
The T26E1-1 "Super Pershing" was sent to Europe and arrived in 15 March 1945 and assigned to the 3rd Armored Division. In its introduction, the "Super Pershing" was given additional armour by the maintenance crew in hopes to keep it up to date against the heavier German tanks. The front hull had two large pieces of metal welded onto it, each 38 mm in thickness, with a space in between the metal pieces. These metal pieces were sloped more than the hull armour it was over. An additional armour piece was welded on the turret mantlet, the metal was taken from a Panther turret and was about 80 mm thick when welded onto the turret. The T15E1 gun has much promise to the crew when using the tank as the gun could reliably penetrate the frontal hull of a Panther tank, a feat not many other American tank gun could claim at the time.
The T26E1-1's performance in battle is largely written in the accounts of John P. Irwin, who was the tank gunner of the only active "Super Pershing" in the war. He mentions of three prominent combat actions with the T26E1-1, each one destroying the enemy with little difficulty. Records show that the T26E1-1 destroyed a total of three tanks and captured one after an extended firefight that left the opposing tank out of ammunition. The T26E1-1 fought against one Tiger II (H) during the Battle of Dessau, which ended when the Tiger II commander had his tank climb debris, allowing gunner Corporal John P. Irwin to disable the German tank with one shot.
Legacy and similar vehicles
The T26E1-1 continued as an idea long after the war was over, with the next development arming the long 90 mm cannon in the T26E3 tank models, but the cannons used the new two-piece ammunition gun T15E2 rather than the one-piece one in the T15E1 when it was found that the long 50 inch rounds made loading prohibitive in the M26 turret. 25 of these tanks were built and were designated the T26E4. Another development was to convert normal M26 Pershings to mounting the T54 cannon, another development of the T15E1 which featured shorter ammunition. These tanks were redesignated the M26E1, but work was halted due to issues with the guns and a cut in project funds.
- Hunnicutt, R.P. Pershing: A History of the Medium Tank T20 Series U.S.A.: Feist Publications, 1971
- DUEL AT DESSAU - 3AD's "Super Pershing" vs. Germany's "King Tiger" https://www.3ad.com/history/wwll/feature.pages/super.pershing.1.htm
|USA heavy tanks|
|M4 Jumbo||M4A3E2 · Cobra King · M4A3E2 (76) W|
|M6||M6A1 · M6A2E1|
|T26||T26E1-1 · T26E5|
|T29/30/34||T29 · T30 · T34|
|T32||T32 · T32E1|