M26 "D.C.Ariete"

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Rank VI USSR | Premium | Golden Eagles
Su-25K Pack
This page is about the premium Italian medium tank M26 "D.C.Ariete". For other vehicles of the family, see M26 (Family).
M26 "D.C.Ariete"
GarageImage M26 "D.C.Ariete".jpg
M26 "D.C.Ariete"
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The M26 (132nd Armored Division) is an American-made tank which was widely used by Italy during the early stages of the Cold War. The Italian Army would receive M26 Pershing tanks from the USA as part of the Mutual Defense Assistance Act at the beginning of the 1950s. The previously supplied M4 Sherman had become obsolete and needed replacement. They would be in service for many years and quickly became one of the strongest platforms at their disposal. The 132nd Armoured Division "Ariete" was created in 1939, it fought during the North African campaign until their destruction at the 2nd Battle of El Alamein. In 1948, the Ariete Division was reconstituted at Forte Pietralata in Rome and transferred to Pordenone in the Friuli region in Northern Italy to prevent any invasion by armoured divisions of the Warsaw Pact's armies. The M26 was allocated to the 132nd Armoured Division Ariete at the Eastern border with Yugoslavia but never saw combat action.

Introduced in Update 1.73 "Vive la France", the M26 can be quite an effective machine at its battle rating; however, there are some notable weaknesses that players must be aware of when using this tank. The M26 is quite a big platform, therefore when in tight urban maps you can be easily taken care of by enemy players which fire at you from positions you aren't able to see. Without its mobility upgrades it is also very slow, so until you unlock them you'll need to play a more supportive role rather an offensive one. Armour-wise, the M26 can protect you from a lot of medium calibre shells that will come your way, hull down positions are recommended if you're not advancing. The firepower of the M26 is good enough for you to be able to take out the majority of enemies you'll face in 1-2 shots, granted you know their weakspots. You have access to a 90 mm Cannone da 90/50 M3A1 and machine guns which will come in handy against lightly armoured vehicles. Overall, it is a great tank to have for your lineup.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull101 / 76 / 51
Turret101 / 76 / 76
Crew5 people
Visibility105 %

Armour type:

  • Cast homogeneous armour (Front, turret)
  • Rolled homogeneous armour (Side, Rear, Roof)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 101.6 mm (42-46°) Front Glacis
162.5 mm (25-60°) Upper front glacis
76.2 mm (28-53°) Lower Glacis
76.2 mm (0-1°) Front
50.8 mm (0-3°) Rear
50.8 mm (7°) Top
22.2 mm (71°) Bottom
22.2 mm
Turret 101.6 mm (1-55°) Turret front
114.3 mm (1-84°) Gun mantlet
76.2 mm (2-54°) 76.2 mm (0-79°) 25.4 mm
Cupola 76.2 mm (conical) 25.4 mm


  • Suspension wheels and tracks are 20 mm thick.
  • Belly armour is 25.4 mm thick.


Speedforward / back
AB54 / 18 km/h
RB and SB49 / 16 km/h
Number of gears6 forward
2 back
Weight42.5 t
Engine power
AB954 hp
RB and SB500 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB22.4 hp/t
RB and SB11.8 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 54 18 42.5 775 954 18.24 22.45
Realistic 49 16 442 500 10.4 11.76

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB2 510 Sl icon.png
RB2 957 Sl icon.png
SB3 847 Sl icon.png
Crew training10 000 Sl icon.png
Experts340 000 Sl icon.png
Aces890 Ge icon.png
Research Aces1 180 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 130 / 190 / 220 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 184 / 184 / 184 % Rp icon.png
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Mods new tank filter.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
Mods tank reinforcement it.png
Crew Replenishment
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Mods tank ammo.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Mods tank ammo.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Mods tank ammo.png


Main armament

Ammunition70 rounds
First-order10 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
9.7 → 7.5 s
Vertical guidance-10° / 20°
Main article: M3 (90 mm)
90 mm M3 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 70 -10°/+20° ±180° N/A 20.0 27.7 33.6 37.2 39.5 9.75 8.62 7.95 7.50
Realistic 12.5 14.7 17.9 19.7 21.0


Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
T33 shot APBC 175 172 160 146 134 122
M82 shot APCBC 185 182 169 155 142 130
M304 shot APCR 287 281 259 234 211 191
M71 shell HE 20 20 18 17 16 16
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
T33 shot APBC 853 10.91 - - - 47° 60° 65°
M82 shot APCBC 853 10.91 1.2 14 137.2 48° 63° 71°
M304 shot APCR 1,021 7.62 - - - 66° 70° 72°
M71 shell HE 823 10.55 0.2 0.1 1,210 79° 80° 81°
Smoke shell characteristics
Ammunition Velocity
mass (kg)
Screen radius
Screen deploy
time (s)
Screen hold
time (s)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
M313 821 10.7 9 5 20 50

Ammo racks

rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
70 65 (+5) 56 (+14) 48 (+22) 40 (+30) 32 (+38) 24 (+46) 17 (+53) 11 (+59) (+69) No
Ammo racks of the M26 (identical).


  • Shells are modeled individually and disappear after having been shot or loaded.
  • 1 shell from rack 7 is fired after rack 1 is emptied. For the purpose of clarity, it is counted as belonging to rack 2 in the table above.
  • Rack 9 is a first stage ammo rack. It totals 10 shells and gets filled first when loading up the tank.
  • This rack is also emptied early: the rack depletion order at full capacity is: 9 - 1 - 2 - etc. until 8.
  • If you pack 17 (+53) shells, it will keep most of the hull empty of ammo.
  • Full reload speed will be realized as long as shells are available in the ready rack 9. If the ready rack is empty, a penalty to reload speed will occur.
  • Simply not firing when the gun is loaded will move ammo from racks 1-8 into rack 9. Firing will interrupt the restocking of the ready rack.

Machine guns

Ammunition600 rounds
Belt capacity200 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate575 shots/min
Vertical guidance-10° / 50°
Horizontal guidance-120° / 120°
Ammunition5 000 rounds
Belt capacity250 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate500 shots/min
12.7 mm M2HB
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Pintle 600 (200) 577 -10°/+50° ±120°

The roof-mounted M2HB .50 cal heavy machine gun is very good at knocking out tracks, punching through lightly armoured vehicles and shooting down low-flying aircraft. Use it sparingly because of its low ammo count.

7.62 mm M1919A4
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 5,000 (250) 500 N/A N/A

The small calibre of the M1919A4 machine gun makes it largely ineffective against all armoured vehicles but the ones with an open compartment. It still can be used to ping targets as a rangefinding help or to mow down minor obstacles blocking your line of sight.

Usage in battles

Combat tactics

The M26 "D.C.Ariete" can perform in many different roles in battle. It can be used for supporting heavy tanks with long reload time as IS-2 or T32 or it can take part in flanking manoeuvres: your speed and agility are not brilliant but sufficient for that role. It can also be successful in sniping and ambushing situations. Use the lower profile of Pershing compared to the Sherman's to navigate through. Your depression angle allows you to shoot from upper positions without exposing too much yourself. That's an advantage compared to most Soviet vehicles which have close to no gun depression angle.

The 90 mm M3 gun owns a wide selection of ammunition to be used. The M82 APCBC with an explosive filler is extremely deadly. Usually, successful penetration with this shell can lead to a single-shot knock-out on a vehicle. It lacks a bit of penetration for the rank this vehicle sits at, but it's great for flanking shots. The M304 APCR shot gives the vehicle the ability to penetrate thick armour (provided it is a flat surface). This means you need to target crew positions or modules and aim at (almost) vertical armour. Against a Tiger II (H), this means aiming for the turret right side if he is looking directly at you on the gunner side. At that position, you can penetrate up to a distance of 1,800 m.

Although you are moderately armoured for your class, most enemies can easily kill you at this rank if you expose your tank too much. To reduce direct impacts in frontal engagements angle the Pershing, the V-shape frontal armour can deflect some shots. Your lower glacis is a weak spot, keep it hidden from the enemy.

One downside to the Pershing is the engine: the power-to-weight ratio is poor and does not allow for very quick manoeuvring. It uses the same Ford GAF that can be found in the late series M4 Medium tanks, with nearly 8 tons more weight. Being slightly underpowered, the M26 "D.C.Ariete" has a hard time climbing hills. You will need to know the maps and areas you are operating in and use them wisely.

Urban maps (Poland, Eastern Europe, Hürtgen Forest, Cologne) are perfect for ambushing, use your moderate speed to catch off-guard heavier enemy tanks. Drop arty in front of suspected enemy positions if you need to cross a street and relocate, the smoke screen will cover you.

If you've been able to flank an enemy, your first shot is decisive. Always shoot to disable the gun first (gunner or breech). The best ammo to do this is M304 APCR round, or M82 APCBC shell. M304 will guarantee a 100% successful shot, M82 can also work very good and might deal heavy damage inside the turret. But some Germans have tracks on the hull's sides and if the enemy is in the process of turning the turret, the M82 could bounce. Make sure you not to miss. The large sides of German heavy tanks are tempting targets but its very easy to punch through without dealing damage with the wrong ammo like the T33 or M304 rounds. If you flanked a turretless tank destroyer like a Jagdpanther or a Ferdinand, just aim at the engine and you will have virtually killed it.

Arcade Battles

In arcade battles, it is much harder to flank and ambush enemy tanks because of the tag system (player name). However, the tank is still very playable and you can do different tactics depending on the situation. For urban environments, it's best to move with the team and only poke your head out when you have a good shot and the enemy tank isn't aimed at you. In open terrain, you will still be able to use the hills to your advantage and side-shot / pot-shot enemy tanks. The main rule here is don't show your sides and stay low.

Realistic/Simulator Battles

In realistic and simulator battles, The M26 "D.C.Ariete" shouldn't be in the toughest part of the match facing very heavily armoured enemies. It's better to stay behind front lines supporting or try a flanking manoeuvre, you can't be spotted in the mini-map. The high battle rating means you can be up-tiered and fight Cold War era tanks in simulator mode. The compression and matchmaking can put you into situations where enemies are especially hard to penetrate, even from the sides.

Pros and cons


  • M82 APCBC rounds can knock out most tanks with a single shot
  • Low profile
  • Nice handling at gear 5
  • .50 calibre machine gun on top helps for anti-aircraft defence
  • Fast reverse speed


  • Turret ring can be easily damaged
  • Slow compared to other nations' medium tanks, especially acceleration
  • Heavy handling at low speed
  • 90 mm gun penetration not the best


Main article: History of the M26

The history and development of this M26 can be traced to the number of tank prototypes produced in the Spring of 1942 as a replacement for the M4 Shermans then in use. One of these prototypes was the T20 medium tank, which was more heavily armoured than the Sherman. This eventually developed to the T22 and T23 designs with different transmissions, all of which were in the rear of the vehicle instead of the front like the Shermans. These designs were comparable to a T-34-85, but these were not quickly adopted over the M4 as the M4 performed fabulously in combat in Africa and Italy.

Development continued with different interests in 1944, starting around the concept to mount a 90 mm cannon to fight the heavily armoured German tanks and fortifications in Europe. The first was the T25 series, which was an up-gunned T23 with a 90 mm gun, but they also designed a bigger and more armoured design T26. The design held the 90 mm cannon and a front armour thickness of 102 mm thick and sloped. However, the design has a weight of about 40 tons, which decreased its mobility and durability as it still uses the old Sherman engine. Though starting with an electric drive, the design proved too complicated for field use and was replaced by a torqmatic transmission in the T26E1. The designs were eventually finalized as the T26E3, which would be the production version of the T26E1. Production started in November 1944, with 10 being produced by the end of the month, 30 by December, 70 in January 1945, and 132 by February. It would take a few months for even the T26E3s built in November to get to Europe, hence why the first models did not appear in Europe until January 1945. The T26E3 would be adopted by the US Army as the Heavy Tank M26 Pershing with a total of 2,212 units produced.

In terms of usage in the Italian armed forces, the Italian Army received Pershing tanks from the USA as part of the Mutual Defense Assistance Act during the late 1950s. The previously supplied M4 Sherman had become obsolete and needed replacement, and Italy was very afraid that Yugoslavia would invade Italy to try take land they claimed to be the rightful owners of. The US Army armoured units stationed in West Germany transitioned from the M26 to the M47 Patton from 1952 through 1953. The M26 tanks, including the M26A1 version, were no longer needed by the US Army and thus given to Italy and France at a very favourable price. Italy used their M26 Pershings operationally until 1963, after which they were gradually replaced by more recent M47 Patton, M60 and Leopard 1 tanks. The 132nd Armoured Division Ariete was created in 1939. Together with the 131st Armoured Division Centauro, it was one of the two main Italian armoured divisions during WW2. Both divisions fought during the North African campaign until their destruction at the 2nd Battle of El Alamein. In 1948, the Ariete Division was reconstituted at Forte Pietralata in Rome and transferred to Pordenone in the Friuli region in Northern Italy to prevent any invasion by armoured divisions of the Warsaw pact's armies. The M26 were allocated to the 132nd Armoured Division Ariete at the Eastern border with Yugoslavia but never saw combat action.



See also

Other vehicles of similar configuration and role

External links

U.S. Army Ordnance Department/Corps*
Light tanks  T18E2 · M24 (Designed in collaboration with Cadillac)
M3 Stuart  M3 · M3A1 Stuart · M3A1 (USMC)
M5 Stuart  M5A1
Medium tanks  M3 Lee
M4 Sherman  M4 · M4A1 · M4A2 · M4A3 (105) · Calliope
  M4A1 (76) W · M4A2 (76) W · M4A3 (76) W
M26 Pershing  T20 · T25 · M26 · M26E1 · M26 T99
Patton Series  M46 · M46 "Tiger" · M47
Prototypes  T54E1 · T95E1
Heavy tanks  M103
M4 Jumbo  M4A3E2 · Cobra King · M4A3E2 (76) W
M6 Heavy  M6A1 · M6A2E1 · T1E1
M26 Pershing  T26E1-1 · T26E5
Prototypes  T14
T29  T29 · T30 · T34
T-32  T32 · T32E1
Tank destroyers  M3 GMC · M10 GMC · M56
M36 GMC  M36 GMC · M36B2
Prototypes  T28 · T95
Production  M19 MGMC · M42
Export/Captured  ␗M8 HMC · SU-57
Stuart  Stuart I · Stuart III · ␗M3A3 Stuart · ␗M3A3 (1st PTG) · ▄M3A3 · ▄M3A3 Stuart · ▃Stuart VI (5th CAD) · ␗M5A1
Lee/Grant  ▂M3 Medium · ▃Grant I · Grant I
M4 Sherman  Sherman II · ▄M4A1 · ␗M4A1 (75) W · ▀M4 748 (a) · ▂M4A2 · ▄M4A3 (105) · ▅M4A3 (76) W · ▄M4A3E2
  ␗M4A4 · ␗M4A4 (1st PTG) · ▄Sherman V · ▄M4A4 · ▄Sherman I Composito
M26 Pershing  M26 "D.C.Ariete" · M26A1
M47 Patton  mKPz M47 G · ▅M47
M10 GMC  ␗M10 GMC · ▄M10 GMC
M36 GMC  ␗M36 GMC · M36B1 · ▅M36 · ▄M36B2
M19 MGMC  ▅M19A1
M42 MGMC  ▅M42 · ␗M42
  *The Ordnance Department was renamed to the Ordnance Corps after the Army Reorganization Act of 1950.

Italy medium tanks
M13/40  M13/40 (I) · M13/40 (II) · M13/40 (III)
M14/41  M14/41 · M14/41 (47/40)
M15/42  M15/42
M16/43  Celere Sahariano
P26/40  P40 · P40 "G.C. Leoncello"
OF-40  OF-40 · OF-40 Mk.2A · OF-40 (MTCA)
Ariete  Ariete (P) · Ariete · Ariete PSO · Ariete AMV
Germany  ▄Pz.III N · ▄Pz.IV G · ▄Leopard 1A5
Allied powers  ▄Sherman I Composito · Sherman Ic · ▄Sherman Vc · ▄Sherman V · M26 "D.C.Ariete" · M26A1 · M47 (105/55) · M60A1 "D.C.Ariete"
Turán  Turan I · Turan II · Turan III
Germany  ◔Leopard 2A4 · Leopard 2A7HU
USSR  ◔T-72M1

Italy premium ground vehicles
Light tanks  L6/40 (31 Rgt.) · Toldi IIA · AUBL/74 HVG · VRCC · Centauro RGO
Medium tanks  M13/40 (II) · Turan II · M14/41 (47/40) · Celere Sahariano · P40 "G.C. Leoncello" · ▄Sherman I Composito · ▄Pz.IV G
  M26 "D.C.Ariete" · M60A1 "D.C.Ariete" · OF-40 (MTCA)
Heavy tanks  Tigris
Tank destroyers  Breda 90/53 · M43 "G.C.Leoncello" · Zrinyi I