The Powerful M36 Jackson in 33 Images

Jesse Beckett
JTOcchialini CC BY-SA 2.0


The M36 Jackson was built on an older design: the M10 Gun Motor Carriage, itself based on the chassis of the M4 Sherman tank.

The United States’ doctrine on combating the powerful heavy German tanks was with speed, manoeuvrability and firepower. In action this was done by safe distance ambushes and hit and run tactics. Chasing or charging enemy armored vehicles was prohibited.

These tactics were also required to combat German Blitzkrieg tactics, and to help with this, new armored fighting vehicles would need to be developed with different levels of firepower, armor and speed.

Bloodworx

Bloodworx
The M36 Jackson was on the larger end of this range, and successfully combined firepower and manoeuvrability in one platform that had the capabilities to deal with the powerful German tanks like the Tiger I and Panther. The Jackson, unlike contemporary tank destroyers at the time, had a full traversable open top turret. This gave the crew great visibility and situational awareness – something crucial to their tank doctrine, but it also made them vulnerable to grenades, shrapnel and small arms fire.

Its 90 mm M3 gun made it one of the most powerful and effective US tank destroyers of the war. The gun was so powerful that it meant the Jackson was used in many post war conflicts with various nations.

The M36 fulfilled the firepower side, but it lacked in the speed department. It was considerably slower than the incredibly fast M18 Hellcat.

Unfortunately for the Allies the Jackson would arrive to combat until October 1944, but it quickly became appreciated for the sheer stopping power of its 90 mm, and was one of the few Allied tanks of the war that could tackle the heavier German tanks for afar.

All that firepower came a cost however, as the huge muzzle blast meant crews vision was obscured by smoke and dust after each shot, significantly reducing its rate of fire for its first month of combat. This was addressed quickly in November 1944 with a double-baffle Muzzle brake.

The Jackson was capable of taking down even the biggest German tanks, but two notable kills stand out. Corporal Anthony Pinto destroyed a Panther from 4,200 yards away, and another Panther was knocked out by Lt. Alfred Rose from a distance of 4,600 yards, and incredible shot that was literally at the limits of his telescopic sight.

2nd Armored Division M36 in Lipperode, Germany 2 April 1945
2nd Armored Division M36 in Lipperode, Germany 2 April 1945

 

8th Infantry Division halted inside the ruins of Duren during Operation Grenade 23 February 1945
8th Infantry Division halted inside the ruins of Duren during Operation Grenade 23 February 1945

 

9th Army soldier under umbrella atop M36 Jackson – Germany 1945
9th Army soldier under umbrella atop M36 Jackson – Germany 1945

 

90 mm Gun Motor Carriage M36 Jackson
90 mm Gun Motor Carriage M36 Jackson

 

A column of M36 tank destroyers
A column of M36 tank destroyers

 

Column of M36 and M4 Belgium October 1944
Column of M36 and M4 Belgium October 1944

 

Jacksons ready to be shipped out to their units
Jacksons ready to be shipped out to their units

 

M36 35th Infantry Division 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion in Oberbrauch Germany 1945
M36 35th Infantry Division 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion in Oberbrauch Germany 1945

 

M36 702nd Tank Destroyer Battalion Roer River 1944
M36 702nd Tank Destroyer Battalion Roer River 1944

 

M36 1945
M36 1945

 

M36 and 3rd Division troops move to the front in hailstorm at Augsburg, Germany April 1945
M36 and 3rd Division troops move to the front in hailstorm at Augsburg, Germany April 1945

 

M36 and M4 of the 3rd Armored Division, Houffalize, Belgium, Battle of the Bulge, January 1945
M36 and M4 of the 3rd Armored Division, Houffalize, Belgium, Battle of the Bulge, January 1945

 

M36 and M4 of the 102nd ID, 771st Tank Destroyer Battalion, Krefeld March 3, 1945
M36 and M4 of the 102nd ID, 771st Tank Destroyer Battalion, Krefeld March 3, 1945

 

M36 crosses the Rhine on an engineer bridge 24 March 1945
M36 crosses the Rhine on an engineer bridge 24 March 1945

 

M36 destroyer crew with a German swastika flag
M36 destroyer crew with a German swastika flag

 

M36 Germany 1945
M36 Germany 1945

 

M36 in Julich, Germany 24 February 1945
M36 in Julich, Germany 24 February 1945

 

M36 in Metz 19 November 1944
M36 in Metz 19 November 1944

 

M36 in the Ardennes, 1945
M36 in the Ardennes, 1945

 

M36 Jackson and Maginot Line Pillbox 776th Tank Destroyer Battalion Hottviller France 1944
M36 Jackson and Maginot Line Pillbox 776th Tank Destroyer Battalion Hottviller France 1944

 

M36 Jackson Ardennes Offensive
M36 Jackson Ardennes Offensive

 

M36 Jackson in the streets of Metz November 21 1944
M36 Jackson in the streets of Metz November 21 1944

 

M36 Jackson of the Third Army, January 1945 Luxembourg
M36 Jackson of the Third Army, January 1945 Luxembourg

 

M36 Jackson Tank Destroyer 1944
M36 Jackson Tank Destroyer 1944

 

M36 Jackson tank destroyer coming off the assembly line at the Grand Blac Michigan tank plant of the Fisher Body Division of General Motors 1944
M36 Jackson tank destroyer coming off the assembly line at the Grand Blac Michigan tank plant of the Fisher Body Division of General Motors 1944

 

M36 Jackson tank destroyer.
M36 Jackson tank destroyer.

 

M36 of the 347th Infantry Regiment in Plauen, 1945
M36 of the 347th Infantry Regiment in Plauen, 1945

 

M36 of the 703rd Tank Destroyer Battalion Werbomont, 20 December 1944
M36 of the 703rd Tank Destroyer Battalion Werbomont, 20 December 1944

 

 

M36 Slugger Tank Destroyer Tested at Aberdeen 1945
M36 Slugger Tank Destroyer Tested at Aberdeen 1945

M36 Slugger Tank Destroyer Tested at Aberdeen 1945Another Article From Us: Tanks ‘could be scrapped’ in Bizarre Overhaul of UK Armed Forces

 

M36B1 tank destroyer 1945
M36B1 tank destroyer 1945