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M26 Armored Tank Transporter

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The M26 Armored Tank Transporter, or the "Dragon Wagon", was a 6x6 armored tank recovery vehicle that was used by the United States during World War II.

Description

The M26 had a crew of seven and had a gasoline powered, 270 bhp, Hall Scott Type 440 engine capable of moving the Dragon Wagon at speeds of up to 41.8 km/h. The only armament was a single 12.7 mm Browning M2HB on a ring mount above the main cabin. The M26 Armored Tank Transporter was designed for the purpose of recovering damaged M4 Sherman tanks and so it was fitted with dual winches. There was also a winch in the front of the cabin. Armor thickness varied between 6 mm in the sides to 19 mm in the front.

The Dragon Wagon could even carry up to 45,359.2 kg and the eight wheel M15 flatbed trailer that was used with the M26 was equipped with an adjustable loading ramp depending on the size of cargo.[1] The length of just the M26 was about 7.7 meters and the weight was about 10,886. kg. The height was 3.1 meters and the width was 3.3 meters. The maximum range was about 400 km.

Variants

The M26 Armored Tank Recovery Vehicle had one variant, the M26A1. It was unarmored and as such, were not meant for taking fire. It was not extremely different from the original M26 and it was still used with the original M26 in Europe. Although it had no armor for the crew, it had significantly less weight than the original M26.

History

The M26 Armored Tank Recovery Vehicle was designed in 1942 by Knuckey Truck Company out of the need for a new tank transporter. It was originally designated the M25 Armored Tank Recovery Vehicle, but had its name changed to differentiate the trailer from the truck. M26s were first released into combat in 1944-1945 and it was used up to 1955. The main manufacturer of the M26 throughout World War II was Pacific Car and Foundry Co. and production totals reached about 2,000. About nine were issued to each US armored division.[2]

References

  1. http://www.guntruck.com/M25DragonWagon.html
  2. http://olive-drab.com/idphoto/id_photos_m26_transporter.php


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