M36 Jackson Tank Destroyer in 33 Images


When encountering German heavy armor, the Americans liked to rely on speed, manoeuvrability and most of all firepower. This doctrine enabled them to apply effective safe-distance ambushes and a number of hit-and-run tactics, while strictly prohibiting chasing or charging the enemy tanks.

The Tank Destroyer Force was tasked in fulfilling the mission of countering the German Blitzkrieg tactics, and for this purpose, an array of armored fighting vehicles were designed ― varying in gun caliber, armor, and speed.

M36 Jackson was among the heavier designs that fell into the tank destroyer category, and its combat history tells a tale of a successful blend of firepower and maneuverability which helped bring the dreadful panzer units of the Nazi Armada to defeat. Despite the fact that most of the tank destroyers of the era used guns that were fixed to the hull, the American series all included a turret, which provided more options in battle but also gave a higher silhouette, making them easier to spot.

The M36 was based on an older design designated the M10 Gun Motor Carriage, whose chassis and drivetrain were developed from the legendary Sherman.

Fitted with a 90 mm M3 gun, it was one of the most powerfull American tank destroyers of the war, powerfull enough to serve in several other post-WWII conflicts and stay in active service well into the late 20th century.

Although speed was regarded to be the advantage of American tank destroyers, the M36 was still too heavy to achieve the incredible velocity of its little brother, the M18 Hellcat.

It first saw action in October 1944, in Europe, where it quickly earned the sympathies of its crewmen, as it was one of the few Allied tanks capable of knocking down enemy heavy armor from a great distance.

However, the massive firepower of the 90 mm gun had its disadvantages. Crewmen complained about its massive muzzle blast obscuring their vision and reducing the rate of fire during the first month of combat. Luckily, a double-baffle muzzle brake was installed in November 1944, to all available units.

Two extraordinary kills were documented during its first year of service ― the first was done by Corporal Anthony Pinto, who destroyed a Panther tank from a distance of 4,200 yards and the second was credited to Lt. Alfred Rose, who also scored a kill against a Panther from an incredible distance of 4,600 yards, which was also the maximum range of his telescopic sight.

M36 in Julich, Germany 24 February 1945


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


M36 Germany 1945


M36 of the 347th Infantry Regiment in Plauen, 1945


M36 1945
M36 in Metz 19 November 1944


Column of M36 and M4 Belgium October 1944


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


M36 in the Ardennes, 1945


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


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


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


A column of M36 tank destroyers


M36 crosses the Rhine on an engineer bridge 24 March 1945


M36 Jackson tank destroyer.


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


M36 Tank Destroyers in NW Europe during the Second World War.


90 mm Gun Motor Carriage M36 Jackson


M36 destroyer crew with a German swastika flag


Jacksons ready to be shipped out to their units


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


M36 702nd Tank Destroyer Battalion Roer River 1944
M36 and 3rd Division troops move to the front in hailstorm at Augsburg, Germany April 1945


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


M36 Jackson Ardennes Offensive


M36 Jackson in the streets of Metz November 21 1944


M36 Jackson Tank Destroyer 1944


M36 Jackson of the Third Army, January 1945 Luxembourg


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 Slugger Tank Destroyer Tested at Aberdeen 1945


M36B1 tank destroyer 1945