The program that created the Pershing began in 1942. Because of the early combat success of the Shermans, focus was shifted to improving them. The Shermans were up-gunned with the inadequate 76mm gun while the the program which developed the Pershing was delayed. Various suspensions, armor, and guns were tested and debated upon until the Pershing design with a 90 mm gun and torsion bar suspension was finally sent into production in October 1944, probably a year later than it should have. As a result of all the delays, the few Pershings sent to Europe only entered combat in January 1945. The M-26 did not equal the Panther and Tiger, but it was the best US Army design of the war and it could have been produced earlier had the obvious need for them been acknowledged and acted upon.
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