2 Replies Latest reply on Aug 18, 2020 12:44 PM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking prototype of US tanks from 1940-2000


      I am interested in American tank design. I want to see how American Armor has progressed throughout the years.

        • Re: Seeking prototype of US tanks from 1940-2000
          Alex Daverede Adventurer



          A good single-volume source for information on the various generations of U. S. armor is Camp Colt to Desert Storm edited by George Hofmann and Donn Starry (University Press of Kentucky, 1999).  The book covers the development of U.S. armored vehicles, the U.S. Army’s various armored formations, armor doctrine, and brief combat histories.


          If you are looking for more in-depth coverage, the series of books written by R. P. Hunnicutt are hard to beat (and may be hard to come by).  The ones dealing specifically with tanks are


          Sherman (Presidio Press, 1994)

          Stuart (Presidio Press, 1992)

          Pershing (Feist Publications, 1996)

          Patton (Presidio Press, 1984)

          Firepower (Presidio Press, 1988)

          Sheridan (Presidio Press, 1995)

          Abrams (Presidio Press, 1990)


          I hope you find this information useful.


          A. J.

          • Re: Seeking prototype of US tanks from 1940-2000
            Jason Atkinson Ranger

            Dear Q.S.,


            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

            The National Archives has a wide variety of records relating to the development and employment of tanks used by the United States military through the 1970s. We searched the National Archives Catalog for “tank” for the given time period producing 60,526 results, although some of these may refer to storage tanks rather than armored vehicles. Of these, the 66 record series in the Records of the Office of the Chief of Ordnance (Record Group 156) are the most likely to include information specifically about development and prototypes, but there may be relevant information in other record groups as well. For more information about these records, please email the reference units listed as the contact in the Catalog entries.


            Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from the various NARA units. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


            Also, please note that many records relating to recent tank designs and technology may still be classified and/or in US Army custody.


            We suggest beginning your research by reviewing the many secondary sources on the topic, such as the books recommended by Mr. Daverede. There are quite a few to choose from.  One worth mentioning for a global look at tank development is Tanks: 100 Years Of Evolution. Osprey also published books such as American Tanks & AFVs of World War II and many others. The books, websites, and other secondary sources available may answer many of your research questions as well as help you narrow down your research interests to specific questions that they do not answer. Most good histories also should include a bibliography that will suggest further avenues for research.


            We also suggest you contact museums with significant tank collections such as the Army Ordnance Museum, the U.S. Army Armor & Cavalry Collection, the American Armoured Foundation, Inc. Tank and Ordnance War Memorial Museum, and the American Heritage Museum.


            We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!