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Dear Mr. Birchfield,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located at least six series in the Records of the Office of the Chief of Ordnance, 1797-1988 (Record Group 156) regarding the history and/or development of armored vehicles or tanks. The National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) be pleased to make the finding aids to these records available to you or your representative in the Textual Research Room located at 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD, near the University of Maryland--College Park campus.
--Textual Research Room (Room 2000) hours are 8:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Monday through Friday, except legal holidays.
--RDT2 consultation room hours are 8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except legal holidays. No appointment is necessary.
--Records are retrieved Monday through Friday for use in the Textual Research Room at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. The Research Room staff does not pull in advance.
--Prior to your visit, please consult these web sites at https://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/college-park/, https://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/self-service-copying.html, and https://www.archives.gov/research/start/getting-started.pdf.
We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
4 people found this helpful
There are a number of secondary sources that are very focused on U.S. armored vehicle development history. At the top of the list is a series of books written by Richard Hunnicutt that outline the topic:
Sherman: A History of the American Medium Tank
Firepower: A History of the American Heavy Tank
Abrams: A History of the American Main Battle Tank Volume 2
Patton: A History of the American Main Battle Tank Volume 1
Stuart: A History of the American Light Tank Volume 1
Bradley: A History of American Fighting and Support Vehicles
Sheridan: A History of the American Light Tank Volume 2
Half-Track: A History of the American Semi-Tracked Vehicles
Armored Car: A History of American Wheeled Fighting Vehicles
The original books are out of print, but they have been recently reprinted by Echo Point Books. The original versions might be available through the library loan system if you don't want to purchase.
Don't let the titles mislead you. Just because the book may be titled Sherman, I assure you that the book covers all U.S. medium tanks going back to the 1920's, and the same can be said for all the other books. Hunnicutt provides incredible detail about each of the vehicles, both prototypes and production models, although there are other titles that take a much deeper dive on some tanks like the Sherman down to the casting markings on hulls and turrets.
A number of other secondary sources have been published by Osprey Books. The volumes are much smaller than the Hunnicutt Volumes and are much more focused on one model of tank, such as the M3 Stuart or the M551 Sheridan. An Osprey author of many of these volumes is Steve Zaloga, considered to be the dean of American (and Soviet) armor history.
Hope this helps your research.