US Tank Destroyer M36 Jackson 90mm

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Starting bid: 245,000.00

Creating the final push for the Allied to win the war; Class A restored; Top item of the T&T Spring Auction!

The M36 Tank Destroyer, formally 90-mm Gun Motor Carriage, was the ultimate American tank destroyer during World War II that helped the Allies win! Besides the M10 Wolverine and the superfast M18, which could drive up to 57 mph (92 km/h), the US Army needed a more powerful gun and better armored vehicle to hunt down the latest developments in German tanks, including the Panther and Tigers. Therefore, the US Army created an upgraded version of the M10 using the M10A1 hull.
The turret was completely redesigned for the new and heavier gun. The M10A1 hull with the new turret created eventually the M36. The M36 was so beloved that the US Army ran out of M10A1 hulls and had to start using M4A3 and M4A2 (same as M10 hulls).

This M36 was built based on a M10A1 hull with the M10A1 serial number 1186. In the last three years the M36 “Big Chief” has been restored to Class A condition. This is therefore the top item of the Tracks & Trade Spring auction, as M36 Jacksons in this condition are very rare.
It is estimated that in Europe this is the only M36 that has been restored to its original glory!
Furthermore, the current owner named this M36 “Big Chief” and marked it with USA registration 40177412, 4th Armored Division as a tribute to the 704th tank destroyer battalion.

90-mm Gun Motor Carriage M36 – 90-mm gun turret on M10A1 GMC hull.
90-mm Gun Motor Carriage M36B1 – 90-mm gun turret on M4A3 Sherman hull and chassis.
90-mm Gun Motor Carriage M36B2 – 90-mm gun turret on M4A2 (same as M10) hull. Armored covers for turret were added to some.

© Tracks & Trade BV the Netherlands, February 2023

2.1 Introduction
The M36 Tank Destroyer, formally 90-mm Gun Motor Carriage, was the ultimate American tank destroyer used during World War II. The vehicle is also known under the unofficial nickname “Jackson” for Confederate States of America general Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, but this designation appears to be a postwar appellation that was never used by the US Army.
2.2 Design
In September 1942, it was already foreseen that the standard 75-mm (3 inch) M7 gun of the M10, which used the M4 Sherman’s reliable chassis and drivetrain combined with sloped armor, was only efficient at short range (500 m) against the enemy vehicles. Engineers were tasked with installing a 90-mm (3.54 inch) anti-aircraft gun, which became the M3 gun, in a tank destroyer to engage German tanks on equal terms considering range.
The 90-mm gun was much the same weight as the 75-mm. However, since the turret of the M10 was imbalance and could only traverse on level ground, and the ammunition of the 90-mm was larger than that fired by the 75-mm, it was decided to redesign the turret completely. The design based on the M10 chassis was first completed in 1942, and the first prototype was completed in March 1943 as the T71 Gun Motor Carriage. A comparison tests revealed that the M10A1 base vehicle had a superior performance to the M10 because its single Ford GAA engine weighed less than a third of the M10’s twin diesels. After the tests, an order for 500 vehicles was issued.
In June 1944, the designation changed to its final M36 form. Like all American tank destroyers in this era, the turrets were open-topped as a weight-saving measure, while this feature also allowed better observation. However, like other US tanks hunters, it was still vulnerable to shrapnel and snipers due to its open-top turret. Field modifications, like for the M10, were hastily performed by the crews, welding additional roof iron plating. Later, a kit was developed to protect against shrapnel, made of folding panels adopted by the M36B2, generalized after the war.
When entirely closed there was a gap above the turret allowing the crew to still have a good peripheral vision. The other drawback was the choice of its Sherman chassis with a high transmission tunnel provided a conspicuous target at ten feet tall.

The M36’s first saw combat in September 1944 in Europe, and immediately gained a good reputation for being one of the few models of Allied vehicles that could knock out heavy German tanks from a distance. The hydraulic electric turret of the M36 lead to a full 360 degrees rotation in 15 to 20 seconds. This is faster than the M10, whose turret traverse was unpowered and took 80 seconds to rotate 360 degrees.

Concluding, the M36 was tremendously capable of taking on the Panther and Tiger tanks of the Germans as the M36 could rotate the turret much faster than Panther and Tiger tanks and had a more powerful gun than its predecessor the M10. The M36 proved to be a formidable opponent for German tanks, largely on par with the British Firefly (also based on the Sherman chassis) and the British A34 Comet.

2.3 Armor
The 90-mm of the M36 could at 1.371,6 meters (1,500 yards) penetrate 5.6 inches of armor (see figure on the right). Meaning that a M36 could penetrate a Panther or Tiger frontally from 2.000 meters (2187,23 yards), when hitting the vulnerable areas.
In an engagement with a German Panther tank at 1.371,6 meters (1,500 yards), an M36 of the 776th Tank Destroyer Battalion was able to penetrate the turret armor which became the commonplace preferred target, along with the sides, rather than the glacis.
Tigers were harder to handle and needed to be engaged at smaller ranges. Mediums were relatively easier prey until the end of the war. The King Tiger was a slight problem, but it could still be destroyed with the proper range, angle, and ammo.

As an example, near Freihaldenhoven in December 1944, an M36 from the 702nd TD Battalion knocked out a King Tiger at 914,4 meters (1,000 yards) by a side shot in the turret. Panthers were generally knocked out at 1.371,6 meters (1,500 yards). However, generally M36’s had to get closer to guarantee a one shot kill.
Alfred Rose of the 814th Tank Destroyer Battalion used an M36 Jackson’s 90-mm main gun to direct-fire engage and destroy a German Mk V Panther tank at a range of 4.206,25 meters (4,600 yards) away. That’s only 456,2meters (500 yards) short of the longest tank shot recorded, performed by a Challenger 1 in 1991 which engaged and destroyed an Iraqi tank at 4.663,45 meters (5,100) yards. The After-Action Reports for the month of December of the 814th Tank Destroyer Battalion, reporting the action of one Lt. Rose can be found on the next page.

2.4 Production
The initial contract was for 300 vehicles; General Motors’ Fisher Tank Arsenal produced the last 300 M10A1 tank destroyers in January 1944 without turrets for immediate conversion to M36s. This conversion lasted from November 1943 until July 1944. The contract was later increased to 500 vehicles, as it was decided that existing M10A1s were also to be converted to M36s. The requirement was later increased to 600 vehicles on May 15, 1944. The M36 was so effective, and demand was so high that the Americans ran out of M10A1 hulls, deciding to finish up the initial production run by mounting M36 turrets onto M4A3 Sherman hulls with the necessary internal changes. This led to its increased armor and an extra hull-mounted machine gun. The M36B1 variant, with the extra frontal armor, would help slightly when the M36 got more of a support role and the addition of the top armor sheets in 1945 onwards. In total, 187 M36B1’s got produced from October to December 1944.

From June to December 1944, Massey-Harris converted 500 M10A1s into M36s. From October to December 1944, American Locomotive Company converted 413 M10A1s into M36s. The Army reduced the 1,400-vehicle objective for 1944 to 1,342 vehicles. 350 more conversions were scheduled for 1945; this number was increased to 584. A final batch of 200 M10A1’s was converted by the Montreal Locomotive Works in May 1945.
The supply of M10A1s eventually ran out, so it was decided in January 1945 that M10 hulls would be used for all further conversions.
American Locomotive Company converted 672 M10 hulls into the 90 mm Gun Motor Carriage M36B2 beginning in May 1945.

A further batch of 52 M36B2s was completed by the Montreal Locomotive Works in May 1945. The latter, in addition to their roof-mounted add-on armor folding panels, also had an upgraded M3 main gun with a muzzle brake. With 190 post-war produced M36, the total produced M36 accumulates 1,413.

2.5 Tank Destroyer Battalion
The Tank Destroyer force was created as a mobile general headquarters antitank reserve in 1941. The original concept called for battalions to be concentrated in tank destroyer brigades and groups for employment en masse against an armored threat. In practice, the realities of combat and the erosion of the German Panzer force meant that the tank destroyers were usually attached individually to divisions. By the end of 1943, 106 battalions were in existence.
The tank destroyer battalions were all organized with three companies, each company was equipped with twelve tanks, for a total of 36 in the battalion. The early Battalions also had an anti-aircraft and an engineer platoon which were later discarded. A strong reconnaissance element was retained, equivalent to a mechanized cavalry troop.

704th Tank Destroyer Battalion
The 704th Tank Destroyer Battalion was one of the first M18 battalions to see service and it entered combat with the 4th Armored Division during Operation Cobra in July 1944. It remained with the 4th Armored Division, except for some brief attachments to the 87th Division in mid-December 1944 and the 94th Division in January-March 1945. It received a handful of M36s shortly before the end of the war. Creating the final push for the Allied to win!

2.6 Post-War
After World War II, the M36 was extensively used in the Korean war. Next to this M36s were supplied to various countries. So was it used by the French army during the First Indochina War (later Vietnam).

The Pakistani Army received fifty M36s as military aid in the 1950s, and these served in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. In a surprise attack on 1 September 1965, in the Chamb−Jourian−Akhnoor sector of Jammu & Kashmir, a Pakistani armored force of two regiments, reportedly made up respectively of M36B2 tank destroyers and M47/M48 Patton medium tanks, attacked an Indian force comprising one infantry brigade and one squadron of 12 French-made AMX-13 tanks.

The attack was strongly resisted and during a first phase, India claimed the destruction of six Pakistani tanks (reportedly all Pattons). In a second attack, launched at 1,100 hours and contested by Indian forces reportedly claimed a further seven Pakistani tanks. While the Pakistani attackers suffered high losses, they succeeded in destroying or capturing all of the Indian tanks.

Another recipient was Yugoslavia, which received 399 M36s. The engine was later replaced with the 500 hp Soviet-made diesel engine used in T-55 main battle tanks (See also § 2.7). Yugoslavian M36s participated in the Slovenian War of Independence (1991) and Croatian War of Independence (1991–1995), but they were withdrawn immediately from service with the Croatian Armed Forces after the war. M36s were also used by Serbian forces in Bosnia and Croatia, and they were used during the Kosovo War as decoys for NATO air strikes.

The Republic of China Army acquired eight ex-French examples in 1955, having them stationed in Kinmen island group and saw combat during the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1958. They were deemed more maneuverable than the bigger M48A3 and later CM11/12 MBTs, while being more powerful than M24 and M41 light tanks. As of April 2001, at least two still remained in service with troops in Lieyu Township.
It also saw use in the Korean War, where it was able to defeat any of the Soviet tanks used in that conflict. Some were supplied to South Korea as part of the Military Assistance Program and served for years, as did re-engined examples found in Yugoslavia.
2.7 Restoration
After World War ll, tanks and other military surplus were sold or donated to different countries to build up their armies. The same was the case for this M36 Jackson which went to Yugoslavia. By the seventies, due to significant wear out in some vehicles, the original Ford engine was replaced with the 500 hp Soviet-made diesel engine taken from the T-55 tank, as they could not get sufficient spare parts from the Americans. Because of the larger dimensions of the new diesel engine, it was necessary to redesign and reconstruct the rear engine compartment. Not only the dimensions of the diesel engine were different but also the use of it. The M36 with the Ford GAA engine was factory fitted with one clutch between engine and gearbox. The T-55 worked differently as it was equipped with one clutch between engine and gearbox, but also with two clutches in the final drives. You had to use those two clutches to get the tank moving, to make a 360° turn with one of the two disengaged, and to drift the tank for a slow course change. They were weighted and designed to move the mass of the tank.

With the Russians, the engine-mounted clutch, the conventional system we are familiar with, was rather delicate and not suitable for moving everything. It was to be used only to change gears once moving. Because the final drives of the M36 do not have this system, M36’s with a T-55 engine are difficult to dose. As the clutch of the T-55 engine is forced because it is not designed to move the mass of the M36.

After the Yugoslavian war (1991–2001) the M36 Jackson got shipped to England where the previous owner got rid of the diesel engine. A Cummins engine got installed which was connected to the original transmission. On the picture at the right, you can see the M36 Tiger Tamer before its restauration by Gavin Copeman initiated by the current owner.
This M36 still had the original radiators. However, the Cummins was not provided to drive the cooling fans. In fact, the Ford GAA was equipped with 2 take-offs driving two 90° gearboxes with small drive shafts. Those 90° gearboxes in turn drive the cooling fans. So, the more RPM engine, the more RPM cooling fans. This is the original system devised by Ford engineers in World War ll. One often sees tanks without the original engine have cooling issues. Therefore, the radiator of the M36 is completely revamped by adding two new gear box branching at the back of the engine.

In addition, the M36 Jackson played an important role in the Allied victory and having one in its original state is very rare. Therefore, the current owner decided to restore the M36 previously known as the “Tiger Tamer” in its original glory as if it came out of the factory. It received the name the “Big Chief” after a restauration process of three years. Everything that was not original was removed or changed for the original part. Including, changing the Cummins engine to the beloved Ford GAA.

Since the M36 Jackson has been fully restored, it has been used two times during the events Wing & Wheels and Oldtimer Tank Event Oeselgem. Meaning that the new owner of this Class A restored M36 Jackson has the privilege to break-in the engine.

Location: & Collection

Current location of this object is Turnhout, Belgium.
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Model 90 mm Gun Motor Carriage M36
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company (FMCO)USA
Production figures In total 2,324 M36 GMC’s have been produced in the period April 1944 until May 1945. This is including 190 post war vehicles
Color Olive drap
Weight 63,000 lb. (28.576 kg)
Crew 5 (Commander, gunner, loader, driver, assistant driver)

Ford GAA; V8, 4 cycle, 60°  1,100 cu in (18 L) gasoline;

– Gross: 500 hp @ 2,600 rpm.

– 1,000 ft-lb (1.355 Nm) @ 2,200 rpm

Transmission Synchromesh, 5 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Controlled differential; steering levers

Vertical Volute Spring Suspension (VVSS):

·     Roadwheels: 3 bogies/track; 2 wheels/bogie,

·     Track return rollers: 3 single/track


·     T47E1; Steel, cast, rubber-backed parallel grouser

Drive Sprockets:

·     13-tooth front drive


·      Single adjustable at rear of track

Shock Absorbers:


Max. speed 26 mph (42 km/h) on road

Length (Hull):           19 ft 7 in (5.97 m)

Length (incl. gun):   24 ft 6 in (7.47 m)

Width :                      10 ft 0 in (3.05 m)

Height :                    10 ft 9 in (3.28 m)

Electrical installation 24 Volt

Primary:          90 mm gun M3A2

Id’s:   GUN, 90mm M3A2. NO. 7037
Remark: deactivated GB proof house certificate

No. 35573 (1-04-2004)

No sliding block!

Secondary:     .50 caliber (12.7 mm) Browning M2HB machine


                        1 Rifle .30 No. (replica)

Armor 0.375 to 5 in (9.5 to 127.0 mm)
Permit(s) Export permit required

Technical Manuals:

TM 9-758 90-mm Gun Motor Carriage T71 (M36 GMC)

TM 9-374 90MM Gun M3 Mounted in Combat Vehicles

Date of Delivery Build by Ford Motor Company (FMCO) as an M10A1 in May 1943Converted to a M36 in November 1944 American Locomotive Company (ALCO).
Serial Nr. 1180 (on left rear towing hook), also stamped at VIN plate location
Original M10 US registration USA 4047046
Original M36 US registration USA 40191479
Current Markings USA 40177412; 4th Armored Division;
704 Tank Destroyer Battalion ‘BIG CHIEF’
UK road registration OSU 569

Gavin Copeman

Director of Tey vehicle restorations and Jeeparts-UK.

Gavin is one of the Directors at Tey vehicle restorations and Jeeparts-UK. Tey Restorations is a family run business that specialize in mechanical or cosmetic repairs for military vehicles. Gavin first got into WW2 military vehicles when he was a young boy, because of his dad who had a Willys Jeep, and they took it to shows. Gavins favorite memory was going to Normandy with his dad and the Jeep and remembering all the boys , girls and animals that took part in WW1 and WW2 . When Gavin was 17 years old he brought a GMC and restored it and took it to shows . Gavin goes to most of the shows with Jeeparts-UK , he loves meeting the customers and hearing about their vehicles and loves keeping the history alive.

This M36 was restored by Tey Restorations Class A for its current owner. The restoration between 2016 and 2018  took, due to the fact that basically the vehicle was very complete, over 2,500 hours to complete. This vehicle is in excellent condition and fully restored, currently the best available on the market!

Experts estimated value:  between  € 575.000,- and € 625.000,- (December 2022)