US M6 tank
US M6 tank
US M6 tank
US M6 tank

US M6 tank

(List of photos at bottom of page).

This is the world's last surviving M6 tank. This tank was the world's heaviest tank in 1941 though it was only armed with a 76mm gun as its primary armament. It was deemed too large to transport efficiently across the ocean and thus was never put into large scale production. The tank has been restored except the tires and tracks (see below). I had never seen the M6 until the last few years and then only in books. So it took some effort to track this one down. The M6 tank wasn't here when I last visited Aberdeen two years ago though I figured out from one of my reference books that there must be one there. I e-mailed ahead of time to find out where it was and was told that they had just finished restoring it.

I'm going off of the top of my head here, so don't quote me please. But here goes... My guess is that the M6 probably would have been available for 1942 attacks. But there were logistical issues with such a large vehicle. It was heavy, large and thus ill suited for sea transport and certainly ill suited for amphibious assaults. I suspect that from a mass production perspective, it was also ill suited. US doctrine seems to have been based on 1939-1940 Blitzkrieg more than 1942-1945 German slug-fest tactics. So having mobility was crucial. The M6 wouldn't have been anywhere near as mobile as the M4.

The M6 was put into production with 40 or so examples produced. But it was not accepted for use with service units. Also US tanks that didn't make it into service typically had mechanical issues. With the weight this vehicle had, it probably would have given the transmission and drive train a good work out. So the M6 was probably reliable by French, British or maybe even German standards, but not by US ones. And again, it was only equipped with a 76mm gun.




Aberdeen Proving Grounds. US M6 tank. 006



Aberdeen Proving Grounds. US M6 tank. 007



Aberdeen Proving Grounds. US M6 tank. Note how it dwarves the adjacent Sherman in width and appearance. 008



Aberdeen Proving Grounds. US M6 tank. 009



Aberdeen Proving Grounds. US M6 tank. 010



Aberdeen Proving Grounds. US M6 tank. 011



Aberdeen Proving Grounds. US M6 tank. 012



Aberdeen Proving Grounds. US M6 tank. 013



Aberdeen Proving Grounds. US M6 tank. 014



Aberdeen Proving Grounds. US M6 tank. 015



Aberdeen Proving Grounds. US M6 tank - rear deck. 057



Aberdeen Proving Grounds. US M6 tank - rear deck. 058



Aberdeen Proving Grounds. US M6 tank 059



Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Left over M6 tires. 193



Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Left over tires. Note "Goodyear" logo. 194



Aberdeen Proving Grounds. M6 treads. 231

Photos from US Army Ordnance Museum/Aberdeen Proving Grounds

Photos of Tanks at the US Army Ordnance Museum

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Please email me for high resolution photos for publication. US Army Ordnance Museum/Aberdeen Proving Grounds photo portfolio by Narayan Sengupta.

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