The M36 Jackson is an upgrade from the Wolverine in every way; from thicker armor, a better 90mm gun, and quicker turret rotation speed, the Jackson was the last of the tank destroyer class of American armed forces in World War II. However, the same downsides shown by other tank destroyers of not being able to attack infantry effectively has been passed on which is why the Jackson must be supported by other tanks.
While it can match the firepower of heavy tanks, such as the Tiger and King Tiger, it does not have comparable armor and is thus easy to kill. Still, the M36 Jackson is a threat to advanced heavy tanks like the Pershing and Super Pershing. It can't match any German heavy tank, but a couple of these can. The Jackson must not be sent to hunt heavy tank destroyers, it may be destroyed from one shot due to its light armor. The Jackson deals more damage than the Flak 88.
With the advent of heavy German armor such as the Panther and Tiger, the standard U.S. tank destroyer, the 3in Gun Motor Carriage M10, was rapidly becoming obsolete, because its main armament, the 3 inch M7 gun, had difficulty engaging these new tanks past 500 meters. This was foreseen, however, and in September 1942 American engineers had begun designing a new tank destroyer armed with the M3 90 mm gun. This was several months before any Allied unit encountered a Tiger in combat, as the British First Army in Tunisia was the first western Allied unit to encounter the Tiger I in the leadup to the Battle of the Kasserine Pass at the start of 1943, and well over a year before any US unit encountered a Panther in combat.
The first M36 prototype was completed in March 1943, with a new turret mounting the 90 mm M3 gun on a standard M10 chassis. After testing, an order for 500 was issued. The prototype was designated T71 Gun Motor Carriage; upon standardization the designation was changed to 90 mm Gun Motor Carriage M36 in June 1944.
It was not until September 1944 that the vehicle first began to appear in the European Theater of Operations. About 1,400 M36s were produced during the war. The need for 90mm gunned tank destroyers was so urgent that, during around October to December 1944, 187 conversions of standard Medium Tank M4A3 hulls were produced by Grand Blanc Arsenal. These vehicles, designated M36B1, were rushed to the European Theater of Operations and used in combat alongside standard M36s. The M36 was well liked by its crews, being one of the few armored fighting vehicles available to US forces that could destroy heavy German tanks from a distance.
After World War II, the M36 was used in the Korean War. It could destroy any Soviet-made vehicle deployed in that theater of operations. One postwar modification was the addition of a ball-mounted machine gun on the co-driver's side, as in many other armored fighting vehicles of the time.
Pros & Cons
Large Caliber AP Shell