The Biggest Tanks in the History of the US Military
Besides its firepower, the sheer size of a tank has made it the most intimidating weapon on the battlefield for more than 100 years. Few motion pictures have captured the terror in the eyes of soldiers when the cacophonous French St. Chamond tanks emerge from the smoke and swirling chaos in no-man’s land, clanking slowly toward the German lines in the Oscar-winning film “All Quiet on the Western Front.”
To determine the biggest tanks in U.S. military history, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed tanks used by the U.S. military as well as their attributes from Military Factory, an online database of military vehicles, aircraft, arms, and more. Tanks are ranked according to their total volume. Data on each tank’s type, crew size, wars served, weight, and number produced came from Military Factory.
Nine of the 10 biggest U.S. tanks were also among the heaviest in the U.S. arsenal. The largest tank based on total volume ever built and used by the U.S. military was constructed the year after the end of the First World War. It also boasted the largest crew size, 11. (This is every tank in the history of the U.S. military.)
Six of the most-produced tanks, and among the biggest in U.S. history, rumbled off the assembly lines of President Franklin Roosevelt’s “arsenal of democracy” during World War II. The largest mass-produced tank, though not the biggest, was the M4 Sherman, of which 50,000 were built. Besides World War II, the workhorse Sherman also saw action during the Korean War.
The heaviest tank in the U.S. arsenal remains the M1 Abrams. America’s main battle tank, weighing in at more than 139,000 pounds, has seen action in the Gulf War, Afghanistan War, and the Iraq War. The battle wagon is scheduled to buttress the Ukrainian army in its fight to throw back Russian invaders. More than 10,000 M1s have been built since the tank first entered service in 1980. (See how Ukraine’s newly bolstered tank army compares to Russia’s.)
Click here to see the biggest tanks in the history of the US military.
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