When America entered the war in late 1941 they and the British immediately got together to consider tank designs. The Americans learned from the British tank combat experience, while the British examined American tank designs to see how they fit their requirements. In September 1941 the British had expressed interest in a heavier tank after their experiences in the desert and teething problems with their new Churchill tank.
At the same time the US Ordnance Department had been advocating the adoption of heavier tanks for the US Army. The T14 assault tank was seen as the solution for both these needs.
The US Ordnance Department started design work on a tank that shared many features with the M6 heavy tank and incorporated the British requirements. With design work on the new M4 Sherman medium tank nearing completion, the design shared many features of this tank.
The new tank had the transmission of the M4 Sherman and the standard Ford GAZ tank engine. However, due to its weight, the drive was geared down so its top speed was slower than the M4. The main armament was identical to that of the Sherman and tracks and suspension were those of the M6 heavy tank.
In March 1942 a new British Tank Mission signed an agreement for 8,500 T14 tanks, pending further design work. The first two prototype T14 assault tanks were completed in 1943.
Hypothetical Combat Service
During the fighting in Sicily in July 1943 a British infantry tank battalion fielded the new T14 assault tank. Its thick armor proved vital in heavy fighting against German Tiger and Panzer IV tanks and StuG assault guns.
Impressed with the T14 assault tank’s staying power in Sicily, American ground commanders had the next shipment intended to form another British tank battalion diverted to the US independent tank battalions fighting in Italy.
Designed as a British-style infantry support tank, the T14 assault tank is well armored, adequately armed, and slow. This makes it ideal for its planned role of advancing ahead of infantry attacks to knock out machine-guns and pin down the enemy.
In Flames Of War
The T14 assault tank is as well armored as a Tiger tank and mounts the reliable and effective M3 75mm gun of the M4 Sherman tank.