How many US Army tanks were named for Civil War generals?

7thWisconsin

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Nov 21, 2014
I think Ft Hood should become Ft Audie Murphy, a Texas boy who certainly made good. I spent a lot of time at Ft Hunter Liggett. Now there's an all-American hero if there ever was one. Maybe he and Irvin McDowell are sitting in Fiddler's Green trying to win an eating contest!😂 My first tank was named Annie; does that count?
 

Carronade

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Pennsylvania
It's sort of interesting how naming themes like that develop. In the USN for example, the "Battleships Mean States" rule was not set, at first, and so you had the USS Kearsarge which was a BB but not a state (and the Maine which was a state but not a BB!)

When we started building up a large navy in the late 1800s state names were used for armored cruisers and one class of monitors, but by the early 1900s construction was outstripping the number of states, so ships started being renamed in order to reserve state names for battleships. The first to be renamed was the old ship-of-the-line New Hampshire, still in service as a receiving ship in 1904, followed by the Great Lakes patrol ship Michigan (1843). Their new names were Granite State and Wolverine, but then the practice became to rename a ship for a city within the state; for example the old battleship Texas became San Jacinto.

Armored cruiser new York commemorated the state, and I suppose they could have "renamed" her for the city :wink: but she became Saratoga - and then Rochester when Saratoga was wanted for a new ship.

The name shortage also meant that some of our most powerful battleships of the era were named for the newest states, like Arizona and New Mexico.
 

Carronade

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Location
Pennsylvania
I wonder how many soldiers who have been based at these forts know of whom they are named for and if they really care ? Ever wonder why these forts were based in the South ? May be change one to honor a Union general; Ft. Hood to Ft. McClellan. As for tanks ,there has not be one named for a woman. In today's Army of equality there has to be one.

How many women would want a tank named after them?? :wink:
 
While I think he deserves it, there has already been a Fort McClellan (closed at the end of the 20th century). There's also been a Fort Porter but that one was much less recent, so that could work.
My sister went through basic training at Fort McClellan in the early 1970's. That was the center for WAC training.
 

James N.

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When we started building up a large navy in the late 1800s state names were used for armored cruisers and one class of monitors, but by the early 1900s construction was outstripping the number of states, so ships started being renamed in order to reserve state names for battleships. The first to be renamed was the old ship-of-the-line New Hampshire, still in service as a receiving ship in 1904, followed by the Great Lakes patrol ship Michigan (1843). Their new names were Granite State and Wolverine, but then the practice became to rename a ship for a city within the state; for example the old battleship Texas became San Jacinto.

Armored cruiser new York commemorated the state, and I suppose they could have "renamed" her for the city :wink: but she became Saratoga - and then Rochester when Saratoga was wanted for a new ship.

The name shortage also meant that some of our most powerful battleships of the era were named for the newest states, like Arizona and New Mexico.
While I have no problem with your basic idea, I believe the names you refer to were more likely to honor famous battles and NOT merely towns or cities. For example, San Jacinto was the battle that famously secured Texas' independence; there is NO town nearby with the name. Of course Saratoga IS a town in Upstate N.Y., but famous for its racetrack and not the battle for which it's named which is actually several miles away. (The former Revolutionary-era community there was renamed Schuylerville postwar for its most famous sometime-resident, Philip Schuyler.) I know there were other ships of the WWI-WWII era named for important battles like Gettysburg and Yorktown.
 

Carronade

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While I have no problem with your basic idea, I believe the names you refer to were more likely to honor famous battles and NOT merely towns or cities. For example, San Jacinto was the battle that famously secured Texas' independence; there is NO town nearby with the name. Of course Saratoga IS a town in Upstate N.Y., but famous for its racetrack and not the battle for which it's named which is actually several miles away. (The former Revolutionary-era community there was renamed Schuylerville postwar for its most famous sometime-resident, Philip Schuyler.) I know there were other ships of the WWI-WWII era named for important battles like Gettysburg and Yorktown.

Good observation, and thanks for the correction about San Jacinto. We might consider the "Big Ten" armored cruisers, though I suppose it could be noted that there were a couple of battles of Memphis:

Pennsylvania- Pittsburgh
West Virginia - Huntington
California - San Diego
Colorado - Pueblo
Maryland - Frederick
South Dakota - Huron
Tennessee - Memphis
Washington - Seattle
North Carolina - Charlotte
Montana - Missoula

We'll recognize most of these names from WWII and the WWI era. Montana was going to be one of the South Dakota class battleships cancelled by the Washington Naval Treaty - as was Washington! Then there was going to be a Montana class in the 1940s, also cancelled, making Montana the only battleship name assigned and cancelled twice and the only one of the 48 states never to have an active battleship named for it.

Thanks in part to the Japanese, there were two Yorktowns in WWII.
 
It would have been the first vehicle named for an enlisted man. I was part of the test and development unit that determined the SGT York DIVAD (Division Air Defense) gun couldn´t move shoot or communicate! I shot 3 of them down in operational tests. I was a 2LT tank platoon leader at the time.
This comment about the York appeared on April 16th on Quora by member Daniel Tiede:

"Perhaps one of the Pentagon’s most memorable failed programs ever was the Sergeant York tracked Anti-Aircraft vehicle, also known as DIVAD (Divisional Anti-Aircraft Defense) system during the 1970s and 80s.

"Using 'state-of-the-art' technology, it was basically a radar-aimed, computer-controlled twin-barreled 40mm automatic cannon mounted on an M48 tank chassis. It was designed to seek, recognize, and destroy Soviet helicopters, which were considered a major threat to US armored vehicles. There were, to say the least, many issues regarding the radar’s ability to recognize and track targets using what is now regarded as very primitive AI. In 1984, after many years of development and the expenditure of vast sums of taxpayer dollars, and no operational vehicles to show for it, the program contractors were facing cancellation.

"In response, someone at Ford (the primary contractor) suggested that a live demonstration of the capabilities of their prototype would be in order. Pentagon and Congressional dignitaries were duly flown to the testing ground at Fort Bliss, Texas. The demonstration was to be a shoot-down of large a helicopter drone by the new vehicle.

"When the drone appeared above the horizon, the Sgt. York vehicle was activated, and immediately mistook the grandstand full of dignitaries for the target, and swung its cannon towards them. Chaos ensued as the audience scattered for cover. The horrified operators hurriedly shut down the demonstration. Luckily there were few injuries and no one was killed.

"The Sgt. York program was cancelled by Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger the following year."
 

7thWisconsin

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
This comment about the York appeared on April 16th on Quora by member Daniel Tiede:

"Perhaps one of the Pentagon’s most memorable failed programs ever was the Sergeant York tracked Anti-Aircraft vehicle, also known as DIVAD (Divisional Anti-Aircraft Defense) system during the 1970s and 80s.

"Using 'state-of-the-art' technology, it was basically a radar-aimed, computer-controlled twin-barreled 40mm automatic cannon mounted on an M48 tank chassis. It was designed to seek, recognize, and destroy Soviet helicopters, which were considered a major threat to US armored vehicles. There were, to say the least, many issues regarding the radar’s ability to recognize and track targets using what is now regarded as very primitive AI. In 1984, after many years of development and the expenditure of vast sums of taxpayer dollars, and no operational vehicles to show for it, the program contractors were facing cancellation.

"In response, someone at Ford (the primary contractor) suggested that a live demonstration of the capabilities of their prototype would be in order. Pentagon and Congressional dignitaries were duly flown to the testing ground at Fort Bliss, Texas. The demonstration was to be a shoot-down of large a helicopter drone by the new vehicle.

"When the drone appeared above the horizon, the Sgt. York vehicle was activated, and immediately mistook the grandstand full of dignitaries for the target, and swung its cannon towards them. Chaos ensued as the audience scattered for cover. The horrified operators hurriedly shut down the demonstration. Luckily there were few injuries and no one was killed.

"The Sgt. York program was cancelled by Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger the following year."
Yep. Absolutely. There were also extensive tactical and doctrinal tests in addition to the live fire and survivability tests. The tactical trials were at Ft Hunter Liggett Ca. in the spring and summer of 1985. I think they were really the last ditch effort by the designers to prove that the concept had viability, and they should continue to be funded. The project was axed not long after the tactical trials and the results were presented to DoD.
 

Carronade

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Location
Pennsylvania
We'll recognize most of these names from WWII and the WWI era. Montana was going to be one of the South Dakota class battleships cancelled by the Washington Naval Treaty - as was Washington! Then there was going to be a Montana class in the 1940s, also cancelled, making Montana the only battleship name assigned and cancelled twice and the only one of the 48 states never to have an active battleship named for it.

I happened to look back at this and realized that I worded it poorly, giving the impression that the cancelled battleship Washington would have been one of the South Dakota class. In fact she would have been the fourth ship of the preceding Colorado class. She was complete enough to be towed out to sea and used as a target for shells, bombs, and torpedos, providing valuable information for future designs. I do enjoy the irony of Washington being cancelled by the Washington treaty :wink:
 

Carronade

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If I may be allowed a hopefully amusing digression, prior to the Washington treaty, the British were planning to build a very innovative class of ~48,000-ton battle cruisers with their main battery - nine 16" guns - concentrated forward, heavy armor, and 30-knot speed. They might or might not have been able to afford them, but anyway the treaty forced their cancellation. The Royal Navy was allowed to build two battleships conforming to the new 35,000-ton limit, the Nelson class, with comparable armament and armor but 200' shorter and speed 23 knots. They were nicknamed the "Cherry tree" ships since they had been "cut down by Washington".
 
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