The American Automobile Industry in World War Two
An American Auto Industry Heritage Tribute
By David D Jackson

Overview      The U.S. Auto Industry at the Normandy Invasion, June 6, 1944    The U.S. Auto Industry and the B-29 Bomber   U.S. Auto Industry Army-Navy "E" Award Winners   The Complete listing of All Army-Navy "E" Award Winners   Sherman Tanks of the American Auto Industry   Tank Destroyers of the American Auto Industry    M26 Pershing Tanks of the American Auto Industry   Serial Numbers for WWII Tanks built by the American Auto Industry

    Automobile Manufacturers:  American Bantam Car Company   Checker   Chrysler   Crosley   Ford   General Motors   Graham-Paige   Hudson
   Nash-Kelvinator   Packard      Studebaker    Willys-Overland

General Motors Divisions
(Undergoing development) Aeroproducts   Brown-Lipe-Chapin   Buick   Cadillac   Chevrolet   Cleveland Diesel   Delco Appliance   Delco Products   Delco Radio   Delco-Remy   Detroit Diesel   Detroit Transmission   Electro-Motive   Fisher Body   Frigidaire   GM Proving Grounds   GM of Canada   GMC   GMI   Guide Lamp   Harrison Radiator   Hyatt Bearings   Inland   Moraine Products   New Departure   Oldsmobile   Packard Electric   Pontiac   Saginaw Malleable Iron   Saginaw Steering Gear   Southern California Division   Rochester Products   United Motors Service

Truck and Implement Manufacturers:   American LaFrance   Autocar  Diamond T   Caterpillar   Clark Equipment Company   Cleveland Tractor Company   Federal Motor Truck   International Harvester    Mack Truck
   Marmon-Herrington Company   Massey-Harris   Pacific Car and Foundry  Reo Motor Car Company   R.G. LeTourneau   Seagrave Fire Apparatus   Ward LaFrance Truck Corporation   White Motor Company

Automotive Tire
   B.F. Goodrich    Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
 Updates and Additions  


   Chrysler Main Page  Dodge Trucks in World War Two   Dodge Trucks in Service with the Polish Army   Chrysler built M4 Sherman Photos   Chrysler built M4A3 Sherman Photos   Chrysler built M4A4 Sherman Photos  Chrysler built M3 Lee/Grant Tank Photos  Chrysler Post WWII M60 Patton Tank Photos   Chrysler Post WWII M103 Heavy Tank Photos

Detroit Tank Arsenal Photos
Operated by Chrysler, US Tank Command, and General Dynamics
Warren, MI

This page updated 11-30-2017.

The former Detroit Tank Arsenal, actually located in Warren, MI is most famous for its production the 22,234 tanks Chrysler produced there from 1941 to 1945.  After WWII, as can be seen in the table below, it produced more tanks, not all of them by Chrysler.  Also, Chrysler's portion of M48 tanks were built at its Newark, DE plant.  Today, as the photos show below, the former tank arsenal has been modernized, with all of the former windows covered with sheet metal.  It is now the home of several commercial operations. 

Total Tank Production at the Detroit Arsenal, Warren, MI

Type Numbers Produced Years Operator Comments
M3 Lee/Grant 3,352 1941-1942 Chrysler  
M4 Sherman 17,947 1942-1945 Chrysler  
T23 250 1943-1944 Chrysler These were ever used operationally. A Ford GAN engine drove an electric generator that powered two electric drive motors.
M26 Pershing 473 1945 Chrysler This had a 90mm main gun.
M45 105mm GMC 185 1945 Chrysler This was the howitzer version of the M26.
M47 Patton 3,443 1952-1954 Tank Command/Chrysler After WWII the government took back control of the Government Owned Detroit Tank Arsenal.  In May 1951 the Detroit Tank Arsenal began production of the M47.  In July 1952 Chrysler was asked to come in and manage the production of the M47.   Production of the of the 3,443 was out of a total of either 8576 or 8676.
M48 Patton No production at Detroit Arsenal 1952-1959   Chrysler's Newark, DE tank plant built~ 6,000 of 11,703 M48 tanks.
M60 Patton 15,000 1960-1978 Chrysler Initial production of 360 was started at Newark, DE, but production was moved back Detroit after a few units were made.
M1 Abrams Unknown - A portion of 5,000 1982-1996 General Dynamics Shared Production with Lima Tank Depot, Lima, OH.  Production of the M1 started at Lima by Chrysler in 1980.  General Dynamics then purchased the tank business in 1982.  Because Lima could not meet production schedule, General Dynamics also
Estimated Total ~43,000 1996   Ownership transferred to the city of Warren, MI

The Detroit Tank Arsenal Today

The Detroit Tank Arsenal in 1941-42

Chrysler built the M3 Lee/Grant from April 1941 to August 1942.  Note that the entire exterior is all glass, and that the M3 is coming out a little door in the side of the building.

This set of overalls from the Warren Tank Arsenal are on display at the the Michigan Military Technical and History Society Museum in Eastpointe, MI.   Author's photo added 2-21-2017.

The Tanks of the Detroit Arsenal 1941-1996

The Warren Tank Arsenal won the Army-Navy "E" Award four times in WWII.

A Chrysler built M3.  It is serial number 4444 and was built in July 1942.

A Chrysler built M4(105) composite.  This is the only M4 composite with a 105mm howitzer, as it was the prototype for the Chrysler built series of 105 Shermans.  It is serial number 44272 and was built in September 1943.

A Chrysler built M4A4.  It is serial number 21169 and was built in July 1943.  Photo Courtesy of David Jackson, Jr.

A Chrysler built M4A3E8(105).  It is serial number 65404 and was built in January 1945.

A Chrysler built M4A3E8(76).  The serial number and build date are unknown.

This M26 Pershing, serial number 2018, was by Chrysler built in July 1945. 

The M47 was built by several manufacturers.  M47s like this were built at the Warren Tank Arsenal, originally by the Tank Command, and then by Chrysler.

A Chrysler built M60.  The serial number and build date are unknown.

This M60 actually has the Chrysler nameplate on it.  This is rare.

The M1 and M1A1 were built at both the Warren Tank Arsenal and the Lima, OH Tank Depot.  It is unknown whether this M1A1 was built by General Dynamics at Warren.



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