M48 Patton Medium Tank
The M48 Patton medium tank was utilized to good effect in the Vietnam War by the US Army and USMC, despite the foreign terrain.
Authored By Dan Alex; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The M48 Patton appeared in 1952 and was produced in over 11,000 examples during her tenure. She went on to form the backbone of the American armored forces in Vietnam, seeing extensive action in that conflict. War was never far for the M48 for she also contended with enemies in the Six Day War of 1967, the Indo-Pak Wars of 1965 and 1971 and the brutal Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s. Her reliability and adaptability made her a stalwart of Cold War actions throughout her years of service and she maintains a presence - albeit a limited one - in the ranks of today's modern and powerful armies. Years of modernization have ensured her place and her chassis has been developed into a myriad of useful modifications suitable for any conquering land army.
The Patton Line of Tanks
The M48 is part of the "Patton" family line of armor, named after the fabled American World War 2 General George S. Patton. The M26 took on the name of World War 1 hero General John J. Pershing whilst the M46 was the first to take on the series name of "Patton" (or more formally as the "General Patton"). While the M47 was dubbed the "Patton II" it was never officially designated as such. The M48 was also given the name of "Patton" as was the upcoming M60 main battle tank. The M46, M47 and M48 were all classified as "medium tanks" with the M48 becoming the last such type in service with American forces. The M60 Patton became the first American tank to take on the designation of "main battle tank".
The M46 was seen as an interim solution to counter the drawbacks of theWorld War 2-era M26 Pershing series, a tank initially classified as a heavy tank by later reclassified as a medium tank. The M26 saw limited service in the final months of World War 2 and had little impact on the closure. The M46 attempted to improve upon the M26's engine output (essentially a revised M4 Sherman type) and its terrain mobility. The M47 arose as the first American "all-new" post-World War 2 tank design and sported an all-new turret atop the proven chassis of the M46. Despite its rush to production by the end of 1951, the M47 missed out on the Korean War altogether, the conflict coming to a draw in 1953. Just as the M47 was revving up, the M48 was already being drawn up as an interim solution to the M47 itself, attempting to bridge the gap between the M47 and the upcoming M60 Patton. In fact, the M48 would serve alongside the M60 in due time.