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Aside from the two battalions in Korea, I don't believe any Regular Army units were ever equipped with M48A5s.

 

Here is what I have dig out.140 M48A5 were delivered to Regular Army,more precisely to 2nd Infantry Division in Korea,in order to replace their worn-out M60A1. (Hunnicutt, R. P. Patton: A History of the American Main Battle Tank).I was also told by ex-tanker in that unit they were replaced with M60A3 in summer of 1984,for which however I don't have a written source or unit history,but I think it is good enough.

 

Also,given that total 2069 M48A5s were obtained by upgrading M48A1 from 1975 to 1979,and when we add earlier A3 conversions,I can assume that A1s were all depleted by then.

 

I am not sure for fate of A2 variant,but I am guessing for series of factors (introduction of M60,M48A3 etc) that they were relegated to storage around 1968.Betwene1957-1963 (SIPRI) 1486 M-48A1s and M-48A2s (mostly A2) was given to West Germany,so good part of 2328 produced units ended there.

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I question the reference above that mentioned the M48A1 being withdrawn from Viet Nam circa 1968. To my nowledge the M48A1 "mo gassers" were never deployed to Southeast Asia. The M48A3 was the standard combat tank for the US Army and the USMC. Limited numbers of M48A2s went to Viet Nam in the ;late 1960s, but no A1s.

 

In the fate of the M48A2 - at least some were used in the M48A5 program. Trivial detail, the M48A1 had five track return rollers and the M48A2/A2C has three. This arrangement didn't change with rebuilding, so M48A3s had five return roller because they were rebuilt from M48A1s. A few M48A5s show up in photos with three return rollers, they were rebuilt A2s. At least this seems to hold true for US rebuilds, I don't know if the Israelis changed the return roller arrangement or not.

 

When speaking of the various reserve components one must keep in mind that different units had different prioities. Circa 1968 the DoD started the "Selected Reserve Force" or SRF. This later evolved into the "Roundout" concept. The idea was that there were several active Army divisions that normally had only two brigades plus the divisional HQ and support. In time of war these were to be "rounded out" with certain National Guard armored or mechanized brigades. The Roundout brigades trained with their parent divisions during their annual field training. These units had a higher priority for newer equipment. I can remember seeing the changes in the Nebraska National Guard's 67th Infantry Brigade (Mech) when it became an SRF unit, M59 APCs gave way to M113s, the WW2 small arms were replaced by M16s, etc, etc. Back in the 1970s I would visit a National Guard equipment site to take photos for my tank modeling. From the late 70s into the early 1980s Troop E of the 167th Cav went through having M48A3s, then M60s, then M48A5s, and they later received some "hand me down" M1s. The 1/195 Armor had M60A3s at the time of its deactivation. I'm sure that other units had similar equipment changes and rotations. Lower priority reserve units might keep older equipment longer. I know that the Texas ArNG 49th Armored Division operated M48A1s into the 1970s.

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Starry mentions that M48A1s were issued to some units in Vietnam after the 1968 Tet offensive led to a shortage of M48A3s.

 

I don't belive that either the M48A1 or M48A2C lasted very long in Vietnam though, so 1968 may still be reasonable for the M48A1s.

 

Oddly enough I've seen scattered (internet only) references to 300 M48A1 provided to south vietnam in 1974 which seems quite odd, but if true would imply stocks maintained somewhere.

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Oddly enough I've seen scattered (internet only) references to 300 M48A1 provided to south vietnam in 1974 which seems quite odd, but if true would imply stocks maintained somewhere.

 

Perhaps they were actually M47s? :P

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Were M48A5s used to replace M60s given to Israel during the Yom Kippur War? ISTR reading something about that a long time ago.

Nope, M48A5s weren't being built until 1974ish, far too late for that dust up.

 

Edit, I think I misread your statement. Did you mean to replace the POMCUS stocks sent to Israel?

Edited by DKTanker
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Were M48A5s used to replace M60s given to Israel during the Yom Kippur War? ISTR reading something about that a long time ago.

Nope, M48A5s weren't being built until 1974ish, far too late for that dust up.

 

Edit, I think I misread your statement. Did you mean to replace the POMCUS stocks sent to Israel?

I'm reaching back to the mid-'70s, but it was my understanding that the M48A5s were procured to alleviate a US tank shortage due to the Yom Kippur War. Could M60s have been drawn from NON-USAEUR units to build the POMCUS stocks back up, necessitating the M48A5 procurement?

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Were M48A5s used to replace M60s given to Israel during the Yom Kippur War? ISTR reading something about that a long time ago.

Nope, M48A5s weren't being built until 1974ish, far too late for that dust up.

 

Edit, I think I misread your statement. Did you mean to replace the POMCUS stocks sent to Israel?

I'm reaching back to the mid-'70s, but it was my understanding that the M48A5s were procured to alleviate a US tank shortage due to the Yom Kippur War. Could M60s have been drawn from NON-USAEUR units to build the POMCUS stocks back up, necessitating the M48A5 procurement?

 

2nd Division in Korea gave their M60A1 for M48A5,which were overhauled and sent to Europe.So technically,yes.

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2nd Division in Korea gave their M60A1 for M48A5,which were overhauled and sent to Europe.So technically,yes.

That's like saying money is fungable. The M60A1s of 2ID were crapped out and were replaced by M48A5s, that those same tanks were rebuilt and happened to be sent to Europe for POMCUS is pure coincidence*. They could as easily been rebuilt to M60A1 RISE and issued to the active components which were just then being issued RISE tanks. Or they could have been in the rebuild line for conversion to M60A3. A lot of rebuilding occured at the Mainz Depot facility in FRG. It is quite possible they were sent directly to Mainz for rebuild and reissue.

 

*Just out of curiousity, do you in fact have a serial # trail that states as much?

Edited by DKTanker
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Were M48A5s used to replace M60s given to Israel during the Yom Kippur War? ISTR reading something about that a long time ago.
Indirectly.... During the 1973 "Yom Kippur War" the US airlifted M60s and M60A1s to Israel to replace their heavy losses in first-line tanks. The 1973 conflict frew attention to the high losses that were likely in modern high intensity conflict. The US Army looked at losses due to ATGMs and conventional tank combat, RPGs, etc. and concluded that their tank inventory was too low, especially after several hundred tanks had been drwn off for Israel. This led to a desire to increase tank production however US foundry capacity had fallen to where the production bottleneck would be the armor castings. That led to the decision to rebuild a large number of M48 types to current standards, 105mm guns, AVDS1790 multi-fuel engines, etc. The first batch of M48A5s retained to commander's MG cupola, so even with the vision riser applied to the M48A3, but most were completed with an Israeli-style commander's low-profile cupola with external mounts for two 7.62mm machine guns. Later M48A5s has add-on stabilization making them better gun platforms than the basic model M60A1s. M48A5s were converted at Anniston Army Depot, I'm not sure off hand whether BMY or Red River also were involved in the program. The original intent was that the M48A5 would equip reserve component forces. This allowed replacement of the older M48A1, A2 and A3 versions still in service with a 105mm gunned tank. M60A1 production was accelerated, changing therefater to the M60A3. Older M60A1s were rebuilt to M60A3s as that model became standard. After adoption of the M1, the M60A3s were passed down to the reserve forces allowing replacement of the M48A5s. So the M48A5 was "stop gap" tank. Some crewmen seemed to like them. You might look at the US modifications and say that the US Army adaopted an Israeli tank. I know that some M48A5s went to Thailand, and I think some ended up in ROK hands. I don't know if many more were exported, but there aren't many left in US museums. A great many were steam cleaned and made "eco-friendly" then dumped off US coasts to foster growth of reefs. Edited by binder001
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Are there any information on when M60A3 exactly became a front line standard for Regular Army?

 

Arcweasel provided some very useful info,but I suppose those AOSs,RISE/Passives etc available in 1990 were rather part of reserves and ANG. From what DTanker wrote,I guess that by 1984 all units in Europe transitioned to A3?

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Are there any information on when M60A3 exactly became a front line standard for Regular Army?

 

Arcweasel provided some very useful info,but I suppose those AOSs,RISE/Passives etc available in 1990 were rather part of reserves and ANG. From what DTanker wrote,I guess that by 1984 all units in Europe transitioned to A3?

You could say it became a front line standard when it was first fielded in 1979, or 1980 if you mean the TTS. Keep in mind that as of September 1980 both the M60A3 and M1 were being fielded concurrently.

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Are there any information on when M60A3 exactly became a front line standard for Regular Army? Arcweasel provided some very useful info,but I suppose those AOSs,RISE/Passives etc available in 1990 were rather part of reserves and ANG. From what DTanker wrote,I guess that by 1984 all units in Europe transitioned to A3?
You could say it became a front line standard when it was first fielded in 1979, or 1980 if you mean the TTS. Keep in mind that as of September 1980 both the M60A3 and M1 were being fielded concurrently.

 

I'm sorry,I haven't expressed my point clearly enough. I am interested when US regular armor units ended their transition to M60A3,at least in Europe. I read that last M60A1 was completed in May 1980,in roughly same period when M1 and M60A3 were entering service.

My two cents are that M60A1s of all subtypes probably ended up in reserve and NG. I hardly believe it is possible to know when such transition,if occurred, exactly happened on continental US,but maybe more is available for Europe since there where fewer (and prioritized) units.

 

By units you have kindly listed,I assume it was finished by 1984?

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My two cents are that M60A1s of all subtypes probably ended up in reserve and NG. I hardly believe it is possible to know when such transition,if occurred, exactly happened on continental US,but maybe more is available for Europe since there where fewer (and prioritized) units.

 

By units you have kindly listed,I assume it was finished by 1984?

My 98 cents is that a lot of M60A1s, thousands, ended up being rebuilt to M60A3 standards, especially in Germany.

 

Transition, at least in Germany, should have been concluded by the end of 1984. Don't chisel that in stone, somebody from 8th ID needs to confirm that.

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My 98 cents is that a lot of M60A1s, thousands, ended up being rebuilt to M60A3 standards, especially in Germany.

 

Transition, at least in Germany, should have been concluded by the end of 1984. Don't chisel that in stone, somebody from 8th ID needs to confirm that.

 

Not really a best source,but army-guide support your claim.They say that of 5,400 M60A3 TTS tanks,1,686 were new production M60A3s,114 were M60A1 Passive tanks field-retrofitted to M60A3 TTS configuration, and well 3,600 were conversions carried out by the Mainz Army Depot in Germany and Anniston Army Depot in the USA.

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I have a question to anyone that served on M60A3(TTS), did TC had only a gunner primary sight extension so he could use TTS, or as one person talks with me, and claims that TC cupola had own thermal sight, in which I doubt, but clarification would be nice. :)

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I have a question to anyone that served on M60A3(TTS), did TC had only a gunner primary sight extension so he could use TTS, or as one person talks with me, and claims that TC cupola had own thermal sight, in which I doubt, but clarification would be nice. :)

The TC did have an extension from the Gunners Thermal Channel. The TC could also use the LRF with 6x /12x which was aligned with the gunners sights. There were also the cupola sights for the M85, a daylight channel and a Passive channel. There was no independent thermal sight in the cupola of the M60A3.

 

Remember this thread?

http://208.84.116.22...showtopic=34690

Edited by DKTanker
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  • 2 weeks later...

Damian, thanks! I've wondered about tank evac procedures and drills. What seems so simple and obvious 99.99% of the time can become extremely difficult in a real emergency--especially fire or smoke.

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