Hobby Master HG3608 Republic of Korea M24 Chaffee Light Tank - Army Training Center, Kwang-Ju, South Korea, 1953 (1:72 Scale)
"Old soldiers never die; they just fade away. And like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away — an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. Good-bye."
- General Douglas MacArthur, making a farewell address to Congress after being sacked by President Harry S. Truman
The M24 Chaffee - arguably the best light tank of World War II - was a fast, lightly armored vehicle with the ability to deliver relatively large caliber direct fire thanks to its excellent 75 mm M6 gun. More than 4,000 vehicles were produced by Cadillac and Massey-Harris from 1943-45. The first vehicles reached Europe in late 1944, where they proved very effective and highly reliable. At the outset of the Korean War, however, American forces equipped with the M24 Chaffees performed poorly against the enemy's T-34/85s, and these US units were soon augmented with M26 Pershings and M46 Pattons, along with M4A3E8 Shermans armed with the long 76mm gun. The Chaffee remained in American service until 1953, at which time it was eventually replaced by the M41 Bulldog.
After 1945, the M24 Chaffee was used by many American allies. The French army used them in Indo-China, including at the battle of Dien Bien Phu. Though obsolete by the mid-1960's, it remains in service in some client nations.
This particular 1:72 scale replica of a M24 Chaffee light tank served with the Republic of Korea Army and was operated at their Army Training Center, located at Kwang-Ju, South Korea, during 1953. Special Order!
Length: 4 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Release Date: March 2010
Historical Account: "Infantry Support" - Initially, North Korean armor dominated the battlefield with Soviet T-34-85 medium tanks designed in the Second World War. The KPA’s tanks confronted a tank-less ROK Army armed with few modern anti-tank weapons, including World War II-model 2.36-inch (60 mm) M9 bazookas, effective only against the 45 mm side armor of the T-34-85 tank. Moreover, the US forces arriving to Korea were equipped with light M24 Chaffee tanks (on Japan-occupation duty) that also proved ineffective against the heavier KPA T-34 tanks.
During the initial hours of warfare, some under-equipped ROK Army border units used 105 mm howitzers as anti-tank guns to stop the tanks heading the KPA columns, firing high-explosive anti-tank ammunition (HEAT) over open sights to good effect; at war’s start, the ROK Army had 91 such cannon, but lost most to the invaders.
Countering the initial combat imbalance, the US and UN Command reinforcement materiel included heavier US M4 Sherman, M26 Pershing, M46 Patton, and British Cromwell and Centurion tanks that proved effective against North Korean armor, ending its battlefield dominance. Unlike in the Second World War (1939–45), in which the tank proved a decisive weapon, the Korean War featured few large-scale tank battles. The mountainous, heavily-forested terrain prevented large masses of tanks from maneuvering. In Korea, tanks served largely as infantry support.