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The Red Menace (1950 - 1959)

The Red Menace (1950 - 1959)


The Cold War was the continuing state of conflict, tension and competition that existed after World War II between the Soviet Union and its satellites and the powers of the Western world under the leadership of the United States from the mid-1940s to the early 1990s. Throughout this period, the conflict was expressed through military coalitions, espionage, weapons development, invasions, propaganda, and competitive technological development, which included the space race. The conflict included costly defense spending, a massive conventional and nuclear arms race, and numerous proxy wars; the two superpowers never fought one another directly.
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Russian T-55 Heavy Tank  - Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1968 Russian T-55 Heavy Tank - Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1968 (1:72 Scale)

The T-54 and T-55 main battle tanks were the Soviet Union's replacements for the World War II era T-34 tank. The T-54/55 tank series is the most produced in the world, and very widely employed, especially by former client states of the Soviet Union.

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Russian IS-3/3M Heavy Tank - Hungary, 1956 Russian IS-3/3M Heavy Tank - Hungary, 1956 (1:72 Scale)

The IS-3 first appeared to western observers at the Allied Victory Parade in Berlin in September 1945. By most accounts these tanks overawed the western powers, who responded with heavy tank designs of their own in the 1950s. A Regiment of IS-3s may have been deployed in Manchuria in 1945.

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US M26E2 Pershing Heavy Tank - 2nd Armored Division, West Germany, Summer 1951 US M26E2 Pershing Heavy Tank - 2nd Armored Division, West Germany, Summer 1951 (1:72 Scale)

Early in June 1944, Army commanders expressed a need for a new breed of tank that could mount either a 90mm or 105mm main gun. This request was approved by the Army Staff soon thereafter even though trials of the new T26E1 had already begun back at Fort Knox earlier that year.

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Chinese Peoples Liberation Army T-59 Main Battle Tank - 1965 Chinese Peoples Liberation Army T-59 Main Battle Tank - China, 1965 (1:72 Scale)

The Chinese Type 59 (Chinese industrial designation: WZ120) Main Battle Tank is a Chinese produced version of the ubiquitous Soviet T-54A tank. The first vehicles were produced in 1958 and it was accepted into service in 1959, with serial production beginning in 1963.

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Finnish T-55 Heavy Tank Finnish T-55 Heavy Tank (1:72 Scale)

The T-54 and T-55 main battle tanks were the Soviet Union's replacements for the World War II era T-34 tank. The T-54/55 tank series is the most produced in the world, and very widely employed, especially by former client states of the Soviet Union.

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Russian T-55 Main Battle Tank - Turret No. 383 Russian T-55 Main Battle Tank - Turret No. "383" (1:72 Scale)

The T-54 and T-55 main battle tanks were the Soviet Union's replacements for the World War II era T-34 tank. The T-54/55 tank series is the most produced in the world, and very widely employed, especially by former client states of the Soviet Union.

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Polish T-55A Main Battle Tank w/AA Machine Gun - Turret No. 3369 Polish T-55A Main Battle Tank w/AA Machine Gun - Turret No. "3369" (1:72 Scale)

The T-54 and T-55 main battle tanks were the Soviet Union's replacements for the World War II era T-34 tank. The T-54/55 tank series is the most produced in the world, and very widely employed, especially by former client states of the Soviet Union.

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Russian T-54 Heavy Tank - 'White 410', Winter Camouflage Russian T-54 Heavy Tank - "White 410", Winter Camouflage (1:72 Scale)

The T-54 and T-55 main battle tanks were the Soviet Union's replacements for the World War II era T-34 tank. The T-54/55 tank series is the most produced in the world, and very widely employed, especially by former client states of the Soviet Union.

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Japanese Ground Self Defense Forces M24 Chaffee Light Tank - 6th Division Japanese Ground Self Defense Forces M24 Chaffee Light Tank - 6th Division (1:72 Scale)

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.

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Chinese Peoples Liberation Army T-59 Main Battle Tank Chinese Peoples Liberation Army T-59 Main Battle Tank (1:72 Scale)

The Chinese Type 59 (Chinese industrial designation: WZ120) Main Battle Tank is a Chinese produced version of the ubiquitous Soviet T-54A tank. The first vehicles were produced in 1958 and it was accepted into service in 1959, with serial production beginning in 1963.

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US M41A3 Walker Bulldog Light Tank - Unidentified Unit, 1950s US M41A3 Walker Bulldog Light Tank - Unidentified Unit, 1950s (1:72 Scale)

The M41 Walker Bulldog was a U.S. light tank developed to replace the M24 Chaffee. It was named for General Walton Walker who died in a jeep accident in Korea. On November 5th, 1950, the US Ordnance Committee Minutes (OCM) issued item #33476, redesignating the heavy, medium, and light tank, according to the armament; the 120mm (heavy) Gun Tanks, 90mm (medium) Gun Tanks, and the 76mm (light) Gun tanks.

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British Cruiser A34 Comet Mk. IV Tank - 7th Queens Own Hussars, Sek Kong Camp, Hong Kong, mid-1950s British Cruiser A34 Comet Mk. IV Tank - 7th Queen's Own Hussars, British Forces Overseas Hong Kong, Sek Kong Camp, Hong Kong, mid-1950s (1:72 Scale)

The Tank, Cruiser, Comet I (A34) was a British cruiser tank that first saw use near the end of World War II. It was designed to provide greater anti-tank capability to Cromwell tank squadrons.

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British Cruiser A34 Comet Mk. IV Tank - SFAX 1st RTR, Sek Kong Camp, Hong Kong, Late 1950s British Cruiser A34 Comet Mk. IV Tank - 'SFAX' 1st RTR, Sek Kong Camp, Hong Kong, Late 1950s (1:72 Scale)

The Tank, Cruiser, Comet I (A34) was a British cruiser tank that first saw use near the end of World War II. It was designed to provide greater anti-tank capability to Cromwell tank squadrons.

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British Cruiser A34 Comet Mk. IV Tank - Ireland, Curragh Command, 1960s British Cruiser A34 Comet Mk. IV Tank - Ireland, Curragh Command, 1960s (1:72 Scale)

The Tank, Cruiser, Comet I (A34) was a British cruiser tank that first saw use near the end of World War II. It was designed to provide greater anti-tank capability to Cromwell tank squadrons.

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US M103A1 Heavy Tank - E Company, 34th Armor, 24th Infantry Division, Germany, 1959 US M103A1 "Longstreet" Heavy Tank - E Company, 34th Armor, 24th Infantry Division, Augsburg, Germany, 1959 (1:72 Scale)

The 65-ton M103 Heavy Tank served with the US Army and US Marine Corps (USMC) during the height of the Cold War from 1957-1974. Its whole design was predicated on the need to counter Soviet heavy tanks, and thus it boasted a rifled 120mm M58 cannon for long-distance engagements.

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The Motor Pool Collection US M48 A3 Patton Medium Tank - Winter Camouflage US M48 A3 'Patton' Medium Tank - Winter Camouflage (1:35 Scale)

When the Korean War began, the US military had no medium tanks in production. The M47 appeared as an interim measure but work immediately began on the M48. The first 'Pattons' were completed in July 1952. Unfortunately, the speed of development resulted in numerous teething troubles for the early Pattons, including poor reliability and a short operating range.

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