The Motor Pool TMP2071 US M48 A3 'Patton' Medium Tank - Winter Camouflage (1:35 Scale)
"The only way you can win a war is to attack and keep on attacking, and after you have done that, keep attacking some more."
- General George S. Patton Jr., January 1945
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. The A3 was a highly modified version designed to rectify these failings, and the M48 has been used as the basis for flame-thrower tanks, recovery vehicles, and an AVLB. The A5 was an upgraded version produced in the mid-1970s, which extended the M48's shelf life considerably.
The M48 was designed for combat in Europe against Soviet tanks. In fact, a good crew was able to put the first round on target 90% of the time, but this required excellent teamwork and communication on the part of the entire crew. In peacetime qualification, it was possible to stop from a speed of 20 mph, acquire the target, and get off a first round kill at 2,000 yards in seven seconds. This precision fire control system was almost irrelevant in Vietnam where typical engagement ranges could be measured more reasonably in feet than in yards. As a result, it was common to take the gunner out of the turret and put him on the back deck of the vehicle armed with an M16 or M79 for close support against enemy infantry. This also afforded him some protection from mines. Likewise, the tank commander and loader would often ride on the turret roof or the hatch lips when mines were expected. The tank commander laid the main gun by eye, and fired using the commander's override control or a lanyard attached to the manual trigger on the main gun.
Most M48's in Vietnam had the commander's M2 .50 cal. machine gun mounted on top of the cupola on a simple pintle mount. This location gave him a better field of fire, was faster to reload, and was less prone to jamming than when the M2 was placed on its side inside the armored cupola. Unfortunately, this also meant the tank commander was terribly exposed to enemy fire when firing the M2.
Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) were a constant threat in Vietnam, and M48 tanks countered this threat by mounting pierced steel plank, chain link fence, and spare track blocks on the fenders to prematurely detonate incoming RPG's. Oftentimes, the bustle rack was extended with welded steel, and the turret sides buttressed with extra .50 cal. ammo, C-ration cases, and even the crew's duffel bags. The cases of C-rations strapped to the infantry rail on the turret -- like the PSP and track blocks -- acted as a stand-off shield. If an enemy anti-tank rocket struck the C-rations, it would explode prematurely. Since anti-tank rounds require a certain stand-off distance to function effectively, the C-rations dissipated the force of the explosion away from the armor. It was also the only place to store the rations, since space in the vehicle was at a premium and occupied mainly by ammunition.
This particular 1:35 scale diecast replica of the M48 A3 'Patton' medium tank is painted in a winter camouflage scheme.
Length: 9-3/4 inches
Width: 4-1/4 inches
Height: 4 inches