IXO Models IXJAV028 US M60 A3 Patton Medium Tank - 5th Infantry Division, Germany, 1985 (1:72 Scale)
"Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America - not on the battlefields of Vietnam."
- Marshal McLuhan
Development of the American M60 series of tanks began in 1956 following a decision to create an improved version of the M48 'Patton' tank. Built by General Dynamics, the M60 entered service in 1960, but was quickly superceded by the A1 to A3 versions. Over 15,000 vehicles have been produced, many of which are still serving in the armies of 22 countries. The M60 has been continuously advanced and upgraded with advanced weapon control, ammunition, applique armour, and increasingly powerful engines. The M60 series main battle tanks of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the US were deployed in Operation: Desert Storm in 1991 during the Gulf Crisis.
The M60 A1 with a new turret, thicker armor, and a new ammunition stowage system, was manufactured from 1962 to 1980. The M60 A2, fitted with a new turret mounting a 152mm gun and missile launcher, was halted in the mid-70's and development and production effort was instead diverted to the highly successful M60 A3, which incorporated improvements to the gun fire control system. The M60 A3 entered service with the US Army in 1978 and is still being used by several National Guards units. Although General Dynamics' Land Systems Division has ceased production of the tank, it continues to provide fleet management support to the US Army Tank Automotive Command and to user countries world-wide.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a US M60 A3 Patton medium tank that was attached to the 5th Infantry Division, then deployed to Germany during 1985. Sold Out!
Length: 5-1/2 inches
Width: 2 inches
Historical Account: "The Fulda Gap" - Strategists on both sides of the Iron Curtain understood the Fulda Gap's importance, and accordingly allocated forces to defend and attack it. The defense of the Fulda Gap was a mission of the U.S. V Corps. The actual east-west border in the Fulda Gap was guarded by reconnaissance forces, the identification and structure of which evolved over the years of the Cold War.
From 1945 until June-July of 1946, reconnaissance and security along the border between the U.S. and Soviet zones of occupation in Germany in the area north and south of Fulda was the mission of elements of the U.S. 3rd and 1st Infantry Divisions. By July of 1946, the 1st, 3rd, and 14th Constabulary Regiments (arranged from north to south) had assumed responsibility for inter-zonal border security in the area that would later become known as the Fulda Gap. The U.S. Constabulary as a headquarters was subsequently drawn down, but individual constabulary regiments were retitled armored cavalry regiments. Thus, from 1951 until 1972, the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR) patrolled the Fulda Gap. After the return of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment from Vietnam in 1972, the 11th ACR relieved the 14th ACR and took over the reconnaissance mission in the Fulda Gap until the end of the Cold War.
The armored cavalry's (heavy, mechanized reconnaissance units equipped with tanks and other armored vehicles) mission in peace was watching the East-West border for signs of pre-attack Soviet army movement. The armored cavalry's mission in war was to delay a Soviet attack until other units of the U.S. V Corps could be mobilized and deployed to defend the Fulda Gap.
The armored cavalry would have also served as a screening force in continuous visual contact with the Warsaw Pact forces, reporting on their composition and activities, and forcing advancing Warsaw Pact forces to deploy while the cavalry fought delaying actions. In order to defend the Fulda Gap and stop a Warsaw Pact advance (as opposed to conducting screening and delaying actions), U.S. V Corps planned to move two divisions (one armored and one mechanized) forward from bases in the Frankfurt and Bad Kreuznach areas.