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M46 Patton

The 1948 M46 Patton, with a more powerful engine, was a variant of the original M26. Except for a few vehicles, all M45 tanks were converted to the M46 Patton model in 1949-51. No M45 were recorded in the US Army inventory by 01 July 1954.

The Pershing got a new name -- dubbed the Patton - in 1950. It was an obvious naming choice with GEN George S. Patton Jr., a Blackjack Pershing protg, transformed by death into an icon. Patton died in a freak automobile accident in December 1945, at the age of 60. He was probably ready to go. He had achieved his fate, his destiny. He was famous, a hero. He had earned the recognition and applause he had sought.

By 1950 the standard tank for the US Army was the M46 Patton, but limited production meant that some armor units had either the obsolescent M4E8 Sherman or the limited standard M26 Pershing. Predecessor of the M48, and standard equipment in the armies of over 20 countries, the M47 Patton is a descendent of the M26 Pershing Tank. The M46 got a new turret, 90mm gun, and fire control system to become the second Patton tank, the M47.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:46:25 ZULU