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Fishwelding

Modeling USAREUR, Cold War

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I'm surprised to hear that, I seem to recall most of the M901 guys saying that they liked it quite a bit. Especially the old hands that came from the M-113's with the exposed TOW mount. BTW, the 901 never had 4 TOW launch tubes, just one on each side of the sight.

It wasn't that handy on the offense since it could not keep up with M-1's and could not fire on the move but on defense / overwatch, with the ability to park in a prepared fighting position or just below the crest of a ridge, with the crew under armor and just the "hammerhead" exposed, it was a pretty good piece of equipment. I don't think the original TOW's were that reliable but that is another story. By the time they came out with the I-TOW and the TOW-2, things got better. Speaking of unreliable missiles, did any of you guys from the 80's get stuck with the Dragon? Thank god we never had to go to war with that POS.

Thanks for all the interesting stories and pictures, this is turning into quite the valuable thread.

Regards,

John

John,

Thanks about correcting my vague memory of the 901 concerning 2 TOWs instead of 4. I do believe I saw a photo or artist concept at one time that showed 4, 2 on each side. A Lot of this stuff is beginnig to be a fog now. The original single M-113 TOW's were very reliable, the TOW was a proven weapon, the crew just had to train, train and train.

Any weapon can be a good weapon in the defense especially in hull defilade. Going across terrain or on the road will not eliminate the high profile for a Russki tank that wanted to give a 901 or any other vehicle a bad day. And yes the Dragon was a POS, the 90mm RR was more reliable and on the mark with a good gunner.

Thanks again.

Mike

Edited by Alpha13

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Really a great looking paint job. What did you use for your camoflague pattern? I have the same kit and would like to do a smilar camoflague scheme. Thanks!

Mike

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I found this 1st Infantry Division in USAREUR newspaper from March 1974 in a long forgotten box of mine. For those that are interested. The paper was too big to scan 100%.

scan0017-1.jpg

scan0018-1.jpg

scan0019-1.jpg

The "Traveler" newspaper and all photos are courtesy of the 1st Infantry Division and US Army.

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Really a great looking paint job. What did you use for your camoflague pattern? I have the same kit and would like to do a smilar camoflague scheme. Thanks!

Mike

I used blue-tack wall mounting putty. It's sold for mounting posters. The paints were all Polly Scale and MM Acryl. If you're asking me about colors, well, I mixed the brown and "green" using previous mixes. I know what brand the paints were, but I couldn't tell you formulas for mixing. Likely all the colors are available out of the jar from the two brands, but I'm really trying to use up old paint, so I modified existing mixes. I've free-handed a MERDC finish on before with Tamiya paints, and it turned out O.K., too, but obviously not with as sharp demarcations between colors.

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And here it is. Tamiya's M60A3, with various additions from the spares box and Tamiya's old "Modern" (1980s-ish) detailing set. I added small bits of masking tape to reproduce straps, and the army tape on the manuever codes. The tracks are the kit's, and per HeavyArty's suggestion, should be replaced, and I might later do so.

The purpose of the project was to experiment with wall-mount poster tack as a mask. I'm satisfied with the results, and will consider it for future work, although need more practice in the airbrushing stage for it, if I want to produce consistent, slightly-fuzzy edges. My biggest disappointment is with the TC's woodland BDU blouse pattern. There was a time when I could paint that very well; this time around doesn't look so hot, and I declined to repaint it. Sometimes, for the sake of overall skills-building, it's best to move on.

M60A3%20(4).JPG

M60A3%20(3).JPG

M60A3%20(2).JPG

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Herein is also a comparison with an earlier project, a MERDC M163 of the 3rd Armored Division. This was done freehand, with (if I recall correctly) Tamiya acrylics.

M60A3%20(10).JPG

M60A3%20(11).JPG

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Also, for comparison, is Dragon's old T-80. I finished this kit recently as well, although barely. It was a very old (probably first-run) boxing, and the plastic was very, very brittle. This made assembling it a real challenge. Indeed, for that reason I stopped short of adding the tow cables to the hull. The purpose of that exercise was to both experiment with airbrush shading and highlighting, as well as return to using oil-based washes. I'm happy with the results on both counts, although the shading is imperceptible in the photos, and even as I see it, many people like more contrast.

M60A3%20(7).JPG

M60A3%20(8).JPG

M60A3%20(9).JPG

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I'm glad these war-pigs never came to blows.

M60A3%20(5).JPG

Wow, so after having photographed these for my record, suddenly I'm struck with the urge to build more armor--an entirely unintentional consequence of finally getting around to shooting these. Maybe I'll stop down at the AFV Division of Fishwelding Heavy Industries, to see what's what...

Criticisms are entirely welcome on all counts. I've got more -60s in the stash, and am willing to learn. As to the T-80, it's built from the box, and the kit's accuracy has been sufficiently denigrated on the internet that basically, we're all still occasionally building 'em just because we have 'em. If there were a new, accurate kit of this tank reflecting the final years of the Cold War, I would build it.

Edited by Fishwelding

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As to the T-80, it's built from the box, and the kit's accuracy has been sufficiently denigrated on the internet that basically, we're all still occasionally building 'em just because we have 'em. If there were a new, accurate kit of this tank reflecting the final years of the Cold War, I would build it.

Thanks for posting, I really enjoy this thread. Brings back good memories. The Dragon T-80 is very, very rough. However, if you really want to do a T-80, I believe that there is a kit from Skif and a good amount of resin aftermarket stuff to get it looking good. Check out the Soviet forum on Armorama. I am pretty sure that Trumpeter is going to release a T-64, that should be a very nice kit, always thought the T-64 was a "bad" tank. Back in the day, both it and the T-80 were considered supertanks.

Regards,

John

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Thanks for posting, I really enjoy this thread. Brings back good memories. The Dragon T-80 is very, very rough. However, if you really want to do a T-80, I believe that there is a kit from Skif and a good amount of resin aftermarket stuff to get it looking good. Check out the Soviet forum on Armorama. I am pretty sure that Trumpeter is going to release a T-64, that should be a very nice kit, always thought the T-64 was a "bad" tank. Back in the day, both it and the T-80 were considered supertanks.

Regards,

John

Skif does appear to be the alternative for the latest Soviet armor, although not without work going beyond the out-of-the-box kit. I have Skif's T-64, and will get around to building it one of these days. Heck, the armor geeks don't even seem to have a T-72 kit they're satisfied with, having complaints about the item from Dragon's classic Soviet line, and even Tamiya's post-Gulf War kit. I've built Dragon's -72 in the "M-2" variety, basing it on a photo in Zaloga's Tank War: Central Front.

Getting armor for the rest of NATO can be tricky, too. Leopard Is and IIs have been kitted in quantity, as well as the Bundeswher soft-skins. But UK stuff in plastic thins quickly. Tamiya's got Chieftain and Challenger (both fun builds, if not entirely accurate for line-unit AFVs). I think Heller did an AMX-30. M113s serve for many NATO outfits, I think.

Over the years I've accumulated, generally at very low cost, a lot of kits from the 1980s era: BMPs, BRDMs, HMMVWs, Mutts, M60s, and even two "M-1A-Nothings." I call it the "Team Yankee" Shelf! The last great armored confrontation, although the present standoff in Korea might count for another, if North Korea still has working mechanized assets, and you don't consider the appalling terrain of the Korean peninsula. One of these days I'm going to build one of the border posts of the 11th ACR, or even a diorama at the fence; after all, ICM did East German troops that are perfect for GrenzeTruppen.

Edited by Fishwelding

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Skif does appear to be the alternative for the latest Soviet armor, although not without work going beyond the out-of-the-box kit. I have Skif's T-64, and will get around to building it one of these days. Heck, the armor geeks don't even seem to have a T-72 kit they're satisfied with, having complaints about the item from Dragon's classic Soviet line, and even Tamiya's post-Gulf War kit. I've built Dragon's -72 in the "M-2" variety, basing it on a photo in Zaloga's Tank War: Central Front.

I know that the Tamiya T-72 gets some criticism from some but IMHO, the errors are minor and can be corrected with a bit of effort. The kit is very nicely detailed and is a good starting point for super detailing. FWIW, here are a few shots of my T-72 I built years ago. I added a ton of scratch-built details, all from plastic card or stretched sprue. Not a dime spent on extras, it was a very satisfying project.

IMG_1799.jpg

IMG_1803.jpg

IMG_1804.jpg

IMG_1788.jpg

Regards,

John

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Very nicely done M60. I drove one with the 11th ACR in Germany and did my fair share of manuver damage, A tree, a hedge row high enough to hide a tank, little too much gas while pulling forward. I also pushed a 12 foot section of curb out of the ground onto the side walk. The road wasn't wide eough for an M60. You could tell where the USArmy had been and where they didn't go by the curbs if they were pristene no tanks had been through there. Also countless 50 meter markers got flattened. When a truck was coming the other way your only option was to put one track off the road. When you drove out of the motorpool onto the German street your where in the field.

Our Squadron commander took 51, 56 ton M60s over a 45 ton bridge, that must have cost. The Dragon was a POS you couldn't hit anything with it unless you use at as a club.

We traded in our M551s for M60s I got mine with 50 miles on it in forest geen. Since I built models my TC had me paint it with a compressed air spraygun. We only used brown and black no sand. I chalked the outline and then did the airbrushing. It was a crew level task so there was a lot of variations in the pattern. I was in during the Carter years as well, things were mighty lean. I retired out of the Guard in 2003.

On a tank you replace one track block at a time using track jacks 1 person can't move 5 track blocks well not far anyway thats 400 pounds. Breaking track was a real bear of a job.End connectors ar torqued to 360 ftlbs.

We rarely carried cammo nets which were only usefull when you stopped. The Cav was always on the move. Back then we always practiced defensive tactics since our job was to be the speed bumps for the Reds so you guys in the rear could get out of your motor pools. Who remembers alerts?

TC

Edited by Tankcommander

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Very nicely done M60. I drove one with the 11th ACR in Germany and did my fair share of manuver damage...

TC

When did you guys finally get M1A-nothings? I though the Cav units generally had them pretty early on, but maybe that's an overgeneralization.

Your role in Europe, from a modeling standpoint, seems to offer interesting possibilities. I've culled from the 'net over the years a variety of photos of the border and it's various posts, as it seems like an interesting, modest diorama possibility. Plus, some of the photos taken by U.S. troops of East Germans are mighty close, so an interesting scene could be built into a small footprint. It's highly dramatic: two forces at peace, but glaring at each other at pistol-shot range.

With regard to speed bumps, it's safe to say that speculated survival rates among even the heavy guys behind you were pretty low. The Russians would be in a big, big hurry, and so willing to pay a very high price to get over, through, or past you. They had to beat REFORGER to the pier, or effectively cause the NATO alliance to crumble before REFORGER reaches the Channel ports.

Edited by Fishwelding

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I know that the Tamiya T-72 gets some criticism from some but IMHO, the errors are minor and can be corrected with a bit of effort....

John

Very nice build. Honestly, with armor models particularly I'm not too meticulous on subtle shape or detail problems, so Tamiya's T-72 looks great to me out of the box. When I build my Skif T-64, I'll probably modify the turret shape, as I've successfully done such work before, Marozov offers drawings on their website, and I'm not willing to pay for aftermarket resin on the matter. I agree that aftermarket stuff has it's uses, but cannot beat doing the detail work oneself for a sense of accomplishment.

Right now I'm working over Revell Germany's 8X8 "Luchs" car. Nice kit, and would be progressing smoothly had I not insisted on modifying some troops for a vehicle crew!

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With regard to speed bumps, it's safe to say that speculated survival rates among even the heavy guys behind you were pretty low. The Russians would be in a big, big hurry, and so willing to pay a very high price to get over, through, or past you. They had to beat REFORGER to the pier, or effectively cause the NATO alliance to crumble before REFORGER reaches the Channel ports.

I thought REFORGER consisted of flying in the troops and mating them up w/ prepositioned gear already in W. Germany?

My only experience with REFORGER was with a supporting infantry brigade that was supposed to get into Iceland as quick as possible and protect the USN and USAF bases there. As we understood it, we would be up against Russian SPETZNAZ and airborne units. Lots of small unit patrolling and manning of widely spread out defensive positions. Our war plans were detailed enough that every fighting position was already laid out. Didn't really care for Iceland, very expensive, the people hated us (it was mutual after a few days) and after the novelty wore off, the place was just a boring, cold, windy rockpile. Tom Clancy wrote about the Rooski's going after Iceland in Red Storm Rising.

One interesting story - prior to our one and only deployment to there, some of our officers went over there and walked the fighting positions we were supposed to occupy - sort of a leaders' recon. While there, they ran into a group of Russian's who said they were "geologists". My LT said these guys were all 6' plus, shaved heads and in great shape. Didn't really look like academics. They seemed more interested in us than any rocks. Pretty sure we were meeting the guys we were supposed to try to kill if the balloon ever went up. It was a strange time back in the early 80's. I think we were closer to war than a lot of people realize.

Edited by 11bee

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I thought REFORGER consisted of flying in the troops and mating them up w/ prepositioned gear already in W. Germany?

My only experience with REFORGER was with a supporting infantry brigade that was supposed to get into Iceland as quick as possible and protect the USN and USAF bases there. As we understood it, we would be up against Russian SPETZNAZ and airborne units. Lots of small unit patrolling and manning of widely spread out defensive positions. Our war plans were detailed enough that every fighting position was already laid out. Didn't really care for Iceland, very expensive, the people hated us (it was mutual after a few days) and after the novelty wore off, the place was just a boring, cold, windy rockpile. Tom Clancy wrote about the Rooski's going after Iceland in Red Storm Rising.

One interesting story - prior to our one and only deployment to there, some of our officers went over there and walked the fighting positions we were supposed to occupy - sort of a leaders' recon. While there, they ran into a group of Russian's who said they were "geologists". My LT said these guys were all 6' plus, shaved heads and in great shape. Didn't really look like academics. They seemed more interested in us than any rocks. Pretty sure we were meeting the guys we were supposed to try to kill if the balloon ever went up. It was a strange time back in the early 80's. I think we were closer to war than a lot of people realize.

We did pre-position a lot of stuff in Europe, yes, but I also think we shipped (and expected to ship) a lot of stuff over there, too. I do not know the ratio, however, of equipment in POMCUS versus coming from the 'states in any war plan, or how this changed from the late 1960s to the end. Wikipedia (for what it's worth) says " By the late 1980s, the plan had evolved to send three divisions over in the first week of a conflict, and one division per week thereafter," (Wiki, "POMCUS"), presumably all drawing from pre-positioned materials. Scattered around on the web, there's extensive collections of photos showing U.S. troops pulling equipment out of storage, and prepping it during REFORGER, as well as stuff on piers in Western Europe.

Either way, the Russians hoped to get ahead of our "decision loop" in a big way, and disrupt whatever coordination still existed among NATO troops. A good book from the period is Ralph Peters' Red Army. Peters (who later became something of a military policy pundit/wonk--but we'll forgive him) gives a better, less cliche-ridden understanding of Russian military thinking, although as the book was written prior to 1990, it may or may not have been superceded by later revelations about Warsaw Pact policy. I don't know what might have since come out about Russian war plans for central Europe, but I'm aware some stuff has come out of East German files over the past two decades.

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Either way, the Russians hoped to get ahead of our "decision loop" in a big way, and disrupt whatever coordination still existed among NATO troops. A good book from the period is Ralph Peters' Red Army. Peters (who later became something of a military policy pundit/wonk--but we'll forgive him) gives a better, less cliche-ridden understanding of Russian military thinking, although as the book was written prior to 1990, it may or may not have been superceded by later revelations about Warsaw Pact policy. I don't know what might have since come out about Russian war plans for central Europe, but I'm aware some stuff has come out of East German files over the past two decades.

I think that despite Tom Clancy's optimistic view of this, there is not much that we could have done to hold off the Russians / Warsaw Pact. They pretty much would have hit every airbase in Western Europe with tactical missiles, and had a huge advantage in numbers of tanks, artillery tubes, etc. I know that after E Germany collapsed, they found medals to be awarded to troops that "liberated" W. Germany. Only real question is whether they would have tried to keep things conventional or led off with nukes and chem / biological weapons.

FWIW, another good book is "Dead Hand" by David Hoffman. It deals with Reagan and the last few years of the cold war before the wall came down. Lots of crazy stuff went on in the early 80's, the book is a great read. Gives me newfound respect for Reagan.

Still believe that we were pretty close to war by '83. The Russians were convinced that we were going to attack them and also knew that they only had a few years before their economy imploded. I think the reason why it never happened had more to do with luck than deliberate policy.

As a very random side note - there is a series of PC wargames from an outfit called Battlefront (they are on the net). Pretty well made ones that let you get down to platoon / squad level combat operations with dozens / hundreds of infantry, armor and supporting units. You can go so far as controlling individual tanks. Their upcoming addition to the Combat Mission series is "NATO". You should be able to design your own battles and fight out WW3. If you want to try a 1st person tank sim, Steel Beast is an outstanding M-1 simulator. Also offers many other tanks (including I believe, the M-60). You can build your own scenarios and see how you would fair against those hordes of T-80's and BMPs.

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As a very random side note - there is a series of PC wargames from an outfit called Battlefront (they are on the net). Pretty well made ones that let you get down to platoon / squad level combat operations with dozens / hundreds of infantry, armor and supporting units. You can go so far as controlling individual tanks. Their upcoming addition to the Combat Mission series is "NATO". You should be able to design your own battles and fight out WW3. If you want to try a 1st person tank sim, Steel Beast is an outstanding M-1 simulator. Also offers many other tanks (including I believe, the M-60). You can build your own scenarios and see how you would fair against those hordes of T-80's and BMPs.

Good to know. I was a devotee of M1 Tank Platoon way back in the PC-XT days, and I briefly played around with M1 TP II when it appeared two decades later.

During the 1980s, both sides had zealots upping the ante because they were convinced the other was planning a unilateral war out of desperation or deceit. In the Warsaw Pact, dating probably from World War II and drawing possibly from some schools of Marxist-Leninist religion was the notion that sooner or later, the greedy capitalists must crush the Worker's and Peasant's Revolution to prevent it's Inevitable Triumph. But if I recall correctly, there was a scare over here that the Russians were seriously planning nuclear war scenarios based on salvaging some percentage of their population. One of my all-time favorite movies, Red Dawn was essentially a fantasy for those who were convinced the inevitable reckoning would be precipitated by Soviet aggression.

But it seems to me that generally the Soviets preoccupied themselves with the game in the developing world; and why not? By the middle 1970s, it appeared that despite ominous political rifts and economic dislocation in the socialist sphere, they were winning the ideological war in Africa, Asia, and possibly Latin America. Of course, this proved ephemeral, as demonstrated when they foundered in Afghanistan. Honestly, I've often mused that if the Soviets seriously meant to beat us, their best chance was in the mid-to-late 1970s, when the U.S. Army was a mess after Vietnam, and the U.S. economy was in shambles. I give NATO better odds by the mid 1980s. Would war in Western Europe be a horrendous tragedy? Yes. For those living there, it's debatable how much better conventional war would have been than nuclear exchange. But by, say, 1986 or 1987, I think that provided NATO held together, a Warsaw Pact offensive might have been stalemated in West Germany, while their tottering economies crumbled behind it.

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When did you guys finally get M1A-nothings? I though the Cav units generally had them pretty early on, but maybe that's an overgeneralization.

Your role in Europe, from a modeling standpoint, seems to offer interesting possibilities. I've culled from the 'net over the years a variety of photos of the border and it's various posts, as it seems like an interesting, modest diorama possibility. Plus, some of the photos taken by U.S. troops of East Germans are mighty close, so an interesting scene could be built into a small footprint. It's highly dramatic: two forces at peace, but glaring at each other at pistol-shot range.

With regard to speed bumps, it's safe to say that speculated survival rates among even the heavy guys behind you were pretty low. The Russians would be in a big, big hurry, and so willing to pay a very high price to get over, through, or past you. They had to beat REFORGER to the pier, or effectively cause the NATO alliance to crumble before REFORGER reaches the Channel ports.

It was summer of 78 when we traded Sheridans for M60A1 Rise passive, I PCSed in Oct. 79 early 80 they got M901 TOW tracks and M60A3s with passive sights. I think they got slick M1s in 82 and had them for REFORGER. I had ETSed from active in 81 before the M1s came on line anywhere. I joined the NG soon after and ended up on M48A5s ablast from the past retired off of slick M1s.

There was a place on the border where there was a pocket of West Germany surrounded almost completely by East Germany on one patrol we were about 6 feet from the East German Border Troops. So I lived your Diorama idea, and our ammo was in a sealed ammo can in the jeep easier to count that way. Our tanks drove up with a full combat load. The only time I ever fully up loaded a Sherdan was for our border tour. The OP was manned by fully equiped platoons and it would rotate through the Squadron. I did 3 rotations on the OP. When other platoons where up there te rest of the troop would support with OPs foot and mobile patrols. Oh what fun, great chow though, best I ever had in the Army.

TC

Edited by Tankcommander

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Good to know. I was a devotee of M1 Tank Platoon way back in the PC-XT days, and I briefly played around with M1 TP II when it appeared two decades later.

During the 1980s, both sides had zealots upping the ante because they were convinced the other was planning a unilateral war out of desperation or deceit. In the Warsaw Pact, dating probably from World War II and drawing possibly from some schools of Marxist-Leninist religion was the notion that sooner or later, the greedy capitalists must crush the Worker's and Peasant's Revolution to prevent it's Inevitable Triumph. But if I recall correctly, there was a scare over here that the Russians were seriously planning nuclear war scenarios based on salvaging some percentage of their population. One of my all-time favorite movies, Red Dawn was essentially a fantasy for those who were convinced the inevitable reckoning would be precipitated by Soviet aggression.

Actually, by 1982-3, the Russian leadership (Andropov) were completely convinced that the west was going to launch a decapitation nuclear strike against them. It just goes to show how out of touch they were but regardless, they thought it was coming and were planning accordingly. Google "Project Ryan" and / or exercise Able Archer-83, or check out that book I mentioned. Pretty scary stuff.

Regards,

John

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It was summer of 78 when we trades Sherians for M60A1 Rise passive, I PCSed in Oct. 79 early 80 they got M901 TOW tracks and M60A3s with passive sights. I think they got slick M1s in 82 and had them for REFORGER. I had ETSed from active in 81 before the M1s came on line anywhere. I joined the NG soon after and ended up on M48A5s ablast from the past retired off of slick M1s.

What did you think of Sheridan? That tank seems to get a bad rap from all around.

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What did you think of Sheridan? That tank seems to get a bad rap from all around.

The Sheridans were in bad shape when I got there. Our tracks were wearing out but they would only replace broken links. The Army knew they were on the way out and wasn't putting any money into them. When they ran they were fast and quick. Gunnery as not easy the lasers never worked right. Every gunner used the conventional telescope out to 800 meters. It was no better then a Sherman but it did have a choke sight for rough guesstimaton of the range. The missile system was always down. One day we were aggressing against another Squadron and needed 4 tracks for the field problem. Only one started, out of 6. That would have been great if we went to war. After working all day we got 3 more out of the motor pool. Mine suffered a cracked exhaust manifold and was towed back, at the end of 3 days only one made it back under its own power, the one that started first. Loading was a ***** with the fiberglass bags and rubber moisture covers. The ammo was fragile and could not be combat stored on the tanks the way the 105 ammo was. But if you hit something with it, it was dead. We fired service HEAT on our last Sheidan gunnery it was impressive, probably to use it up. Glad to answer any other quesions that I can.

TC

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The Sheridans were in bad shape when I got there. Our tracks were wearing out but they would only replace broken links. The Army knew they were on the way out and wasn't putting any money into them. When they ran they were fast and quick. Gunnery as not easy the lasers never worked right. Every gunner used the conventional telescope out to 800 meters. It was no better then a Sherman but it did have a choke sight for rough guesstimaton of the range. The missile system was always down. One day we were aggressing against another Squadron and needed 4 tracks for the field problem. Only one started, out of 6. That would have been great if we went to war. After working all day we got 3 more out of the motor pool. Mine suffered a cracked exhaust manifold and was towed back, at the end of 3 days only one made it back under its own power, the one that started first. Loading was a ***** with the fiberglass bags and rubber moisture covers. The ammo was fragile and could not be combat stored on the tanks the way the 105 ammo was. But if you hit something with it, it was dead. We fired service HEAT on our last Sheidan gunnery it was impressive, probably to use it up. Glad to answer any other quesions that I can.

TC

Interesting! I've sort of concluded that the Sheridan represented in theory some good ideas, but in fact were difficult to actually build into a tank--hence it's problems. One wonders if MBT 70 would have suffered similar problems.

It's interesting to me how long the Army kept M48A5s in various corners of their active/reserve/Nat Guard fleet. How did the M48's performance compare to the M60? Was there a vast improvement with the later tank? I'm amazed when I build a model of either (and I've built more than a few), how similar they appear to be.

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Interesting! I've sort of concluded that the Sheridan represented in theory some good ideas, but in fact were difficult to actually build into a tank--hence it's problems. One wonders if MBT 70 would have suffered similar problems.

It's interesting to me how long the Army kept M48A5s in various corners of their active/reserve/Nat Guard fleet. How did the M48's performance compare to the M60? Was there a vast improvement with the later tank? I'm amazed when I build a model of either (and I've built more than a few), how similar they appear to be.

The 70 might have faired better recoil forces would have been less stressful on the electronics due to the heavier weight of the tank. I had heard that the M60A2 was over complex whch lead to alot of issues but never that firing conventional rounds threw the missle system out of wack. A major issue was the 152 gun-launcher was only good to 1000 meters and the missle didn't track until almost 2000 meters. major gap with nothing to fill in.

The 48A5 was very similar to the M60A1 or slick 60. They used the same M105D gunners telescope,ange finder, gunney computer(gear driven), and gunners periscope. They were also very similar automotively. Driver had steering wheel vs a T-bar. I liked the double M60Ds on top of the turret and the low profile cupola. We also had IR sights that needed search lights to see at night, search light duty was a PITA. They didn't compare to the M60A3 though. That was a great tank. The 48 carried less rounds then the 60, 55 vs 63 If memory serves. They were getting old though, torsion bars would break while the tank was sitting still. Just an idea how complex thingds have gotten an M48 had 1 circut breaker an M1 had over 20 I can't remember how many without the TM.

TC

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