Tank-O-Rama #6: M47 Patton by Buffalo1 ()
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The M47 Patton tank might have been considered a "stopgap" tank if 9,000 of them hadn't been made. During the Korean War the U.S. Army wanted a quick replacement for the M46 Patton tank. The turret of a T42 tank design was mated with the hull of the M46 and the M47 was born in 1951. The new turret had better sloped armor and the new M36 type 90mm gun. The M47 weighed in at almost 49 tons. It arrived too late to see action in the Korean War and the new M48 Patton would soon be coming off the assembly lines. The U.S. military only used it as a frontline tank until 1959.
So what to do with so many tanks? America's allies always needed them and the M47 was passed out to more than 20 countries and fought in numerous wars with mixed results. It was easily capable of handling World War II tanks, but had trouble with later model Soviet tanks such as the T55 and T62. Poor tactics by Pakistan and Iran also led to heavy losses in the India-Pakistan War of 1965 and the Iraq-Iran War of the 1980s. Turkey used the M47 in the invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and later in fighting Kurdish partisans. M47s fought for Croatia during Yugolsavia's break-up and in Somalia in the 1990s. Upgraded models with better guns, transmissions, and electronics were only retired in the early 21st Century by South Korea and Pakistan. A totally rebuilt version still serves with Iran's Revolutionary Guard.
Image Comments (9)
Daddywolf () 5:25AM | Tue, 16 June 2015
Tanks a lot! (sorry I could not resist the pun) Great photo and history Lesson
CleonXXI () Online Now! 9:09AM | Tue, 16 June 2015
Great information and photo! I guess the Spanish had a lot of them too, as the best bad war movie ever made, "Battle of the Bulge", featured the Spanish army's tank fleets as both the US and German WW II tank forces, the film Germans using M 47s for Tigers and the film American using M 24s for Shermans.
debbielove () 6:53AM | Sat, 20 June 2015
I built an Airfix kit of a Patton mate, I liked the model, looked great.. I don't know a great amount about the actual tank, as you say it was a stop gap that turned out better than expected and lasted ages in service everywhere.. Nice looking example thanks for posting this great series mate. Rob