M48 Tank Medium (E1969.80)
Watervliet Arsenal, United States
United States of America
The curved shape of the lower hull is particularly significant since it was designed to resist mine blast. It resulted in a remarkably high survival rate for M48 crews mined in Vietnam. There are, however, certain problems with casting; notably the difficulty of controlling armour thickness on all surfaces and the great overall height of the tank. The M48 is powered by a Continental air-cooled petrol engine operating through an Allison cross-drive, automatic transmission and the tank rides on torsion bar suspension.
The M48 was built in vast numbers and served with the US Army and Marine Corps. It fought in Vietnam and the Middle East and has been supplied to many of America's allies. Our exhibit is an early model, effectively a T48, which was sent over to Britain for evaluation. Like most post-war tanks the M48 has been developed in a variety of ways. Later models carry the British 105mm gun, are better armoured and feature a diesel engine.
Last of Patton series of medium tanks. Further development has led to M60 series.
T139 no 147 gun (WVT Arsenal, 1952)