The M-48 Patton tank in WW III
The M-48 Patton tank was the successor to the M-47 Patton, and upgraded vehicles were still in service in U.S. Army National Guard and Reserve units in 1985, though it was out of USMC service. Though more than a match for the T-55 and T-62, the T-64 and T-72 outclassed the tank, and those units that were equipped with the M-48 had to use tactics against those tanks. The tank did serve throughout the war, however, most were replaced by either the M-60 or the M-1 as production permitted. The M-48 left U.S. Army service in 1990, with excess vehicles either used as range targets or sold off to allies after the war. This work covers those M-48 versions that saw service during the Third World War.
M-48A2: main production version in the 1950s: 90-mm gun, gasoline engine. Many refitted to M-48A3 standard in the 1960s. Some still in storage in 1985: refitted to A5 standard.
M-48A3: Upgraded version of A2: 90-mm gun retained, but diesel engine in place of gasoline engine, new commander's cupola and fire-control system.
M-48A5: Final U.S. Army version: 90-mm gun replaced with L7 105-mm gun. Survivors upgraded with Israeli designed commander's cupola and Blazer reactive armor, along with improved fire control system and 105-mm rounds designed by IMI.
M-48AVLB: M-48A5 chassis with 60-foot scissors bridge.
M-67: Flamethrower tank with flamethrower mounted inside dummy 90-mm gun. Still in storage in 1985, and refitted to M-48A5 standard.
While those M-48 units that saw action in Texas and Oklahoma suffered heavy losses in the initial invasion, the Idaho NG's 116th Armored Cavalry Regiment was equipped with the tank, and used their vehicles to good effect on the Idaho-B.C. Border, and on the Montana-Alberta border. The terrain enabled tactics to be used against the T-64 and T-72, However, the Idaho Guardsmen gave up their M-48s for the M-60A4-105