The T-62 Tank in World War III
The T-62 tank was the successor to the T-54/55 series, and served alongside the T-55 in Soviet Category C units during the war, as well as serving in Cuban, Nicaraguan, Libyan, Angolan, and North Korean forces in North America, seeing service alongside the T-55 and in Cuban and Libyan service, alongside the T-72. However, non-Soviet Warsaw Pact forces in North America did not use the T-62, preferring modernized T-55s or the T-72. This work will examine the T-62's wartime service, and the operators.
T-62: Original production model with 115-mm gun, day and night sights for commander and gunner, no DshK machine gun for loader, added in 1972, and many older vehicles refitted.
T-62K: Command version of T-62, with navigation aids and additional radios for the commander. Used primarily by company and battalion commanders.
T-62M: Modernized version first seen in Afghanistan in 1983, used in North America beginning 1985. Applique armor around front of turret (called horseshoe armor), improved fire-control system with laser rangefinder, new day and night sights, control system for AT-10 Stabber ATGM. DshK machine gun standard. Primary Cuban version, and most Soviet vehicles seen in North America were this version.
T-62MK: Command version of T-62M. No AT-10 missile capability.
T-62M1: T-62M without ATGM capability. Primarily used by Angola, Nicaragua, and Libya. Some issued to Soviet and Cuban forces to make up for T-72 losses.
TO-62: Flamethrower version with flamethrower mounted coaxially with 115-mm gun.
A number of captured vehicles were put into U.S. Army service, refitted with American radios, Caterpillar diesel engines, and machine guns. 115-mm ammunition was provided by Egypt. Mainly used for Opposing Forces training, but some used in combat by the 83rd Infantry Division (Mechanized). Others, unmodified, served with several partisan units in the Ozarks.