previous post next post  

Finishing up the M48

What caught my eye, while driving by on my way to the McKenna MOUT site one day was how low she sat.

So, I turned off the road and parked nearby, grabbed the camera, and went to look her over.

She's a rare one.  She's an M48C.  Only a hundred were produced - and that by mistake.

Rear view of M48C in the cantonment area of 3rd BDE, 3ID at Fort Benning.

She's an early gas burner, and those tanks were prone to fires.  It's entirely possible this tank had a fire, which compromised her rear torsion bars, and over the years, the load on the remaining torsion bars caused them to fail, as well.  Or, they could have just failed on their own.  I couldn't get an eye into her to see if there was evidence of fire.  Her tires are in pretty good shape, so if there was a fire, it was contained quickly or her roadwheels got replaced.

As in the earlier posts, with the frontal views - Casey noticed the early style muzzle brake, with the slight "y" shape to it.  And the early (not Israeli) commander's cupola.  The drivers hatch and vision ports are there - but the there no periscopes mounted in the ports, so the port covers are closed.

Her tracks are in crap shape - she's been in open storage/display for decades and the rubber is rotting away.  She does have all her road wheels, and I believe all her end connectors, but she's a tired old girl.  As Olaf noted, she's missing her heater exhaust - heck her engine exhausts, too!

An M48C.  She is one of the 100 hulls that were produced that were not ballistically sound - and relegated to training use.  I was wondering if someone was going to open up the big pic in yesterday's post and notice the odd pattern - in fact weld-bead words - on the nose of the hull.

It says - "Training Tank  Non-ballistic"

'Training Tank, non-ballistic'  The hull markings on the M48C (a rare tank indeed) at Fort Benning.

I also find it interesting that she's at Fort Benning - you'd have thought the training tanks would have gone to Fort Knox.  But, who knows what path she took to get where she's at?

But yeah, that's the kind of stuff that catches my eye.


I'll have to do some digging about but I do believe that the marines received a number of these, much to the consternation of the crews when they saw the 'training tank' on the front. Hunnicutt's book makes mention of it iirc but it's buried in my garage.

Doesn't surprise that they'd make it to Benning, it is a training base, after all.  A torsion bar failure tends to cascade if not fixed because of the increased load on the remaining intact bars.

The T95 at Ft Knox was found in a wooded area in Maryland by a farmer, and no one's figured out yet how it managed to get there.

The King Tiger at Knox that those @#$%^!$% at Boatwrong turned into a cutaway model originally was at Aberdeen but was traded for an XM803.  Good trade imho, but what they did to it afterwards... It was parked in our shop intact for a coupla months before it got sent to the cutters.  

Had a late model T34 also with a barrel long enough to be an 85mm but the bore measured out to be a tad over 76.  Wondered if it was an oddball variant or someone just stuck it in to display. Looked original.
I noticed the odd pattern, but the angle was off juuuuuust far enough to *insure* nobody would twig to the fact that the beading was actually lettering...
Even with your new photo I can barely see the weld beads in the original hi-rez shot. :)

And nobody will ever believe I didn't do it on purpose...
now i just gotta figure out how that muzzle break got ovalled out (somewhat kinetically if the bulging there is of any meaning)...
Good one!!  I was ready to go with a T-48 or the M-48c as a WAG since it seemed to fit the Armour's sense of humour.  Oddly enough one of the things I was looking at in Hunnicutt's book was the weld pattern on the front slope in the photos he used, still didn't see it still didn't see it on yours!!
The muzzle break matches nothing from memory (always a limited resource) or from "Patton", Hunnicutt's book.  The one known to be mounted on M-48's (the T-48's is WWII German inspired) has cut outs at each end on the front forming an "L" shape, from above,  at each end, so that was one on the items I disregarded.  The cupola is still intriging, it looks like one from the T-48 series. 
Muzzle brake please guys - it cuts down the velocity of recoil (brakes) rather than breaks something!
Heh.  It's been a while Geoff - the only thing bringing you out of the wordwork is grammar these days?