South Haven, MI, is about 40 minutes up the road from us and we’ve been there a number of times over the years. On a number of occasions we’ve driven by American Legion Post 49 and seen the M60A3 tank sitting overlooking the river. We were up there recently and I snapped a few pictures in order to assemble a post about it.
The tank is a M60A3 serial number 7582 and was overhauled at Anniston Army Depot in October 1988.
The “Tank, Combat, Full Tracked: 105mm Gun, M60” was officially adopted in March 1959 and was an evolutionary design from the M48A2 Patton though never officially considered as part of the Patton family.
The M60 tanks served as the main battle tank during the cold war with 15,000 being produced. It was first put into operational use in Europe in 1960. Chrysler started production in 1959 and then the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plat produced them from 1960-1983.
Over it’s design life, there were many upgrades as the Americans and Soviets tried to “one up” each other in terms of capabilities. M60: 1959-1962, M60A1: 1962-1980, M60A2: 1973-1975 and then the M60A3 from 1978-1983. Note there was a modernization program and one point that upgraded 5,400 older tanks to the M60A3 variant that ended in 1990.
The M60 was eventually replaced by the M1 Abrams. The US retired the M60 from front-line use after Operation Desert Storm (August 1990-February 1991). The last tanks were retired from the National Guard in 1997. The M60 still sees use in many other countries including Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
I am not going to cover all of the history and design changes. Click here for a good Wikipedia post with that info. Instead, I am just going to list some stats I found interesting about the M60A3 specifically.
- Number produced: 1,052 new vehicles + 5,400 tanks upgraded to A3
- Weight: 54.6 short tons ( 1 short ton = 2,000 pounds)
- Hull length: 22 ft 9.5 inches
- Gun forward length: 30 ft 6.5 inches
- Width: 11 ft 11 inches
- Height: 10 ft 9 inches
- Crew: 4 people
- Main cannon: The 105mm M68E1
- Secondary Armament: .50 BMG or 7.6×51 on the commander’s cupola.
- Engine: Continental AVDS-1790-2 V1 Air cooled twin turbo diesel with 750 BHP
- Suspension: Torsion Bar
- Transmission: GM cross drive single stage with 2 forward and 1 reverse gear ranges
- Fuel capacity: 385 US Gallons
- Range: 300 miles – so optimistically maybe a gallon per mile
- Max speed: 30 mph on the road and 12 mph cross-country
Here’s what the Post had to say about the tank
Photos of the American Legion M60A3
A big thank you to the Post setting up the tank for people to see and providing the background placard.
If you are travelling through South Haven, MI, it’s worth a quick stop the the American Legion Post to see the M60A3.
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