M47 Patton Tank - Alexander City, AL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member hummerstation
N 32° 55.558 W 085° 58.595
16S E 595685 N 3643544
Quick Description: The M47 Patton Tank, an interim design, was a blend on a new design turret with the chassis of the M46 Patton Tank.
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 1/23/2016 3:18:14 PM
Waymark Code: WMQAJA
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member WanderingAus
Views: 2

Long Description:
Development of what became the M47 Patton Medium Tank began in 1948 when the Cold War was just beginning and the U.S. faced a severe shortage of medium and heavy armor. The M-46 Patton tank was deployed in late 1949, just in time to be available for combat in the Korean War the next year. Next, as a stop-gap measure, the M-46 hull and chassis were joined with a new turret design to create this new tank designated the M-47 Patton Medium Tank. As soon as the M-47 entered production, work began on the next tank in the series, the highly successful M-48 Medium Tank, which replaced the inefficient M47 in the early 1950s.

The first pilot M47 was shipped to Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) for testing in March 1951 and production began at Detroit Arsenal in June 1951, before pilot testing was completed. Testing of production M47 tanks began in August 1951 and continued for more than a year.

The testing isolated a number of weaknesses in the M47, notably the complex and fragile rangefinder, the turret stabilization system, and the automatic loader. These items were eliminated from the final production version that was issued to field units. A total of 8,576 M47 Patton tanks were produced by American Locomotive Co. and the Detroit Tank Arsenal before M47 production ended in November 1953.

The M47 was an interim design, the last medium tank to retain the WW II style five man crew and hull machine gun. Eventually all but a few hundred of the M47s were exported to NATO countries where they were the backbone of armor for the next 15 years.

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Location restrictions:
The tank is part of a veterans memorial in the Charles E. Bailey Sportplex. It is open to the public 24/7.

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