The M60 Patton is a main battle tank (MBT) introduced in December 1960. With the United States Army's deactivation of their last (M103) heavy tank battalion in 1963, the M60 became the Army's primary tankduring the Cold War. Although developed from the M48 Patton, the M60 series was never officially classified as a Patton tank, but as a "product-improved descendant" of the Patton series. In March 1959, the tank was officially standardised as the 105 mm Gun Full Tracked Combat Tank M60.
The M60 underwent many updates over its service life. The interior layout, based on the design of the M48, provided ample room for updates and improvements, extending the vehicle's service life for over four decades. It was widely used by the U.S. and its Cold War allies, especially those in NATO, and remains in service throughout the world today, despite having been superseded by the M1 Abrams in the U.S. military. Egypt is currently the largest operator with 1,716 upgraded M60A3s, Turkey is second with 866 upgraded units in service, and Israel is third with over 700 units of Israeli variants.
XM60/M60: Bearing a strong familial resemblance to the M48, the M60 has a wedge shaped hull, three return rollers, and aluminium road wheels, features not found on previous M48s. Featured a turret with 105 mm M68 gun. Some early production units for this and for A1 version did not have the commander's cupola.
M60A1: The first variant to feature the distinctive "needle-nose" long nosed turret, along with better armour protection and improved hydraulics.
Although Tankograd have already had published some books on the M60 such is the scale and longevity of the tank that it has been able to bring out another title.
This title focuses on the M60 series of Main Battle Tanks in Cold War Exercises 1962-88, the first part of the book takes into account the development of the tank from the end of the M48 in 1959. The Full tracked 105-mm gun the M60 was by then type-classified as its successor. The main battle tank arms race begins, in the mid-1960s, the Soviet ground forces also began launching their own modernization programmes as the Cold War progressed. The Russians were rolling out T-62A as well as the new improved MBT the T-64 and following on later the T-72. So work had to be done with the M60 to improve it
The M60 modernization started to make sure it was able to keep up with the developments in the Warsaw Pact and also with the technical advancements of the Bundeswehr, the M60 MBT was improved again and again.
The book moves onto what it was written for the different Cold War exercises the first one being Operation Big lift 1963. Back in 1963, Operation Big Lift was the largest ever deployment exercise during which troops moved from the USA to Germany. The Texas-based 2nd (US) Armoured Division “Hell on Wheels” that deployed to Germany was still equipped with the M48A1 and M59 armoured personnel carrier. In contrast to the participating 3rd (US) Armoured Division, 14th Armoured Cavalry Regiment and 8th (US) Infantry Division, all based in Germany along the Iron Curtain, already featured modern equipment such as the M60 and M113 APC.
The Operation Big Lift was a prototype exercise for the REFORGER exercise series that launched in the late 1960’s. As with all Tankograd books most of the content is picture heavy which always gives you plenty of quality photos, some of them are ideal for looking at for dioramas like one with a dusk scene with an M60 coming out of the woods. Some of the photos in this section will help for achieving realistic weathered vehicles and or tanks.
The next chapter the 68th Armour Regiment and 3rd Reconnaissance Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment 8th (US) Infantry Division “Pathfinder” Goes back to 1961 and the Berlin Crisis and the Berlin build-up which sped up the modernisation of equipment in USAREUR armour units. By the end of 1962, the M60 had replaced all the M48A1 and A2 tanks. Some really nice shots of various M60’s in this section with some eye catching colour photos giving the modeller and enthusiast a real insight into the days of the first M60’s in Europe and in particular Germany.
Fielding the M60/M60A1/A2/A3 MBT with the USAREUR Armour units from 1963 onwards. In mid -1960s the Soviet armed forces began to initiate a large scale modernization programme for their forces based in Central Europe. As part of this, the new T-64 was issued to the group of Soviet forces in Germany. The US Army in turn quickly replaced the earlier M60 MBTs with the new improved M6 A1. One of the many photos in this section really caught my eye was of an M60 that had, unfortunately, run over a car! As the 4th Cavalry moved down the road to the train station. A large number of photos accompany this section with black and white as well as colour in a number of different settings.
Heeresubung 1969 Schwarzer Lowe and exercise on both sides of the Danube, between the Lech River and Neckar River the exercise was planned to involve 36,000 troops with about 12,000 vehicles wheeled and tracked. The exercise was planned to include many different types of military operations such as night air assaults and at dawn also include close air support provided by jet fighters. With military pontoons crossing the rivers allowing tanks to be able to cross. All this being played out close to the Czechoslovakia border
However, after Warsaw Pact forces, led by the troops of the Soviet Union, intervened in Czechoslovakia, ending the Prague Spring by force. The situation along the border became very tense. The photos in this section really hold all that this exercise was about huge pontoons crossing the rivers, some fantastic black and white shots of an M60 powering its way through part of the river Danube.
REFORGER IV/ 1973 Certain Shield. Set in January 1973 it became a huge movement to the exercise area to the south of Autobahn 3 Linking Wurzburg and Nurnberg. The first of the pictures shows the enormous amount of M60 tanks driving down the Autobahn. Great colour photographs showing tracked MBT tanks and APC’s, M60 coming through the town of Zimmern in the woods and fields around the town.
REFORGER 1974 Certain Pledge. Another huge exercise between the towns of Munsingen, Ulm, Dillingen, Donauworth, Ingolstadt, Roth, Gunzenhausen and Crailsheim. After crossing a fictitious border between Hilpolstein and Ingolstadt during October 1974. They began their attack with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd brigades of the 1st US Armoured Division the war games began. A series of some great photographs showing the various M60’s some great diorama ideas in this chapter.
Several other chapters covering the REFORGER exercises like the Lares Team which saw the famous 101st (US) Air Assault Division “Screaming Eagles” Lots of black and white photos showing the M60 during exercises some close-up shots give some detail for the building of models. Loads of colour photos will help with any colour issues for the camouflage. The last chapter sees several different photos of the Last M60s in Germany in REFORGER 1988
As with all the Tankograd books and magazines they are made to be photo heavy giving you not just printed information, but a lot of pictures which will hopefully give you help and inspiration for your builds. If like me you really enjoy bringing a build to life than the idea of building a diorama can really come to life with one of many of these fantastic photographs provided in the book. The amount of information contained in the books really is very informative and certainly very enjoyable to read without you having to fill your brain with lots of technical data. I really see these titles being of use to the armour enthusiasts as well as the modellers and with such a vast range of different books, I just cannot wait for the next one
Highs: Another great title from the Tankograd publishers with some fantastic very helpful pictures and a good read. Lows: Nothing really comes to mind other then they leave you wanting the whole collection.Verdict: Another sure far winner with modellers interested in the Cold War or M60 and still giving plenty of information for the hardened enthusiast too