The M46, M47, M48 and M60 Patton were the U.S army's principal main battle tanks of the Cold War, with models in service from the late 1940s to the 1990s. It was the primary U.S. tank in Korea and Vietnam, and the M60A3 saw limited use in Desert Storm. It was widely used by U.S. Cold War allies, especially other NATO countries. The many models were named after General George S. Patton, commander of the U.S. Third Army during World War II and one of the earliest American advocates for the use of tanks in battle.
It was replaced in US service by the M1 Abrams, though it co-existed with the M60A3 for over a decade, which had entered service just two years before (1978) the M1 (The M48A5 also served alongside both for time as well in the 80s). The Patton had replaced late version Shermans and the M26 Pershing. Internationally, many various Patton models remain in service.
By kjfitz @ 2006-12-17 11:59:32