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M-46 Patton Medium Tank

The M-26 Pershing, introduced at the end of World War II, was an improvement over the M-4 Sherman tank, but it was underpowered and had other shortcomings that required improvement.

The M-46 Patton tank was first deployed in late 1949, just in time to be available for combat in the Korean War the next year. The demands of Korea, and the escalating Cold War, accelerated development of a new medium tank to cure a severe shortage of U.S. medium and heavy armor when compared to Soviet forces. As a stop-gap measure, the M-46 hull and chassis were joined with a new turret design to create a new tank designated the M-47 Patton Medium Tank. As soon as the M-47 entered production, work began on its replacement, the highly successful M-48 Medium Tank.

See United States Tanks After World War II for additional information about the M-46 Patton Medium Tank.

M-46 Patton Medium Tank leaving bow door of LST-914 during invasion of Wonsan, Korea, 2 November 1950
M-46 Patton Medium Tank leaving bow door of LST-914 during invasion of Wonsan, Korea, 2 November 1950.

Today in WW II: 16 Sep 1940 Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 signed by Pres. Roosevelt, beginning the military draft of US men aged 21-36.  More 
16 Sep 1941 German encirclement of Soviet forces in Kiev completed, to be followed by ruthless German attacks to annihilate the trapped Red Army troops.
16 Sep 1943 Malaya Zemlya enclave of Novorossiysk port on the Black Sea, after holding out against Wehrmacht for 225 days, liberated by the Red Army.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

M-46 Patton Medium Tank

M-46 Patton Medium Tank.  Photo: Courtesy of Mark Holloway. Thanks to MSG Bill Campbell for correct description
M-46 Patton Medium Tank. Photo: Courtesy of Mark Holloway. Thanks to MSG Bill Campbell for correct description.

USMC M-46 Patton Medium Tank just landed by an LSU to support Marine infantry in Korea, 8 Jul 1952
USMC M-46 Patton Medium Tank just landed by an LSU to support Marine infantry in Korea, 8 Jul 1952.

Same USMC M-46 tank as above, showing close-up of rear panel with three round transmission access covers
Same USMC M-46 tank as above, showing close-up of rear panel with three round transmission access covers.

M46 Patton tank delivering mail in Korea, during the Korean War.  Thanks to Bukvoed for proper ID of the tank
M46 Patton tank delivering mail in Korea, during the Korean War. Thanks to Bukvoed for proper ID of the tank.

M-46 Patton Medium Tank of Dog Company, 1st Tank Battalion, in Korea, 25 March 1953.  This tank has been equipped with a dozer blade and a wire cage around the turret to defeat the use of 3.5 inch rockets fired at the tank
M-46 Patton Medium Tank of Dog Company, 1st Tank Battalion, in Korea, 25 March 1953. This tank has been equipped with a dozer blade and a wire cage around the turret to defeat the use of 3.5 inch rockets fired at the tank.

Thanks to Bob Pettit for help with this page.