Today in WW II: 21 May 1942 Sinking of the Mexican tanker Faja de Oro by German submarine U-160, off Key West, precipitates Mexican declaration of war against Nazi Germany.   

M-728 Combat Engineer Vehicle (CEV)

The M-728 Combat Engineer Vehicle (CEV) was based on the hull of the M-60A1 Main Battle Tank replacing the 105mm tank gun with the 165mm demolition gun. A hydraulically operated dozer blade is mounted to the front of the hull and an A-frame crane is hinged to either side of the turret. In traveling mode the crane is folded down around the rear of the turret. The main gun fires several types of ammunition, including antipersonnel rounds and the M123 demolition round called the High Explosive Squash Head (HESH) munition.

During Operation Desert Storm, M728s were used to augment M1A1 tanks equipped with mine rollers and mine plows to clear minefields, reduce field fortifications (e.g. pillboxes), for breaching, obstacle removal, transportation of demolition teams, and pioneering operations.

Production of the M-728 Combat Engineer Vehicle (CEV) began in 1965 and continued into the early 1980s. The M728 CEV was built by Chrysler at the Detroit Tank Arsenal, with a total production of 243. The M728 Combat Engineer Vehicle and its 165mm M123 demolition round were removed from the Army inventory in 1996.

M-728 Combat Engineer Vehicle (CEV) Specifications

Length 29.3 feet (crane folded)
Width 12 feet
Width with blade 12.2 feet
Height 10.5 feet
Weight 58.5 tons
Speed 30 mph road
Range 279 miles
Crew 4

The M728 Combat Engineer Vehicle (CEV) was armed with the primary 165-mm. demolition gun and two secondary machine guns, one .50 cal. machine gun and one 7.62mm machine gun.

M-728 Combat Engineer Vehicle (CEV).  Photo: Photo: Courtesy of Mark Holloway
M-728 Combat Engineer Vehicle (CEV). Photo: Photo: Courtesy of Mark Holloway.

M-728 Combat Engineer Vehicle (CEV) at 1st Cavalry Division Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005.  Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit
M-728 Combat Engineer Vehicle (CEV) at 1st Cavalry Division Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

M-728 Combat Engineer Vehicle (CEV) at 1st Cavalry Division Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005.  Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit
M-728 Combat Engineer Vehicle (CEV) at 1st Cavalry Division Museum, Ft. Hood, TX, 2 December 2005. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

M-728 Combat Engineer Vehicle (CEV) with Model 1000-HL ripper installed on dozer blade.  Tests of the ripper were conducted during the winter of 1996-1997 by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Cold Regions Research & Engineering Laboratory
M-728 Combat Engineer Vehicle (CEV) with Model 1000-HL ripper installed on dozer blade. Tests of the ripper were conducted during the winter of 1996-1997 by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Cold Regions Research & Engineering Laboratory.

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