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M48/M60 Turret ID
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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MarkHolloway
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:30 am
Post subject: M48/M60 Turret ID

I'm looking at photos of Israeli tanks and I'm curious how to differentiate an M48A3 (low profile cupola) turret from an M60(A0) turret if the M48A3 has a 105mm gun?

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Rick_Eshleman
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:07 pm
Post subject: Re: M48/M60 Turret ID

Mark,
Here's 2 views of the M60A0 turret at Annapolis. I don't have any M48A3 views, but it's a start. Rick
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mikek92888
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:25 pm
Post subject: Re: M48/M60 Turret ID

The M60A0 turret was more squared off in the back than the M48 turret.
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C_Sherman
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:00 pm
Post subject: Re: M48/M60 Turret ID

The M60 never appeared without the distinctive cupola (M19?...can't recall), as far as I've ever known.

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Buq-Buq
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:11 pm
Post subject: Re: M48/M60 Turret ID

I think that Mark’s conundrum comes from the fact that -- after the 1973 War -- the Israelis removed the M19 cupola from most (if not all) of their M60A0 tanks, making the cupola unreliable as an identification feature.

I’ll bet that JoeD can really nail this question, but I’ll give it a shot.

As mikek points out, the M60A0 turret does have an oddly-squarish shape at the back right-hand side, by the antenna mount. The M48-series turret is very rounded in that area. Interestingly -- at least some M60A0s also have a machine gun pintle mount at the back of the turret . . . “inside” the bustle rack. [I think that this was pointed out to me by someone on this forum a few years ago. JoeD? Gary Owsley?] Both of these features can be seen in the drawing in Hunnicutt’s Patton. You can just make out the pintle mount in Rick’s first picture, above.

I was going to say that the definitive identification feature is the location of the lifting eyes on the turret, but a quick look through Patton and a few other references shows this not to be the case. In any event, I believe that the M48-series always used a “one-two” pattern to the turret lifting eyes (one in the front, in the center of the turret glacis; two at the back, on the turret sides). Apparently, some M60A0s also used this pattern, but some M60A0s also used a “two-one” pattern (two at the front, on the upper sides of the turret [like the M60A1]; one at the back, on the center of the turret roof). The M60A0 in Rick’s two photos above have this “two-one” pattern. I do not know what the details of this difference are; perhaps it is due to a different manufacturer? Apparently the first 360 M60A0s were built at Chrysler’s Newark, Delaware plant. From vehicle 361 on, production was carried out at the Detroit Tank Arsenal. Since photos of the initial production vehicles awaiting delivery show the M48-style “one-two” turret lifting eye pattern, and a photo of “late M60 production by Chrysler at the Detroit Tank Arsenal” in Patton shows the other “two-one” pattern lifting eyes, I’m going to guess that the change was due to the different manufacturer.

In any case, I think that if you see turret lifting eyes on the front upper sides of an M48/M60A0-style turret, you can probably bet that it is an M60A0.

Of course, if you can see the hull, that gives all kinds of identification features. But Mark was asking about the turret.

Hopefully, JoeD will see this and hop in here.




Mark
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C_Sherman
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:34 pm
Post subject: Re: M48/M60 Turret ID

- Buq-Buq
I think that Mark’s conundrum comes from the fact that -- after the 1973 War -- the Israelis removed the M19 cupola from most (if not all) of their M60A0 tanks, making the cupola unreliable as an identification feature.


Interesting. I don't believe I have ever seen a photo of an M60 without the cupola, although I can certainly understand why the Israelis would do away with them. It's possible that I just assumed that I was looking at an M48 in the absence of other identifying features.

Any chance of a photo?

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Buq-Buq
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:33 pm
Post subject: Re: M48/M60 Turret ID

Israeli M48 & M60 cupolas . . . there’s a subject for a post!

Short version (and some of these details might be soft or just plain wrong, so if anyone knows better, please jump in here): before the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the Israelis had replaced the M1 cupola on a lot of their M48s with the “all-round” (i.e., six-periscope) vision cupola from the Sherman. I believe that at about the time of the ’73 War they were in the process of — or planning to — replace both the M1 cupola and the Sherman cupola with the ‘new’ Urdan cupola, which was just basically a modified version of the original cupola from the M48(A0). It is possible that some M60A0s/M60A1s had their cupolas replaced with the same cupolas mentioned above before the 1973 war, but I can’t think of any pictures of them.

After the 1973 War, most, if not all, Israeli M48-series and M60-series MBTs received the Urdan* cupola as part of the rebuild/upgrade process. The new feature of the Urdan cupola was its ability to be opened on a partial, protected mode, with the hatch cover held parallel to the turret roof, open about 4-6 inches over the cupola opening. This provided the TC with overhead cover, while still allowing direct vision.

If this link works . . . here is an Israeli M60A0 rebuilt to Mag’ach 7 standards:

www.primeportal.net/ta.../magach_7/

You can see the Urdan cupola at the TC’s position. And, if you look hard enough, you can almost recognize an M60A0 under all that added armor and equipment.




Mark



* Edit: I should point out that this is the same cupola that the U.S. later used on their late-model M48A5 (Low-Profile) upgrade.
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C_Sherman
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:02 pm
Post subject: Re: M48/M60 Turret ID

I knew about the M48 conversions, for both the Israelis and the US tanks. I actually used the Urdan cupola on an M48A5 for a short period, and rather liked it. I'll have to take your word that there were M60s with them, but I've still never seen a basic M60A0 without that damned cupola installed.

I guess I don't think of the Mag'ach conversions as M60s, with all the additional stuff added on the outside. I know that under all that there is an M60, but it's pretty hard to tell from a quick look. They certainly make version ID really tough!

Chuck

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Buq-Buq
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:22 pm
Post subject: Re: M48/M60 Turret ID

- C_Sherman
I'll have to take your word that there were M60s with them, but I've still never seen a basic M60A0 without that damned cupola installed.



Chuck:

Try this link:

idf-armor.blogspot.com.../01/1.html

There are a couple M60A0s with the Urdan cupola on this page . . . if you click on a photo and launch the slideshow, image “7 of 23” is what I think of as the ‘classic’ M60A0 in Israeli service. The M19 cupola has been replaced by the Urdan cupola; notice that this turret has the ‘one-two’ lifting eye configuration. This image was also used in David Eshel’s book Israeli’s Armor in Action! (Eshel-Dramit, Ltd., 1978). There are a couple M60A0s with the Urdan cupola pictured in that book -- pages 67, 69, and 71. Eshel-Dramit’s War Data No. 4: M-48/60 Patton Main Battle Tank also has several picts, including a nice one taken from slightly above and behind that is on the title page; others are on pages 38 and 47 (on page 25 of that book there is a nice color picture of an upgraded M48A3 with the Sherman-style vision cupola).

Here’s an image of an M60A0 with an Urdan cupola and Blazer ERA mounts at the Latrun museum:

www.davidpride.com/Isr...mor162.htm

Lastly, this page on Patton-Mania doesn’t have any images, but it does have a physical description, about halfway down (note that this article refers to the M19 cupola as the “M1 CWS”):

www.patton-mania.com/I...ttons.html

To bolster its armoured force the IDF purchased 150 M60A1 tanks from the US in 1971. During and shortly before the Yom–Kippur War in 1973 Israel took delivery of additional M60 and M60A1 tanks from US stocks. Most of the M60A1’s took part in the 1973 fighting with their M1 CWS in place. Some had a .30 Cal machinegun mounted externally. Most but not all M60’s seem to have been upgraded with the unique Urdan cupola prior to any deployment.
The Pattons in the Yom Kippur War were upgraded M48’s (Magach 3), M60 with and without the Urdan cupola and M60A1 with the M1 CWS and some with the M1 CWS minus its M85 gun but an externally cradle mounted .30Cal. Some already featured an additional .50Cal mounted above the main gun for added firepower against soft targets.




Mark
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MarkHolloway
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:18 am
Post subject: Re: M48/M60 Turret ID

What got me started on this was that for some reason I was thinking that the Israeli M48A3 with a 105mm gun was also known as M48A4. A Wikipedia article says the M48A4 had the turret from an M60(A0). So what I was wondering was if you see an Israeli M48 with a 105mm gun then does it possibly have an M60(A0) turret?

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Buq-Buq
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:51 am
Post subject: Re: M48/M60 Turret ID

Mark:

References aren't to hand right now (Hunnicutt, primarily, and possibly also Jim Mesko's Squadron/Signal book on M48s) . . . but if I remember correctly, the official M48A4 designation never actually got used, since the imagined surplus of turrets from the M60A0s converted to M60A2s never happened. I believe that only one such tank ever existed (and it might have been known as an M48A1E2 or something like that). I think that the Mesko book mentioned that the Israeli conversions of their M48-series to "M48A5-standard" were then unofficially referred to as M48A4s in U.S. paperwork. So, I kind of doubt that you would see an Israeli M48Ax with an M60A0 turret — at least not coming from U.S. sources. What sort of modifications and/or turret switching the Israelis carried out is sort of above and beyond . . .

Bear in mind, this is all from memory, so it could be a bit twisted. Or just wrong.

I suppose, if you see an obviously M48 hull, with a turret with the funny squared-off right rear area, or a 'two-one' pattern to the turret lifting eyes, then you've probably found an ersatz M48A4 . . . at least by the 'book-description'. I've never seen one, but then again, I've also never set out to see if I could find one, before a couple nights ago.




Mark
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C_Sherman
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:08 pm
Post subject: Re: M48/M60 Turret ID

- Buq-Buq
- C_Sherman
I'll have to take your word that there were M60s with them, but I've still never seen a basic M60A0 without that damned cupola installed.



Chuck:

Try this link:

idf-armor.blogspot.com.../01/1.html

There are a couple M60A0s with the Urdan cupola on this page . . . if you click on a photo and launch the slideshow, image “7 of 23” is what I think of as the ‘classic’ M60A0 in Israeli service. The M19 cupola has been replaced by the Urdan cupola; notice that this turret has the ‘one-two’ lifting eye configuration. This image was also used in David Eshel’s book Israeli’s Armor in Action! (Eshel-Dramit, Ltd., 1978). There are a couple M60A0s with the Urdan cupola pictured in that book -- pages 67, 69, and 71. Eshel-Dramit’s War Data No. 4: M-48/60 Patton Main Battle Tank also has several picts, including a nice one taken from slightly above and behind that is on the title page; others are on pages 38 and 47 (on page 25 of that book there is a nice color picture of an upgraded M48A3 with the Sherman-style vision cupola).

Here’s an image of an M60A0 with an Urdan cupola and Blazer ERA mounts at the Latrun museum:

www.davidpride.com/Isr...mor162.htm

Lastly, this page on Patton-Mania doesn’t have any images, but it does have a physical description, about halfway down (note that this article refers to the M19 cupola as the “M1 CWS”):

www.patton-mania.com/I...ttons.html

To bolster its armoured force the IDF purchased 150 M60A1 tanks from the US in 1971. During and shortly before the Yom–Kippur War in 1973 Israel took delivery of additional M60 and M60A1 tanks from US stocks. Most of the M60A1’s took part in the 1973 fighting with their M1 CWS in place. Some had a .30 Cal machinegun mounted externally. Most but not all M60’s seem to have been upgraded with the unique Urdan cupola prior to any deployment.
The Pattons in the Yom Kippur War were upgraded M48’s (Magach 3), M60 with and without the Urdan cupola and M60A1 with the M1 CWS and some with the M1 CWS minus its M85 gun but an externally cradle mounted .30Cal. Some already featured an additional .50Cal mounted above the main gun for added firepower against soft targets.




Mark


Well, cool! Now I've seen an M60 without the cupola.

(BTW, I'm not at all sure the cupola was actually called M19. That just stuck in my memory for some reason, and it may be completely wrong. I do know we never referred to them as a CWS.)

Thanks. I've been schooled, and I appreciate it.

Chuck

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tanker2010
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:51 am
Post subject: Re: M48/M60 Turret ID

Uh, here's a thought...look at the hull. M48's had a different frront hull and fenders. M48's had angular fenders, M60's had curved fenders. All M60's had 3 return rollers. Since the IDF used a Mix of M48's they could have 3 or 5 return rollers. Patton ID 101.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:29 pm
Post subject: Re: M48/M60 Turret ID

Uh, here's a thought...look at the hull. M48's had a different frront hull and fenders. M48's had angular fenders, M60's had curved fenders. All M60's had 3 return rollers. Since the IDF used a Mix of M48's they could have 3 or 5 return rollers. Patton ID 101.


Gary (it IS Gary, isn’t it?):

You are absolutely right -- the hull would be the dead give-away in almost any case. Thanks for throwing in on this one. I actually did mention hulls as a method of differentiation in the fifth post of this thread:

Of course, if you can see the hull, that gives all kinds of identification features. But Mark was asking about the turret.


. . . but as I added, the original poster was specifically looking for information on identifying the turret . . . for whatever reason. Perhaps the tank is hull-down, or maybe the picture he is looking at is cropped, or maybe the turret wasn’t mounted on a tank, or maybe he wonders if maybe he might be looking at an M48A4 instead . . . the latter theory apparently being exactly what he had in mind. So I was pretty much concentrating on identifying the turret type, figuring that if he had really wanted to identify the tank type by the hull, he would have asked that question instead.

But you’re right, Gary, if you can see the hull (and if you’re confident that you’re not looking at an M48A4 -- or an ersatz M48A4), then you have a pretty good idea whether it is an M48-series vehicle or an M60-series vehicle.

Chuck, Mark, et al:

I had a look in Hunnicutt’s Patton, and the standard M60-series cupola is the M19 (although it is described in one caption on page 159 of that same book as the “M29”, which is presumably a typo). In a previous post, I used the name “M48A1E2” to describe the M48A4 ‘protoytpe’; this was incorrect, and should have been “M48A1E3” (additionally, there were two of these ‘prototype’ tanks built, not one). I did find it interesting that the M48A4 was originally going to be called the XM735, and the M48A5 was originally slated to be called the XM736.

I seems to me that the first time I can ever recall the M48A4 mentioned was in an article on post-WWII American armor in a magazine called . . . if my memory serves me correctly: Combat Illustrated . . . circa the mid- to late 1970s (or maybe the early 1980s). I can’t find it anywhere; I would think I would still have it. Does anyone recall that magazine or article?




Mark
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