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M103 Tank Unit?
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 Feb 08, 2011 6:52 pm
Post subject: M103 Tank Unit?

Found this on the Internet. This must be an M103 Heavy Tank unit.
(Source~ www.3ad.org )


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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:19 pm
Post subject: Re: M103 Tank Unit?

Hi Mark! Hi Folks!

M103 is correct. That is the only heavy tank the US Army and USMC ever fielded.

Spot Report!
Sgt, Scouts Out!

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Dontos
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:41 pm
Post subject: Re: M103 Tank Unit?

An interesting photo.

I know that the US Army only had 70(+/-) M103A1's that they aquired from the USMC. I had always assumed that the M103A1 Heavy Tank Battalions were Corps level asset.

I've seen some photos of Army M103A1's that were marked with 32nd Ar.

I wonder if that 2nd HTB 33 Armor is the same 2/33 Armor that used to be stationed at Ayers Kaserne in Kirchgons as part of 3rd Ar Div?

Having lived there (at THE ROCK)for 3 years, I never knew that M103A1's had been previously assigned there.

Interesting.
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Don
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MarkHolloway
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:58 pm
Post subject: Re: M103 Tank Unit?

Good point, Don. I think 2/32 Armor has an M103 unit. We need to do some research.

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MarkHolloway
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:25 pm
Post subject: Re: M103 Tank Unit?

All I can find is that 2/33 Armor was the heavy battalion. In 1957 2/32 was designated a medium tank battallion. Can't find much else.

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:46 pm
Post subject: Re: M103 Tank Unit?

In Europe, the US Army fielded only one battalion of heavy tanks, originally assigned to the 899th Armor, later redesignated the 2/33rd Armor[3]. The US Army heavy armor battalion, in contrast to other armor units, was organized into four tank companies, composed of six platoons each, of which each platoon contained three M103's, for a total of 18 tanks per company. Standard US Army armor battalions at the time had three companies per battalion, each with three five-tank platoons, with 17 tanks per company (two tanks were in headquarters platoon). The US Marine Corps assigned one M103 company to each of its 3 Marine tank battalions, including its Marine reserve units.[4]

While the US Army deactivated its heavy armor units with the reception of the new M60 series main battle tanks in 1960, the remaining M103s stayed within the US Marine Corps inventory until they began receiving the M60 series MBT. With the disappearance of the heavy tank from US forces came the full acceptance of the Main Battle Tank in 1960 for the US Army, and 1973 for the US Marine Corps.[5] Although the 21st century's M1 Abrams MBT utilizes the same caliber of main gun, the 120 mm, the M103's cannon was a rifled gun firing a fixed round, ejecting a lengthy brass shell casing (34.69 inches in length for the armor-piercing rounds)[6]. The M1 tank's 120 mm main gun is a smooth bore (no rifling) firing a semi-caseless round, ejecting only a back cap of the original loaded round; the bulk of the 120mm shell's casing is consumed during firing.

Yeah, I know, it's Wiki...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...heavy_tank
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Dontos
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:35 am
Post subject: Re: M103 Tank Unit?

Okay,....Memory serves me well, as I knew this whole topic had run before,.....back in 2007/2008.

1958: US Army fields the 899th Tank Battalion with the M103A1 Heavy Tank. Redesignates to 2nd Heavy Tank Bn, 33rd Armor Regt.
** Composition of Unit: 4 Tank Companies, made up of 6 Platoons (3 tanks per Platoon)

The 899th Tank Bn was inactivated on 1 May 1958 in Germany; concurrently, personnel and equipment were transferred in place to the newly activated 2nd Heavy Tank Bn, 33rd Armored which was activated on the same day and assigned to USAREUR.

Forgot where I got this from but I'm sure its more accurate than 'Wiki'....

Besides, in the time since we last discussed this, I have had the chance to check out most of the Heavy Tank prototypes that ended up as the M103.

For such a huge tank, I still don't feel there is that much 'elbow room' in the turret....

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Don
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MarkHolloway
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:04 am
Post subject: Re: M103 Tank Unit?

There was a statement on the wiki site that the M103 is the tank on the armor branch insignia. I deleted that since it is in fact an M26.

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:46 pm
Post subject: Re: M103 Tank Unit?

Via private communications from a party that prefers to remain anonymous:

"Here's the deal. the only "real" hvy tk bn (w/m103s) was the 899th Hvy Tk Bn (an element of the 19th armor group. the 899th hq was at fliegerhorst kaserne in hanau; but its companies were attached to divisions around the fulda gap. b co/899th was at kirch goens w/cca 3ad. in oct '57, the 899th was re-flagged 2d hvy tk bn, 33d armor (and 19th armor grp became 4th armor grp).

i have tried for years, to learn where the other companies of the 899th were located. so far - i only know that another company was in aschaffenberg.....

I see somebody got pieces of the 899th history on the site. They may not realize there was one company attached at Kirch Gons. My error - I thought all the TK Bns in 3AD went CARS in Oct '57, but it turns out that ROCAD (which ran concurrent w CARS conversions) only covered the battalions assigned to armored divs, NOT the attached ones. The 3AD had another 19th/4th Armor Grp unit attached in those years - 746th AIB/later 3/51 Inf."
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MarkHolloway
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:01 am
Post subject: Re: M103 Tank Unit?

Photo from Kirch Goens. Says 1959. M103's and a couple M-74 Heavy Recovery Vehicles.

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Dontos
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:17 am
Post subject: Re: M103 Tank Unit?

WOW, Thats cool!!

Theres an M51 Heavy Recovery Vehicle also, which makes sense.

Amazing how I actually recognize the two tank motor pools.

4/32 Ar was in the upper tank motorpool, although the entire enclosure was concreted. 2/32 Ar was in the lower Motor Pool.

The road that went between the two motor pools went by the 'tank wash rack' and then to a back gate.

The maint buildings were part of the FSB area. The open area on the right side was the 'Wheeled Motor Pool', where we kept our Jeeps & Trucks.

The Rocks 'back gate' is in the distance to the upper right of the image. Actually beyond the large building, which I believe was the 'sub-cal' mini-tank range impact 'back stop'.

Cool find Mark!! I've never seen this shot before.

Thanks
Regards
Don
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MarkHolloway
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:27 am
Post subject: Re: M103 Tank Unit?

I made a mistake, Dontos. I meant to point out the M-51 Heavy Recovery Vehicle. I think there is an M-74 but that might be medium recovery.
There was a second photo at the site (shown below): SOURCE: www.usarmygermany.com/Sont.htm

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MarkHolloway
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:30 am
Post subject: Re: M103 Tank Unit?


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Dontos
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:33 am
Post subject: Re: M103 Tank Unit?

Here is a photo looking from the lower corner of the 4/23 MP towards the wheeled/track park & 2/32 ARs MP.



It actually is orientated in a reverse angle from the 1959 photo, towards the ASP in the distance.

Regards
Don
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MarkHolloway
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:43 pm
Post subject: Re: M103 Tank Unit?

It appears that A Company was in Aschaffenburg. C Company was in Erlangen in '59 and then moved to Kitzigen in '60. Found the following:

Santiago Soriano (Santiago Soriano)
I tranfered from Kentucky to Co. C 2nd Hvy. Tnk. Battalion 33rd Armor in Kitzingen, in 1960 to 1963.

C Co, 2 Bn, 33rd Armor. (James Thiele)
I remember wearing the 7th Army Patch while assigned to the 33rd in Erlangen, then wearing the 3rd Inf Div. patch while in Kitzengen. Guess we were like a "supporting" unit, with heavy Tanks.

2 Bn, 33rd Armor (James Thiele)
As I remember. A Co. was in Aschaffenberg, B Co in Hanau. C Co in Kitzengen. It was a Heavy Tank Bn only had 3 Company's each having 18 M103, 120MM Tanks, 63 tons each. (the ones the Marine Corp. got rid of)

C Co, 2rd HvTkBn, 33rd Armor (James Thiele)
Joined unit in Sept 1959 in Erlangen, Germany. Unit relocated to Kitzengen, Germany in Jan/Feb 1960. Departed some time in 1961.

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