The opportunity to see an M47 Patton Tank up close and personal, such as the one at the Armed Forces History Museum in Largo, FL, is a rare opportunity many will never experience. This massive tank was in service from 1952 until the early 1960s. The M47 was the main tank used by the US Army and US Marine Corps though it never saw combat while in service with the United States military.
M47 Patton Outside the United States
The Patton was used extensively by both NATO and SEATO allies and a number of other countries, including Austria, Belgium, Greece, Italy Japan Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Switzerland and West Germany to name a few. Even though it never saw combat in US service, the M47 Patton Tank was used in combat by Pakistan, Jordan, the Turkish Army, Iran and Croatia.
The M47 Patton was manufactured by Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant American Locomotive Company. They produced the tank from 1951 to 1953. In all, 8,576 Patton tanks were built. Inside, the tank held a crew of five which consisted of a commander, gunner, loader, driver and assistant driver.
The main armament on the M47 Patton is a 90mm gun M36 fitted with an M12 optical range finder. Secondary armament consisted of two .50 cal M2 machine guns (Browning). . Additional secondary armament on the Patton included a .30 cal (7.62mm) M1919A4 machine gun (positioned in flexible mount at the right front of the hull). The M47 Patton was the final tank to have a bow-mounted machine in its hull.
Even with the Patton’s 27 feet and 11 inches length, the quarters inside the tank are cramped – with three in the back – commander, gunner and loader - and two - the driver and assistant driver – in the front. The Patton is just over 11.5 inches wide and 11 feet high.
Recently, the AFHM had to move their M47 Patton Tank. Take a look at the brief video of this incredible tank in motion.
Below are some additional photos of the M47 Patton Tank at the Armed Forces History Museum: