The ubiquitous M60 Main Battle Tank (MBT) is the second generation of American MBTs and the fourth to carry the Patton name (following the M46, M47 and M48 series). During my time in the Army, beginning in the mid-1990s in Germany, the M1 Abrams was in its ascendency, fresh from its victories in Operation Desert Storm. I never paid much attention to the M60 other than remembering how tall and old they looked in comparison to the Army’s new MBT.
TankCraft 37, M60 Main Battle Tank, America’s Cold War Warrior 1959-1997, (https://penandswordbooks.com/subject-categories/reference/m60.html) dramatically changed that perception of an old tank. Instead, the long, distinguished career of the M60 MBT is elegantly and logically described and illustrated over its illustrious life of over 40 years.
The Table of Contents (see accompanying photo) lays out the book in a comprehensive manner beginning with a rudimentary section on US tank development, development of the M60 series, the M60, M60A1, M60A2, M60A3, M60 MBTs in foreign service, camouflage and markings, walk around photos, and the best part for modelers is the Model Showcase and Modelling Products (pp 25-43, which is inserted in the middle of book between the M60A2 and M60A3 sections). There are nine pages of color profiles highlighting 13 different M60s. The photos alone are worth the price of the book and provide numerous inspirations to model a M60 MBT.
This book is a boon for modelers who want to want to build a M60 MBT. The US Army and Marine Corps service, with its myriad camouflage schemes from overall olive drab to MERDC (Mobility Equipment Research and Development Center) with its eight approved schemes, MASSTER (Modern Army Selected Systems Test, Evaluation and Review), USAREUR (US Army Europe) Regulation 5-525, the standard NATO three-color scheme, the experimental DualTex (early pixelated scheme) to its final overall tan color, are well represented. This book lays these schemes out clearly.
Perhaps the obvious anemic part of this book is the section on M60s in foreign service, with only two pages covering variants in 25 countries; perhaps this can be excused by the title of the book… America’s Cold War Warrior.
For modelers, this book has 19 pages (30% of the book) dedicated to eight M60 models, including a M728 Combat Engineer Vehicle that are sublime. Additionally, the section provides a historical listing of models in various scales (predominantly 1/35), detail sets, individual track links, and decals. Where was this book when I was struggling with M60A1, M60A2 and M728 kits?
Anyone who served in the Army from June 1951 to June 2017, will hopefully fondly remember the US Army Preventative Maintenance Monthly publications featuring Master Sergeant Half-Mast, Connie Rod, and Privates Dope and Fosgnoff. Their contribution to the “new” M60A2 in April 1975 will bring a nostalgic nod to the familiar reader.
The M60 MBT served on the frontlines of the Cold War and evolved from the M48 through to its final sunset wearing Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) during the First Gulf War with the USMC. I have a newfound and healthy respect for the M60 series MBT after reading this book, to the point I have a hard time deciding between building a M60A3, M60 AVLB or M728 CEV. Regardless of my decision, M60 Main Battle Tank, America’s Cold War Warrior 1959-1997, will be on my bench as an invaluable reference.
Profuse thanks to Pen & Sword (https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/) and IPMS-USA for providing the review sample.