Tag Archives: M60

Autumn Forge ’78

NATO’s Historian just posted this, which is awesome for fans of Cold War gear and equipment.

A documentary presented by Robert MacNeil from NATO headquarters in Brussels and showing a 1978 combined NATO exercise, “Autumn Forge”, that took place in September 1978 in the Federal Republic of Germany, testing the capacity for rapid reinforcements to NATO’s central front in Europe, the most vulnerable area the Alliance has to defend.


00:00 Introduction

06:23 Day One

11:49 Day Two

18:07 Day Three

22:42 Day Four

25:50 Epilogue

SACEUR, U.S. Army General Alexander M. Haig, placed great emphasis on improving the “Three Rs” – Readiness, Rationalisation, and Reinforcement – in order to counter-balance the growing military capabilities of the Warsaw Pact. One of SHAPE’s major tasks during this period was to study how to improve the command and control and flexibility of NATO forces in Europe. In 1975, Gen. Haig also introduced a major new NATO exercise program called Autumn Forge, whose best-known element was the REFORGER (Return of Forces to Germany) series. These exercises brought together national and NATO exercises improved their training value and annually tested the ability of the Alliance’s North American members to reinforce Europe rapidly.

April showers bring May flowers

I just love everything about this photo. The super worn M60 pig with the beat cover. The bright green utes. The camo M1 cover stuffed with flowers in like the most obvious camo breakup ever. The fact you can’t see his assistant gunner unless you notice the hump on his back and the extra hand.

U.S Army photo DA-ST-84-04992. Caption: A camouflaged infantryman armed with an M60 machine gun. Date Shot: 1 Jun 1972

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

(Photo via Friends of the Tank Museum)

(Photo via Friends of the Tank Museum)

“U.S. M60 and the Soviet-built T62, showing the much lower profile of the Warsaw Pact vehicle. Although armament was roughly equivalent, the lower profile of the T-62 made it a much harder target.”

The T-62, at about 40-tons, was eight feet high– three feet less than the M-60, giving it the tactical advantage. However, due to the low depression of the T-62’s gun when compared to the 105mm hull cracker of the M-60, was seen in the West as a handicap.

The T-62 carried 40 rounds of ammunition, with most of the rounds stored in the hull and the gun suffered from a very long ejection period. The M60 carried 60 rounds, with more ready in the turret, and could fire about twice as fast with a well-trained crew.

Plus, the T-62 was seen as being cramped and hard to drive.

The M60 Patton was introduced in 1961, augmenting and then replacing the M48 in U.S. service (though it should be noted that upgraded M48A5’s, up-gunned with the 105 mm M68 gun to make them basically M60s, remained in some National Guard armored units until as late as 1990). The M60 was in turn replaced after 1980 by the M1 Abrams, though Marine M60A1s fought in Desert Storm, reportedly accounting for as many as 200 Iraqi tanks including some rather modern T-72s. Though the U.S. phased out the last M60s, used as training vehicles, by 2005, they remain in service with over 20 foreign allies. Some 15,000 were built.

As for the T-62, armed with the 115 mm U-5TS “Molot” (2A20) Rapira smoothbore tank gun, it was the go-to tank of the Soviet Union, its Warsaw Pact partners, and overseas commie friends. The Soviets alone produced 20,000 variants through 1975 when they moved on to the T-72, though the simplified “monkey model” as former Soviet military intelligence officer Viktor Suvorov called them, are still produced in North Korea as the Ch’ŏnma-ho I with upgraded 125mm 2A46 guns complete with autoloaders.

T-62s and M-60s met at least three times in combat: In the 1973 Yom Kippur war, the Syrian and Egyptian T-62 was an effective adversary for Israeli Pattons, though better training and more ammo carried the day for the IDF; Iraqi T-62s under Saddam clashed with Iranian M-60s in the 1980s, and of course the story of the Marines from Desert Storm.

Though both of these MBTs were a product of late 1950s tech, they will both continue to be encountered worldwide for the next several generations.

And for a great throwback, here is a 1977 Army film on how to best kill the T-62, likely shot with the use of some captured Syrian vehicles as well as intelligence footage.

Oz Selling 150 M60s and SLRs to Museums and Vet Groups


Military rifles and machine guns on offer toRSLs and museums for preservation



Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today released a Request for Offer (RFO) for up to 90 L1A1 Self Loading Rifles (SLRs) and 40 M60D Machine Guns.


The items will be open for sale to museums, returned services associations, military heritage and other historical organisations as exhibits for static display. 


“These military weapons have played an important role in our history, and it is important that they are preserved,” Minister Clare said.


“The M60D Machine Guns were fitted to Iroquois helicopters during the Vietnam War.


“The SLRs were also used in Vietnam by most field units of the Australian Army. 


“More recently they have been used in a ceremonial role by the Australian Federation Guard.”


A number of these items will also be retained within Australian Army History Units and the Australian War Memorial.


All items must be demilitarised as a condition of sale.


Copies of the Request for Offer are available through the AUSTENDER website tenders.gov.au with reference DMOFD/RFO183/2011 for the M60D Machine Guns and reference DMOFD/RFO184/2011 for the SLRs.


Queries relating to the RFO documents should be directed to the AUSTENDER helpdesk by phone: 1300 651 698, or email:



Queries in relation to the offer can be made to the Defence Disposals Agency at

disposals@defence.gov.au  or phoning on 02 9393 2914.


The Request for Offer will close on 17 January for the M60D Machine Guns and on 23 January for the SLRs.


Media contact: Korena Flanagan – 02 6277 7620