Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor, Fort Knox, Part 1
Although famous for its Bullion Depository, Fort Knox is in fact one of the largest military installations in America and houses about 30,000 military personnel. It is the U.S. Army’s Armor Center. During the Second World War a number of armored vehicles and guns captured by the Third US Army were sent to Fort Knox for study and evaluation. After the war these vehicles aroused public interest and were collected together, along with various pre-war Allied vehicles as the “Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor”
1 & 2) M24 Chaffee. American light tank of WWII which replaced the M3 and M5. Much more heavily armed than its predecessors, the M24 would serve in Korea and Vietnam, and can still be found in some militaries today. Originally lend-leased to France, this M24 saw service in Algeria with the 12e Regiment Chasseurs d’Afrique during the Algerian War
3) M48A2C Patton. American medium tank for the Cold War period, which succeeded the M47 Patton. The M48 Patton was in U.S. service until replaced by the M60 and served as the U.S. Army and Marine Corps’s primary battle tank in South Vietnam during Vietnam. Although largely resembling the M47, the M48 was a completely new design. It was the last U.S. tank to mount the 90 mm tank gun. This M48 was acquired from the Army in 1972 and is painted in the markings of the M48 Sgt. Gary Herschberger commanded on 25 November, 1969, when he was killed. Sgt. Herschberger received the Second Oak Leaf Cluster to the Silver Star for his actions that day.
4 to 6) Pzfpw III Ausf. F. German medium tank of WWII that saw extensive service throughout the war. It was intended to fight other tanks and serve alongside and support the Pzkpfw IVl; however when the Pzkpfw IV was redesigned to mount the long-barreled 7.5cm Kwk 40 gun, the Pzkpfw III effectively became obsolete in this role.
This is an Ausf F, fitted with an Ausf G turret that has been rearmed with the long-barrelled 5cm L/60 gun of the later production Ausf J. It is believed to have been captured by the Third US Army from the 116th Panzer Division in Normandy during World War II.
7 & 8) StuG III Ausf. G. German assault gun and tank destroyer of WWII. The StuG III was Germany’s most-produced AFV during WWII. It was built on the chassis of the Pzkpfw III, replacing the turret with a fixed superstructure mounting a more powerful gun. Initially intended as a mobile, armored light gun for direct-fire support for infantry, the StuG III was continually modified, and was widely employed as a tank destroyer. The Ausf G. variant increased the vehicles height, added side skirt spaced armor and an additional 80mm of armor welded to the front. This StuG was probably captured along with the Pzkpfw III above.
9) M2A1. American light tank of the interwar period. It saw limited use during WWII and was developed into the M3 Stuart.
Its only combat use in American units was with the US Marine Corps 1st Tank Battalion during the Pacific War in 1942 and in the M2A4 format. The M2A1 is the initial production type with single fixed turret containing one .50 cal machine gun. Only 17 units were produced.
This tank was acquired from the Army in May 1965 and has a painted tube in place of its main armament.
10) M26 Pershing. American heavy tank of WWII, which saw limited service at the end of the war. The genesis of the Patton line. While terrifically armed and armored for its time, it was withdrawn in 1951 in favor of its improved derivative, the M46 Patton, which had a considerably more powerful and reliable engine as well as an advanced and improved suspension to better meet the demands of the specific terrain it operated in. The tiger face painted on the glacis harks back to a similar practice during the Korean War.