M46 Patton

M46 Patton
An American M46 Patton tank of the United States Marine Corps, during the Korean War
TypeMedium tank[1]
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service1949–1957[2]
WarsKorean War
Production history
ManufacturerDetroit Arsenal Tank Plant
No. built800 + 360 M46A1
Weight48.5 tons (44 metric tons)
Length27.82 ft (8.48 m)
Width11.52 ft (3.51 m)
Height10.43 ft (3.18 m)
Crew5 (commander, gunner, loader, driver, assistant driver)

Armor102 mm/4 inches maximum
90 mm gun M3A1
70 rounds
.50 in (12.7 mm) M2 machine gun
2 × .30 cal (7.62 mm) M1919A4 machine guns
EngineContinental AV-1790-5A V12, air-cooled Twin-turbo gasoline engine
810 hp (604 kW)
Power/weight18.4 hp (13.7 kW) / tonne
TransmissionGeneral Motors CD-850-3 or -4, 2 ranges forward, 1 reverse
SuspensionTorsion bar suspension
Ground clearance18.82 in (478 mm)
Fuel capacity878 liters 232 U.S. gallons
80 miles (130 km)
Speed30 mph (48 km/h)

The M46 was an American medium tank designed to replace the M26 Pershing and M4 Sherman. It was one of the U.S Army's principal medium tanks of the early Cold War, with models in service from 1949 until the mid-1950s. It was not widely used by U.S. Cold War allies, being exported only to Belgium, and only in small numbers to train crews on the upcoming M47 Patton.

The M46 was the first tank to be named after General George S. Patton Jr., commander of the U.S. Third Army[3] during World War II and one of the earliest American advocates for the use of tanks in battle.[4][5]


After World War II, most U.S. Army armored units were equipped with a mix of M4 Sherman and M26 Pershing tanks. Designed initially as a heavy tank, the M26 Pershing tank was reclassified as a medium tank after the war. The M26 was a significant improvement over the M4 Sherman in firepower and protection. Its mobility, however, was deemed unsatisfactory for a medium tank, as it used the same engine as the much lighter M4A3 and was plagued with an unreliable transmission.

Work began in January 1948 on replacing the original power plant with the Continental AV1790-3 engine and Allison CD-850-1 cross-drive transmission. This design was initially called the M26E2, but modifications continued to accumulate; eventually, the Bureau of Ordnance decided that the tank needed its own unique designation, the M46.[citation needed] The upgraded M26 received a new power plant and a main gun with a bore evacuator.

Upon completion of the first model off the Detroit Tank Arsenal production line in November 1948, the M46 was christened after the late General George S. Patton.[6] By December the Army had ordered several hundred.[7] In July 1950 Detroit Arsenal was producing Pershings and M46s at a rate of over a dozen a day.[8] In August 1950 President Harry S. Truman authorized funding for increased M46 production as part an expansion of heavy tank development program.[9]

In total, 1,160 M26s were rebuilt: 800 to the M46 standard, 360 to the M46A1.[citation needed]

Other Languages
български: М46 Патън
bosanski: M46 Patton
čeština: M46 Patton
eesti: M46 Patton
français: Char M46 Patton
हिन्दी: एम ४६ पेटन
hrvatski: M46 Patton
italiano: M46 Patton
ქართული: M-46 Patton
Nederlands: M46 Patton
日本語: M46パットン
polski: M46 Patton
русский: M46 (танк)
Simple English: M46 Patton
српски / srpski: M46 Патон
svenska: M46 Patton
Türkçe: M46 Patton
українська: M46 (танк)