Medium Tank M46 Patton1-7
M46: General
Date of first acceptance 1949
Manufacturer Detroit Tank Arsenal Crew
5 men:
  • Commander in turret right rear
  • Gunner in turret right front
  • Loader in turret left rear
  • Driver in hull left front
  • Assistant driver in hull right front
M46: Dimensions
Combat weight ~97,000lbs
~44,000kg
Height over AAMG 125.1"
317.8cm
Length without gun 250.3"
635.8cm
Gun overhang forward 83.3"
212cm
Width over sandshields 138.3"
351.3cm
Tread 110.0"
279cm
Ground clearance 18.8"
47.8cm
Fire height ~78"
~200cm
Turret ring diameter 69.0"
175cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration 14.0psi
.986kg/cm²
M46: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Max traverse rate Elevation
90mm Gun M3A1 M73 in turret 70 rounds 360°
(manual and electric-hydraulic)
24°/sec +20° to -10°
(manual)
.50cal M2HB MG Flexible in turret AA mount 550 rounds 360°
(manual)
-- Manual
.30cal M1919A4 MG Coaxial to 90mm gun 5500 rounds 360°
(manual and electric-hydraulic)
24°/sec +20° to -10°
(manual)
.30cal M1919A4 MG Ball mount in right bow Manual -- Manual
M46: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Rolled and cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front 4.0"
10cm
46°
Lower front 3.0"
7.6cm
53°
Front sides 3.0"
7.6cm
Rear sides 2.0"
5.1cm
Upper rear 2.0"
5.1cm
Lower rear .75"
1.9cm
62°
Top .88"
2.2cm
90°
Front floor 1.0"
2.5cm
90°
Rear floor .5"
1.3cm
90°
Turret
Cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Gun shield 4.5"
11cm
Front 4.0"
10cm
Sides 3.0"
7.6cm
0° to 8°
Rear 3.0"
7.6cm
0° to 5°
Top 1.0"
2.5cm
90°
M46: Automotive
Engine Continental AV-1790-5A; 12 cylinder, 4 cycle, 90° vee gasoline
Horsepower Net: 704@2800rpm
Gross: 810@2800rpm
Torque Net: 1440 ft-lb@2000rpm
Gross: 1610 ft-lb@2200rpm
Fuel capacity 232gal
878L
Transmission General Motors CD-850-3 or -4, 2 ranges forward, 1 reverse
Steering Mechanical, wobble stick
Brakes Multiple disc
M46: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Torsion bar 6 individually sprung dual/track 5 dual/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
13-tooth rear drive Dual compensating at front of track;
dual track tension wheel behind last road wheel
On first 2 and last 2 road wheels/track
M46: Track
T80E1
Center guide, double pin, rubber backed steel
Width 23"
58cm
Pitch 6"
15cm
Shoes/track 86 Ground contact length Left side: 148.8"
Right side: 152.6"
Left side: 378.0cm
Right side: 387.6cm
T80E4
Center guide, double pin, rubber backed steel
Width 24"
61cm
Pitch 6"
15cm
Shoes/track 86 Ground contact length Left side: 148.8"
Right side: 152.6"
Left side: 378.0cm
Right side: 387.6cm
T84E1
Center guide, double pin, rubber chevron
Width 24"
61cm
Pitch 6"
15cm
Shoes/track 86 Ground contact length Left side: 148.8"
Right side: 152.6"
Left side: 378.0cm
Right side: 387.6cm
M46: Performance
Max level road speed 30mph sustained
48kph sustained
Max trench 102"
259cm
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 36"
91cm
Min turning diameter Pivot Max fording depth 48"
120cm
Cruising range ~80mi
~130km


The M46 was basically a medium tank M26 with the new and more powerful Continental V-12 engine and cross-drive transmission, which allowed the tank to pivot steer. The new powerpack corrected the major fault of the Pershing, which was its underpowered and gimpy powertrain. The M46 used the 90mm gun M3A1 with bore evacuator and single-baffle muzzle brake, as also seen on the M26A1 Pershing. The major differentiation point between the M46 and M26 is the placement of the exhausts: M46 had a rearward-facing muffler on each rear fender, while Pershing had the exhaust vented through a hole in the hull rear plate.

Three hundred sixty M46A1s were also built, with improved braking, oil cooling, and fire extinguishing systems. M46A1s also had a new instrument panel and electrical wiring, and used the AV-1790-5B engine and CD-850-4 transmission.


Home       Vehicle list       Top

                     



References

  1. Hunnicutt, R.P. Patton: A History of the American Main Battle Tank. Navato, CA: Presidio Press, 1984.

  2. Hunnicutt, R.P. Pershing: A History of the Medium Tank T20 Series. Bellingham, WA: Feist Publications, Inc., 1996.

  3. Miller, David. The Illustrated Directory of Tanks of the World. Osceola, WI: MBI Publishing Co., 2000.

  4. Crismon, Fred W. U.S. Military Tracked Vehicles. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International, 1992.

  5. Bolté, Philip L. "Post-World War II and Korea: Paying for Unpreparedness." Camp Colt to Desert Storm: The History of U.S. Armored Forces. Eds. George F. Hofmann, Donn A. Starry. USA: University Press of Kentucky, 1999.

  6. Decker, Oscar C. "The Patton Tanks: The Cold War Learning Series." Camp Colt to Desert Storm: The History of U.S. Armored Forces. Eds. George F. Hofmann, Donn A. Starry. USA: University Press of Kentucky, 1999.

  7. TM 9-1718D Ordnance Maintenance--Hydraulic Turret Traversing Mechanism (Oilgear) for Medium Tank M46. Washington, DC: Department of the Army, August 1950.



Last updated 30 Aug 2013.

Questions? Comments? Corrections? Email me

© Copyright 2001-13 Chris Conners