Medium Tank M46 Patton at the US Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks.

From this angle, the M46 Patton is virtually identical to the M26A1 Pershing. Each was armed with the M3A1 90mm gun, which features a bore evacuator and single-baffle muzzle brake.

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Medium Tank M46 Patton at the US Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks.

This view provides positive identification. Engine exhaust mufflers are mounted on the rear fenders, and a small track tension idler is between the rear road wheel and the drive sprocket. The gun travel lock on the rear deck is raised, and the pistol port in the side of the turret can be seen. Two sockets for mounting a .50cal machine gun are visible on the turret roof, one to the front and a taller one to the rear.

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

The .50cal machine gun is stowed on the turret rear, and the main gun is secured in its travel lock. (Picture from TM 9-718 Medium Tank M46 (T40).)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

The new air-cooled engine required more airflow, and consequently the engine deck featured more grilles than the outgoing M26. (Picture from TM 9-718 Medium Tank M46 (T40).)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

Note the square transmission inspection covers and the reinforcements just inboard of the final drives: this illustration is of a prototype medium tank T40. On a production M46, the reinforcements were absent and the inspection covers were round. The rest of the covers were similar. (Picture from TM 9-718 Medium Tank M46 (T40).)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

The interior layout and armor distribution can be seen in this cross-section. (Picture from TM 9-718 Medium Tank M46 (T40).)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton at the US Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks.

The TC was now provided with a mount 6580030 for the .50cal MG in front of his position. This was ergonomically better than the setup found on the M26, with solely a mount behind the commander.

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Medium Tank M46 Patton at the First Division Museum.

A view of the commander's cupola from behind is shown here, with the vision blocks and periscope opening blanked over. The contour of how the turret side meets the cupola can be seen.

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

The commander could use his own traversing control handle to traverse the turret and override the gunner's inputs. Squeezing the lever on the front of the handle disengaged the gunner's control handle, and turning the handle clockwise traversed the turret to the right, and counterclockwise traversed the turret to the left. Pushing the handle farther in either direction increased the speed of traverse. (Picture from TM 9-718 Medium Tank M46 (T40).)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton at the First Division Museum.

The loader's hatch opened forward, and the catch can be seen on the roof. The circular indentation to the loader's front left shows where his rotating periscope would have been, and the square base for the .50cal machine gun mount is on the rear roof between the loader and commander. Two antenna base mounts are also present, one directly behind the loader's hatch and one at the extreme rear of the turret, on the left-hand border of the frame.

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

The floor plates on the ammunition stowage boxes are shown here closed. (Picture from TM 9-718 Medium Tank M46 (T40).)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

The floor plates have been opened for this image. (Picture from TM 9-718 Medium Tank M46 (T40).)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

A closer view of the floor ammunition boxes is provided here. (Picture from TM 9-718 Medium Tank M46 (T40).)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton at the First Division Museum.

With the horizontal portion of the periscope guard/.50cal machine gun mount removed, the blanked-off aperture for the gunner's M10F periscope is easily seen. The commander's vane sight is mounted on the inboard vertical portion of the periscope guard.

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

The gunner's controls are labeled here. Power traverse was accomplished by rotating the power traversing control handle clockwise or counterclockwise; greater rotation of the handle led to faster traverse. (Picture from TM 9-718 Medium Tank M46 (T40).)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

The selector switch box allowed the gunner to arm the 90mm or coaxial machine gun firing circuits. The safety switch controlled the circuit from the turret switch box firing switch to the selector switches and indicator lights, as well as to the gunner's hand and foot firing switches. (Picture from TM 9-718 Medium Tank M46 (T40).)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton at the US Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks.

A closeup of the single-baffle muzzle brake and the bore evacuator on the front of the gun tube is provided here. The gun weighed 2,260lb (1,030kg) without the muzzle brake and bore evacuator, and the tube could survive an estimated 1,600 equivalent full-charge rounds.

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Medium Tank M46 Patton at the First Division Museum.

Looking down onto the rear deck, the increased airflow necessitated by the new air-cooled engine becomes apparent when compared with the rear deck of the M26.

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

The various components of the engine deck are labeled here. (Picture from TM 9-718 Medium Tank M46 (T40).)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton at the US Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks.

The mounting of the engine muffler on the rear fender can be seen in this image, as well as the mounting bolts and bracket for the fender itself. The grille to the right of the image provided access to the transmission, and stowage mounts for the .50cal MG can be seen on the turret rear. A towing cable is routed below the muffler.

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Medium Tank M46 Patton at the US Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks.

Details of the exhaust pipe connection to the muffler can be seen here. Under the turret bustle in the center of the rear deck is the center battery cover.

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Medium Tank M46 Patton at the US Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks.

A closer image of the battery cover and the underside of the turret bustle is provided here.

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

The hinged grilles have been opened and the remaining deck grilles removed here. A. Right fuel tank. B. Air cleaner pipes. C. Auxiliary generator and engine. D. Exhaust pipes. E. Left cylinder bank. F. Oil cooler. G. Engine rear shroud. H. Engine top shroud. J. Transmission. K. Engine oil filler cap. L. Engine oil level gage (bayonet type). M. Engine fan. N. Right cylinder bank. P. Clamps. Q. Hot-spot pipes. R. Engine top shroud section. S. Lifting eye. T. Engine junction box. U. Left fuel tank. (Picture from TM 9-718 Medium Tank M46 (T40).)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

The left rear of the cross-drive transmission and oil coolers is shown here. Dry, the transmission weighed about 3,000lb (1,400kg) was about 30" (76cm) long, 40.375" (102.55cm) high, and 48" (120cm) wide over the flanges. It combined the transmission, steering, and braking functions into a single assembly. (Picture from TM 9-718 Medium Tank M46 (T40).)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton at the US Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks.

The bow machine gun mount is shown here, and the pioneer tool stowage rack is mounted on the tank's upper hull front. The siren is visible just behind the headlight.

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

The assistant driver's position is shown here. He had duplicated driving controls, and could take over from his position if the driver tired or was injured. Similar to earlier tanks, the bow machine gun was aimed simply by observing tracers and impacts. The machine gun's traveling lock rod is engaged in this image. (Picture from TM 9-718 Medium Tank M46 (T40).)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton at the US Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks.

The apertures for the ventilator mounted between the drivers can be seen in this picture. Details of the driver's periscope housing guard, door hinge, and door hold open catch are shown, as well as the attachment of the fender mounting bracket to the hull lifting eye.

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Medium Tank M46 Patton at the First Division Museum.

Each driver was provided with an escape hatch in the floor. The driver's hatch location is shown here, and the assistant driver's would occupy the spot on the opposite side of the hull .

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

The floor of the driver's position is shown here. The paint of the escape hatch door contrasts with the white of the interior. The accelerator pedals for the two drivers were connected by a cross-shaft, so that they both moved when one was pressed. (Picture from TM 9-718 Medium Tank M46 (T40).)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

The front of the driver's position is labeled in this picture. The parking brake locking handle arrested movement of the parked vehicle by locking the service brakes into position as the service brake pedal was depressed. The manual control lever controlled both steering and the transmission speeds. The shift positions were controlled by pushing the lever into one of four longitudinal positions: from front to rear, they were neutral, low, high, and reverse. Shifting into or out of neutral required squeezing the hand grip handle. To shift into reverse from low or high (or vice-versa), the finger lift trigger or the hand grip handle were required to be actuated. Shifting into or out of reverse necessitated that the tank be completely stopped. Steering was accomplished by moving the manual control lever to the right or left, and it was spring-loaded to return to center upon release. While reversing, the vehicle rear would turn in the opposite direction that the handle was pressed. Steering with the lever while the transmission was in neutral would cause the tracks to run in opposite directions. (Picture from TM 9-718 Medium Tank M46 (T40).)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

Both drivers were provided with a hood to emplace over their open hatches during inclement weather. The hood had an electrical windshield wiper and an electrical defroster, each of which had toggle switches on the top of the windshield. (Picture from TM 9-718 Medium Tank M46 (T40).)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

Nomenclature for the suspension components is given here. (Picture from TM 9-718 Medium Tank M46 (T40).)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

The sandshields have been removed, revealing more details of the suspension. (Picture from TM 9-718 Medium Tank M46 (T40).)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

The rear road wheel hub, compensating idler wheel, and drive sprocket are detailed in this image. (Picture from TM 9-718 Medium Tank M46 (T40).)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton at the US Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks.

The small idler wheel in front of the drive sprocket was intended to help maintain track tension and prevent the tracks from being thrown. A shock absorber and bump stop are visible behind the rear road wheel.

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Medium Tank M46 Patton at the US Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks.

The swing arm of the small idler wheel is shown here.

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Medium Tank M46 Patton at the First Division Museum.

Compared to the downward-pointing final drives on the M26, those on the M46 pointed more to the rear, consequently raising the drive sprocket compared to the earlier tank.

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Medium Tank M46 Patton belonging to the US Army Armor and Cavalry Collection.

The hull rear plate provides further differentiation from the M26. The round covers in the rear plate are transmission access plates, and the box above these housed an interphone system. The turret on this vehicle is reversed, and the gun is resting in its travel lock.

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Medium Tank M46 Patton.

The turret hydraulic traverse mechanism is diagrammed in this image. The gunner and commander both had traverse controls, but the commander received precedence so he could override the gunner's inputs. The hand crank between the gunner and commander could be used to rotate the turret if the hydraulic system became inoperable. (Picture from TM 9-1718D Ordnance Maintenance--Hydraulic Turret Traversing Mechanism (Oilgear) for Medium Tank M46.)

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Medium Tank M46 Patton belonging to the Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor.

A look inside the external interphone box reveals the handset is missing from this vehicle, but the control box and take-up reel remain. Two vertical hooks are in the left of the box.

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Last updated 6 Jun 2021.
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© Copyright 2001-21 Chris Conners