Post WWII Vehicles

During the Cold War (1945–1990), the two opposing forces in Europe were the Warsaw Pact countries on the one side, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries on the other side. The Warsaw Pact was seen by the West as having an aggressive force outnumbering the NATO forces.

Soviet domination of the Warsaw Pact led to effective standardization on a few tank designs. In comparison, NATO adopted a defensive posture. The major contributing nations, France, Germany, the USA, and the UK developed their own tank designs, with little in common, while the smaller nations of NATO purchased or adapted these designs.

After World War II, tank development continued largely as it had been because of the Cold War. Tanks would not only continue to be produced in huge numbers, but the technology advanced dramatically as well. Tanks became larger and their armour became thicker and much more effective. Aspects of gun technology changed significantly as well, with advances in shell design and terminal effectiveness. However, most contemporary tanks in service still have manually breech-loaded guns, a trait of the earliest tanks which is shared with most self-propelled and field guns.

Many of the changes in tank design have been refinements to targeting and ranging (fire control), gun stabilisation, communications and crew comfort. Armour has evolved to keep pace with improvements in weaponry, and guns have grown bigger. But there have been no fundamental changes.

After World War II, tank design budgets were cut and engineering staff was often scattered. Many war planners[who?] believed that with the advent of nuclear weapons the tank was obsolete, given that a tactical nuclear weapon could destroy any brigade or regiment, whether it was armoured or not. The Korean War proved that tanks were still useful on the battlefield, given the hesitation of the great powers to use nuclear weapons. In the 1950s, many nations' tanks were equipped with NBC protection, allowing mechanized units to defend against nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, or to conduct breakthroughs by exploiting battlefield nuclear strikes.
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Alvis Saladin FV601 six-wheeled armoured car
The FV601 Saladin is a six-wheeled armoured car developed by Crossley Motors[1] and later manufactured by Alvis. Designed in 1954, it replaced the AEC Armoured Car in service with the British Army from 1958 onward. The vehicle weighed 11 tonnes, offered a top speed of 72 km/h, and had a crew of three. Saladins were noted for their excellent performance in desert conditions, and found favour with a number of Middle Eastern armies accordingly. They were armed with a 76 mm low-pressure rifled gun which fired the same ammunition as that mounted on the FV101 Scorpion.

The Saladin also spawned an armoured personnel carrier counterpart, the Alvis Saracen. Despite the vehicle's age and dated design, it is still in use in a number of countries in secondary roles.
£8.99
Centurion Mk 3
The Centurion was the primary British main battle tank of the post-Second World War period. Introduced in 1945, it is widely considered to be one of the most successful post-war tank designs, remaining in production into the 1960s, and seeing combat in the front lines into the 1980s. The chassis was also adapted for several other roles, and these have remained in service to this day.

Development of the Centurion began in 1943 with manufacture beginning in January 1945. Six prototypes arrived in Belgium less than a month after the war in Europe ended in May 1945.[10] It first entered combat with the British Army in the Korean War in 1950, in support of the UN forces. The Centurion later served in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, where it fought against US-supplied M47 and M48 Patton tanks and it served with the Royal Australian Armoured Corps in Vietnam.

Israel used Centurions in the 1967 Six-Day War, 1973 Yom Kippur War, and during the 1978 and 1982 invasions of Lebanon. Centurions modified as armoured personnel carriers were used in Gaza, the West Bank and on the Lebanese border. The Royal Jordanian Land Force used Centurions, first in 1970 to fend off a Syrian incursion within its borders during the Black September events and later in the Golan Heights in 1973. South Africa deployed its Centurions in Angola during the South African Border War.[11]

It became one of the most widely used tank designs, equipping armies around the world, with some still in service until the 1990s.[12] As recently as the 2006 Israel–Lebanon conflict the Israel Defense Forces employed heavily modified Centurions as armoured personnel carriers and combat engineering vehicles. The South African National Defence Force still employs over 200 Centurions, which were modernised in the 1980s and 2000s as the Olifant.

Between 1946 and 1962, 4,423 Centurions were produced, consisting of 13 basic marks and numerous variants. In British Army use it was replaced by the Chieftain.
£11.99
Centurion Mk 5
The Centurion was the primary British main battle tank of the post-Second World War period. Introduced in 1945, it is widely considered to be one of the most successful post-war tank designs, remaining in production into the 1960s, and seeing combat in the front lines into the 1980s. The chassis was also adapted for several other roles, and these have remained in service to this day.

Development of the Centurion began in 1943 with manufacture beginning in January 1945. Six prototypes arrived in Belgium less than a month after the war in Europe ended in May 1945.[10] It first entered combat with the British Army in the Korean War in 1950, in support of the UN forces. The Centurion later served in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, where it fought against US-supplied M47 and M48 Patton tanks and it served with the Royal Australian Armoured Corps in Vietnam.

Israel used Centurions in the 1967 Six-Day War, 1973 Yom Kippur War, and during the 1978 and 1982 invasions of Lebanon. Centurions modified as armoured personnel carriers were used in Gaza, the West Bank and on the Lebanese border. The Royal Jordanian Land Force used Centurions, first in 1970 to fend off a Syrian incursion within its borders during the Black September events and later in the Golan Heights in 1973. South Africa deployed its Centurions in Angola during the South African Border War.[11]

It became one of the most widely used tank designs, equipping armies around the world, with some still in service until the 1990s.[12] As recently as the 2006 Israel–Lebanon conflict the Israel Defense Forces employed heavily modified Centurions as armoured personnel carriers and combat engineering vehicles. The South African National Defence Force still employs over 200 Centurions, which were modernised in the 1980s and 2000s as the Olifant.

Between 1946 and 1962, 4,423 Centurions were produced, consisting of 13 basic marks and numerous variants. In British Army use it was replaced by the Chieftain.
£11.99
Lynx reconnaissance vehicle

The Lynx reconnaissance vehicle (manufacturer's name: M113½ Command and Reconnaissance Vehicle, abbr. M113 C&R) is a United States-built tracked reconnaissance armoured fighting vehicle, which was employed by the armed forces of the Netherlands and Canada. Dutch vehicles were exported in the 1990s to Bahrain[1] and Chile, according to SIPRI 35 and 8 vehicles respectively.

The M113½ was developed in 1963 as a private venture by FMC Corp., the manufacturer of the M113. It competed with the M114 but the US Army chose the M114 for production. The design was then offered to foreign buyers and gained the name Lynx when purchased by Canada.

The Lynx was based on the M113, including its aluminum armor and many details of its construction. However, it is shorter in both length and height, and has four road wheels instead of five. This reduction in size led to a significant reduction in weight as well, dropping to about 8 tonne compared to over 12 for the original M113. The engine was moved to the rear and offered in gas and diesel versions.

The Lynx is amphibious, propelled in the water by its tracks. Before swimming, a trim vane is erected at front, bilge pumps started, and covers mounted on the air intake and exhaust. In practice, crews would close hatches and ford shallow streams at high speed.

£8.99
M1128 Stryker Mobile Gun System
The M1128 Mobile Gun System is an eight-wheeled armored car of the Stryker armored fighting vehicle family, mounting a 105 mm tank gun, based on the Canadian LAV III light-armored vehicle manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems. It is in service with the United States and was also being considered for adoption by several other countries.
£9.99
M113 Command & Reconnaissance (M113 1/2)

The Lynx reconnaissance vehicle (manufacturer's name: M113½ Command and Reconnaissance Vehicle, abbr. M113 C&R) is a United States-built tracked reconnaissance armoured fighting vehicle, which was employed by the armed forces of the Netherlands and Canada. Dutch vehicles were exported in the 1990s to Bahrain[1] and Chile, according to SIPRI 35 and 8 vehicles respectively.

The M113½ was developed in 1963 as a private venture by FMC Corp., the manufacturer of the M113. It competed with the M114 but the US Army chose the M114 for production. The design was then offered to foreign buyers and gained the name Lynx when purchased by Canada.

The Lynx was based on the M113, including its aluminum armor and many details of its construction. However, it is shorter in both length and height, and has four road wheels instead of five. This reduction in size led to a significant reduction in weight as well, dropping to about 8 tonne compared to over 12 for the original M113. The engine was moved to the rear and offered in gas and diesel versions.

The Lynx is amphibious, propelled in the water by its tracks. Before swimming, a trim vane is erected at front, bilge pumps started, and covers mounted on the air intake and exhaust. In practice, crews would close hatches and ford shallow streams at high speed.

£8.99
M113 M163A1 Vulcan

The M163 Vulcan is a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun of US origin. Also known as the Vulcan Air Defense System (VADS), it was developed to replace the M42 Duster in US service. The M163 was complemented by the Chaparral self-propelled surface to air missile system in US service. The M163 packs powerful armament that is only of limited use against aircraft due to the lack of automated fire control.

£8.99
M1A1 Abrams with 120mm gun
The M1 Abrams is a third-generation American main battle tank designed by Chrysler Defence (now General Dynamics Land Systems). Conceived for modern armoured ground warfare and now one of the heaviest tanks in service at nearly 68 short tons (almost 62 metric tons), it introduced several innovative features, including a multifuel turbine engine, sophisticated Chobham composite armour, a computer fire control system, separate ammunition storage in a blow-out compartment, and NBC protection for crew safety. Initial models of the M1 were armed with a licensed-produced 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7 gun, while later variants feature a licensed Rheinmetall 120 mm L/44.
£11.99
M26 / M45 Pershing
The M26 Pershing was a heavy tank/medium tank[1] of the United States Army. The tank was named after General of the Armies John J. Pershing, who led the American Expeditionary Force in Europe in World War I. It was used in the last months of World War II during the Invasion of Germany and extensively during the Korean War.

The M26 was intended as a replacement of the M4 Sherman,[citation needed] but a prolonged development period meant that only a small number saw combat in Europe, notably in the 9th Armored Division's dash to take the Ludendorff Bridge during the Battle of Remagen. Based on the criteria of firepower, mobility, and protection, American historian R. P. Hunnicutt ranked the Pershing behind the German Panther medium tank, but ahead of the Tiger I heavy tank. In service during the Korean War the M26 struggled in the hilly and muddy terrain. It was withdrawn in 1951 in favor of its improved derivative, the M46 Patton, which had a more powerful and reliable engine and advanced suspension better able to handle the terrain.[3] The lineage of the M26 continued with the M47 Patton, and was reflected in the new designs of the later M48 Patton and M60 Patton.

M26 Pershing (Turret with and without mg.)
M26 Pershing with sand shields (Turret with and without mg.)

M45 Pershing(105mm) (Turret with and without mg.)
M45 Pershing(105mm) with sand shields (Turret with and without mg.)
£11.99
M46 Patton Main Battle Tank

The M46 Patton 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 during World War II and one of the earliest American advocates for the use of tanks in battle.

M46 (with & without sand-shields, late muzzle brake, MG, searchlight)

M46 is a rebuilt Pershing with a new engine deck/rear hull.
M47 is a revised M46 with a new turret and hull front. (Only Pershing bits left are the wheels...)
M47M with 105mm will be included with M48, since it shares that vehicle's engine deck.

£11.99
M47 (German) Patton Main Battle Tank

The M46/47 Patton 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 during World War II and one of the earliest American advocates for the use of tanks in battle.

M46 (with & without sand-shields, late muzzle brake, MG, searchlight)

M46 is a rebuilt Pershing with a new engine deck/rear hull.
M47 is a revised M46 with a new turret and hull front. (Only Pershing bits left are the wheels...)
M47M with 105mm will be included with M48, since it shares that vehicle's engine deck.

£11.99
M47 Patton Main Battle Tank

The M46/47 Patton 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 during World War II and one of the earliest American advocates for the use of tanks in battle.

M46 (with & without sand-shields, late muzzle brake, MG, searchlight)

M46 is a rebuilt Pershing with a new engine deck/rear hull.
M47 is a revised M46 with a new turret and hull front. (Only Pershing bits left are the wheels...)
M47M with 105mm will be included with M48, since it shares that vehicle's engine deck.

£11.99
M48 A1/A2 Patton Main Battle Tank

The M48 Patton is an American first generation main battle tank (MBT) introduced in February 1951. It was designed as a replacement for the M26 Pershing, M4 Sherman variants and M46 Pattons used in the Korean War, and as the successor to the M47 Patton.[8] Nearly 12,000 M48s were built, mainly by Chrysler and AlCo, from 1952 to 1961. The M48 underwent many design modifications and improvements during its production life. This led to a wide variety of suspension systems, cupola styles, power packs, fenders and other details among individual tanks. The early designs, up to the M48A2C, were powered by a gasoline engine. The M48A3 and A5 versions used a diesel engine, however gasoline engine versions were still in use in the US Army National Guard through 1968 and through 1975 by many West German Army units. Numerous examples of the M48 saw combat use in various Arab–Israeli conflicts and the Vietnam War. Beginning in 1959, most American M48A1s and A2s were upgraded to the M48A3 model.

The M48 Patton-series saw widespread service with the United States and NATO until it was superseded by the M60 tank as well as being widely exported. The tank's hull also developed a wide variety of prototypical, utility and support vehicles such as armored recovery vehicles and bridge layers. Some M48A5 models served into the mid-1980s with US Army National Guard units, and were used as targets for weapons and radar testing into the mid-1990s. Many M48s remain in service in other countries though most of these have been highly modified and had their firepower, mobility and protection upgraded to increase their combat effectiveness on the modern battlefield. The Turkish Army has the largest number of modernized M48 MBTs, with more than 1,400 in its inventory. Of these, around 1,000 have been phased out, placed in storage, or modified as armoured recovery vehicles.

£11.99
M48 A3 Patton Main Battle Tank

The M48 Patton is an American first generation main battle tank (MBT) introduced in February 1951. It was designed as a replacement for the M26 Pershing, M4 Sherman variants and M46 Pattons used in the Korean War, and as the successor to the M47 Patton.[8] Nearly 12,000 M48s were built, mainly by Chrysler and AlCo, from 1952 to 1961. The M48 underwent many design modifications and improvements during its production life. This led to a wide variety of suspension systems, cupola styles, power packs, fenders and other details among individual tanks. The early designs, up to the M48A2C, were powered by a gasoline engine. The M48A3 and A5 versions used a diesel engine, however gasoline engine versions were still in use in the US Army National Guard through 1968 and through 1975 by many West German Army units. Numerous examples of the M48 saw combat use in various Arab–Israeli conflicts and the Vietnam War. Beginning in 1959, most American M48A1s and A2s were upgraded to the M48A3 model.

The M48 Patton-series saw widespread service with the United States and NATO until it was superseded by the M60 tank as well as being widely exported. The tank's hull also developed a wide variety of prototypical, utility and support vehicles such as armored recovery vehicles and bridge layers. Some M48A5 models served into the mid-1980s with US Army National Guard units, and were used as targets for weapons and radar testing into the mid-1990s. Many M48s remain in service in other countries though most of these have been highly modified and had their firepower, mobility and protection upgraded to increase their combat effectiveness on the modern battlefield. The Turkish Army has the largest number of modernized M48 MBTs, with more than 1,400 in its inventory. Of these, around 1,000 have been phased out, placed in storage, or modified as armoured recovery vehicles.

£11.99
M48 Patton Main Battle Tank

The M48 Patton is an American first generation main battle tank (MBT) introduced in February 1951. It was designed as a replacement for the M26 Pershing, M4 Sherman variants and M46 Pattons used in the Korean War, and as the successor to the M47 Patton.[8] Nearly 12,000 M48s were built, mainly by Chrysler and AlCo, from 1952 to 1961. The M48 underwent many design modifications and improvements during its production life. This led to a wide variety of suspension systems, cupola styles, power packs, fenders and other details among individual tanks. The early designs, up to the M48A2C, were powered by a gasoline engine. The M48A3 and A5 versions used a diesel engine, however gasoline engine versions were still in use in the US Army National Guard through 1968 and through 1975 by many West German Army units. Numerous examples of the M48 saw combat use in various Arab–Israeli conflicts and the Vietnam War. Beginning in 1959, most American M48A1s and A2s were upgraded to the M48A3 model.

The M48 Patton-series saw widespread service with the United States and NATO until it was superseded by the M60 tank as well as being widely exported. The tank's hull also developed a wide variety of prototypical, utility and support vehicles such as armored recovery vehicles and bridge layers. Some M48A5 models served into the mid-1980s with US Army National Guard units, and were used as targets for weapons and radar testing into the mid-1990s. Many M48s remain in service in other countries though most of these have been highly modified and had their firepower, mobility and protection upgraded to increase their combat effectiveness on the modern battlefield. The Turkish Army has the largest number of modernized M48 MBTs, with more than 1,400 in its inventory. Of these, around 1,000 have been phased out, placed in storage, or modified as armoured recovery vehicles.

£11.99
M4a1e6 Sherman 'Oddball tank with speakers'
In 1949, the United States initiated the Mutual Defense Assistance Program. Allies and potential allies were provided with various kinds of monetary and materiel support in an effort to build up their defenses against the perceived threats of the Cold War. Many countries received tanks, most of which were WW II surplus. The above photo shows Half-tracks, Hi Speed Tractors, trucks & Shermans "hermetically" sealed & ready for MDAP shipment. New York Port of Embarkation, Brooklyn, March, 1951.
£9.99
Patrol Air Cushion Vehicle (PACV)
The Patrol Air Cushion Vehicle (PACV), also known as the Air Cushion Vehicle (ACV) in Army and Coast Guard service, was a United States Navy and Army hovercraft used as a patrol boat in marshy and riverine areas during the Vietnam War between 1966 and 1970. Six hovercraft were built, three for the Army and three for the Navy.

The military developed the PACV because its lack of draft meant that it could operate unimpeded in the shallow and reed-choked waters widespread in South Vietnam, most notably in the Mekong Delta and Plain of Reeds. The PACV was also found to be valuable because of its unusually high speed of 60 knots (110 km/h; 69 mph), faster than other watercraft in the conflict. However, it faced major drawbacks, including its high cost of $1 million (equivalent to 13 Patrol Boat, Rivers) and unreliability. During the conflict, two of the Army’s three hovercraft were destroyed by the Viet Cong. The PACVs in Vietnam were considered "unsuccessful" in evaluations and were withdrawn in 1970.Following their service in Vietnam, the Navy PACVs returned to the United States where they were used by the Coast Guard, where another sank in an accident.
£19.99
Ro'em / L-33 155mm gun
In the mid 1970s, the Israeli Defense Forces engineered an improvised self-propelled gun known as the Ro'em / L-33 to complement the towed M-68. It mated an M-68 to a large, enclosed, turret atop the chassis and drive train of an M4 Sherman tank.
£9.99
Saurer 4K 4FA Austrian armoured personnel carrier
The Saurer 4K 4FA is an Austrian armoured personnel carrier with caterpillar tracks. It was later replaced by the Steyr 4K 7FA G 127. It went into production in 1961.

In 1956, the contractor Osterreichische Saurer-Werke from Vienna (which was taken over by Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG in 1970) started development of an armoured personnel carrier. The first prototype, the 3K 3H, was completed in 1958 and the second, the 4K 3H, the following year. They are both powered by a Saurer 3H 200 hp diesel engine.

The next model, the 4K 2P, had a different hull layout, a new torsion bar suspension and was powered by a 250 hp Saurer 2P diesel engine. In appearance it was similar to the first production vehicles which were completed in 1961 and designated 4K 4F. Later production vehicles were the 4K 3FA (230 hp) and the 4K 4FA (250 hp), which differed only in minor details such as their Sauer engines.
£8.99
The LAV-25 (Light Armored Vehicle) - Variants
Choose from:
  • LAV-25
  • LAV-AT 
  • LAV-C2
  • LAV-M
  • LAV-R
  • LAV-Log
The LAV-25 (Light Armored Vehicle) is an eight-wheeled amphibious armored reconnaissance vehicle built by General Dynamics Land Systems and used by the United States Marine Corps and the United States Army.

During the 1980s, the U.S. Marine Corps began looking for a light armored vehicle to give their divisions greater mobility. They chose the Light Armored Vehicle design from GM Defense. It entered service with the Marines in 1983. The U.S. Army was interested in these vehicles at the time, but did not order any—although they did later with the introduction of the Stryker family of vehicles. The Army did, however, borrow at least a dozen LAV-25s for use by the 82nd Airborne Division, 3-73rd Armor for a Scout Platoon during the Gulf War. These LAV-25s were later returned to the Marine Corps after the conflict. The USMC ordered 758 vehicles of all variants. LAVs first saw combat during the Invasion of Panama in 1989, and continued service in the Gulf War, Iraq War, and the War in Afghanistan.

The table of organization and equipment for an USMC light-armored reconnaissance battalion includes 56 LAV-25s, 16 LAV-ATs, 12 LAV-Ls, 8 LAV-Ms, 4 LAV-Rs, 4 LAV-C2s, and an unknown number of LAV-MEWSS vehicles.

The LAV platform is planned to remain in service with the Marine Corps until 2035.[5] The Marines aim to have prototypes for the LAV's replacement, dubbed the Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV), by 2023. The ARV is planned to be a networked family of wheeled vehicles capable of performing various mission sets, with 500 to be procured.
£9.99
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