|This page is about the American medium tank M48A1. For other versions, see M48 Patton (Family).|
The 90 mm Gun Tank M48A1 Patton III is a rank V American medium tank with a battle rating of 7.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.59 "Flaming Arrows".
A first glance towards the M48A1 can give lots of similarities towards the M60. However, there are some aspects that can distinguish the M48 from the later M60.
The M48A1 is probably most distinguished first by its rounded turret and gun, with the square-shaped gun mantlet covered by a dust cover cloth. The 90 mm gun has a cylinder muzzle brake going in a T-shape while a fume extractor sits only slightly behind the muzzle brake position.
The hull is distinguished compared to the successor M60 with its curved cast shape instead of straight welded plates.
Survivability and armour
The M48A1 front hull glacis and turret mantlet are the strongest points of the tank and have the best chance of bouncing conventional small to medium calibre shells. However, its lower glacis, turret side cheeks, side armour and also the cupola remain significant weak points for the tank. So take extra caution when exposing those weak points. The turret's semi-hemispherical design removes the shot traps seen on the M47.
The M48A1 is also a rather tall vehicle with its large profile cupola. It can be quickly spotted and identified far away subsequently making this tank rather easy to hit. Chemical shaped charges, sabot shells, and anti-tank guided missiles will also defeat the M48A1's armour.
- Cast homogeneous armour (Hull, Turret)
- Rolled homogeneous armour (Rear (low), Roof)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 85-200 mm (59-74°) Front glacis
63-200 mm (13-60°) Lower glacis
| 76 mm (8-43°) Front
51 mm (0-43°) Rear
| 35 mm (26-32°) Top
25 mm (61-62°) Bottom
|Turret|| 127 mm (12-76°) Turret front
152 + 82 mm (17-26°) Gun mantlet
|69-100 mm (12-36°)||51-55 mm (2-71°)||25-69 mm|
- Suspension wheels and tracks are 20 mm thick.
- Belly armour is 38 mm in the front and 25 mm in the rear.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
|90 mm M41||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|Smoke shell characteristics|
| Screen radius
| Screen deploy
| Screen hold
| Explosive mass|
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|60||53 (+7)||42 (+18)||24 (+36)||17 (+43)||1 (+59)||No|
- Shells are modeled by sets of 2 and disappear from the rack after you've fired both shells in the set.
- Racks 4 and 5 are first stage ammo racks. They total 23 shells and get filled first when loading up the tank.
- These rack are also emptied early: the depletion order at full capacity is: 4 - 5 - 1 - 2 - 3.
- Simply not firing when the gun is loaded will move ammo from racks 1-3 into rack 5 then 4. Firing will interrupt the restocking of the ready rack.
|12.7 mm M2HB|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|7.62 mm M73|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The M48A1 plays as a general medium tank, acting as a jack-of-all-trades in all of the tank's traits with average armour, firepower, and mobility.
One of the best ways to use this tank when a player does not have access to its HEATFS round is to refrain from using it as a brawler. This is because most of the shells that this tank has in its arsenal do not have the ample firepower to eliminate most of the targets it faces at its BR. However, since the tank is incredibly quick and mobile, it can be used as an excellent flanker. It can outmanoeuvre most of its medium tank rivals and expose their weaker side armour. Be wary when equipped with the M82 shell as its penetration will not exactly be impressive and many heavy tanks and some modern medium tanks like the T-54s are well protected frontally. Be prepared to have the gun always level and ready to aim for weak spots on many tanks in case you may accidentally run into them frontally instead from the side.
It is also a good idea to use this tank in a hiding and ambush role. Temporarily turning off your engine around a good position like a corner and letting unaware enemies roll right past you with the M82 shell loaded up with a decent reload speed can also be used to great effectiveness.
In large open maps and long range sniping engagements. the M48A1 can actually be rather difficult to make work with its 90 mm M41 cannon's accuracy and firepower when compared to other medium tanks such as the German Leopard I or British Centurion Mk 3. Mainly when using the APHE shot with lower ballistics in this sense. It is recommended that you use the M431 HEATFS shot for better velocity and easier aim at the cost of not being able to destroy an enemy tank in a single hit compared to the M82 APHE shell. Quickly hitting the ammunition or disabling the gun breech or gunner of other tanks you face is a must for this shell to even be generally effective. Bushes, trees and fences can still detonate the HEATFS shell prematurely if fired close.
Pros and cons
- Good upper front hull and mantlet armour
- Decent acceleration
- Strong roof armour for the hull
- HEATFS which can overpressure open-topped vehicles and light tanks
- Coincidence rangefinder that can quickly calculate the range compared to other older generation WW2 tank rangefinders
- Can fire HESH rounds
- Quite under-armoured for the rank with many weak spots that Rank IV or WW2 era tanks can still penetrate frontally
- Turret roof armour is thin, allowing penetration by heavy machine guns in air attack
- Cupola weak spot: even small-calibre APHE shells can penetrate it and knock out the turret crew making close range engagements not workout in your favour
- Lower top speed compared to other medium tanks
- The APCR shot is the stock round that you start with
- The HEATFS round suffers from poor post-penetration damage.
- M82 round has rather low penetration for the M48A1's BR and the tanks it faces so it must be used for mainly flank attacks
- Nearly unusable in full uptiers when facing first generation Cold War MBTs, IFVs and light tanks that will typically outclass you with superior speed, firepower, gun stabilization and shells
In February 1951, Ordnance opted for a new tank design to modernize the M46 and M47 in the U.S. inventory. The tank was designated the 90 mm Gun Tank T-48 and featured a new hemispherical turret, new hull, and an improved suspension. The new design was also the first to remove the hull machine gunner position in American tanks, reducing the total crew from the usual 5 to 4. Further testing and trials with the T-48 design proved its worth and in April 1953, Ordnance standardized the design as the 90 mm Gun Tank M48 Patton, which would be the third in the Patton series, all named after General George S. Patton.
Production started in 1952 with the original M48 models. During the initial production run, several hundreds of the M48s were found to not be up to the standard protection ratings it should be, these were relegated to training tanks as the M48C. The model was developed into the M48A1 with a redesigned driver hatch and commander's cupola that integrates a .50 cal machine gun for the commander to use. Next variant was the M48A2 with an improved power pack and transmission, along with a new rear plate and improved turret control. The M48A1 models improved with the M48A2 specifications in 1959, up to 1,019 were converted and are labelled the M48A3. The last major model was the M48A5, which is an upgrade of the M48 models in the 1970s with a 105 mm Gun M68, up to 2,069 converted. In total, about 12,000 M48 models were produced in all from the time period of 1952 to 1959.
The Americans mainly used the M48A3 Patton tanks in Vietnam, with 600 models deployed. Each battalion in the US Army and Marines armed with the M48 Patton had 57 tanks each. The Armored Cavalry Squadrons were initially armed with M48s before they were replaced by the lighter M551 Sheridan. A flamethrower variant was developed from the M48, which became known as the M67A1 "Zippo". The M48 also strengthened the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) forces by supplementing their M41A1 Walker Bulldog light tanks. The main armour conflicts between the North and South Vietnamese forces usually involved an armour mix of T-54/PT-76B for the North and M48 Pattons/M41A1 Bulldogs for the South. In the conflicts, an incident on 23 April 1972 had an NVA anti-tank force with the new 9M14M Malyutka anti-tank guided missile destroy an M48 Patton, marking one of the early uses of the wide-spread infantry anti-tank missiles. Despite that, the M48s performed favourably in the Southern forces. Even after US forces withdrew from South Vietnam and North Vietnam started the Ho Chi Minh Offensive in 1975, the M48s left in the ARVN hands were able to hold back the assaulting T-34 and T-54/55 tanks, only falling when supplies ran out. After the war, the Americans mainly replaced their main tanks with the M60 Patton.
Like with most of the American equipment, the M48s were supplied to NATO allies across the world to assist in their conflicts. They became involved in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 and 1971 in the hands of Pakistan along with some M47s against India's Centurions. Its overall performance in the conflicts was that they performed very well in the battlefield, only failing due to the poor tactics used by the armour forces. The M48s also saw service in the Middle Eastern conflicts. It was notably used in the conflicts against Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973 in the hands of the Israelis and Jordanian Army. The Israels upgraded their M48s with the 105 mm guns, about 5 years earlier than the Americans, and fight against the Egyptian Soviet-supplied armour. They also saw use in the Lebanese Civil War in the hands of nearly all sides involved. They were also used in Turkey's military in the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. The M48s were also used in Iranian hands in the Iran-Iraq war against Soviet-supplied weaponry in Iraq's hands. Morocco also received a hundred M48A5 Pattons from America in 1987. One of the most recent conflicts the M48s were used was in the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993 when assisting the stranded US Rangers and Delta Force in the city.
The M48s were used by 19 different countries in the world during its service life, of which 9 countries still use in varying quantities. Despite being rather outdated in the later part of the Cold War, which warranted its replacement by the M60, the M48 help supplemented the forces around the world in their conflicts. With many models remain in inventory across the world, it still proves a valuable weapon against countries without advanced anti-tank weaponry.
- Vehicles equipped with the same chassis
- Other vehicles of similar configuration and role
- [Devblog] M48A1
- [Wikipedia] M48 Patton
- [Tanks Encyclopedia] 90mm Gun Tank M48 Patton III
- [Military Factory] M48 Patton
|M60||M60 · M60A1 (AOS) · M60A2 · M60A1 RISE (P) · M60A3 TTS|
|M1||XM-1 (Chrysler) · M1 Abrams|
|M48||M48A2 C · M48A2 G A2 · ␗M48A1 · Magach 1 · Magach 2|
|M60||␗M60A3 TTS · M60A1 "D.C.Ariete" ·|
|Note||Chrysler Defense was purchased by General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) in 1982.|
|USA medium tanks|
|M3||M3 Lee · ▃Grant I|
|M4||M4 · Calliope · M4A1 · M4A1 (76) W · M4A2 · M4A2 (76) W · M4A3 (105) · M4A3 (76) W|
|M26 Pershing||T20 · T25 · M26 · M26 T99 · M26E1|
|M46/47/48 Patton||M46 · M46 "Tiger" · M47 · M48A1 · T54E1|
|M60||M60 · M60A1 (AOS) · M60A1 RISE (P) · M60A2 · M60A3 TTS · M728 CEV|
|MBT-70||MBT-70 · XM-803|
|M1 Abrams||XM-1 (Chrysler) · XM-1 (GM) · M1 Abrams · IPM1 · M1A1 · M1A1 HC · M1A2 Abrams · M1A2 SEP|
|Israel||▃Magach 3 (ERA) · ▃Merkava Mk.1 · ▃Merkava Mk.2B · ▃Merkava Mk.3D|