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LOOKS AT THE DEVELOPMENT OF MOBILE ARMOR, AND EXAMINES THE TRAINING OF A TANKER AS HE LEARNS TO MOVE, SHOOT, AND COMMUNICATE FROM ABOARD THE LATEST COMBAT VEHICLES.
Originally a public domain film from the National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
Armoured warfare (British English) or armored warfare (American English; see spelling differences), mechanised warfare or tank warfare is the use of armoured fighting vehicles in modern warfare. It is a major component of modern methods of war. The premise of armoured warfare rests on the ability of troops to penetrate conventional defensive lines through use of manoeuvre by armoured units.
Much of the application of armoured warfare depends on the use of tanks and related vehicles used by other supporting arms such as infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled artillery, and other combat vehicles, as well as mounted combat engineers and other support units. The doctrine of armoured warfare was developed to break the static nature of World War I trench warfare on the Western Front, and return to the 19th century school of thought that advocated manoeuvre and “decisive battle” outcomes in military strategy…
During the Cold War, NATO assumed armoured warfare to be a dominant aspect of conventional ground warfare in Europe. Although the use of light tanks was largely discontinued, and heavy tanks were also mostly abandoned, the medium tank design evolved into heavier models due to increase in armour and larger sized main weapon resulting in the main battle tank (MBT) which came into existence, combining most of the different types of tanks during World War II.
For the most part the NATO armoured doctrine remained defensive, and dominated by use of nuclear weapons as deterrence. Although most NATO nations began the Cold War period with a large number of US-designed tanks in their fleets, there was a considerable degree of disagreement on the design of future MBTs among the NATO major nations. Both the US and Germany experimented with, but abandoned the missile-armed MBT-70. The M26 Pershing basic design of the United States would evolve until the M60 main battle tank was replaced with the gas-turbine powered M1 Abrams in the 1980s. The British Army also retained a World War II tank design, the Centurion, which proved to be highly successful and was not fully replaced until the 1970s…
M113 armoured personnel carriers proved effective in the terrain of Vietnam against enemy forces which, until 1968, rarely deployed their armour. Though they were soon countered with mines and RPGs, M-113’s continued service during the war, primarily evolving into infantry fighting vehicles, known as the ACAV (Armoured Cavalry Assault Vehicle); and functioning as a “light tank.”
More heavily armed infantry fighting vehicles such as the M2/M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle would be based on experience with the M113. Gun trucks were also introduced as M35 trucks fitted with armour and guns to protect convoys. In 1968, Communist forces primarily deployed the Soviet built PT-76 light tank.
By 1971, the larger T-54 medium tanks were fielded, proving themselves susceptible to the M-72 LAW rocket, ARVN M41 Walker Bulldog light tanks, as well as the larger M48A3 Pattons. In January 1969, US Armored Cavalry units began exchanging their M48A3 Patton tanks for the M551 Sheridan Armoured Airborne Reconnaissance Assault Vehicles; by 1970 over 200 Sheridan tanks were operating in Vietnam…