The M1 Abrams is one of the toughest, fastest and longest serving tanks in history. This world-beating tank has been kicking ass and taking names for over 30 years during service in the Persian Gulf war and in the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.
But how did this tank, nicknamed “The Beast” come into being? And why has it been so effective at dominating opponents for so long?
M1 Abrams Origins
To understand the M1 Abram’s origins we must first go back to its predecessor the M60 Patton. After being a mainstay during the Cold War years, there was an increasing need to develop a new tank that took advantage of new advancements in technology and engineering capabilities.
In partnership with West Germany, the US began to develop the MTB-70, which was ready for testing in 1968. Despite the fact that this newly developed tank had new features such as height-adjustable air suspension and a low-profile chassis, testing quickly proved that the prototype tank was too heavy, too complicated and far too expensive.
By 1971, the US government had scrapped the MTB-70 project altogether, and instead went back to the drawing board, enlisting the help of both General Motors and Chrysler with new tank designs.
Upon review of the new prototypes, the turbine-powered Chrysler was designated the favorable design and was commissioned for further development.
So began the life of the M1 Abrams.
The tank was named after the General Creighton Abrams Jnr., who rose to national prominence during the Vietnam War and died from complications of surgery to remove a cancerous lung just months before its end, aged just 59.
After further development and testing the M1 Abrams was commissioned for active service in 1980.
M1 Abrams Service
After a decade of relatively inconsequential military activity, the M1 Abrams first made its impact on the world stage during Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf War of 1991 under its second iteration, the M1A1.
The Soviet T-52 and T-62 tanks proved no match for the M1A1 Abrams, with none of them able to destroy a single M1A1 during battle. In fact, of the 9 M1A1’s destroyed beyond repair, 7 were as a result of friendly fire
Superior speed, firepower, and crucially range, meant that US tank battalions could strike before their enemies could get in range, making it far easier to land decisive victories in battle.
Over the next decade the M1 Abrams received more upgrades and increased firepower, resulting in M1A2 and M1A1HA specifications.
The next serious action the M1 Abrams saw was during the allied invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan during the early 2000s. One incident of note involved destroying an ambush of 7 T-72 tanks in a point-blank skirmish, for no loss.
M1 Abrams Today
The M1 Abrams is still one of the fastest and most technologically advanced main battle tanks in service, with a (limited) top speed of 45mph.
The latest iteration, the M1A3, began development works in 2014 and despite some claims to the contrary, no new iterations of the M1 Abrams have yet been officially designated the M1A3.
Either way, M1 Abrams is expected to from a vital element of the the US (and many other) armed forces until at least 2050, whereby it’s expected new laser technologies and lightweight armor will lead to the development of a brand new tank.
Purchase Your Own M1 Abrams for Your Command Centre
Whether you are a tank enthusiast or a military veteran, you can sit back and enjoy the splendor of this world-dominating tank that has seen success in every battle arena it’s entered.
Whether you want this 3-D optical illusion lamp as a reminder of your service, or you want to build up your own portfolio of tanks in addition to our M60 Patton tank lamp
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