USMC the end of the tanks


Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
Spring Branch, TX
We were billeted with a Marine Tank Company at the Yakima Firing Center (now Yakima Training Center) during the 1st Gulf War. They were the only Marines at the time with M1s and were the spearhead element into the Kuwait City Airfield. We watched gun tube footage of that fight when they got back. There was also a T-72 sitting in front of their Co Hdqtrs that they brought back as a reminder of their trip. Hopefully the Army doesn't decide to go the same way. There's nothing in the world like yelling "ON THE WAY!" and pulling the trigger on an M1.


SMSgt, USAF (Ret.)
Steel Soldiers Supporter
Laramie County, Wyoming
Replacing the M1 with a tank more fitted to the strategy envisioned with a smaller more capable armored vehicle makes sense. Think WW II. The M3 Stewart worked quite well in the earlier island battles the Marine Corps fought in. The larger M4 was an improvement and finished up the war as the Marines primary tank. It served in two primary models, the 75mm gunned and the flame thrower. For island campaigns, a larger tank just wouldn’t have worked, even if one was available. The Marines started the Korean War with the venerable M4 but it was outclassed by the T-34-85 tank. The M36 replaced the M4’s and worked well through the war. It was used during the Chosin Reservoir battles where it was critical to the withdrawal of UN forces. From the Korean War, through the Vietnam War and on to today’s wars, the expeditionary tank concept wasn’t necessary. Big tanks make big holes which have been crucial in the modern battlefield. The Commandant of the Marine Corps’ vision for the near future battlespace goes back to the island hopping campaigns of WW II. A big arsed tank can’t, for the most part, maneuver in the small confines of the small/tiny islands. However, put small, highly maneuverable armored vehicles with the Marines and once they hit the beach, they’ll have the firepower needed to crack open any enemy citadel with fewer casualties on our side.
In my opinion. Semper Fi!


Literally DICTATOR
Steel Soldiers Supporter
Yeeah, tires + wheels instead of tracks
In Desert Shield/Desert Storm, the deep sands quickly bogged all wheeled vehicles except for the LVS (it was able to snake its way through the deep sands). Our M60A1s and tracked engineer vehicles spent hours towing wheeled vehicles of all types out of the deep sands, especially on beaches where we landed.

But we all know experience counts for nothing anymore, and just what do I know anyway (besides next to nothing).......


Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
Near Austin, Texas
I see both sides of the argument.

There are valid points for a "lighter more mobile" force, but sometimes you need a tank to do a tank's job.
The light armour is fairly easy to defeat, particularly with today's weaponry that is available to foot soldiers.

And from past Marine experience, calling on other services for needed support often gets a silent response - be it because of unavailability, or plain unwillingness.
"Lack of equipment on your part does not create an emergency on ours".

We'll see what happens.

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