Connecting the Troopers of Today with the Veterans of Yesterday.
Matt, I trained on the M60A2 (Starship) at Knox. The gun was the same but the turret has completely redesigned with three hatches. Pretty cool but is was canned. The recoil was nothing close to the Sheridan.
There was only one Battalion of the M60A2’s at “The ROCK” Kirchgoens Germany just outside Butzbach. 3rd Armor Divison “Spearhead” 1978
It did have one hell of a Cupola, and yes the three hatches in the turret were different.
They spent most of the time parked side by side across the road of the Maintenance shops.
I was assigned to 2/32 Armor we had M60A1-Rise tanks. I now remember, that after AIT they wanted some of us to stay at Fort Knox for additional training on the Sheridan’s, not sure what the plan was at the time, but that was one thing I did not Volunteer for.
I was assigned to 4-67 Armor "The Bandits" in Friedberg. When I reported into the battalion in May 1987 the battalion was just getting ready to turn in their M1's with the 105MM gun for M1A1's and the 120. Anyway there was a mural of a M60A2 as you entered the battalion headquarters so maybe at one time they had them too.
I never saw an A2 after Knox, summer '75. Each Squadron had a Company with M60A1s at that time. At least that is how I remember it. Just about all I can remember is we were not "home" a whole lot.
The M60A2 was fielded in order to fill a gap between US ammunition performance and Soviet armament defensive capability. The late 60s and early 70s 105 MM main gun round didn't quite have the power to punch through the frontal armor of the soviet tanks being fielded. The Shillelagh missie provided both additional range and a shaped charge warhead that tested well against soviet armor. Fortunately, the TOW missile was fielded almost at the same time as the M60A2 and proved to be much more lethal and reliable.
If my memory serves me, each armored division in Germany in the Mid-70s to early 80s was assigned an armored battalion equipped with the M60A2. Each division encorporated the M60A2s into their defensive sector to best exploit the added range and killing power. In the 1st Armored Division in 76-79, 1/37 AR in 1st Brigade was equipped with the M60A2. During exercises, the A2's were deployed in terrain best suited for the missile's use.
Reliability of the weapon system was horrible. During gunneries, my DS armament team spent every night swapping servicable missile black boxes from tanks that fired that day onto tanks scheduled to qualify the next day. At least that way the crews could qualify with their own tank. The next day the broken black boxes were put back into their tank. Those were the days of Red, Amber, and Green to designate the readiness of the combat systems. I don't remmeber more than a handfull of M60A2s being Green at any given time.