France acquired some 800+ M47 Patton tanks from the United States during the mid 50s which served with the French Army until 1970.
They plugged a gap whilst the French armaments industry set about designing and manufacturing a home-grown MBT which eventually entered service as the AMX 30 in the 1960s.
Here, an M47 named "Du Bourg" of the Forces Françaises en Allemagne / FFA takes part in a parade in Saarlouis, a city in the Saarland near the Franco - German border, circa 1954.
The US Army subjected its new tanks to rigorous trials before acceptance...and clearly marked them accordingly!
This is what we now know as the M47 Patton undergoing "Durability Tests" at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, circa 1952.
The M47 was actually plagued with technical problems from the start.
(LIFE / Kauffman)
Two M4A3E8 Shermans, an M24 Chaffee, and another unknown tank during “Task Force Frigid” in Fairbanks Alaska - January 1947
Temperatures averaged -50 °F with lows of -60 °F during the maneuvers
LIFE Magazine Archives - George Skadding Photographer
I believe this image records the results of a shoot-off between an M47 (left...with an inline muzzle-brake) and an M46 ( right...with bulbous muzzle-brake) at Aberdeen PG, April 1952.
I presume the large sheets laid out in front of each tank were their respective targets with their groupings outlined.
It would appear that the M47 with its stereoscopic range-finder came out on top.
(LIFE / Kauffman)
Don't worry...it'll wash out with a little "Tide"!
The hazards of test-driving an M26 through the water-obstacles at Aberdeen PG in a white tee-shirt with the hatch open.
Dating from 1950, the WW2 pattern tanker helmet and M1944 goggles were still very much issue items.
(LIFE / Parks)
The commander of a US M59 APC on the streets of West Berlin during the crisis of the summer of 1961 when Soviet tanks faced tanks of the United States in a stand-off and the Cold War threatened to get really "hot" until tensions gradually eased.
The Distinctive Unit Insignia reproduced on the APC identifies it as a vehicle of the 40th Armor Regiment, formerly the 40th Cavalry Regiment.
(LIFE / Schutzer)
German "Fallschirmjäger" with the KraKa during the Cold War. The KraKa, acronym for "Kraft Karren" (Power Chariot), was used by airborne troops to move supplies and mortars and to mount recoilless guns, TOW and MILAN rocket launchers, a 2cm Rheinmetall AA gun. There were several similar vehicles in use with NATO Airborne troops during the Cold War. The French Paras used the "Fardier Lohr" and the US Army and the USMC had the M-274 Mule.
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