Tank M47 PATTON
Born to the outbreak of the Korean War with the need to bridge quickly the generation gap between the American and Russian tanks, the M47 was considered by the U.S.. Army a transition to what would have been the true American standard medium tank, the M48.
No wonder then that despite the more than 8,000 pieces produced as soon as it became available the new M48, the M47 was quickly deleted and transferred to the Allied Armies, including the Italian one.
From the second half of the '50s and until early next decade, E.I. received a considerable amount of these tanks, the first of which came directly from American units stationed in Germany. These tanks came just when the Italian Army was expanding and reorganizing its armoured units to meet the new commitments in NATO.
With the M47 were therefore refitted the Battalion Esplorante Divisionale (BED) of infantry divisions Granatieri di Sardegna, Legnano and Folgore, the Tank Battalion and the Gruppo Esplorante Divisionale (GED) of the Mountain Division Cremona and Mantova.
Similarly, was equipped the Tank Regiment and the GED of two armoured divisions that existed (Ariete and Centauro) in addition to the Cavalry Brigade Pozzuolo del Friuli. With the advent of modern M60A1 and Leopard 1A2, the M47 was gradually discontinued. Recent examples were in service in the 80s at some Schools Specialty Armoured.
The Italian career of this tank end with the adoption of “CENTAURO” armoured fighting vehicle.
With the final radiation from the ranks of E. I. the M47, now decrepit and even become dangerous for the same crews were largely scrapped.
Some were transferred to Somalia to help the then military dictatorship in that country and found there by Italian troops during the mission Restore Hope. Few were demilitarized and preserved as relics from the departments that were provided. One was given by the Italian government to the Royal Tank Museum in Bovington, while other pieces are finished in some American collectors.
Others were sent to Sardinia to be used as targets. Thus ended the long career of a wagon for many years was the backbone of Italian armoured units.