New Vanguard 85: M60 Main Battle
by R Lathrop & J McDonald,
illustrated by Jim Laurier
Osprey Publishing Ltd.
ISBN 1-84176-551-1; 48 pages
This book gives a good overview of the development of the M60 from the
M48 Patton, and also of its engineer and bridgelaying variants. The basic
M60, A1, A2 and A3 are covered but this book only deals with US service
so don’t expect to find anything about the Israeli M60s. There’s
an interesting section on Life With The M60, but nothing on combat use
since the gun tanks didn’t see any with the US Army, though their
USMC service in Kuwait is mentioned briefly and shown by a couple of photographs
and one colour plate. Another section takes us through the several upgrade
programmes of the 1970s.
Unfortunately the colour plates, although good in themselves, are not
up to the standard of the text. Jim Laurier was obviously not given enough
information to show more than two of the nine tanks illustrated with unit
markings, and even the USMC M60A1 in Desert Storm, 1991, is only shown
in plain sand with chevron identity markings and given no unit identification.
This seems particularly odd because plenty of photographs have been published
of those USMC tanks with names on their guns and their units identified.
To balance this there is a good colour plate of the General Dynamics S102,
basically an improved M60 fitted with an Abrams turret which would make
an interesting model, and the Panther mineclearer is also included in
a side view. Recommended for the text and photographs, however.