Skip to comments.US Army's last tanks depart from Germany
Posted on 04/04/2013 11:58:49 AM PDT by Timber Rattler
STUTTGART, Germany The U.S. Armys 69-year history of basing main battle tanks on German soil quietly ended last month when 22 Abrams tanks, a main feature of armored combat units throughout the Cold War, embarked for the U.S.
The departure of the last M-1 Abrams tanks coincides with the inactivation of two of the Armys Germany-based heavy brigades. Last year, the 170th Infantry out of Baumholder disbanded. And the 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade at Grafenwöhr is in the process of doing the same.
On March 18, the remaining tanks were loaded up at the 21st Theater Sustainment Commands railhead in Kaiserslautern where they then made the journey to the shipping port in Bremerhaven, Germany. There they boarded a ship bound for South Carolina.
(Excerpt) Read more at stripes.com ...
I remember the M-1s in K-town across the river where I was stationed. I remember the 73 Israeli war. We tried to ship a bunch of them on freighters out to Israel from Bremerhaven...the effing NAZI germans wouldn’t allow them to leave.
Does this mean that WWII is finally over?
Did we ever find Hitler?
70 tons....with rubber road treads for the autobahn....I remember driving alongside them.
Don’t mention the war.
The closing of an era.
Thank you to all who kept a watchful eye on the Fulda Gap during those years, and kept western Europe free.
???? is it a secret?
Congress should have let sequestration happen a long time ago.
/sarc mode = off
I love tanks, but I think their day has passed. The only thing they’re good for now is running over unarmed civilians, and we don’t do that. Tanks will continue to be used by many regimes who do like running down civilians.
A $10,000 drone can take out a $10,000,000 tank.
Expect the same thing with piloted attack aircraft. Eventually all devices will be remote or robotic.
The real pisser is that the colonization of space will be done by remote/robotic control! How’s that for crazy?
You think we need to remove our fighting capabilities and store them all in Texas and Arizona and New Mexico?
They weren’t M-1’s in 73 Friend
Had a buddy in Germany in the 80s. Said he was driving on the a-baun at about 60mph (in a jeep) and got passed by a M-1.
Then they put the governors on them. :(
The guy on the right is having a hard time lifting that tank with a rope but the guys underneath are doing a great job of helping.
Weren’t they M-60’s then?
Maybe you are thinking of the M60? The M1 didn't enter service till around 80'.
I think we need to closde down the German and Japanese bases,
bring the troops home.
Where in the hell are our Cold War medals, congress?
“However did they (we) win?!?”
“Oh, German, I thought there was something wrong with you.”
Thanks to all of the people who stood at guard all of those many years, at least they kept the peace and kept the Russian Bear in his den.
Tanks have used rubber track blocks for decades in all kinds of terrain, not just on autobahns.
The military doesn't do that, but DHS still needs them.
Those were the days! Now just a memory. Grafenwoehr without the sound of tank and artillery going off, had to believe.
I can think of some uses for the money saved.
It is odd you are saying tanks are obsolete so soon after a Brigade of heavy tanks and mech drove all the way to Baghdad taking so few casualties.
And yes, even in World War II a cheap bazooka could (and sometimes did) take out a Tiger or even a King Tiger tank. Yet the German tanks could still cause us lots of problems and casualties. Our best weapon against them remained our own tanks.
“I remember the M-1s in K-town across the river where I was stationed. I remember the 73 Israeli war. We tried to ship a bunch of them on freighters out to Israel from Bremerhaven...the effing NAZI germans wouldnt allow them to leave.”
That would be impossible since the XM-1 wasn’t delivered for testing until 1978, and the production M-1 didn’t make it to Germany until REFORGER ‘82.
I'm just sick and tired of foreign commitments that our government botch and get good Americans killed or maimed for life, for no real purpose.
Not saying you are wrong, exactly, but we aren’t quite there yet.
The drones that shoot the Hellfires don’t go for $10K.
We are talking pretty expensive drones. The Predators go for $4M each.
And in a “real” war, where the other side actually has effective air defense systems, the relatively simple Predator won’t do. An anti-tank missile-shooting drone that could survive long enough to be effective would be an order of magnitude more expensive.
On the other hand, there are many other ways of delivering an overhead attack with a “smart” missile. Many such potential systems are unimplemented ideas at this point. And of course there are countermeasures also. Active defense systems (which have been in use for some years now) and even, maybe, just a simple armored “umbrella” could complicate things enough to foil the best laid plans.
We are in one of those times where there hasn’t been a high-tech cutting edge war recently enough to show us through experience where the technological balance actually is.
OMG! I actually watched that episode within the last couple of weeks!
“Those were the days! Now just a memory. Grafenwoehr without the sound of tank and artillery going off, had to believe.”
Graf was OK, I preferred going there compared to Hohenfels.
My last time at Graf, the entire 1AD road marched from Graf to Hohenfels.
The first convoy out of the gate onto 299 ended up having some LN pancake himself into the back of the M-88 trail vehicle. I want to say that it was 2/68 Armor. After that, every convoy had a heavy MP, German MP, and Politzi escort, and every vehicle had at least on VS-17 panel draped over the back.
On the way out some of the guys tried to abscond with an old piece of WWI equipment but they got caught at the railhead ~ so we had to give it back.
Most of the time our unit would have the troops ride the rails with the tracks on flat cars (tofc) and a few of us would ride down the autobahn, et al, mostly et al, to whatever training area they wanted us.
Once we returned to Kitzingen (Harvey Barracks) in our tracks ~ it was well below freezing ~ I was TC ~ WOW! Even a hawk jacket has trouble with that. The guys inside were roasting though.
Earlier that year we were up on the border with a radar watching a Russian/GDR guard post ~ major minefield in that area, and the Russians came down a road on the otherside just across from us IN A TANK COLUMN.
So, you might ask, did the guy at Tianamen Square wet himself up against that tank? ~ from experience I'd say he never noticed if he did. Tanks are impressive. Tanks that can be or could be aimed at you and fired are very impressive ~ a thing you'll never forget. When there's nothing between you and a bunch of them and what immediately seemed to be a very inadequate mine field, it's time to deedee out.
Considering how the EURO crisis is going it looks like Germany has found a way of conquering the Western and Southern Europe without firing a shot, and demanding and getting reparations $$$$$ too.
They are doing much better than Japan is.
Spent 4 years in Berlin, 84 - 88. Most interesting assignment of my career.
1-509th and 2-509th, respectively, located at Lee Barracks in Mainz-Gonsenheim, Germany. These two battalions formed the infantry component of the 1st Brigade (Airborne), 8th Infantry Division (Mechanized). Other units of the brigade included the 5th Battalion (Airborne), 81st Artillery; Troop A (Airborne), 3rd Squadron, 8th Cavalry; and Company A (Airborne), 12th Engineer Battalion.
In 1973, as the division’s 1st Brigade jump status was ending, a new unit with the designation of 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 509th Infantry (bearing the lineage of WW II’s Co C, 509PIB) was activated to form an Airborne battalion combat team (ABCT) from elements of the existing Airborne forces within the brigade. After a brief training period at Rhine Kaserne barracks in West Germany, the unit moved to Vicenza, Italy, as a separate Airborne Battalion Combat Team and composed of a headquarters and headquarters company (HHC), a combat support company (CSC), three light infantry companies and one 105 mm towed field artillery battery, commanded by LTC Ward M. Lehardy. The colors of 1-509th and 2-509th were reflagged as 2-28th and 2-87th. Shortly after its arrival in Italy, 3-509th was reflagged as 1-509th.
Prior to the end of WWII, Europe, all or part of, was continually in a state of war. Our troops stationed there for 69 years gave Europe the only peace it has ever known.
IMHO the true “peace makers” of this world are not politicians or clergy or the UN - it is the United States Armed Forces. Praise God for all of them!!!
I don’t think we need our heavy tanks rusting on the border, nor would they serve any purpose, they might in Korea though.
People said the same thing just before Desert Storm. Then they said the same thing before GWII.
I still remember graduating from Jump School in '88 and some *military thinkers* were talking about how the days of the mass tactical parachute jumps were long since over...some of those articles appeared a week or so before Operation Just Cause.
Wow, the end of an era. IIRC, at one time there were more Armor Branch personnel stationed in Germany than in CONUS.
That reminds me of when we were in a convoy at Ft. Hood in the 70's. I was running a track behind a gasser M-88 one night. Since it was pretty cold, I was a little closer than I should have been to get some warmth off of his exhaust.
That is until he let off going down a small hill and that big 12 cylinder Continental backfired. Kept my distance after that.
I spent almost half of my 1st 3 year tour with 3rd Armd Div at Graf, Hohenfels, and Wildflecken. I was an artillery FO attached to a tank company, where I FO’ed off a M60A2 doing the concept test from what became the FIST teams. Thus I got to go through artillery gunnery, tank gunnery as a TC, and then maneuvers at Hohenfels and of course V Corps exercises and REFORGER participation.
The Strykers are staying, but the tanks are not. :(