Armor: March 18, 2003


When the Cold War ended in 1991, the United States had over 7,000 M-1 tanks (of various models). In the next ten years, the army shrunk by a third, and six of its ten divisions were disbanded. It had about twice as many M-1 tanks than it needed. Making the most of the situations, it kept most of those M-1 tanks in service by putting hundreds in storage overseas (along with other military equipment) so that only troops had to be flown in to form mechanized brigades. Even in the United States, armor battalions could afford to have two sets of tanks. One set would be used for training, they other stood ready to be shipped off to some far off battlefield. This saved time, as otherwise the tanks used regularly would require several days of preparation before they could be shipped. 


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