M113 Armored Personnel Carrier-Box with wheels

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“M113 Combat Engineer Vehicle 2” by dugspr — Home for Good is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

There is a lot of major change in tactics and equipment after World War 2 have ended. During that war, the APC have already existed, in the forms of armored military trucks and such. But, they barely have any spot lights when compared with other tanks like the M4 Sherman, the T-34, and the King Tigers. But, after WW2 have ended, the light, medium, and heavy tanks passed out in favor for the Main Battle tanks and Mobile Artillery. These tanks have also have become more faster, more powerful, and thicker. While the tanks have improved, so is their enemies. The anti-tank squads have become more mobile than their WW2. And right after WW2, the Cold War started and everybody were getting ready for a third world war. With the Soviets forces have created their BPM and BDM series of APC, the NATO then find the need for a “tank” that can help the infantries keeps up with the tank forces so that they can destroy the enemy anti-tank squad before they can do the same. Soon, many begins to develop their own type of APC, and the US (during the Vietnam War) produced the M113 APC.

History

The M113 is not the only type of APC that is in US service (there is also the amphibious AAV7 mobile landing craft). But the M113 is probably the most well-known out of all of them. The M113 was designed and built by a company called the Food Machinery Corp (which is not a company for making food or machine producing food), which is a chemicals factory. After WW2, the US Army asked the FMC to help them (US Army) to produce (the lesser known) M59 and M75 APC. The two of them were fine, but they are both considered to be outdated after a short service time. The the US Army asked FMC to produce something better. And so, FMC then combines the best parts of both the M59 and M75. And then produced the model T113. Then they improved it again and again and got the T113E2. They give it to the US Army, which they change the name to M113. At first, the M113 were made by the FMC’s defense branch, the United Defense. Then, it was switched over to British Aerospace.

Stats

Length: 4.863 meters (15 feet and 11 inches)

Width: 2.686 meters (8 feet and 9 inches)

Height: 2.5 meters (8 feet and 2 inches)

Weight: (when fully loaded) 22.36 tones

Speed: 42 mph (67.6 km/h)

Range: 300 miles (480 kilometers)

Armaments: there were many different options, but on the basic model it was armed with a single Browning 50-caliber machine guns and (during the Vietnam War) two 7.62 mm M60 machine guns

Engines: Detroit Diesel 6V53T, six-cylinder, engine

Crews: required 2 (a driver and a commander), and since it’s a APC, it can carry 11 fully armed troops

Variants

Because the M113 is basically a rolling box, the US Army have a lot of different ideas on how use the M113. To make it looks neat. I will simply put in all of the different forms in which a M113 can be and their different equipment.

M113: Basic model, (also featured in almost all of the other models) can swim.

M113A1: Simply the M113 with a better engine.

M113A2: This model is M113 improved and improved. Better engine, better suspension, and certain components were switched around a bit. Because of this, it’s heavier and lost it’s ability to swim.

M113 ACAV (Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicle): This model is the one that was used during the Vietnam War. This model were simply the M113 modified from battlefield experience.

M58 “Wolf”: A reconnaissance version, featured more smoke grenades launcher than other models

M106 mortar carrier: Basically a M113 with a 106.7 mm M30 mortar launcher positioned in the troop-holding area.

M1064 mortar launcher: It’s the M106 but with a 120 mm M121 mortar launcher instead.

M125 mortar launcher: M106 with a 81 mm M106 mortar launcher.

M132 Armored Flamethrower: A basic M113 fitted with a flamethrower, it was no longer used in the US Army.

M163 VADS (Vulcan Air Defense System): A M113 fitted with a M61 Vulcan cannon and a radar. It was used for short air defenses.

M48 Chaparral: Similar to the M163 VADS, but this model were fitted with a MIM-72A/M48 Chaparral, four-shot, missile launcher.

M150: M113 fitted with a TOW ATGM launcher and was used for anti-tank duties.

M548: A unarmed cargo transport version of the M113.

M577: A M113 with a bigger troop compartment and a radar. Sometimes used as a command post. One of the most common variant of the M113.

M579: A M113 type that were built as a repair vehicle, it not used by the US armed forces.

M806: A recovery vehicle version of the M113, can drag other tanks and light vehicles with a pair of anchors and a winch.

M901: Another anti-tank version of the M113, carries a twin TOW M220 missile launcher.

M113 “MBT”: A M113 fitted with a M2 Bradley APC turret, used for training only.

M113 C&R (Command & Reconnaissance): Like the name implied, this version of the M113 is used as a command post or a recon vehicle. Used mainly by the Netherland and Canadian armed forces.

M113 AIFV: It’s a improved version of the M113A1, it featured a enclosed turret (the original version have a open-topped turret).

Combat Record and Users

Like I mentioned before, the M113 is famously known for fighting in the Vietnam War. When it was introduced (which is in 1967), it was first used by Company D, 16th Armor, 173rd Airborne Brigade. Where it was used in missions like search-and-destroy, reconnaissance, and massive infantries invasions. It served through Vietnam with good record, and then participated in more US war involvements like the 1970 invasion of Cambodia. Along with it’s US users, it also served the Australian, Israel and the Vietnamese armed forces. The Australians and the Israel armed forces bought the M113 while the Vietnamese armed forces salvaged them when Vietnam War ended and the US forces left behind a lot of bust-up M113s. The M113 also served the law-enforcements as well as military forces. The US Midland Sheriff’s Department used it to raid a Fundamentalist compound in 2008. The Brazilian BOPE law-enforcements also used M113 for a raid on drug cartel in 2010, although they used the Brazilian armed forces’ M113 to do the job.

Related Stories

https://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m113.htm

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2020/08/03/pandemic-causes-latest-delay-in-us-armys-m113-replacement-program/

https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/coldwar/US/M113_APC.php