The ‘Godfather’

Words CMV Correspondent pictures BAIV

Typically known as the ‘Decision Maker’ during the Korean War, few M46-A1 Patton Tanks still exist. CMV reports on the restoration of one example by Netherlands-based company BAIV

The M46-A1 Patton 1 in its Operation Ripper Tiger colours ready for delivery to the US

Restoration specialist BAIV (British American Infantry Vehicles), which has its base in Nederweert near Eindhoven, was commissioned by the National Museum of Military Vehicles (NMMV) in Dubois, Wyoming, to restore a M46 Patton tank – the ‘Godfather’ of the US Patton series.

During a 2019 meeting involving Ivo Rigter Sr and Ruud Caspers of BAIV, and Daniel Starks, president of the NMMV, Daniel mentioned that an M46 was on the museum’s wish list and that by adding an example to their collection, the museum’s M40 series would be complete.

Subsequently, BAIV launched a search for an M46, but nothing immediately turned up. “Fortunately, a couple of months later we received a tip from someone in Germany, who informed us that he might know of a survivor in Poland, without a turret and gun, but still relatively complete,” explained Ivo. “We were thrilled because until then finding an M46 in rather good condition seemed to be a fairy tale.”

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