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The design and budgeting of tanks has known severe ups and downs. Right after the war, tank design budgets were cut and engineering staff was often scattered. Many war planners believed that the tank was obsolete, now that nuclear weapons were on the scene and it was felt that a tactical [[nuclear weapon]] could destroy any brigade or regiment, whether it was armoured or not. The [[Korean War]] proved that tanks were still useful on the battlefield, given the hesitation of the great powers to use nuclear weapons. In the 1950s, many nations' tanks were equipped with [[NBC warfare|NBC]] protection, allowing mechanized units to defend against nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, or to conduct breakthroughs by exploiting battlefield nuclear strikes.
 
The design and budgeting of tanks has known severe ups and downs. Right after the war, tank design budgets were cut and engineering staff was often scattered. Many war planners believed that the tank was obsolete, now that nuclear weapons were on the scene and it was felt that a tactical [[nuclear weapon]] could destroy any brigade or regiment, whether it was armoured or not. The [[Korean War]] proved that tanks were still useful on the battlefield, given the hesitation of the great powers to use nuclear weapons. In the 1950s, many nations' tanks were equipped with [[NBC warfare|NBC]] protection, allowing mechanized units to defend against nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, or to conduct breakthroughs by exploiting battlefield nuclear strikes.
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==Development of the main battle tank==
 
==Development of the main battle tank==
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The British introduced their [[Conqueror tank|Heavy Gun Tank F214 Conqueror]] with the same 120mm gun as the M103 into service in 1955. It stayed in service until 1960; the upgrading of Centurion tank to the L7 105mm gun having removed its purpose.
 
The British introduced their [[Conqueror tank|Heavy Gun Tank F214 Conqueror]] with the same 120mm gun as the M103 into service in 1955. It stayed in service until 1960; the upgrading of Centurion tank to the L7 105mm gun having removed its purpose.
   
While the US Army deactivated its heavy armor units with the reception of the new M60 series main battle tanks in 1960, the remaining M103s stayed within the US Marine Corps inventory until they began receiving the M60 series MBT. With the disappearance of the heavy tank from US forces came the full acceptance of the [[main battle tank]] in 1960 for the US Army, and later for the US Marine Corps.<ref>Hunnicutt{{Page needed|date=September 2015}}</ref>
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While the US Army deactivated its heavy armor units with the reception of the new M60 series main battle tanks in 1960, the remaining M103s stayed within the US Marine Corps inventory until they began receiving the M60 series MBT. With the disappearance of the heavy tank from US forces came the full acceptance of the [[main battle tank]] in 1960 for the US Army, and later for the US Marine Corps.<ref>Hunnicutt{{Page needed|date=September 2010}}</ref>
   
 
The British successor to Centurion was [[Chieftain tank|Chieftain]] in 1966. Chieftain was heavily armoured and had a 120mm gun following a doctrine of long range fire and survivability that would be needed against the more numerous Warsaw Pact tanks in the event of an invasion of West Germany.
 
The British successor to Centurion was [[Chieftain tank|Chieftain]] in 1966. Chieftain was heavily armoured and had a 120mm gun following a doctrine of long range fire and survivability that would be needed against the more numerous Warsaw Pact tanks in the event of an invasion of West Germany.

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