Cold War US Army tank gunner serves with a Bundeswehr Panzer unit (311)

Cold War Conversations

Mark joined the US Army on January 6th, 1981, and went to Ft Knox KY for Basic and Armor training. He graduated in April 1981 and was selected as Instructor Tank commander and trained the next cycle of recruits till August 1981.

Mark was posted to West Germany in September 1981 and was assigned to 1st 37th Armor 1st Armored Div based in Katterbach. When he arrived they were just turning in their M60A2s for the M60A3s. Mark was made a gunner on C-22 as an E-2 private which is rare.

He was also picked to serve with a 1st 304th Bundeswehr PZ unit in Leopard 1A4s in 1982 and describes some fascinating details of the differences between the Bundeswehr and the US Army.

In 1982 his friend Dean McCoy was killed in a military accident and Mark experienced PTSD for the last 30 years as a result. We dedicate this episode to the memory of Sammy Dean McCoy who died on March 18th 1982 aged 21. 

0:00 Introduction and Background of Mark

3:11 Mark’s experiences in West Germany

9:59 Life expectations and preparations in case of a Soviet Invasion

14:44 Comparison Between Leopard and M60 A3 Tanks, and German and American Tank Training

20:18 Interactions with other national armies and demonstrations of West German firepower

25:36 Escape, Evasion, and Gunnery training

30:42 Naming of tanks and preparation for chemical Warfare

36:24 Differences between Army Life in West Germany and Fort Knox

39:15 Memorable and tragic incidents during service in West Germany

47:34 Discussion on the Book “Red Army” by Ralph Peters and Mark’s PTSD

54:12 Podcast Closing Remarks

Table of contents powered by PodcastAI✨

The fight to preserve Cold War history continues and via a simple monthly donation, you will give me the ammunition to continue to preserve Cold War history. You’ll become part of our community, get ad-free episodes, and get a sought-after CWC coaster as a thank you and you’ll bask in the warm glow of knowing you are helping to preserve Cold War history.

Just go to

If a monthly contribution is not your cup of tea, We also welcome one-off donations via the same link.

Find the ideal gift for the Cold War enthusiast in your life! Just go to

Follow us on Twitter




Love history? Check out Into History at this link

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *