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Led by the USA with Western European partners, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed in 1949 to counter the Soviet threat. In response the Soviet Union assembled and dominated the Warsaw Pact in 1954. The mainstay of both alliances' groundforces were their main battle tanks (MBTs). Initially both sides relied on Second World War MBTs; in NATO's case the Sherman medium tank and its successor the M26 Pershing together with the British Centurion and the heavy Conqueror. The Soviets originally fielded the T-34-85 medium tank and the IS-2 and IS-3 heavy tank replaced by the T-10. Next came the T-54 followed by the T-55 and 155mm armed T-63 (1965).
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