We crewed M48 tanks in the Armoured Cavalry. At night we would do runs on sections of highway called Running the Road. Three tanks, one on point, one in the center and one in drag would tear up and down a section of highway with our searchlight on infrared and if we saw someone ahead we would turn on the 1,000,000 candlepower searchlight to catch them in the act. They could hear us and try to hurry burying their mines, usually a burlap sack stuffed with C-4 plastique and buried with a pressure type detonator of tin and bamboo connected to a battery with cheap wire.
If they heard us, they would either try to hurry to plant it as we were still far away or run. We would sometimes see explosion flashes on the road ahead in the distance and when we arrived at that area there would be a hole in the road and body parts everywhere. They triggered the mine in rushing and it went off accidentally. This happened quite a few times.
If the infrared showed VC in the road ahead, on would come the searchlight and the .50 would take care of them pretty easily. Running the Road. Dangerous as hell and that’s why we went full speed as someone could be hiding with an RPG to ambush us. The point and drag tanks bring in the most dangerous position. After running a section, we would do the same on the way back only the drag tank would now be point tank and the former point tank would now be drag tank. Center tank was best to be in.