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Everything posted by Iarmor

  1. The T-62 soldiers on in Egypt
  2. Tiran MBTs during indirect fire training, circa 1971
  3. More recently than 1965, on November 12th 2012, Merkava Mk. 4 MBTs destroyed two Syrian D-30 howitzers in the Golan Heights, across the border, at 6 kms range. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-syria-crisis-golan-tank-idUKBRE8AB12N20121112
  4. The story of Corporal I* S*, a tank driver in H Company of the 77th Battalion on Saturday, 7/10/23. Around 7 in the morning we were alerted due to enemy rocket fire, we entered the tanks and heard on the radio that many terrorists were approaching the fence. We drove together, the platoon leader tank and our tank. The platoon leader took a battle position and we drove to the fence, towards another position. At the fence we encountered about 10-15 terrorists, we killed them with main gun rounds, machine guns and ran over one. After that, dozens of terrorists started infiltrating into Israeli territory. After a few minutes of fighting, there was a strong explosion in my tank - the TC was blown out of the tank, the gunner remained in the tank, but at that time appeared to be dead, and the loader was also blown out of the tank. I thought he was also killed, while the tank caught fire on its rear. The tank was filled with smoke, I opened the driver's hatch to let air in and drove the tank away while RPGs are fired at it non-stop. I started driving towards the rear, I stopped on the way to check if the gunner was still alive, as I stopped the loader shouted to me "S*" - I realized he was alive. I quickly got out of the driver's cabin and saw him lying on the turret full of burns from head to toe, in a kind of post-traumatic stress. I told him to get into the tank and checked the gunner - he was unconscious, had a very weak pulse and was breathing weakly. I tried to extract him from the tank, while the loader on the turret noticed an IDF jeep approaching towards us. We signaled the jeep to stop and help us, it stopped next to us and terrorists embarked out of it. The loader jumped back onto the tank and shouted to me that it's a terrorist, I quickly got into the driver's cabin, ran over one of the terrorists and the jeep and we escaped from there. Eventually, after driving for a long time, we arrived at Kibbutz Re'im area, where a party called "Nova" was held. We saw there a firefight of about 50 terrorists against 15-20 policemen. I blocked the terrorists with the tank so they wouldn't hit the policemen, and the loader came out of the tank and went towards the policemen. After a few minutes I saw the terrorists walking around the tank confidently and I realized that the policemen had been killed and the loader too. About 5-10 terrorists climbed onto the tank and I was ready with the M16 towards the TC's hatch, that was the only hatch. I saw a terrorist through the hatch, who, as he found out that there was a live soldier inside the tank, got scared and threw his weapon at me, and in response I shot and killed him. Then I quickly got into the driver's cabin, while they threw several hand grenades into the tank, some of which exploded and some didn't. Luckily I managed to get into the driver's cabin, I felt the blast waves and heard the sounds of the explosions and by luck I wasn't hurt by them. I drove away while running over terrorists and making a lot of mess with the tank in order to throw them away from me. I ran over several abandoned vehicles and continued to move away from the area until the tank hardly moved - the whole rear part of the tank caught fire and it stopped. I checked the gunner's pulse again - this time he had no pulse and his breathing stopped. I got out of the tank, I realized that I had no choice but to leave the burning tank, which was being followed by the terrorists. I went out with a helmet, a flack jacket and a weapon, then I met 3 civilians, they were very stressed, I put them in their car and we drove away while I was driving. We drove for a few minutes until we noticed that we were encircled. At this point I swapped places with one of them so he was driving, since I had a weapon and I could use it if necessary. We stopped in the middle of the forest and hid with half of our body under the car. After about 40 minutes of hearing a lot of shouting in Arabic and a lot of shooting, while we were pretending to be dead, about five terrorists, armed not with firearms but with rocks and knives, advanced towards me. They thought I was dead and tried to grab my weapon, I shot and killed one of the terrorists but then the weapon got jammed. I struggled with them while they pounded rocks on my head, broke my jaw, eye socket, cheek, nose, many teeth and cut me with a knife - thanks to the helmet they didn't kill me but only seriously injured me. I managed to fight them off with all my strength, but they managed to grab my weapon, tried to shoot me and failed. I ran for a few minutes until I entered a bush where a man and a woman were hiding. I hid with them, while I was wounded, for about 6 hours while terrorists pass by the bush and by luck they didn't look to the right and see us. During these 6 hours I continued to bleed from the face, the two civilians helped me a lot, brought me water and also noticed when the rescue arrived - thanks to them I'm alive. While I was being treated at the Be'er Sheva hospital, a civilian approached me, lightly wounded from shrapnel, and began to question if I was the tanker who managed to distract the terrorists during the "Nova" party massacre, thus saving hundreds of lives.
  5. Published on social media, but the source is probably this ynet article.
  6. From Hebrew media, translated with Google, with some edits. The story of Capt. B* Z*, 23 years old from Herzliya, a tank company CO in the Kissufim sector, on the morning of October 7th. This is one of the most extraordinary stories I have heard about the fighting that day. Battles that resulted from a mistake and required bravery. Often, what starts with one, requires the other. Z* is a company CO in the 77th Battalion of the 7th Brigade, part of the forces that held the southern sector of the Gaza Strip. He was stationed in a small outpost called "Mars", on the Gaza border, with the weapons company of the 51st Battalion, Golani. "The event begins, around 6:30 in the morning. The commander above me tells me that there is a terrorist raid near Nirim and tells me to move there. That was the last time I heard from him." He is advancing, a lone tank, neither knowing nor understanding that the fence has been breached and many hundreds are rushing towards the kibbutzim. "I drive through the fields. At Ein HaShlosha I encounter the first squad of terrorists. Kill them with the MAG. Arrive in the direction of Nirim. Spot two terrorist squads there moving towards the kibbutz. Shoot them with the MAG and then run them over. At this point we receive a report of a large terrorist raid on Kissufim outpost". Z*'s tank changes direction and advances towards Kissufim, not far from the Mars outpost from which it started. "Towards the fence I encounter an ambush by two anti-tank squads. They shoot at me from two directions. I engage them at short range. Goes up a bit, identifies the source of the shooting. Kills the two squads." These are RPG launchers. "Trophy (tank protection system) dealt with two rockets, and we felt the impact of two others. No penetration." At this point, company CO Z* receives a call from one of his tanks - the one that is part of the force that protects Nirim, Nir Oz and Maggen. "He tells me that he is damaged, on the fence, and that he is surrounded by terrorists. He was hit by an anti-tank rocket that penetrated the tank. The TC with shrapnel in the neck and the loader with a serious injury. I drive to him, southwards again. His tank can't traverse because it's damaged. I meet him and tell him - follow me. On the way, we observe a massive infiltration of hundreds of terrorists. I recognize the platoon leader tank there. It is completely burnt and on fire. And we recognize two pick-up trucks heading towards the strip, and you can clearly see in them - it's a sight you can't forget - that there are people standing in the truck and they are with a lot of bodies. I try to cross the fence towards the Strip. Fire two main gun rounds in the direction of these vehicles. I don't know if I hit or not, there was a flash. At the moment I fire, I'm hit by three-four anti-tank rockets at once. Not long range, but short range. My Diesel tanks are damaged and starting to leak. Realizing I can't chase into the Strip, I pull back. At this point we are surrounded by hundreds of terrorists. I start shooting MAGs, main gun. Run over dozens. There was a gathering of eight or nine who tried to board the second tank, I killed them." It should be explained that until this stage, Z* and the other forces do not understand that this is an invasion into the State of Israel. They moved from place to place because of reports about squads; The division camp falls, key commanders are killed. He is on the move from one precedent event, which never happened (a raid by two squads on a kibbutz), to another precedent event (a raid on Kissufim) to a third event of a tank being neutralized and surrounded by Hamas. The tank's radios are damaged, and the Company CO only hears fragments of words. "Kissufim squad", "Nirim two squads", "Ein HaShlosha to arrive". They are two tanks now: one with injured crew members and in need of immediate medical attention, and unable to traverse. The second, of Z*, suffers from damaged Diesel tanks, and can no longer traverse the main gun (but can elevate and depress it). They go to Kibbutz Maggen. "That's where I hear about an encounter at the entrance to the settlement. We put the damaged tank in some kind of high dugout near Kibbutz Magen. Its MAG could still fire. I told him - 'Anything that comes in front of you, shoot it.' Then we returned. At the entrance to Maggen, near the fence, we killed a squad of four terrorists. After Maggen, I hear that there is an infiltration in the direction of Re'im. I'm going there. Near the division headquarters, my tank stopped working completely, oil and Diesel tanks were damaged." They decide to get out of the tank. "We disembark, all crew members, with MAG. We are at the Gama intersection and vehicles are passing there. I decide that we should go back to the Mars outpost, from where I left, because there is another tank standing there empty. This is the company XO tank. He is at home. I said - I will come in March, I will get on the tank and continue." At this point, Capt. Z* saw more fighting against terrorists than most of the current IDF brigade commanders. He is in the field, without actual command, without a tank, when the terrorists control the area in practice and the various settlements, and he intends to hitchhike to get on a new tank and continue fighting. "At the intersection, I have already understood the magnitude of the event. Especially given our encounter with the hundreds of terrorists. I see how deep the terrorists have penetrated, given the massacre at the Gama intersection and the massacre on the roads. We tried to find a working car from the ones they shot at. Nothing worked. A Border Police SOF vehicle is coming and they are in a fast movement towards Kissufim. I stopped them. They say they only have one empty place in the car. Now, at the Mars outpost I have two crew members waiting. I'm missing a gunner, and of course I, the tank commander." He leaves some of the crew behind since the SOF vehicle has not enough room, and enters the trunk (!) to return to fighting. "I took my gunner, he was sitting in front. I got into the trunk. We left it a little open." The SOF vehicle tries to reach an engagement in one of the settlements, so it drops the gunner and Z* not far from the Kissufim intersection. The tankers begin to walk to their outpost, while the agricultural fields are infested with terrorists on motorcycles and pick-up trucks. "When I arrive at the outpost area, I see in the agricultural fields, at distance, these trucks and dozens of terrorists on the move from Ein HaShlosha towards of the outpost. I run towards the outpost, waving my hands to them so that they don't shoot me. When I arrive, it turns out that the weapons company CO (of the 51st battalion from Golani) took the two tankers I had, took the tank, and went out to fight with them. We organize there in positions, the terrorists move to the outpost, and then we open fire by the entire outpost." They have a problem. Because of the raid in the morning, the mortars remained outside the post. Z* organizes covering fire with Negev machine guns, takes two squads out of the outpost to collect the mortars, "and then we brought them back to the outpost and started hitting with mortars." At this point, the weapons company CO and Z* communicate with each other on the radio network. They agree on a swap: the infantryman who became a tankman (from Golani) will return to his fighters and the tankman who became an infantryman (Z*) will get his tank back. Z* returns to the tank. He is currently in combat for eight hours straight and 51st battalion CO contacts him on the radio. A battle takes place inside Kibbutz Kissufim. "I spotted three bikers, I killed them. Near the Garden of the Fallen. In the perimeter fence of the kibbutz there is another squad, I kill all five. There were two who ran into the fields, I killed them too. And from that moment me and the 51st battalion CO are a duo that operates together until Monday at noon. I had more engagements. Near the Kissufim outpost two terrorists that we killed. In an open field. On Saturday night there is an engagement inside Kibbutz Kissufim, and I enter the kibbutz with the tank and fire main gun rounds into a house and kill another terrorist squad there." If you count the tanks that were damaged, starting from Saturday at noon until significant reinforcements arrived on Sunday afternoon, Z*'s tank is the only one that was combat-ready in the entire sector (19 kilometers). The clashes continue on Sunday. "We identify six terrorists near Ein HaShlosha. We killed them. Two more terrorists near Mars. On Monday there are already scans through the settlements, and then there is a big engagement in the cowsheds of Kibbutz Kissufim." He describes a situation in which a terrorist held an Israeli, a Kissufim resident, a hostage. They call the Israeli to run, he does so and the tank immediately fires a main gun round and kills the Hamas terrorist. Z* says that if you count "up to the end" of the two and a half days of fighting, "that's between 70 and 90 terrorists." I asked him what his first conclusions were from the battle, as a commander in the field. "Wherever there was a tank, we managed to prevent a massacre. I didn't manage to get to Nir Oz. I didn't get to Re'im. But wherever there was a tank, we came out better. It was so in Kerem Shalom, and also in Sufa. Not all murders were prevented, but tanks managed to stop much of the infiltration. In addition, we have a lot of confidence in this tool and in this machine. We were hit by explosive charges and RPGs as well as drones, and the tank kept going. We felt confident with the firepower. At one point we were facing hundreds of people. And one tank alone eliminated and deterred them. Every time we operated according to the doctrine, in a known battle drill, we had the upper hand. And we recovered quickly. After the second encounter, we understood." I asked him about the whole war. From his story, I noticed two points: in a day or so of combat, half of the tanks in the company were taken out of action. And that's without the use of Kornet missiles. The second point is the lack of command and control at the brigade, or divisional level, due to the surprise and the loss of prominent commanders in the sector. "True, we were surprised. But we came to our senses. I can tell you safely - our ability as an army to stand up to this thing is guaranteed. We will win the war 100%, wherever it is, in the south or in the north." In the sector they talk about Z* with sparkling eyes. You can understand why. The crew's and his determination to fight, if necessary with a damaged tank, without a tank, or with a replacement tank. Do not stop; Reach the next tank in the trunk if necessary. The 77th Battalion in the 7th Brigade has a reputation, from the days of Avigdor Kahalani and the battle in the Valley of Tears. This young company CO did not embarrass the firm.
  7. Is the Shot Cal model in SB based on any particular real-world vehicle? A Centurion from some museum perhaps? Surely not a genuine Shot Cal, since the Israeli Centurions were fitted with M48 sights even before the power pack replacement.
  8. Iarmor

    Fast or Slow?

    It depends, there are a lot of variables. Terrain, engagement ranges, enemy defenses, readiness, etc. In the Israeli army, after 1967 everyone was all for speed, but after 1973 opinions differed - officers who served in the Sinai advocated well-organized attacks with much fire support, while the ones who served in the Golan still favored quick assaults.
  9. Pictures of this Syrian S-60 57 mm AA guns convoy, destroyed (alongside some T-54s) by tank fire from the nearby Israeli ramparts after the bridge had been hit by an IAF airstrike:
  10. Color footage from the Yom Kippur War in the Golan Heights. The photographer served with the IDF reserve 4th mechanized infantry brigade. 1:45 - Syrian 47th independent armored brigade T-55s destroyed near Hirbat Kanaf. 7:30 - Al-Khushniya after the Syrians were driven away. 16:00 - The 39th armored battalion CO, Yoav Vaspi, shortly before he was killed on October 16th by Syrian artillery near Ruwykhina. 21:40 - Syrian 7th infantry division vehicles destroyed short of Al-Hamidiya Bridge, near Stronghold 107. 23:00 - Mazra'at Beit Jinn
  11. In the Israeli army the 105 mm Centurions got M48 reticle, several years before the Diesel power pack. It had illumination for night firing. I don't know about the original British reticle, but my guess would be that it had illumination as well, as some of the Centurions also had a searchlight for night firing.
  12. Another film (or the first 10 minutes of it), this time from 1963: https://jfc.org.il/en/news_journal/58666-2/111588-2/ Action starts on 1:25. 4:06: AMX-13 autoloader in action. 8:05 and on: M50 Shermans go down a steep slope, helped by a M32 ARV.
  13. A short Israeli Armored Corps promotional documentary film from 1971: https://jfc.org.il/en/news_journal/51230-2/113891-2/ 0:00-1:21: Armor School graduation ceremony. M48s and Centurions shoulder to shoulder. 1:21-6:39: Centurions on desert training. Rare M48 AVLB use (the IDF had just one of these) on 4:28-5:29. 6:48-7:38: Armor School training. 7:38-8:07: Centurions in an ordnance depot. 8:07-9:01: Centurions on gunnery range. 9:02-12:14: Desert training again, with live fire. An ordnance team (on a crane-mounting halftrack) fixes a Centurion track on 9:58-10:17. 12:14-12:43: Night firing. 12:53-13:04: M48s patrol the eastern bank of the Suez canal. 13:06-14:06: Centurions in different locations, including Mount Hermon from 13:49 and on. Live enemy is portrayed by Tiran-4 tanks (note the Israeli-modified fenders on 9:21), painted in outdated Egyptian colors. Target practice is carried-out on 1967 war booty AFVs: T-54/55, IS-3, SU-100, ZSU-57x2, T-34/85.
  14. Previous videos of this tank:
  15. Israeli Sports Channel's motor sports broadcasters report from the IDF tank competition at the Golan Heights, April 2018. Competitors represent their brigades, including some reserve ones, equipped with Merkava Mk. 2s, 3s and 4s. At 2:00 in the video, Yom Kippur War veterans (invited to watch the competition) are interviewed. When asked what tank did they hated driving the most, they mention the M48A2C and the Sherman.
  16. There was one famous such case in the 1967 Six Day war. At the heart of Khan Younis, Yosef Lapper, a young IDF reserve tanker (trained as a TC, but positioned as a loader), fought alone for 8 hours from his immobilized M48A2C, loading and shooting the main gun all by himself. Eventually, IDF troops reached him and evacuated him to hospital, where Lapper suddenly remembered he still has in his pocket the hand grenade he had prepared in case the Egyptians would climb on his tank. Of course he was decorated with the highest decoration. Lapper's reserve service was quite extraordinary, having experienced heavy fighting also in 1973 (M48A3 loader, injured again, during the failed October 8th counterattack) and 1982 (M60A1 RISE TC near Sultan Yacoub, the only tank in his company that wasn't hit). He also got an additional citation (low level this time) in 1976, for killing two terrorists who tried to infiltrate Israel through the Dead Sea. The 1968 movie Kol Mamzer Melekh includes a battle scene that is based on Lapper's fighting: and another video, depicting this case more accurately:
  17. Israeli Armor Corps promotional film from the mid-'70s: 0:00-5:12: M60 'slick' MBTs in the Sinai, of the 500th armored brigade. In the summer of 1974, these ex-US army M60s replaced the Centurions (Shot Cals) that had been used by the 500th during the 1973 war, while the Centurions were re-assigned to other units in northern Israel. 5:12-8:37: the speaker, among other new conscripts, is sent to the Armor School and undergoes basic training. 8:37-13:02: tank crewmember training, in the classroom, firing range and in the field. 13:32-14:48: tanker training graduation ceremony at Masada, taking the warrior's oath. Speech by Moshe Peled, Armor Corps CG 1974-1979 (146th armored division CO in 1973). 14:48-16:48: tank crew, platoon and company training in the Sinai, alongside mechanized infantry. 16:48-20:55: tanker service life in different locations. 20:55-22:06: the speaker is interviewed and leaves for TC course. 22:06-23:00: TC course (the classroom part). 23:00-23:50: TC course graduation ceremony in the Sinai.
  18. 1 meter/sec is about 2 knots. The Sagger missile is slower than a jet fighter, but also much smaller of course. In two cases during the 1973 war, Syrian Styx anti-ship missiles (much faster than the Sagger, but also bigger) were shot down by .50 cal fire from Israeli Sa'ar missile boats.
  19. The Austrians acquired M60A1s and later upgraded them to A3. Didn't all of them got TTS? Do they still have M60A1s in the original configuration? I was under the impression that all non-TTS M60A3s were retrofitted with TTS by the mid-'80s.
  20. Iarmor


    Yes for the T-72, but no for the T-54/55/62. Not sure about the M48. https://thesovietarmourblog.blogspot.com/2017/01/t-54.html https://thesovietarmourblog.blogspot.com/2017/12/t-72-part-2.html#fuel_tanks
  21. Iarmor


    Note the penetration hole on the gun mantlet http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GPxgMYMVgnY/Utcd70-IOsI/AAAAAAAABMo/WsrTbdrR7xk/s1600/t_62.jpg
  22. Iarmor


    Another example, an Egyptian T-62 destroyed while carrying Diesel fuel drums
  23. Iarmor


    Not just for visuals. A tank carrying fuel drums might catch fire easily, even from artillery or small arms fire. During the 1967 war, gasoline drums carried on Jordanian M48s were used as aiming points for Israeli M50 Shermans and AML-90s, after they failed to penetrate the M48's armor. Diesel fuel is less flammable than gasoline, but still it's better for the T-xx to remove the fuel drums before going into battle.
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