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Re: [ds] Modern Tanks.

From: "John M. Atkinson" <john.m.atkinson@e...>
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 01:17:41 -0800
Subject: Re: [ds] Modern Tanks.

Kenneth Winland wrote:

>	  In an earlier message, you posted that M1A1(HA)s were taken
> out by T-62, T-72, BMPs, RPGs, etc.  I have been unable to find this
> anywhere in post-Gulf reports (Zaloga's books, Jane's, Journal of

	"As TF 1-37th Armor crossed over the ridge into the heart of the
defensive zone, the Iraqi commander's carefully disposed rear-slope
defense stripped Dyer's tanks of their range advantage.  Within 1,000
meters, a row of dug-in T-72s and BMPs suddenly appeared below the
crest. All were hull--down in prepared positions behind thick dirt
walls.	Now the Americans were well within Iraqi killing range, and
although the Soviet-made night sights were markedly inferior, things
could still get very dicey.  So many Iraqi vehicles were burning around
the target that areas of the battlefiled were as bright as day.  Again,
the American thermal sights began to wash out.	
	The Iraqi defender was also clever enough to build his
defense behind a streatch of particularly rugged terrain, which he
liberally scattered with excellent Ialian-made antitank mines.	After
cresting the ridge, Dyer's tanks found themselves not only exposed, but
considerably slowed.  Dyer was trying to keep C Company on-line when
Bravo 6 called to tell him that tank Bravo 23 had hit a mine and lost
its engine.  The tank commander still had battery power, however, and
would keep fighting until the batallion trains arrived.  Minutes later
he go the report that Sergeant Steede's Delta 24 had been knocked out
with an unkown number of casualties.
	The battle had suddenly turned grim.  A T-72 round had hit Bravo
23 in
the rear exhaust exits.  ANother T-72 bypassed by D Company had killed
Steede's tank.	Bravo 23 took another hit from its amubsher in the back
of its turret.	The Iraqi sabot blew through the armor into the
compartmented ammo storage area and set off an enormuous explosion as
many of the 30-odd main-gun rounds that were left erupted in white-hot
flames.  The M-1 design came through, however.	The blast escaped
through the blow-out panels in the top turet, thus venting the explosion
away from the crew compartment.  THe Halon suppression system kept the
fire out long enoughfor the crew to scramble to safety.  One of C
Compnay'splatoon leaders, Lieutenant Al Alba, killed the T-72 and BMP
that had fired the lethal shots.  Taking command of the company, ALba
had combat lifesavers treat the wounded, then loaded both crws atop his
turret and continued to attack."

"and although they lost four tanks in the process, no Americans had

		---Certain Victory, by Brigadier General Robert H.
Scales, Jr., USA
		   Brassey's, 1994
			Originall published: Office of the Chief of
Staff, United States		    
Army, 1993.
The above paragraphs describe the fight between TF 1-37th Armored, 3rd
Brigade, 1st Armored Division and elementsof the Tawakalna Republican
Guards division.  Sources in the bibliography include a page and a half
of names in small print listed as "Interviews," including one SFC
Anthony Steede, who was commanding Delta 24 when "a 125mm round from the
T-72 blew through the turret ring and into the crew compartment."  58
official government documents, including AARs of numerous units, unit
logs and diaries, the US Army's offical after-action review, and a host
of Articles, Books, Manuscripts, and periodicals.  Offical documents
tend to have a more comprehensive picture than some civillian, however
learned he may be.  What's Zaloga's source (presuming he put a
bibliography in the book you're reading)?

> Ordnance, etc.).  There were seven known hits from a 125mm onto M1A1s;
> none of them penetrated.  Several of the "damaged" M1A1s *may* have

I just handed you more than 7 'known hits' from 125mm rounds.  

>	  The BM15 APFSDS round (part of the 3UBM7 round) and the 9M119
> "Svir" guided rocket, both fired from the T-72 are *unable* to
> the M1A1(HA) from the frontal and portions of the side arc.  However,

Frontal and portions of the side arc?  News flash--the enemy isn't
always obliging enough to refrain from shooting up the rear and sides.

>	  I was taking the terminology directly from Jane's and Zaloga. 
> several cases, "damaged" M1A1s were able to shoot back or continue
> fighting.  Thus, they were not defined as "kills", only"damaged" and

Shooting, it's not a kill.  When the crew bails out and the ammunition
is cooking off, then it's a kill.

John M. Atkinson

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