Tanks For The Memories


Marines, an article by Jim Webb in today's edition of the WSJ.
Interesting read.

Momentous Changes in the U.S. Marine Corps Deserve Debate D eference to senior command is a hard-wired tradition in elite military organizations, and nowhere is that tradition more honored than in the U.S. Marine Corps. But what happens if a policy coming from the top of the chain of command is insufficiently tested or intrinsically flawed? Where is it written thatasubordinate or former commander can set aside deference and demand a second look? For more than two years many of the Marine Corps’ finest former leaders have struggled with this dilemma as they quietly discussed a series of fundamental changes ordered, and in some cases already implemented, by Gen. David Berger, the current commandant.

Among Marines there are serious questions about the wisdom and long-term risk of dramatic reductions in force structure, weapon systems and manpower levels in units that would take steady casualties in most combat scenarios. And it is unclear to just about everyone with experience in military planning what formal review and coordination was required before Gen. Berger unilaterally announced a policy that would alter so many time-honored contributions of the Marine Corps. The unique and irreplaceable mission of the Marine Corps is to provide a homogeneous, all-encompassing “force in readiness” that can go anywhere and fight anyone on any level short of nuclear war. The corps has fought many political battles to preserve that mission but never from within—until now.

Among other decisions, Gen. Berger’s “Force Structure 2030” plan includes these provisions: • Elimination of three infantry battalions from the current 24,a14% reduction in frontline combat strength. • Reduction of each remaining battalion by 200 Marines, taking an additional 4,200 infantry Marines from the frontline combat capabilities. • Elimination of two reserve-component infantry battalions of the present eight, a 25% reduction of combat strength. • Elimination of 16 cannon artillery battalions, a 76% reduction, to be replaced by 14 rocket artillery battalions, for use in “successful naval campaigns.” • Elimination of all the tanks in the Marine Corps, even from the reserves. • Elimination of three of the current 17 medium tilt-rotor squadrons, three of the eight heavy-lift helicopter squadrons, and “at least” two of the seven light attack helicopter squadrons, which were termed “unsuitable for maritime challenges.” After several unsuccessful attempts by retired senior officers to engage inaquiet dialogue with Gen. Berger, the gloves have now come off.

The traditional deference has been replaced by a sense of duty to the Marine Corps and its vital role in our national security. Recently, 22 retired four-star Marine generals signed a nonpublic letter of concern to Gen. Berger, and many others have stated their support of the letter. A daily working group that includes 17 retired generals has been formed to communicate concerns to national leaders. One highly respected retired three-star general estimated to me that “the proportion of retired general officers who are gravely concerned about the direction of the Corps in the last two and a half years would be above 90 percent.” There is not much time to stop the potential damage to our national security. Questions should be raised. The law does not give the commandant of the Marine Corps carte blanche to make significant changes in force structure. Title 10 provides that the commandant perform his duties “subject to the authority, direction, and control of the Secretary of the Navy,” and that the Navy secretary “has the authority necessary to conduct all affairs of the Department of the Navy including....organizing,” but “subject to the authority, direction, and control of the Secretary of Defense.”

And the president retains ultimate authority as commander in chief. The risk involved in a restructuring of this scale should have required full consideration and debate in such Pentagon offices as the Defense Resources Board, then a formal approval by the defense secretary before being sent to the White House for further review, and then extensive oversight hearings in Congress. Few of our most serious members of Congress would have simply nodded and funded a program with almost irreversible long-term consequences. Gen. Berger’s announcement came during the Covid restrictions, when much of Congress had gone remote, and serious examination and oversight was extremely difficult. Added to that was the chaos that existed in the Pentagon during the 2020 campaign year and the inevitable postelection turbulence. New ideas, even if they are bad ideas, haveaway of gaining media attention.

Predictably, some commentators have dismissed the concerns of the Marine Corps retired community as coming from a bunch of graybeards whose minds are still focused on yesterday’s wars. Such comments do no justice to the long tradition of combat innovation that has always marked the Marine Corps, from amphibious doctrine to helicopter usage to the techniques of close-air support. If Gen. Berger’s new ideas were well thought out and tested, we would be seeing 90% of retired generals enthusiastically supporting them instead of expressing concern. 

But the realities of brutal combat and the wide array of global challenges the Marine Corps faces daily argue strongly againstadoctrinal experiment that might look good in a computerized war game at Quantico. Twenty-two four-star generals deserve to be listened to. For the good of the country, let’s hope they will be. 

Mr. Webb was a Marine infantry officer in Vietnam, Navy secretary (1987-88) and a U.S. senator from Virginia (2007-13). He is the Distinguished Fellow at Notre Dame’s International Security Center.

Jim Webb


The recent decision to get rid of tanks and much of the Marine Corps artillery is very controversial.

I think CMC should have preceded these major changes with a lot of discussion- war games, simulation, etc. When you change the force structure this rapidly you are sure to get concerns, which we are seeing. He should have shown that this will work and done a better job explaining it.

I do think the recent Ukraine war has shown that technology has made tanks equivalent to world war II battleships. The Ukrainians have given the Russian tanks a great kicking - imagine what the Marine Corps would do with our better training, missiles, and air support.

It seems to me that technology is killing mechanized ground forces and restoring infantry - with of course air power.

I think as insurance in case this is wrong we should keep our two existing Reserve tank Battalions, and mothball our active duty tanks, in case we find they are needed in some future war. Cheap insurance.

The artillery is basically being traded for rocket forces. I am not deep enough in the technology to know if this is a solid idea, but surely missiles can be more accurate.

In my own air control communication field, we have quietly had major changes with little discussion, mostly driven by technology improvements

We got rid of our four medium range air defense HAWK missile Battalions, figuring that our own aircraft and Navy air defense were better with less logistics needed on the ground. We got rid of Air Support Radar Teams that did tremendous work in Vietnam, because aircraft became so much better at hitting targets without the major ground support units.

I don't know about the trade off of traditional rifle battalions for littoral units. And I also know that we often get to fight in places and in ways that we did not anticipate - Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan. We can train all day for island hopping missions in Asia, and get to fight in eastern Europe.

Be Be Be Prepared, the motto of the Boy Scouts, and the Marines.

So in short I think CMC may be making the right moves, but should have made the case to the Marine Corps, active and retired, before making the massive changes. Now he will have to make the case going forward.

And tragic, but interesting that we have a current life fire test of the tank / missile competition.

Craig Hullinger

Missiles and Drones

All the discussion about missiles and drones in the Ukraine Russian War reminds me of my missile shooting days.


The Marine Corps decides what job you will do based on the needs of the service and your aptitudes. The Marine Corps in its infinite wisdom made me an Anti Air Warfare Electronics Operator, a.k.a. a Scope Dope. I was trained in a seven week long school in tracking airplanes with radars. I was number one in my class. One of the valuable skills taught was printing backwards with wax pencils on large Plexiglas plotting boards depicting the location of aircraft so that officers in front of the boards could follow the air war. I still have that skill, which of course is very helpful in civilian life.

After finishing schools I was transferred to the Fleet Marine Force (FMF). The Marine Corps put me in a LAAMBn (Light Anti Aircraft Missile Battalion) that shot HAWK (Homing All the Way Killer) Missiles at enemy airplanes. The North Vietnamese had few planes to spare for sorties to South Vietnam.  By the time I joined the unit the other HAWK units were withdrawing from Vietnam. So I defended Yuma Arizona from low flying communist aircraft. We shot old missiles at targets towed by very nervous and unhappy pilots. We also fired at small drone aircraft controlled from the ground. We were proficient at missing our targets and blowing large holes in the desert. Some missiles exploded on the launching pad, some disappeared in the sky, some flew a short distance and exploded near us, and a few hit the target.

The high point of the tour was when we shot a missile at or near a low flying smuggler. I was on the scope. We had been in the desert for four long very hot days. The next missile that we fired would be the last and we could return to the base. As the drone target approached our position, I noticed another aircraft on the scope. "Sir, the range is cold", I said, informing the Major of the other aircraft that had blundered into our range. No civilian aircraft were allowed on the range for obvious reasons.  The Major watched the scope for a while and ordered that the drone be turned around.  The controllers would send it back close to the Mexican border and then fly it back again to our position.

As the drone approached I again noticed another target. It was moving independently from the drone and so was not just an echo of the target. It was moving north from the Mexican border and was probably a smuggler, since the target would appear on and off the screen. It was flying very low and moving on and off the radar screen. I told the Major the range was cold.

The Major watched the screen for several seconds and saw the drone target and the other aircraft. We watched closely to make sure there were two aircraft, not just an echo of the drone. I was sure it was not an echo.  Then the Major said, "fuck it, shoot". We shot. Large explosion followed and both targets disappeared from the radar screen.

My assessment at the time was that we had probably scared the smuggler with the large nearby explosion and he had exited the area fast near the deck. It was also possible that we had blown him up. A third possibility is that I was wrong about the aircraft and that it was an echo of the target, but I don't think so.

The air conditioning was broken all summer in our barracks in Yuma. The temperatures were scorching. In the desert we measured the temperature in three different ways - on one measure it reached 138 degrees. When off duty in the barracks we would shower, then lay under a fan and pant and then shower again. 

Once in a while I would hear about the guys I went through Boot Camp and Infantry Training. Most of them went to Vietnam and were in Infantry Units. I am sure some were killed or wounded but you lose track of people pretty quickly. Later on at a Boot Camp Platoon 50 year reunion I found out that five of the eighty or so boot camp mates were killed. https://platoon350.blogspot.com/.

One of the guys in our unit was under investigation for selling drugs. He murdered the investigator by shooting him down in the doorway of the investigators home. The next day they searched our barracks very thoroughly looking for the murder weapon. We all knew he did it - don't know if he was ever convicted.

The runway was next to our Battalion. The jet fighters made incredible noise each time they took off or landed. Flying those very high performance aircraft was a dangerous job. An F-4 taking off from the run way turned upside down and the pilots ejected straight into the runway.

Once I was standing in the chow line with another Marine.  I noticed he had a black widow on his collar.  "Hold still" I said, and tried to brush the spider off his collar with the brim of my cover (hat). Mrs. Spider ducked under my brim and ran under the Marines shirt.

"Hold on" I said, while I slowly and carefully unbuttoned his shirt - this looked kind of funny to the other Marines. When I finished unbuttoning his shirt he ripped it off and did a war dance. He did not get bit by the spider.

"Next time, don't help", he said. The ingrate. After all I did to help him. (This actually happened years later at 29 Palms, but it is a good spider story and it fits here so I moved it here.)

I also had a nest of black widows under my desk in Yuma. I would periodically burn them out or beat them out with a broom. But they liked me - they always came back and they never bit me.

We also saw lots of scorpions and the occasional rattlesnake. I killed a number of rattlesnakes until my friend Mike Nielsen impressed on me their value to the natural ecosystem. Now I leave them alone. Ditto the black widows.

I quickly became bored with shooting missiles in Yuma. I volunteered to go to Vietnam and also to go to OCS.

While playing basketball for the Battalion basketball team I made two errors that hurt my chances for assignment. I played with the same skill and finesse that I demonstrated with the Morgan Park High School team and I broke the Captain’s jaw with an elbow. And the 1st Lieutenant who was handling my requests asked me to write the number 15 on his jersey just before the game. As an air controller you become a dyslexic. You print backwards on plotting boards and forward for other things. I managed the 1 ok on his uniform with the magic marker, but proceeded to write a backwards 5 on his chest. He was not impressed with my acumen and I did not get my assignment until after he left the unit for Vietnam.


My First Sergeant saw me hitchhiking, gave me office hours, a thorough Marine Ass Chewing, and 30 days of mess duty. This last 30 days brought the total days of Mess duty I served up to 100 days, more than any other Marine or serviceman that I ever met - I believe I have the record. Mess duty was typically 16 to 18 straight hours a day and as many as 31 straight days without a day off, cleaning the galleys, scrubbing pots, etc. I served on Mess duty at Parris Island SC, Camp Lejeune NC, San Diego CA, 29 Palms CA, and Yuma AZ.

The nasty First Sergeant also threw out my application for OCS, so I gave up on that idea. However, after several more months the First Sergeant retired. A new Lieutenant who had not played basketball with me took over the career planning job and resubmitted my applications. 

The Major called me into his office and asked me if I still wanted to go to Vietnam. “Yes Sir!” I said, very happy to be finally getting out of the US and going to the war. "Too bad", he said, "you are going to OCS", and so I found myself back in boot camp for a second time. My second Marine Corps boot camp was no more fun than the first. My Staff Sergeant motivated me to succeed by guaranteeing that he would kick my ass if I did not successfully complete the school.


Marine Reserve Tanks in the Gulf War 1991


CWO-5 Bob Dart and I were discussing a brief given to MWCS-48 shortly after the Gulf War of 1991 by a Reserve Tank Company Commander. Major Bill Hammerstadt had arranged to have the young Marine Captain and Gunnery Sergeant brief the Squadron on their experiences in the War. The Tank Company was from Fort Knox, KY, part of 8th Marine Reserve Tank Battalion.

One half of MWCS-48 was mobilized for the war, and some of us went to Norway or North Carolina, but only Bob Dart went to the Gulf. He needs to write his story down. Here is what we remember of the brief, written almost thirty years afterwards, so we don't want to be tested on these memories.

The young Marine Captain told us they were mobilized and arrived in the Gulf. They had the old M-60A1 Tanks, not the more modern M-60A3 Tanks. The Marine Corps received loaner M-1 tanks from the US Army. The M-1 was new and very much more powerful.

Before the war the British publication Janes Fighting Ships said that the Marine M-60's coold not stand up to the more modern and lethal T-72 tanks used by Iraq. They said the Marine M-60 tanks would be badly defeated by the Iraqi tanks.

The Captain told us that the active duty command put them on the front line and told them to try to get through the first minefield. "You will probably get blown up", they were told, "and if you do, the active duty Tank Battalion with will come through and save the day."

But in the attack the Marine Reserve Tanks only lost the tread on one tank, so drove on to the second minefield, and took no losses in the second minefield. The Captain said the Iraqi minefield was ineptly constructed and that the wind had blown the sand away so they could avoid the mines. And the minefield was not covered by fire.

The Ground Commander told them to keep going. It would have been time consuming and complex for the active duty Marine tanks to pass past the M-60's. The Captain's story was that his Reserve Company led the fight all the way up to the road that led to Kuwait, then turned east towards Kuwait. He told us they met 
retreating tanks and vehicles and sometimes killed them with shots 100 yards away. I believe he claimed 35 tanks and 60 soft skinned vehicles. Something like that.

I asked him now many of his troops had been tankers on active duty? Only four, he said, one of who was the Captain. 

I asked the old grizzled Gunny Sgt what he had done on active duty. "Do I have to tell you, Sir" he said. "Yes," I laughed, surprised that he was shy about what he did on active duty.

"I was a cook. In the Navy", he said.

Pretty impressive for the Marine Reserve to train an outstanding tank company from a bunch of different MOS Marines.

Excellent brief. This is the way I remember it, although my sea stories sometimes get exaggerated.

I can't believe that they have not written it up. Can't find it anywhere. It was a great story.

There is a great story written by a Reserve Tank outfit that fought very well with M-1 Tanks. They had very little time to transition from the M-60's to the M-1's but obviously did it very well.



Sgt Major Tomaeno had a great story about tanks. He mobilized with 2/24, the Chicago Marine Infantry Battalion. His son was mobilized with him and they were soon in Iraq for the war.

Sgt Major Tomaeno saw a Marine on an Iraqi tank, and yelled "Get off of that tank. You don't know what you are doing. You will get hurt."

The Marine replied, "Son, I do know what I am doing. 
I am trying to get this running so we can use it." 

Sgt Major Tomaeno noted that there were few Marines in Iraq that could call him son. But the grizzled old Warrant Officer was one of them.

The Warrant Officer said, "The last time I was on one of these tanks was in Korea. But this is the last time. After this I am going to retire."





During the 1970's, the 8th Tank Battalion was rounded out by the addition of Company A in Rome, GA (now in Fort Knox, KY); Company C in Tallahassee, FL; and Company D in Columbia, SC (now Eastover, SC). Additionally, AT(TOW) Company in Miami, FL, was activated October 1, 1978. Anti-Tank(TOW) Company has been recently reorganized to an Anti-Tank(TOW) and Scout Platoon.
The 1980's represented a period of company and battalion training exercises in preparation for the mobilization mission in support of the 4th Marine Division.
On November 26, 1990, the 8th Tank Battalion was mobilized in its entirety and deployed to Camp Lejeune, NC, for completion of its activation and for further deployment to Southwest Asia on December 21, 1990.
During Desert Shield/Storm, the Battalion participated as a maneuver element of the 2d Marine Division while providing company augmentation to the battalions' of the 6th and 8th Marine Regiments.
The 8th Tank Battalion returned to CONUS and was demobilized in March of 1991, The years l991 through mid-1996 found the Battalion retrog rating its M60A1 tanks, undergoing new equipment training and receiving a partial training allowance of interim M1A1 tanks. A trying period indeed, the Battalion continued to hone its war fighting skills, although training with a significantly decreased training allowance.
In August 1995, the Battalion retrograded its interim M1Al's, and in September and October 1995 received four improved M1A1 tanks at each site. In June and July of 1996, the formal shipment of MlAl Common tanks arrived at each site, bringing the Battalion to its current, full strength of 32 M1A1'S.



The following was excerpted from this link

How well did the US M 60 tanks perform in Desert Storm?

17 Mar 11

You always hear stories of how well the M1A1 Abrams did against Iraqi tanks
and armed vehicles, but we also had quite a few M 60 tanks being used in that war,
but I have not heard any reviews of how well they did. They might have never actually
run into any enemy tanks as far as I know, and maybe they were not used in the front lines
of battle, but I'd like to know how well they performed if in fact they did see some action........

18 Mar 11, 09:44

I believe some USMC M-60A3s did encounter Iraqi armor near Kuwait City.
I don't recall the details but I believe I saw one Marine comment that their 105 mm
DU ammo had no difficulty penetrating Iraqi armor.

Perhaps someone else can recommend a reliable account of the engagement.

Someone here states the Marines did not use M60A3s but just late model M60A1s
with add-on reactive armor. The Army was equipped with M1s but allegedly a father
of a Marine in the 4th Tank Battalion sued the Navy/Marines because the M60A1s
were obsolete. Luckily the Army had surplus M1A1 HA's and exchanged 54-58 M60s
to the 4th Tank Battalion for no cost. The USMC Reserve 4th Tank Battalion got the
M1A1s and the 8th Tank Battalion used their M60A1 RISE Passive tanks.

Although here they state that the 2nd Tank Battalion used 200 M60A3s in Kuwait City.

Desert Storm: The US Marines exclusively used the M-60A3 during the conflict. In
early February 1991, two hundred USMC M-60A3s of the 2nd Battalion drove north from Khafji,
Saudi Arabia into occupied Kuwait where they met a larger Iraqi force of mixed
(T-54/55, Type 69, and T-72) tanks on the grounds of Kuwait City International Airport.
This was the largest armored battle for the Marines since WWII, and they won soundly
destroying almost nine dozen Iraqi tanks with only one M-60A3 lost. 

The defeat was humiliating not only to Iraq but also to the USSR’s arms export effort,
as some of the destroyed tanks were the newer T-72 which was supposed to be superior
to the M-60. Despite the commanding performance of the M-60A3, the USMC decided to
phase it out shortly afterwards anyways to achieve commonality with the US Army’s M-1
Abrams. Egypt also fielded M-60s during Desert Storm, it is not known if they saw combat.
But here:

During Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm the 1st Marine Expeditionary
Force fielded 210 M60A1’s with ERA to support the Saudi-Marine effort into Kuwait City.
These were the first tanks to enter Kuwait during ODS.

Caption: "M-60A1 Patton Main Battle Tanks of the 1st Tank Battalion,
1st Marine Division, advancing toward Kuwait City during the third day of the
ground offensive phase of Operation Desert Storm, 26 February 1991."

Someone mentions that the 

I heard the M60A1 and M60A3 had different fire control systems.
Also heard the USMC was waiting for the M1A1HC version to equip their armor
battalions with instead of doing it piecemeal and then having to upgrade older variants.


Going into Desert Shield, the Marines' main battle tank was the M60A1 ERA
(explosive reactive armor). Outfitted with ERA applique armor, it was considered roughly
equal to, if lesser-gunned than the best tank in the Iraqi inventory, the much-vaunted
Soviet T-72. During Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm the 1st Marine Expeditionary
Force fielded 210 M60A1’s with ERA to support the Saudi-Marine effort into Kuwait City.
These were the first tanks to enter Kuwait during ODS.

The Marine Corps fielded the M1A1 Tank to replace the aging M60A1 RISE/ PASSIVE Tank.

M60 Armored Vehicle Launched Mine Clearing Line Charge (MICLIC or AVLM)
is an M60 Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge (AVLB)

The MICLIC system suffered from several serious shortcomings during the Gulf War.
Engineer after-action reports from Desert Storm concluded that units placed an over-reliance
on the MICLIC as the answer to all their breaching problems. This was due to the ignorance
of threat mine capabilities, poor MICLIC training at home station, and the general lack of an
effective training device or training strategy. During test firings the system suffered a 50-percent
failure rate.

M728 CEV

During Operation Desert Storm the CEV proved unable to manoeuvre with the
heavy force due to the inability of the M60 chassis and power train to keep pace with
the M1A1. Many manoeuvre units simply left the CEV behind rather than slow their
manoeuvre. Such was the case with the Mine Rake mounted on the CEV. Commanders
planned for their use as a part of the deliberate breaching operation but left them
behind once they began the pursuit and exploitation phase of the operation.
Commanders were unanimous in their opinion that the engineer force needs M1
chassis' for heavy breaching and gap crossing equipment. The M728 still serves
today in the National Guard and Reserve.

M60A1 RISE with ERA Photos in Operation Desert Shield:

So we have the USMC using:

1st Battalion with M60A1s
2nd Battalion with M60A3s
4th Battalion with M1A1s
8th Battalion with M60A1s

So who knows, maybe the 2nd Battalion got the upgraded M60s while the other
two kept using the M60A1s and the 4th Battalion got the new M1A1s. Seemed that the
crews in the M60A3s and the M1A1s would have to be retrained on how to use the new tanks first.

Join Date: Aug 2004

19 Mar 11, 07:56
Originally posted by Frtigern View Post

So we have the USMC using:
1st Battalion with M60A1s
2nd Battalion with M60A3s
4th Battalion with M1A1s
8th Battalion with M60A1s

So who knows, maybe the 2nd Battalion got the upgraded M60s while the other two kept
using the M60A1s and the 4th Battalion got the new M1A1s. Seemed that the crews in the
M60A3s and the M1A1s would have to be retrained on how to use the new tanks first.

Hope this helps.

This in part had to do with the tank model stored on the prepositioned ships at Diego Garcia.
Those were amoung the first US tanks to arrive on Saudi territory. Which USMC battlaion
picked them up on the Saudi docks escapes me, but I did meet the battalion commander
several times, LtCol 'Buster' Diggs. His story about arriving and standing up the tank battalion
was 'colorfull'.

There is an article in the 'Naval Institute Proceedings' from the early 1990s written by a
company commander in 4th Tanks. It describes the transition to the M1 after call up (4th was
a reserve bn) and their combat in Kuwait. They spent barely four weeks between initial call
up and getting on the flight to SWA. In practical terms the training on the M1 amounted to
2.5 weeks learning the controls and time on the driving and shooting courses.

I am just guessing, with slight support from experience with USMC vehicals of the era, and a
few rumors. But, it is possible the 4th bn got M1 tanks because there were not enough
dependably running M60 left in the USMC inventory. I dont know if 3rd bn gave up any for
Desert Shield, tho the desire to keep 3rd Div components intact was a factor.
Last edited by Carl Schwamberg; 19 Mar 11, 08:09.


08 Sep 11


Advance party for 8th TKBN picked up M60A1's. Tanks were basically new and still painted
for Europe. We painted desert tan and bolted on our own armor.


08 Sep 11

Did the Egyptians use some M-60 tanks in one Armor Division? I vaguely recall the Saudis
had some in the RSA. I don't think the Saudi National Guard had any.


09 Sep 11

Advance party for 8th TKBN picked up M60A1's. Tanks were basically new and still painted for
Europe. We painted desert tan and bolted on our own armor.
Welcome to ACG mate, hope you stick around. 

I have read that the M60A3s had a superior thermal imaging system in comparison to the
first operational M1s at the time, do you have much info' in regards to this?
"In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."

09 Sep 11

Thanks for the welcome. My experience was with the M60A1 and then about a year after
we got back 8th TKBN transitioned to the M1A1. Can't tell you anything about the thermal
sights on the M60A3.


11 Sep 11
From what I remember, USMC M60s killed Iraqi armor with the same efficiency as the M1s.
I also recall, I think from Schwartzkoff's memoirs, that most Saudi M60s were unoperational
when he arrived in theater. Why? Clogged air filters.


11 Sep 11, 18:01

How about M551 - Sheridans?
Did they see any action?
During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, 51 Sheridans were deployed by the
82nd Airborne Division, and were among the first tanks to be sent. Although photos that were
published at the time showed rows of Sheridans ready to defend against Iraqi tanks, they would
not have been very effective against the Russian-designed T-72s which comprised the bulk of
the Iraqi Republican Guard. Their role was limited to reconnaissance due to their age and light
armor. It is likely that six or fewer Shillelagh missiles were fired[16] at Iraqi bunkers; this appears
to be the only occasion in which Shillelagh missiles were fired in a combat environment, from
the inventory of the aforementioned 88,000 missiles produced.

12 Sep 11

... I have read that thM60A3s had a superior thermal imaging system in comparison to the
first operational M1s at the time, do you have much info' in regards to this?
The TTS for the M60A3 was considered something of an emergency. IIRC Texas Instrument
built them on and pretty much exceeded everyone's expectations.

Sights on the initial production M1 were included in the contract. The government got what the
specs called for but not much more.

Consensus was that the TTS had a clearer image.
Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

14 Sep 11

T-72s were present, but hardly the bulk of the Iraqi Armor. Most were T-54/55s that were
heavily modified and T-62s. Only the Republican Guard had 72s.
And by modified, I mean additional armor and larger guns in some cases.

Those things were not even what I was most worried about. I was in a Bradley, and I
had seen vids of the Iraqi Army using 57mm flak guns like Heavy MGs in Iran. Bad news
for light armor, and harder to hit with a TOW than a tank would have been.

Army used nine M60A3s but no one was sure with whom they were attached to or how they did.

Seems the M60A1, despite the manual sights had ERA armor and had better survivability t
han the M60A3TTS despite the laser sights it had. Also the Marines were trained to use the M60A1.
There's probably other reasons why the Marines chose to still use the M60A1 despite there being
M1's available to use.