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TANK v MISSILE or the GREAT SAGGER PANIC - 1974 article

 
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jackehammond



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 330
Location: Indiana, USA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:14 pm    Post subject: TANK v MISSILE or the GREAT SAGGER PANIC - 1974 article Reply with quote

Folks,

After the 1973 Arab-Israel War many in the non-military (and some in the military) world thought the days of the heavily armored, big gun main battle tank was numbered: THE GREAT SAGGER PANIC. This was one of the first magazine articles in WAR MONTHLY (no longer in business) that tried to bring some sanity back to the subject and stop the panic (ie there were actually many in the US Congress calling for the retirement of the MBT and their replacement by thousands of armored jeep like vehicles mounting ATGWs). It is also one of the best primers for those with a completely lack of knowledge on anti-tank weapons.

One page shows the British SWINGFIRE wire guided antitank missile which was adopted by very few armies. Never was the success it should have been. Because in a large scale conventional war it was the only ATGW that was designed with what what counter measures the attackers may take against antitank missiles.

In addition a photo is shown of the early TOW being fired from a Marine jeep. Note the long barrel of the early ground TOW launcher. It was soon discovered that side winds could slightly move the barrel after launch causing the tracker to throw the missile off course at long range. All the TOW launchers had their tubes cut back in less than about two months.

Finally, the author makes one gaff when he refers to a Carl Gustaf round as a "missile" and the Cheyenne attack helicopter could carry twelve -- ie not six -- TOW missiles. But all and all it is a great article. And it shows the thinking three decades ago on this subject.


Jack E. Hammond



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