MY LATEST CREATORS SYNDICATE COLUMN: Like Mark Twain’s death, the demise of the tank has been “greatly exaggerated.” Yes, Israeli tank firepower is an antidote for fanaticism.
…An Army buddy told me about a could-be political appointee he escorted through Department of Defense briefings in the late 1970s. The pipe-smoking pontificator kept saying, “The tank’s dead.” My infantry pal finally turned to him and said: “Yes sir, the tank’s a dinosaur, but it’s the baddest dinosaur on the battlefield. You face one.”
It’s 2023. The tank, in the form of Main Battle Tanks (MBT) like the U.S. Army’s M1A2 Abrams or Israeli Merkava 5, is far from dead. Despite media obituaries referencing Russia’s disastrous 2022 tank operations in Ukraine, the 2023 MBT as built by NATO nations and allies like South Korea and Israel remains potent on the battlefield.
That is, if the 2023 tank crews manning the MBTs, and their accompanying infantry in armored infantry vehicles (mechanized infantry), and their operational commanders know how to fight a combined arms war.
Check it out.
RELATED: These are photos of vehicles mentioned in the column. 1- Recent Merkava 5 photo. 2- A Merkava in the field, 2018. 3- A 1st Cavalry Division M1A2 SEPV3, 2020. 4- A U.S M1A2 and two German Leopard 2A6s, Poland 2023. 5- German Leopard 2s in Norway, Exercise Trident Juncture 2018. Very fine photo. And finally 6- An M1A2 with TUSK — Tank Urban Survival Kit. Photo taken in 2010. But all of the equipment is still useful in urban combat. Note the Explosive Reactive Armor tile. TUSK entered service in 2007 with reactive armor panels for the side and rear of the tank, to provide added protection from RPGs. This June 2023 ARMOR update explains.