M-1 Abrams Vulnerability Cover-up?
Greyhawk asks some important questions on the M-1 Abram tank’s performance in Iraq:
As reported in Jane’s, the Abrams tank showed ‘vulnerabilities’ during the Iraq war. Although none of them were destroyed in tank-to-tank combat or by anti-tank missile fire, there is one paragraph that seems a bit foreboding:
Most M1 losses were attributed in the report to mechanical breakdown, or vehicles being stripped for parts or vandalised by Iraqis. There were “no reported cases” of an anti-tank guided missile being fired at any US Army vehicle.”Vandalised by Iraqis”? Odd, because once the initial fighting settled down, several images of destroyed M1 Abrams tanks began to appear online, even though none of these were shown or mentioned in official news reports. So if they were not destroyed by anti-tank missiles or other tanks, how did the Iraqi infantry succeed in destroying them? Over at the Age.au, there is an article about the Battle for Baghdad. It opens with this:
It began on Friday morning, when an American M1 Abrams tank was destroyed by an Iraqi missile in an ambush. For several hours, street-to-street fighting raged, with as much horror and confusion as the Pentagon’s war planners had imagined.
Wait a minute, didn’t Jane’s report that none of them were destroyed by missiles? After spending millions of dollars per tank, how is it that the vehicle is so vulnerable to simple infantry?
My own thinking is that cost is going to lead to the end of tank production in the West. It already has for the most part, but armor production is expanding in the east.