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"A sore TOW? " Topic

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mysteron Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2018 2:05 a.m. PST

So I got my Israel starter set for Fate of a Nation.So I built my Magach 6s to how they were during the 73 war and not the the BF instructions which is the post war look.

The next item to build is the jeeps (MUTTs) .Then I look at the armament a TOW launcher.
Now not being an expert on moderns,I thought TOW was in direct response to the losses occurred with Saggers. In which case is TOW in Israeli service a post73 war introduction ?
I am just wondering building these with reckless rifles may be more accurate for the period?
What do you guys think ?

Gaz004505 Aug 2018 2:25 a.m. PST

First used operationally in '72 South Vietnam, they appear to have been exported in mid to late '70's, Iran had them before the '79 revolution and the IDF used them to good effect in '82.
I would go with recoilless rifles in '73.

Tgunner05 Aug 2018 6:14 a.m. PST

Yes, their use predates the '73 War. They got their first workout tagging T54s during the Eastertide Offensive in 1972.

Even with the introduction of the AH-1 family of dedicated gunship helicopters in 1966, which were themselves also seen as an interim solution until the AH-56 could be put in service, short fuselage UH-1 gunships soldiered on. Army units in Vietnam still had UH-1 gunships into the 1970s. In 1972, during the Easter Offensive, the Army even dispatched two UH-1B aircraft from Army Missile Command to Vietnam to help counter the North Vietnamese Army. These older helicopters were the only aircraft in the Army at the time fitted with the TOW missile system and the events of 1972 were seen as a perfect opportunity to test the weapon in an operational environment. The 1st Combat Aerial TOW Team (Provisional) served admirably and the XM26 armament subsystem, consisting of a sight unit in the co-pilots lower front window and two three-tube missile launchers on each side of the aircraft, proved its worth. The operational experience of the XM26 would inform the development of the TOW missile system for the AH-1 family.


1972: Vietnam: first combat use
On 24 April 1972, the U.S. 1st Combat Aerial TOW Team arrived in South Vietnam; the team's mission was to test the new anti-armor missile under combat conditions.[19] The team consisted of three crews, technical representatives from Bell Helicopter and Hughes Aircraft, members of the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command, and two UH-1B helicopters; each mounting the XM26 TOW weapons system, which had been taken from storage. After displacing to the Central Highlands for aerial gunnery, the unit commenced daily searches for enemy armor.[19] On 2 May 1972, U.S. Army UH-1 Huey helicopters firing TOWs destroyed North Vietnamese tanks near An Loc. This was heralded as the first time a U.S. unit neutralized enemy armor using American-designed and built guided missiles (in this case, against a captured American-made M41 operated by the North Vietnamese).[20] On 9 May, elements of the North Vietnamese Army's 203rd Armored Regiment assaulted Ben Het Camp held by Army of the Republic of Vietnam Rangers. The Rangers destroyed the first three PT-76 amphibious light tanks of the 203rd, thereby breaking up the attack.[21][22] During the battle for the city of Kontum, the TOW missile had proven to be a significant weapon in disrupting enemy tank attacks within the region. By the end of May, BGM-71 TOW missiles had accumulated 24 confirmed kills of both PT-76 light and T-54 main battle tanks.[21][22]

On 19 August, the South Vietnamese 5th Infantry Regiment abandoned Firebase Ross in the Que Son Valley, 30 miles southwest of Da Nang, to the North Vietnamese 711th Division. A dozen TOW missiles were left with abandoned equipment and fell into Communist hands.[23]


Legion 405 Aug 2018 7:09 a.m. PST

I know an aviator who was in Vietnam when the TOW was being introduced. There was a learning curve like with most new weapons, especially being wire guided. The reason it was used in Vietnam was it was a very good proving ground in an actual combat situation. As the NVA had little armor especially compared to the USSR/WP forces. But it was a good place, time and opportunity to "work out the bugs" so to speak. By destroying actual enemy armor in real combat.

As I was taught at the US ARMY Infantry School in '79. old fart The TOW was in response to the threat of the massive amounts of USSR/WP armor that could cross the IGB if the war in Europe went hot. The TOW was more accurate than the standard RR. The RR was just like most ranged weapons, you aim, fire and "hope" to hit the target, so to speak.

And generally the TOW had better range. IIRC, max range was @ 3750m. It may have become longer later with improved tech, etc., with the I-TOW, i.e. Improved-TOW. The younger soldiers here may know about this version(s). old fart

What made it more accurate was the fact that the gunner could track a moving target, as the missile flew to the target. Like the Saggar. But better from what I was trained. And we did have training on the basic use of the TOW at the Infantry Officer Basic Course. Got to "play" with it a bit, pre se …

The US Dragon M47 MAW was a similar wire guided system, but was designed to be "man portable". The TOW was a big heavier weapon, 152mm, IIRC. But could be dismounted, as well if need be. You really couldn't hump the entire system with additional missiles very far, etc.

jekinder605 Aug 2018 8:58 a.m. PST

Historically, the TOWs are only available in the Suez after the Chinese Farm battle. They are part of the US supply airlift to Israel-Operation Nickel Grass.

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP06 Aug 2018 1:29 a.m. PST

Thanks guys that's what I thought and what my source books were indicating . According to my book the MUTT ( the modern Jeep) was itself not that common in the IDF during the 73 war. So mounting a Tow on one of these is going to be even more rare. I have already ordered a few M113s as it happens the unit I am doing is the only unit that had these in the south. The Magach 6 is also my tank of choice which is also only available in small numbers . Therefore if I am not careful I will have a force of rare equipment which isn't the path I want to follow.

So I think I will convert these jeeps and mount the recoiless rife on them which would be more typical .

Thanks again for your input

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