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First Look Review
Sagger vs M60
Sagger Anti-Tank Missile vs M60 Main Battle Tank Yom Kippur War 1973
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Sagger Anti-Tank Missile vs M60 Main Battle Tank, Yom Kippur War 1973 from Osprey Publishing LTD explores the 1973 clash of America's premier MBT, the M60, against the Soviet infantry's "Sagger" anti-tank missile. Modellers should find a wealth of photographic and textual resources to inspire models, vignettes and dioramas of the Sagger and M60. The 84th title of the series Duel, the book is authored by Chris McNab and illustrated by Johnny Shumate and Alan Gilliland. With Osprey's short code DUE 84 and ISBN 9781472825773 the paperback book is 80 pages long.
    The 1973 Yom Kippur War rewrote the textbook on the tactics of modern armored warfare. Unlike the previous major Arab-Israeli war of 1967, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) faced an enemy that had invested heavily in modern Soviet weapon systems and tactics.

    Using detailed colour artwork and insightful analysis, this book explains how the effective use of the Soviet-supplied AT-3 Sagger (9M14 Malyutka) anti-tank missile allowed small Arab tank-killing teams to destroy Israeli armor at an astonishing rate. It also analyses the tank that opposed it, the US-built M60A1, which had to fight for survival against the Arab Saggers, and shows how in both the Sinai and the Golan Heights, the IDF quickly learned that firepower and infantry/artillery cooperation were the keys to their survival.
    - Osprey

I vaguely remember the Yom Kippur War but it was years later before I understood the massacre the IDF suffered in the first several days, the ultimate catastrophes both Syria and Egypt subsequently suffered, and the impact of the AT-3 Sagger on the battlefield. It was with great interest that I received this topic of the Duel series.

This 80-page book presents Sagger Anti-Tank Missile vs M60 Main Battle Tank through 11 chapters and subsections:
    Design and Development
    The Strategic Situation
    Technical Specifications
    The Combatants
    Statistics and Analysis
    Further Reading

Author McNab does a good job explaining the developments and doctrines of the Soviet ATGM and how Egypt adopted them, and how that impacted the Israeli Armored Corps (IAC). He provides a concise overview of Western and Soviet ATGM development, staring with (go figure) the first ATGM developed and field tested by the Germans in WW2. He also describes the Arab-Israeli wars leading up to the Yom Kippur War, and Egyptian efforts to prepare for the attack. He further compares and contrasts the two armies, their previous experiences in combat against each other, subsequent training, and their expectations for the next war.

Typical of Duel books, two soldiers are profiled, Israeli general Israel Tal and Egyptian general Saad el-Shazly.

Combat is the chapter that brings it all together. Egypt attacked Israel with a professional and well-honed army, surprising the IDF, and well screened behind the technological surprise of Sagger. It continues through IAC's gestation of the crisis and subsequent trail-and-error of extemporaneous countermeasures. How these fared during the IDF recovery and brutal fights around Chinese Farm and the Battle of Ismailia bring the M60-Sagger duel to light.

Finally, Statistics and Analysis and Conclusion presents the recollections of Israeli tankers who faced the Sagger. The author compares, contrasts, and critiques their commentaries and some contradictions. While one tanker tried to downplay the effectiveness of the Sagger, the fact that a full 26% of IAC losses were to Sagger is presented as proof that it was a serious threat. He closes the book with commentary on how both weapon systems are still out there and ready to face each other again.

Photographs and Graphics
Artists Johnny Shumate and Alan Gilliland enhance the text with original artwork depiction a horrific battle scene of an M60 desperately dogging a Sagger and returning fire, the missile tearing between the target tank and an inferno that was moments before another M60. A pair of two-panel "gunsight" illustrations show a Sagger flying and then hitting an M60, and an IDF gunner acquiring and then obliterating a Sagger team. Other full-color illustrations show M60s and Saggers, M60 ammunition, missile cut-away, and other subjects. One such illustration shows the various armor thicknesses of the M60.

The text is supported with declassified US Army illustrations of the Sagger and operators, and how NATO M60s could counter attacks by the missiles.

Osprey supports the text with many color and black-and-white photographs. Many were professionally shot and several were taken by soldiers in the field. The hulls of catastrophically destroyed M60s graphically depict the destruction of Cold War anti-tank munitions. Scenes of Egyptian soldiers and Sagger operators are included.

Those photos and illustrations are very useful to me for finding technical and tactical information about the weapons, as well as stirring interest in modeling the subjects.

Sagger Anti-Tank Missile vs M60 Main Battle Tank, Yom Kippur War 1973 from Osprey Publishing LTD is a great source of information about the effect of the Sagger against the vaunted IAC in the Yom Kippur War. It explains the chilling ramifications for a full NATO/Warsaw Pact war between the Sagger's deployment and military countermeasure developments. The book is full of photographs and artwork refining the text through the visual.

Some readers may feel that the subject is too constrained but the author frequently reminds the reader that the focus is specifically upon the Sagger-M60 clashes. As such, I really have nothing to complain about.

Modellers should find a wealth of photographic and textual resources to inspire models, vignettes and dioramas of the Sagger and M60. Recommended.

Please remember to mention to Osprey and retailers that you saw this book here - on ARMORAMA.
Highs: Interesting text with a lot of technical and operational information. The book is full of photographs and artwork refining the text through the visual.
Lows: De minimis.
Verdict: Modelers should find a wealth of photographic and textual resources to inspire models, vignettes and dioramas of the Sagger and M60.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 9781472825773
  Suggested Retail: $20
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 18, 2018

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2020 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.


Iíll try to summarize the outcome for those who wonít buy this book: the IDF lost 2700 dead in the Yom Kipur War - 2200 of whom were tankers...Thatís what it took us to come up with a radical design as the Merkava.
JAN 17, 2018 - 09:46 PM

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