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#181 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 0135 AM

Thanks for that Marsh, thats really interesting stuff.


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#182 bojan

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 0628 AM

...

Do you have any Israeli sources on parts smuggling for the T-54/55/62 tanks? All I have are vague references, and a fact that Yugoslavia both imported and produced more T-55 torsion bars and some engine parts than it could possibly use. Oh, those were always exported to "Africa" w/o stating destination country... At a same time 100mm guns were imported from "Africa" at the same time Israel was regunning T-55s...

Another thing is 90mm tank ammo, imported from "Africa" in 1969., again by the time Israel was getting rid of it.

 

Also, and good sources for 1948. war, other than Spitfires that were sent over Yugoslavia I have found a document that states that "more than 10000 non-standard caliber rifles (6.5 and 7.7mm - IOW Carcanos and Lee Enfields) were shipped to Israel in 1948., and too keep it on topic, there is a reasonable suspicion that about 10 Hotchkiss H-35/39 from Yugoslavia ended in Israel also...


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#183 Marsh

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 0807 AM

 

...

Do you have any Israeli sources on parts smuggling for the T-54/55/62 tanks? All I have are vague references, and a fact that Yugoslavia both imported and produced more T-55 torsion bars and some engine parts than it could possibly use. Oh, those were always exported to "Africa" w/o stating destination country... At a same time 100mm guns were imported from "Africa" at the same time Israel was regunning T-55s...

Another thing is 90mm tank ammo, imported from "Africa" in 1969., again by the time Israel was getting rid of it.

 

Also, and good sources for 1948. war, other than Spitfires that were sent over Yugoslavia I have found a document that states that "more than 10000 non-standard caliber rifles (6.5 and 7.7mm - IOW Carcanos and Lee Enfields) were shipped to Israel in 1948., and too keep it on topic, there is a reasonable suspicion that about 10 Hotchkiss H-35/39 from Yugoslavia ended in Israel also...

 

Hi,

 

Sorry I don't have any sources that would confirm any of the above. I would like to find out myself.

 


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#184 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 0820 AM

A number of the Israeli Spitfires were ones that were surplussed from Czechoslovakia when it went Communist. At least one has been restored to flight.

 

Was there any export restrictions from the UK on parts? I know BAE was making 115mm gun barrels in the 1980's. In that case for Egypt, but im wondering if they could have gone elsewhere.


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#185 Jim Warford

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 2221 PM

 

 

Well look on the bright side, they took at least twice as many T55's and T62's with them....


Speaking of that, does anyone know exactly how many Arab tanks (Tiran + unmodified T-54/55 and T-62) did Israel have after the 1973 war? Because based on what I've been able to find so far, it seems that during the 1973 war, most of the Arab tank losses (70-80%) were due to the abandonment of fully intact, repairable tanks. The Israelis ended up with enough captured tanks to fully replace all of their losses with a bunch left over for their reserves. They gave out captured T-62s like candy to West Germany, France and the U.S, and all of them were in pristine condition.

 

The following text was translated from Hebrew by a friend of mine who goes under the alias Camera. It provides the exact numbers of captured T-62s and some idea of the enormous number of T-54/55s. It is taken from the following document, unfortunately not available in English. It's the second of volume of the History of the Ordnance Corps, written by the military historian Amira Shahar and offered for free download on the site of the Foundation of the Veterans of the Ordnance Corps. The Hebrew name of the volume is ‘The Ordnance Corps as a force multiplier – the history of the Ordnance Corps in the years 1967-1985’:http://himush.co.il/himush.co.il/ori...s1967-


 

"Mid-December 1973, a plan has been prepared at the HQ of the Ordnance Corps for the absorption of the looted Tiran type tanks. The plan consisted in the absorption of the tanks in two phases: 

Phase 1 – a shallow absorption, performed at level B maintenance. 
Phase 2 – a deep absorption, carried out at maintenance levels C and D, including the rehabilitation of the tanks and the conversion of their gun to a 'Muscle' (105 mm). 

At Phase 1, the sole source for spare parts and components for current maintenance was the controlled dismantling of the damaged booty tanks. The Corps’ HQ were concerned that the rehabilitation of the war booty in the workshops of the Corps’ might come on the expense of the work to return IDF’s regular weapons to battle eligibility and their current maintenance. And that the investment on the captured tanks would increase following the process of their deeper integration. There was also the problem of spare parts and the lack of major assemblies such as engines and gearboxes that should be supplied by the Logistical Branch. The Head of the Ordnance Corps was concerned that the Logistical Branch may be unable to provide the necessary quantities of spare parts for the maintenance of such large fleet of tanks. 
At Phase 2 and on the long run, the Head of the Corps believed the maintenance needs could also be satisfied by local development and production and by alternative western components. 

At the first stage, 161 Tiran tanks were absorbed at the Armored Corps Workshop 650 and 169 Tirans at the Logistical Center 7100. There, the auxiliary systems of the guns were replaced with suitable optical equipment and the tanks were patterned for the IDF. At the Logistical Center 7100, the opening of an assembly line for the conversion of the gun to 105 mm was even advanced. 

(…)

In November 1973, it was already decided to establish a Tiran tanks Department at the General Staff in order to build up a future Tiran tanks division in the IDF (Division 440) with the types: T-62, T-55, T-54. 
In 1974, it was decided to establish Division 880 as an additional Tiran division in IDF’s array, but finally only Division 440 was established with Tirans. 
The IDF also decided to adopt the T-62 tanks with their 115 mm gun, 79 out of the 132 captured T-62s were serviceable and needed only a minimal sampling. The name of this tank was determined as ‘Tiran 6’, and the HQ of the Corps suggested to create a battalion of 36 T-62s that would be incorporated to Tiran Division 880 designed for Central Command. Finally, Brigade 320 was built up as an independent Tiran 6 brigade. As the war booty of 115 mm ammunition was in small quantity (only 3700 shells), it was proposed to convert the guns to 105 mm. 

In January 1974, Tirans Brigade 889 was established in the frame of Division 440. The brigade was equipped with Tiran tanks, two battalions with 100 mm guns and one battalion of 115 mm. As noted above, they were designed to be converted with 105 mm guns at the second phase of their absorption. OB 762 was established to provide maintenance services to the brigade. 

With the progression of the absorption of the Tirans they became a significant component, about 25%, of IDF’s order of battle tanks. 
After the Six-Days War, the IDF absorbed about 150-war booty Tiran tanks. Since the tank was suitable to the operational needs of the army, especially after the conversion of its gun to 105 mm, the problem of its spare parts was critical. At the end of Yom Kippur War, it was decided to absorb around 400 additional Tiran tanks and to dismantle some 100 tanks for spare parts. So, by the end of 1974, approximately 500-600 Tirans were intended for IDF's array and, in 1976, hundreds more should have been absorbed as well."
 

 

cheers

Marsh

 

 

Marsh; great and very interesting info...thanks!


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#186 Gorka L. Martinez-Mezo

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 0322 AM

3700 rounds of 115mm is a pretty small reserve and you cannot cannibalize more rounds from damaged tanks! That would be a serious issue operating the T-62.
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#187 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 0515 AM

They could contract a Western nation to build more. If they were willing to pay the price to do it.


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#188 DKTanker

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 0640 AM

They would pay an exorbitant price.  It isn't just a matter of, "Here, build some of these, we'll be round later to pick them up."  First they have to be reverse engineered, all types.  Then there are the set up costs for drawing out the casings and building projectiles, and assembly jigs.  Propellant is probably the least of their concerns, but not being a chemist or munitions expert, what do I know?  After a number of each type are built it's off to the test range to see if all the hard work has paid off.  Long story a bit shorter, 10,000 rounds of 115mm would end up costing them something like 10x to 100x more than the same number of 105mm rounds.


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#189 Colin

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 0128 AM

Or have the Czechs buys some and sell them at double the price to the IDF.


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#190 bojan

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 0624 AM

Or have the Czechs buys some and sell them at double the price to the IDF.

No go, they have tried via Bulgaria, who was only WP nation to operate T-62s.

While Israel acquired spares for tanks via Yugoslavia and Romania, large scale purchase of ammo was no-go. Problem was especially that unlike 100mm ammo, which was produced by Czech, Yugoslavia and Romania, none was making 115mm other than Soviets, and none was using it except Soviets and Bulgarians.

Main reason for changing 100mm for 105mm guns on T-54/55s was not "superior performances" but ammo supply.


Edited by bojan, 02 October 2019 - 0633 AM.

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#191 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 0650 AM

That may be true, but it doesnt explain why they did not convert more than fairly small numbers of the T62 to 105mm.


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#192 Marsh

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 0713 AM

Hi Stuart and Bojan,

 

The decision to convert the Tiran 4 and 5 to 105mm ,was very much due to performance and compatibility to the rest of the tank fleet. 100m ammunition availability was not really an issue. Tons of the stuff was captured in the various wars (especially in Sinai in 1967) and I suspect if needs be, could be purchased on the military "black market".

 

The availability of 115 mm ammo, as pointed out by Bojan, was a different matter. Incidentally only one T-62, to the best of my knowledge, was ever converted to 105mm. 

 

Stuart, if you meant the T-55/55s and not T-62, the reason why only a relatively small number were converted to the 105mm was the generosity of US supply of the M60s. Consequently, there here was no reason to do so and the Tirans could be retired as quickly as possible. If US resupply had not occurred, project Samovar would have seen the bulk of the Tirans converted to 105mm and the fitting of Western powerpacks.

 

Cheers

Marsh


Edited by Marsh, 02 October 2019 - 0717 AM.

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#193 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 0724 AM

Hi Marsh, as you point out they only ever converted one T62. Why was that, was it felt that he 105mm was not a good fit for the T62 for some reason? Or is the explanation the same as for the T55's, there was no need  after getting so many M60s? Many of the T55 conversions im guessing were from 1967, before they had quite so many weapons on tap from the US. By the time they got T62, presumably this was no longer a necessity.


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#194 Marsh

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 0921 AM

Hi Marsh, as you point out they only ever converted one T62. Why was that, was it felt that he 105mm was not a good fit for the T62 for some reason? Or is the explanation the same as for the T55's, there was no need  after getting so many M60s? Many of the T55 conversions im guessing were from 1967, before they had quite so many weapons on tap from the US. By the time they got T62, presumably this was no longer a necessity.

 

The photo of the conversion I have seen made it appear to be quite clumsy in execution. I don't know of any actual technical difficulties the Israelis experienced though.

You are right, with the provision of US M60s, there was no pressing need to convert the T-62 


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#195 bojan

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 0954 AM

Stuart, basically forget everything that was written about tanks anywhere before 2000s, with very few exceptions. There is way too many errors to even try to correct in the old stuff.


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#196 bojan

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 1001 AM

.... 100m ammunition availability was not really an issue. Tons of the stuff was captured in the various wars (especially in Sinai in 1967)...

 

Problem was that very few HEAT (few 100s of rounds, IIRC something about 400 only) was captured in 1967., and BR-412B/D AP was running out of steam. Even in 1973. number of HEAT captured was relatively small compared to AP, which leads me to suspect how much did the Arabs have in the tank ammo load...

I know that there was Israeli inquiry in Yugoslavia in 1968-69. (via some African country, IIRC Ethiopia) about HEAT ammo, but we were also having shortage of it and were also semi-smuggling it (via Finland), since Soviets only delivered 250 in 1962. and would not deliver more.

While Yugoslavia broke diplomatic relationships with Israel in 1967. business obviously continued as usual...


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#197 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 1045 AM

Stuart, basically forget everything that was written about tanks anywhere before 2000s, with very few exceptions. There is way too many errors to even try to correct in the old stuff.

 

Yes, I remember you saying pretty much that about Zaloga's 'Russian tanks and AFV's tome that came out in 1999. The problem is Ive yet to find anything better in English than this old stuff.

 

BTW, cheers for that Marsh.


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#198 Colin

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 1946 PM

Sounds like "Lets see if we can fit the 105mm to the T62" tried and likely wrote a report that lingers in a dusty filing cabinet somewhere.


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#199 Jim Warford

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 2216 PM

 

.... 100m ammunition availability was not really an issue. Tons of the stuff was captured in the various wars (especially in Sinai in 1967)...

 

Problem was that very few HEAT (few 100s of rounds, IIRC something about 400 only) was captured in 1967., and BR-412B/D AP was running out of steam. Even in 1973. number of HEAT captured was relatively small compared to AP, which leads me to suspect how much did the Arabs have in the tank ammo load...

I know that there was Israeli inquiry in Yugoslavia in 1968-69. (via some African country, IIRC Ethiopia) about HEAT ammo, but we were also having shortage of it and were also semi-smuggling it (via Finland), since Soviets only delivered 250 in 1962. and would not deliver more.

While Yugoslavia broke diplomatic relationships with Israel in 1967. business obviously continued as usual...

 

 

The availability of 122mm HEAT is also a bit mysterious...but it is one of the things that adds life to the continued use of the 122mm main gun in the 1950s and '60s. Most Soviet/Russian sources use the M48A2, M60 and Chieftain as the ceiling for the performance of the 122mm BR-471B and D...although most sources don't include detailed performance numbers of the "D." The problem with this published ceiling is that Israeli sources have confirmed the loss of M48s to Egyptian IS-3/IS-3Ms during the Six-Day War. So far, I haven't been able to confirm which AP rounds the Egyptians were using...could have been one or both rounds....or it could have been HEAT ammo as well.           


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#200 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 03 October 2019 - 0146 AM

El Jiradi Pass, if thats the battle im thinking of in Macksey's 'Tank Vs Tank'. I dont recall he mentions what rounds the JS3 was using either.

 

I seem to recall after that the Egyptians dug them in as a defensive barrier on the canal zone. One of them was removed in 1973 and ended up in a museum in the US. Damned if I can remember where.


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