Sagger Anti-Tank Missile vs M60 Main Battle Tank: Yom Kippur War 1973

Published: January 20th, 2018     
Product Image
Author: Chris McNab Illustrator: Johnny Shumate, Alan Gilliland
Reviewed by: 
Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Osprey Publishing
ISBN #: 978-1-4728-2577-3
Other Publication Information: Soft Bound ; 7.3” x 9.8”, 80 pages
Price: $20.00
Product / Stock #: DUE 84

Chris McNab is an author and editor specializing in military history and military technology. To date he has published more than 40 books, including The Illustrated History of the Vietnam War (2000), Twentieth-Century Small Arms (2001), Twentieth-Century Small Arms (2001), The Encyclopedia of Combat Techniques (2002), The Personal Security Handbook (2003), Reformation, Exploration and Empire (2005), Mythical Monsters : The Scariest Creatures from Legends, Books, and Movies (2006), Tools of Violence (2008), Deadly Force (2009), A History of the World in 100 Weapons (2011), The Roman Army (2012), SAS and Special Forces Mental Toughness Training, and Abandoned Wrecks (2017). Chris has also written extensively for major encyclopedia series, magazines and newspapers. He is an experienced specialist in survival techniques and provides instruction on wilderness hunting techniques. He currently lives in Neath, Wales, UK.

Johnny Shumate works as a freelance illustrator living in Nashville, Tennessee. He began his career in 1987 after graduating from Austin Peay State University. Most of his work is rendered in Adobe Photoshop using a Cintiq monitor. His greatest influences are Angus McBride, Don Troiani, and Edouard Detaille. His illustrations have been featured in at least 65 books. His interests include karate, running, Bible reading, history, and making English longbows. Check out his website at https://johnnyshumate.deviantart.com, https://www.facebook.com/johnny.shumate.7, https://johnnyshumate.com/, and https://www.freelanced.com/johnnyshumate.

Alan Gilliland spent 18 years as the graphics editor of the UK's Daily Telegraph, winning 19 awards in that time. He now writes, illustrates, and publishes fiction (www.ravensquill.com), as well as illustrating for a variety of publishers including Osprey. Check him out at alangillilandillustration.blogspot.com and https://reedsy.com/alan-gilliland.

Osprey's 84th book in the Duel series is a square back soft cover includes 80 gloss paper pages. The front cover features two illustrations by Johnny Shumate with the Sagger Anti-Tank missile on top and an Israeli M60 main battle tank below. Johnny Shumate also provides two color battle scene paintings and the illustrations for the Target Views section. Alan Gilliland provides six color illustrations depicting the Sagger Anti-Tank missile and the M60 MBT, along with cutaways complete with detailed legends. I counted 50 photographs, 10 in color and 40 black and white, and three color maps.

The Yom Kippur War of 1973 saw the two major super powers going head to head in equipment as this conflict became a testbed for modern armor. The US supplied the M60 main battle tank to support the Israelis. The Soviet Union supplied the AT-3 Sagger, a line of sight wire guided anti-tank missile to the Egyptians and Syrians. Chris McNab provides an updated look at this battle providing new insight. At the time, journalists saw the AT-3 Sagger as a game changer. While it did take the Israelis by surprise, the IDF quickly adapted with new battle field tactics. The end of the Yom Kippur War saw some 25% of the tanks and armored vehicles that were taken out were probably due to the AT-3 Sagger, but there were plenty of other factors involved in the loss of tanks and armored vehicles by the IDF. The IDF did respond and change their battlefield tactics to lessen the impact of the AT-3 Sagger. Although M60 upgrades, such as reactive armor, have been implemented as a result of the lessons learned in this battle, the Soviet AT-3 Sagger system has been upgraded as well and these two systems will undoubtedly meet again.

The sections include:

  • Introduction
  • Chronology
  • Design and Development
    • The AT-3 Sagger
      • 9K11 Malyutka (AT-3 Sagger) [Color Plate] (Page 14)
    • The M60
      • The M60 In Israeli Service
      • M60A1/Magach 6A [Color Plate]
      • M60A1/Magach 6A Specifications [Table]
  • The Strategic Situation
  • Technical Specifications
    • AT-3 Sagger (Page 30)
      • 9M14M (AT-3B Sagger B) Missile [Cutaway]
    • M60A1
      • M60/M60A1 Ammunition Types
      • M60/M60A1 Ammunition Distribution and Armour Protection
  • The Combatants
    • Egyptian Forces
      • Saad El Shazly
    • Israeli Forces (Page 46)
      • Israel Tal
  • Combat
    • Initial Clashes
    • Sagger Target View
    • M60A1 Target View
    • The Israeli Response
    • Israeli Recovery
    • Operation Gazelle and the Battle of Chinese Farm (Page 67)
    • Analysis
  • Aftermath (Page 78)
  • Bibliography
  • Index

As can be seen in the following chapters, Chris McNab leads the reader through the design and development of the Soviet AT-3 Sagger and the American M60 MBT. The color illustrations of the AT-3 Sagger and M60 MBT assist in highlighting their attributes and deficiencies. The stage is set with chapters on "The Strategic Situation", "Technical Specifications", and "The Combatants". The chapter on 'Combat' is where the action begins. Chris McNab uses first person accounts to bring the reader into the fray. The section on Operation Gazelle, the Israeli counter-offensive, dives deep into the most intense clash of the war between the M60 MBT and the AT-3 Sagger. This intensity is supported by a two page painting from Johnny Shumate.

I really enjoyed improving my understanding of the development of the Israeli M60 and the Soviet AT-3 Sagger and their impact in the Yom Kippur War of 1973 from Chris McNab. If you own one the previous releases in the Duel series, you know what you are getting. If this is your initial entry into this series, you will be quite pleased.

My thanks to Osprey Publishing and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.

Highly recommended!

  • Front Cover
    Front Cover
  • Back Cover
    Back Cover
  • Sample Page 14
    Sample Page 14
  • Sample Page 30
    Sample Page 30
  • Sample Page 46
    Sample Page 46
  • Sample Page 67
    Sample Page 67
  • Sample page 78
    Sample page 78