Sagger Anti-tank Missile vs M60 Main Battle Tank...

...Yom Kippur War 1973,  from Osprey Publishing

Title: Sagger Anti-tank Missile vs M60 Main Battle Tank

Author: Chris McNab

Publisher: Osprey

ISBN: 978-1-4728-2577-3

An interesting comparison for this new book from Osprey, number 84 in their Duel series.  It looks at the pairing of the tiny Sagger anti-tank missile and, in this case, the US built M60 tank as used by the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) during the Yom Kippur war of 1973.  In 1967, in the short 6-Day war, the IDF had proved itself a very capable force, supported by an excellent intelligence service.  It came as a surprise then in 1973 when that intelligence service let it down, and the Egyptians were able to catch them by surprise with a major assault across the Suez Canal.  Despite fighting on two fronts, as the Egyptians were attacking at the same time as the Syrians further north.  The main focus for this book though is the fighting in the Sinai, against the initial Egyptian successes.

The Egyptian armed forces had managed to re-equip themselves after their losses during the 6-Day War and part of this was the supply of the small Sagger man-portable anti-tank missile.  The book provides an interesting comparison of a small man portable missile and a weapon as large as the MBT.  The chapters lay out the framework of an Introduction; Chronology; Design and Development; the Strategic Situation; Technical Specifications; The Combatants; Combat; Analysis; and Aftermath.  As well as the story of the events of the war, it tells of the difficulties faced by the IDF tanks and how the IDF not only developed new tactics to counter the new threat but how changes were made to the tanks themselves in order to counter the missiles, a solution since commonplace on MBTs of all nations.

In addition to the informative text, and in the usual Osprey style, it is coupled with some first class artwork illustrating the Sagger missile itself as well as the ammunition and  internal arrangements of the M60.  I particularly liked the comparative views from the sights of both the missile operator and the M60 gunner.  Add a good selection of archive photos and this makes another nicely done addition to their Duel series.

Thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review copy.

Robin