How many Merkavas were really lost?

Once i read the article ( seem military expert from Sweden) which claims the Israel specially decreaced their tank losses in propogandic purposes during the last attak of Lebanon.
This video from Aljazira channel supports my doubts.What do you think friends, is it possible for israeli army to cover it’s loses or it all just a pro-arab propogand?

No tank is invulnerable, as any Nation that ever built one has discovered. But the clip really does not show anything clearly, so I can’t say that I saw any Mer Keva destroyed. Too much of the story was focused on events of the past, and not the subject. This strikes me as at best, sensational dramatization, and at worst, vulger propaganda. The clip itself is based on obfuscation, and misdirection. (lots of sizzle, but no bacon):slight_smile:

Define “lost” - captured by the enemy, mobility killed and then destroyed to prevent capture, mobility killed and recovered, mechanical breakdown, what? Odds are the two sides are just using different definitions, with at a guess the Israelis defining “lost” as “permanently captured by Hezbollah and placed on display in Tehran” and Hezbollah defining “lost” as “scratched after being hit by one of our weapons”.

I’m unaware of the issue and haven’t looked at the link, but the IDF has never branded the Merkava as invulnerable–only that its front mounted engine enhances crew survivability…

I watched a vid made by insurgents in Iraq and shown on Al Jazeera (also shown on youtube) it claimed to show hundreds of M1 Abrahms tanks destroyed by RPG. I managed to count just 5 different tanks (from many angles and distances and also in the US recovery compound) of the dozens of shots they showed, most looked like damaged or destroyed by IED and some were M2 Bradleys.

When sides are fighting a propaganda war it will be hard to get true facts.

Indeed. I’m aware of an M-1A2 Abrams that took at least 13 strikes from insurgent rocket propelled grenades and still managed to stumble back to American controlled areas–albeit with the crew bleeding from their ears and the tank heavily damaged…

Next thing we’ll see on al-Jazeera is the use of the tactical “Acme Portable Hole” causing entire formations to drop out of sight, :slight_smile: :wink:

Seems you right mate. Actually one should be very naive to believe to arab channel :)I found an another article of Israeli author ( in russian) where he has counted al the tank losed.
13 tanks were hit, 5 lost. 32 men of crew killed.

You also have to look at what al-jazeera count as a ‘tank’. British media are always calling any AFV a ‘tank’. Most nations these days only have one type of MBT. It’s possible they count any AFV (whether that is an APC, IFV, Recce AFV) as a tank.

Although I am no expert in the Merkava, I can tell you Chevan that the last Israeli operation in Lebanon he lost a significant number of Merkava, the number will probably never be known because the Israelis never communicate on the subject. Be aware that the study had Hesbollah way to destroy a Merkava and put into practice in Lebanon, he fired behind the wheel sprocket, that was enough to cripple the tank, after the fighting ended some Israeli officers still have recognized that the doctrine of employment of their tank was not good.
Friendly Fred

i.e. mobility kills, which can then be recovered and put back into service. It is very unlikely that the IDF would actually regard these as kills, even internally.

Well ,though officially the IDF has declared the figures of loses - something kinda couple of tank lost and few soldiers killed.:wink:

The Israelis said they had 47 Merkava (Mk 2 and 4) hit with multiple missile strikes. Twenty two suffered penetrating hits losing 33 crew killed out of 400 deployed.

Just been having a gander at a pro hizbullah site (Iranian military, which strangely has a few neo-nazis on) and they claimed 120 of 600 deployed were destroyed along with 3 Apache, 1 F16, 1 Sa’ar 5 (1 was damaged and out of action for 3 weeks) missile boat, 1 Sa’ar 4.5 missile boat, 1 drone and 30 assorted APC and engineer vehicles.

It should be noted in this thread, without checking and completely IIRC, the Merkava is one of the only MBT’s that not only has a front mounted engine (like a car) but also serves as essentially an IFV carrying a number of infantry and armored scouts. Thirty-three out of 400 seems like a higher than acceptable number, but one must factor in that the Merkava was designed to with stand heavy frontal fire from enemy tanks, and perhaps Hezbollah used tactics of rear ambush and letting tanks pass them by before opening fire…

I think this is the major factor to any tank.To hold frontal hit in tank vs tank battle. It seems Merkava was designed on basis of experience of the battles with Siria/Egypt tank armades in 1973. Seems no one tank might be equally effective against ambush tactic from behind or side. nor even the Abrams.I think the relatively big loses of crewmans was determined by the new generation of anti-tank means , applied by Hezbollah.Rather then the by lacks of Merkava.

And also by the relatively poor performance of the IDF, compared to the rest of the first-world armies. Tanks being knocked out from behind isn’t the fault of the tanks, it is that of their commanders who get them in that position.

Do you imply the IDF didn’t use the aircraft and infantry support properly?Or their lack was to use the tank in position where it sould not be used at all? i think the commander can’t foresee any possible threat of ambush. I saw a video on youtube where the american Abrams were ambushed (or exploded ) in Iraq. Seems the Hezbolah had adopted the same tactic.

Mainly lack of support, essentially bypassing positions without clearing them. This was a deliberate attack, and they didn’t treat it like one. If the US video is the one I think it is, it was a somewhat different situation (essentially an armoured raid) and even then I have doubts as to how valuable it was.

If you want a good idea of the competence (or lack of) in the IDF read up on the corvette that got hit by a missile off the coast of Lebanon. They were off a hostile coast and basically decided nobody was going to get them so turned off all their defensive systems and didn’t keep lookouts. Even then they (somehow) didn’t sink. Nothing has changed since the Liberty fiasco.

The Israeli General who made a statement later about the Lebanon fighting said that it was a fault of the commanders on the ground. Sending armoured forces into a close battle area with limited support. The IDF was going to go back to basics and start training in Urban Operations again.

The Israelis said the AT weapons were RPG29, and 9M133 Kornet E (AT-14 Spriggan) with tandem charges, there was also mention of the PG7VR tandem warhead for the RPG7 to defeat ERA (I have never heard of this before though and know nothing of its capabilitys)

Wonder how the Cent Heavy APC’s fared as I have not heard much about them in combat or if the Merkava Heavy APC’s have seen combat yet.

That would be the Sa’ar 5 I presume,

Hizballah seriously damaged a Saar 5-class missile ship named the “Spear” that was helping to enforce Israel’s blockade of Lebanon on 14 July 2006. One Israeli sailor was killed and three were initially missing after the attack. Israel initially believed that an aerial drone armed with explosives hit the warship, but it became clear that Hizballah had used an Iranian-made C-802 cruise missile to strike the vessel.

Another Hizballah radar-guided anti-ship missile hit and sank a nearby Cambodian merchant ship around the time the Spear was struck. Twelve Egyptian sailors were pulled from the water by passing ships.