Friday, July 14, 2006

Psssst...hey, New York Times ... 

Contrary to what your caption says, these aren't tanks!

Although after a couple of battalion threes, Hezbollah will probably wish that they were.
Don't want to be a noodge here...but for those of us that like the blog that can't identify such things could you possibly mention what they are?

You've had several posts like this and it can be frustrating for those of us that wouldn't mind getting educated on such things. Having searved in the Air Force I could tell you if it was a B-52G or H model....

Most folks would assume those are tanks. They have th turret and the big gun.

What are they?
Anonymous has a point. They appear to be self-propelled guns, but only because the tubes look bigger than standard tank guns. Really, I'm just guessing here.
You're right anonymous. I was being more snarky than helpful.

What you're looking at is self-propelled artillery.
Self-propelled... you mean, like robotic?

I'm still confused.
Let's think back to the days of Lightning War in Europe, or even back to the invasion of Iraq a few years ago. You have the fastest tanks and personnel carriers of any army driving like Jehu down the road, trying to secure the next town and go on. If they get into trouble from infantry, and infantry can be a problem for tanks if they know what they're doing, they're going to want to have artillery behind them. But, if they're pegging the spedometer, they're going to outrun the cannons. Unless you mount the cannons on treads, too, and roll them down the road. Thus, self-propelled artillery.

Jason, no doubt, could get into specifics. I can get to general theory, which is that tanks have guns that point forward and punch through armor. If you want to shoot over distance, you need a ballistic arc, and tanks cannot elevate that high. Artillery can. Hope that helps.
They are M-109 SP 155mm howitzers.
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