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Q: The RPG-16 and RPG-22 at ranges over 250 meters having not seen one I can say for sure but even the LAW would have a tough time at 250 meters on anything except for a fuel tanker

A: The old M72 LAAW was notoriously inaccurate due to its simplified sights, low powered rocket motor, and the way that you had to hold it in order to fire --- I don't think it is in TacOps. The new US AT4 and the SMAW are much better and are portrayed in TacOps.

The RPG-16 has a much better sight and offers a much steadier firing "grip" than the old LAAW. The RPG-22 looks similar to the old LAAW but my notes indicate that it is much more powerful and much more accurate.

Q: The M1's in real life, especially the latest version of it, the M1A2, are extremely hard to destroy. Read Tom Clancy's book Armored Cav and you'll read some interesting happenings in the Gulf War, where T-72's pounded one M1 but never penetrated. I think the M1 should be more like this in the game.

A: A valid historical point, however Desert Storm was four years ago. At that time the Iraqis were firing steel and tungsten penetrators, they had no thermal sights to work through darkness and the oilfield smoke, and their tank fire control systems were substandard - in effect they were not only blind but were outranged by close to two thousand meters. Any industrialized country that wants to and can afford to spend the money can field tanks today, including T72s and T80s, with staballoy/depleted uranium penetrators, thermal sights, and advanced fire control systems. Still, if you want the M1s to be invincible just substitue the T72 IQ91 for the T80s or T72s in the scenarios, don't give thermals to OPFOR, and don't give OPFOR advanced ATGM warheads.

Q: At that time the Iraqis were firing steel and tungsten penetrators, they had no thermal sights to work through darkness and the oilfield smoke, and their tank fire control systems were substandard - in effect they were not only blind but were outranged by close to two thousand meters.

A: I don't remember the source, but it was reported that many of the Iraqi tanks, including some older models (T-62), had an IR system added on (purchased thru Holland or Belgium). Our troops were very surprised at Khafji (sp?) when Iraqi tanks were reacting to them at night. Apparently these sights were rather clumsily added on - not integrated with the firing systems - but they were adequate for spotting. I have no idea how this could be modeled in the current version of TacOps.

Q: The MRLS can fire within a minute of recieving orders even when on the move.

A: Maybe on an exceptional basis, but there is still time of flight to be considered. On a routine basis it would probably take at least a minute just to get them to answer and authenticate the radio call <grin>. Very few things in real life happen in just 60 seconds.

Effect of Hits on Crews

Until someone chimes in with a first person experience, perhaps these citations might be of interest.

"Certain Victory: US Army in the Gulf War" by BrigGen Scales, p 213 - 215, paraphrased ... night battle ...125mm round (didn't say if HEAT or sabot) from the T-72 penetrated turret ring of an M1 tank and entered the crew compartment ... "Halon fire suppressent system smothered flash of hot gases" ... tank commander was standing in his hatch when the round hit - "excessive pressure generated by the exploding shock wave" blew him out the hatch onto the ground outside but otherwise he was unwounded ... driver did not appear to be wounded ... loader and gunner were wounded and bleeding badly, they were pulled from the tank by the tank commander and driver and given first aid by the driver ... M1 smoked briefly but did not burn ... tank commander attempted to restart it but could not ... meanwhile a second M1 tank killed the T72 and pulled up next to the hit M1 ... ambulance arrived and wounded plus driver left with it ... tank commander of the hit M1 ranked the TC of the second M1 so he took command and continued forward "to join the battle again".

"Crusade" by Rick Atkinson a number of descriptions of Bradleys and USMC LAV25s hit by tank sabot and ATGM HEAT (in most cases from friendly fire). In general, in those descriptions, the vehicles that were hit by sabot were disabled but not destroyed and crew wounding and loss of life was moderate - apparently sabot tended to go completely thru those vehicles - crewmen who were not in or close to the path of the pentrator weren't hurt too badly. Those vehicles that were hit with small and medium HEAT rounds/missiles tended to be destroyed with major to total crew loss. Light vehicles, especially LAV25s, hit by Maverick missiles tended to be disintegrated.

Descriptions of hits on Bradleys in "Iron Soldiers" by Tom Carhart pretty well agree with those in "Crusade".

"Iron Soldiers" by Tom Carhart, p 254-256, paraphrased ... [same night fight, same battalion as the earlier M1 hit] ... M1 tank hit in engine grill doors at rear by T72 round [did not say if sabot or HEAT] ... engine dead but did not burn ... shortly there after a second T72 round hit the tank in the back of the turret and penetrated into the ammo storage compartment ... some of the 30 odd gun rounds inside instantly exploded ... the M1s ammo compartment blow out panels vented the explosion upwards, the ammo compartment's blast door kept the initial explosion out of the crew compartment, and the Halon system put out the intial fire flash ... the crew "were all able to scramble to safety" ... right after everyone got out of the tank it began "to burn in earnest".

In all the descriptions in these books there is no mention of anyone being "pulled" through a sabot exit penetration hole, there is no mention of deafness or shock from a non penetrating hit.

There is mention of several M1s being hit in the frontal armor by non penetrating sabot - they immediately returned fire and destroyed the enemy tank. That would circumstancially suggest that a non penetrating sabot hit is not a particulary mind numbing experience.

There are numerous mentions of non wounded crewmen from Bradleys and LAV25s that were hit by sabot and HEAT immediately tending to their crewmates. Again, circumstancial evidence suggesting that even pentrating hits do not necessarily shock everyone senseless.

One thing was common in the penetrating hit descriptions - people standing in hatches tended to be thrown out of the vehicles and they tended to either not be wounded at all or only slightly wounded.

These thoughts are only drawn from these three books. It would be very interesting to see the Army and USMC investigations of vehicle hits for the full picture.

By the way, I recall very few instances in these books where Iraqi crewmen seemed to survive. It appears that the Iraqi tanks and APCs tended to be catastrophicly destroyed whenever they were hit by anything.

Q: Does the FOT (T-90?) really exist?

A: Yes and no. FOT means future OPFOR tank. Its nomenclature is unique to TacOps. Several new tanks are under development, but I have very little information on them. I put the FOT in as an option in order to allow more balanced near-future scenarios. A TacOps FOT is, game wise, basically an M1A2 painted red.

Netscape HTML Checked! January 22, 1995 - Robert Lentz (

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