Tanks Aces - Zvika Greengold's Shot Kal Alef


Le Teich, France

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The war of 1973, also called Yom Kippur war was the most severe attack on Israel yet, and a war that saw the heaviest losses in the israeli tank force, which fought in some cases in a disadvantage of one versus ten or more in some isolated companies. Such was the case of Zvika Greengold’s own ad hoc force. On October 6th, 2PM, almost four Syrian divisions attacked IDF positions with roughly 1500 tanks. The were mainly T-54s, T-55s and T-62s. The Syrian southern Infantry divisions (two brigade of 200-250 tanks each) wiped out the entire 188th IDF armoured brigade, and the remnants started delaying actions before reinforcement arrived. Recalled of his holiday, Lieutenant Zvi Greengold managed to gather four battle-damaged Israeli Centurions (Sho’t), called “Task Force Zvika”. He started taking hull-down positions over the hills, and destroyed a column, but he had later to change tank to use a radio, and the small formation lost itself during the night. Afterwards, “Zvi” rampage is the stuff of legend. He probably destroyed in 24 hours at least twenty, and up to 60 Syrian tanks before reinforcements arrived and collapsed from exhaustion afterwards. He managed to held off an entire tank brigade single-handily and was awarded with the highest Israeli military award, the Medal of Valor.
The Sho’t was an heavily modified Centurion Mark V, with an American AVDS-1790-2A diesel engine coupled with an Allison CD850-6 transmission, common to the M48/M60. These had also American radios, and many other improvements (like ERA) over the post-war years, making it still relevant in the late 1980s.

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