War Master WMTK025 Iraqi T-72M1 Main Battle Tank - Unidentified Unit, Iraq, 2012 "National Day Parade" (1:72 Scale)
"We are not intimidated by the size of the armies, or the type of hardware the US has brought."
- Saddam Hussein, commenting on the build up of Coalition Forces in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield, November 12th, 1990
The T-72, which entered production in 1971, was first seen in public in 1977. The T-72, introduced in the early 1970s, is not a further development of the T-64, but rather a parallel design chosen as a high-production tank complementing the T-64. The T-72 retains the low silhouette of the T-54/55/62 series, featuring a conventional layout with integrated fuel cells and stowage containers which give a streamlined appearance to the fenders. While the T-64 was deployed only in forward-deployed Soviet units, the T-72 was deployed within the USSR and exported to non-Soviet Warsaw Pact armies and several other countries. In addition to production in the USSR it has been built under license in Czechoslovakia, India, Poland and former Yugoslavia.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of an Iraqi T-72M1 main battle tank that served with the revitalized Iraqi Army in 2012.
Length: 4 inches
Width: 2.25 inches
Release Date: May 2013
Historical Account: "Post- Saddam" - On March 25th, 2008, the Iraqi Army launched its first solely planned and executed high-profile division-level operation, Operation Charge of the Knights in Basra. They received Multi-National Force - Iraq support only in air support, logistics and via embedded advisers. Also, a British infantry brigade, part of Multi-National Division South-East, and stationed in Basra, were ready in a tactical overwatch role. Their participation was limited to the provision of embedded training teams.
In April-June 2008, two brigades of the Iraqi Army 11th Division, supported by US forces, moved into the southern third of Sadr City. They were tasked to stop rocket and mortar attacks on US bases and the Green Zone. Following the Siege of Sadr City - a month of fighting - the Mahdi Army agrees to let Iraqi forces into the remaining portion of the city. On May 20th, troops from the Iraqi Army 3rd Brigade of the 1st (Iraqi Reaction Force) Division and a brigade from the 9th Division move into the northern districts of Sadr City and begin clearing operations. In May, Iraqi army forces launch Operation Lion's Roar (later renamed to Operation Mother of Two Springs) in Mosul and surrounding areas of Nineva province. Iraq became one of the top current purchasers of U.S. military equipment with their army trading its AK-47 assault rifles for the more accurate U.S. M-16 and M-4 rifles, among other equipment.
In June 2008, the Army moved troops to the southern Maysan province. Following a four-day amnesty for insurgents to turn over weapons, the Iraqi Army moved into the provincial capital Amarah.
Structural capacities still lacking within the Army include the lack of any formalized apparatus for the collection of military intelligence. Currently it must rely on intelligence provided by the United States for the majority of its operations. Developing a professional intelligence corps to augment the effectiveness of the Iraqi Army remains an ongoing challenge. In addition, the Army presently must rely on US logistical support to conduct the majority of its operations. It currently lacks critical support services such as transportation, medevac capabilities, and medical logistics. Until the Iraqi Army can develop these capabilities, it will continue to depend on US forces for support. A military justice system also remains to be developed.