War Master WMTK036 Israeli Merkava Mk. 3 Main Battle Tank - Unidentified Unit, Lebanon, 1989 (1:72 Scale)
"The one thing I cannot forgive the Arabs for is that they forced our sons to kill their sons."
- Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir
The Merkava is the main battle tank in service with the Israeli armed forces. The first Merkava Mk 1 tanks were supplied to the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in 1979. Production of the Mk 1 continued up to 1983, when the IDF began to receive the Merkava Mk 2. The Mk 2 featured improved mobility, fire control system and armor, as well as the inclusion of an internal 60mm mortar. Production of Mk 2 continued until 1990 when it was superseded by the Mk 3.
The Merkava Mk 3 Baz entered service with the IDF at the beginning of 1990. The main features of the Merkava Mk 3 are a new suspension system, a 1,200hp engine and new transmission, a higher power main gun, and particularly new armour protection. Ballistic protection is provided by special armour modules, which are attached to the tank by bolts. These are easily replaced whenever better ballistic technology is introduced. About 1,200 Merkava Mk 2 and Mk 3 tanks are in service with the IDF.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of an Israeli Merkava Mk. 3 main battle tank that was deployed to Lebanon during 1989.
Length: 5 inches
Width: 2 inches
Release Date: September 2013
Historical Account: "Stars of David" - The Barak Armor Brigade is today an Israeli tank brigade and one of the regular armor brigades of the Northern Command. The symbol of the Barak Armor Brigade is a shield with a red border, blue and white Haifa coastline background and a sword on it. The brigade has a long history and was even a part of the Yishuv's forces in Palestine before the state of Israel was declared.
In the mid-1990s, the brigade became the first to adopt the Merkava mark-III main battle tank and the older Centurion tanks were phased out.
During the 1948 Arab-Israeli war the brigade was known as the Carmeli Brigade because it was led by Moshe Carmel. It was an infantry brigade which fought in the northern part of Palestine. The brigade played an important role in Operation Hiram. After the IDF was created the Carmeli Brigade became the 18th Brigade.
During the Sinai Campaign in 1956 the brigade was stationed along the Jordanian border, in case the Jordanians decided to open a second front, and was thus not involved in combat.
It was then added with armored units and became the 45th Armored Brigade, known as the "Barak Armored Brigade". It consisted of one tank battalion, two armored infantry battalions, a mortar battalion and reconnaissance units. The changeover was completed in 1962.
During the Yom Kippur War, it played an important role defending Israel's border against the Syrian attack in the southern Golan Heights. 112 soldiers were killed in action there, including the brigade commander. The brigade was almost completely destroyed.
During the battle, Lieutenant Zvika Greengold, who had arrived unattached to any unit, fought off attacks with his single tank until help arrived. "For the next 20 hours, Zvika Force, as he came to be known on the radio net, fought running battles with Syrian tanks - sometimes alone, sometimes as part of a larger unit, changing tanks half a dozen times as they were knocked out. He was wounded and burned but stayed in action and repeatedly showed up at critical moments from an unexpected direction to change the course of a skirmish."
In the 1982 Lebanon War, it fought in Beirut and participated in the capture of the airport.