Forces of Valor 80205 US M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank - "Big Hitch", Bravo Company, 2-70th Armor, 1st Armored Division, Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003 (1:32 Scale)
"We will carry out a campaign characterized by shock, by surprise, by flexibility ... and by the application of overwhelming force."
- CENTCOM commander General Tommy Franks commenting on the conduct of Operation: Iraqi Freedom, March 21st, 2003
The M1 Abrams was the next stage in American tank development after the M60 series. Chrysler completed the prototype in 1978 and the first production vehicles appeared in 1980 with 30 tanks a month being built in the years that followed by General Dynamics, then a division of Chrysler Motors. Its advanced Chobham armour makes the M1 the best protected US main battle tank yet devised. Its gas turbine engine is smaller and easier to service than a diesel engine, but the extra fuel requirement negates the space saved, which is perhaps why the idea was rejected for acquiring the German-built Leopard 2. Thermal sights, laser rangefinder equipment, and a sophisticated gun stabilization system give the M1 excellent firepower on the move, be it day or night. In the 1991 Gulf War, the Abrams proved itself the best tank in the world, knocking out Iraqi T-72s with impunity. In fact, no Abrams were lost due to enemy fire.
According to General Dynamics, international sales of the Abrams tank are strong. Egypt has purchased 777 M1A1 tank kits. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia purchased and fielded 315 M1A2 Abrams tanks in the Royal Saudi Land Forces, and lest we forget the Government of Kuwait, which purchased and fielded 218 M1A2 Abrams tanks in the Kuwaiti Land Forces. All of these nations are considering additional orders or configuration upgrades for their existing fleet of M1A1/A2 tanks. After friendly fire incidents in the Gulf War, a CIP (Combat Identification Panel) was developed and attached to the sides and the rear of the M1A1 tanks.
This particular 1:32 scale replica of a US M1A1 Abrams main battle tank was used during Operation Iraqi Freedom and attached to Bravo Company, 2-70th Armor of the 1st Armored Division.
Length: 12 inches
Width: 4.5 inches
Height: 3.75 inches
Release Date: July 2004
Historical Account: "Old Ironsides" - The 1st Armored Division ("Old Ironsides") received orders on March 4th, 2003, to deploy to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility in support of the global war on terrorism and to prepare for future contingencies as may be directed. The deployment was to consist of the whole division and was to push south from Turkey and advance on Baghdad, Iraq from the north. On March 14th, however, Stars & Stripes reported that the 1st Armored Division had been ordered to put their deployment on hold as transporting the division's equipment to the AOR had been complicated by the refusal of Turkey to permit the 4th Infantry Division to stage from its territory.
After the war had ended, Task Force 1st Armored Division was redeployed and took up occupation duties within Iraq.