Not just any tanks would do, however. I coerced my frequent PBEM opponent Jim into playing Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm and that's a ton of fun, but what I really wanted was to learn more about the greatest armored clashes of the post-WWII era: the Arab-Israeli Wars.
|My armored task force at the Line of Departure near Jenin in 1967. The triangles mark the path half the force will take during the initial advance on the town.|
While I remember the Yom Kippur War in '73 and the '82 Lebanon War, I'm a bit young for the Six Day War to have made much impression on me, and I wasn't even born yet for Operation Kadesh in '56. To me these have always been "things that happened" but that I wasn't very knowledgeable about. As often happens with me, suddenly I wanted to understand them, in detail. Also, tanks. Lots and lots of tanks!
|And the route of the southern half of the tasks force. The northern group is made up of three tank companies, mounted in IDF M51 "Super Shermans." The southern half has two tank companies and an armored infantry company, mounted in M3 halftracks.|
Pat Proctor's Prosim games are diamonds in the rough. They are fantastically realistic simulations of modern armored warfare. They are not particularly polished as games, though, and because they are so realistic, they will kick your ass. You are mostly going to lose playing these. I know I do.
Unfortunately updates and new games seem to have stopped coming from Prosim. Pat himself is an active duty military officer, and the last time I interacted with him he was actually in Afghanistan. Since then he's had another tour in Iraq fighting ISIS and he's finished a PhD. Not much time for wargame development in there!
|An hour in and I've launched the northern half of the assault. The lead tank company is beginning to take a toll on the defenders. Resistance is significant, though. I try and suppress them with artillery.|
|The southern force is finally moving. They should have a pretty easy time of it, since it looks like that other TF cleared out a lot of the resistance south of town (green markers).|
|Zoomed in view of the southern assault. the tanks meet initial resistance outside of the village of Umm-et-Tut. For some reason the M3s have not been able to keep up during the entire attack.|
|Jordanian resistance has been overcome at the cost of a tank and five M3s. In all cases it was Jordanian infantry that did the deed. The M48s were no match for the modernized Shermans with IDF crews.|
|Thirty minutes later it's all over. The Jordanians have been swept from the town and I've preserved enough of my force to hold it.|