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Iran / Iraq

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Sherman tanks
As a serving member of the Canadian Forces, K.M. Fathers served in Iran/Iraq for approx. 7 months as a peace keeper in 1988:

"During my travels through southern Iraq I drove through a small town north of Basra which I believe to be either Kut-Al-Amara or Amara. In the town square was a collection of captured Iranian equipment. Three large pieces of equipment were prominent, a Chieftain MBT, a US 105mm howitzer, and a M4A1, 75mm gun, Sherman Tank. All equipment carried Iranian army markings. The M4A1 had a Iranian Armed Forces Roundel painted on the front hull plate. The paint scheme on the M4A1 was a desert sand color. The really interesting thing that caught my eye was that it was equipped with two different types of track. On the right side it had the standard VVSS type flat rubber pad track. On the left side it had what looked like HVSS type T66 single dry 23" wide steel track. Or maybe it was the Canadian CDP type track. I did not get close enough to see the suspension and could not take pictures due to our Iraqi escorts and security reasons. Our unit had a rad det in this town and it's possible that they may have got a picture of it. 
Also in this same area close to the Iranian border north of Basra I drove through an area were the Iranians tried to push through to cut the highway to Basra. There were so many burned out tank hulls in the desert that I quickly lost count. The types I recognized were both Iraqi & Iranian, T-54/55, T-62, T-72, Chieftain, M46 Pattons, M60A1, and yes in the distance the easily recognized shapes of at least four M4 Shermans. Again I could not take pictures and could not get close enough because of mine fields. I asked the Iraqi LO if they were Iraqi tanks and he told me that they were Iranian. He said the Iranians only used western equipment. At this location the LO said was one of the biggest tank battles since WW2."

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M36B1 and M36 90 mm Gun Motor Carriage
Scans taken from Cable News Network (CNN) footage, 13 April 2003
When the US Army entered a military base in Tikrit, Iraq, on 13 April 2003, CNN footage showed a number of tanks on display near the entrance of the base. These are apparently some sort of display of historic and captured AFVs, including a Churchill, Centurion, M47, M113 and what looks like Sherman. 
Closer examination of two stills provided by Dusan Vuskovic Berenguer from Chile showed the Sherman is in fact a M36 90 mm Gun Motor Carriage. As far as known no Sherman tanks or related AFVs were supplied to Iraq, so presumably this M36 is of ex-Iranian Army provenance.
Pictures courtesy of Geoff Walden
Geoff Walden took pictures of several Sherman-type vehicles in the Iraqi military base on Highway 1, about 10 miles north of Tikrit. This must have been another base than the one filmed by the CNN crew.

The M36B1 (top) was seen alongside the road, among several other vehicles that had been lined up to plug a gap in the perimeter fence. The M36 (bottom) was seen at a distance, off of Highway 1. Possibly these two vehicles were recently on the empty plinths that are at the base entrance nearby.

Note: Military Machines International magazine of September 2001 featured an M36 90 mm GMC in a Kuwaiti tank dump.

(Please click on the photos (as applicable) to jump to large-scale copies)

M50 Super Sherman
Pictures courtesy of Geoff Walden
Another surprise Geoff came across on the base about 10 miles north of Tikrit was an ex-Israeli M50 Super Sherman. It is located back inside the post, about a mile off the main road.



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Last update: 08-May-2003

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