Infantry Drills

E-20: Firepower Disadvantages

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E-20. The normal, basic load of the tank’s main gun is primarily armor piercing discarding sabots with tracer (APDS-T) antitank rounds. These rounds are not as effective against light-armored or wheeled vehicles, bunkers, trench lines, buildings, or enemy personnel. They also present a safety problem when fired over the heads of exposed Infantry Soldiers due to the discarded sabot pieces falling to the ground. HE ammunition provides better destructive effects on the above-mentioned targets, except enemy personnel, against which the tank’s machine guns are most effective. The resupply of all tank ammunition is difficult and requires logistic support from the armored battalion. The main gun of an M1A2 only can elevate +20 degrees and depress -9 degrees. Figure E-2 (page E-10) illustrates M1A2 fields of fire on the urban terrain.

Figure E-2. M1A2 Abrams tank fields of fire on urban terrain

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Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad