טנק המג"ח בשרות חיל השריוןM48
M48 During 1973 YOm kippur War
The story of the Patton in IDF service begins shortly before the Six-Day War in 1967.
After the War of Independence Israel was in dire need of replacements for their ageing Sherman and AMX 13 tanks. The most viable options were the British Centurion and the US M48 Patton tanks.
In the early 1960's the US finally agreed to sell Pattons to Israel. However it was not possible to sell these openly from US stock. Therefore a deal was struck between Germany and the US and Israel that Germany was to deliver 150 M48A1 and A2 tanks to Israel. From 1960 to 1964, Israel received 40 M48A1 and A2C from West Germany. However this deal had to be abandoned after press leaks and a political outcry over the sale in Germany. Since West Germany was no longer able to supply 150 tanks as requested the US administration decided to supply the remaining 110 M48A1 tanks to the IDF directly and to add another 100 M48A2 tanks. All M48 were armed with the 90mm main gun and powered by gasoline engines.
Israel planned to upgrade these tanks to M48A3 standard by replacing their gasoline engines with newer, more powerful and economical diesel engines. The M48 took part in the 1967 fighting mostly on the Sinai front against the Egyptian army. During the war Israel captured about 100 M48 and M48A1 tanks from Jordan and used them as their own tanks after the war.
The M48 took part in the Six-day War in 1967 in several configurations, most with the 90mm gun and with the old M1 cupola and some as plain M48A2 with gasoline engines but none in M48 or M48A1 configuration. Some had the old three piece headlight cluster arrangement and some the newer two light configurations like the later M60. Some were already fully upgraded with 105mm guns.
The IDF continued its upgrade program and all M48’s were upgraded as planned after the war ended. A number was fitted a Sherman vintage cupola as a stopgap measure. All received the 105mm L7 gun (same as planned for the Centurion Sh’ot MBT) and the Israeli Urdan cupola after the war ended. These tanks are known as Magach 3.
By 1973 the IDF had about 800 Magach 3 in service.