Panzers in the Golan Heights

WWII After WWII has a great piece up on the use of German panzers as late as the 1960s by Syria in their wars against Israel. Acquired from Spain, Czechoslovakia and other sources, the Six Day War saw U.S.-made M50 Super Shermans and British Centurions in the hands of IDF tankers smoking Syrian Panzer IVs and StuG IIIs (some still with fading German balkenkreuzs)

Syrian Panzer IV; this one was most likely from the ex-Spanish batch. A Syrian StuG III is behind it; both captured by Israel in 1967

Syrian Panzer IV; this one was most likely from the ex-Spanish batch. A Syrian StuG III is behind it; both captured by Israel in 1967

“The last appearance by WWII German tanks on the world’s battlefields came in 1967, when Syria’s panzer force faced off against modern Israeli armor. Quite improbably, Syria had assembled it’s collection of ex-Wehrmacht vehicles from a half-dozen sources over a decade and a half timeframe.”

Some were kept in operation even years later…

“Syria had six Jagdpanzer IVs operational on 6 June 1967. One was destroyed by an Israeli tank. Surprisingly, the remaining five were retained by the Syrian army. They made no appearance during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. During the Desert Shield / Desert Storm period in 1990-1991, when Syria and the USA were briefly allies, the remaining five Jagdpanzer IVs were listed as “arsenal-level (long-term warehoused) assets” at al-Zabadani army base north of Damascus. In the mid-1990s, the late King Hussein of Jordan (an avid tank history fan) attempted to buy one or all of them for his army’s museum collection, apparently without success. During the 2014-onwards Syrian Civil War, they were likewise not seen, so apparently they had either been scrapped around the turn of the millennium, or destroyed in the warehouse during the civil war.”

Which leads me to these pictures, taken in the recent fighting in Syria:

10.5 cm leFH 18M howitzer in action with Syrian rebels, over 70 years after it was manufactured and used by German troops during the Second World War

May 2015: 10.5 cm leFH 18M howitzer in action with Syrian rebels, over 70 years after it was manufactured and used by German troops during the Second World War

10.5 cm leFH 18M howitzer in action with Syrian rebels, over 70 years after it was manufactured and used by German troops during the Second World War

10.5 cm leFH 18M howitzer in action with Syrian rebels, over 70 years after it was manufactured and used by German troops during the Second World War

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.