Armored wolves: Bradley fighting vehicles

Like hungry wolves in the night, the Soviet-made T72 tanks waited for their prey to get closer. The Iraqi crews would annihilate the approaching American infidels on this April day in 2003 … or so they thought.

But the Apache troop from the Army’s Seventh Cavalry, commanded by Capt. Clay Lyle, had already been given data about the enemy by our Air Force. He knew there were 22 Iraqi tanks dug in and waiting for him.

As Capt. Lyle’s force of tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles headed for their enemies, our fighter pilots pounded the Iraqi tanks from the air. What Capt. Lyle and our Air Force did not see yet was the other battalion of Iraqi tanks hidden between them and their original targets.

Outnumbered 2-1, Capt. Lyle’s force now had no choice but to fire every big gun they had as fast as they could. With turrets swinging left, right, left again, dead ahead, right…the fusillade of American firepower was deafening, and very effective. The intense battle that seemed so long was over in about 10 minutes. The score: U.S. Army: 20 pieces of Iraqi armor; the Iraqi Army: 0!

One of the most amazing discoveries made in this battle was that the Bradleys could take out a heavily-armored enemy tank with their depleted uranium ammo. In fact, one Bradley took out two tanks, and another Bradley took out three tanks!

The good folks in Illinois may have had an indirect hand in this battle because much of the ammunition used in the Bradley fighting vehicles is produced at the General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems plant, located near Marion, Ill. This General Dynamics facility produces several types of medium-caliber ammunition for military forces, including 20 mm, 25 mm, and 30 mm ammunition. The 20 mm ammo is used in many fighter planes, including the F14, F15, F16 and F18. The 25 mm ammo is used in the Bradley fighting vehicles and other light-armored units. The 30 mm ammo is used in the Air Force’s awesome A10 Warthog anti-tank plane.

When Teddy Roosevelt told Americans a century ago we should “walk softly and carry a big stick,” he could not have imagined the “big stick” that is now at the disposal of the USA to help keep our nation and our allies free. The civilians in Illinois who work to provide our military with the best equipment in the world should be proud of their vital role in maintaining our nation’s security.

(Some information for this story came from

This article was provided by the Illinois State Rifle Association. For more information about the Association, call 635-3198 or visit

From the Aug. 2-8, 2006, issue

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