IDF M-48 - 6 Day War

What color were IDF M-48’s during the 6 Day War and how many had the 105mm gun


Magach 2s would’ve had the original 90mm main gun while Magach 3 would’ve had the L68 105mm gun.

I think this particular tank (by the registration plate up front) is a captured ex-Jordanian M48A3 and repurposed as a Magach 2.


As for colors (using Tamiya Acrylics):

Sinai War 1958 Olive Drab - XF-62 Olive Drab

Six Day War 1967 Sand - XF-60 Dark Yellow – 1 part XF-57 Buff – 1 part

Yom Kippur War 1973 Sand - XF-57 Buff – 1 part XF-59 Desert Yellow – 1 part XF-20 Medium Grey – 1 part

Lebanon War 1982 - XF-20 Medium Grey – 1 part XF-57 Buff – 1 part


This one is an A2. No air cleaners on the fenders, and the drivers compartment heater tube is on the left side. Not to mention the three return rollers, instead of the five commonly seen on an A3.


The IDF had Magach 1 (M48A1) and Magach 2 (M48A2) tanks during the Six Day War. None had the 105mm gun.

During the Six Days War they captured Jordanian M48 that they used afterwards, during the war of attrition

Captured M48 number plates start with 1 not 8.


The IDF actually had a few Magach 3s with the 105mm gun in the Six-Day War, According to Dr. Robert Manasherob in his Magach Tanks of the IDF Vol. 2, the Daled Company of the 46th battalion had a handful that they used at the battle of Rafa Junction against Egyptian IS-3s on June 6th. Below are two photos of the Magach 3s in the book which it says were taken in that battle:


It is highly possible, I have seen “edited” versions of this photo with 90mm guns instead of the 105 mm and blured air cleaners…

I did not know they were taken at the specific time and place. Great input :+1: :+1:


Thanks. Yeah, this ‘controversy’ seems, or seemed, to be a thing - After I bought this kit a few years ago:


several people said in forums, etc. that it was wrong for Dragon to market this kit under the Six-Day War moniker because allegedly, the 105mm gun tank only came into use after the war. I bought the Manasherob book in the first place to clarify the issue and, lo and behold, he asserted that a few were indeed used. I think he’s a credible enough source to take his word for it.

It’s odd that anyone would see the sense in altering these photos to change the details, but it’s the internet, I guess. :man_shrugging:

And Nikos, thanks for posting the cool Magach photos above. :beer:


The only thing that does not add up with the existence of Magach 3 tank in 1967 is that the procurement of engines, transmissions and other parts started post 1969. So either the IDF had gotten their hands on some before and started upgrading prior to the Six Days War but kept it a complete secret (which can easily be the case since they were pretty good at OPSEC) or the photos could be from the War of Attrition era. Anyhow, anything is possible with the IDF.

Regarding the Dragon kit, the mistakes have to do with the version of the M48A3 they used for their Magach 3 and it specific characteristics. All Magach 3 tanks were M48,M48A1,M48A2 upgrades until YKW. After that the IDF got some M48A3 mod B tanks and so there are Magach 3 and on with mod B details like the square front light covers and the reinforcing ribs at the engine bay doors at the rear.


Anyhow, anything is possible with the IDF.

Too true!

Nikos, what are some of the mistakes in the Dragon kit? I pulled it out of the stash this afternoon and had another look at it, and it seems correct enough for an upgrade of a M48A1 (which the first Magach 3s were), with five return rollers per side and the blocked-off mounting point for the track-tensioning wheel between the last road wheel and the sprocket, plus features of the M48A2C like the rear hull redesign and the squared-off fenders. The only mistake I could find at first glance was the inclusion of the exhaust pipe for the crew compartment heater to the left of the driver’s hatch, which the IDF seems to have removed. What am I missing? Thanks.

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Ok lets work this out.

We want to build a Magach 3 prior to 1973-74, e.g. not a M48A3 mod B upgraded to Magach 3 standards. The choice vehicle is :

a) M48 ex Jordanian

You need 5 return rollers, round front light protective covers and a small drivers hatch (the left corner of the hatch is shorter than the later M48 variants). Number plate starts with 1.

b) M48A1

You need 5 return rollers, round front light guards, regular driver’s hatch. Number plate starts with 8 or 9

c) M48A2

You need 3 return rollers, square front light guards, regular driver’s hatch. This conversion also included different engine deck grilles setup. It is easily distinguishable if you look for three hinges protruding next to the air cleaners. There were vehicles with the “regular” grilles as well. You also need to use the M48A2 engine deck cover, which has different angles than the A3.


All three “variants” have the same engine bay doors at the rear

There are other details you need to look out for like the cupola type (Chrysler, Urdan, Sherman, M1) used, if the air cleaners had armored protective covers, no mesh at the bustle rack (M48A3 mod B was the first varinant to have mesh at the bustle rack), mantlet cover type (with or without accordion), fire extinguisher positions, uzi mounts etc.

The IDF did receive M48A3 mod B tanks after the YKW



but there were most probably upgraded with ERA straight away


Dragon has included the correct parts for building a Magach 3 from a M48A1 (case b above) but does not show the correct engine doors in the instructions (you need to use the doors on the sprue with the A2 engine deck, not part D36). I would change the cupola, barrel and some other minor details.

I can go on rivet counting with what other details are needed…


Thanks a lot for all the valuable info + pics! I think that’s what I need when I go on my next IDF binge and build this kit, but any other ‘rivet counting’ (I don’t see it as such, just an attempt to get the details straight, but that’s what all rivet counters say, right?) you can do, go right ahead. :grin:

At what point was the Blazer ERA developed and then fielded? I know that it was between the ‘73 and ‘82 wars, but not exactly when.

Wikipedia says it was first installed in 1982, but the usual grain of salt applies.

After finishing my research I’m going to build the 90mm version for the 6 Day war

Do they make a Six Day War 1967 Sand in a spray paint, I only use the airbrush for camo


early 1975

This is supposed to be one of the first Magach 6 with ERA, M48 would receive the upgrade during the same period

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Check Tamiya TS-46, I have seen people post photos saying that they used it but have never used it myself so I can not confirm it is 100% accurate.

1975? Interesting. Less than two years after Yom Kippur War a countermeasure is developed.

Were any of the IDF tanks involved with the 1978 Lebanon Incursion equipped with the Blazer ERA?

The Centurions were definitely equipped with ERA during Operation Litani

I have not seen photos of other tanks being used for the Operation only Centurions.