About 2,500 armoured vehicles 1935-2016.
The Argentine Army was founded in may, 28, 1810, when the Spanish colonial administration in Buenos Aires was ousted, and its core layed in the Patricios Infantry Regiments and various militias, hardened and proved in repelling the British invasions of the Río de la Plata in 1807. From 1811 to 1820, José de San Martín launched a military expedition in Upper Peru (now Bolivia), but also Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile to fight Spanish Forces or secured the newly gained Argentine Independance. One instance was the famous battle of Chacabuco in 1818. After a period of civil war in the 1820s and a forced reunification during the Brazilian Empire, a new constitution secured the Country Army and unity once more, and the country new a period of relative peace, until the 1860s, when it was found embroiled in the War of the Triple Alliance. In the 1870s, the Army took part in an expedition in the Patagonian Desert known as the “Conquista del Desierto” against native, extended the Country to its full.
In the 1880-1890s and until the 1930s the Army distanced itself from political affairs while becoming more professional. The most influential of foreign countries in Argentina was Prussia, after which were modelled the tactics and doctrine of the XXth century Argentinian Army. A reason for that was the considerable proportion of German immigrants in the Country that weighted both in economic and political affairs of the time. Although neutral in WW2, the Argentinian Ground Force was mostly influenced and supportive of the Germans, while the Navy was more driven by its admiration for the Royal Navy. Nevertheless, the Army made a coup in 1930, propelling Hipólito Yrigoyen to power, and again in 1943, when Colonel Juan Perón was put at the head of the state.
Argentine in WW2
Despite pressure, the country remained fiercely neutral, although still with some marked sympathy for Germany. A good example of this was the Graf Spee affair in december 1939. This German “pocket battleship” had roamed the South Atlantic since the beginning of the war, creating havoc in the shipping lines and sinking significant tonnage before a large “ship hunt” by British and French ships began. Eventually a squadron of British cruisers (HMS Exeter and two light cruisers) cornered the Graf Spee (battle of River plate, december 1939), altought the Spee almost sank the three ships, it was itself damaged to the point of requiring repairs and sailed to the Montevideo Harbour. What followed was a diplomatic tragi-comedy which eventually pushed the Argentinian authorities to impose a 72 hours moratory, also dictated by La Haye convention, not sufficient to carry our repairs, whereas British Intelligence created false radio reports of the arrival of capital ships in the vicinity od the river plate. The rest is History.
Despite pressure, in particular from the US after 1941, the country remained neutral, at least until 1943. President Castillo saw his country striked by an US-led embargo and blockade due to this neutral position. Disgruntled officer eventually mounted a coup which succeed in june 1943, seeing Arturo Rawson in power, time to start reforms and decide to break diplomatic relations with Germany, but a new coup saw an obscure Colonel propelled to power, Juan Peron. Attitude towards the USA softened, Argentina requestin weapons in order to a possible expeditionary corps which never took place. It was at that time that the sole Argentinian domestic Tank, the DL.43 Nahuel was built, in small numbers however. Large supplies of US tanks were expected until the end of the war. In 1945 however, Peron agreed to take harsher measure against Nazis and German assets in Argentina. Therefore the USA eased pressure and restore normal diplomatic relations as well as other countries (UK not included since meat supplies in particular were vital to the country) Neverthless, whereas this official position was maintained some 1,400 Argentines joined the British Forces during the war.
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The Falkland Wars
M113 armed with a 20 mm autocannon. A part of the M113A1/A2s in service were armed that way, providing IFV capabilities additional to the other IFVs in service, based on the TAM.
The Argentine Ground Forces as of 2015
One of the very rare armoured vehicles domestically built in Latin America in the 1940s. The Nahuel looks alike the M4 Sherman but was not a spin of although some components were indeed from American origin, but the engine was a locally built W12 Lorraine-Dietrich, the gun was a Krupp M1909 76 mm and the whole assembly was performed locally. The design was approved in 1943, but only 12 when produced due to government decided instead to wait and buy cheap stockpiled American M4 instead in 1945. Wikipedia also cite about 126 M9 tank destroyers in service with the Argentine Army, which are the TD variant of the of the M3 GMC half-tracks obtained in 1945 (and had nothing to do with the experimental T40 derived from the M3 Lee).
One of the rare mass-produce domestic tanks in Latin America, the TAM (Tank Mediano Argentino) was a bit like if Germany decided to gave the Leopard MBT a little brother based on the Marder IFV. And indeed, a great deal of German technology was embedded into the TAM, although it is a purely Argentine tank. About 280 were cranked-up since the 1980s, now in the process of a large modernization with ELBIT.
This tank hunter was only the visible tip of a whole serie of tank hunters relying on the oscillating turret concept, that allows large guns to be mounted on light chassis. Such were the French AMX-13 and Austrian SK-105 Kürassier, both purchased by Argentina. There AMX-13/105 were the most ancient, and about 40 are still in service, about to be converted into Patagons, keeping the turret, placed over SK-105 chassis. About 10 Patagon are in service. But the bulk of this force is provided by 112 SK105A1 and 6 SK105A2.
IFV version fo the TAM tank. 123 are currently in service wirth the Argentine Army. Armed with a 20 mm autocannon and can carry 12 men.
Older tracked APCs of French Origin sharing many components and chassis with the AMX-13. 28 in service as of today. It shoul be noted that at the same period, 20 AMX Mk F3 with a 155 mm howitzer, stlill based on the same chassis, are still in service.
These vehicles formed the bulk of the Argentine Armoured Personal Carrier force, with 500 vehicles in service. Variants includes the M577, M106, M548, M113A1 and M113A2.
Basically a TAM chassis with Italian turret, 17 of these joint Argentine/Italy SPGs are in service.
Only one experimental vehicle built. 105 mm multiple rocket launcher mounted on a VCTAM hull. However another variant, the AM-50 120 mm mortar carrier VCTM is also in service (13 vehicles).
14 are used by the Argentine Marines. With a high velocity 90 mm and modern FCS they are much more capable than the Panhard AMLs.
The Argentine Army purchased 47 of these nimble 4x4s, and 12 from Escuadron de Exploracion Caballeria Blindada 181 were deployed in the Falklands.
This light reconnaissance armoured car was developed jointly with Brazil and is in service since 2011 in the Argentine Army, 100 vehicles as of today.
Latest cold war tanks
- Panhard 165 & 175
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- TAA – Tun Antitanc Autopropulsat
- AC II Cruiser Tank
- PzKpfw 17R/18R 730(f)
- M7 Medium
- 8cm schwere Granatwefer 34 auf Panzerspahwagen AMR(35f)
- Medium Mark A tank ‘The Whippet’