There's a New Sheriff in Town: ISIS Fighters Fear "The Beast"

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
there s a new sheriff in town isis fighters fear the beast

Despite their psychopathic barbarity, ISIS fighters fear many things — women, music, culture, bathing, and now a lone tank dubbed “The Beast.”

According to U.S. military official Col. Steve Warren, an American-trained Iraqi tank crew has become a one-vehicle Dirty Dozen in the aptly named Iraqi city of Hit, the Associated Press has reported.

As part of ongoing efforts to retake the city from ISIS militants, the lone crew is “tearing it up” with its distinctively midwestern machine, obliterating every unfriendly target of opportunity with its General Dynamics M1A1 Abrams.

In fact, the not-so-little-tank-that-could is so active, U.S. observers initially assumed more than one tank was engaging ISIS (there were three, but mechanical issues sidelined two of them). The tank has become something of a folk hero near Hit and its crew has taken home the “Hero of the Day” award given to Iraqi troops seven days in a row, according to Foreign Policy.

Warren tweeted a video recorded on April 12 of The Beast engaging a bomb-laden vehicle that was trying to target anti-ISIS forces:

A Bombed car was trying to target hero’s in , and was blown away by a Cornet Rocket!

— جهاز مكافحة الإرهاب (@iraqicts) April 12, 2016

There’s no word on whether the crew rides into town with “Ride of the Valkyries” blasting over the audio system.

The M1A1 Abrams, produced either at the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant in Warren, Michigan, or the Lima Army Tank Plant in Ohio, bristles with firepower. A .50-calibre heavy machine gun and two 7.62 mm general-purpose machine guns complement the tank’s 120-millimetre main gun.

Under what passes for a hood, a 1,500 shaft horsepower multi-fuel Honeywell turbine engine and Allison transmission motivates all the armament, allowing the Abrams to make short work of Toyota pickups packed with explosives — or the odd plumber truck.

For doing a good job taking out the trash, hats off to the operators of The Beast.

[Image: Nathan Rupert/ Flickr ( CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

More by Steph Willems

Join the conversation
6 of 178 comments
  • MazdaThreeve MazdaThreeve on Apr 15, 2016

    The Abrams is a terrific fighting machine, to be sure, but I worry about what would happen if we ever had to deploy it in a conflict with an enemy having something approaching parity with our tech. The fuel type and quantity demands of that engine are massive and very real. I think in a protracted campaign, where the enemy could actually hit our supply lines, the Abrams would be stopped not by direct fire, but more often by running out or low on fuel. The Army really should have a standby swap plan to put these guys on another powertrain.

    • See 3 previous
    • Wolfinator Wolfinator on Apr 15, 2016

      @MazdaThreeve The Abrams is, as I understand it, commonly fueled with jet fuel for logistics reasons. I'm assuming the idea is that they can be dropped into combat zones via jets, so wherever they're going there's going to be a jet fuel supply line? Anyways, part of the point of the engine is that it can burn all kinds of crap if need be: diesel, marine diesel, any grade of gasoline, kerosene, various jet fuel grades...

  • Zipper69 Zipper69 on Apr 16, 2016

    "there were three, but mechanical issues sidelined two of them" That seems to sum up the continued gap between Pentagon theories on "what we need to win the war" and what the guys at the sharp end are finding in reality. It seems scrambled egg on the cap tightens the pressure on the brain...

  • 285exp If the conversion to EVs was really so vital to solve an existential climate change crisis, it wouldn’t matter whether they were built by US union workers or where the batteries and battery materials came from.
  • El scotto Another EBPosky, "EVs are Stoopid, prove to me water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius" article.It was never explained if the rural schools own the buses or if the school bus routes are contracted out. If the bus routes are contracted out, will Carpenter or Bluebird offer an electric school bus? Flexmatt never stated the range of brand-unspecified school bus. Will the min-mart be open at the end of the 179-mile drive? No cell coverage? Why doesn't the bus driver have an emergency sat phone?Two more problems Mr. Musk could solve.
  • RICK Long time Cadillac admirer with 89 Fleetwood Brougham deElegance and 93 Brougham, always liked Eldorado until downsized after 76. Those were the days. Sad to see what now wears Cadillac name.
  • Carsofchaos Bike lanes are in use what maybe 10 to 12 hours a day? The other periods of the day they aren't in use whatsoever. A bike can carry one person and a vehicle can carry multiple people. It's very simple math to figure out that a bike lane in no way shape or form will handle more people than cars will.The bigger issue is double parked delivery vehicles. They are often double parked and taking up lanes because there are cars parked on the curb. You combine that with a bike lane and pedestrians Crossing wherever they feel like it and it's a recipe for disaster. I think if we could just go back to two lanes of traffic things would flow much better. I started coming to the city in 2003 before a lot of these bike lanes were implemented and the traffic is definitely much worse now than it was back then. Sadly at this point I don't really think there is a solution but I can guarantee that congestion pricing will not fix this problem.
  • Charles When I lived in Los Angeles I saw a 9-5 a few times and instanly admired the sweeping low slug aerodynamic jet tech influenced lines and all that beautiful glass. The car was very different from what I expected from a Saab even though the 900 Turbo was nice. A casual lady friend had a Saab Sonnet, never drove or rode in it but nonetheless chilled my enthusiasm and I eventually forgot about Saabs. In the following years I have had seven Mercedes's, three or four Jaguars even two Daimlers both the 250 V-8 and the massive and powerful Majestic Major. Daily drivers of a brand new 300ZX 2+2 and Lincolns, plus a few diesel trucks. Having moved to my big farm in central New York, trucks and SUV's are the standard, even though I have a Mercedes S500 in one of my barns. Due to circumstances with my Ford Explorer and needing a second driver I found the 2006 9-5 locally. Very little surface rust, none undercarriage, original owner, garage kept, wife driver and all the original literature and a ton of paid receipts and history. The car just turned 200,000 miles and I love it. Feels new like I'm back in my Nissan 300ZX with a lot more European class and ready power with the awesome turbo. So fun to drive, the smooth power and torque is incredible! Great price paid to justify going through the car and giving her everything she needs, i.e., new tires, battery, all shocks, struts, control arms, timing chain and rust removable to come, plus more. The problem now is I want to restore it and likely put it in my concrete barn and only drive in good weather. As to the writer, Alex Dykes, I take great exception calling the 9-5 Saab "ugly," finding myself looking back at her beauty and uniqueness. Moreover, I get new looks from others not quite recognizing, like the days out west with my more expensive European cars. There are Saabs eclipsing 300K rourinely and one at a million miles and I believe one car with 500K on the original engine. So clearly, this is a keeper, in love already with my SportCombi. I want to be in that elite club.