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Sho't Kal Alef

Sho't (meaning "Whip" in Hebrew) is the Israeli designation of the 105 mm L7 armed Centurion tank, which entered Israeli service in the late 60s.[1]


The addition "Kal" refers to the abbreviation of the engine manufacturer "Continental", originally notated in Hebrew as שוטקל, which should read "Cal". But since Cal also means "lightweight" and the ק is closer to K than C, the name Sho't Kal struck outside the Hebrew speaking world.

Entered service in 1970; by 1974 all Israeli Centurions and Sho't Meteor were upgraded to Sho't Kal. Subvariants indicate upgrades received by Sho't Kal tanks during their operational life, including a new turret rotating mechanism, a new gun stabilizer, a new fire-control system and preparations for the installation of the Blazer reactive armour.

Combat history[edit]

A Sho't tank at the Oz 77 memorial, near the Valley of Tears, Golan Heights
Destroyed Israeli Sho't

The Sho't tank only served in the Six-Day War in 1967 and the Yom Kippur war in 1973; one of them, belonging to the 188th Armored Brigade, was operated by Captain Zvika Greengold, an Israeli tank ace. However, as all tanks in the opening days of the 1973 Yom Kippur war, it proved exceedingly vulnerable to Soviet-made weapons such as the RPG-2, RPG-7, and briefcase Sagger guided missile, weapons which the Egyptians used in large numbers in the crossing of the Bar Lev line. It is estimated that the Israeli armed forces lost up to 40% of their southern armored groups during the first two days of the war, highlighting the necessity for infantry support to armoured groups, culminating in the Merkava main battle tanks being equipped with rear troop bays.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dunstan, S., Sarson, P. (2003). Centurion Universal Tank 1943-2003. Osprey. p. 40. ISBN 0-671-00974-5.