These 14 photos show how infantrymen bring down tanks

There are plenty of ways to attack a tank, but few people would choose to fight one without a helicopter, jet, or a tank of their own. Still, for infantrymen around the world, there’s a constant possibility that they’ll have to face off against an enemy tank.

These 14 photos provide a quick look at the infantry’s anti-tank weapons and tactics:

1. Taking down tanks on foot and in light vehicles is serious business that requires a lot of planning and risk.

Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Reece Lodder

Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Reece Lodder

2. Anti-tank teams have to prep all their weapons before rolling out on a mission.

Photo: US Marine Corps Sgt. Chris Stone

3. Some, like the Javelin or TOW launchers, require some assembly and loading. Others, like the AT-4, come ready-to-roll and just have to be inspected.

Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Chris Stone

Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Chris Stone

4. Once troops are in the fight against enemy armor, they have to maneuver quickly to give the anti-armor teams a chance to fire.

Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Carson Gramley

Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Carson Gramley

5. One of the more common U.S. anti-tank weapons is the Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, wire-guided missile.

Photo: US Army Spc. Hector Membreno

Photo: US Army Spc. Hector Membreno

6. The TOW missile can be mounted on vehicles and helicopters and has an effective range of over 2.5 miles. This allows infantry to fire from further away than the tank can hit them.

Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Reece Lodder

Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Reece Lodder

7. The TOW missile can also be deployed on a tripod and carried by the infantry, though its heavy launcher and tripod make this a tough job.

Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Carson Gramley

Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Carson Gramley

8. Still, when the TOW finds its target, the hefty weight is worth it.

Tow-Missile-Abrams-tank-explosion

When the TOW-2B attacks a tank, it flies over it and explodes, sending two tantalum penetrators into the tank. GIF: YouTube/Funker530

9. A lighter alternative to the TOW is the 84mm Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle. It has a much shorter range against tanks, about 770 yards.

Photo: Defense Imagery Management Operations Center

Photo: Defense Imagery Management Operations Center

10. But, it weighs only 20 pounds and a two-man crew can fire 6 times per minute. Anti-tank infantry will deploy in pairs and lie in wait for tanks. As one team is reloading their weapons, the other is firing on a tank.

Photo: Defense Imagery Management Operations Center

11. The Javelin provides a man-portable, anti-tank capability for infantry as well. This infrared missile can fly directly at tanks or soar into the sky and then attack down through the thinner turret armor of the tank.

Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Carson Gramley

Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Carson Gramley

12. The Shoulder-launched, Multipurpose Assault Weapon is a bunker buster that doubles as an anti-tank rocket in a pinch. Its High-Explosive Anti-Armor warhead can pierce two feet of steel.

Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Devon Tindle

Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Devon Tindle

13. The AT-4 is an anti-tank weapon commonly used by dismounted forces. It has a maximum range against a point target of about 330 yards.

Photo: US Army Pfc. Daniel Parrott

Photo: US Army Pfc. Daniel Parrott

14. The AT-4 is a recoilless weapon like the Carl Gustaf, but it is not rifled and each weapon can only be fired a single time.

Photo: US Army Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston

Photo: US Army Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston

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