So I finally saw RESTREPO the other night. Great film, a must see. One little thing that caught my eye was that the troops were carrying M72 LAW rocket launchers.
We talked a bit about the M72 Light Antitank Weapon long, long ago, as well as its replacement, the M136 “AT4” rocket launcher.
If you’re facing an armor threat, or if you’re a mounted force, the AT4 is a vast improvement over the LAW. It’s faster, more accurate and has a much bigger warhead. The problem is, not all units are mounted. The AT4 is 40” long and weighs about 15 pounds. That’s not a big problem if you have a HUMVEE to carry a few of them. But when you’re humping up and down hills that make a mountain goat puke, it’s not so fun. By contrast, the M72 only weighs about 7 pounds, and more importantly, in the carry configuration, it’s only about as wide as a man’s shoulders. That means just about everybody can easily strap one to the top of their pack. It’s better to have several less than perfect rocket launchers handy, than a great one left back at the base.