Blyatskrieg

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Sat Jan 14, 2023 10:50 am

EACLucifer wrote:
Sat Jan 14, 2023 9:31 am
Four Challenger 2s apparently heading to Eastern Europe immediately, with eight more to follow soon after. Curious that training's happening there rather than in the UK, given the UK's leadership in conducting training on our own soil.
It's looking pretty certain that's the case - I'd been a bit cautious in my wording as at that point I'd only seen outlets like the Sun and Visegrad reporting it.

This, many insisted, would lead to world war three, or, even worse, world war four.

I reckon we should give it about a week for the Russians to do f.ck all because they haven't got the facilities, then announce we're sending Typhoons, too.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Herainestold » Sat Jan 14, 2023 4:53 pm

Article on some of the issues around supplying tanks to Ukraine.
Downshifting the debate into the level of semantic absurdity, Wolfgang Hellmich, the defense policy spokesman for Scholz’s ruling Social Democratic Party, claimed that Leopard 2s were “attack tanks,” adding that what Kyiv needed was “tanks for defense.”
https://news.yahoo.com/is-it-time-for-t ... 46660.html
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Sat Jan 14, 2023 9:04 pm

Well, they will be defensive tanks... because Ukrainians will be using them against an invader within Ukraine territory. They won't become "attack Tanks" until and unless they cross the Ukrainian border.
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by headshot » Sat Jan 14, 2023 9:10 pm

Herainestold wrote:
Sat Jan 14, 2023 4:53 pm
Article on some of the issues around supplying tanks to Ukraine.
Downshifting the debate into the level of semantic absurdity, Wolfgang Hellmich, the defense policy spokesman for Scholz’s ruling Social Democratic Party, claimed that Leopard 2s were “attack tanks,” adding that what Kyiv needed was “tanks for defense.”
https://news.yahoo.com/is-it-time-for-t ... 46660.html
f.ck off.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by bjn » Sat Jan 14, 2023 9:40 pm

Tankies gotta tankie.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Herainestold » Sat Jan 14, 2023 11:19 pm

TopBadger wrote:
Sat Jan 14, 2023 9:04 pm
Well, they will be defensive tanks... because Ukrainians will be using them against an invader within Ukraine territory. They won't become "attack Tanks" until and unless they cross the Ukrainian border.
Its a pretty dumb comment by a politician in a pretty decent article.
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by temptar » Sun Jan 15, 2023 5:42 am

surprised to see you pushing crap from the New Lines Institute.

It isn’t a pretty decent article. It is an embarrassingly oversimplified misleading crap article which depends on readers assuming the journalists know more about what they are talking about than they actually do. It is designed to manipulate rather than inform.

Where was it published first?

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Sun Jan 15, 2023 7:58 am

temptar wrote:
Sun Jan 15, 2023 5:42 am
surprised to see you pushing crap from the New Lines Institute.

It isn’t a pretty decent article. It is an embarrassingly oversimplified misleading crap article which depends on readers assuming the journalists know more about what they are talking about than they actually do. It is designed to manipulate rather than inform.

Where was it published first?
I think the article is decent. It covers most of the issues in a short space so of course there will be some simplification. The trade offs discussed in the article are well known and covered in much more lengthy publications.

The lead author, Michael Weiss, has been covering Russian military intervention in Ukraine since the 2014 crisis, and Russian affairs before that. He has been a forthright critic of Putin and supporter of Ukraine. You can follow him here: https://twitter.com/michaeldweiss?s=21& ... C1YKZOnrvg

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Sun Jan 15, 2023 10:03 am

Article's oversimplified, but both authors pretty decent. Surprised Herainestold posted it, assumed because he was too thick to have actually read it.

One point that does need to be made, though - to an extent, replacing Warsaw Pact equipment with NATO equipment is required to avoid ammunition shortages, but it doesn't work with tanks. We can't provide enough tanks to replace the T-64s and their various derivatives (72, 80, 84 and captured 90s). We need a solution to the issue of 125mm ammunition, however, that isn't necessarily too much of a challenge, especially as every tank we are talking about uses the 2A46 125/48 gun. There's several kinds of anti-tank ammunition, but I'm going to simplify slightly by dividing ammunition into shot and shell.

Shot seeks to punch through armour with speed and sectional density. These days, it means a long thin dart of very dense metal that is held in what's called a sabot - a cup that allows a narrow dart to be shot out of a wide barrel. This allows truly extreme muzzle velocities - upward of 1500m/s. To stabilise the dart, regardless of whether it is fired from a rifled or smoothbore barrel, it is equipped with fins at the back. Various 120 and 105mm darts are in production for use in Armour Piercing Fin Stabilised Discarding Sabot rounds. To adapt these to 125mm, a new sabot design is required. Alternatively, contracts could be placed to directly copy existing 125mm ammunition.

Shell causes destruction by means of an explosive charge, either one that projects fragments, or a shaped charge with a liner that projects a copper jet to pierce armour. Most tank guns are smoothbore, which means the shells require fins to guide them. To ensure a perfect fit in the barrel, and to prevent gas bypassing the shell, shells are fitted with a swage band to ensure a perfect fit in the bore. To convert a 120mm shell to a 125mm shell is potentially as simple as just manufacturing the same shell with a slightly larger swage band. Alternatively, contracts could be placed to directly copy existing 125mm ammunition.

Re-barrelling the 2A46 with a 120mm barrel is potentially an option, but it would still require slightly different ammunition to NATO tanks due to the nature of the autoloader, which, without constructing new turrets, would also prevent changing to a manual loader. This would be a lot more work, and much less viable an approach in the shorter term.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Sun Jan 15, 2023 10:05 am

Also the new package from Britain includes around thirty AS90 self-propelled guns. These are highly capable, and would put Britain significantly ahead of other countries in provision of SPGs. I think we are trying to put pressure on other countries prior to the Ramstein conference, and hope they step up. We can't do this alone, but if other countries commit as much as we are - some countries such as Poland are doing so or more but many aren't - then this war can be won sooner rather than later.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Mon Jan 16, 2023 11:35 am

So the Mirror ran a story that the UK was planning to send AH-64E Apache helicopter gunships the other day. Not sure why, as it was completely and utterly untrue, but it did result in some discussion, leading to this rather good thread about the trap of thinking about equipment in terms of how we would use it, not how it would fit into the war that's actually happening.

And I ended up having a bit of a think about military aid in general, and decided to write down a few of the things I thought about.

The fuss about the idea of Apaches is that they'd roam about firing Hellfire missiles and laying waste to Russian armour, but in practise of course they wouldn't - without proper suppression of enemy air defences, they'd be very vulnerable, and would be shot down. So there's two ways to think about the possible provision, depending on what the purpose of the provision is.

Is the purpose of the provision to supply helicopters? Now AH-64Es would be very unlikely, but older model AH-64s and other forms of military helicopter aren't unthinkable - indeed the UK has sent a few Sea Kings for medical evacaution/search and rescue - but then the question is what would they do? They'd be no more able to go across the front lines than Mi-8s and Mi-24s. They'd still get hit by long range SAMs if they fly high and MANPADS if they fly low. The way round that for Mi-8s and Mi-24s is to fire rockets on a lofted trajectory. It isn't terribly accurate, but if can apparently be effective at forcing infantry to go to ground. Is there an equivalent option for western helicopters? There is, Zuni and Hydra-70 unguided rockets, but there's potentially better options to. Some laser guided weapons can be fired on a ballistic trajectory and lock on to the target later. I don't know if that applies to the laser guided variants of the Zuni and Hydra-70 rockets that have been developed, but if it is, then infantry could be equipped with laser designators and call helicopters to launch from a safe distance behind the lines when fire support is urgently needed. Another option that definitely exists is Brimstone. Brimstone can be fired from anything from a fast jet to a pickup truck, and does not need line of sight or a laser designator to pick out targets, it can do that for itself. Basically any helicopter designed to take rockets could be adapted to Brimstone, the issue there is that the missile itself is unlikely to be available in large quantities. On the other hand, putting them on helicopters would at least allow them to be where they are needed in a hurry to counter Russian moves, and would allow a smaller amount of missiles to cover a wider area of front line.

This way of looking at it can be summed up as "we have this asset, how can we make it fit?"

The other way would be to look not at the helicopters, but at the Hellfire missiles. It's an accurate missile, it's got a longer range than most ATGMs, and it's got a warhead that can kill tanks, and other warheads available for other roles. If helicopters can't safely deliver Hellfires, what can? Well there's ground launch options. Sweden and Norway have both sent them. It's small enough to fit onto pickup trucks or small trailers. If that's not sufficient, though, there's also possibilities like mounting them on large drones. Malloy Aeronautics have demonstrated the T-650 with a triple-rack of Brimstones, and if it can carry those, it, and likely the smaller Malloy drones, can carry one or more Hellfire missiles, potentially it could even be a standard package with one or two launching rails and a designator. Alternatively, it could be paired with another drone with a designator. The approach could also work with the APKWS - a guided variant of the Hydra 70 rocket.

This way of looking at it can be summed up as "we think this capability is needed, how can it be provided?"

I was thinking about how this applies to tanks, too, especially the Leopard 1. There's a hundred or so with industry in Germany and some heavy surplus dealers seem to have them too. There's also a few nations still using them within NATO that might be persuaded to part with them. The Leopard 1 is an old design, and it is neither as well armed or as well armoured as a modern MBT. That's lead a lot of people to assume they'd be useless. In practise, though, if one actually looks at what tanks are often used for, Leopard 1s would be absolutely perfect for one of their main roles - providing close but indirect fire support corrected by drone observation. Armour is needed for this role, to resist artillery fire and mortars, but the armour of a Leopard 1 isn't going to be at a huge disadvantage here compared to other tanks, and at an advantage compared to BMP-1s and BMP-3s that also get this job*. As for the gun, it's rifled, meaning it's a bit more accurate, and the smaller calibre is offset by the ability to carry fifty five rounds of main gun ammunition, where a T-72 carries a maximum of thirty nine. Its tracks are no more vulnerable to mines than any other tank, and while it would struggle head on against a T-72, most of the fighting in tanks are doing isn't tank on tank, and even when it is, most tank on tank fighting isn't head on, and their 105mm main gun can still kill any tank from the side or rear.

So this is a third thing to consider - not whether a system is ideal for the role, but how it compares to those in the role already. For the role of close but indirect fire support, a Leopard 1 is as good as any other tank, and superior to one of the large calibre BMP variants.


*AMX-10-RCs would be good at this job too.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Tue Jan 17, 2023 8:20 am

TopBadger wrote:
Fri Dec 30, 2022 11:53 am
I figured the UK would have a load of old FV432's it wasn't using anymore (APC's rather than IFV's, but still potentially useful)... turns out we're still using them :shock:
Latest package includes a hundred armoured vehicles "including Bulldog", a name which refers to the Mk3 variant of the venerable FV432. That's along with fourteen Challenger 2s, ca.30 AS-90s and artillery ammunition and missiles.

It's a very generous package, and if countries like the US were to donate an equivalent proportion of their inventories, Ukraine would quickly enjoy a substantial advantage in artillery.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Tue Jan 17, 2023 10:17 am

Ukraine really needs Germany to allow others to turn up the generosity levels... apparently there are 2000 Leopards in service in Europe (and more available mothballed). It shouldn't be a problem to get Ukraine the 100 MBT's they've requested (or indeed 140, enough for 10 companies).

I'm looking at the hard frost from my window and wondering if any movements are going to start in Ukraine soon...
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Tue Jan 17, 2023 10:34 am

TopBadger wrote:
Tue Jan 17, 2023 10:17 am
Ukraine really needs Germany to allow others to turn up the generosity levels... apparently there are 2000 Leopards in service in Europe (and more available mothballed). It shouldn't be a problem to get Ukraine the 100 MBT's they've requested (or indeed 140, enough for 10 companies).

I'm looking at the hard frost from my window and wondering if any movements are going to start in Ukraine soon...
I've seen the figure of three hundred tanks quoted. This is after the transfer from Poland of ca.260 T-72 variants and a couple of dozen M-55S from Slovenia, so we'll assume this is on top of that. There's more than a hundred currently pledged - fourteen Challenger 2s and ninety modernised T-72s paid for by the Americans and the Dutch and upgraded in Czechia - though based on the venerable Soviet T-72 hull, they've got improved engines, armour, and, most importantly, optics.

If the rest of Europe could rustle up something like a hundred Leopard 2s and America could match that with a hundred Abrams, that would see the target met - Leopard 1s should also be sent, and while I'm loathe to apply WW2 terms to modern warfare, "Assault Gun" fairly neatly describes a role they could be used in very effectively.

And before people start going on about turbine engines as if Ukrainians have never encountered the concept in a tank...
Image
...they have. They have extensive use of turbine-engined T-80s.

And yes, I know that many of the Abrams in storage are the original variant with the 105mm. A hundred A1s with the 120mm can almost certainly be found, and even if they can't, the most modern 105mm ammunition is extremely capable - one reason the Russians switched to Kontakt-5 rather than Kontakt-1 reactive armour tiles is because some 105mm rounds were capable of piercing the upper glacis - the toughest part of the hull armour - of the T-72, and most Russian tanks are still using Kontakt-1 anyway. That and the fact that most fighting isn't tank-on-tank and most tank-on-tank fighting isn't head on gun-vs-armour but more complicated and more determined by who ambushes who and who gets the first hit in.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Wed Jan 18, 2023 3:54 pm

TopBadger wrote:
Tue Jan 17, 2023 10:17 am
Ukraine really needs Germany to allow others to turn up the generosity levels... apparently there are 2000 Leopards in service in Europe (and more available mothballed). It shouldn't be a problem to get Ukraine the 100 MBT's they've requested (or indeed 140, enough for 10 companies).

I'm looking at the hard frost from my window and wondering if any movements are going to start in Ukraine soon...
The Polish government is seeming quite confident that this sort of thing can be achieved - if not enough tanks for an armoured brigade, then at least enough for a battalion. Rumour is the Challengers might be going to the new 47th Brigade, who are using a lot of NATO kit, even down to small arms, where they mostly seem to have M16s, and also appear to be receiving Bradleys and to have received the Slovenian M-55S tanks, which weigh in at about half what a fully kitted out Challenger 2 weighs.

Western tanks aren't going to be a total "game changer" - few things really are, GMLRS being the big one so far this war - but they were designed to overmatch Warsaw Pact tanks in order to succeed when outnumbered.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Wed Jan 18, 2023 4:29 pm

Slow, very slow, but still present signs of progress in the north, just west of Svatove. Ukrainian forces seem to have taken control of most of Novoselivs'ke, which is one of the highest points in the area, which gives them command of some of the surrounding area, including the valley that leads down towards Svatove. Ukraine's logistical picture isn't great in this area, so expanding control around the roads in this area will be a big help. Frozen ground may also improve that issue. While it is possible to use vehicles like the venerable MT-LB APC/Tractor to bring supplies across muddy ground, it's much easier to do so over solid frozen ground or better yet roads. Taking this area also forces the Russians to counterattack, and counterattacking against high ground isn't ideal.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Jan 19, 2023 10:18 am

Scholz is morally and intellectually bankrupt. Germany has had no problems exporting to some very dubious countries indeed, yet in the clearest case of Article 51 self defence one is ever likely to find, he's still blocking not just the transfer of Leopards, including those held by industry, but also export permits for those held by other nations. His excuses are running thin. Western Main Battle Tanks are already on their way, and there's clear will to send Leopard 2s from Poland, and Finland seem to be willing too, yet he still moves the goalposts. Now he seems to be demanding Americans send tanks too. He is utterly undermining NATO at this point, and demonstrably showing he does not believe in Article 5.

There's a few options from this point on. Firstly, Poland could just send them anyway. It would likely result in court cases, and could make it hard for Poland to get German arms in future. Poland, who are developing their import relationships with South Korea and the USA and their own production, may not give a sh.t, not given what's at stake. Personally, I think if they can't find a way to send fourteen Leopard 2s to Ukraine, they should send them to Germany and park them in the most obnoxious places possible.

Then there's America. They've got three options at this point - persuade Scholz to back down, either by reassuring him, or by twisting his arm or blackmailing him. Alternatively, they could dig out enough Abrams (any variant) to be useful, and the support vehicles required to enable their operation. Thirdly, they could work out the bare minimum symbolic quantity and send them while having as little as possible impact on remaining presidential drawdown authority, as that might be needed for other things - perhaps a couple of Shermans out of a museum or something.

The problem really does seem to be Scholz, with other senior German politicians making far more reasonable statements, so don't let's be beastly to the Germans. Scholz, however, is an a..eh.le.

In more positive news, Sweden seems pretty likely to provide the Archer artillery system - a fully automated long barrelled 155mm artillery gun unit capable of operating multiple advanced shell types bolted to the back of a lightly armoured all terrain Volvo truck - and there's talk of Armour, too. That would either mean Leopard 2s - so see above - or more likely, the CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle. This is a tracked armoured vehicle designed to transport seven or eight infantry and provide them with fire support with a turret that mounts a 40mm Bofors and a Browning machine gun, which is stabilised on later models, and equipped with the sort of communications and optics one expects of a NATO combat vehicle.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Thu Jan 19, 2023 11:04 am

I wonder if the Russians have a kompromat file with his name on?
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Jan 20, 2023 8:34 am

Image

SHORADS in Moscow

That's right. Short range air defence system on the roof of a government building. In Moscow. Mind you, if airbases in Ryazan are in range - and they are - of Ukrainian improvised long range munitions, then so is Moscow. And that's before Ukroboronprom's more thought out, purpose built long range munitions even see service.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 20, 2023 8:56 am

The latest US aid package doesn't mention tanks, so Biden is unwilling to make Scholz's life easier: https://twitter.com/JackDetsch/status/1 ... EVl6lk2JCA

No GLSDBs either, but that seems to be down to the long delivery times.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Sat Jan 21, 2023 2:08 pm

Commitments over the last week are huge, and represent a change in stance from the western powers. No more keeping Ukraine in the fight in the hope Putin sees the error of his ways - now equipment is being provided to enable victory, as it should have been last May. And even if trying to show Putin he couldn't win so he'd negotiate was a viable approach, it would have worked better if the commitment in arms and supplies was sufficient to enable victory if he did not.

Hundreds of infantry fighting vehicles have been pledged, including Marders, Bradleys and CV90s. There's been much confusion in the press about what these are for, with some calling them light tanks, or tank hunters. Though the former two designs do carry anti-tank missiles, there role is to transport infantry to the fight, protecting them from artillery on the way, and support them while they fight. To that end, they carry autocannon in the 20-40mm range, and can destroy dug in positions or armoured vehicles - with missiles in the case of the former two and with a Bofors gun capable of piercing any armour but the frontal armour of a main battle tank in the case of the CV90. These are essential to offensive operations, and are needed in quantity.

There's also been commitments of artillery - the extremely advanced Archer from Sweden, Denmark's committed their entire order of brand new CAESAR gun-howitzers on 8x8 chassis and Estonia a number of towed 155mm FH-70 gun-howitzers. Britain's also committed six hundred Brimstone missiles, which also provide long(ish) range firepower.

There's also new commitments to train troops, the most significant being Poland, who are talking about training and equipping a brigade (whether that's a tank brigade or a motor rifle brigade or what is not clear) and equip them with T-72s and other vehicles.

And there's even rumblings from the Netherlands about possibly supplying F-16s.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Tue Jan 24, 2023 1:52 pm

It really makes more sense to discuss military aid in detail on this thread rather than the other one.

Still nothing definite from Germany, but they are saying countries should get on with training crews for Leopard 2s, suggesting they will budge. Still the obsession with "offensive" and "defensive" weapons, which is exceptionally ignorant. A towed anti-missile system like Iron Dome is designed to shoot down incoming fire. It's as defensive as any weapon could be, but it would also be useful to shield an offensive against incoming fire. A Short Ranged Ballistic Missile like a Tochka-U or an MGM-140 ATACMS is about as offensive as a weapon could be. They can - and the former have been - used to strike at the operational depth of an attacker, making them very useful in defence. No weapon is "offensive" or "defensive". They are both. There are accusations Scholz seems to want something like another Minsk agreement, to get back to business as usual sooner rather than later. I'm not convinced, but would say that if it is not true, he should prove it, because it is consistent with his current behaviour - but not that of many senior German politicians.

It seems about a hundred Leopard 2s can be rounded up, and there's potential for more, depending on how many nations participate. German industry is talking about being able to supply some, and also some Leopard 1s, which would be useful in the same sort of role the Americans have commissioned their new "MPF" tank - Mobile Protected Firepower. It's pretty close to the British WW2 concept of the infantry tank, and the Leopard 1s, with their relatively modern optics and generous ammunition supply would do very well.

There's also more rumblings about jets, mostly from the Ukrainian side but a bit from the Dutch and the Americans too. We might hear more about that in February, at least according to Reznikov.

ETA: Not sure how solid the sources are, but Ukrainian sources talking about Ukrainian pilots already in the US, and the type of aircraft to supply already being determined - given what the Dutch have said and also just based on what's out there and widely used, F-16s are the most likely. Not 100% if they are the best option for low level work supporting the front line, but if they are provided with standoff munitions or used to intercept cruise missiles, they'll likely be excellent.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Tue Jan 24, 2023 2:20 pm

Might as well get them trained on Tanks, Planes , the lot... they should have started this 6 months ago...
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Tue Jan 24, 2023 3:56 pm

TopBadger wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 2:20 pm
Might as well get them trained on Tanks, Planes , the lot... they should have started this 6 months ago...
Wall Street Journal is talking about possibility of transferring a "Significant" number of Abrams. There should be several hundred M1A1s - with the 120mm smoothbore not the 105mm rifle of the original M1s - available as the US Marine Corps retired them after realising it made sense for the Marines to be Marines instead of trying to have two armies. Inevitably this will be tied in to Germany's b.llsh.t, but honestly it makes sense to expect about the same support from the USA as from Europe. A hundred Leopards is enough for a tank brigade. Make a second brigade with Abrams, and its well on the way to being an armoured division. Obviously I'm focussing on tanks here, it's important that they are sent with appropriate recovery and bridging vehicles (as the Challenger 2s apparently are) and paired with appropriate infantry fighting vehicles and armoured personnel carriers for the infantry, though with a hundred or so Bradleys, about a hundred European IFVs (Marders and CV90s) along with hundreds of M113s, a hundred or so Strykers, FV432 Bulldogs etc, that's on the way too.

On the Russian side, it's not so rosy. Footage from tank repair and modernisation shows shortages of some parts. This thread talks about an older sight used instead of the modern Sosna-U sight, sights being one of the most important parts of a tank, and elsewhere we've seen quite heavy focus on T-62s being worked on. Whether it's easier for Russia - who are under fairly heavy sanctions - to get the older, simpler designs working or whether they've run short of 125mm ammo and want to use up stocks of the 115mm used by the T-62 isn't clear, but it's not a positive sign for them.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Tue Jan 24, 2023 5:06 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 3:56 pm
TopBadger wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 2:20 pm
Might as well get them trained on Tanks, Planes , the lot... they should have started this 6 months ago...
Wall Street Journal is talking about possibility of transferring a "Significant" number of Abrams.
Whilst that's potentially good news... doubling the number of leopards instead would be better... for all the reasons you've already outlined. Surely Germany must see that Leopards are better for Ukraine than Abrams?

What I would like to see is Germany supplying the Tanks and the US supplying the aircraft + ATACMS.
You can't polish a turd...
unless its Lion or Osterich poo... http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/mythbus ... -turd.html

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