The Anonymous Widower

From The Country That Brought You The Lada; The New Battle Tank

Ever since I met a British Army General a few years ago, whose opinions of large battle tanks were distinctly sceptical and I had several drinks with a US Air Force A-10 pilot, I’ve always thought that tanks are a waste of money, except for perhaps frightening the population of countries you’re not invading, as the Russians have been doing in the Ukraine.

What adds to my sceptism is that if you look at tank warfare over the last hundred years, when a country makes a big improvement in tank size and firepower, other nations attempt to leapfrog them. As you can’t rustle up a thousand tanks immediately, countries think laterally. In the Second World War, we countered German tanks by developing the Hurricane IID or flying can opener and the PIAT anti-tank gun. In the 1970s, the Americans designed and built the A-10 Thunderbolt, one of whose jobs was to be to destroy Russian armour.

You can rest assured that research and development is going on in countries, who might be threatened by tanks to develop the next generation of tank killers.

So when I see that Putin has spent billions of roubles to develop the T 14 Armata, I just think he has got more money than sense.

I didn’t even laugh when I read this article in the Daily Telegraph, which says that a tank has broken down in the rehearsal for an important parade.

The General would probably have said that this is typical tank reliability.



May 7, 2015 - Posted by | World | , ,


  1. I used to be very sceptical about tanks thinking of them as of nearly obsolete type of weaponry, but then the Ukrainian conflict demonstrated how efficiently can the skies be effectively locked from enemy planes if you have enough of surface to air missiles. In situation where both sides cannot use aviation (Ukraine cannot allow losing more planes as they can’t afford the replacement, and aviation used by ‘rebels’ will make Russian participation even harder to ignore than now) tanks become very important once again.

    In the global war tanks are also expected to march quickly through where nuclear weapons have been used, again there are very few alternatives for them in that role.

    It is more important, I think, that the Western countries are quickly moving to unmanned platforms, either automatic or remotely controlled. This is where Russia seriously lags behind, and anti-tank airborne or ground drones may become a game changer you mentioned in your post.

    Comment by Yuriy | May 10, 2015 | Reply

  2. I saw a demo years ago, where special forces were experimenting with microlights, that flew into the area where tanks would be coming. Soldiers then set up smart mortars that went up so many metres and then came down and landed on something noisy and metallic. One guy, said if you don’t have anything like that yourself, you don’t get friendly fire.

    Now you could use automatic drones.

    Comment by AnonW | May 11, 2015 | Reply

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