1)the M1 fame starts with the gulf war, the media and some biased analysts said it was the best tank, with better results, sure, with 1900 M1s against
only 500 T72 (even not the best model), the irakis with poor trained crews, bad-old sabots (accepted even from the most biased analists), lack of
airpower (a lot of T tanks were smashed from the air), lack of electro-optics, etc,etc...
Keeping in mind Stalin's Maxim about Quantity having a Quality all it's own; it is NEVER the 'one lever of action' that fulcrums a battle nor a
Given all that Russia was taught (and lectured the masters on) by an 'inferior force' during WWII concerning combined arms, it amazes me no little
amount that someone could make such an inane statement.
If you have an almost entirely militarized economy where nobody takes pride in the paranoia because everyone _knows_ that they are 'safe' (penned
in) behind all of Eastern Europe and the Pacific and nukes are the first not final option for the U.S. which can _never_ 'get thar fustest' in time
to beat the massed Russian Horde, why blame U.S. for your _generations_ of technical backwardness?
WE have to come to every fight we play in. Isn't it amazing that when we do, we still in fact /have/ the amassable forces to make it happen with
'numbers on our side'?
Communism ensures the triumph of the weak in the absence of _internal_ competition. Period. Dot.
Don't B&M about how it's 'unfair' that we choose to fight with EVERY tool that we have. Just because you haven't the material means or the will
to synergize your own equivalents.
2)the earlier M1 model introduced (around 1980) had a turret armour of 400-420mm, the same year (in the case of the 72, around 1975-79) T80-72 had an
armour of 450-500mm, and a 120mm gun compared with the M1s 105mm
3)the late 80s M1s had an 600-680mm armour, compared with the same year T80U with 810-800mm, the famous 900mm armour (later M1A1s and M1A2s) only was
deployed in the late 90s
None of which means di**. If we had fought the GSFG and WARPAC forces in Europe, it would have been a pre-peat of Desert Storm except that Hitler's
Highway System, coupled to preemptive attacks on airpower foolishly based in Germany proper, would have had them so deep in our shorts that we would
have exceeded nuclear threshold in less than 18hrs.
At which point we are back to where we started. Nukes. Except that we can (and would have) skipped the Lance option in frying Europe with an
exchange of PII and Gryphon vs. your SS-20 and _Moscow would have died 30 minutes sooner_.
It may not sound like much but when your enemy pulls the pin on the atomic handgrenade as you advance and the best you can manage is a Parthian Shot
as you die, it tends to make all your tactical toys look like trash.
On a side note, the way you kill open field running armor is with small ambush units channeliizing the OMG into kill sacks for engagement with
brilliant artillery like TGSM/SADARM. Fighting at ranges where /any/ armor is going to protect you (Chobham/Burlington included) is not possible for
American units in the CentFront/Southern areas of Fulda and the Hopf Corridor. Only the Brits and the Dutch got anything like 2,000m shots on the NGP
and along the Baltic coast. Yet they had so damn little to work with that they would have been snow plowed as well.
When you consider this, the M60A3 was as good a tank as the M1A. Because none of them are going to live long enough to do more than speedbump while
the politicians waggle their social fingers at each other.
4)"depleted uranium is the best".....yeah sure, until the tank must operate in a nuclear enviorement, with the neutronic radiation, the U238 turn
Blah, blah, blah. If I zap lead (a similarly dense, non reactive, metal) with enough radiation, it becomes brittle and breaks like glass. The
question then being what is going on BEFOREHAND that the armor is in fact IN a radiologic environment.
OTOH, DU will burn when subject to normal kinetic energy penetration stress. And when it does, it goes like a fire cracker. Guess which worry the
average joe tanker is going to worry the most about?
Sounds to me more like penile envy because DU is /very/ tricky to work with on a machining level of industrial fabrication. And the Russkians don't
know how. Boo Hoo Hoo.
5)the amunition place make it veeeeery vulnerable to enemy fire, explode and blow up the tank.
SURE! If you're in the heart of Baghdad and somebody shoots an RPG or ATGM into the turret bustle! OTOH, having your rounds behind a blast proof
door with weak roof panels on the A$$ END of the turret is /vastly/ better FOR THE JOB THE ABRAHMS WAS DESIGNED TO DO.
Which is battle enemy MBT off the front glacis.
Compare this with the T-series tanks right up to the T-80 and note that open storage of rounds within a tiny circular turret (incredible volumetric
waste that that is) volume is _begging_ for lightoff in with the crew. At which point it's no longer about going back to the generation unit and
being issued a new vehicle. It's about a telegram and a medal for momma.
"We are so sorry your son was part of a pissant miliitary that can't fight or design vehicles to survive worth a damn..."
6) the turret maybe is one of the worst designed to avoid a hit and distribute the impact force
Are you kidding me? THERE IS NO 'avoiding' a hit in a ten foot tall armored billboard! Duuuuh! OTOH, there is no /reason/ not to _square the
corners_ in layering as much effective armor as you can. The Abrahms led the way in this, the Leopard and to a lesser extent the Challenger
'And then we have the T-80U and T-90' and indeed EVERY Russian tank /except/ the Black Eagle/Orel. Which actually has a respectable turret
among other things that could be interesting to discuss, also to compare with other tanks, like the Leopard A1-2-3 that werent so good designed tanks
and the challenger, t80-90-72 and other tanks, btw german post cold war ballistic tests on T72s showed that the tank (at least the soviets ones) were
Pfffft. It's all about air sonny. _AIR_ IS THE BEST ARMOR ON THE PLANET.
Because it slows the rounds down and makes more critical the _aiming_ portion of the slugfest so that autoloaders and penetrator types/alloys are less
important than the _Fire Control_ with lays them. And the barrel pressure which squirts them.
And 'ballistically', the 2A46 is a piece of crap. You never have mastered the metallurgy to make a short barrel, high pressure, gun tube. And so
you always make 'bigger barrel' caliber comparisons as an _admission_ of your technical weaknesses.
While your 'electrooptics' are dependent on Western tech inserts, even to this day.
The 'glory that is capitalism' remains however the _certainty_ that weak Russian leadership /knew/ they could not stand for long as
chief-incompetents in a free market economy driven by competition.
And this, added to the mistaken view of Europe as anything but a _deliberate_ money-soak ploy to keep you fixated on tit-for-tat technical
brinksmanship, kept you from realizing TWO critical things:
1. Wars between nuclear powers are fought and lost in the secondary/peripheral theaters. If you sell crap to a bunch of camel jockeys, you WILL get
your 'nads handed to you. Reputatively. Since this was one of the few ways in which the Soviets could gain international 'prestige' (bartered
trade credits), _whether or not_ your 'uber variants' were in fact better than ours back home, it was the DISPLAYED ineptitude of your designs which
bought you second best loser status in the eyes of a world at least 50% in love with the shining-knight concept of martial STRENGTH. As much as moral
belief in democracy and free trade etc.
2. Back in the day, the Russians call their clients 'monkey forces' because, in their eyes, that was all they were good for. Monkey-See,
Yet in _designing_ 'simple tools for simple minds' they mistook Stalin's Maxim for a /desperate/ (childish) desire on their own part to be seen as
our equals. Stalin was fighting a primitive war with primitive tools because he had to. His followons, despite reviling the man as the monster he
rightfully was, continued his tradition because _they wanted to_.
And this is what sets the Russians apart in a dunce-cap of their own.
Because _tank vs. tank_ battles don't win wars. You want to /shift/ the nature of the fight to something which _invalidates_ the AFV/MBT combination
as a numbered or limited force leverage.
And you never did. Just like you copied the -idea- of fighting the F-15/16 combination with the MiG-29/Su-27. Rather than invent something like
(say) robotic interceptor turbine-SAMs to go up and loiter like a minefield before _chasing the F-teens down like a pack of wolves after the
A similar system (say like WASP or LOCAAS, probably tube or MRL delivered), coupled to massive airmobility effort to break the notion of an FSCL/FLOT
and an emphasis on _light_ armor able to sustain a 60-70mph rates of advance beyond our ground force's ability to cut off and contain, would have
shown that the Russians had indeed mastered both the NUMERIC and _CONCEPTUAL_ ability to 'see beyond the obvious'.
Yet they never did. Never chose to 'cheat' the game of chess by carving a new piece with 'rules all it's own'. Always chose to match us at
every conceptual turn. Admitting the lag of their own thought processes.
So well, the debate is open.
There is no debate. There is only a couple of potent quotables:
Operation Desert Storm was the first conflict to see the extensive use of depleted uranium [DU] munitions and armor. The new DU rounds gave coalition
forces a marked operational advantage. Unit histories from the Gulf War contain many anecdotes attesting to the effectiveness of DU "silver
bullets," as they were called by US tankers. One armor brigade commander described looking on in "amazement" as his soldiers -- who in training had
never fired at targets beyond 2,400 meters (1.5 miles) -- routinely scored first-shot kills on targets out to 3,000 meters (1.9 miles) and beyond. DU
armor gained an equally impressive reputation. A Iraqi T-72 has an effective range of about 1,800 yards, while an M1's range is nearly twice that.
A story illustrating DU's offensive and defensive renown involves an M1A1 "Heavy Armor" tank that had become mired in the mud. The unit (part of
the 24th Infantry Division) had gone on, leaving this tank to wait for a recovery vehicle. Three T-72's appeared and attacked. The first fired from
under 1,000 meters, scoring a hit with a shaped-charge (high explosive) round on the M1A1's frontal armor. The hit did no damage. The M1A1 fired a
120mm armor-piercing round that penetrated the T-72 turret, causing an explosion that blew the turret into the air. The second T-72 fired another
shaped-charge round, hit the frontal armor, and did no damage. This T-72 turned to run, and took a 120mm round in the engine compartment and blew the
engine into the air. The last T-72 fired a solid shot (sabot) round from 400 meters. This left a groove in the M1A1's frontal armor and bounced off.
The T-72 then backed up behind a sand berm and was completely concealed from view. The M1A1 depressed its gun and put a sabot round through the berm,
into the T-72, causing an explosion.
On 21 February 1991 the Pentagon reported that bombing had destroyed 1,400 of Iraq's estimated 4,280 tanks, 1,200 of its 3,110 artillery pieces and
800 of its 2,870 armored personnel carriers. On 23 February 1991 Brigadier General Richard Neal, a US Marines spokesman, said that 1,685 tanks had
been destroyed, plus 925 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and 1,485 artillery pieces. According to other published figures, at that time the allies
had destroyed 37% of Iraq's tanks, 41% of artillery pieces and 30% of the enemy's armored personnel carriers. With an average of 100 tanks and 100
artillery pieces being wiped out during each day of the air campaign, almost 2,000 tanks may have been destroyed, leaving just over half left. With
artillery, the success may have been greater: 1,800 destroyed, leaving just 1,300, or 42%. APCs, a lesser military threat, may have been reduced to
about 1,500, or just over 50%. However, the Central Intelligence Agency reportedly estimated that only 10 to 15 percent of Iraq's tanks and artillery
in Kuwait had been destroyed by allied bombing as of 20 February 1991, far below the Pentagon's 35 percent figure.
By one estimate published in 1993 [The Gulf War Foreign Policy No. 90], the Allied air campaign destroyed about than 1,600 Iraqi tanks, 900 armored
personnel carriers, and 1,400 artillery pieces. According to this estimate, another 2,162 Iraqi tanks were destroyed in the ground war.
And one from a Desert Saber Iraqi commander of the Habaniyah division (which I cannot find online at the moment).
"I came into Kuwait with 60 tanks, at the end of 30 days of bombing I had 55 tanks. After 30 minutes with the U.S. Armor, I had three."
This is not all that different from what the Germans were able to achieve against the French in WWII, and the Russians, far from excusing themselves
based on technical shortcomings in their 'export grade' equipment, should have acknowledged that it was _the army they trained_ (or failed to) which
Because it was, in the end, (and always will be) the people who lost.
Just as, with the German Mk.I/II/III Panzers, vs. the undoubtedly superior and _more numerous_ French Somua and Char, it was 'those who dared' (to
abandon their flanks in making the enemy worry about theirs) that won.
Here too, Russian tactics and training is nothing on ours because you don't look at war as a building block series of competencies 'across the
board'. Rather you try to replace that genuine elan of toughness (and the logistics which back it) with an argument of technical 'point credits'
that does nothing to make your understanding of warfare seem anything but a shallow facade of greatness.