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Tank Wars: NATO's Sleight Of Hand - Why NATO's Top Tanks Won't See Real Action
But instead will be coddled through a carefully curated and choreographed ventriloquist act in Ukraine.
One frothy contingent of the West is gleefully anticipating the upcoming, unprecedented infusion of Western armor into Ukraine as the prelude to Kursk 2.0, where peerless Western tanks will gloriously outman and outgun Russia’s Soviet-legacy armor. (well, the tragi-comic irony of the comparison doesn’t escape us)
But a new bombshell report is putting the brakes on those far-flung ideations.
It’s now come to light that Britain is busy furiously putting together plans to keep their Challenger-2 tanks from falling into Russian hands, so that Russia doesn’t get a peek at their much-vaunted ‘Chobham’ armor.
The plan consists of something we suspected all along: that secret teams will be in place to babysit and coddle the tanks at all times, taking fastidious care to make certain they are never in real danger of falling into Russian hands.
Before we lay into the report, let’s first mention that even as far back as last summer, when HIMARs first began to arrive, CNN already inadvertently blew the lid: in this video at the 1:25 mark, the correspondent admits that the HIMARs will be a ‘high priority target’ for the Russians, and as such, there are exceptional pains taken to protect the American systems:
“A lot of care is being taken to ensure it stays safe, protected from Russian eyes and weapons. Somewhere in the woods nearby…air defenses and a special ground operation are guarding this site.”
A special ground operation? Well, we all know what that would be.
Now, in the new report British “top brass are working with Ukraine’s high command to ensure UK tanks can be dragged back to safety if one is knocked out of action.”
But that’s not all. It’s one thing to have a backup plan, but the problem is, in order for them to even be in a position to “drag them back to safety” they have to make sure the tanks never “overstretch” into an area where they may be at even slight risk:
“But the worst case scenario is that a tank is destroyed when the lines are collapsing and friendly forces are in retreat.
“Step one is the training and working with mission planners to try and ensure the Challengers are not used in scenarios where they think that collapse a realistic possibility.
Woah, wait a second. So step one is to make sure that the mission planners never use the tanks in scenarios where a collapse is a possibility? Well, by George! But the AFU regularly collapses everywhere. Every “military scenario”, particularly on the Ukrainian side has the risk of collapse, they are completely outgunned, outclassed, and soon to be outnumbered in vast droves. Do they intend to never use the tanks at all, other than as ‘trophy pieces’ to take photoshoots, make sparkly headlines as a boost to morale? Sort of like the equivalent of the U.S. Army’s tour of famous entertainers through frontlines during war time to cheer up the troops.
But that’s not even the biggest kicker. Here’s where it gets really tragi-comic, and quite frankly, outright despicable:
“Step two is making sure, at the tactical level, the Ukrainians are trained to recover a tank under fire. They certainly don’t lack the courage.”
Other extreme options under consideration include having private military contractors on standby to recover stricken tanks.”
Read that again (and weep). Yes, you’ve read that right. The British high command, expects the abject Ukrainian cannon-fodder to literally die for their sacred Challengers.
They quite openly value the Challenger above the life of a Ukrainian soldier. Remember these are very ‘diplomatic’ dispatches. They phrase things in vague and formal ways, but what they really mean is, part of the backhanded deal in getting those tanks was the commitment by the AFU to absolutely ensure, at the loss of their own lives, that no tank ever comes even remotely close to falling into Russian hands, and that the British command fully expects Ukrainians to sacrifice themselves at the altar of the Almighty Chobham. No matter how many dead Ukrops it takes, they expect the commissars to press them into the killing fields at the point of a rifle to retrieve that bloody expensive British armor. The little late addition of, “they certainly don’t lack the courage” is just a crass eye poke, a verbal figleaf or guffawing elbow-in-the-ribs from the fat cigar man with the BAE Systems nameplate on his tartar-sauce-stained shirt.
And let’s not even forget the little inkblot they squeezed in at the end of the statement:
“Other extreme options under consideration include having private military contractors on standby to recover stricken tanks.”
Now that’s what I call coddling. Maybe they should put a bib and pacifier on the tank, and stick the whole thing in a pram, as the Brits say. Inquiring minds want to know: will the tanks even carry ammo? Or would that make them too cumbersome for a swift and handsome “all-hands-retreat!” in case they accidentally dip a toe within 30km of Russian livefire?
One can only shake one’s head.
The rest of the article is just standard boiler-plate self-fellating of the British arms industry. Longest kill blah blah. Sure, the Challenger boasts a 4.7km kill on a run-down second-hand Iraqi tank. Meanwhile, Russian tankers are regularly and without fanfare destroying targets at ~7.5km in Ukraine, using tanks that “according to Western sources” have a max range of 2-3km and should not even be able to SHOOT at all (accurately or not) past 5km due to the physical limits of turret elevation.
But, we can say, ‘let the games begin’, because Russia apparently will not be sitting idly. This wire from the MI6 sheds light:
“MI6 transmitted intelligence to the President's Office and the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine that the Russian army has begun to create special units of "tank catchers", the main purpose of which will be to take whole Western tanks.”
Not only that, but many Russian businesses have now made internal sport of offering hefty rewards to Russian servicemen for the kill or capture of Western tanks.
As well as some battalions themselves.
On top of the now confirmed “special measures” that will be taken to secure Western tanks on the Ukrainian battlefield, the U.S., too, announced sending upwards of 200+ ‘contractors’ to service armor on the battlefield.
“They are then supposed to “embed themselves with small units near the front lines” and teach Ukrainian troops to repair their equipment without the need to send it out of the country, the report says, noting that all major maintenance of Western-supplied arms currently takes place in Poland and other NATO countries.”
But hey, in the end maybe none of that will even prove necessary. After all, with things going as bad as they currently are for the AFU, how long until they start selling pieces of Chobham at blackmarket rates? It wouldn’t be the first time, or the second….or the third…or the fourth…or the fifth…or the sixth…or the seventh…or the eighth…or the ninth….
You get the point.