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Friday, February 06, 2004


This is coolbert:

In the years just after WW2, a race began between the Soviets and the NATO powers for tank supremacy.

The obvious superiority of Soviet tank design must have been a cause for serious concern among NATO planners.

The threat NATO planners always had to deal with was a massive push west by the Red Army. A massive push spearheaded by large numbers of tanks. The defeat of NATO forces would be primarily done by the tank armies of the Red Army.

Having a superior tank was the goal of both sides. Generations of tanks were developed by both sides over the decades, each side seeking supremacy over the other side.

Design teams on both sides were seeking the best compromise of armor, gun, and mobility. Starting with the T-10 heavy tank, and following with the T-55, T-62/64, T-72, T-80, and now the T-90 [being sold to India], the Soviets were able to field massive numbers of very good tanks.

American forces countered with the M48 [a number of variants], the M60 [a number of variants], and the Abrams.

The British fielded the Centurion, the Chieftain, and the Challenger.

The French developed the AMX family of tanks.

And the Israelis produced the Merkava.

How did these tanks fare in actual combat [Soviet versus NATO/Israeli] against one another?

Well, the fighting in the many wars between Israel and the Arab armies gives us a clue.

In the 1956 war between Israel and Egypt, AMX-10 tanks easily handled the T-34.

In the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, the Centurion easily handled the T-55.

In 1973, the M60 tank was more than a match for both the T-55 and the T-62/64.

And in the Lebanese conflict of 1982, the Merkava outdid the T-72 fielded by the Syrian forces.

Good tank crews, utilizing NATO and Israeli tanks, properly led, and fighting with good tactics and exercising prudence, were more than a match for the Soviet tanks.

There may be a caveat lurking here however. Suvorov states that the client states of the Soviet Union were always equipped with Soviet equipment that was termed the "monkey model". An inferior version. Suvorov states that he counted personally at least twenty five differences between the BMP issued to the Red Army and the BMP issued to the Soviet client states!




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