“Russia hauls 1950s-era tanks out of storage to join battlefield” – TTG

T-54/55 tanks are being transported by rail from a military depot for mothballed equipment in Russia’s far east 

Russia appears to have pulled 1950s-era tanks out of storage in the latest sign of a serious armour shortage in its army. Pictures and video have emerged of what experts say are T-54 and T-55 tanks being transported by rail from a military depot for mothballed equipment in Russia’s far east. If sent into Ukraine the vehicles would likely become the oldest main battle tanks used in the conflict.

The images were obtained by the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT), an independent Russian intelligence group. It did not reveal how it had obtained the pictures or where they were taken. Other social media channels later released video footage of what appeared to be the same train. CIT said used transport databases showed the train had departed from Arsenyev, the town in the far eastern Primorsky region. Arsenyev is the location of the 1295th Central Tank Repair and Storage Base, a large facility for mothballed military equipment.

It is not clear what the tanks’ destination is, or whether they will ever see combat. But the fact they have been taken out of storage was taken by experts as further confirmation of a high level of attrition of more modern vehicles. “What this tells us is that all the remaining modern tanks are in or around Ukraine. So there are no more modern tanks left in stockpiles. It suggests they’ve used up all the T-62s they have in service so they are down to T-55s,” said Ben Barry, an armoured warfare expert at the think tank, referring to another obsolete tank Russia has used to plug gaps in its arsenal. “It suggests the Ukrainians are continuing to knock out their modern tanks and the proportion of modern tanks being used against Ukraine begins to decline – at a time when the West is supplying modern tanks.”


Comment: Russia has thousands of T-72s still sitting in Siberian boneyards. Apparently they’ve went through all the salvageable ones. The T-55s, although older, remain salvageable because they’re far simpler, less components to rot or rust away or worth stealing and selling off. I think a big problem is going to be their 100mm rifled main gun. How much serviceable ammunition for those relics are in the inventory?

It’s better to consider these T-55s to be infantry support vehicles rather than MBTs. In that role, they’ll probably be adequate. Remember, the Ukrainians received a battalion of super upgraded Slovenian M-55S tanks back in December. At least those have upgraded engines, armor, comms, optics and most importantly the British L7 105mm main gun.

I would have thought Putin would have gotten a thousand MBTs from his new best friend, Xi, along with enough artillery and artillery ammunition to truly change the calculus of the war. I guess the limitless partnership does have limits.


This entry was posted in Russia, TTG, Ukraine Crisis, weapons. Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to “Russia hauls 1950s-era tanks out of storage to join battlefield” – TTG

  1. Fourth and Long says:

    I used to be a whiz at crossword puzzles, but this simple item today has me stuck. I attribute it to old age and lack of practice. Maybe one of turcopolier dot com’s readers will have better luck.

    Clue: Surname of Stupidest, most careless, most horrific blunderer in recent military history.
    5 letters.

  2. Jovan P says:

    A few days ago a Russian UAV Lancet-3M successfully destroyed an Ukrainian tank.

    • TTG says:

      Jovan P,

      The Lancet UAVs have knocked out a lot more than one. It’s very likely Russia’s most effective killer drones. In some cases they were stopped without detonating by steel netting in the overhead camouflage.

  3. d74 says:

    A tank is a compromise between firepower, protection and mobility.
    In Ukraine, so far, there has been no tank-on-tank combat. All the tanks destroyed were by hollow charge and artillery (a number were captured intact due to the escape of the Russian crew). The tank’s gun is used against enemy personnel and their entrenchments.
    Under these conditions, the barrel of the T55 does not matter much. It will do the job assuming that barrel isn’t too worn out and the aiming system is effective.
    Protection against shaped charges in tandem or against a shell from above remains problematic for all current tanks.
    There remains mobility, that of the T54/T55 is quite sufficient.

    Your last remark is enigmatic. I don’t think Russia (Putin…) is hoping for a boost from China. The balance of risks (international) against advantages (local) is still too negative. This idea must have originated in a Western brain. But it is true that the realization is possible in the long term, when the inexhaustible Russian stocks will be exhausted!

  4. Babeltuap says:

    Taliban won with brown lamp wire laid out hundreds of yards, explosives made from homemade fertilizer and the cheapest flip phones on the planet. Their best best weapon however was longevity. How long can Russia keep this up? Nobody knows but pulling out old tanks would contribute to stretching it out. If a high dollar HIMAR is used to knock it out even better. Nobody uses a Rolls Royce in demolition derby except Richie Rich with Dollar driving.

    • Poppa Rollo says:

      You seem to imply that the crews of the “old tanks” are as disposable as the tanks themselves. Have the Russians perfected remote controlled tank formations?

      • TTG says:

        Poppa Rollo,

        If anything, the tank crews are more expendable than the tanks judging by the expendability of the ill-trained and ill-equipped mobiks and convicts over the last few months.

  5. English Outsider says:

    TTG – I now avoid combat videos. Saw enough of them after 2014 and in any case, the destructive effects of modern war are documented well enough in print.

    These videos, from a Greek site, were put up on MOA. For once I looked at them. Thought again, what were we playing at, putting our proxies up against this?

    I do not believe that the people in the Pentagon are dummies. Therefore I do not believe that this is a scenario they intended. When we look at the training and equipment we gave our proxies over the last several years, that training and equipment was entirely inadequate for the sort of war the Pentagon knew the Russians, if put to it, would be able to fight and that they are fighting now.

    And the Pentagon knew, for they are able to count, that if the Ukrainians found themselves in this sort of war the West would be unable to sustain them. Unable to sustain them at the basic level, let alone with the more advanced missiles.

    However, the training and equipment we gave them would have served well for another scenario. Some 80,000 men, trained up and equipped for small unit fighting, and with heavy fortifications that made them safe against any encircling counter-attack, must have brushed aside the smaller LDNR forces and got into the cities and settlements of the Donbass. Particularly into Donetsk, a city only a few miles from the LoC.

    From there they would have been difficult to dislodge, as we saw in Mariupol. Probably, since they use civilian infrastructure and civilians as cover, only slowly and with great destruction and loss of life.

    Hence my assertion that the Pentagon must have known the Russians would not just sit there and allow all this to happen. To that sort of threated attack there can only be one response. Move before they do. The people in the Pentagon, as said, are not dummies. The professionals there will know that in that position, with the shelling across the border rising to a crescendo and powerful forces in a posture of attack, a pre-emptive attack was the only possible response.

    So President Biden’s repeated assertion that this was “unprovoked Russian aggression” is false. The Russian attack was a forced move.

    Here I part company with what I term “the Mearsheimer school”, all the analysts and commenters who link that Russian pre-emptive attack to the long running NATO and EU eastwards expansion. Utter nonsense!. Demonstrably nonsense! For the Russian attack in late February 2022 not only did nothing to remove that underlying NATO and EU threat. It served to intensify that threat and could only ever have done so. That Russian attack in late February was mounted for one reason and one reason only. To forestall an immediate military threat that the Pentagon would have known the Russians could do no other than forestall.

    Hence the confident prediction in early 2022 that the Russians were about to attack. An easy enough prediction to make if they knew the Ukrainian forces would provoke that attack.

    What then? What scenario did the Pentagon foresee after that?

    On the military side the expectation was that the Russians would defeat the Ukrainians quickly and we would then see partisan warfare. All the talk was that Ukraine would become Russia’s “Afghanistan”. And the arms and equipment we supplied, though inadequate for Combined Arms warfare, would have been more that adequate for small dispersed groups of guerrilla fighters.

    But the military side is more or less irrelevant. Most of us in the Western electorates were convinced that this was an “unprovoked Russian attack”. That ensured the public support necessary for the war that was really expected to break Russia. The sanctions war. The “Shock and Awe” sanctions had been prepared well in advance, probably even before the Scholz coalition talks and they were implemented immediately. As President Biden confidently stated in his visit to Poland not long after, it was the sanctions that were expected to deliver the killer blow.

    A scam, therefore. A scam practiced by the Western politicians on the Western electorates. A successful scam. I know none in my circle here or in Germany who do not believe this was “unprovoked Russian aggression”. Now that the sanctions war has failed, now that the killer blow has not killed, a politician’s scam that will seriously damage the European economies and that will, if the military activity is allowed to continue, probably lose the Ukrainians their country.

    Deja vu all over again. What was the Iraq war but the neocon WMD scam, or the Syrian war but the neocon “moderate rebels” scam, We’ve been here before, TTG, but never before has a politicians’ scam backfired on us like this.


    • Fourth and Long says:

      Quite astute. You’ve overshot a bit, just a smidgen (why isn’t that word’s spelling more directly modeled on the example of “pigeon” I’ll never know, and why does “pigeon” begin with “pig?” These are questions for later..) and missed the triggering detail. I already revealed why Putin attacked when he did, but then I am a being in touch with powers beyond those of mortal men. Sort of like TTG, but shorter in stature which I compensate for by being more handsome, or so I imagine. But no one pays attention to poor Fourth and Long, he’s a mere nebbish who never wore a uniform. The triggering detail was the conference in Munich arranged just before Putin invaded, in which Zelensky said that it was time to abandon the agreements of the Budapest convention which involved Ukraine foregoing nuclear weapons. The lovely US Vice President was on hand. What was whispered cleverly in a way which the high spooky powers of the Oeust knew would certainly be overheard by the Russian Federation intelligence service? We’ll never know. But it was so out in the open and what with Ukraine having all those functioning Soviet era reactors and fissile material .. . Putin would have been lynched in the cellars of Lubyanka if a dirty bomb exploded in red square or a number of other places. So, voila. Because there was a saintly RAF spitfire pilot from the Battle of Britain who assisted me just a tiny wee bit in surviving the jungles of no good 1959 Limeyland as a no good “yank” with a Jewish surname to boot, I graciously take pity on you and help you. If you read your Bible, young man, you know that the only reason that God does not destroy the world due to its excessive sinfulness, is due to the fact that at all times, for some infernal, impossible to understand reason, there exist in the world people who are so righteous that he simply cannot bring himself to commit the annihilating act. The passages are in Genesis in the episode where Abraham encounters the angels on their way to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, and one of the angels is the Lord God Almighty Himself, who is talked out of it by Abraham. That man, that RAF pilot, working as a humble physical education instructor in a vicarage of Buckinghamshire, was such a man. And you can thank God that for some inexplicable mysterious reason, one of those saintly people lived for a time in England. There were three others who I met there during my stay who quite possibly were of similar merit. The rest of you? I am far too refined and polite a person to go into details.

    • TTG says:


      Those “80,000 men, trained up and equipped for small unit fighting” are largely in the Territorial Defense Force (TDF). The TDF was never designed or trained for offensive warfare. They were designed to be the core of a total national defense strategy to deter and deal with invasion. This strategy was being developed and implemented in the Baltics and Nordic countries as well as in Ukraine. Our Special Forces, along with sister services across Europe, play a big part in implementing this strategy.

      The problem with your scenario of the Ukrainian Army suddenly swooping into the DNR/LNR is that strong defensive lines have been built on both sides of the line of contact. The Ukrainian Army was not in any position to breach those defenses and seize Donetsk and Luhansk.

      As an aside, Putin could have pulled off another masterful stroke by moving his forces only into the newly recognized independent LNR and DNR up to the LOC and no further. Shelling by either side would have stopped and NATO would have been hard pressed to implement new sanctions over a frozen conflict where no one was shooting at anyone. Biden would have been trapped by his gaff of saying he was okay with a limited Russian move. Clearly that wasn’t enough in Putin’s eyes.

      You also paint Putin as a simple minded, weak willed dolt easily manipulated in massing his forces and invading Ukraine by the oh so clever neo-cons. Maybe the neo-cons are clever, but the jury is still out on that one. But Putin is easily as strong minded and clever as any neo-con. He deliberately massed his forces and invaded Ukraine. I think he was hoping for a successful bluff of a still disunited NATO. Failing that, he was aiming for a swift, relatively bloodless SMO, a repeat of his Crimea operation. Ukraine’s total national defense strategy scotched that option. The Russian military’s unreadiness and incompetence shocked everyone including in Moscow, Kyiv and DC. I believe that incompetence was key to Moscow’s present predicament.

      The entire sanctions strategy was deliberately telegraphed to Moscow. It was meant as a deterrence. I’m pleasantly surprised that NATO largely held together on that strategy. I also believe those sanctions figure in China’s calculus not to provide substantial military support to Russia. Beijing is probably also surprised that NATO has held together in this regard. Those sanctions definitely haven’t led to Russia’s capitulation or collapse as some have predicted. They never will. Russia has adapted and will continue to adapt. But they haven’t led to the collapse of Europe or NATO either. What the sanctions have done is realign large parts of the world economy. China has Russia by the short and curlies. Russia has no choice but to sell her oil and gas to China at a discount and now accept yuan in payment.

      • Billy Roche says:

        Please be kind in your response as I am ignorant of int’l trade/payment. What can Russia buy abroad with gazillions of unconverted petro Yuan (to Euros/Dollars) and which int’l bank(s) will convert Yuan for Russia? Having converted their “marked down Yuan”, Russia will buy at a disadvantage. Then, which countries have stuff Russia wants who are not in on the “sanctions”? E.O. says sanctions h/n worked but maybe sanctions have not worked yet. In fact E.O. says anything Ukraine does will not work, anything Ukraine did was controlled by the west, and only Russian motives were/are pure. E.O has been a Russian propagandists since Feb. 24, 2022 and events may yet prove him right, but Ukraine still fights as they have for freedom for as they have since 1914. I told you I am a lost Missouri “Synod Lutheran”. Versus constantly come my mind …”hey Vlady, Jesus said, thou shalt not dash they foot against a stone”. Jesus said more but no one wrote the rest down. “cause, even if you move the stone your going to have a really f’d up foot and your only friends will be a Persian, Chinese, and Assyrian tyrant. Then there was the one about “you shall be known by the friends you keep” Maybe that was my mom and not Biblical??.
        Yup, the more things change, the more they stay the same (Its always cool if you can write that in French).

        • Skinner says:


          Half of Russia’s foreign trade is conducted in Yuan or Rubles. They are going full dedollarization.

          “E.O has been a Russian propagandists since Feb. 24, 2022 and events may yet prove him right, but Ukraine still fights as they have for freedom for as they have since 1914.”

          For some reason the ‘freedom’ to oppress Russians, shell Russians and join anti-Russian military alliances, isn’t popular with the Russian government.

        • TTG says:

          Billy Roche,

          It looks to me that Moscow is falling under the modern version of the Mongol yoke. The Prince of Muscovy is once again paying tribute to the Khan. One of the deals made in Moscow by Xi was that Russia will be using the Chinese yuan for settlements between Russia and the countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. This is in addition to selling Russian oil and gas to China at a substantial discount and accepting payment in yuan. This is a big win for China, but she is not ready to jeopardize trade with North America and Europe. That dwarfs trade with Russia even with all that new Russian oil and gas.

          China is also making a play for dominance in Central Asia. Right after the Moscow meeting, Xi called a meeting of the leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan for the first China-Central Asia summit. Putin wasn’t invited.

          Yes, EO has been consistent and repetitive, but I still like him. I’m sure we both sound consistent and repetitive to him. So be it. Time will sort it all out, but I don’t think time will be too kind to Putin or Russia.

      • AngusinCanada says:

        I think you’re grossly misunderstanding who has who by the “short and curlies”. Western financial statement is cracking, social unrest is only increasing. Meanwhile Russia and China are brokering detente between Sunni and Shiite, undoing decades of US divide and rule strategy. BRICS is growing.
        US empire is in collapse – the only question is whether they’ll destroy the planet on the way down.

      • Skinner says:

        “As an aside, Putin could have pulled off another masterful stroke by moving his forces only into the newly recognized independent LNR and DNR up to the LOC and no further. Shelling by either side would have stopped and NATO would have been hard pressed to implement new sanctions over a frozen conflict where no one was shooting at anyone. Biden would have been trapped by his gaff of saying he was okay with a limited Russian move. Clearly that wasn’t enough in Putin’s eyes.”

        And all Ghadaffi had to do was dismantle his WMD program.

        “You also paint Putin as a simple minded, weak willed dolt easily manipulated in massing his forces and invading Ukraine by the oh so clever neo-cons. Maybe the neo-cons are clever, but the jury is still out on that one. But Putin is easily as strong minded and clever as any neo-con. He deliberately massed his forces and invaded Ukraine. I think he was hoping for a successful bluff of a still disunited NATO. Failing that, he was aiming for a swift, relatively bloodless SMO, a repeat of his Crimea operation. Ukraine’s total national defense strategy scotched that option. The Russian military’s unreadiness and incompetence shocked everyone including in Moscow, Kyiv and DC. I believe that incompetence was key to Moscow’s present predicament.”


        Putin’s plan is straightforward- other party not following agreement? Roll in tanks for armed negotiation. He didn’t expect NATO to go all in because the US is confronting China and constant escalation ends in WW3.

        Turns out the US isn’t a rational actor.

        “But they haven’t led to the collapse of Europe or NATO either. What the sanctions have done is realign large parts of the world economy. China has Russia by the short and curlies. Russia has no choice but to sell her oil and gas to China at a discount and now accept yuan in payment.”

        I could point out mistakes, but the real problem is the sanctions were the first step on destroying the dollar’s position as the world’s reserve currency and replacing it with the Yuan. Combined with the massive amounts of money printing by the federal reserve and the exporting of inflation this gets more likely over time and there is no off switch to stop the process of generating new issues to justify printing more money.

        Once that gets going the US experiences hyper-inflation followed by total economic collapse.

        • LeaNder says:

          And all Ghadaffi had to do was dismantle his WMD program.

          Skinner, I find the passage you respond to, interesting. Thus far, I haven’t seen that argument anywhere.

          It seems the best response I have seen to counter the lured-into-a-trap-scenario. If Putin indeed, as he argued, moved his army into Ukraine to prevent an ongoing genocide (… in the occupied/defended LDNR areas -Kosovo on my mind. …) wouldn’t that have been indeed the best way to act? TTG gave us numbers too, and I am assuming they were correct. Wrong?

          Russia’s Eastern partners did not yet hold the whole parts Russia intended to integrate? What would a look into the Polish, Ukrainian, Russian politics of memory and history during the decades following 1991 tell us about those regions?

          Georgiy Kasianov, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Memory Crash. Politics of History in and around Ukraine, 1980s – 2010s, 2022

          Free complete download on the web. Here and elsewhere.


          I disagree with a lot of TTG’s ideas about Putin’s intention to restore the Russian Empire, which no one put better than realist Steven Walt, no doubt ironically. I don’t see signs … that nuclear blackmail is easy and that Putin could use it to march his army all the way to the English Channel.

        • Skinner says:

          Ukraine was doing 3 things simultaneously
          -pressing to join NATO
          -pressing to get nukes
          -pressing the Donbass

          The first 2 prevent you from acting, the latter forces action. Game theory- if they are preparing 3, this means they expect 1 and 2 so your window to act is closing.

          “Russia’s Eastern partners did not yet hold the whole parts Russia intended to integrate?”

          The territories claimed are the Oblast boundaries- Donetsk, Luhansk as well as Zaporozhye and Kherson which connect to Crimea.

      • PeterHug says:

        There have been a few surprises for me in all this – first, I really didn’t expect organized Ukrainian military resistance to last more than a week at most, at which point I fully expected Russia to face what would have amounted to Afghanistan on steroids; second, I expected NATO to be much more fragmented than they have been; third, I REALLY didn’t expect the EU/UK to move away from Russian gas as quickly as they have (and that’s the one that really stings, because it means they could have done that pretty much any time in the last forty years).

      • VietnamVet says:


        This is the best explanation I’ve read of the inexplicable Kremlin decision to invade Ukraine proper rather than letting Ukraine attack first and then coming to the aid of fellow ethnic Russians being overrun by neo-Nazis. Of course, it is downplayed, but FDR’s sanctions on oil and steel and seizing Japan’s assets in the US triggered the Pearl Harbor attack that unified the USA and led to its last victory over Imperial Japan. Russia still has not fully mobilized its people and resources.

        My guess is that the Russian Federation is run by its oligarchs just like the money cult (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) rules the West. Military procurement is a great scam to get rich with manager bonuses and increasing stockholder value but it does not win wars (i.e. the rise and fall of Boeing). God forbid that money is ever spent for a healthy educated population to man the armed forces of the democracies to prevent an invasion in the first place and avoid the escalation to a nuclear war.

        The Proxy WWIII in Ukraine was provoked by crazy thousand-year-old grudges and insatiable greed. Both ignore all of the adverse consequences of the war.

      • Jake says:

        My own point of view is similar to that of EO. I’ve got considerable difficulty understanding the consensus feed in the West, hinged on massive blunders and mistakes on the Russian side, with rumors of massive losses which cannot be substantiated. And no lack of stories about depleted Russian armament, ammunition and missiles.
        An American advisor who prepped the Ukrainian forces for the Spring Offensive is announcing a devastating blow to the Russians which will surprise the entire world, and fortify NATO’s standing as the only game in town. Clearly not everybody is convinced it will work out as advertised, when even the Saudi’s are now mocking the American president publicly, and the sanctions from hell are blowing up banks in the West as Europe and the US are struggling to get on top of raging inflation, and growing unrest.

        Like EO, I ‘read’ this engineered conflict as an attempt to ‘Regime Change’ Russia, using Ukraine, and the Ukrainian people, ahead of taking on China. In my ‘reading’ Russia and China ‘gamed’ this conflict, and they are still on top of it. They most certainly would have preferred a quick end to the military conflict, through ‘convincing’ Zelensky that we was betting on the wrong horse, and was about to wreck the future on his country much like those hapless people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria had been fooled to believe NATO when they were told the ‘Collective West’ was going to liberate them. Yet they did prepare for this war of attrition, the only war which would not harm their ambitions to recreate a ‘multipolar world’.

        China and Russia are ready to welcome an independent Ukraine as a trade partner, and they will not exact revenge on NATO countries after hostilities have ended, or exclude them from a reconstructed multipolar world. But the people in those countries may not be as forgiving.

    • Poppa Rollo says:

      If there were “powerful forces (Ukrainian) in a posture of attack” surely Russia would have targeted and destroyed them.

      • Skinner says:

        The Russians tried that- the initial invasion did take out much of Ukraine’s heavy equipment and targeted troop concentrations. Since the Ukrainians knew the Russians were coming they moved their soldiers so they weren’t slaughtered in the opening barrages.

    • Babeltuap says:

      They are dummies. Got it handed to them in Afghanistan. Keep believing though a superior tech force can’t be taken out by people living in dirt houses with no windows. You would not be the first to make this mistake and would not be the last.

  6. John says:

    >So there are no more modern tanks left in stockpiles.

    Don’t think this is quite true. Rather I believe it means there are no serviceable tanks they can use right now. Have seen commentary about the rate of refurbishment vs. new production vs. attrition. Russia is running through tanks faster than they can replenish via refurbishment and production.

    Hence they need to dig even deeper. And what they have left of more modern tanks is likely very junky. But I’d be surprised if they have got nothing left to refurbish.

    This is a nit in the grand scheme of things. It is truly remarkable the extent to which Putin has liquidated Russia’s tank supply.

    • TTG says:


      True. There are undoubtedly many more, thousands, of tanks lying in fallow. The problem is the condition of these stored tanks. Have they been cannibalized for spare parts, stripped by thieves or destroyed by time and weather. Many may be too far gone to refurbish. An advantage of these T-55s is that they are far simpler to begin with. It’s like refurbishing an old VW bug compared to refurbishing a newer car needing an onboard computer to keep it running. Without a replacement computer, you’re SOL.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        There’s a post on Quora by a Russian resident who despises Putin which includes a photo which purports to be of a trainload of T-34 tanks traveling from Laos to Russia. The guy is a ridiculous comedian so I give it a credibility rating of less than zero, but it might amuse you:


        He’s right up there with the Daily Tell a Laugh in my opinion, but funnier.

        • TTG says:


          I remember when that came out. Russia did buy the T-34s from Laos, but they were meant for museum exhibits.

          Here’s the explanation.


          • PeterHug says:

            It may end up that the “museum exhibit” destination will eventually be revisited. That said, there’s nothing WRONG with a T-34/85…until you ask it to go up against a Leopard 2 or something similar.

          • English Outsider says:

            TTG – Around a decade earlier some surviving T34’s were bought by Russia for the making of the film the White Tiger.

            I’d read that they were bought from North Korea and said so on an English site. Turned out, according to a subsequent comment, that they came from Laos just as these recent purchases did.

            So these recently purchased tanks, which I imagine are iconic for the Russians, must also have been for non-military use.

            Though just after 2014 one of the Donbass militias is said to have brought a T34 commemorative exhibit back to life for combat purposes.

            If that’s so, they must have found some ammunition for it and found some military use for it. I can’t see how that’d be much good for combat purposes in today’s war. The LDNR forces already have theT62’s they used, not as a tank, but as a mobile gun platform to come in fast after the barrage and clear out any strong points that had survived the barrage.

            So they’d not need even older tanks for that purpose; and if the conflict developed into manoeuvre warfare presumably T34’s wouldn’t survive long on a modern battlefield.

            But a pronounced theme in Russia today is the linking of the current conflict with that of eighty years ago. The forces of fascism coming out of Europe once again and once again to be fought. That is in fact the theme of “The White Tiger” . I believe it’s also the underlying theme of the “Rock anthem of the Donbass” that’s getting a wide circulation.

            The iconic T34 fits that theme well so I imagine the Laotian purchases were more for that purpose than for any military purpose.


            I don’t know, incidentally, that the European dimension of this conflict is fully recognised. I tend to harp on about Scholz, but I believe he was far more of a key player than is generally thought. He could not have started this war. But he was the one man in Europe who could have stopped it.

            I do not attribute his failure to do so merely to his coalition difficulties. For the Germans, as for the Russians, the animosity goes deeper than anything one sees in the States. Dates back to the time of the Frankfurt Parliament at least, and has always run in tandem with the close trading relationship. For me, Berlin is the key to an understanding of the current conflict, not Washington.

          • TTG says:


            I remember video of that T-34 that rebel mechanics got running. It was from a monument in some town square. It sounded kind of rough, but I don’t know what the T-34s sounded like new. They were built crudely, but were well designed and very effective in their day. I qualified as a driver of a T-55 and T-62. They were pretty crude and uncomfortable as well.

            In WWII, the Brits saw tank to tank combat as the norm, much like a naval battle between ships. Rommel saw it differently. His tanks sought to battle the artillery emplacements and logistics centers of his enemies. He let his AT guns face enemy tanks.

            I agree that Scholz and Berlin were key to the early NATO reaction in support of Ukraine. If he refused to take part in the sanctions and refused to shut down Nordstream in those early days of the invasion, I think it would have been a fatal blow to NATO unity.

  7. Jimmy_W says:

    Tank Desant is back!

    Given that BMP-3 uses the same ammo and is in shortage, T-55 might be a direct replacement. The infantry having to ride on the outside of T-55, would also be an easy control by the Company and Battalion Commanders of how many bayonets they’re bringing to the fight. Whereas before, with infantry buttoned up inside BMP-3, they can’t tell how many deserters and shirkers there were.

    The interesting question will be, if the T-55s are AT-10/Bastion capable. Maybe the infantry will laze the targets.

    • Mark Logan says:

      Jimmy W.

      A quick google search shows the BMP-3 cannon uses a different, much lighter shell, so I kinda doubt it’s the same as what the old D10, the standard cannon on the T55, snarfs.

      But the issue of ammo may well be the reason behind this. The D10 series cannon was used for a long time and by some nations still is, total production run was in the 10s of thousands, so it’s entirely likely the Russians (hoarders by nature) are sitting on a large stock of that old 100mm ammo, and until they get those T55s out there, they seem to have no cannon in the field that can use it.

      • Jimmy_w says:

        Thanks for that info. “Lighter shell” usually is backwards compatible with “heavier shell” cannons.

        Just as relevant in the ammo question is, do they have any more AT-10 Bastion missiles left.

  8. Fourth and Long says:

    From I. I. Strelkov’s Telegram channel earlier today. He is talking about former RF president Medvedev’s recent visits and admonitions to a tank factory. Translation by machine.


    WARNING: You may die of laughter if you proceed to read beyond this point. Proceed at your own risk.
    “We ran out of shells, we ran out of tanks, we ran out of missiles,” and so on. We will make 1,500 tanks alone this year”

    I fervently trust Dmitry Anatolyevich! Few people have more faith in our state than him! (More I believe only the Plywood Marshal Shoigu and the Lord of Orion Rogozin). But, all the same, – in order for this news to sound even more reliable – it was necessary to add only one word. Like this: “… we will make 1,5 thousand pieces of Armat.” – I will definitely believe in this, joyfully, unconditionally … Well, or even if Dmitry Anatolyevich clarifies that the tanks will be plastic, small, toy, or they will hold a competition for gluing paper tanks in schools … although then something is not enough – That’s only fifteen hundred…

    • TTG says:


      For some unknown reason, a lot of your comments end up in the trash folder. It may take a while for me to notice and dig them out, so be patient. I don’t want anybody to miss your wit… or numerological hallucinations.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        Thanks, TTG. If time allows I’ll try to fill you in on why it might be that that happens with my posts. I’ll.need time though to encrypt the message so that the unelect aren’t able to decipher it. I think it might involve something which sounds similar to an adverb used to describe particularly violent fits of coughing. Overhang of the pandemic, no doubt. But I could be mistaken.

      • Billy Roche says:

        Whatttt! Hallucinations. I thought they were real and have spent countless hours overlaying numerology over epistomology, old Testament scholaropathy with rythmic tautology … and they weren’t real! Shattered I tell you. I’m going back to reading AOL News. At least there you always get the straight poop.

        • Fourth and Long says:

          Bill Roche,
          You will pardon me, I hope, for omitting to refer to you by the diminutive “Billy,” but I am a man of such refinement and culture that it is terribly difficult for me not to call you by “Guillaume” rather these ruffian hillbilly cognomens. I was fortunate in my youth to have the privilege once of accompanying a highly distinguished scholar and translate for him while he selected a hot meal for himself from a layout of cafeteria steam trays overseen by a lovely woman whose name I am so unfortunately cursed as to be unable to remember. When I explained to him that the dish he chose was referred to in our language as a “Sloppy Joe,” he didn’t have to explain to me that such terms were unable to be pronounced by his vocal apparatus without embarrassment, and asked me to tell the young lady that he would like to have an Untidy Joseph, please. With that out of the way, and my humble apologies again, please allow me to say that if my preposterous antics have inadvertently caused a man such as you, also so dignified as to not condescend to familiarities such as “I am from Missouri so you’ll have to show me” but rather take the opportunity to instruct by reference to scripture of a sect in our great land of which even I was inexcusably ignorant .. Where was I? Oh yes .. as I was saying – if it caused you to consult your Bible, then all the better. The paths of the earth killing asteroid Apophis have been prophecied to miss our planet by mere epsilons and though the NASA and Muskovites (pardon me, Elon) pointy-heads are math whizzes I do recall my evil ex four engine bomber navigator daddy who became a physicist asking me in the 90s I think – “tell me son of mine – do you believe that story put forth by the spokespeople that the reason that Mars explorer crashed was because one team of engineers used English units and another used Metric, and someone overlooked to do a proper conversion between those two systems?” May Almighty God be praised, Monsieur Guillaume, may you also be, for not overawing us as Colonel Lang might have by citing the correct way to say Plus ça change and whether or not çelui or ça belongs in the remaining segment (la meme chose). But above all things, may he be praised for this, and thanked and thanked over and over again:

          Mirage Junior – It’s the Night – Эта Ночь – Мираж Junior:

    • Leith says:

      Rogozin is the loudmouthed incompetent that ruined the Russian defense industry.

      He has also promoted “the historical and judicial right of Russia for the return of the lost colonies, Alaska and the Aleutian Islands”

  9. Babeltuap says:

    Many opinions on here of those who have never been in actual combat and suffered losses of people they truly loved in this style of warfare including me. I did the IED hunter thing in Afghanistan but this is not that by a long shot.

    Anyone who is not begging for a peace deal at this point is far removed from the tragedy and chaos of warfare. These people on both sides are suffering. It needs to end. Nothing good can come out of it. Eastern Ukraine is now a wasteland with millions of refugees and no telling how many dead. It did not have to be this way. Anyone saying send more stuff I tell you what; You go over there. Also bring your children and your f!@#$%& grandchildren and get it done. GO DO IT. Yeah, I didn’t think so cowards. Pathetic.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      I couldn’t agree more. My banal attempts at humor are symptoms of a psychological defense mechanism only a bit less primitive than outright denial. I spent a huge number of hours wandering through social media into the wild outbacks and villages of Russia where the families of the fighters live. It would break your heart to pieces to see the mothers and sisters and wives burying their relatives, even conceiving children in the hope that a beloved brother might be reborn according to some of their folk beliefs. All so a caste of incompetent cavemen and fat thieves can stay in power.

    • d74 says:

      Although I wouldn’t have said it like that.

      Appealing to emotions to stop this killing seems weak to me. Instead, it would take courage and brains.

  10. Whitewall says:

    Does ‘trash’ apply to all the commenters as well?

    • TTG says:


      Thanks for noticing. I thought the comment was just some humorless nobody whining about the Quora comment of Misha Firer. Like F&L, I find him funny. Misha Firer describes himself as the Brutalsky Son of Quora. He lives in Moscow, answers a lot of Quora questions and appears to be very popular. However, this Aldebaran character does seem to be talking about us. His comments won’t be here anymore

  11. jim ticehurst.. says:

    I Read there were 2800 T-55s still in storage..The Ones on the Untagged Railcars look to be in good shape..Other Counrtys have replaced thier 100mm Barrels…Russiahas large Stockpiles of 115 mm Shells..But..NATO..(.UKA) is on Target..2 Month max..

    I Think China is PLaying the Russians..In This Game…They Were well in Operation in Ukraine and Europe Two Years Ago..Bot everything They Could ship home in Ukraine.. The CCP had use and Contro of the Ports and Black Sea..No One Cared.

    Now They No Longer have to Worry About The Russians or a Russian Army on the Siberian/North Flank.. Just Get Russian Ships and Subs to Do Thier Part when
    China Begans Naval Operations..There is probably a 2 Year Window for That to happen,..

    Global Warming For Mass Extinction..? Its Far Beyond That Scope and Scale..

    Nethanderal went Extinct From Trying to Domesticate To Racoon DOG..and Got
    Coviid..China Just Sold Them in the Wet Market..After Gain of Function..

    Just in Time For The Lab Rats New Year Party..Yes..Gain of Function..Like Ukraine,

  12. KjHeart says:

    Although I am sure the T-54/55 could be upgraded, I am thinking that this qualifies as “Low Tech” enough to run even if there is use of NN-EMP’s; Or am I making an incorrect supposition?


    • Jimmy_w says:

      If they kept the vacuum tube radios on them, yes EMP-proof.

    • Poppa Rollo says:

      Old tanks might have direct fire use in a defensive line of depth but their lack of integrated comms and targeting mean that they are useless in an offensive role.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        Did the German WW2 tanks have comms as functional for practical purposes as what you describe? I ask due to ignorance and recollection of that early Barbarossa and Invasion of France technique called blitzkrieg which involved rapidly punching through lines and then whirling around to confront the enemy troops in the pocket created as infantry followed to complete the envelopment on the initial incident lines where the tanks had broken through. That seems like offensive use, no pun intended. It seems you must be right that they had comms, but I don’t know.

        • TTG says:


          Most German tanks had a dedicated radio operator. Most other tanks, even the T-34/85 had radios. How reliable they were is another question. I know German and Russian tank commanders employed signal flags to control their formations. An interesting fact was that the Germany Army of WWII was far more on foot and horse drawn than most would think. The German Army was 75-80% reliant on horses.

        • Poppa Rollo says:

          Simple radios may have been sufficient to attack in WWII but in the modern era with its heavy use of drones, satellites etc. It is now an information war and simple gets you dead.

  13. jim ticehurst.. says:

    Syria and Saudi Arabia have Agreed to reopen thier embassy’s after a decade…It Continues..

Comments are closed.