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"Canadian Tank Crew Members Praise Soviet T-72 Battle Tank"

The Bread Guy

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Just another reminder that these forums are public to ALL who want to check in & read - and maybe use down the road.

This, from Russian-government-owned media ...
'Best Option': Canadian Tank Crew Members Praise Soviet T-72 Battle Tank
RIA-Novosti, 14:56 25.10.2019

The T-72 is a Soviet-made main battle tank that her been in service since 1973. It is widely exported and operated in as many as 40 countries around the world.

Canadian tank crew members believe that the Soviet T-72 main battle tank is the best combat vehicle, the Rossiyskaya Gazeta* reported** citing a Canadian tank expert.

The expert, who shared his memories at a specialised CanadianGunNutz forum***, considers the T-72 'tougher' than Germany's Leopards which allowed it to "give a good whack" to NATO.

The expert noted the advantages of the T-72 over the Leopard including the absence of the need for the frequent replacement of rubberised rollers (due to damage to the rubber coating), a headset with a laryngophone, which is not interfered with by wind noise, the engine exhaust smoke system of a Soviet tank that allows spraying diesel fuel onto a hot manifold, and the ability to quickly start after annual downtime, including in a water-filled state ...
* - Russian gov't media - more (usual Wikipedia caveats) here.
** - Here's a link to the RG article in Russian, and here's the Google English translation of the article.
*** - This appears to be the forum thread in question, from 2015 - couldn't find any more recent discussion.  It looks like only registered users are able to read it.


I couldn't find any of the "quotes" from the Russian article word-for-word in the forum piece, even though it gets some of the gist.

Zero idea how expert or not the poster in question - sure sounds like they know their stuff in detail - but if media (maybe not just Russian?) can make anyone posting online an "expert" in articles where people don't have the time to check and double-check ... 

Also, just because it's not current stuff doesn't mean it can't be mined.
 

Shrek1985

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milnews.ca said:
Just another reminder that these forums are public to ALL who want to check in & read - and maybe use down the road.

This, from Russian-government-owned media ...* - Russian gov't media - more (usual Wikipedia caveats) here.
** - Here's a link to the RG article in Russian, and here's the Google English translation of the article.
*** - This appears to be the forum thread in question, from 2015 - couldn't find any more recent discussion.  It looks like only registered users are able to read it.


I couldn't find any of the "quotes" from the Russian article word-for-word in the forum piece, even though it gets some of the gist.

Zero idea how expert or not the poster in question - sure sounds like they know their stuff in detail - but if media (maybe not just Russian?) can make anyone posting online an "expert" in articles where people don't have the time to check and double-check ... 

Also, just because it's not current stuff doesn't mean it can't be mined.


Okay.


So the "expert" is some rando from CGN.

Not exactly what I'd call a verified source, as much as I love CGN.

That's about like me getting the latest news from a Nintendo Reddit where someone is gushing over things their alleged uncle who allegedly works for Nintendo-Brazil said and about heart surgery.
 

The Bread Guy

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Shrek1985 said:
So the "expert" is some rando from CGN.

Not exactly what I'd call a verified source, as much as I love CGN.

That's about like me getting the latest news from a Nintendo Reddit where someone is gushing over things their alleged uncle who allegedly works for Nintendo-Brazil said and about heart surgery.
Zackly ...  But it sure "shows" how Canadians tankers luvz their T-72, right, especially if you just read the headline?
 

Good2Golf

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Guy on CGN could be a Russian (human, or bot) for all we know.  This is such a non-story.  Now if they quoted a CAF spokesperson officially as saying XX% of currently serving Leopard 2 crewman said the T-90 or Armata was a better tank, that might be something to discuss. Yawn.
 

chrisf

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milnews.ca said:
I couldn't find any of the "quotes" from the Russian article word-for-word in the forum piece, even though it gets some of the gist.

If it's a post from CGN, it's probably only a partial quote, may be taken out of context... the original likely included the word "libtard" and expressed the posters distaste towards lowballers.
 

Jarnhamar

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I'm not sure about quickly starting a tank but I know pouring naptha in to an iltis carburetor helped start it in the winter.
Russia can quote me on that :)
 

The Bread Guy

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Good2Golf said:
Guy on CGN could be a Russian (human, or bot) for all we know. 
One who's been active since at least 2015, no less (the date of the thread being "quoted").
Good2Golf said:
This is such a non-story.
True - just an example of how this sort of stuff can work.
 

SeaKingTacco

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I personally like the T72.

I especially like the videos where it gets shot thru, end to end, by a 120mm SABOT round.

That is an OPFOR tank I can learn to like.
 

Colin Parkinson

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I recall a thread somewhere from a poster that had worked as Opfor driving a T-72 (Israel or Ex-east German?) and speaking to their experience. In general having a fairly high regard for the tank. I would expect that a T-72 is likley a much better tank than the Leopard 1, depending of course on which mark/model is being compared as fire control systems varied throughout the life of both vehicles. The T-72 is still in frontline service, whereas I think only a couple of countries still run the Leopard 1. I suspect it's more a case of who sees who first and angle your shooting at. The 105mm needs a sideshot for certainty and the right round/luck for front. Whereas the Soviet gun could likely kill a Leopard at any range it can see it at. 
 

SeaKingTacco

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Colin,

I just happened to be in Gagetown for a course when Canada was given a handful of running T-72s by Germany, after reunification.

The intial thought was that CTC would keep them as runners to act as OPFOR for various courses. That notion was quickly dropped once they were driven in the training area a few times. The crews described them as death traps. Cramped, poor/medievally dangerous ergonomics, poor visibility and SA from all crew positions. I think they may have even fired a few rounds from the main gun and were not that impressed with the FCS.

If you view your crews as expendable for the purpose of going on a one way tour of Western Europe, the tank is good enough, I suppose. Better than a contemporary Leo 1? It depends on the context. If the Leo is fighting hull down from a defensive position (as it was designed to do) and the T72 is in the open, the T72 will have a bad day. Against a Contemporary Leo 2, the T72 would have had a terrible day in almost any context. The only going for it were the quantity in which they existed.
 

daftandbarmy

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SeaKingTacco said:
Colin,

I just happened to be in Gagetown for a course when Canada was given a handful of running T-72s by Germany, after reunification.

The intial thought was that CTC would keep them as runners to act as OPFOR for various courses. That notion was quickly dropped once they were driven in the training area a few times. The crews described them as death traps. Cramped, poor/medievally dangerous ergonomics, poor visibility and SA from all crew positions. I think they may have even fired a few rounds from the main gun and were not that impressed with the FCS.

If you view your crews as expendable for the purpose of going on a one way tour of Western Europe, the tank is good enough, I suppose. Better than a contemporary Leo 1? It depends on the context. If the Leo is fighting hull down from a defensive position (as it was designed to do) and the T72 is in the open, the T72 will have a bad day. Against a Contemporary Leo 2, the T72 would have had a terrible day in almost any context. The only going for it were the quantity in which they existed.

They 'came second' in 1982, against the Israelis:

https://www.nytimes.com/1982/09/19/weekinreview/soviet-arms-come-in-second-in-lebanon.html
 

McG

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SeaKingTacco said:
Colin,

I just happened to be in Gagetown for a course when Canada was given a handful of running T-72s by Germany, after reunification.

The intial thought was that CTC would keep them as runners to act as OPFOR for various courses. That notion was quickly dropped once they were driven in the training area a few times. The crews described them as death traps. Cramped, poor/medievally dangerous ergonomics, poor visibility and SA from all crew positions. I think they may have even fired a few rounds from the main gun and were not that impressed with the FCS.

If you view your crews as expendable for the purpose of going on a one way tour of Western Europe, the tank is good enough, I suppose. Better than a contemporary Leo 1? It depends on the context. If the Leo is fighting hull down from a defensive position (as it was designed to do) and the T72 is in the open, the T72 will have a bad day. Against a Contemporary Leo 2, the T72 would have had a terrible day in almost any context. The only going for it were the quantity in which they existed.
Even the older T-64 was a better tank than the T-72 if you compared them as they came of the assembly line.
 

Petard

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SeaKingTacco said:
Colin,

I just happened to be in Gagetown for a course when Canada was given a handful of running T-72s by Germany, after reunification.

The intial thought was that CTC would keep them as runners to act as OPFOR for various courses. That notion was quickly dropped once they were driven in the training area a few times. The crews described them as death traps. Cramped, poor/medievally dangerous ergonomics, poor visibility and SA from all crew positions. I think they may have even fired a few rounds from the main gun and were not that impressed with the FCS.

Remember seeing those too, as well as some BMPs, in the OPFOR role. IIRC there were three T72's but, as mentioned, were not used for long. Two were used for testing 105mm APDSFS rds, head on, and TOW II.
One complete T72 and one BMP were given to the Gagetown museum to display, hopefully they still have them.
 

CBH99

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Isn't there a T-72 on display at the Museum of the Regiments in Calgary, also?  Or am I mistaken?  (It's been a few years since I've driven by and seen the tank display outside)
 

Colin Parkinson

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SeaKingTacco said:
Colin,

I just happened to be in Gagetown for a course when Canada was given a handful of running T-72s by Germany, after reunification.

The intial thought was that CTC would keep them as runners to act as OPFOR for various courses. That notion was quickly dropped once they were driven in the training area a few times. The crews described them as death traps. Cramped, poor/medievally dangerous ergonomics, poor visibility and SA from all crew positions. I think they may have even fired a few rounds from the main gun and were not that impressed with the FCS.

If you view your crews as expendable for the purpose of going on a one way tour of Western Europe, the tank is good enough, I suppose. Better than a contemporary Leo 1? It depends on the context. If the Leo is fighting hull down from a defensive position (as it was designed to do) and the T72 is in the open, the T72 will have a bad day. Against a Contemporary Leo 2, the T72 would have had a terrible day in almost any context. The only going for it were the quantity in which they existed.

My experience is crawling around the Littlefields (My buddy was a good friend of his) one (I believe a T-72M) which also allowed me to compare it to the T-54,T-55, T-62, IS-3, M48,M60, Centurion Leo 1 and Chieftain (Also the Conquer and M103 I was in tank heaven). It is certainly not a Western tank, but crew comfort and ergonomics were a big step up from the T-55. It had a very good gun at the time, the East Germany version did not have the most up to date FCS as I recall, which would fit with Soviet doctrine for export vehicles. I have also spoken with a couple of ex-T72 tankers, they generally liked their tank. I have to wonder how much training our tankers got on the vehicle, without some time and proper support it would be hard to make the transition and learn how to make the best of it. When comparing tanks , the timing and place is important as FCS and ammunition types were always being upgraded.
To be honest I was utterly shocked to see just how little armour there was on the Leopard 1 (He had two there, 1A1A4 and a 1A3A4). If caught outside of a hull down position it would suffer badly at the hands of a 125mm.

From my reading, both sides over estimated each other abilities and also believed that they had the better systems. a lot is the doctrine of use, as the T-72 was to be used in the attack, the smaller size was a benefit and the armour protection for the day was quite good. Thankfully we never got to see how good a Soviet Armoured Division would be in actual combat in Europe.
 

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As a tanker who has actually crewed both I can tell you this- their "expert" is on crack.

T72 is a garbage tank; full stop.
 

CBH99

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If I remember correctly, one of the huge disadvantages the Iraqis had during the Battle of 73 Easting was the hand cranked turrets, among other things. 

The Americans could drive by at speed & quickly swing the turrets around using hydraulics, whereas the Iraqis couldn't even keep their guns pointed where they needed them as the tank crews were physically cranking the turrets around by hand.  The Americans could outflank them & engage them from any direction they wanted, and the Iraqi tank crews couldn't even keep the American tanks in their arcs.


I'm not a tank expert by any means, and I've never crewed a tank in any way.  I imagine a line of T-72's pushing forwards, side by side, blasting whatever they can - that could be a problem.  But in maneuver warfare, they didn't stand a chance.  Fire control system isn't really relevant when you can't get your gun to point where ya need it to, when ya need it to. 

 
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