Ukraine and Only Ukraine. If it isn't about Ukraine then fuck off

Ease the sheet.

ignoring stupid people is easy
Asked on another forum and worth talking about. Other DAT’s feel free to opine, lots of unknowns and not confident this estimate is correct.

This is pure SWAG, and language difficulties, lack of facilities, and selection may all take longer than my guesstimate. I’ve asked other DAT’s for their input: summary was “Absolute minimum two weeks for crew, but mechanics will take a LOT longer.”

The Driver and Loader positions are fairly simple, if grueling. They are usually the least experienced and lowest ranking soldiers. There are some fairly straightforward maintenance tasks they perform.

The driver has to understand how the tank responds to the controls and terrain, and may often be operating with the hatch down, through an optical or thermal viewer, at night under blackout conditions. Basics, a few days.

The Loader has to manhandle large, heavy main gun ammo, loading the correct type on command. He also observes from the hatch, and may operate a secondary weapon. A few days of practice.

The Gunner controls the main gun and coaxial machine gun. He has to find targets, select the ammunition type (for the ballistic computer), establish the range, and aim the gun. It’s the least physically demanding job, but his skill is absolutely critical to survival of the tank and crew. An experienced Gunner would probably take one to three weeks to learn all the “Switchology.”

That’s because sub systems may fail. The Gunner looks through an optical/FLIR imager, and has inputs for range (via laser rangefinder), crosswind, altitude, temperature, ammo type, and the motion of the tank relative to the target. The ballistic computer will calculate the elevation and lead a necessary.

Especially on tanks, Murphy is an Optimist so things fail. Training would progress through remedial action for each type of system failure. There is literally an optical gunsight next to the barrel, hand cranks for turret and elevation, and a hand generator to ignite the primer.

The Tank Commander has to navigate, communicate with other tanks, possibly lead other tanks, and direct the gunner. He has an additional sight to pre-select targets, and can override the Gunner to slew the turret and fire the guns. This is weeks of learning the capabilities of the tank and systems, and then rote practice.

It’s is probably reasonable to assume UAF will select their most capable crews for retraining. So for the Driver and Loader, it might be a week or two of daily training for their job skills and maintenance tasks.

For the Gunner, learning day and night firing sequences for every foreseeable circumstance is a tall order. It is not known if the U.S. Army’s advanced simulators will be available. If so, it might be two to three weeks of practice. If not, probably four to six weeks to be proficient.

The Vehicle Commander will likely be a very successful and motivated NCO with outstanding technical skills. Still, he (or possibly she) has to learn pretty much everything the others learn, and then function in an environment where everything happens much, much faster. My first experience on an Abrams was as an Umpire for a unit maneuver, and the unit covered ground two or three times faster than what I was used to. So there has to be a time for the crew and higher units to practice, iron out the bugs and replace those who can’t cut it. So figure three weeks to as many as eight, plus gunnery practice, maneuver practice, and higher unit training.

War time pressures could telescope this all in. I’d think two weeks would be the absolute minimum to be able to do anything, three to four weeks to operate at 80%, six to eight weeks to be confident they can handle anything.

The Chieftain is a recognized armor expert. He has another video called “Tanks 101” if you want to start with the basics.

The small number of tanks available will increase their importance.

I wouldn't be surprised if the training errs on the long side.

Getting them effective is really, really, really important...


Boston, PRM
The small number of tanks available will increase their importance.

I wouldn't be surprised if the training errs on the long side.

Getting them effective is really, really, really important...
In the battle of Kursk, the Germans made an armored wedge with then-new Tigers, followed by Panthers, followed by the Panzer IV’s.

The idea of an armored fist isn’t new, still works.


How nice of them.

The Baykar company has donated two Bayraktar TB2 drones to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Source: Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence on Facebook

Quote: "Today we received two more Bayraktar TB2 drones from our great friends and partners of Ukraine, the Baykar company.

Baykar handed them over free of charge to help the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the people of Ukraine protect them from the occupiers.

We are extremely grateful to Baykar for its uncompromising and constant support during the most difficult times for our country."



Super Anarchist
Crews could be "trained" in no time but that makes no sense in the current situation. There is no dire need. Getting the training right helps a lot in the long run.

There are some major differences between modern western and T-tanks.
A big one is weight. Increased ground pressure means that it is entirely possible to sink a Leopard 2 in places where a T-72 is able to go. German crews occasionally manage to do that in the Lüneburg Heath. Looks something like this:

So both driver and commander have to change their expectations or we'll see a repeat from the beginning of the war. Perfectly working tanks stranded and even crews killed by driver error.

Gunner stays largely the same.
Loader is an entirely new position for most T-tank crews. T64 and later use autoloaders. Maybe Ukraine sends crews with M55 or T62 experience? Their workflow is much closer to Leopard and Abrams.
Tank commander has probably to learn and change the most. Beyond where to send the tank there are also a lot of changes how it can be used and what is the best idea in a given situation. Better optics. Higher silhouette. A much faster reverse speed.

What else to add.

In Germany at least the tank commander is generally expected to have prior training on all other positions. Understanding the other positions allows to command effectively. It also is important for for on the job training/supervision purposes. During the cold war turned hot everyone but the commander would have been a conscript.
If possible all crew should be trained in more than 1 position. In case of injury, to find out if they are more suitable for something else and of course also to generate new tank commanders.

The loader has some free time. They often also do some of radio work. Monitoring what the TC is missing while talking to someone else, directly answering is required. Keeping track on what is supposed to happen when and overall situational awareness.


Super Anarchist
In other news the German Parliament has been officially been notified about the decision to deliver tanks. 14 Leopard 2A6, 2 additional Bergepanzer(*), ammo, spares - all from Bundeswehr stock. Delivery of the tanks end of Q1 Begin of crew training can start in early February and will take 6 weeks using the previously established processes. Actual start date depends on the arrival of Ukrainian crews.

*: Which one? More Bergepanzer 2 based on Leopard 1 or are those the new Bergepanzer 3 "Buffalo" based on Leopard 2? Bundeswehr has 143 Bergepanzer 2 and 75 Bergepanzer 3.

Edith: End of Q1 aka end of March, not Q3.


Super Anarchist
Has anyone an idea how the US decided on 31 M1 Abrams?
Everyone else seems to be sending multiples of 14, the usual amount of tanks in a NATO tank company, including the US Army.


Super Anarchist
The Netherlands
Another day of a missile attack, no change in strategy, hitting civilian structures near big cities way behind the front lines.

So far 24 Shaheed drones, 24 taken down.
30 missiles of which 4 hit something.

At the moment more bomber planes in the air and navy at sea.
In Kyiv more then 4 hours of air alarm.


Super Anarchist
The Netherlands
Yesterday Putin held a Security Council meeting. And like in the past, there is a mole leaking the info to Estonia's secret service. Info from the past shows the mole was correct then.

Experts at the Security Council advise concentrating on the defense of the occupied territories while postponing all offensive plans.
Putin has a different vision of the situation. Generals agreed to go on the offensive.
They reckon 500 to 700 tanks will be send this year by Ukr partners. Including updated T's. And have to prepare for missiles capable of traveling 180 Km.

PS, meeting done by videocall, higher risk of leaks. Puitin does not like to meet in person.


Super Anarchist

What about the alternatives, including the U.S. M1 Abrams?​

However, the Biden administration has argued that the U.S.-made tanks have a number of disadvantages for the field in Ukraine.

They use jet fuel, which is far more difficult to obtain compared to the diesel used by the Leopard 2. Though the tank once weighed 60 tons, it has ballooned in weight over the years; new versions can weigh nearly 75 tons, which adds logistical difficulties. That’s a lot of weight to drive over a bridge, for example.

They also have complicated maintenance requirements, U.S. officials have told reporters, and require specialized training.

Those are all true.

The modern Abrams also contains a suite of Top Secret level command and control options including integration of top of the line anti-missile weapon technology to confuse and redirect guided missiles. There is no way that technology is being given to the Ukrainians. We don't give that technology to anyone. In practice, Ukraine will get a stripped down version, probably next year, which will be easier to operate and won't matter if they are somehow taken.

As with the Patriot system, they'll probably be put near Kyiv as a warning and symbol.
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Super Anarchist
West Maui

“I think it should have been Sweden, and they send tanks to Ukraine and Russia,” she added. “OK, hear me out. Hear me out. And then, Sweden, do that thing you do when you send the tanks in parts with a diagram for assembly. That would bring the countries together because no one can assemble that shit on their own.”


moderate, informed, ex-gunowner
near Seattle, Wa
I caught a one minute burst from a keen young female journo. She said the following:
  • This struggle will be resolved in a tank battle, possibly in the spring.
  • As the USA drew the line at sending tanks, we encouraged others to send their old stuff.
  • Instead, the other nations copied the refusal of the USA to send tanks.
  • We are sending a PR message with this gifting.
  • Besides, each of these machines is fussy, needs big tech support, AND requires jet fuel, to rock and roll.
  • The USA is acting now, so an international build-up leads to the right training and logistics.

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