The end?

h_m_boro

Well-known member
Quick question - what is the big deal with the Leopard tanks? Are they the best available, German engineering etc etc? Why the apparent desperation for the Germans to send them to Ukraine? Are the Challengers etc not as good?
 

Lefty

Well-known member
Quick question - what is the big deal with the Leopard tanks? Are they the best available, German engineering etc etc? Why the apparent desperation for the Germans to send them to Ukraine? Are the Challengers etc not as good?

As I understand it the latest versions of the Challenger, Abrams and Leopard are the best tanks in the world and not a lot between them. The Leopard is reckoned to be maybe the best, but its probably marginal.

The problem with the Challenger is it isn't available in numbers to make a difference.

Leopards and Abrams are available in numbers, but the Abrams runs on jet fuel while the Leopard is on diesel. So the Leopard is better for Ukraine because it can meet fuel needs better but also there are plenty of nearby EU countries with Leopards who want to supply them and can also help with training and maintenance and repair.

Some tank wonks might cite a South Korean tank or an Israeli one as vying for the worlds best tank title, but there probably isn't much in it.
 

borolad259

Administrator
Staff member
Quick question - what is the big deal with the Leopard tanks? Are they the best available, German engineering etc etc? Why the apparent desperation for the Germans to send them to Ukraine? Are the Challengers etc not as good?

There is a tank nerd post a couple of pages back, but the primary thing is the number available.
 

Boro

Member
Apparently tanks work in groups of 14. UK is supplying 14 and other countries considering the same. Whilst a good thing now, it'll probably just escalate and prolong the war not end it. Russia won't stop unless their army & conscripts just have enough of destroying towns and walk off the job en masse or there's a regime change - not just Putin but the whole stinking mob around him in Moscow.

From the BBC news site today:
Ukraine is still unlikely to get the 300 modern main battle tanks it says it needs to win the war.
But if half a dozen Western nations each provide 14 tanks, then that would bring the total to nearly a hundred - which could make a difference.
Western tanks - including the UK's Challenger 2, Germany's Leopard 2 and the US-made Abrams - are all seen as superior to their Soviet-era counterparts, like the ubiquitous T-72.
 

borolad259

Administrator
Staff member
Could this be the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

It's only going one way. There is little rationale for Russia to keep fighting apart from the Leadership's desire to hang on to 1) power and wealth 2) their liberty (lives) 3. whatever territory they can (at the very least Sebastapol).
Their best hope is to negotiate their liberty and their lives in return for getting the hell out of Ukraine.
 

Andy_W

Well-known member
As I understand it the latest versions of the Challenger, Abrams and Leopard are the best tanks in the world and not a lot between them. The Leopard is reckoned to be maybe the best, but its probably marginal.

The problem with the Challenger is it isn't available in numbers to make a difference.

Leopards and Abrams are available in numbers, but the Abrams runs on jet fuel while the Leopard is on diesel. So the Leopard is better for Ukraine because it can meet fuel needs better but also there are plenty of nearby EU countries with Leopards who want to supply them and can also help with training and maintenance and repair.

Some tank wonks might cite a South Korean tank or an Israeli one as vying for the worlds best tank title, but there probably isn't much in it.
To be fair, you can (or could) run most diesel engines on jet fuel, I used to do it with my old 306 Diesel Turbo. From what I recall it damaged the fuel pump eventually, but that was after 10s of thousands of miles, and a fuel pump is a cheap and easy fix.

I can't see an Abrams tank engine having much trouble at all running on jet fuel, it will have been built to basically handle anything. Of course, diesel might not be optimum, but probably <1% performance difference.

Edit - looked it up, and apparently, it's a gas turbine, and would even run on petrol or cooking oil. Was specifically designed to run on many different fuel types, so probably even better than I thought.
 

Ingleby_Flash

Well-known member
To be fair, you can (or could) run most diesel engines on jet fuel, I used to do it with my old 306 Diesel Turbo. From what I recall it damaged the fuel pump eventually, but that was after 10s of thousands of miles, and a fuel pump is a cheap and easy fix.

I can't see an Abrams tank engine having much trouble at all running on jet fuel, it will have been built to basically handle anything. Of course, diesel might not be optimum, but probably <1% performance difference.

Edit - looked it up, and apparently, it's a gas turbine, and would even run on petrol or cooking oil. Was specifically designed to run on many different fuel types, so probably even better than I thought.
And very few critical moving parts.
 

Andy_W

Well-known member
And very few critical moving parts.
Yeah, for a tank, I'm guessing reliability, variability, survivability and easy maintenance are quite important to the guys in them, and rank quite highly at the design stage.

Probably not quite the same as a modern high-performance petrol engine in a sports car, tuned to an inch of its life which can only run on an exact specific fuel type, without having a literal meltdown :LOL:
 

borolad259

Administrator
Staff member
I reckon they are, when you compare each facial feature they look alike, at least to my untrained eye anyway! Only difference I potentially spotted is with the hair and that could be down to the lighting, image quality etc.

I reckon these two are the same Putin… or Putin double!

Likely old stock footage as well.
 

Druss_The_Legend

Well-known member
Annalena Baerbock(German Foreign Minister) has caused a bit of a stir by saying they are at war with Russia, obviously it's been taken out of context, but it seems to have upset a lot of people.
 

borolad259

Administrator
Staff member
In a change from our normal programming ....

"Words are important, especially how words are interpreted.
This is not a musing on the war, it is instead very much a musing on words, interpretations, and the intent behind the words.

At a European Security Conference at Munich 2007 Putin held a speech that became famous.
In it he for the first time attacked the West for NATO expansion, and stated that NATO had promised to not expand eastwards.
After that the gears of cooperation has been grinding louder and louder.

Putin then claimed that Bush the Elder had promised Gorbachev that NATO would not expand westwards.
The West has later vehemently claimed that this was false.
Problem is that it was both False and True at the same time.
In formal logic True and False are mutually exclusive, but in politics they often coexist.

So, what is "true", and what is "false".
It is true that Bush Sr. promised exactly that to Gorbachev, but both knew that the intention was a promise that NATO would not expand through force. Something later on confirmed by Gorbachev and Bush before they died.
What is also true is that expansion through new members applying was never even up for discussion, since both parties knew that this might indeed happen, and would be fruitless to even discuss.
Gorbachev did though hope that this would not happen, or be very limited.
Oh boy was he wrong.

This is not what my musing is about, even though it is part of why Russia fell out with the West.
But it was not the direct reason for the war.
I just mention it as an example when someone hears a sentence, and read into it what they want.
Or choses to read one implications out of two from the sentence.
Now we are ready for what Putin said in the same speech.

The Sentence
Few times in human history an entire programatic declaration was done in a single sentence.
It may have been the most important sentence so far in this century, at least afte Yugely Bigly when Trump descibed his hands.
Jokes aside, Putins sentence was Hugely Bigly important.

"The collapse of the Soviet Union was a historic mistake"
Even my feeble mind can come up with at least a dozen interpretations of it.
But, the common consensus is that Putin was talking about the breakup of the Soviet Union in several newish countries.
The "stans", Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, The Balitc States, and not to forget, Ukraine.

This interpretation is obviously partially correct.
After all, he forced the "the stans" and Belarus into a closer relationship, especially Belarus that entered into a direct Union with Russia.
Moldova, Georgia and Armenia he buggered by taking small parts. Moldova was Yeltsin, but that is beside the point, but it also gave Putin ideas...
The Baltics was a fair bit brighter and jumped into the West wholeheartedly and entered both the EU and NATO before he could do anything about those.
And, not even Putin **** with EU and NATO, not at least back then.
Russia was a lot weaker back then after all.

Anyway, we have good reason to think that at least partially the consensus view is correct.
Now let us walk over to another interpretation.

Soviet Union as World Counterpart to NATO.
This is something that Putin has alluded to many times.
That the world needed the Soviet Union, or now a Great Russia, as a counterpart against NATO expansionism.

As it turned out it was NATO that needed Russian expansionism, and that the world largely did not give a rats ass about it, more than being vaguely against the greatest military alliance of all time.
At the beginning of 2021 NATO was dying of old age, deemed to be a dinosaur of the past lacking any real opposition and lacking a reason to remain.
Trump for one saw it like that.
And to be honest, we also saw it like that up until 2014.
Now NATO is back with a vengeance, EU is back and being stronger and bolder than ever.
The UK is cosying back up to the EU, it is a time of having friends after all, and this is not a comment on Brexit.

EU and the US are also tighter than ever after the Cold War.
Peskov coined the term "The Collective West", and he is not far off.
Russia did though create The Collective West.

The third interpretation
This one has not been talked about a lot.
But, I think it is the most important one.
Putin and everyone in the Leadership all suffer from rabid Ostalgia.
Ostalgia means to fondly miss the old times of the East. Originally implying East Germany, but it exports extremely well.

Putin not only missed the time when the Soviet Union was truly feared and respected across the Globe.
When Breshnev coughed, the world reached for a handkerchief.
Putin also miss the Soviet System, and this is the most important part.
Ideologic purity, a clearcut working system where the Party ruled all there was, without interference of anyone else, especially the bothersom West.
Was it the loss of the Soviet System that was the historic mistake that he is trying to correct?

Intelligence
It is often claimed that Russia started the war due to bad intelligence and a lack of understanding of the strength of the army.
The latter part is somewhat true, the army was weaker than believed, due to a lack of understanding of the massive effects of widespread corruption.
That being said, they obviously knew it was not as strong as they had projected it to be.
It was obvious and well known to them that they could not win if the West in any way, shape, or form got involved.
In retrospect we know that the West united against Russia, but this was far from a given.
3 things buggered this, BBS.
Biden openly warning about the upcoming Russian invasion in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Sweden galumphing to the border with it's entire army screaming to high heavens that the Russian was coming and screaming across the four corners of the world (what a patently stupid expression) for help. (Thank you UK and Netherlands for coming)
This brings us to Boris.
He sent the navy, he went and talked to Biden, and together they started to send weapons.
Boris went and told us to send weapons, something we did in secret even prior to admitting to it.
On BBS the failure of the Russian invasion started, because BBS shook the West out of its slumber.
But, on the 24th of February BBS was just a nuisance. Instead Russia had all the reasons for being confident that the West would bark, do a bit of sanctioning, and then go back to bed as he munched on Ukraine.
Would he have won?
I am not so sure, the Ukrainian will would probably in retrospect have hauled in the West in the end.

Back to Intelligence
It is complete and utter bullhork to say that Russia did not know that they went into a lot of trouble.
We know this because no other than Naryshkin tried in public to tell Putin that it was a **** of an idea to attack Ukraine, and that the consequences might be more than grave for Russia.
We all saw this play out live.
Putin was brutal and drove Naryshkin into looking like a blathering fool.
We also know that Naryshkin had warned Putin that they knew that it was too risky to be worth it.
Same with the head of the State Bank of Russia, they had also warned and said that there was an extreme risk for torturous sanctions, reality turned out even worse.

So, Russia had all the intelligence needed back then.
It was clear, this was a **** idea.

This brings me back to the question everyone has asked themselves and each other since the war began. WHY?
The Russian military knew that they did not have enough troops, nor gear, for a prolonged war.
And they knew there was a high percentage chance that a prolonged war would happen.
They also knew in February that the West had started to send weapons, and that the West was unlikely to stop or back down.
They knew that hard sanctions would follow.
They even knew that there was a chance that they might loose completely.

Only a fool would attack with those odds if a landgrab was the reason, or even if expanding partially in Ukraine.
No, all parties in Russia sort of hoped for a miracle, be it political or military.
Not Putin though, he looked very much like he knew what he was doing, and that he was seeing the clear possibility to achieve his main goal, and with a bit of luck some more parts to call Russia.

The Reason
The only thing that matters is Moscow.
Moscow rules the Soviet Union, The Soviet Union is there to serve Moscow.
The Party and Ideology is the means for Moscow to rule the Soviet Union.
Moscow is the tool of the Leader.
Josef Stalin

This is the Soviet System that Putin adheres to, he has stated that in Stalins day was the last time Russia was great, and that he is about to bring it back.

The War was never about conquering Ukraine, good if it happened, but never the main objective.
The main objective was to create a situation in Russia that gave the opportunity to bring back the Soviet System in the shape prefered by the leader.
By starting a war Putin got sweeping powers and the possibility to change droves of laws in the country.
It gave him the power the once and for all crush any opposition and force everyone into the line stated by the Leader.

If the war is lost Russia will still have been transformed, returned behind the Iron Curtain, safe to longterm rebuild and set out to recreate the Empire.
After all, Russia has nothing to fear, not being a nuclear power.
And Putin does not need the world, he has 140 million Russians to do his bidding.
It is the return of the Soviet Union, but this time forever, with every single Russian certain that everyone is against them.

Obviously it is a sham dream of Putin.
There is no Party, the one he created is just a facade for himself.
There is no Ideology, other ideologists filled that void rapidly.
In the end the once mighty Soviet Union with the all encompassing Party, and the might of Marxist-Leninism (cough) behind it.
It even had a purpose in the world and a great victory, The Patriotic War, behind it.
Putin just perverted into a cleptocratic dictatorship with him as frothing maniac at the helm.
It was doomed before he even tried, yes it might have worked for a few years, but as he fell things would fall.
His great empire was never meant to be a longterm one.
He was just the dying flame at the Foundation of the Empire.

Now what we are seeing is consolidation of power into the ruling elite.
In it there is no space for oligarchs, warlords, so they are being disappeared.
Instead it is now clear that Soyghurt, Gerasimov, Peskov, and a handful of other high ranking functionaries are sticking to the plan.
Filling the void, sharing the dream of the Soviet Union with their ghost.

Gerasimov is consolidating the army and getting rid of Prigozhin.
Kadyrov will stay quiet and supportive in his banana republic, smoking ginormous amounts of weed, and publishing videos high as a kite.
There is no longer any opposition.
As the inevitable happens, Gerasimov will take the remnant of the army back home, and slam the border shut.
There will be no peace agreement.
After that there will be Swan Lake, and one of the Bodydoubles will perform his last act as Putin dies heroically defending the nation.
"He" will then be placed beside Lenin for a while.
A few years later an article will be published about his failings and mistakes, and the cadaver will be hauled out and be buried on waste dump site.

The goal was never to win against the West or NATO.
The goal was never about winning against Ukraine. But they would not have been sad if it happened.
The goal was to win the Soviet Union and the Soviet System back.

Unlike the real deal it will fail due to lack of a functioning party controlling the country, and without a motivating ideology.
It will fail slowly over years, or even decades, as the country travels back in time.
In the end babushkas will talk about cell phones, and the young ones will not believe them.
In the end they will not even know there is anything out there beyond Russia.
Only that there is a horrible threat out there beyond the rim of the Empire.
And in the all important Moscow there will be one Leader after another.
Over time they might even get a better title, telling of future better times.
Czar of All Russias.

Conclusion
Obviously all the interpretations carry one side of the Truth.
But, I have reasons to believe that the rebirth through was of the Soviet Union in diminished form was at least the fallback plan.
The new laws, and the new Russian System was enacted to rapidly, and to well, to not have been preplaned.

I will never forget Naryshkin shaking at the podium, stumbling over words, eyes filled with dread.
It was the moment he became a traitor working against Russia.
As my friend Konstantin Sa****ov said early on, I have heard this music before.
It is the music of the Soviet Union.
He was right.

I think that what I outlined above is at least partially correct, and I know that it follows the evidence and clues given.
But sure I will not be until the war has ended, if it will even end.
For the Soviet 2.0 having an eternal war like the Korean War, might be the ultimate cherry on the cake.
An upgraded sort of the Cold War.

Tomorrow the regular programing of small military tidbits will resume.
This was a cut down version, heavily bowdlerised, and obviously without sources, of a brief that I wrote last week."
 
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