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Sturgeon's House

Jim Warford

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Everything posted by Jim Warford

  1. The guy in the grey suit seen to the right of TC's MG is North Korean...
  2. The info I've seen on the BR-412D says 170mm max penetration (at zero degrees) at 1500m...and 185mm max penetration at 1000m. So that one's a close call... Also, T-72s were never deployed to the GSFG, SGF, or NGF...only the CGF. The interesting issue is really about the high priority units in the western Soviet Union...in some cases, they had different and better equipment than the forward groups.
  3. Just to clarify...the M60's hull armor (according to unclassified test reporting from 1958), was designed specifically to defeat the 100mm gun at 1500 yards. The 100mm BR-412, BR-412B, and BR-412D were not really a threat to the frontal armor of the M60 and M60A1. It also isn't a given that the 100mm gun could penetrate the M48 in every case: "Domestic 100mm and 122mm guns are effective measures against the American M48 tanks. Out of the two types of 100 mm shells (blunt and sharp tipped), the blunt tipped is more effective. However, neither the 100mm blunt tipped shell with a muzzle velocity of 895 m/s nor the 122mm blunt tipped shell with the muzzle velocity of 781-800 m/s can penetrate the upper front hull of the M48 tank." Also, your statement, "T-64 was also present in second line units, just as the T-72 was present in elite units," isn't true in every case...unless you consider the majority of the forward groups as not being elite. The only forward deployed T-72s were in the CGF in Czechoslovakia...the GSFG, SGF, and NGF all had T-64s or T-80s. I do agree that some of the first echelon units inside Soviet territory were very well equipped...
  4. My response wasn't "emotional" at all...it was simply a reply to some BS that was posted regarding the performance of a tank that I know by personal experience, is a high performer. By the way, how much personal experience do you have on the M60A3...or any tank for that matter? Just curious... Clearly, the Austrians conducting the live-fire test knew the capabilities of the tanks firing the NP105 rounds...if the parameters were set above the capabilities of the tanks being used, the tests were bogus anyway. In other words, if they were "expecting firing performance closer to the Leopard 2 or M1A1D/M1A2" as you offered above, why use the M60A3? Maybe it was the only tank available...or maybe the round just wasn't performing as expected. The generalized observation, "i.e. this paragraph mentions that the accuracy of the M60A3 was bad and some people blamed the new Austrian APFSDS for this, but after various investigations that lasted until July 1991, it was proven to be a fault of the M60A3 and not of the NP 105 APFSDS round," sounds much more political than the actual failure of the tank doing the shooting. Finally, saying that the "fire control system of the M60A3 wasn't on par with the newer tanks is well known," is obvious and naive...it was the tank the Austrians used. If they wanted a more modern tank with more sophisticated fire control, they should have used one. It looks like the tank was the "fall-guy" for expensive rounds that under-performed.
  5. I'm calling BS on this one...the M60A3 is a very accurate weapon system, day or night. In fact, when it first appeared, it was probably the most accurate night-fighting tank on the planet. I was a qualified tank crewman on the M60A3 TTS (along with the M60A1 RISE (Passive) and M1 (105mm) tanks), and I know the 105mm gun and fire control system on the M60A3 very well. Actual proof the M60A3 was to blame here simply doesn't exist...the generalized conclusion reported here missed the point. The reality is that the round was under-performing and something else had to be blamed.
  6. It's true that not everyone can successfully use stereoscopic rangefinders...but they were still used around the world (M48, M103, Type 61, etc.), and selected for the SU-122-54. It still gave the vehicle a significant accuracy advantage... You're also right about the interior of the Krasnodar SU-122-54 (see photos below); but for me, it's still better than nothing. I'm still hoping that one or two more SU-122-54s will be uncovered some day...
  7. heretic88; first of all...the quote I included above regarding the performance of the 122mm gun is from official Soviet sources...that's not my opinion. As far a performance against the M48 is concerned, I've dug-up reports that claim that the bow (or lower glacis), and the turret front can be penetrated by the D-25...also, a lot of the reporting available on the performance of the D-25 relates to testing of the BR-471 APHE and BR-471B APBC rounds, not the more capable BR-471D APCBC round. It's important to remember that according to authoritative Israeli sources, IDF M48s were knocked out by Egyptian IS-3s in 1967. So far, I haven't been able to confirm the AP rounds the Egyptians were using...it's possible that in combat, the significant amount of force created by being hit by a full-bore 122mm AP round alone did enough damage to knock out the Israeli tanks. According to previously classified US reports, Soviet assault gun organizations used 122mm-armed assault guns at least through 1969/1970...including both the ISU-122S and the SU-122-54. Getting organizational details about the SU-122-54 is challenging since most of the details were highly classified at the time. You're right about medium tank regiments having an "SU" company, but it was more than "some" and included MRRs as well. According to official US references, both tank divisions and mechanized divisions had 122mm-armed assault guns. Some of the references include: 1955 = SAU-122 company, 1958 = SU-122 assault gun company, and 1964 = assault gun battery. In rifle divisions, by far, most of the regimental assault gun/tank destroyer companies were equipped with SU-100s. In some select cases however, those were replaced by SU-122-54s...confirmed in the 128th Guards Motorized Rifle Division for example (when they were deployed in Czechoslovakia during Operation Danube in 1968). It's likely, that the ISU-122S was pulled from front line service when the tank division Heavy Tank/Assault Gun Regiment was dropped and replaced by a third Medium Tank Regiment in the 1962-1964 timeframe. IMO, it's much more likely that the ISU-122S was finally removed from service because the MBTs it was supporting evolved to the point where they simply no longer needed assault guns or gun-armed tank destroyers. That's also the likely reason that (AFAIK), the SU-122-54 wasn't ever seen supporting T-62-equipped units...only T-54/55 units. As far as gun accuracy is concerned, the D-10 is an excellent gun...with a good gunner, it could be very accurate. The advantage the SU-122-54 and it's D-49 main gun had was the use of the TKD-09 stereoscopic rangefinder. As a retired "Tankist" myself, I have a lot of experience with rangefinders...and I know what a good gunner can do with a rangefinder...especially at longer ranges. This system gave the SU-122-54 an accuracy advantage over all other fielded Soviet assault guns, tank destroyers, and tanks until the introduction of the T-64. Finally, there are actually two surviving SU-122-54s; the one at Kubinka (which I have seen in person), and the one at the military museum in Krasnodar. The Krasnodar SU-122-54 is shown below:
  8. heretic88; there are a few different issues here: first, comparing the SU-100 to the ISU-122 isn't a good comparison...the SU-100 is a tank destroyer, the ISU-122 is an assault gun. The ISU-122S with the D-25 successfully combined the abilities of both a tank destroyer and an assault gun, giving it significant advantages over the SU-100. According to documented discussions in 1944, a key factor in the Soviet decision not to use the 100mm gun on "JS" tanks was the significant advantage 122mm HE had over 100mm HE ammo. This decision was based on several factors to be sure, but they included the fact that, "JS tanks armed with the 122mm main gun are successfully repelling all counterattacks by German tanks of all types at all ranges (i.e. up to 1500 meters)." Secondly, (IIRC) the D-25 did eventually get HEAT rounds although not until 1965/1966 (3BK9/3BK9M along with some others). And finally, the development of 100mm and 122mm AP ammo was done in parallel…and again (IIRC), they had the same level of technology until the late 1960s at least. Had the planned upgrade of the SU-122-54 taken place, it would have had the same ammo as the T-10M including the 3BM11 APDS round. It's also important to remember here that the SU-122-54 had the TDK-09 stereoscopic rangefinder which meant that it's D-49 (D-25TA) 122mm main gun was more accurate than the SU-100's main gun.
  9. You're making my point for me...the ISU-122S served until the 1960s...the SU-122-54 (my favorite), served until at least 1969/1970. The SU-122-54 was the first truly combined Soviet assault gun/tank destroyer that had clear advantages over any other Soviet assault gun or tank destroyer. It was killed by the anti-gun/pro-missile mafia, not because of any performance issues. It was accepted for mass production and for upgrading to the M62T-2 gun from the T-10M. The numerous SU-100s weren't preferred, there was just a lot of them around and they were cheap...so they survived for (maybe) a few years longer. SU-122-54s actually replaced SU-100s in tank destroyer companies in selected regiments.
  10. It's true that the ISU-122S didn't stay in service as long as the ISU-152...my point is that it not only served in East Germany after the war, but it also was a key development in bringing a dual-purpose assault gun/tank destroyer to the field. 122mm-armed assault gun companies (more tank destroyer companies really), were an important part of the Soviet Army until the late 1960s or early 1970s.
  11. I think it's important to remember that the D-25 122mm gun was not only very successful in WWII, but it also served well into the Cold War. In fact, the ISU-122 didn't get much attention in the West until it was fitted with a "tank gun" and became the ISU-122S. The ISU-122S fitted with the D-25 (known as the Object 249, SU-249 and JSU-249 while it served with the GSFG in East Germany after the war), got a lot of attention. It was as close to a truly combined assault gun/tank destroyer that had been developed up to that point. Finally, regarding the D-25, fitted to Egyptian IS-3s, it was knocking out Israeli M48s in 1967...using ammo from 1945/1947.
  12. Wow...as many of you know and may remember from various discussions over the years, there has always been a series of myths and legends in the armor community. Most have been resolved over the years...like the myth that the French used Panthers in Indochina. Historically, the rumor regarding T-64s in Angola has lingered-on for quite some time. Most people and reliable military sources continued to disregard this rumor immediately, considering it a case of poor vehicle ID, etc. Reports that very specifically identify T-64s in Angola and specifically name Ukraine as the source, continued to appear...but interestingly enough, through political and diplomatic reporting. These photos (finally) confirm that T-64s were present...thanks for posting the link and sharing the photos...great stuff.
  13. This is a very interesting pic...one of these two captured Megach 3s (shown in Syria in 1982 with Russian advisors), is very likely the "key" tank that was captured by the Syrians and paraded through Damascus. It became the focus of Israeli POW/MIA organizations since the missing Israeli crew was unaccounted for. There were even rumors (which the Russian government has strongly denied), that crew remains and personal belongings were still on-board when the Syrian government provided the tank to the Russia. The tank was on display at Kubinka for many years until June 2016 when it was finally exchanged for a different less meaningful Megach 3 after an official ceremony at Kubinka. A link to the video of the ceremony is included below:
  14. That_Baka: I disagree...Suvorov's T-62-based "IT-130" could have been planned and then cancelled by the Soviet anti-gun, pro-missile mafia, or it could have been built in very small numbers and then hidden away. IMO, the reason that the West eventually got the word on the IT-1 was because it was a modern missile system that the Soviets were happy with, and showed-off...at least initially. Just because the IT-1 is the only known vehicle to use the "IT" designation, doesn't mean it wasn't used secretly or very early in the life of other vehicles. The pattern of medium tank-based assault guns/tank destroyers supporting medium tank equipped MRRs was well established and could have continued (at one level or another), up to T-62 equipped MRRs. In any case, the planned role for these post-war assault guns/tank destroyers was a significant one...it just didn't turn out as planned. Finally, as far as the value of the info provided by Suvorov is concerned...some critics claim that he simply told his new US/NATO buddies what he thought they wanted to hear (mostly fabrications). On the other hand, it only makes sense that the Soviets would label him as a "hack" and his info as bogus...to do otherwise would be to validate the truth and importance of what Suvorov provided to their potential enemies.
  15. The response from Suvorov to his critics in IDR is important for a variety of reasons...not least of which is that he provides his own drawing of the “IT-130” assault gun/tank destroyer. Unlike the now well-known SU-122-54 labeled as the “IT-122” by Suvorov, the mysterious “IT-130” hasn’t been confirmed...in fact, AFAIK, the only references made to the “IT-130” relate directly back to Suvorov. Also, don’t let the “IT-130” designation sway your opinion regarding its existence...we know the “IT-122” (SU-122-54) actually did exist. It’s likely that at some point in Suvorov’s military history he heard this new secretive assault gun/tank destroyer (maybe both 122mm and 130mm vehicles), described using “IT;” we know about the real-world IT-1 after all. For me, the challenge with Suvorov is one of scale and exaggeration...it’s pretty clear at this point that every Soviet Army MRR inside the Soviet Union actually didn’t have a battery of these new assault guns/tank destroyers...but some did. The units that I've confirmed are as follows: 24th Motorized Infantry Division, 128th Guards Motorized Rifle Division, 55th Guards Motorized Rifle Division/30th Guards Motorized Rifle Division, and 66th Guards Motorized Rifle Division...all had batteries of SU-122-54s. For the last several years, most of Suvorov’s critics confidently disregard the reported existence of the “IT-130.” Maybe it was a fabrication...but for me, I’m not quite ready to jump on that band-wagon. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a few of these things hidden away in some storage facility somewhere. Time will tell...
  16. As was discussed previously on this site, the two most important things to keep secret about secret things are not revealing how much you actually know, and the source of what you actually know. Open sources like IDR and Jane's don't always get it right...over the years, they have provided some very good open source info, but they're not all-knowing. Here again, is the previously confidential pic of the T-80 from 1979...2 years before the IDR article. Who knows what the "West" knew at higher and higher levels of classification?
  17. Interestingly enough, the photos shown here in the famous IDR article are from the French delegation visit in October 1977, a month before the T-72's first appearance in Red Square...and over a year after the T-64A was first spotted in East Germany in September 1976. The article confirmed that the US and NATO had incorrectly labeled the T-64A, as the T-72.
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