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Jim Warford

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Everything posted by Jim Warford

  1. Jim Warford

    T-80 Megathread: Astronomical speed and price!

    Not true...that drawing was published in the 1981 edition of the Pentagon's annual journal, "Soviet Military Power." That journal was primarily a propaganda tool used by the US DOD and it included many hypothetical drawings over the years to include this infamous "T-80." While it's true that there was some confusion around identifying the T-80 exactly (which was finally corrected for the public in that unclassified journal in the 1986 edition), classified reporting regarding the T-80 had already been in use for many years before the published photo in 1986. A CIA report published in Oct 1979 (2 years before the release of the hypothetical drawing above), for example, confirms the first sighting of the actual T-80 with a photo.
  2. Jim Warford

    T-80 Megathread: Astronomical speed and price!

    One of the very first images to be released of the M1983/1 (T-80B) spotted in the GSFG (5 April 1983): Image from GSFG (22 Feb 1984): Image from GSFG (Aug 1985):
  3. Jim Warford

    General AFV Thread

    Well, you're right to a point...the IMI 60mm gun was a capable gun as well. The Super 75, however, fired a DU SABOT round that enabled these light platforms to knockout MBTs from the front, at normal combat ranges...there was no need to close to 500-1000 meters. These formerly classified pics show the result of such a hit with a penetrator the size of a standard pencil. The T-54 burned for three days...
  4. Jim Warford

    General AFV Thread

    The ELKE test bed like many of its experimental cousins mounted the ARES "Super 75" 75mm main gun. This was an impressive gun with performance above and beyond what was expected from it's size. Here are a few pics of the Super 75 APFSDS round being live-fire tested against a fully loaded T-54...
  5. T___A; well, the IS-7 is interesting, I'll give you that...but, how many test vehicles were actually built (4 or 5)? How many were deployed with Soviet forces? Zero... As I mentioned above, there are a lot of interesting test vehicles and prototypes at Kubinka (I know, I've been there), but most weren't fielded and ultimately became dead-ends. It's a mistake to criticize the SU-122-54 based on the numbers produced...we know that 95 D-49 main guns were produced and while some sources report a total production run of 77 vehicles, the actual number could be higher. I disagree with you regarding a 122mm "spg" being nonsensical after 1944. In fact, the SU-122-54's primary tactical role wasn't even fully developed until 1945. After the war, this new assault gun/tank destroyer successfully combined the capabilities of both the heavy and medium assault gun/tank destroyer...think "Storm Teams." In the end, the problem the SU-122-54 ran into was all about timing...the total number produced wasn't a statement concerning it's qualities or capabilities; on the contrary, it was accepted for mass production. This impressive vehicle was clearly killed by the pro-missile/anti-gun lobby....
  6. Baka; here's a quick overview of the technology successfully built into the SU-122-54 - many of the identified issues/problems associated with previous Soviet assault guns and 122mm-armed tanks were solved: First Soviet production tank or assault gun fitted with a main gun bore evacuator (advantage over all previous Soviet assault guns and tanks) Vertically stabilized main gun (advantage over T-10, same level as T-10A) Two (human) loaders (advantage over all other Soviet 122mm-armed assault guns and tanks) Mechanical rigid-chain rammer (advantage over all IS-series of tanks) First and only Soviet production assault gun or tank fitted with a stereoscopic rangefinder (advantage over all previous Soviet assault guns and tanks until the fielding of the T-64) From my perspective, the combination of lessons-learned from WWII and new (at the time) technology, make the SU-122-54 very interesting. We also need to remember that the Soviets thought it was interesting as well...the SU-122-54 was approved both for mass production and upgrading by fitting the M62-T2 122mm main gun (with its 3BM11 APDS ammo)...the upgraded vehicle was designated SU-122L. Also, just to clarify, I said that the D-49 made the D-25 (series) 122mm main gun what it was meant to be...which doesn't include the M62-T2. The T-10M had a more powerful main gun to be sure...but it was less accurate and had a lower rate of fire. Finally, while Kubinka is full of interesting prototypes, the SU-122-54 was produced, deployed, and would have seen combat had things gone differently in Czechoslovakia.
  7. LoooSeR; good question...first of all, it was right in the middle of the two most significant Soviet Army events of the 1960s: exercise Dnepr in 1967 and Operation Danube (the invasion of Czechoslovakia), in 1968. These two events shaped the Soviet Army of the Cold War and provided very real rehearsals for WWIII. You're correct, the SU-122-54 was the product of the Soviet Army experience in WWII...especially during the Manchuria campaign against the Japanese. The Soviets developed tactics for combined-arms organizations known as "Assault Groups," "Storm Teams," and "Forward Detachments," with assault guns/tank destroyers at their core. After the war, the SU-122-54 (probably known as the SU-122 (M1954) by the Soviets), was secretly fielded in companies/batteries that were organic to select/high-priority MRRs and TRs. As mentioned above, the SU-122-54 was deployed for both Dnepr and Operation Danube. Since it wasn't forward deployed in the Groups, it was almost missed by Western intelligence through it's development, short life, and death (at Khrushchev's hand...guns bad, missiles good). The first mention of the SU-122-54 in an official US military reference manual was in a USMC MCIA manual in 1996...that's 41 years after it was fielded by the Soviet Army. There was limited intel available on this vehicle as early as 1958 but most of it was Top Secret so it didn't reach many folks in the field. The CIA gave it the designation SU-100 (M1968). I could go on...the SU-122-54 truly made the D-25 122mm main gun (versioned for the SU-122-54 as the D-49), what it was meant to be...etc.