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The US State Department and other US government organs believed their own propaganda.  Remember this? The US government is filled with aging Baby Boomers who feel considerable nostalgia about the

Look, I'm a patriotic American, and this sort of video makes me happy.  You see, as a patriotic American, I have long believed that my country makes the best propaganda.  Tremendous.  Huge.  The best,

5 hours ago, Lostwingman said:

Question, I know the source of this is Ezra Klein (many keks) but how accurate is the narrative?

 

I understand there's a narrative at play with this but what are the issues with them as presented here? I'm a bit weak with my knowledge of the origins of the Syria civil war.

https://www.facebook.com/ezraklein/videos/10153737513773410/

 

 

Look, I'm a patriotic American, and this sort of video makes me happy.  You see, as a patriotic American, I have long believed that my country makes the best propaganda.  Tremendous.  Huge.  The best, believe me.  Bigly.

This video is an excellent example of how to do propaganda.  Good propaganda consists mostly of statements that are true.  You don't make up your own facts, you make up your own interpretations of those facts.

 

So, while most of what Klein says is basically true (and the things that he says that are wrong might be honest mistakes; in 2015 less of the truth had leaked out), the overall story is slanted.  And not even obviously slanted; a lot of his big-picture stuff is also essentially correct.  His breakdown of the factions and their foreign backers is pretty accurate, for instance.

For instance, he describes US aid to the rebels as starting in 2013.  While it is true that the US was not providing the rebels weapons prior to this date (at least not in large amounts), they were providing food and medical supplies since 2011.  So it isn't like the Obama Administration was responding to outrages by the Assad regime; they had been materially supporting the rebellion almost since the start.  Maybe from the very start, if you believe that the CIA was involved with the earliest stages of the revolt back when it was still part of the greater Arab Spring movement (I think that this is a reasonable, but unproven guess).

 

The bit about how Assad released prisoners to "tinge the opposition with extremism" is a clever bit of spin.  I paused when I heard that, because it sounds like retarded comic book villain logic.  "Hahahahahaha," said Assad, "I will increase the rebels manpower by releasing extremist prisoners even though I am near Qatar and Saudi Arabia, two countries well-known for supporting extremists!  The prisoners I release will definitely not call their jihadi friends from those two countries!  I am so smart!  Mwuhahahaha!"

 

...Yeah, I couldn't see that happening either.  Here's my take on what was actually going on:

Prior to 2011 Syria was actually helping the USA in the Global War on Terror.  Mostly, Syria was used as a CIA black site where people that the US intelligence apparatus scooped up disappeared into.  So Assad generally releasing prisoners in 2011 sounds to me like Assad realizing that the honeymoon was over, and shutting down the CIA's black site because he didn't need that in his country anymore.  Also, I strongly suspect that a lot of the stories about torture and extrajudicial executions happening in Syrian prisons prior to the revolution were aided and abetted by the CIA.

 

So now Assad is getting criticism from the US government for torturing and killing people, which he was doing because the US government asked him to.  Lovely.  If you want to get ahead in international politics, I have three words for you.  Don't.  Trust.  Jonathan.

 

Anyway, in 2013 there was a sarin gas attack that was allegedly by the Syrian government.  I say "allegedly" because aside from the perpetrators of the attack, nobody is still quite sure who did it.  Either this attack was the result of ongoing incompetence by Assad's military (who, let's face it, are generally incompetent with the exception of individual formations) because there were all sorts of things that needed gassing way more than civilians, or a false-flag intended to build support in the USA for the war (Seymour Hersh alleges that this is the case), or even a simple mistake (it's possible that pesticide storage got hit, and some pesticides are chemically very similar to sarin and in large amounts produce almost identical poisoning).

Anyway, the usual story that gets spun is that Obama backed down from a US military intervention in Syria because the US public was tired of war and because Obama is a pussy.  This is partially true, mostly the part about him being a pussy.  Truth is though, the US has been engaged in a massive air campaign over Syria since 2014.  They just haven't been hitting the Syrian government.  On top of that, since at least 2013 the US has been supplying Syrian rebels with weapons, so the usual media line that gets peddled in the West that the US is aloof or relatively uninvolved in the conflict is bullshit.

 

Klein's video's account of the origins of DAESH aka ISIL aka ISIS aka Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad is really the low point of the video.  He's way, way, obviously factually off.

 

ISIS didn't form in 2014 in Syria.  It formed in 1999 in Iraq, although it didn't come to the attention of US intelligence until the mid 2000s, and was only able to make a serious nuisance of itself by about 2012.  The idea that ISIS didn't engage the Syrian government is also laughably wrong; look at the siege of Deir ez Zor, but that was something that was commonly repeated in Western media as late as 2015.

 

He also repeats the claim that Russia didn't bomb ISIS in 2015.  This isn't really true; about 10% of the initial Russian air campaign was directed at ISIS, memorably some of the early kaliber cruise missile strikes.  Again, this was a narrative that the media has quietly withdrawn, since Russian air support was instrumental in defeating ISIS in Palmyra and holding the line in Deir ez Zor.

 

His main thesis, that the war is a mess with no obvious end in sight, was a reasonable one in late 2015.  His characterization of the players is pretty skewed, however.

As of now, the Assad government is slowly but definitively winning.  Russian air support, re-training and re-equipment of large portions of the SAA, and several key victories (notably Aleppo) have given them the initiative.

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America has been involved with funding Syrian opposition groups since 2005

 

The 2011 prisoner release was Assad going along with a rebel demand, which the rebels called "too little, too late" and most of the core of the ISIS and Tahrir al-Sham are not Syrians, but you have a lot of Saudis though. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Collimatrix said:

 

Snippitey Snoopitey

 

Thanks, I knew there were some issues with the rhetoric being used in the video to "gloss over" things but since I'm not that well versed on the Syrian conflict I can't definitively deny it.

 

Interesting about the CIA black sites. Wasn't that our first big agreement with Libya too? That we would use them to host secret prisons and run torture programs? Boy, seems anyone who works with us in that regard needs to watch their back.

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12 hours ago, Lostwingman said:

 

Thanks, I knew there were some issues with the rhetoric being used in the video to "gloss over" things but since I'm not that well versed on the Syrian conflict I can't definitively deny it.

 

Interesting about the CIA black sites. Wasn't that our first big agreement with Libya too? That we would use them to host secret prisons and run torture programs? Boy, seems anyone who works with us in that regard needs to watch their back.

 

I'm not sure about the timeline with Libya, but I think something roughly similar happened.  There have been reports of black sites in Libya.  Libya was much more jarring because the US went from rapprochement to banging the war drum seemingly overnight:
 

 

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Yuri Lyamin about Shayrat base attack.

 

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   In principle, SyrianMilitaryCap figures of losses of the Syrian Air Force of 5 Su-22M3, 1 Su-22M4 and 3 MiG-23ML, a total of 9 aircraft are in good agreement with the figure reported by the military reporter Yevgeni Poddubny of the "Rossiya" television channel,  shortly after arriving on affected base - "Not all planes were destroyed, 9 of them burned down in the hangars".

   As you can see on the satellite images of the shelters for the aircraft there are located into three groups. Moreover, the MiG-23s were based in the eastern group of eight doubled shelters, and the Su-22 in two western groups, each of seven shelters of five "doubled" and two "solitary". This arrangement and the number of places for aircraft in the shelters is in good agreement with the data that three squadrons were based there, one on the MiG-23ML / MLD fighters, and two others on the Su-22M3 / M4 fighter-bombers. As I mentioned earlier, it seems that part of the MiG-23s were transferred to the Hama airbase during the war, and there were not so many of them left on the base at Shayrat. In turn, the Su-22 squadron suffered losses, both because of the actions of militants, and for technical reasons. Thus, some of the shelters were empty and used as warehouses, and in some there a damaged or broken aircrafts were sationed, which they hoped to restore/repair.

    Among the group of northwestern shelters, a helipad was also located, which from time to time was used by Russian military helicopters.
   Judging by the satellite images that appeared over the past time, the video from the UAV of Russian MoD, photos of the Sputnik agency and the reports of the crew of the Russiya channed and Anna-news TV channel, as a result of the "Tomahawks" strikes, the eastern group of shelters with the MiG-23 and the south-western Group of shelters with part of Su-22 took hits. The air defense positions with the Kvadrat air defense system, warehouses and storage facilities in the eastern and northern parts of the base also were attacked.

   At the same time, the northwestern group of shelters seems not to have suffered at all. Thus, it can be assumed that one of the Su-22 squadrons was not affected at all and probably it was them who began to fly back from the base now.

 

   Three groups of shelters on the base of Ash Shayrat, red identified the affected groups of shelters and the blue that group of shelters that remained unaffected as a result of American missile strikes.

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0_15857c_29ff5784_orig

 

MiG-23s

0_15857e_41ac2f7d_orig

 

0_15858b_21f72300_orig

 

3 Su-22s

0_158581_61775ab8_orig

 

0_158580_900b2987_orig

 

0_15858c_86334bfa_orig

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10th April of 2017. As a result of a clear airstrike near city Jisr ash-Shugur (Idlib province), 22 terrorist’s leaders of Jabhat al-Nusra were exterminated due to information obtained from Ahrar al-Sham representatives.

 

I am interested how those guys are getting those videos taking into account MoD didn't published those.

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Conflicting reports on SAA capture of Khirbet Anadan, intense clashes reported at Tell Shuwayhaneh + shelling on west Aleppo countryside

 

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Big push by SAA south of Tadmor/Palmyra, reports that they have reached Sawanah crossroad & are advancing towards Khunayfis mines

 

 

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  • Similar Content

    • By LoooSeR
      Well, looking at amount of info that i can get about Al-Mukowama, i decided to make a separate thread about them where we (or just me) will collect information about Al-Mukowama aka Hezbollah aka Islamic Resistance of Lebanon. Will try to update this thread as often as new information will be avaliable.
       
         First section will be about Hezbollah military wing/Al-Mukowama in general. Second - infantry. 3rd - armor, 4th - special services.
       
         Creating this thread now, will add major updates later.
      ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
       

       
       
         1. What is Hezbollah
          Hebollah is a Lebanon political party that represents southern Lebanon and shia communities interests and also is big part of social life in Lebanon (healthcare, construction, education, etc.). 
         "Hezbollah not only has armed and political wings – it also boasts an extensive social development program. Hezbollah currently operates at least four hospitals, twelve clinics, twelve schools and two agricultural centres that provide farmers with technical assistance and training. It also has an environmental department and an extensive social assistance program. Medical care is also cheaper than in most of the country's private hospitals and free for Hezbollah members." (yes, this is from wiki, but it represents social aspect of Hezbollah pretty well)
         Current views on organisation are very different, but all they can be generally divided in 2 point of views - first is that organisation aim is the abolition of the confessional political system imposed by the colonialists, replacing it with an Islamic states modeled on Iranian example second is that organisation gone though serious re-view of it's place and ideaology and accepted Lebanon internal politics rules and now work to improve shia communities place in Lebanon society. 
       
         A bit of history. 
         After South Lebanon occupation in 1982, different existing groups of shias (including radicals), that were not connected to "Amal" party (only shia party at the time in Lebanon) started to form a "Hezbollah" in Bekaa valley. Unification of different groups was happening in the same time with increasing connection with Iran, that was looking at possibilities of "exporting" Islamic Revolution to other countries in the region. Bekaa was de-facto controlled by Syria, which had direct impact (although not critical) on creation of Hezbollah. Syria allowed a connection of Hezbollah and Iran IRSG personal, that started to train first groups of Islamic resistance. Syrian officials and Hezbollah contact were limited, main questions were paths of weapons and supplies to formed organisation to combat Israelis in Lebanon and security issues.
         Following the conclusion of the Taif Agreement and end of Lebanon civil war in 1990, Syria became a guarantor of stability in Lebanon and had serious influence on internal policy of neighbor. Hezbollah/Lebanon Resistance was allowed to have weapons and continue their actions against Israel. Syrian officials did not interfere with economic re-building plan, that was put in place by Lebanon gov. After Israelis left Southern Lebanon in 2000, the "Hezbollah-Syria-Iran" axis did not stopped to work, actually it continued to work pretty well.
       

       
         "Cedar Revolution" in 2005 and withdrawal of Syrian forces changed political landscape of Lebanon, opening new possibilites for Hezbollah - for the first time organisation competed for a place in the government. On March 8, 2005, after only a few weeks after the assassination of Rafiq Hariri (Prime Minister Rafik Hariri of Lebanon in 1992-1998 and of 2000-2004. He was killed in Beirut in a terrorist act of 14 February 2005), when anti-Syrian sentiment in Lebanon were at the highest point, the General secretary of "Hezbollah" Nasrallah spoke in support of Syria. "Hezbollah" was to counter the paradigm, formed in Lebanon about orientation to the West and Saudi Arabia, and offered it's own project, but it was feasible "only with the preservation of regional partners".
         Over  course of 2000s "Hezbollah" was the main proponent of this vector of development. Support in Lebanon was achieved through large-scale social projects, including nondenominational, individual successes at the border with Israel and the active promotion of the Islamic Resistance. 
       
         "Arab Spring".
        "Hezbollah" with optimism greeted the events of the "Arab spring" in countries most affected by it, as it served Hezbollah's regional interests. The criteria according to which party estimated the riots, were formulated by March 25, 2011 by Nasralla: firstly, it is the position of the former regime in relation to arab-Israel conflict; secondly, the desire and the ability to implement major reforms. Despite the uniqueness of the situation in each country, "Hezbollah" is regarded massive unrest in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, as a struggle against tyranny. The party supported the efforts of the Bahraini Shiites, aimed at achieving equality in political life. 
         The victory of the party "An-Nahda" in Tunisia, in terms of Hezbollah was an opportunity for Tunisia to find their own political identity and refuse Westernization. In the same way, Hezbollah welcomed the success of "Muslim Brotherhood" in Egypt, but later abandoned it because of the Syrian issue.  With regard to the events in Libya, "Hezbollah" has supported the overthrow of Gaddafi, but condemned Western intervention. It is worth mentioning that "Hezbollah" has long accused Gaddafi in the disappearance and alleged murder in 1978 of Musa al-Sadr, an important figure of the "Shiite revival" in Lebanon.
       
         Arab Spring and Syria
         "Hezbollah" approach to the assessment of events in the neighboring Syrian is radically different from the one described above, but based on the same criteria. Syria - an essential element of the "resistance front" (al-Jabhat Mumanaa) Iran-Syria-"Hezbollah", despite the fact that on the Syrian-Israeli border for a long time remained calm. 
         The armed fight against Israel until the complete liberation of Lebanese territory (including the Shebaa farms) and aid to the Palestinians in the struggle against the invaders were proclaimed as key objective of "Hezbollah". Therefore, anti-Israeli views are put at the center of patriotic party rhetoric. In this regard, "Hezbollah" is positioning itself not as a Shia party in the multi-confessional Lebanon, but as a nationwide movement. In fact, Hezbollah in Lebanon has formed a complete culture of resistance, supported by competent propaganda efforts: periodic celebrations in memory of the "fallen martyrs", publishing work, aimed at a better understanding of history, folk art contests, social program, etc. It resonates not only in the Shia community, but also attracts other communities of the country.
         The intervention in the armed conflict in Syria, on the one hand, distract "Hezbollah" from its main purpose - the protection of southern Lebanon, and the other side serves this purpose, as a possible regime change in Syria would weaken the party. Syria provides the main transit route for arms from Iran, "Hezbollah".
       

       
         However, this is not the main reason for the decision of "Hezbollah" to take part in the Syrian war. With the deepening of the conflict and the emergence of a growing number of foreign jihadists in Syria, it became apparent that the country was transformed into an arena for regional confrontation. Groups of Islamic radicals, and foregin-controlled FSA/"Moderate" opposition, have threatened the established order of things. Moreover, for "Hezbollah" is vital to prevent their penetration into Lebanese territory. Nasrallah, in one of his speeches, said: "Some insist that Lebanon's problem is that "Hezbollah" went to Syria. I would argue that the problem of Lebanon is that [we] were late.
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         For a long period of "Hezbollah" refused to acknowledge their involvement in the conflict while expressing support for the Assad and Syrian government  with words only (or nearly words only). 
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         2. "Military Wing" of Hezbollah [WIP]
       

       
         There is no military unit in Hezbollah political party structure per say, the armed organisation that is usually refered as Hezbollah is a separate structure called Lebanese/Islamic Resistance or Al-Mouqowama/Al-Mukowama/Al-Muqawama, created because of southern Lebanon occupation by Israel. Al-Mukowama continue to grow and improve and currently it is one of most combat effective forces (relative to their size) in ME.
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         Overall numbers are unknown, but counting reservists it may reach 40k. Primarly Al-Muqawama forces are light infantry, which is well equipped by ME arab countries standarts. Each member usually have 2 sets of equipment with wood/forest/green and desert camos (usually locally produced), protection (bodyarmor and helmets), ammocarriers (plenty of old Israel gear copies) and so on. Squads have internal organisation similar to army units - grenadiers/infantrymens/sharpshooter with DMR/MG gunner, medic and so on. Tankers, Marksmans, RPG gunners - all have basic infantry training as well, they can be seen carrying some version of AK as secondary weapon. Resistance also have dedicated AT units, reconnaissance, AA, artillery. As i already said - this is pocket version of actual army without Navy and air forces.
         Currently Al-Muqawama have bases not only in Lebanon, but in Syria as well (Qusayr/Al-Quseir for example).
       

       
         3. Why it is allowed to exist in parallel to LAF [WIP]
         The simple question why inside of one country effectively 2 armies are allowed to exist can be answered in this 2 ways - Lebanon is not 1 country, it is more of a collection of communities that share borders, so it can have more than 1 armed groups that exist officially (How about Lebanese communists armed wing? Yes, they do exist)... or those 2 armies are doing what other army can't and second answer is something that i feel is closer to reality. 
         Because of sophisticated interal policy of Lebanon state, LAF to start to act needs approval from several interested groups (which plenty of times have conficting views), which lead to LAF being slow to respond or even incapable to do something that situation may require. And this is where Resistance comes into play - it can be used to do the job that official army should have been doing, but can't because it may start serious tensions in Lebanon. Primary example - Syria, through Syria-Lebanon border plenty of terrorists groups are trying to get into country and LAF is doing almost nothing to prevent it, which led to Al-Muqawama cleaning border and fight in areas in Syria, close to Lebanon (Arsal, Beeka, 1st and 2nd Qalamoun, battle for Zabadani being best examples).
         It appears that Lebanon intelligence service - the G2 - is closelly connected to Al-Muqowama. Abbas Ibragim, the head of G2, was once reported by Al-Manar as coordinator of Army and Al-Muqowama actions in recent years. On 12 December of 2015 his nephew (Mohammed Hussein Ibrahim) was KIA in Syria in SW part of Aleppo province, which also shows some connections between him and Al-Mukowama. Another interesting example of possible connection between LAF and Resistance is Saudi Arabia canceling military aid for LAF about a year ago, which Saudi officials explained as punishment of LAF for support of Al-Mukowama.
        Also:



       

      Lebanese President Michel Aoun with Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad surrounded by Al-Muqowama fighters at a Hezbollah site in South Lebanon.
       
       
         4. Iran - Al-Muqawama connection [WIP]
         As i already noted, some Resistance personal gone trough training in Iran, for example - several Kornet ATGM teams before 2006 Lebanon war. It appears that in recent years Resistance advisors work with some of shia units that also have Iranian support, primarly in Iraq. There is not much information on this, but small pieces are getting to public. There was an event several years back when Iranian general was KIA during Israely strikes on Al-Mukowama base at Lebanon-Israel border. Another point - recently shown Al-Muqawama AT teams vehicles are armed with double Kornet launchers, which were spotted in Iran, AFAIK.
         Most blatant example of Iran-Hezbollah connections is this recently appeared photo of now dead Al-Muqawama officer Syed Aqeel Fahas with IRGC General Qasem Soleimani.
       

       
    • By LoooSeR
      Hello, my friends and Kharkovites, take a sit and be ready for your brains to start to work - we are going to tell you a terrible secret of how to tell apart Soviet tanks that actually works like GLORIOUS T-80 and The Mighty T-72 from Kharkovites attempt to make a tank - the T-64. Many of capitalists Westerners have hard time understanding what tank is in front of them, even when they know smart words like "Kontakt-5" ERA. Ignoramus westerners!
       
       
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      Chapter 1: Where to look, what to see.
       
      T-64 - The Ugly Kharkovite tank that doesn't work 
       
         We will begin with T-64, a Kharkovite attempt to make a tank, which was so successful that Ural started to work on their replacement for T-64 known as T-72. Forget about different models of T-64, let's see what is similar between all of them.
       
       
       

       
       
         
       
       
      T-72 - the Mighty weapon of Workers and Peasants to smash westerners
       
         Unlike tank look-alike, made by Kharkovites mad mans, T-72 is true combat tank to fight with forces of evil like radical moderate barbarians and westerners. Thats why we need to learn how identify it from T-64 and you should remember it's frightening lines!
       

       
       
       
      The GLORIOUS T-80 - a Weapon to Destroy and Conquer bourgeois countries and shatter westerners army
       
         And now we are looking at the Pride of Party and Soviet army, a true tank to spearhead attacks on decadent westerners, a tank that will destroy countries by sucking their military budgets and dispersing their armies in vortex of air, left from high-speed charge by the GLORIOUS T-80!

      The T-80 shooting down jets by hitting them behind the horizont 
          
    • By LoooSeR
      T-14 ARMATA 
      (edited)
              This thread is about glorious russian MBT T-14, known as "Armada", "T-95", "black eagle", "T-99" and other stupid Western names given to Object 148 (T-14 in some recent documents). Here is number of images connected to that vehicle.
       

      Official model of unknown "artillery vehicle". Yeah, Putin, we know that this is T-14. Note Gatling gun on turret right side.
       
      Artist impression of T-14 based on known model, by Fyodor Podporin. 
       

      T-14 will use Relikt ERA, which is considerable improvement over Kontakt-5 in resisting to tandem HEAT warheads and EFPs.

       
      Side skirts would be thicker on a real vehicle, i think. Relikt have AFAIK bigger size than Kontakt-5 ERA build-in blocks.

       
       
       
       
       
      Whole album with renders: 
      http://imgur.com/a/8Tn9b
       
      Video of same render from same artist:

       
       
            People expect that tank would have turret weapon system like what you see on the BMP-3 "Bakhcha-U" turret - a lot of weapons in one turret for one gunner to work with. T-14 is rumored to be equipped with 30 (or even 57) mm autocannon, 4-6 barrel gatling type MG/HMG, new 125 (2A82) or even 152 mm (2A83) smoothbore cannons. Turret is unmanned, crew of 3 would be located in frontal part of hull, behind very serious frontal armor inside of compartment, well protected from all directions. Cannon would be loaded by new autoloading device. I hope that Burevestnik is working on them, those guys managed to make 100 mm Naval gun with RoF of 300 shots per minute.
       
            I really like how turret looks, but i don't understand why there is such a big turret "busket" for unmanned turret with all ammo placed inside of hull in special armored housing. Also, i don't see gunner sight and proposed FSC radar on 3D model (i assume that panoramic sight is for commander). Laser sensors on 3D model are from T-90A variant of "Shtora".
       
            Some officials mentioned works on new active protection system, that consist of powerfull radar station, that can work on "long ranges" and engage incoming projectiles (missiles) with that gatling MG. Will this system survive development stage and be presented on serial tanks is unknown. Although turret for T-15 Armata-based IFV already was shown with new APS "Afganit".
       
            If you pay attention you may see that artist used T-80 rollers for Armata chassis, and this is not a mistake - according to some sources Armata heavy chassis will use T-80 or T-80-like rollers to save weight. And looking at rear part of that tank you may notice a engine deck from gas-turbine equipped version of the T-80, which can be mistake becuase MoD want Armata with new ~1500 HP diesel engine. 
    • By Darjeeling
      Greetings, I have been studying in the battle of Afrin since it started. Yet I still lack some information that can clearly analyse the opposite plan, war progress and order of battle of both side (Turkey army clear but YPG isn’t).
       
      I am spectacular interested in the process of the battle as it revealed the true strength of the 2nd largest NATO army. Also, the performance of YPG/YPJ militant against the regular modern army is meaningful to modern warfare study too.
       
      Hence, any kind man can help me on this field or even just give out a reading list?

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