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Why does this occur with all Soviet tanks?

The battle between Russia and Ukraine has been ongoing for over a year and shows no signs of abating, yet Moscow appears to be experiencing tank problems. Check out this revelatory narrative to find out what huge fault is causing Putin so much grief! 💥💥💥

By InfoPublished 12 months ago 7 min read

The battle between Russia and Ukraine has been ongoing for over a year and shows no signs of abating, yet Moscow appears to be experiencing tank problems. Check out this revelatory narrative to find out what huge fault is causing Putin so much grief! 💥💥💥

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, the west has identified a serious weakness in Russian tanks. However, the real reason Russian tanks keep blowing their tops comes down to two reasons, and they're both pretty stupid. The powerful T-72 and T-80 were created to compete with western tanks on a nuclear battlefield in a war to the death between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. The victor would leave behind an irradiated world, and the future of the global wasteland could only be one of two things: a capitalist utopia with a McDonald's in every Super Mutant camp or a communist workers’ paradise, where you and all of your Ghoul friends would own the means of production. Both sides knew that the battle for the future of all humanity would come down to a shootout between their strongest tanks.

The Soviet Union adopted a completely different, far more stupid approach to tank design than the West did. Technology was everything for the west. The Soviet Union fielded an army that was so enormous that the west was unable to match it, with every citizen in Eastern Europe having the choice between waiting in line for the most basic necessities and enlisting in the military. The west decided to double down on technology and equip its tanks with as many fancy sensors, the most advanced armor, ultra smart firing computers, and tea kettles—looking at you, Britain—to neutralize the Soviet numbers. As a result, some of the most renowned tanks ever created were created, including the German Leopard, the British Challenger, and the M1 Abrams. Nyet, said the Soviets as they observed the tanks of the West.

Manpower is inexpensive. It was decided to adopt a completely different strategy because quantity is always preferable to quality. The Soviets would instead focus on producing a large number of tanks rather than fielding technologically equivalent tanks. Thousands upon thousands of tanks, as there wasn't a problem in the world that the Soviet Union couldn't solve with the use of sparingly deployed tanks and armored personnel carriers. Especially bothersome things like popular uprisings that people desire to be free from the Soviet yoke. To be fair, the Soviets were sort of compelled to produce a lot of inexpensive tanks because they were frequently several steps behind the West in the development of various key technologies. This led to the adoption of the Stalin adage that "quantity is a quality all its own."

As a result, each Soviet premier simply kept responding "yes" when asked how many tanks he wanted. But how does this relate to Russian tanks winning gold at the turret tossing Olympics today? In the west, crew survivability was prioritized, whereas Soviet forces were practically expendable by design. Russia's infamously bad logistics aren't just a modern accident; the Russian military, after the collapse of the USSR, basically had them built in. Poor logistics also plagued the Soviet military. For example, Russian forces haven't yet palletized their supplies, so they move large quantities of neatly packaged supplies around almost entirely by hand in boxes rather than using forklifts. The Soviets believed they would suffer significant losses regardless, so there was no point in supplying units.

If the private Conscriptavich and his companions managed to limp back to friendly lines, great—they could repeat the entire ordeal tomorrow. They would fight until they were either dead, out of ammunition, or both. As a result, when a Soviet engineer pointed out a serious design flaw in Soviet tanks that could cause the crew to perish or explode into orbit, he was promptly ignored. Western tanks had blowout panels for the ammo storage tanks onboard in order to safeguard the crew. In this manner, if the weak ammo storage were to receive a direct hit, the ensuing explosion would be directed out of the tank via the blowout panel without harm. Nobody was forcibly transformed into an astronaut. Hold my potato vodka!" the Soviets exclaimed when they saw the design of blowout panels.

They basically did everything they could to convert every single Soviet tank crew into volunteer cosmonauts after deciding not to include blowout panels. The west has also made some perplexing decisions, such as when the Germans decided that the left front of the tank was the best location for their ammunition storage. This kind of makes sense, though, on the one hand. Due to its heavy armor, the tank's front is the most likely to withstand a direct hit. However, tanks are designed to move directly into enemy fire, so we believe you can see the issue here. The Leopard's armor is rated to withstand at least one and possibly two hits from anything Russia can throw at it in close proximity to the same spot, but any penetration to the tank's front left will likely result in the driver becoming overcooked bratwurst.

But when it came to poor design choices, the Soviets won. By Stalin's whiskers, the Soviets could do better and simply murder their entire crew if the West could put even one of their tank crew members in danger. As a result, the Soviets chose to position their ammunition so that it essentially surrounded the turret floor, effectively placing the majority of the tank crew directly above the highly explosive ammunition. The fatal design flaw is known as the "jack in the box flaw" because the tank commander and one other crew member will have a fleeting but intense career in the Soviet Air Force the moment that ammo cooks off. However, there is some logic to the design. The ammunition is best protected from penetration at any angle when it is positioned low and in the middle of the tank. While ammunition located low in the tank and central to the body itself makes it much less likely to be hit directly, ammunition stored in the turret itself is vulnerable to rear or flank shots.

For modern Russian crews, this carousel system has evolved into a hilarious spring-loaded death trap due to the widespread use of two different weapons. The first is the employment of anti-tank guided missiles. Anti-tank missiles were used to attempt to pierce the armor of the tank itself in order to kill the crew. However, today's ATGMs are typically fired at high altitudes, coming down on the tank from above and forming explosively shaped penetrator milliseconds before impact that renders the tank inoperable. Surprisingly, even though the tank commander usually perishes, the rest of the crew has a chance of surviving because the explosively formed penetrator, or EPF, is not explosive in and of itself. Its purpose is to simply tear into the tank, disable the turret, and take out any mechanical or electronic obstacles in its path. Tank designers have historically been forced to sacrifice armor plating on the top of the tank, which is statistically the least likely part of a tank to get hit, because tanks cannot be well armored everywhere or they would be so heavy they could barely move.

But if your tank's ammunition is kept directly underneath the turret, having a superheated slug of explosively shaped metal rip into it from above has obvious consequences. Large anti-tank mines are the second weapon currently being used in Ukraine. These mines are made to detect the vibration of a tank's treads and, after a brief delay, fire an explosive blast upwards. Again, the tank's underside is not very well protected because, if other tanks are firing at the bottom of your tank, something terribly, terribly wrong has been done. However, because tanks are built to literally drive over minefields, they do have some defense against mines.

For this reason, anti-tank mines are five to ten times larger than anti-personnel mines. We can see the issue with Russian tanks here once more because, in essence, an explosion is occurring right underneath your ammo storage. There is little chance of survival when your tush is just inches away from dozens of pounds of explosive primer, whereas the crew is very likely to survive rolling over an anti-tank mine even if their tank is likely to be disabled.

Certified. You're definitely going to miss out.

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