January 24, 2023

TANKS FOR UKRAINE: Editor Jim Dunnigan’s latest How To Make War “ARMOR” update. Just published today, so Jim’s shooting at a moving news target. The post goes into the relevant background, technically and historically. The post discusses U.S. reluctance to provide the M1A2 Abrams and German reluctance to provide the Leopard 2. Scroll down for a look at German defense policy since 1991. Summary: “German defense policy since the end of the Cold War in 1991 has been an inexplicable mess.” I disagree slightly. The Germans needed money to rebuild Communism-devastated East Germany. But since 2005 they’ve been slackers. On the tech side Dunnigan devotes several grafs to two German infantry fighting vehicles, the admirable Marder and the Puma. I got my first look at a Marder in August 1975 about three kilometers from the old East German border (near Highway 19). Panzer grenadiers from 12th Panzer Division drove their very shiny new Marder past my tank platoon’s forest-edge position. The smiling guy riding on top of the Marder waved. Then the Marder crew executed a tight left into the woods, heading somewhere north and west. Given the date, I saw a Marder 1. Big vehicle with a lot of protection. I later read that the (West) Germans claimed the Marder 1 had a protection level similar to a Leopard 1 tank. Anyway, check out the post. (Query: where was KGB officer Vlad Putin in 1975? Was he devastating East Germany while I was trying to protect Western civilization?)

RELATED: A photo of a Swedish Leopard 2 tank variant (2017). Photo of a Puma (pre-production since the photo is 2007). ALSO RELATED: More on the Puma’s costly teething problems. The Ukrainians need proven vehicles that work.

UPDATE: Various media report the U.S. will send (“is poised to provide”) Abrams tanks to Ukraine– a battalion or so. Wall St Journal, Fox, even the NY Times. A Biden Administration policy reversal. Will German Leopards follow?

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