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John Kettler

Our own Jim Warford interviewed about Soviet/Russian tanks

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Jim Warford, as some of you may know, is the author of a bunch of articles in ARMOR magazine on the above topic. He is a BTDT type (TCed everything from M60A1 (passive RISE) through 105 mm gunned M1 Abrams) who is also a deep student of Soviet/Russian tanks. This interview with him is quite revealing and also serves to reinforce the same point I've long been hammering away at: the gross inadequacy of the 105 mm gun vs the OPFOR tanks of the period before M1s with 120 mm guns arrived on the scene. The notional CM Fulda Gap, which many would love to see, were it done correctly, would be a very tough fight against the OPFOR of the period, an OPFOR which had better gun power on one end and better protection on the other--in addition to numerical superiority! 

 

What he has to say about the intel available to him as a tanker is downright scary. I first came across his work in ARMOR in a seminal piece he wrote on the Soviet Premium Tank, page 23 et seq., which evidently was based on the research which went into his Master's thesis: The Threat of the Soviet Premium Tank. Not everyone agrees with his concept, as seen here in a very hot and heavy exchange between Jim Warford and an anonymous poster, BlacktailFA. That is but one of several blasts aimed his way on that same page.  I read pieces of some of them, and while they're strident in the extreme, there do seem to be some good points raised--while simultaneously revealing truly dazzling levels of subject ignorance. In claiming there was no evidence the Russians were worried about NATO ATGMs, BlacktailFA clearly shows he has never heard  of Candidate of Military Science Col. A. Tonkikh's "Overcoming Antitank Defense," published in 1968, which I had in UNCLASSIFIED machine translated form circa 1980, or the monograph "Antitank Defense," by Biryukov and Menikov, published in 1972 (example shown was university republished in 2002), and for which I had a full-blown English translation in 1984, and that was who nows how old, since it was something I inherited from a deceased colleague. Both unmistakably show the Russians were aware of the ATGM threat, with examples of western ATGMs going back as far as the SS-10.

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

 

P.S.

 

The referenced Jim Warford interview has a most interesting sidebar containing several interviews with another CMer: Harry Yeide. He is a self-confessed CM addict!

Edited by John Kettler

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Additional digging shows G. Biryukov was a General Major (1 Star, what we'd call a Brigadier General) and G. Melnikov a Colonel and Candidate in Military Science, which is equivalent to a western Ph.D. Also, "Antitank Warfare" was apparently published directly in English, as well as the usual Russian, by Progress Publishers, Moscow. 

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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