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exsonic01

Turkish Leo2 tanks struggle in the Syria

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https://southfront.org/new-data-reveals-how-many-military-equipment-turkey-lost-in-attempts-to-capture-al-bab/

Clearly, the recent battle of Al-bab was disaster for the Turkish army. Apart from that, it is interesting to see that the most of tanks are wrecked by ATGMs. Among 10 Leo2a4 loss, 5 was hit by ATGM, 2 by IED, 1 by RPG. I'm not sure what kind of ATGMs are used by Daesh, maybe Konkur or Fagot or Metis? Anyway it was real threat to Leo2A4 tanks there. On the other hand, loss of M60T was only 1 by ATGM. 

Not enough data so it is hard to judge about chance of survival for both tanks. But IMO ERA-belted M60T suffers relatively less from ATGM/RPG hit.... maybe? I'm just curious.

Edited by exsonic01

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Yesterday Stars and Stripes posted a hilariously uninformed article about the Leopard 2 in the Turkish army regarding the battle in Al-bab. 

The article essentially says that the tank is bad because its side and rear armor is weaker than the frontal armor and it cant survive in an urban environment without infantry support. That is literally the definition of a tank. 

The fact is, urban environments are always going to be very deadly to tanks, especially if the tanks lack infantry support, like the Turkish Leopards did. What weapons killed the tanks is essentially irrelevant. Without infantry support, almost anything can kill a tank. Rockets, ATGMs, dudes with AKs running over and tossing grenades into hatches, pouring gasoline onto the engine deck and setting it ablaze, the list goes on. 

ERA helps against some of these threats, but proper tactics and SOP is what wins the day every time. 

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War is an expensive destructive business. A few years back I quoted a number I saw on how many Abrams tanks had been KO'd and/or significantly damaged in Iraq (I forget what that number was). Some posters simply refused to believe such a large number.

Lop-sided numbers here could mean Leopard II is being more vigorously used than M60 so suffers more damage. Alternately, Leopard II could be seen as a prize target and is being prioritized for attack. ISIS is a tough nut to crack. One source had claimed in the battle for Mosel they've used 600 suicide car bombs up to that date

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32 minutes ago, IICptMillerII said:

Yesterday Stars and Stripes posted a hilariously uninformed article about the Leopard 2 in the Turkish army regarding the battle in Al-bab. 

The article essentially says that the tank is bad because its side and rear armor is weaker than the frontal armor and it cant survive in an urban environment without infantry support. That is literally the definition of a tank. 

The fact is, urban environments are always going to be very deadly to tanks, especially if the tanks lack infantry support, like the Turkish Leopards did. What weapons killed the tanks is essentially irrelevant. Without infantry support, almost anything can kill a tank. Rockets, ATGMs, dudes with AKs running over and tossing grenades into hatches, pouring gasoline onto the engine deck and setting it ablaze, the list goes on. 

ERA helps against some of these threats, but proper tactics and SOP is what wins the day every time. 

Couldn't agree more. Urban environment without preparation/coordination is hell to any mechanized forces, Grozny already proved that long ago. I'm really curious about the Turkish army plan. Did they really just pushed tanks all the way in without infantry? I though they learned and prepared something after watching Syrian army during recent conflict.... 

 

25 minutes ago, MikeyD said:

War is an expensive destructive business. A few years back I quoted a number I saw on how many Abrams tanks had been KO'd and/or significantly damaged in Iraq (I forget what that number was). Some posters simply refused to believe such a large number.

Lop-sided numbers here could mean Leopard II is being more vigorously used than M60 so suffers more damage. Alternately, Leopard II could be seen as a prize target and is being prioritized for attack. ISIS is a tough nut to crack. One source had claimed in the battle for Mosel they've used 600 suicide car bombs up to that date

I agree, the table in the link above shows nothing about which one is better or worse, but I'm just curious about the point - whether the heavy ERA really helped or not. 

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32 minutes ago, MikeyD said:

War is an expensive destructive business. A few years back I quoted a number I saw on how many Abrams tanks had been KO'd and/or significantly damaged in Iraq (I forget what that number was). Some posters simply refused to believe such a large number.

Lop-sided numbers here could mean Leopard II is being more vigorously used than M60 so suffers more damage. Alternately, Leopard II could be seen as a prize target and is being prioritized for attack. ISIS is a tough nut to crack. One source had claimed in the battle for Mosel they've used 600 suicide car bombs up to that date

I've heard similar claims re Mosul - 'in the hundreds' was one.

 

10 Leo 2s, seriously? Thats..pretty news worthy..

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Well if CM:SF or even CMBS are accurate then an AT-14 Kornet is very dangerous for any MBT that exists today, even when hit from the front. It is well known that various high quality ATGMs like the AT-14 are present in Syria. The RPG-29 (and I'd imagine the PG7VR) is also present, which is another weapon system that can take out modern MBT's.

AFAIK  the Leo2A4 in use by Turkey doesn't feature extensive (E)RA, nevermind APS. So it should be very vulnerable when attacked from the sides or rear and somewhat vulnerable when hit frontally with things like Kornets. What I'm not so sure about though is the worthiness of this article, southfront.org is a biased propaganda site. There are also several staged youtube movies where they pretend a Leo2A4 is being blown up, while one can clearly see it's actually a custom uparmored carchassis of some sorts. The best part being most commenters on youtube not even noticing :D

Anyhow I'd surely expect Turkey to lose some Leo2's when fighting against well armed insurgents, especially in an urban theatre. It would be shocking if they actually had to retreat the tank forces operationally because of severe losses.

Edited by Lethaface
spelling

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Here in Germany I read an Article about this Topic 1 or 2 Weeks ago (to this Point 5 Leo 2 were lost.

The article stated that

1. the Tanks were not upgradet, so no modern defence systems. (the Leo 2 A4 was build from 1985 to 1987)

2. The Tanks were used in a static manner as fire Support, so very easy Targets for ATGM´s

But it was said that it proves that modern ATGM´s were a big thread even for modern Tanks in the Cold war era.

 

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All Turkish Leopards have been hit from the side or from the rear. They were in stationary positions, without the infantry support, essentially sitting ducks. If anything the loses are a statement of very poor tactics employed by the so called "second NATO army". One could argue, it could be a result of the recent purges in Turkish army, but they probably affected mostly the higher echelons. The bad tactics employed in Al-bab should be blamed on the lower rank commanders.

BTW the Turks also lost few upgraded M-60's equipped wit additional ERA. Similarly the Saudis are losing Abrams in Yemen. So no equipment is immune to the bad tactics.

Edited by Ivanov

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4 hours ago, Lethaface said:

Well if CM:SF or even CMBS are accurate then an AT-14 Kornet is very dangerous for any MBT that exists today, even when hit from the front. It is well known that various high quality ATGMs like the AT-14 are present in Syria. The RPG-29 (and I'd imagine the PG7VR) is also present, which is another weapon system that can take out modern MBT's.

AFAIK  the Leo2A4 in use by Turkey doesn't feature extensive (E)RA, nevermind APS. So it should be very vulnerable when attacked from the sides or rear and somewhat vulnerable when hit frontally with things like Kornets. What I'm not so sure about though is the worthiness of this article, southfront.org is a biased propaganda site. There are also several staged youtube movies where they pretend a Leo2A4 is being blown up, while one can clearly see it's actually a custom uparmored carchassis of some sorts. The best part being most commenters on youtube not even noticing :D

Anyhow I'd surely expect Turkey to lose some Leo2's when fighting against well armed insurgents, especially in an urban theatre. It would be shocking if they actually had to retreat the tank forces operationally because of severe losses.

I honestly didn't know that the southfront is biased (actually this is the first time I read their article), thanks to let me know about that, I will take more caution. 

 

2 hours ago, PeterT said:

Here in Germany I read an Article about this Topic 1 or 2 Weeks ago (to this Point 5 Leo 2 were lost.

The article stated that

1. the Tanks were not upgradet, so no modern defence systems. (the Leo 2 A4 was build from 1985 to 1987)

2. The Tanks were used in a static manner as fire Support, so very easy Targets for ATGM´s

But it was said that it proves that modern ATGM´s were a big thread even for modern Tanks in the Cold war era.

 

 

16 minutes ago, Ivanov said:

All Turkish Leopards have been hit from the side or from the rear. They were in stationary positions, without the infantry support, essentially sitting ducks. If anything the loses are a statement of very poor tactics employed by the so called "second NATO army". One could argue, it could be a result of the recent purges in Turkish army, but they probably affected mostly the higher echelons. The bad tactics employed in Al-bab should be blamed on the lower rank commanders.

BTW the Turks also lost few upgraded M-60's equipped wit additional ERA. Similarly the Saudis are losing Abrams in Yemen. So no equipment is immune to the bad tactics.

I know that the importance of mental power and tactics over equipment, but wow, I thought that Turkish army would be better than that. Clearly my expectation was too high. They learned nothing from what happened in Iraq and Syria.

Edited by exsonic01

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before bothering getting into a debate about the Leo 2, one might want to consider who is reporting this.  Even according to the these guys say the losses are unconfirmed.  Just click on the link to source and it says it right there.  No need to even google around anywhere else.

The site has a reputation as a Russian front source.  i.e. not particularly reputable.  Lots of other statements floating around this thread without corroboration.

 

 

Edited by sburke

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6603f6fd7983.jpg

Very bad positioning for Leopard 2. ISIS has a way of using terrain to sneak around to the sides and rear of armored vehicles. Several weeks ago I watched IS use AT-7(?) to murder an entire platoon of Turkish Firtina howitzers. Sneaky bastards.

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5 hours ago, sburke said:

Lots of other statements floating around this thread without corroboration.

 

Here is the link to the Stars and Stripes article I mentioned in my first post:

https://www.stripes.com/news/germany-s-leopard-tanks-prove-vulnerable-in-islamic-state-fight-1.449278

You'll recall that I do not hold the article in high regard. Just wanted to provide my source. 

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9 hours ago, sburke said:

before bothering getting into a debate about the Leo 2, one might want to consider who is reporting this.  Even according to the these guys say the losses are unconfirmed.  Just click on the link to source and it says it right there.  No need to even google around anywhere else.

The site has a reputation as a Russian front source.  i.e. not particularly reputable.  Lots of other statements floating around this thread without corroboration.

 

 

The loss of 10 Leopards has been officially confirmed by the Turkish Army. South Front is a pro Russian source but it doesn't mean that they lie all the time - they just report what is convenient from their point of view. For example the destruction of the Leopard 2 myth is a nice payback for the myth of flying turrets of T-72. Leopard 2 is a main tank of most of the European NATO armies.

15726330_1860222200880940_47278873933000

Edited by Ivanov

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For those too lazy to click:

"The tank’s designers, who sought to achieve an optimal combination of protection, agility, and fire power, have always stressed the need for maneuverability on the battlefield, making the armor on its flanks and back lighter than on other other Western tanks such as the U.S. M1A2 Abrams or the British Challenger 2.

Also, the Turkish Leopards don’t have explosive reactive armor or active protection systems to block incoming rounds. Active protection systems deal with threats such as rocket-propelled grenades or anti-tank guided missiles by combining electronic detection of hostile fire with jammers, smoke screens and interceptors intended to destroy the threats."

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3 hours ago, Ivanov said:

The loss of 10 Leopards has been officially confirmed by the Turkish Army. South Front is a pro Russian source but it doesn't mean that they lie all the time - they just report what is convenient from their point of view. For example the destruction of the Leopard 2 myth is a nice payback for the myth of flying turrets of T-72. Leopard 2 is a main tank of most of the European NATO armies.

Do you have any source for the confirmation by the Turkish Army? couldn't find it. 

I don't doubt they lost tanks, but I'm interested to see the official reports. The performance of the Turkish Army in this conflict is an interesting topic with regards to the (proxy) fight for dominance in the region. I'd expect the Turkish army to perform better vs Iraqi or Syrian army on average.

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On 1/18/2017 at 11:38 AM, IICptMillerII said:

dudes with AKs running over and tossing grenades into hatches, pouring gasoline onto the engine deck and setting it ablaze, the

I was floored when I saw a video of ISIS types calming walking up to M1 tanks that were in combat to do exactly this. You'd think they would show at least a little concerned while they stroll up to the rolling death machine, but that is apparently unnecessary. 

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1 hour ago, Lethaface said:

Do you have any source for the confirmation by the Turkish Army? couldn't find it. 

Apparently this chart comes from the official Turkish sources:

C0_XNx_CHXAAEv_Q7_Y.jpg

 

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2 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

Not a myth. 'Flying turrets' doesn't apply to every model of the T-72, but it certainly applies to a few of them. 

I'm referring to the post GF1 mindset, that every Soviet/Russian build tank ( read T-72 ) is a crap, while western tanks like Abrams, Challenger or Leopard 2 are invincible. 

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We must take into account here, that the Turkish Leo 2s. Are some of the oldest in service, anywhere in the world today. You can compare them with the original M1, or maybe the M1A1. There are many different versions of armor on the Leo 2. Like the Swedish Strv 122, with heavily reinforced turret roof armor, the german Leo 2A7 and a7+. All with very improved armor vs the Turks A4.

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18 minutes ago, Armorgunner said:

We must take into account here, that the Turkish Leo 2s. Are some of the oldest in service, anywhere in the world today. You can compare them with the original M1, or maybe the M1A1. There are many different versions of armor on the Leo 2. Like the Swedish Strv 122, with heavily reinforced turret roof armor, the german Leo 2A7 and a7+. All with very improved armor vs the Turks A4.

The newer versions of Leopard like A5, A6 ( the most common variants used by NATO forces ) have improved turret armor, but on the sides they are equally vulnerable as the A4. The Revolution package has improved side protection but they are in service only in Indonesia and Singapore. A7 still isn't in service in any significant numbers. Since in any foreseeable future the asymmetrical conflicts are much more probable than any regular warfare against the near peer adversary, I think that the Syrian conflict highlights the need of equipping the western tanks with the APS systems. So far only the Dutch CV90's are going to be fitted with an Israeli APS Iron Fist.

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Asks questions to the Turks, and why they sent tanks without additional armor sets. After all, they knew about the saturation of ATGM in Syria.

Задаётся вопрос туркам , а почему они отправили танки без дополнительного комплекта брони . Ведь они знали о насыщенности ПТУР в Сирии .

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39 minutes ago, Ivanov said:

I'm referring to the post GF1 mindset, that every Soviet/Russian build tank ( read T-72 ) is a crap, while western tanks like Abrams, Challenger or Leopard 2 are invincible. 

Ahh understood. Thanks for the clarification.

35 minutes ago, Armorgunner said:

We must take into account here, that the Turkish Leo 2s. Are some of the oldest in service, anywhere in the world today. You can compare them with the original M1, or maybe the M1A1. There are many different versions of armor on the Leo 2. Like the Swedish Strv 122, with heavily reinforced turret roof armor, the german Leo 2A7 and a7+. All with very improved armor vs the Turks A4.

Yes i agree. There are so many variants of a single tank type, and so many sub variants of the variants, that it gets hard to keep track of. Most civilians, and even people in the military simply think of a tank as a tank. If it has a name they might bother to learn it (T-72/Abrams) but thats about as far as the 'research' goes for them. Then all it takes is someone with ulterior motives (whether it be "we need more money for tanks so I'm going to claim current tanks are crap," or its "I want to make the scary adversary look weak and pathetic") to come along and simply show a clip of some knockoff vehicle getting blown up, call it an M1A2/Leo 2A4/etc, and everyone not knowning any better loses their minds. 

As to the Turks and the Leos, I think poor tactics explains just about everything here. It doesn't matter if you give a fully modern tank tons of ERA and APS, if you send it down a narrow city street without any support its in for a rough time. 

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45 minutes ago, IICptMillerII said:

As to the Turks and the Leos, I think poor tactics explains just about everything here. It doesn't matter if you give a fully modern tank tons of ERA and APS, if you send it down a narrow city street without any support its in for a rough time. 

I agree. The Turks tactics are probably not top of the line. But hey! everyone can get ambushed. It looks like longrange shots, maybe 2-3km from the flanks. And your 1 gen thermals wont help you to detect an ATGM team at that range, especially not in the high temperatures of Syria.

Edited by Armorgunner
bad spelling

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I'm trying to recall, the US Iraq invasion in 2003, did anyone see/hear/witness any anecdotes about US forces coming under fire by ATGMs? I do recall they absolutely FREAKED when they mistakenly thought Kornet was in-country, threatened to attack Syria over it. But there weren't any.

And BTW, anyone whose played good-old CMSF for half a day knows about ATGMs and any type of (not-reactive) armor hit from the side.

Edited by MikeyD

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