Tanks and Planes

Greetings Me Droogs N Droogettes!
OK... lots of great comments about Shaniqua and her late great antics.  Fucking you guys are an absolutely a -brutal- bunch of fuckers... a tougher crowd than at the Apollo apparently.  So, been meaning to 'take up the mantel' a bit on my personal experiences in the tank world.

Much to my horror back in the day, they took my MOS, 11H and declared it and the weapons system deader n' Kellsey's nuts.  11H as in Hotel, was the designation of a Heavy Anti-Armor Infantryman who's primary job was to run the TOW-2 weapons system.  
Tube Launched
Optically Tracked
Wire Guided
Missile system.  Now, of course  Uncle Sugar done fucked up by the numbers as it's been re-issued/rebuilt and re-evaluated.  The ITOW (Improved) TOW is back but they still kilt the MOS.  Which meant I got involuntarily reclassed to being an M1A1 (at the time the A1H (Heavy) was the star of the show in 1996.) crewmember.  We were the first Unit in the US ARmy (1/12 CAV 1st CAV Div) to get the new A2s issued to us.  I alas was already fucking physically fucking fucked and never got to play on that big sumbitch...

Obviously they never checked my personal jacket as I'm a wee bit too tall for the tank.  I could -barely- gun the fucker as the gunner's hole was waaaay too small to be safe what with the 10 ton breech block (slight exaggeration there but y'all unnastand) recoiling at warp speed on my left shoulder, and the TC (commander) slot was also too small for me.  Sitting in the seat my head and shoulders literally stuck up thru to open air.  Also couldn't safely "button up" the TC hatch as it's crush me. 

However, I could drive that big sumbitch, and I could load like a motherfucker, (7.9 seconds)  but that being said, me, standing on the floor of the turret, I was at what everyone joked was "name Tape defilade" meaning the roof of the turret?  Yeah I stuck out to my name tapes on my uniform.

Like I said, Puny Hoomon Tank.
Not a bad video but man, dude by MY count is fucking slow 
And slow = dead to a Tanker.

Now, the round?  You can see the Aft-Cap from that round coming out and landing in the lil catch box after firing.  The rest of the round?  Well the top blue part is a 'simulated' (meaning training... all training rounds are blue like that)  HEAT round, High Explosive Anti Tank shaped charge.  Fucker weighs 50 awkward pounds man.  Heavy don't begin to cover it.... Most of the weight in the nose... The light gray is the casing which itself is made up of a combustible and contains the powder pellets.   and the metal with the rubber ring on the base it the fuze and aft-cap.  A HEAT round as you can see has a short metal probe which helps fire the HEAT round.  A Sabot (say-bow) round aft-cap is different.

Sabots are called the 'golden beebee' 'cos the ackchooal warshot rounds?  
Made of Depleted Uranium.  Makes a gold color when it hits tank-to-tank as the penetrator melts thru the armor and liquefies.  Makes holes thru armor, usually.  Unless it catastrophically kills the tank, and 'pops' the turret.  It get the name sabot from the French meaning 'shoe' 'cos it, the arrow-like penetrator is held in place by three aluminum blocks that peel away when it's fired:

Caught IRL by an UBER fast camera...You can barely see the third sabot pulling away on the other side.  Speed and the shape of the petals pull 'em clean away, and not without a bit of friction as you can see in the pic...

Fucking Rod-From-God INDEED

MASSIVE kinetic transference of energy.

Now, couple of things.  Lots of folks been talking how the Abrams'll kick ass, take names and yadda yadda.  Now,
Can it?
Will it?  

I'd have to say it comes down to ONE major thing that no one is talking about, and that's training and experience.  To be utterly upfront about it, I'm a shit-tanker.  I suck.  Purely.  NOT my forte, and not only that I got injured badly enough to be forcibly medically retarded.  I'm a great Green Grunt.  In fact everyone on the Tank got training from ME on Grunt Stuff... more on that later...  But, That being said I -did- serve with some of the best  fucking fire breathing Tread Heads on Earth.  

Our company had the fastest Loader on the fucking planet... literally.  "Popeye" as his handle was was a kid from Pittsburg who grew up in an Italian Stone Masonry company that his family ran.  From the time he could walk until he joined the Army, he humped rock.  Had a crazy circus strongman freak physique.  His nickname Popeye was because his forearms and biceps were so fucking big, his uniforms had to be tailored 'cos he couldn't get his arms into rolled up sleeves... there just wasn't enough fabric.

Fucker threw, from start to finish, a 3.4 second HEAT round.... FULLY fucking  loaded... it took a bit 'cos the door to the rack, (which if you watch the vidya above carefully, the loader hit the opening paddle with his knee, and the door cycles open.)  It's about 2.5 seconds to fully open, (you can grab a round if it's right there, you DO NOT wait for the door to fully cycle) then the loader has to snatch the round out, swing it around, and slam it into the breech, while the blast door cycles closed.  The door cycle is 5 seconds.  The kid in the video by MY stopwatch said 10 seconds... 9.8 to be precise from the time I heard the 'click' of the door paddle being engaged to when he threw the charging arm (that's what primes the gun) and he yells "UP!" 

Popeye sat in the loader's seat, giving him the ability to let the round 'bounce' off his knee, and using the leverage, as soon as the door started to open, he grabbed the first ready HEAT round, and then he literally "palmed" the base of it one handed with his right hand, bounced it, palmed it, let it 'roll' nose first into the cradle, and then slammed it into the breech, and as soon as the breech block started climbing up to lock (it's triggered by the round releasing a lever as it enters the breech chamber) with his left hand, he threw the charging handle and screamed "UP!" (that lets the gunner know he's locked and loaded).  Needless to say, he was the loader on ALL The Table 8 Gunnery shoots, to include the Battalion Commander, but not the XO ('cos fuck that guy, he was a prick)

BTW:  That blast door is the -only- thing that keeps an M1 from going 'Pop!' from it's ammo blowing.  Roof panels on the top blow out, thereby protecting the crew.  Also, safety note:  You do not want your hand getting caught in that door.  MANY Basic Trainees find out the hard way and end up getting recycled with a broken dickbeater because of it...
An example:
Again, IMPRESSIVE Engineering Aye?
The Blow-Out panels that you just watched are like this:
Granted, it's a model... But it's accurate.
Also the most comfortable place to sleep when in the field in my experience
Jes' Sayin'
It keeps the crew from becoming post-toasties.  Even Nomex ain't helping when a full rack of ammo pops off.  Now, what with all of the back and forth about Ivan versus Abrams... thing of it is, the Abrams, outside of some serious shit at 73 Easting, there's never been a true force on force tank battle...  meaning a well trained Tank Unit versus another Equally Trained Tank Unit.
The Iraqi Repugnicunt Guard?
Definitely NOT a peer-to-peer fight.
90% of the Iraqi Officers were not promoted due to ability
Alllllll about being on Saddam's good side
And the rest?  Fucking Fanatic Hardcore Weirdbeards out to enforce the will of Allah and no, that does NOT make a good tanker either, as that battle showed.  That particular fight was like Mike Tyson beating on that retard on the airplane... FAFO Aye?

This's why I have reservations vis-a-vis the Krainians going up against the Ivans using OUR M1s...  They ain't going to be anywhere near the level they need to be at.  Case in point:  I was a fantastic green grunt.  AWESOME-SAUCE as an anti-tank ground pounder and weapons guru.  That being said, I purely sucked as a tanker despite my years of being in the army.  I got reclassed at Year 2 of my second hitch... (year number 7 in total) and I sucked.  Hell, my TC had me training the fucking rest of the crew in surviving IF the tank died and we didn't.

No joke, part of some shit that NOW regular issue is because the crew, IF they had to dismount, ONLY had TWO M-4, and TWO Berettas.  I was the one who wrote up a proposal that apparently took YEARS to do, but I did one to get a 'kit' of parts for the M-240 (there's two on the tank, but they're damned near (or they were) useless as the pistol grip, in order to fit it on the Coax position was chopped off, and had NO buttstock nor foregrip or bipod.  I wrote it up that it was purely retarded to abandon two potentially lifesaving machine guns if the crew hadda bail.

NOW standard BII (Basic Intital Issue) for the Tank is a pair of M-240 "Dismount Kits" consisting of spare pistol grips, a buttstock and a clip-on-bipod.
Took ten years, but Yay Me.

So, to continue

Lot of it is that a LOT of the Ivans who survived are survivors because they didn't get killed.  All propaganda aside and whatnot, the survivors of -any- Tank Battle, especially if it was a peer-to-peer battle, then, well... lets just say I have doubts.

Add on the propensity of Ivans use of dive-bombing-drones.... and yeah I call 'em DBD's 'cos they ain't suicide drones.  Calling them Kamikaze drones also grates the fuck out of me because it dishonors the memory of a LOT of brave (albeit fanatical) Japanese who were the Real Kamikazes. Crazy Brave and from my personal POV, Tragic but honorable.

Dive-Bombing-Drones?  Ain't no one on 'em to suicide... fucking Ministry of Propaganda and Lies, at it again, showing their ignorance and ass....  Jes' Sayin'...

Anywho... thing of it is, not a lot of experience with that particular threat.  And the Abrams, like the MAJORITY of Armor these days, the roof of the tank?  Welllllll...
That's a screen-cap of the loader going inside the turret on another vidya... and notice the white line?  That's the thickness of the roof on an Abrams...

Ain't giving any secrets away...
That vidya is 7 years old and dollars to donuts has already been fully examined and analyzed by the world over... Maybe just a cunt-hair under a full inch of armor.  I'd say a DBD has one hell of a chance at at least a turret kill (TC Loader and Gunner) 
I sure as fuck wouldn't want to be on board if it got hit.  Ivamn is also fielding to great effect the 9M133 Koronet which has been showing up on both sides, I.E. The Krainians have been using them to great effect, as well as the Ivans.  It's Ivan's answer to the Jav, and the news about the Javs hasn't been the greatest, whereas the Koronet has been used quite a bit by Hezbollah against the Jewish Merkava, another supposedly 'unkillable tank'.  The Fuzzy Wuzzy Weirdbeards took out a confirmed 3 Hebrew tanks....

Now with all that, thing of a T-72 and the newer T-90 is their Ammo storage?  Well, to start with, they don't have a hoomon loader.  They use an autoloader, and the ammo is a two-piece affair... the beebee gets loaded, then the powder charge, like an old-style artillery piece:
Notice something?
The beebees and charges?
Stored in a ring inside the turret!!!
Any fucking wonder WHY the Turret on ALL the newer T models goes "POP!" for distance when it gets a catastrophic hit?
You can even see the rack in the ruins... fucking toast man...
So, the M1A (export version... it -has to be-) versus the Russians Tank On Tank? 

Not sure.

The Krainians don't have the years of training and experience, never mind the logistics 'tail' it'll need?  The services and maintenance?  Yeah, they're going to need 'contractors' to "help" and run them beasts.  There's already word out there that they're looking for former tread heads... To "...Onsite Train the Krainians under Austere Conditions"

No fucking thanks man.

Also, remember that Clair Chennault's Flying Tigers in China back in the day were ALL as far as I know "sheep dipped" Naval and Army Air Corps pilots who were ostensibly "contractors" who actually flew them P-40 Warhawks against the Japanese.  Wonder if any 'volunteers' are going to be recruited from the regular tread head ranks?  And, as stated before, the current crop of surviving Rooskies are survivors 'cos they know how to "tank" as we used to call it...Cream rises to the Top... Survivors of Tank Battles tend to be the betters of the rest who didn't survive.  Combat is Darwinian like a motherfucker, and the survivors tend to be the "Who's your Daddy?" betters Aye?

And as far as 'sheep dipping?' 
If -I- was in, I'd take note of that Navy SEAL that recently was declared hors d'combat... who was "supposedly" a "Deserter" since 2003. 

Since fucking when have you ever heard of a SEAL who deserted?  
Never to my research.
Nor to anyone I've talked to, veterans in particular.

Sounds like Christians in Action recruited this guy, he got waxed, and ..."the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions"  Ultimately throwing him completely under the bus.  No benefits, no insurance payout for the his dependents fuckers. 

Things to think about as its readily apparent that the Kraine is just a Grift First Class and anyone and everyone who goes and gets involved needs to understand that there is ZERO support nor are you cared about.  More meat to make sausage, with nothing waiting for you or yours.

Fuck that noise.

Then, lots of comments and I have an observation for y'all.  One of my jobs was related to VSAT technology, and keeping communications up and running for a LOT of obscure FOBs (Forward Operating Bases).  As such, MANY times I needed to get equipment out to the troops... sometimes I had to escort the gear and take it right out onto the runway.

Had to take safety classes out the fucking wazoo to get 'runway certified' to drive oot and aboot on the fucking tarmac with active aircraft ALLLLL over the place...  In an active warzone...  where we regularly got mortars and rokkits dropped on us (they made big sparkly explosions on the concrete... pretty cool).  I used to drive right the fuck up to C-130s and C-17s to load gear.  The norm was also Blackhawks and one AWFUL time was ramp loading a Jolly Green Giant... the BIG hunkin' mo'fo... the rear ramp was slick as fuck with hydro-fluid and ZERO traction, I slipped and wrenched my back as I was one of two guys carrying a heavy ass Positioner for a SNAP (174 pounds).  I still have issues from that slip and wrench...

But yeah, I personally have experienced Jet Wash, Prop Wash, and Rotor Wash and have insanely fond memories of that magnificent smell of the C-47 Chinook as you go into it at night, all red-light and shit... ahhhh
The Days of Wine And Roses
Good Times.
Great Memories.
So yeah, no sympathy here.  Dumbfuck wanted to ignore 3 fucking warnings and paid the ultimate price.  Scattered and Splattered indeed.  Dumbass.
So yep.

Hope you enjoyed this.  Lots of shall we say interesting things going on
SO More Later I Remain The Intrepid Reporter
Big Country

And Lastly:

Brother Gerard Vanderleun:
December 26, 1945 – January 27, 2023

Requiescat in pace. Amen. ETERNAL rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.
Hope to meet you on the other side sir.


  1. Going to the Ukraine as Wolfgang used to say on Laugh-In is "Very interesting......but stooopid"

  2. Don't have a Google account. For this, my callsign will be Bravo6.
    I was a tanker; commanded an M1 company in peacetime a long time ago. Had an M60A1 platoon before that. Dated experience, yes. But some things don't change:
    Tanks are useful when massed. Disremember the source of the quote, but one battalion is "too few to fight." The "too many to die" is a freebie in this war.
    Tanks are maintenance hogs. Won't do a damned thing of any duration without the huge log tail you mentioned.
    We trained intensively on gunnery as it approached. Not everybody qualified; this is when the targets weren't shooting back. I am sure that - as you pointed out - the Russian "tankisti" still alive have learned a lot of useful things, some of which were not in their syllabus.
    A lot more grumpy observations. At the root, this is a political gesture being made by amateurs who are not serious, nor cognizant of the risks they are taking.

    Love your posts; I am a regular lurker.

  3. Train to run, train to fix, train to use. Plus supplies. Plus ammo. Plus fueling.

    And who is going to run the logistics?

    1. In this case here... probably the Russians...

    2. I really messed up and missed out on American Digest. Gerard was always a good read ... but well written blogs are a dime a dozen and I already have too many to follow. Gerard slipped through the cracks.

      Barnhardt is talking about the turbo-cancer being a result of the Clot Shot. Apparently Gerard got the one and then a booster? I knew heart problems were going through the roof and we see it every day... but apparently all kinds of weird cancers are spiking too... by like 300~400%. Hells bells... I hope that wasn't the case here.

  4. tanks are always thin on top. back in west Berlin, we where taught to attack from above with law rockets. back when it was CiC of as the brits used to say, FISH- fighting in someone's house
    did a lot of cross training with the brits back then. I got tagged to help teach CIC there.
    did a lot of flame weapon stuff. went thru a lot of the old powder Tide back then.
    also got to play around with the M202 too. found out it works for CIC a lot better if you pull a couple of the flame rounds and put in the M72 rocket. like law, flame, law , flame.
    door and windows are ALWAYS ambush points. make you own hole and put a flame round in it
    to "clear the room" shall we say . top thought I was nuts, but I did get a 4 day pass out of it !
    as you would say good times.

    1. As Detective Miller would say "Doors and Corners kid, that's where they get you".

  5. You might want to dig some more on the Abrams delivery. I forget where I saw it, but I'm pretty sure I saw somewhere that they were sending A2s. And thanks for mentioning Gerard. He was a part of a whole lot of people's lives for a couple of decades. Godspeed sir, and say hello to your delightful mother for me.

    1. They are sending A2, but it's new ones rolling off the line, which makes me heavily suspect that it's an A2 in name only, with the Chobham armor and anything else we don't want the Russians getting their hands on stripped out of it. I'm betting they get straight up RHA and a hearty atta boy.

  6. Speaking of "jet wash" .. I do know for certain (don't ask) that a B-52G running two engines at TRT (Takeoff Rated Thrust) for four minutes on a MX requested engine run, will tear up an impressive amount of asphalt tarmac. Why 4 minutes? TRT was attained by water injection. Once the system was on, it stayed on. Scary as shit.

  7. Ivan has the Marker tracked anti-tank robot with a low profile, even lower than the German Sturmgeschutz from WWII.
    It has missiles, cams, sensors, mini-guns.

  8. The training curve for the M1 isn't that steep. One nice thing is we have gunner/TC simulators that accurately show how things work. I think we're going to pull out the stops training up the Ukr crews.

    In '88 the cav troop on Panzer Kaserne turned in their M60A3's and we got their 19E's.

    Those guys knew tanks, but not Abrams. We got them up to speed and shooting on par with us in just 90 days.

    PS: that white line is HALF the roof thickness. The hatch has a mirrored step in it.

  9. The Army is amazeballs about certain things.
    Baby brother enlisted to fly as WO.
    Too tall: 6'6".
    Flight limit was 6'4".
    Didn't tell him this when he signed up. Oh no.
    So, being too big to fit in an AH-64, the Army, being infinitely wise, rotated him to tread head.
    Because why wouldn't you put somebody too big for a cockpit into something big a spacious inside, like a tank?

    As a driver, he was in name-tape defilade as well, with the hull at his pocket tops, and his arms down inside. Had to duck to close the hatch, and hella close to the tube overhead. As a loader, on M60s and M1s, if he stood up on the turret floor, he was already out of the tank.

    Ivan takes a different approach, and recruits little guys for their tank units.

    Can hardly wait to see what happens when Big Green tries Tuna Tankers, and you've got 4 lightweight tankerettes trying to load, do a logistics resupply, or break track, with sugar-coated G.I.Janes trying to manifest upper body strength they'll never have.

  10. Can confirm stonemasons are freakishly strong. I was one, on and off for 8+ years. Dad and uncles had been doing it almost since they could walk. Once saw my father pick up the end of a fucking tree and move it (about two foot across and 25-30 feet long) while we were scavenging from an old stone fence. Myself, I didn't have much problem throwing a 75 lb. bag of cement on each shoulder.

    1. dad ran a concrete and block crew. his idea of summer vacation was to drag me to work with him ever since I was 10 years of age (lucky me ! )
      other kids went to the mountains or the shore. me I went to muddy holes in the ground
      moving 75 pound 12 inch blocks all day. and a Portland cement bag weighs 94 pounds. god knows I moved enough of them every summer until I went into the army
      but if you want to get in shape, work with any masons . if you can last the first week.
      you will last the summer. still remember how to mix mortar too, 32 shovels of sand,
      one 5 gallon bucket of water. break open the cement bag and dump it. watch and add more water as needed. then add 2/3 of a bag of lime to it. that is with a mixer.
      if you have to use a mortar box and hoe. sand first, cement and then lime on top
      mix it dry FIRST. then add water as you go.
      you will have muscles hurting you never knew you had at first. but in a while, you will be rock hard. my dad was still rock hard when he passed. 20 some years after he retired.

  11. A couple dozen tanks using different parts and ammo isn't going to make a lick of difference but someone is getting a nice bonus for selling them to Uncle Sam and someone else when Zelenskyy sells them on the black market. I doubt any of them make it to the battlefield.

  12. bravo6 hit it on the head. this bunch of amateurs are going to get a lot of good men killed and maybe tip off a nuke war too.

  13. I'm surprised they didn't reclass you into an 11M - Bradley crewman. At least there, you would have still been able to shoot the TOW, or were Bradleys being phased out by then?

    I had the most useless MOS, though - 11BC2 - Dragon Anti-tank gunner. The system was obsolete as soon as it was fielded. 10 seconds to travel 1,000 meters while holding the crosshairs on target the whole time for the wire guidance system? That was a suicide mission. While I left AIT with an Expert rating, that was the last time I ever messed with it. I got to my first permanent party station and asked for an M60 machine gun and that was what I carried for 3 years as my primary weapon - even when promoted to fire team leader.

    1. the whole Dragon was a waste of money. I was with the group testing the 84mm carl K
      it was way better than ANYTHING we had at the time (1978) the army generals who came out to watch it where bored to death. the marine generals on the other hand where great ! they even got down in the dirt with us and fired it.
      it was only later did we find out the "fix' was in for the Dragon
      somebody made a lot of money on it.

  14. Anything serious to the talk of sending F-16s? Seems like the same set of problems, training, logistics, maintenance etc. And pilots?
    Steve S6

  15. I'd have to say it comes down to ONE major thing that no one is talking about, and that's training and experience.
    I was thinking the same thing. Sure, we kicked tons of ass in M1s in Desert Storm. You know who else kicked tons of ass? The marines who fought the same Iraqi tanks with M60s and got the same kill rates. ODS wasn't the way it was because of gear, it was because of training. The Russians might as well rename their SMO "Operation Mythbuster".

  16. My Guess is that IF (not when) they 'send' F-16's to the Ukraine, it will be Re-Painted FUSAF Birds, flying from Bases in Polackistan. All Airbases in the 'kraine have already been F-d Up, and the Bear also have every NATO Airfield 'Dialed In' for Kaptian Khinzal. That level of Escalation puts S-300/400 in play, as well as every new Suk and MiG. Captured Pilots will be good P.R. for Ivan. Just like the Tanks, too little, too late.

  17. "Amateurs talk strategy; professionals talk logistics"
    B. H. Liddell Hart.

    Josey Wales

  18. BCE~ My Pop-in-Law (God Rest His Soul) was in Sherman tanks during WWII. He was 6'4". Not sure how he fit. Red

  19. Not sure where to put this but, seems like those here who are more knowledgeable than I (everyone) might run with it. Maybe the real reason for this whole damned situation. Pale of Settlement.

  20. I should have included this one from "The Celtic Women" which includes bagpipes - very well done.



  21. Hey BC, with how effective man portable AT weapons are like the Javelin and Kornet, one must wonder what the future of tank warfare will be outside of use against below peer enemies. I figure if it costs 50-100 grand to make a man portable AT missile that can destroy a tank that costs 100x what the missile costs, how can mass deployments of tanks and other IFVs be effective?

    It would explain why this Russo-Ukraine war has turned into a repeat of WW1 trench and artillery warfare because as soon as armor shows up it gets blown up.


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