Gifts from Laos and leftovers from Syria: what weapons will Russia “surprise” at the front


Gifts from Laos and leftovers from Syria: what weapons will Russia

What about the scrap metal that the Russians haul to the front, and how much is there really? For starters, all these MT-LBs with naval anti-aircraft guns, BTR-50s and other rarities from the Second World War and Khrushchev can be called “scrap metal” quite rightly.

How many old weapons do the Russians have left

If only because the Russian Ministry of Defense in 2016 announced plans to hand over such weapons for remelting, because it is difficult to maintain them in proper condition.

In addition, the Russians used part of such “property” to support “fraternal regimes” in Syria and Libya. Therefore, not the best copies remained in the warehouses, to put it mildly.

On the other hand, those who are pessimistic are also right in their own way, because there can still be quite a lot of such scrap metal in the storage warehouses of the enemy.

For example, there is an estimated range of 100 to 500 T-55s that the enemy could theoretically recover and send to the front. In addition to the BTR-50, they also have much more “deep” rarities, for example, PT-76 light tanks (at least a few units) with ballistic armor. In theory, they won their back in Vietnam, but in fact the Russians used such cars even in Chechnya in the 2000s. It was as if the BTR-60 with an open top was also in storage. Their number is calculated at the level of several hundred.

The D-1 howitzers from the Second World War are actually not the most ancient “reinforcement” that the artillery of the invaders received. For in the warehouses of the Russian army there are also:

  • several hundred ML-30 howitzers of 122 mm caliber;
  • ML-20 caliber 152 millimeters from World War II;
  • it seems that there are 40 units of even such a rarity as a 203-mm howitzer of the B-4M type (towed, on a tracked chassis).

On the other hand, here it is necessary to pay attention not only to how much different scrap metal the Russians can still store “on paper” and how much they can actually drive and shoot. What matters is why they do it. After all, almost everything went wrong with our enemy here.

How the Russians wanted to use “disposable” equipment

The invaders are trying to show that since they have such scrap metal in their warehouses, it means that they are capable of waging a long war of attrition. Although the enemy kept this archaic technique in storage for another task – a “fast and victorious war”, where victory is achieved precisely by a catastrophic concentration of advantages in technology and manpower instead of high-precision quality. Since the war is fast, the equipment is essentially “disposable”.

Russia inherited the Soviet system of mobilization deployment, which provides for three echelons of troops – units of constant readiness, units with deployment in 1 – 2 days (D + 2), and personnel units with deployment in 20 days (D + 20), “mobiks” in modern conditions”.

It was for the one-time and massive reinforcement of the D + 20 “mobiles” that it was supposed to keep rare equipment in storage warehouses, because the materiel had to be used once and on a large scale to deploy units mobilized “from scratch”. And not to permanently cover the losses of personnel units on the principle of “by a teaspoon”.

According to its regulations, the terrorist country was supposed to start its “partial mobilization” in fact already in April-May 2022. Or at least save your T-62s and old “motorcycles” for “mobiks” by September – October of last year. However, the Russians made it so that now among the trophies of the Armed Forces of Ukraine there is even a battalion of the same T-62s.

The sequence and rhythm of the implementation of mobilization measures have their own strategic meaning. Since the Russians did not restrain this, they were unable to turn their mass of equipment and manpower into the quality necessary for effective offensive operations.

Finally, the fact that the occupiers sent S-60s and MT-LBs to the front with 2M-3 naval anti-aircraft guns from World War II meant that they had run out of even “free” ZU-23-2s in storage. Yes, these 2M-3s may well shoot. But they were removed from conservation from the warehouses of the Pacific Fleet in general. Carrying scarce shots of a non-standard caliber of 25 millimeters is another logistical “pleasure”.

And as a climax, the 30 “ceremonial” T-34s that Russia received from Laos in 2019 are quite seriously assigned to the 4th Kantemirovskaya Panzer Division. In addition to the parade defilade, the Russians even practiced something like “combat training” on these tanks in 2021.

It seems that jokes about how the Russians at the front will soon reach the use of the T-34 may well turn into an objective reality. With new losses of equipment, especially with scrap metal, which they are pulling now.

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