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Wed Jan 25, 2023, 05:50 AM

After US offer, Germany unleashes Leopard tanks for Ukraine

Last edited Wed Jan 25, 2023, 10:39 AM - Edit history (2)

Source: AP

BERLIN (AP) — After weeks of hesitation that created impatience among Germany’s allies, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced Wednesday that his government would provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 battle tanks and approve requests by other countries to do the same. The German government said it would initially provide Ukraine with one company of Leopard 2 A6 tanks, or 14 vehicles.

The goal is for Germany and its allies to provide Ukraine with 88 of the German-made Leopards, which comprise two battalions. “This is the result of intensive consultations, once again, with our allies and international partners,” Scholz said in an address to German lawmakers. “It was right and it is important that we didn’t let ourselves be driven (into making the decision),” he added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed satisfaction at the news. Several European countries have equipped their armies with Leopard 2 tanks, and Germany’s announcement means they can give some of their stocks to Ukraine.

“German main battle tanks, further broadening of defense support and training missions, green light for partners to supply similar weapons. Just heard about these important and timely decisions in a call with Olaf Scholz,” Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter. “Sincerely grateful to the chancellor and all our friends in (Germany).”

Read more: https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-germany-government-olaf-scholz-435da2221bf452a8aae9d2e58d23acae



Article updated.

Previous articles/headline -

Germany agrees to provide Ukraine with advanced battle tanks

BERLIN (AP) -- After weeks of hesitation that saw growing impatience among Germany's allies, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced Wednesday that his government would provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 battle tanks and approve requests by other countries to do the same.

In a statement, the German government said it would initially provide Ukraine with one company of Leopard 2 A6 tanks, which comprises 14 vehicles, from its own stocks. The goal is for Germany and its allies to provide Ukraine with a total of two battalions, or 88 tanks. "This decision follows our well-known line of supporting Ukraine to the best of our ability," Scholz said after a Cabinet meeting in Berlin. Germany was "acting in close coordination" with its international allies, he added.

The long-awaited decision came after U.S. officials said Tuesday that a preliminary agreement had been struck for the United States to send M1 Abrams tanks to help Ukraine's troops push back Russian forces that remain entrenched in the country's east almost a year after Moscow's invasion and war.

Scholz had insisted that any decision to provide Ukraine with powerful Leopard 2 tanks would need to be taken in conjunction with Germany's allies, chiefly the United States. By getting Washington to commit some of its own tanks, Berlin hopes to share the risk of any backlash from Russia.


Original article -

BERLIN (AP) -- The German government has confirmed it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 battle tanks and approve requests by other countries to do the same.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Wednesday that Germany was "acting in close coordination" with its allies.

In a statement, the government said it will initially provide Ukraine with one company of Leopard 2 A6 tanks, which comprises 14 vehicles, from its own stocks. The goal is to provide Ukraine with a total of two battalions together with other countries.


THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 08:12 AM

1. They must have gotten the financial deals they wanted.

Using the tanks as leverage to swing some money deals.
With Poland, maybe the US too.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 08:42 AM

2. The leopard 2 isn't actually an "Advanced battle tank"

it's rather old tech. however, it is easy to train on and use.

but 14 tanks will likely not make much oaf a difference. hopefully other western nations will provide a bit more.

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Response to Layzeebeaver (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 08:43 AM

3. But it's a hell of a lot better than the T72 and T80

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Response to Ray Bruns (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 08:45 AM

4. yes. however... fourteen.

hundreds of t-72's will make mince meat out of 14 leopard 2's

whether we want to believe it or not, the war in the Ukraine is a war of attrition.

the west needs to give more and better.

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Response to Layzeebeaver (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 08:55 AM

5. 14 is the initial number going to Ukraine,

more will follow, Poland and other countries have pledged the Leopard's also, so it won't be just 14 MBT's.

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Response to MarineCombatEngineer (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 09:35 AM

10. Let's see what happens

We need entire blocks of equipment, not just piecemeal platoons.

I'll wait and see what happens.

But to reiterate my main point - the IS A WAR OF ATTRITION - which demands equipment in mass. We should rather see equipment being lost rather than Ukrainians.

Leopard 2's meh... Germany can only spare 14. They should be ashamed of themselves. Marder's - old tech. Germany hasn't invested in next gen land systems for 20 years.

The U.S. needs to lead the way on this issue regarding tanks and integrated land warfare systems. Then the rest of the world will fall in line.

And then there's air defence...

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Response to Layzeebeaver (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 11:16 AM

14. Those hundreds of T72s are spread out over a long front.

Leopards, Abrams and Challengers spearheading one point of attack would overwhelm anything the Russians have at that spot.

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Response to Layzeebeaver (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 09:16 AM

9. I think if all comes together the number is higher.

The goal is for Germany and its allies to provide Ukraine with a total of two battalions, or 88 tanks.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 09:06 AM

6. I know we have to support Ukraine. But it is just like every other conflict we get involved in

we supply them with just enough to hold Russia back then when it becomes politically unpopular we pull
out.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 09:13 AM

7. I get a sense that that's not the case here,

most of the time we didn't have a unified NATO, I think the US/NATO alliance will stick with Ukr. to see that the Russians are pushed back across the 2014 border and also to greatly weaken the Russian military, and after that is done, I believe the US and Europe will help rebuild Ukr's infrastructure, much like we did in Europe after WWII with the Marshall Plan.

As always, this is only my opinion.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 09:16 AM

8. IMHO

this "investment" has actually been the best in decades when compared to Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan.

However Ukraine is in the unfortunate position of not "officially" being a part of NATO nor the EU, and that is what has hindered a more full-throated engagement. If anything, since they are sitting there in Europe, it really is an issue that Europe needs to address. But the EU has also been more entwined in energy commerce with Russia for too long and that has also been a major factor hindering their responsiveness (not wanting to bite the hand that feeds them).

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 10:36 AM

11. The Abrams is not a good choice

The Abrams tank is driven by a turbine engine, and runs on jet fuel, which is not normally found on the battlefield. Those require a far different support system.

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Response to RainCaster (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 11:09 AM

12. That's not entirely true,

The tank is powered by Avco Lycoming (now Honeywell) AGT1500 gas turbine engine, developing 1 500 horsepower. Essentially it is a modified helicopter engine, adapted for use on tanks. It is a multi-fuel engine, which can run on any grade of petrol, diesel, aviation fuel or kerosene. This engine has impressive performance and is compact for its power output. So even though the Abrams tank is heavy and bulky, it is surprisingly agile. It is faster than many other tanks and has superior cross-country performance. Also the engine is remarkably quiet. Due to this feature the Abrams is even nicknamed the Whispering Death. Its gas turbine engine has servicing intervals significantly longer than those of diesel engines, however is troublesome to maintain and has very high fuel consumption comparing with diesels. Engine can be replaced in field conditions within 30 minutes. Chassis and transmission of the M1A1 was improved to coupe with increased tank's weight. This main battle tank can be equipped with mine plow or mine rollers


https://www.military-today.com/tanks/m1a1_abrams.htm

The problem with the Abrams is it's high maintenance and not really suited for Ukr., the Leopards are much more suited for the Ukrainians.

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Response to RainCaster (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 11:14 AM

13. I think this is why we initially announced Strykers and more Bradleys

https://www.democraticunderground.com/10143021275

To my non-military mind and eyes, they ALL "look like tanks" (am guessing without all the weight of one and most except the actual "tanks" have wheels with tires ).

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Response to RainCaster (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 11:29 AM

16. I agree that the Abrams is not the right weapon for Ukraine, but Germany needed a symbolic gesture

by the US to make the first move. I understand the it could be a year before any Abrams arrive in Ukraine because they've been ordered from the manufacturer, and will not be provided from existing stock. I can imagine Abrams tanks being positioned in purely defensive positions around Kyev where they probably won't actually take part in a battle, but they won't need much fuel and maintenance won't be a big issue. The Leopards will be provided much more quickly, and will be game changer for Ukraine.

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Response to RainCaster (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 01:20 PM

18. MCE has the truth of it, although calling it a 'jet engine' makes the confusion understandable.

I was an M1-Abrams-series tank crewman in the Army for four years, including deployment to the Gulf in 1991. In all that time, we never, ever fueled our tanks with jet fuel. It was always diesel.

Despite the tanker's boast about the multi-fuel capability ("From jet fuel to Jack Daniels" ), we only ever used stinky, oily, reliable diesel.

Having crewed the Abrams under horrendous desert conditions in Saudi Arabia in '91, I can say that, as maintenance-intensive as the tank can be, it exceeded its design tolerances quite nicely in every way imaginable. They will outmatch Russia's overhyped 'rugged and dependable' T-72/T-80/T-90 series tanks admirably.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 11:24 AM

15. The diplomatic process requires a bit of kabuki for both the domestic audience and the international

one. "Twist my arm" is the expression used in everyday life, and it applies at the national level, too. Germany and the US are messaging Russia that they are extremely reluctant to escalate the level of military support for Ukraine, but international and domestic pressure are just too much to bear. The US "reluctantly" says, "Oh, OK, if Germany won't provide Leopard Tanks then I guess we'll have to put a few M1 Abrams in the game." And Germany resigned says, "Oh, well, if the US is willing to make such a gesture it would be rude of us to refuse." As a front-line state next in line if Russia succeeds in Ukraine, Poland broke the ice. I kind of imagine Putin, going, "Damn, I was hoping NATO would fragment we'd have an opportunity to take back lost ground in the spring. I wonder if Saudi Arabia will take me in as a well-heeled refugee."

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 01:14 PM

17. K&R for good news!

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