VIDEO | Andonovic: The tanks for Ukraine will be delivered, but whose crew will operate them?

Analysis with Dejan Andonović / Photo Sloboden pechat

After months of wrangling and pressure, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz decided to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and let other countries like Poland do the same.

A total of 12 countries have agreed to send about 100 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, including Germany, the country where these tanks are manufactured.

The deal for 100 tanks was reached last week at a meeting of Western countries at the US airbase in Ramstein, Germany, where the allies discussed how to help Ukraine in its war with Russia, while Germany finally made its decision yesterday.

The problem with the delivery of the tanks is the result of assessments by German military experts that the Leopard 2 is an expensive tank that is difficult and costly to maintain. In addition, Germany refused to deliver these tanks because, of the approximately 300 tanks owned by the Bundeswehr, if some were delivered to Ukraine, the combat and defense power of the country would be undermined.

Ukrainian tanks / Photo: Profimedia

On the other hand, several countries, including Poland, although with barely a hundred such tanks, insisted on sending part of their armored equipment for the needs of the Ukrainian army. All countries that have purchased Leopard 2 tanks are contractually obligated to obtain permission from Germany if they wish to transfer the tanks to third countries. Germany also came under pressure from Washington, which demanded that Berlin allow the sending of tanks.

As for the American "Abrams", the USA was against it at first, but later agreed to send about 30 such tanks to Ukraine. Both the "Abrams" and the "Leopard" are expensive military equipment that consumes a lot of fuel and are expensive to maintain, hence the doubt as to how well the Ukrainians could maintain this expensive weapon in military conditions.

Here, of course, are also the British "Challenger" and 14 of this type of tanks were the first to be contracted for delivery for the needs of Ukraine.

According to the previous decision, it has been agreed that the Ukrainian army will receive 30 American "Abrams" and tanks of the "Leopard" type and plus of the "Challenger" type.

Military experts and strategists are already extensively analyzing whether these tanks are sufficient for the future, more and more certain, ground offensive of the Russian army, for which it is assumed that after artillery, tanks will play a leading role in combat operations. It is predicted that in the coming months there will be tank battles, the scale of which would be those seen in the Second World War.

The British "Challenger", "M1 Abrams" and "Leopard 2" belong to the category of heavy tanks. An Abrams has 75 tons, a Challenger 65, and a Leopard 62-65 tons, it all depends on the version offered, which is a huge weight for Ukraine. They use Russian tanks that do not exceed 40 tons in weight.

Leopard Tank/ Photo ABACA / Abaca Press / Profimedia

But it is not only about their number, technical characteristics or maintenance. The decision to send tanks to Ukraine has publicly raised the question of the crew that will operate them.

It is clear that, for the effective use, management and combat action of the tank, the crew must have adequate military training. If we take into account that it is a modern weapon and it is intended for an army that has had experience with conscientiously produced tanks that are over 40 years old, the question arises as to whose crews will serve the tanks.

The tanks, as debatable due to their uniqueness and Ukrainian lack of training in handling them. It takes 4 people to maintain such an engine, and when a tank breaks down in the field, that engine, when removed, must be sent to American territory for repair, experts say.

On the other hand, it is more than clear that the tank is a pile of iron and has no use without a suitable crew.

All this indicates that together with the tanks, the crews of these countries will have to be engaged in Ukraine.

This means that in possible combat actions, these NATO members will clash with the Russian army.
This, in turn, only confirms Moscow's accusations that soldiers from the NATO armies are directly involved in military actions in Ukraine, accusations that the alliance has so far rejected.

If the long-announced offensive and tank battles come again, it remains to be seen how these modern tanks will perform on the field and how they will fare against the Russian modernized T90 tanks.

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