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My Military Experience In a Leopard 2 Tank

Leopard 2 Tank
Leopard 2 Tank

My Leopard 2 Tank Experience: As a former M1A1 Abrams tank commander, I have followed with great interest the frantic reporting on the possible deployment of German Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

Will this tank live up to the expectations NATO and Ukraine heap upon it? 

My Time with the Leopard 2 Tank 

I was a headquarters company commander and battalion operations officer in the 3rd Armored Division (Spearhead) from 1988 to 1991. During my time as a defender of the Fulda Gap, I had the opportunity to command a Leopard II in a battalion live-fire setting with our partner unit, Panzer Battalion 153 in Koblenz, Germany. We operated in a combined warfare environment during which our reconnaissance platoon of Bradley Fighting Vehicles scouted the way for the German battalion to the Baumholder tank range.

The exercise unfolded during the hours of darkness and in total radio-listening-silence, something that was a tad difficult for us Americans, since we tend to love talking a bit too much on our radios. Meanwhile, the Germans effectively used motorcycle dispatch riders to keep unit commanders and vehicle crews posted on the progress of the movement. 

Live-fire occurred during the morning hours and unfolded quite impressively. The Leopard IIs of the Bundeswehr had no mechanical failures during the extended road march. Their efficient diesel engines were quickly refueled, and the Panzers made ready to roll again. The Leopard’s power plant was louder than the M1’s gas turbine, yet if you were the enemy, the impressive deep grumble of the tank would have made you aware that something terrifying was headed your way. 

Climbing into my Leo’s turret on the morning of the live-fire, I was greeted by the tank’s German gunner, who handed me a comfortable crew helmet. I then met the rest of the crew via the intercom system – in German, of course. What struck me was how clear the German headsets transmitted, compared to ones we used. The commander and gunner’s stations were tight, yet everything was in its right place. The daylight targeting optics proved of extremely high quality – much better than our own. I was able to bring any target into clear vision without much effort. 

Going down-range with the Leo was impressive, to say the least. The vehicle and main gun had great stability, and the crew compartment was relatively quiet. It felt a bit like driving in a Mercedes. The 120mm gun, like ours, hit on point and the draftee-loader was able to feed it without a problem. The 7.62mm MG3 turret machine gun was similar to the famous Wehrmacht WWII MG42, but the crew had to stick their heads out to operate it. This would be bad news in built-up areas and sniper country. 

Bottom Line: Training Will Be Important 

Overall, I found the Leopard II to be a lovely cat. I would have gladly taken it into combat against any foe. My assessment then and now is that the Leopard II is an excellent combat vehicle that continues the tradition of first-class German armor developments like the Panther and Tiger my father crewed in WWII. In the end, however, success will depend on the training of the tank crews, the tactical prowess of leadership, and the ability to keep the vehicles in the fight with effective logistics and maintenance. 

Given the combat scenario in Ukraine, we will also have to watch whether drones and other top-attack weapons will limit this fine tank’s impact. Hopefully, the Leo II’s, most likely coming from a variety of countries, will be in decent shape and ready to be used in the appropriate combined arms environment, where they can unleash their tremendous capabilities. That also means they must be placed in specified main efforts, and not piecemeal. As good ol’ Heinz Guderian, the father of the German Panzer arm, once emphasized: “Clobber them, don’t stroke them!”  

While a lot of hope is riding on the German Leos’ backs, I would be careful not to count out the Russian army’s ability to deal with this new challenge. In many conflicts, they have shown a tremendous ability to adapt and overcome, especially when challenged on their own turf. Hence our old Cavalry saying still holds true: “Hope is not a method.” 

More: Should Joe Biden Quit? 

More: How to Save Joe Biden? 

More: Nikki Haley for President? Nope.

R.W. Zimmermann is a former tank battalion commander and 3rd Armored Division Desert Storm veteran. He served as a warfare strategy and leadership instructor for the US military.

Written By

R.W. Zimmermann is a former tank battalion commander and 3rd Armored Division Desert Storm veteran. He served as a warfare strategy and leadership instructor for the US military and has written Op-eds on various military and international relations topics.



  1. Gary Jacobs

    January 24, 2023 at 4:34 pm

    A decent write up, until you said ‘challenged on their own turf’. They arent on their own turf, they invaded Ukraine.

    It is the Ukrainians that know the back roads, woods and hills like the back of their hands.

    As well, the Ukrainians have proven to be quite good at tactics and strategy. They need better kit to finish the job of kicking out the Russian Imperialists.

  2. Walker

    January 24, 2023 at 4:50 pm

    Hmm, saw quite a few Leopard 2s there in Baumholder during that exact time. I might have even seen you.

    They are definitely beautiful tanks. I await Ukraine to use them properly in the spring.

    I guess the only real comment I have on your article is the ending where you talk of Russian ability to adapt “on their own turf”. Ukraine isn’t Russian turf, now is it? It may be you were just a tad careless with your words, but you need to be much more careful.

  3. tony

    January 24, 2023 at 6:46 pm

    having one been in my little tent in my army days i can confirm that a leo 2 passing by is like a mobile earthquake mating with a heavy metal band

  4. 403Forbidden

    January 24, 2023 at 8:41 pm

    Leopard 2 tanks used by turkiye military in syria didn’t fare as well as expected.

    There’re videos of them bursting into flames after getting hit by ATGMs..

    Perhaps those turk-operated Leopards were of inferior build. Like some late-war german tanks of ww2 built by slave labor. They splattered and spalled easier than expected.

    Or maybe the ATGMs merely hit them in the right place. Not at the front but on the top of the vehicle.

  5. R.W. Zimmermann

    January 24, 2023 at 8:44 pm

    Author’s Response—

    Thanks for your comments and two of you made a good point. I probably should have said that I expect the Russians to put up a decent fight when it comes to defending what they “perceive” as their own turf. Here we can’t ignore that they wasted no time to declare the annexation of the occupied territories as internal political fact (vs. international judgement).

    While I agree that the Ukrainians have the field advantage and terrain knowledge, as a former combat leader and planner for closed-combat-heavy (CCH) operations, one can’t ignore the complex maintenance and logistics requirement that modern tanks demand. Within a couple of weeks, readiness rates may drop quite low, especially under harsh weather and combat conditions. Experienced tankers know that once the complex turret electronics fail, you’ll aim fire your tank main gun over the thumb. Then, even inferior opponents can mean trouble. Even the powerful German Tigers and Panthers often fell victim to inferior armored vehicles in WWII, especially when some of their key components failed.

    As I was taught as a young recon platoon leader: Always try to see the battlespace through the eyes of the enemy if you want to avoid surprises.



  6. TheDon

    January 24, 2023 at 8:58 pm

    Still, if the grids down its hard to pump fuel.
    Anti tank weapons and missiles do a lot of damage.
    I think it shall be a tough next couple months.

  7. Commentar

    January 24, 2023 at 10:01 pm

    Germany has now been pressured sucessfully into sending Leopard 2 tanks to eastern ukraine where the neo-nazis are very busy & hell-bent on eliminating the russian speakers of donbass.

    The germans must realise it could all come to no good end.

    During the july-august 1944 Red Army offensive, the famed steamroller aces threw a bridgehead near the town of baranow on the western bank of the vistula river.

    A battalion of the feared tiger 2 tanks was sent to hurl the soviets back across the vistula.

    Around august 12th to 14th 1944, the german tiger 2s fought soviet t-34s and IS-2s. In the battles that followed, 14 tiger 2s were destroyed and/or captured.

    After being brought to the kubinka proving range, the tiger 2s were studied and tested.

    The verdict was that the tiger 2 wasn’t really any better than the tiger 1. In fact, the soviets were somewhat surprised why the germans replaced the original tank.

    The Leopard 2s being sent to eastern ukraine or donbass, could possibly meet the same fate as the tiger 2.

  8. Tomb

    January 24, 2023 at 10:13 pm

    Nice but not the main point.
    The vital question is whether
    This tank can be destroyed as easily as Russian tanks..

  9. Barry Owens

    January 24, 2023 at 10:34 pm

    Thankyou Mr. Zimmerman for sharing your knowledge,!

  10. Cheburator

    January 24, 2023 at 11:29 pm

    Gary Jacobs

    Well, for starters, you need to understand that for Russians this is their own land, at least for the reason that more than half of the population of Ukraine are ethnic Russians. So for Russia, the territory of Ukraine is a trite Russian land.
    Your delusion is that you consider Ukrainians to be a single people, a huge part of the population of Ukraine is not loyal to the junta that came to power through an armed coup in 2014, and there are no fairy tales that a president was elected in Ukraine through elections – after the coup, the junta took control all authorities – courts, election commissions and law enforcement agencies that were supposed to carry out democratic processes, and Zelensky banned the activities of opposition parties and closed all alternative media. – It’s so democratic.

    I remind you that the Russian invasion began with a civil war in Ukraine. And a huge number of the local population is suddenly fighting on the side of Russia, and they opposed Kyiv not because they are traitors, but because Kyiv denied them elementary rights, pursuing a policy of terror, repression and apartheid. So the locals defend their rights with weapons in their hands.

  11. Jim

    January 25, 2023 at 9:54 am

    A good contribution by the author. What his article didn’t tell us is how long it takes to train a Leopard tank crew from scratch.

    There will be a limited number of trainees that have prior tank experience, those could be expected to complete their training faster… but many if not most will be raw recruits.

    Have Ukrainian tank crews already been training on Leopards in Poland and/or Germany?

    When will these Leopards be battle effective? And, in what numbers?

    Ukraine has not shown ability to make large combined arms offensives (Khorkov & Kherson were limited offensives…). Will Ukraine be able to execute offensive action on a larger scale than they already have?

    What Leopards might be effective at is “thunder run” attacks… Kinda like the Battle of the Bulge… what did that end up being at the end of the day… a very large suicide attack… it expended men & equipment to the point where it was the last large German offensive of the war… something the Ukraine military might want to remember.

    Why did the Germans do that? They had all these beautiful tanks… and they just had to use them for one last fling.

    Might that happen to Ukraine?

    Considering what has happened to Ukrainian soldiers, particularly @ Kherson with large casualty figures… this might encourage more of that type offensive.

    If so, the Leopards may entice Ukraine generals (if they are really calling the shots) to go back to frontal assaults (the real “human waves”) and those same high casualty figures.

    (Kherson was the real “meat grinder” where Ukraine sent wave after wave of assaults and were “buzz sawed” off until Russia made the decision to make a strategic withdrawal behind the one kilometer wide Dniepro river.)

    That’s at least partly responsible for why Ukraine has had a “burn rate” in men & equipment which is unsustainable over the long term… and does not result in strategic gains… tactical gains, yes, but not strategic… so far.

    Can that dynamic change? Well, anything is possible, but most often prelude is prologue…

    Ukraine must change the overall equation to get a different result.

  12. TheDon

    January 25, 2023 at 10:42 am

    10 or 100 wont win a war.

    For zelensky to recieve weapons, he should begin free elections.

    I sure would like to hear our past ambassadors take on this war.

  13. R.W. Zimmermann

    January 25, 2023 at 12:12 pm

    Author Response 2–

    Political Realities, Training and Maintainability

    I’m delighted that the article triggered some fine discussions. Great points to remind us that Ukraine is not a homogeneous society that includes ethnic Russians—hence internal stability may not be achievable without resorting to often undemocratic measures. That creates hatred and open paths to external influences. We learned that hard lesson when we toppled Saddam in 2003 with Sunnis and Shiites at each other’s throats. Even our continued presence has not created loving relationships between the two.

    I agree with those of you who say that we probably shouldn’t look at the Leo and Abrams deliveries as miracle solutions. Quantity of tanks, crew training and the ability to keep’em moving will be decisive factors. If a tank breaks down, it becomes a bunker—and bunkers can be bypassed or overrun. There is also some interesting news about Canada’s Leopards which are reported to be in no-combat-ready condition. What do the others look like?

    When it comes to training, crews with prior armor experience may be able to “function” in a new tank after about a three-week training course. Function doesn’t mean they will be experts. Even my own tank commander refresher course I attended in 1997 lasted two weeks.
    There will be some hard fighting ahead and both sides will lose some fights and battles. In the end, there must be a diplomatic solution. All wars will end sooner or later—hopefully before we risk a “limited” nuclear exchange.



  14. Redcatcher21

    January 25, 2023 at 12:20 pm

    The topic of sufficient training comes up a lot in the discussion of transitioning Ukrainian crews to Western tanks. How much training did you have before getting into the TC position? Believe the narrative ‘it will take a year to train a tank crew’ is rubbish, especially if they’re transitioning from another type tank as a crew.

    Was in the 1/11 ACR Blackhorse and we were short tank crews. Rather than fill loader positions with Scouts, we didn’t have M3 Brad’s yet, the Troop Commander gave the Scout Section Sargent a tank to take to annual gunnery at Graf’. (Large beer wager was involved)
    We did the train up with the tankers and when we got to Table 8 we took Squadron high score, the trophy inhabits a shelf in my office.

    Believe the Ukrainians crews will adapt just fine, and quickly. Logistics if they get M1s will be complicated, she’s a fuel guzzler for sure, and system replacement, especially fire control and stab’, will require someone that knows what they’re doing. Contractors no doubt.

    The book on Russian vs Western Tank was written in the First Gulf War. Don’t think it will change much in Ukraine.

  15. froike

    January 25, 2023 at 12:50 pm

    Nice article…enjoyed it. A Commentor pointed out that Ukrain’s Donbas Region has many Russian speaking residents. I live in NYC, it’s a city of great diversity, yet we are all NY’ers and Americans First.
    The fact that a Country has a multiethnic population doesn’t give Putler the right to invade it. I would guarantee you, that many of those Russian speaking folk would prefer not to live under Putler’s oppressive regime.
    Ukraine is now on a war footing. Once this fiasco is done with, I venture that free elections will be held.

  16. Gary Jacobs

    January 25, 2023 at 12:51 pm


    LoL, just because someone has been Russified and forced to speak Russian does not make them ‘ethnic Russians’.

    Russification is precisely what happened to my own family when Catherine the ‘not-so-great’ stole a bunch of other people’s land and forced Jews into The Pale of Settlement. Some Yiddish could be spoken, but Russian was forced upon them.

    That’s one reason why Zelensky himself speaks Russian. He isnt an ethnic Russian, but he speaks it. Rinse and repeat that for Millions of other Ukrainians. And others in the territories formerly occupied by Russian Imperialists.

    Not least of which are the Crimean Tatars, whom Stalin blatantly ethnically cleansed in the 1930s by shipping many of them off east. Now they are a minority in their own land.

    Those days are coming to a close. Western powers are finally about to provide Ukraine with weapons that will go a long way to kicking Russian Imperialists back to the internationally recognized borders…which Russia itself signed a deal to recognize.

    The sooner you come to grips with all that, the closer peace becomes.

    Have a liberating day.

  17. Yrral

    January 25, 2023 at 1:15 pm

    Jacob,Did you American ever think you were turn a whore into housewife in Ukraine,that is mired in corruption ,from the top that lead to Zelensky,looking at this map,it will stop any delusional that Ukraine will prevail being so corrupt and dysfunctional Google Ukraine Control Map Google Zelensky Corruption

  18. Rob

    January 25, 2023 at 2:30 pm

    I note a different tone in the pro-Russia responses, now tanks are sent by the West. That signals this is a significant step. Although I fear it will not be in its own a game changer. Yet it will hinder (and might even deter) a Russian spring offensive. If tanks are sent by the hundreds and maintained.

    In response to the pro-Russian posts: there never was a civil war in the Donbass, there were no fair elections in the Donbass. All that was staged by Russian military personal. Most ethnic Russian support an independent Ukraine but (unyil this SMO) prefered a pro-Russian economic strategy. Nowadays they denounce Russian imperialism.

  19. Cheburator

    January 25, 2023 at 3:16 pm


    And now imagine for a second that the Mexican government starts terror against gringos, or for example in Puerto Rico?
    How long would this go on? and how soon were US troops deployed against such a government?
    Russia, on the other hand, asked to change their minds for 8 years, but when the russian sudden began to beat in the face, did everyone suddenly remember international law? And why has no one seen the violation of basic rights in Ukraine, the unjustified use of violence from Ukraine for 8 years? I remind you that the order to use violence against peaceful protests was given by one of the leaders of the junta who came to power through a violent coup d’état without any legal authority.

  20. CDR_G

    January 25, 2023 at 3:31 pm

    This comment, “Meanwhile, the Germans effectively used motorcycle dispatch riders to keep unit commanders and vehicle crews posted on the progress of the movement,” shows again how little things change.

    This was exactly how the Wehrmacht’s units stayed informed as they invaded France in 1940. I recommend reading Blitzkrieg in Their Own Words, a collection of short pieces by Guderian’s soldiers at their zenith.

  21. Cheburator

    January 25, 2023 at 3:40 pm

    Gary Jacobs

    in fact, the Ukrainian population lived mainly along the right side of the Dnieper, the steppe South and East of present-day Ukraine was settled under Catherine – Serbs, Russians and Greeks.
    Odessa, grew out of a frontier fort when it was given trading privileges. Mariupol grew out of the Greek community.

    And if I say that Stalin saved the Crimean Tatars, the Tatars were deported not in 1930 but in 1944, and the deportation literally saved their lives.
    Tatars in Crimea were threatened with ethnic cleansing by the local population. The fact is that under the Nazis, the Tatars formed death squads in the service of the Third Reich (for example, Tataren-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment der SS) and committed thousands of terrible crimes – and this crime, blatant in its cruelty, was recorded in the protocols of the Nuremberg Tribunal.
    And if the Tatars had not been taken thousands of kilometers away on Stalin’s orders, then the Tatars would have been slaughtered – they had so embittered the local population.

    What the West is going to provide is just targets for Russian artillery, do you even understand what it means to attack in the steppe without air superiority, with a minimum of artillery support? Moreover, Russia can at any time cut off the supply of the Ukrainian grouping on the left bank, tritely destroying the crossings across the Dnieper. Ukraine intends to advance on the left bank, the supply is carried out through a dozen bridges, and now imagine that Ukraine is gathering a large group on the left bank, pulling up brand new tanks delivered by the West, and Russia is attacking the crossings with missiles and the Ukrainian group is locked on the left bank without supplies, the Russians are coming and they say – “Long live, are you going to attack here?”.
    For reference – the Dnieper is not a stream, there is even such an expression “Not every bird is able to reach the middle of the Dnieper”

    Well, the United States has shown very often that its recognition can be taken back, so the question is – if the United States does not comply with previously undertaken obligations, on what basis does the United States require compliance with obligations from others?

  22. Cheburator

    January 25, 2023 at 3:57 pm

    maybe you shouldn’t lie?

    The junta that came to power in 2014 used violence, while the order to use weapons was given in violation of the constitution of Ukraine, or maybe you did not come across the news about the bombing of Lugansk in 2014, or the use of artillery against Donetsk.
    Imagine if there was a coup in Washington, and instead of negotiating with protesting states with a controversial method of change of power, an order is given to bomb dissenting states?
    That’s right, immediately remember the second amendment.
    Although Ukraine does not have legislation similar to the American Second Amendment, why do you deny the right of the citizens of Ukraine to defend themselves against the tyranny of Kyiv?
    Let me remind you that in Donbas it all started with civil protests, and policemen without lethal weapons were supposed to be used to resolve it, but the Kyiv junta brought in an army with heavy armored vehicles, and then Donetsk and Luhansk began to bomb.
    Imagine that some protest of the hippies began to be dispersed by artillery salvos, bursts of machine guns and caterpillars of tanks.

    If the puppets of the United States hold false elections, having previously cleared the constitutional court, banning the opposition and opposition parties, then this is democratic.

    When Russian-speaking regions create alternative self-government bodies, this is Moscow’s machinations.
    And about the support of the junta by the Russian-speakers – the say other, try it, you will immediately find yourself in the basement of the Ukrainian Gestapo

  23. sarsfield

    January 25, 2023 at 6:47 pm

    article writen by german speaking AMerican tanker whose father was a panzer tanker in WW2; interesting

    BTW re German optics they have always been known for superior optics and I read that b4 WW2 they gave Japan some of their tech so the Japanese could incorporate it into their Navy gunnery; doesn’t the Abrams have the Rhinemettall 120 mm tank gun? why not German optics too?

  24. Paul

    January 25, 2023 at 8:01 pm

    You should take notice of the fact that you live in an information echo chamber where news is heavily filtered to fit Putin’s agenda. Honest journalists in Russia are murdered, threatened to silence, or pushed out of the mainstream to the fringes of your attention span. When you start referring to Stalin as a noble life saver, you kind of need to take pause and consider widening your perspective a bit, add some alternative sources. Sounds like you grew up locked in Aleksandr Dugin’s library or something.
    Have you reflected on why the invasion failed in the opening weeks? Probably because Putin is in the same echo chamber as you are, he believed the troops would mostly be welcomed with open arms and did not see the need for further planning. Plenty of testimony from Russian soldiers who was shocked when they met resistance from the Ukrainian population.
    Have you considered why morale in the Russian army is in the toilet? Maybe it is because the soldiers see for themselves that they have been lied to and are oppressors and occupiers rather than liberators.
    Have you considered why morale in the Ukrainian army and civilian population is so high? Could it be because they are mostly united in a just fight for preserving their independence?
    Have you reflected on why a liberating army have a need to torture and murder people in basements and shoot civilians in the street. The very people they are there to “liberate” Could it be because the people don’t want to be liberated and instead needs to be brutally surpressed?

    Nothing here will probably make an impression on you, so maybe you should get mobilized and check it out for yourself. Crawl over no-man’s-land to the Ukrainian side with flowers and say you are there to liberate them. Then you can learn how happy they are to see you.

  25. Cheburator

    January 26, 2023 at 5:58 pm


    How many journalists have been killed in Russia in the last 15 years,list the dead?
    I only remember Navalny, who did not die even after his underpants were sprayed with chemical weapons – either Navalny is so tenacious, or the Russian chemical weapons are so bad. Although Navalny is not even a journalist.
    But I remember Oles Buzina, who died at the hands of the Nazis, or other journalists who died in Ukraine in the last 8 years.

    In addition to the Tatars, Ukrainians should erect monuments to Stalin, for having saved millions of Ukrainians from the terror of Armia Krajowa (Operation Vistula).

    As for the fighting spirit of Ukrainians, is it the fighting spirit of those Ukrainians who are kidnapped and forcibly mobilized? or is it other Ukrainians?

  26. MK

    January 27, 2023 at 2:49 am

    …the tradition of first-class German armor developments like the Panther and Tiger my father crewed in WWII
    ****Truth? Did your father fight in the Tigers and Panthers? Was he on the side of the Nazis? That is, he fought against the anti-Hitler coalition? And are you really proud of it?

  27. R.W. Zimmermann

    January 27, 2023 at 12:02 pm

    Author Response to MK:

    Pride in Heritage and Learning from It

    Yes, I am proud that my father survived a terrible war that affected millions. He was drafted at 17 years of age and fought on all fronts in 75 confirmed direct-fire engagements. What else could he have done? He earned two iron crosses, the silver wounded badge and the armor assault badge in silver. He ended the war as a platoon leader in a Panther unit.

    As a Panzer trooper, my father fought at St Lô, Falaise/Argentan, Huertgen Forest, Aachen, the Bulge, and Hungary. After surviving the final Russian onslaught in Hungary in April 1945, he walked west and became a U.S. prisoner in April 1945. After his capture, he was given an opportunity to serve with the constabulary forces as a translator since he was one of the few prisoners who admitted that he fought against U.S. forces. For the American interrogator, a Captain of German heritage, the admission that he had fought the Americans, and not only the Russians as many frightened prisoners claimed, had categorized my father as trustworthy.

    Convinced he was on the right side, my father continued working for the U.S. government in a variety of civilian positions for over 42 years. He was proud that his family has continued its contribution to upholding freedom and democracy when I became a U.S. paratrooper and tanker in 1979 and later served with the Spearhead Division’s, 2nd Brigade and 3-8 Cavalry during the Gulf War.

    I think all of us learn something from our own family history, even if some of our ancestors fought on the wrong side (Blue and Gray), possibly by default. Younger generations often don’t have a vote when their elders lead them down a wrong and dangerous path and then have to spill their precious blood for questionable causes. We should be proud and very conscious of the fact that as Americans, we have a voice in these matters.



  28. Peter Stephens

    January 28, 2023 at 10:02 pm

    Has WWIII Started???

  29. atpcliff

    January 29, 2023 at 11:37 am

    Stalin killed about 8 million Ukrainians…more than the number of Jews killed by Hitler. Stalin did not “save” any Tatars. He killed or deported them. Once the war is over, and Russia continues collapsing, maybe a number of Tatars will want to move back to their homeland, in Crimea, which is now part of Ukraine.

    God created Our Universe with Love and Free Will. Use your Free Will to Love!

  30. R.W. Zimmermann

    January 29, 2023 at 12:03 pm

    Author to Steve:

    We’ve been in it for a while now and it’s fought on many different levels.

  31. Hans Guderian

    January 29, 2023 at 12:58 pm

    Somehow I could hear the Panzer Lied playing in the background as I was reading the article. Especially when he spoke about his father’s involvement with the German tanks in WW2

  32. R Dewlen

    January 29, 2023 at 4:55 pm

    Thanks, RW Zimmermann, for the insightful write up on the tanks being sent to Ukraine. It was very informative!

    I served in a HAWK missile unit in that Fulda Gap back in 1961-62 during and after the Berlin crisis and spent a lot of time around German civilians. I found them mostly to have been forcibly swept into WW II by a dictator with very Little to no recourse, very similar to current-day Russia.
    Our corporate seaplane pilot was a naturalized U. S. citizen and former Luftwaffe pilot. He was a 17 year old kid who got pressed into service toward the end of the war and didn’t even have a hundred hours in a plane when deployed. He never saw any combat because by that stage of the war they were usually out of aviation gas. He also said that it was a death sentence to even go up and fly by then due to Allied air dominance.

  33. Serhio

    January 29, 2023 at 9:38 pm

    Gary Jacobs
    “A decent write up, until you said ‘challenged on their own turf’. They arent on their own turf, they invaded Ukraine.”

    On the territory of the Kharkiv region “liberated from the aggression of Russia”, Ukrainian troops were ordered not to take food, water and cigarettes from local residents. Ukrainians are afraid of poisoning soldiers. Is this the behavior of the liberation army? In my opinion, it looks more like the occupiers. Which proves once again that there is a civil war going on in Ukraine with Russia’s support for one side and NATO for the other.

  34. R.W. Zimmermann

    January 30, 2023 at 2:51 pm

    Author Response to R. DEWLEN–

    Thanks for the comment!

    Indeed, the example you gave nicely reinforces the point I tried to make and I’m glad that your former pilot wasn’t sent on a suicide mission in 1945.

    I would also add that it was people and soldiers like you, many of them draftees, who inspired youngsters like me to emulate your example and serve in the U.S. military. The soldiers, many of whom broke fraternization rules after the fall of Nazi Germany, were the best ambassadors for peace and democracy the U.S. government could have asked for. Their interaction with the German population throughout the Cold War made essential contributions to a better mutual understanding among both peoples.

    I fondly remember that we had Hawk batteries in the Bad Kreuznach and Wiesbaden areas during the Cold War.

    I wish you all the best!


  35. Serhio

    January 31, 2023 at 4:46 am

    R.W. Zimmermann
    Of the authors of 1945, you look like the most reasonable person. Can you state your thoughts on how long Western tanks can hold out in conditions when the opponent controls the sky?
    How ready are they to act in conditions of serious electronic warfare?
    How ready are they to act in conditions when drones conduct constant reconnaissance and see all their movements?
    How ready are they to act in conditions when the enemy is ready to respond to 10 of their shells for each of your shots?
    How ready are they for a 152mm Krasnopol projectile or a Lancet UAV to hit the roof of the engine compartment or the hatch in the tower?
    How severe a concussion does the tank crew get after a shell hits its turret and does not penetrate the armor? What is the probability of failure of the control electronics in such a hit?

    We take into account that these will not be the most modern tanks without secret components that will never be delivered to Ukraine for fear that damaged tanks will be captured by the Russians or enterprising Ukrainians will sell the whole tank.
    The longer I look at the list of these questions, the less likely an optimistic answer seems to me.

  36. Serhio

    January 31, 2023 at 5:01 am

    “You should take notice of the fact that you live in an information echo chamber where news is heavily filtered to fit Putin’s agenda”

    Do you think that all Russians are idiots and they do not know foreign languages and do not know how to use online translators? Let me disappoint you. Russian education may have become worse in some ways than in the USSR, but it still remains very good. Russians have the opportunity to read the entire world press. But the governments of Western countries are so afraid of the truth that they have banned the broadcasting of all Russian radio and television channels on their territory, and also carefully removed all “pro-Russian” channels on Youtube and similar sites. Moreover, the Russians have a portal called “inosmi”, which publishes some articles from Japanese, Chinese, European, American and other publications, including 19fortyfive. You can see this for yourself if you add “.ru” to the name of the portal and use Google. If you are not blocked by your authorities, you will be able to see for yourself. Who has more freedom?

  37. Serhio

    January 31, 2023 at 11:07 am

    “When you start referring to Stalin as a noble life saver, you kind of need to take pause and consider widening your perspective a bit, add some alternative sources.”

    About the resettlement of the Crimean Tatars.
    Cheburator version: during the war, the Crimean Tatars massively sided with the enemy, fought with the Red Army and participated in the repression of the local population. After the return of Soviet power in Crimea, conflicts between Tatars and other Crimean populations began to arise en masse. As a result, a decision was made to relocate the Crimean Tatars, which pursued two goals. 1) punishment for betrayal 2) preventing the murder of Crimean Tatars by the rest of the Crimean population.

    Now I would like to hear your alternative version. It is desirable that it differs from the fact that the evil tyrant Stalin woke up one morning in a bad mood and decided to deport the Tatars from the Crimea, because he could not spend a single day without shooting or deporting someone. Well, or at least eat a couple of babies for breakfast.

  38. R.W. Zimmermann

    January 31, 2023 at 5:03 pm

    Author to Serhio—

    I think both sides are headed for more bloodbaths. The result could look like my assessment I gave in the article titled, The M1 and Leopard Tank Media Hype: Overblown Belief in Western Miracle Weapons.

    In the piece I state: “In the end, I don’t think that either side will go very far operationally. After the mechanized forces of both sides have been depleted and are in need of maintenance, we’ll probably see another stalemate that focuses on small advances with infantry, supported by and massive exchanges of artillery fire. Here, the side with the larger ammo piles is at an advantage. Nonetheless, the outcome will still resemble a modern version of Verdun.”


  39. Serhio

    January 31, 2023 at 9:26 pm

    R.W. Zimmermann
    I am always amazed by the ability of journalists to write a lot of words instead of short and understandable phrases instead of writing clearly and distinctly. If you state your idea with a minimum number of words, then it will sound like this: “A hundred (at best) Western tanks will not help. The Russians will burn them.” Although journalists are probably paid for every word.

  40. R.W. Zimmermann

    February 2, 2023 at 9:10 am

    To Serhio:

    Incorrect Interpretation

    No, that phasing misses my point because both sides will bleed each other equally to a Verdun-style stand-off. And no again, I’m not paid for my contributions and writing.



  41. Serhio

    February 2, 2023 at 11:48 am

    R.W. Zimmermann
    “Incorrect Interpretation”

    A Verdun-style confrontation is possible only if the Ukrainians cannot accumulate enough forces for a powerful strike that cuts the Kherson region to the sea. Thus, if Western tanks become “superweapons that will sweep away the Russians,” Verdun is impossible. Thus, if you wait for Verdun, it means that tanks will not help. Tanks can not help in two cases: they are there but do not take part in the battle or they are not. If they are not there, then they have been destroyed. Simple logic. Now the Russians are in no hurry. They kill 7-8 Ukrainians for one of their dead. Simple math suggests that the Ukrainian military will end much faster. According to the most optimistic estimates, there were 40 million Ukrainians at the beginning of the war. About 10 are now refugees in Europe, about 10 lived in Crimea and the new Russian regions, or refugees in Russia. That leaves 20 million against 150 million Russians. Although Gary Jacobs is trying to prove that everything is the opposite and it is the Russians who fill up the Ukrainian trenches with the dead bodies of their soldiers. He’s arguing with math. If your enemy shoots at you 10 times from a mortar, and you shoot at him 1 time from the same mortar, then in order to kill as many or more enemies, you must have a luck level of +100 for each shot.

  42. Serhio

    February 2, 2023 at 11:49 am

    In addition, Russians should not rush for another reason: the EU economy must be destroyed. If the war ends today, then tomorrow Scholz, Macron and other European leaders will try to restore the supply of cheap gas to their economies in order to have time to stop the flight of large energy-intensive businesses from the European Union. Now Europe is a fat boar, which the United States has been carefully fattening for a long time after the end of the war, so that it can be slaughtered in difficult times. This pig will squeal and resist, but the outcome is a foregone conclusion. Europe will be excluded from the “golden billion”. Russia has done a lot to live peacefully with Europe and develop trade. But if Europe becomes an enemy, then it is better for Russia that this enemy be as weak as possible. So the Russians need to make sure that the United States can plunder Europe as much as possible. This requires a “slow war”. Already, glass, fertilizers, aluminum and many other industries are being closed in Europe. European manufacturers are fleeing to the USA, Turkey, China. Taxes go with them. No taxes, no power. The Russians won’t be in a hurry.

  43. John R (JACK) Gildroy

    February 3, 2023 at 6:34 pm

    The only to end this war is to take this war to Russia and have Putin or their leader to pull all of their troops out oF UKRAINE… PUTIN MUST be boughten to Heil and REJOIN the rest of the world. HE must PAY
    FOR THE DAMAGE HAS CAUSED BECAUSED of this War and the RESTRATION of Ukraine!!! He needs to Wake UP and look of the example of Japan and Germany. Military force is not the way to be a Power-house, do it with Economics!

  44. Serhio

    February 4, 2023 at 1:26 am

    John R (JACK) Gildroy

    “The only to end this war is to take this war to Russia and have Putin or their leader to pull all of their troops out oF UKRAINE…”

    Wow, what a scary fighting hamster!!! You are so brave until a bomb falls on your house and mixes you with brick fragments and sand. If adrenaline is raging in you, take your Colt and go to Ukraine. Show everyone how to fight.

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