Russian army retrieves damaged M1 Abrams tank from the battlefield

It has been documented that the engineering division of Russia’s armed forces has initiated the retrieval of a damaged M1A1 Abrams tank, previously supplied by the Americans to Ukraine. A thread on the microblogging site, Twitter, featured a video clip of two military support vehicles grappling with the task of hauling the massive tank with a towline. 

The reclaimed tank could potentially be the best-preserved specimen of its kind. Observers may notice some scorched areas on its rear armor. However, these war marks are far from devastating. Remarkably, key components such as the cannon and the cupola remain untouched. The only significant defect is the broken chain, which has incapacitated its wheel system. Although the tank has borne the brunt on the front, the damages remain superficial, primarily restricted to the armor. 

The temporal context of the video recording remains obscured. However, the narration accompanying the video prompts viewers to ask – “Could the rescued Abrams from Berdychi make it to the exhibition in Moscow in time?” Every 9th of May, Russia unfurls grand celebrations to mark Victory Day – a historical date acknowledging the Soviets’ triumph over Nazi Germany in 1945. This occasion is synonymous with staging one of the world’s grandest military parades at Red Square. Credible insiders predict a unique spectacle this year – an extensive display of commandeered Western war machinery from the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Video screenshot

Negative light

Recently, footage emerged from the highways of Russia, showcasing the transportation of a German-manufactured Leopard 2A6 tank, supplied to Ukraine. This was closely followed by another video from Turkish channels, highlighting the arrival of yet another Leopard 2A6 tank, this time stationed in Moscow’s famed Red Square. 

Over the past week, discussions regarding the American Abrams tanks in Ukraine have gained momentum. This emerged from the fact that we’ve not seen these tanks in action for quite some time. Reportedly, the tanks have been pulled from active combat as disclosed to The Associated Press journalists by two high-ranking U.S. military officials. Current discourse within Ukraine’s armed forces is said to be centering on finding a new tactical role for these tanks.

Leopard 2A6 tank loaded on a truck trailer is traveling to Moscow
Photo credit: Twitter

Ukraine disagrees

In an unexpected series of events, Ukraine’s 47th Separate Mechanized Brigade refuted an Associated Press [AP] report that hinted at the withdrawal of US-supplied Abrams tanks from the battlefield. “Our tanks are performing excellently in combat, and we have no intention of backing down from what puts our enemies on the defense. Moreover, it’s inconceivable to deprive our infantry of the powerful firepower they currently have,” explained the unit operating the US tanks via Telegram. 

As 2023 dawned, Washington extended a pledge to Kyiv, promising to deliver 31 M1A1 Abrams tanks. By the end of the year, it was officially asserted by the American regime that these lethal weapons were firmly stationed on Ukrainian soil. As the calendar flipped to February and then March, the Abrams tanks reported for duty, locking horns with the Russian army. This show of strength was, however, marred by the quick destruction of five out of the initial 31 Abrams tanks, with pictures of additional ruined Abrams emerging at an alarming frequency each passing day. 

M1A1 Abrams tank was spotted near Kupiansk front contact line
Photo credit: Telegram

Despite the increased rate of Abrams tank losses, the Ukrainian military has not publicly recognized the damage. To uphold their reputation, the army rarely reveals their own losses overtly.

M1A1 Abrams

The United States military utilizes the M1A1 Abrams, a primary battle tank that has been in active service since 1980. The design is a product of the tireless efforts of the General Dynamics Corporation. The tank is named after a decorated war hero, General Creighton Abrams, the former Army Chief of Staff who led U.S. military forces during the turbulent period of the Vietnam War. 

US M1A1 Abrams might get 'hunter-kill' anti-helicopter sensors
Photo: Wikipedia

To delve into specifics, the imposing M1A1 Abrams measures 32.04 feet long [with the gun extended], and stands 12 feet wide and 8 feet tall. Weighing in at a staggering 63.5 tons, this mammoth machine commands an intimidating presence on any battlefield. Its hull is protected by layered composite armor, while the turret boasts a specialized variant of armor, providing robust protection against a range of threats. 

You’re probably wondering what powers this behemoth. Well, it roars to life with a Honeywell AGT1500 multi-fuel turbine engine under the hood. This engine, generating a remarkable 1,500 shaft horsepower, allows the tank to reach top speeds of 42 mph on roads and a credible 25 mph off-road. Always battle-ready, the M1A1 Abrams is laden with high-tech fire control systems and flaunts night vision capabilities for efficient operation under the veil of darkness.

M1A1’s armament

Greek communists halt American Abrams tanks en route to Bulgaria
Photo credit:

At the heart of the M1A1 Abrams’ firepower is the 120mm M256 smoothbore gun, which has the flexibility to fire a mix of rounds. This formidable weapon, licensed and produced in America, owes its origins to the original German Rheinmetall 120mm gun. Alongside the main armament, the tank also sports three auxiliary weapons: a potent .50 caliber M2HB heavy machine gun and a pair of 7.62mm M240 machine guns. 

Equipped with a broad selection of ammunition, the M1A1 Abrams is prepared to combat a variety of threats. The M829A3 APFSDS-T [Armor Piercing, Fin Stabilized, Discarding Sabot-Tracer] is a dedicated armor-piercing round, designed to address heavily armored opponents. In contrast, the M830A1 HEAT-MP-T [High Explosive Anti-Tank-Multi-Purpose-Tracer] is adept at dealing with less-armored targets such as vehicles and foot soldiers. The M1028 Canister round is specifically designed for infantry combat, while the M908 Obstacle Reduction round provides a powerful solution for obstacle removal.


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