Germany’s Leopard 2 tanks begin to roll towards Ukraine as both sides prepare for offensives
A video shows German Leopard 2 tanks and “Marder” infantry fighting vehicles being transported on a train supposedly going to Ukraine.
The footage is said to show the train into which the military vehicles drive Poland, coming from Germany.
At least three of the German tanks can be seen in grainy video released today after Chancellor Olaf Scholz finally agreed to send the vehicles on Jan. 25.
The exact location of the video is unclear with some claims Poland while others believe it is in East Germany.
Russian war bloggers are said to be unlucky and try to track the location so they can be hit once they reach Ukraine.
German Leopard 2 tanks were filmed today making their way east from Germany
Chancellor Olaf Scholz finally agreed to ship the vehicles on January 25th
It was also hinted that the tanks are destined for Lithuania, where NATO exercises of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force are taking place.
Earlier in the year, Germany took the lead in NATO’s most-ready force, deploying thousands of troops and being operational within days.
The VJTF was formed in 2014 after Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea as the nucleus of a reinforced NATO Response Force.
The VJTF’s land forces number around 11,500,000 men, with Panzergrenadierbrigade 37 at its core.
A total of nine NATO allies (Belgium, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia) will contribute.
Several countries, including the US, have pledged tanks as Russia is said to be planning a “new pre-emptive strike” in Ukraine.
The new offensive will reportedly take place before the first anniversary of their invasion on February 24, according to satellite photos showing Putin’s troops building fortifications.
Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, said: “Now they are preparing for maximum activation and believe that they should achieve some success by the anniversary.”
“It’s no secret that by February 24 they are preparing for a new wave, as they say themselves,” he told Radio Svoboda.
Germany’s 55-ton Leopard 2 tank combines aspects of firepower, protection, speed and maneuverability – making it adaptable to many types of combat situations.
Germany’s 55-ton Leopard 2 tank combines aspects of firepower, protection, speed and maneuverability – making it adaptable to many types of combat situations
A senior Ukrainian official said it was “no secret” that Russia is preparing for a new wave until February 24 – the first anniversary of its invasion
The tank’s manufacturer, Krauss-Massei Wegmann, has touted it as the “world’s leading main battle tank” with a 120mm smoothbore gun and a fully digital fire control system.
The £5 million tank has a crew of four and has a range of 342 miles and a top speed of around 45 miles per hour (68 km/h). The earliest version, now with four main variants, first entered service in 1979.
The Leopard 2 is also diesel-powered — not powered by the jet fuel that powers America’s M1 Abrams — and is easier to operate than the big US tanks, and therefore has shorter training times, military analysts say.
Rheinmetall AG, a German defense contractor that makes the Leopard 2’s 120mm smoothbore gun, says the tank has been used by “more nations than any other,” with 3,500 units shipped to 19 countries. More than 2,000 of these have been sent to over a dozen European countries and Canada.
It is this sheer number of Leopard tanks that has led to them being considered the best option for Ukraine as they could easily be deployed in Ukraine.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies estimates that operational crews and support staff would need three to six weeks of training to acquire basic skills.
Ralf Raths, director of the tank museum in Munster, Germany, said experienced Ukrainian tank crews could probably learn to use the Leopard 2 fairly quickly and the training could be shortened to focus on essential knowledge.
Western deliveries of Leopard 2s could help provide Ukraine with the high-caliber ammunition needed to replace its own dwindling Soviet-era stockpiles and open a new route for deliveries of Western firepower to reach Ukraine, Yohann Michel said. a research analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11687165/Germanys-Leopard-2-tanks-begin-roll-Ukraine-sides-gear-offensives.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Germany’s Leopard 2 tanks begin to roll towards Ukraine as both sides prepare for offensives