Czech/East German T-72 and composite/reactive armour

Discussion in 'World At War 85 Series' started by Stefano G., Jun 7, 2019.

  1. Stefano G.

    Stefano G. Member

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    Hello Keith,
    looking last video about unboxing WaW85, and better reading WaW85 rulebook, i have noted that , if i have well seen, Czechoslovakian/East German T-72 counter has composite armour orange triangle....but i have some doubt about the fact that Czechoslovakian/East German units (as well as all the other Soviet PACT allies) could have composite/reactive armour for 80' years... I can be wrong, but as far as i remember, mainly soviet version (the one used by Red Army) had composite/reactive Armour, about all the export versions had no composite/reactive Armour.

    In addition, i saw that in the Czecho Slovakian units chart there is a T-62 counter...i knew that Czechoslovakia didn't use T-62 nor produce it.


    But, maybe, i can be wrong and I apologize in that case.:sorry:


    Thank you for your fantastic work:)
     
    #1 Stefano G., Jun 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  2. seneffe1

    seneffe1 Member

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    Stefano-

    I think that is a good point.

    As I understand it, the first type of reactive armour 'Kontact 1' was not actually authorised for production until January 1985 and very few Soviet tanks had it initially. The Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) survey of military equipment in 1990-91 shows that only about 1 in 6 of Soviet tanks in Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland etc had reactive armour ('Model BV'- identifiable by the spiked mounting points on the tanks for the explosive blocks even if those were removed) even by then.
    So very few if any allied Warsaw Pact armies would have it in the time scale of this game.
     
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  3. Starman

    Starman Member

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    The Yellow triangle represent composite and/or reactive armour , the Warsaw Pact certainly had both, it is not just composite armour.


    Historical facts Composite Armour

    First composite add on was by British tanks in WW1
    Soviet T64 was the frst composite Tank designed and produced, deployed in 1964
    M1 was first western tank deployed in large numbers in 1980 followed by Challenger 1 a few years later then French and German designs followed.


    Kontakt ERA was the norm with Kontact-5 just being introduced.

    I think the best way to model reactive /composite armour is to ignore the triangle bonus it if the unit is already disrupted, if the Tank had taken hits it would not be as effective.
    However it is only a -1 against ATGMs and many other factors come into play , it may also have scenario special rules for different formations/nationalities.

    The T64 development began in 1950 so yes they had experience for 30 plus years and had 21 years of field use to draw on, their 1930/40s designs were not to be sneezed at either.

    In the 80s the Soviets were using heavy ERA and T64s were always designed as composite based , it is highly likely they upgraded armour before armament and in mid 80s Kontact-5 was the standard.

    Hindsight is wonderful in 1984 we have the CIA suggesting not much beyond reactive armour

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sou...FjAMegQIAxAB&usg=AOvVaw04EK4oPj0KpU4Io7JyCDd5

    However

    In 2007 Janes Defence review shows from cold war tanks left behind "The tests showed that the ERA and composite Armour of the T-72s was incredibly resilient to 1980s NATO anti-tank weapons. " Which units it was fitted to remains open to question although these were East German tanks.
    https://www.ar15.com/forums/general...ate_Cold_War_NATO_vs__Soviet_armor/5-1976150/

    I take it Keith had access to Flashpoint Campaigns:Red Storm Data? I recall discussions by many WaW faithful on Matrix/Battlefront forums when information came to light(secrets no longer classed as secrets and those involved could speak out)

    I would think more than just Soviet tanks had been upgraded to Kontakt ERA,composite , certainly Tanks left in Germany but not middle East exports , although the British acquired export T80s and they were worrying , it was cold war so maybe these shadow acquired tanks were 'specials' not standard as thought at the time.


    Composite won't stand upto repeated strikes it deforms, ERA was replaceable but obviously not under fire.

    ERA could be easily field upgraded hence the distinctive spikes on various Tank Models literally plug and play. Composite armour was not a field upgrade although in theory plates could be added/changed. If it had kicked off then it would have been fast and brutal without many options for recovery, refit or upgrade, which 1990s and beyond conflicts demonstrated.


    All post 80s tests/research showed WP armour was not as easy to defeat but at the time they weren't going to tell units training and deploying that they were going to be facing huge numbers of Tanks with most of the armour on a par with ours, even that 1984 CIA report shows that to be the case.

    PS I never liked AH MBT because of the hugely pessimistic view of Warsaw Pact armour vs the NATO armour.
     
    #3 Starman, Jun 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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  4. Stefano G.

    Stefano G. Member

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    Thank all of you for your precious and interesting notes :)
    As far as Czechoslovakian T-62 counter, what do you think about?... i knew that Czech Army never had/used it, do you think/know so too?
     
  5. Starman

    Starman Member

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    I
    Where did you see the Unit charts?

    The T62 had Lugs for ERA for Russian Kontakt-3 ERA, T62M had a BDD applique armour package (two horseshoe shaped blocks) and extra central anti-mine protection.

    I would say no the Czechs refused the Russian offers , well documented, over price and performance vs an upgraded T55, the kits available in mid 80s to bring it ot a T-55AMV specification. Which had additional steel protection on frontal arc and Kontakt-1 explosive reactive armour (ERA).

    Perhaps Keith didn't want to add a T55 variant and substituted a T62M but it didht have the Kontakt-1 ERA Armour it was more a support Tank and the upgraded T55 was a better MBT.

    They were both undergunned against NATO Tanks only having 5 rounds of 9M117 ATGMs capable of penetrating NATO frontal armour.
     
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  6. Stefano G.

    Stefano G. Member

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    I saw it from:



    At 26:20, Czechoslovakian Units chart is shown and there is a T-62 counter image.
     
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  7. Starman

    Starman Member

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    Looks good has the T55AM2 with Kontakt ERA somnot sure why the T62s are there maybe a fictional cross assignment from other WP nations.

    20190612_122217.jpg
     
  8. seneffe1

    seneffe1 Member

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    Very interesting thread but still not sure that the actual rarity of Soviet ERA on the potential 1985 battlefield really merits much consideration of this armour type in this game. The Soviets most certainly experimented with ERA before anyone else- in the 1960s, but they were not able to turn the concept into a viable production armour until they received examples of Israeli Blazer armour courtesy of the Syrians in 1982. By late 1984 some pre-production examples of the Russian derivative of Blazer (Kontact 1) were tested in GSFG (9th TD I think), probably before that in the Soviet interior. But the actual actual authorisation for full factory production of the armour was 1 January 1985- giving very little scope for large numbers of ERA tanks oi this game time frame. Even by 1990 only 1 in 6 T80s in GSFG had Kontact 1.

    As regards 'composite armour', again the Soviets were pretty much first in the field in the 1960s, but with relatively limited success. The only relationship that the Soviet compound armour built into the T64 and T80, and the 'Dolly Parton' additional armour seen particularly but not exclusively on the T72 have with say 'Chobham' is the general name 'composite armour'- nothing more than that. Chobham armour and its later UK and US derivatives was quite different and game changing technology, many orders of magnitude more effective than their Soviet equivalents of that time frame.
     

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