Saturday, January 21, 2017

Below The Turret Ring's take on Turkish Leopard 2 losses in Syria...

via BTTR
That's why speculating about how awful or how good some military unit perform just based on photos of wrecks doesn't make sense. Who knows how many hits the tank took before ending there? Or maybe the tanks didn't even take any damage but broke down before combat. Who would know based on a wreck of a tank?
Story here. 

I used a vague snippet of the article because I don't want to spoil it and I REALLY want you to head over to his house to read the whole thing.

BTTR wants us to wait before making assessments of Turkish Leopard 2A4 performance in Syria.

I contend we know the basics.

1.  Its obvious that they aren't using combined arms tactics in this fight.  Which means they aren't performing to NATO standards.

2.  The meme that the Leopard 2A4 is an old model and we can't judge its
performance because its not the latest and greatest version is nonsense.  Guess who operates the tank to the right!  Let me give you a hint (but I won't give the answer)...they're a Northern European nation that will be facing the Russian horde if "war were declared".  Additionally we can look at the performance of USMC M1A1 tanks in Iraq and Afghanistan as a marker, if that's too high a measure then (sorry no insult intended) we can look at the Canadian forces that for awhile were operating an EVEN OLDER version of the tank in that conflict.

3.  As far as knowing the "real story" of what happened on the ground we never will.  The fog of war, the fact that none of us were there AND the issue of differing perspectives depending on where the soldiers were that actually participated in the fighting makes me marvel at historian's ability to reconstruct a fight.  To get the real story it usually takes being able to talk to soldiers from both sides but that seems unlikely in this case.

4.  The Turks have obviously suffered due to the purges in their military.  This fight in my opinion proves that.  Additionally it should make us all pause on two levels.  First they apparently have devolved into another Middle Eastern Army that is currently incapable of performing to standard and this might continue for several years until they get a new cadre of professionals into the ranks instead of Erdogan sycophants.  Second the strategy of thinking that Turkey could guard the Southern Flank of NATO is probably dead.  If they can't handle ISIS then the Russians would throat punch them.

Long short?  I'm glad that Below The Turret Ring picked up this debate.  I personally think that it needs to continue and I still believe that the Leopard 2A4 and the Turkish Army (probably because of the purges) is overrated.

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