The Ukraine Counteroffensive has Stalled: Failures of Germany’s ‘Leopard 2’ Battle Tanks

Drago Bosnic, Global Research, June 16, 2023 —

Virtually the entire world was able to see the absolute debacle of NATO’s much-touted heavy armor and other weapons recently, precisely as various independent experts predicted just days before the wanton counteroffensive began. Despite decades of close cooperation between the former Ukrainian military and NATO, as well as close to a decade of much more intensive joint training between the belligerent alliance and the (then newly installed) Neo-Nazi junta that focused on interoperability and the implementation of NATO standards, the Kiev regime forces’ performance against even the conscripted (although battle-hardened) Donbass militias within the Russian military has been embarrassingly poor.

The counteroffensive is still ongoing, resulting in largely insignificant gains (that are still firmly under Russian fire control), but has now largely stalled. The mainstream propaganda machine is trying to portray their favorite puppet regime’s “successes” as militarily significant, but the available information (ample footage included) indicates this is simply a coping mechanism and a desperate attempt to keep the laughable “Russia losing” narrative alive.

Even if the Neo-Nazi junta’s gains have been a hundred times greater (a virtually impossible scenario as evidenced by undeniable battlefield information), this would still not justify the massive casualties its forces have suffered so far and which are still far from being conclusive.

However, the political West is wholly unmoved by the deaths of tens of thousands of forcibly conscripted Ukrainians, as its only concern is “killing as many Russians as possible”, per their own unrepentant admission. Still, the humiliating losses of such a large quantity of top-of-the-line (on paper only, it would seem) NATO equipment and weapons has now exposed significant cracks within the political West, particularly the growing frustration and disdain Western Europeans have for the ever-hegemonic United States.

The delivery of Western-made weapons, munitions and other equipment has been spearheaded by countries such as the US, UK, Poland, etc.

London was the first to pledge heavy armor and long-range missiles, as well as banned depleted uranium munitions that can leave disastrous consequences. This was followed by Washington DC’s intention of delivering its M1 “Abrams” MBTs (main battle tanks) that are reportedly slated to be upgraded with some M1A2 systems and subsystems, increasing their overall performance and capabilities.

Afraid of potential losses (rightfully as we’ve learned recently), Germany was initially reluctant to provide its own MBTs (Battle Tanks), long considered the most advanced (and best overall) in NATO. This was met with cheap moralizing from the US, UK, Poland and many others, pushing Berlin to speed up its deliveries of heavy armor. However, now that its prized MBTs have not only been destroyed, but are “also on their way to Moscow” (including one of the latest A6 variants), Germany realized just how big of a mistake this has been (just like 80 years ago).

Interestingly, ever since the debacle, Washington DC and London have been strangely quiet about their previously boastful pledge to send the “Abrams” and “Challenger 2” MBTs. Especially now when all the German manufacturers of the “Leopard 2”, primarily Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (chassis producer) and Rheinmetall (main gun producer), are facing plummeting stocks (and extremely likely market share losses). We can only guess who will benefit the most from filling the market gap with their own equivalent equipment and weapons.

However, apart from irreparable damage to its reputation, Germans are also faced with the prospect of their heavy armor becoming nearly obsolete, “as some of it has been sent to Moscow“, where the Russian military will study it in detail. The mainstream propaganda machine insists this is because Russia supposedly “lacks such high technologies” and wants to reverse-engineer them, but this notion is quite laughable, as Moscow will simply study it to find easier ways to destroy NATO heavy armor (not that it has problems doing that already, though).

On June 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a live meeting with a number of prominent war bloggers and military journalists, where he detailed the results of the Russian military’s performance in previous days. Putin didn’t hide Russian losses and admitted there are certain problems in the armed forces and the country’s military industry, but also reiterated that these are being tackled as the authorities are working towards weeding out deficiencies. Still, he didn’t miss the opportunity to praise the overall performance of both.

And indeed, the Russian military-industrial capacity has been greatly expanded and proved virtually invulnerable to Western sanctions warfare, while the military demonstrated remarkable flexibility by rapidly adopting new tactics, an effort that resulted in its largely stellar performance when it comes to repelling the Kiev regime’s attacks. Putin specifically praised the T-90M MBT, as it has indeed proven to be the best in the world. This notion is further reinforced by the fact that it has suffered very few losses to enemy fire in well over a year of its use.

On the other hand, the number of German-built “Leopard 2” MBTs destroyed in mere days far exceeds the number of T-90Ms lost in approximately 16 months of the special military operation (SMO), despite the fact that the latter is also much more widely deployed. Worse yet for the Germans, even the less advanced T-72B3 proved to be much more survivable against both drones and ATGMs (anti-tank guided missiles) than NATO’s latest and most advanced heavy armor. What’s more, the upgraded Soviet-era T-64BV in service with the Kiev regime forces also demonstrated greater survivability.

Apart from Russian Ground Forces and drones, attack helicopters such as the Ka-52 “Alligator” proved particularly deadly against hostile heavy armor. This fantastic machine’s primary ATGM is the 9M127-1 “Vikhr”, one of the world’s most advanced weapons of this class. Putin also praised its ground-based “cousin”, the no less capable 9K135 “Kornet” ATGM, which the Russian President also said will be produced in larger quantities. He also added that military experts expected no less than what we’ve seen in the last several days, adding that NATO weapons and equipment “burn nicely”. The same as that of their “Barbarossa” ideological (and literal) forefathers, we might add.


Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

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