Partners in the Tank Puzzle - Politics


It was up to Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock to explain once again the position of the federal government with regard to possible tank deliveries to Ukraine. In an interview on the ARD talk show "Anne Will", the Green politician emphasized Chancellor Olaf Scholz's reserved line. Main battle tanks for Ukraine will only be available in step with the allies, but: "None of the international partners is currently taking the step," said Baerbock.

This can also be read as an appeal to the western partner nations, as the minister said in an interview with the Frankfurt general newspaper still urged to make a quick decision. In fact, the French aren't sending any Leclerc-Battle tanks, the Americans none of theirs M1 Abrams and the otherwise so researching Britons neither challenger 2. These are the respective counterparts to German leopard 2after which Ukraine is again shouting so loudly after the military successes in the north-east of the country against the Russian invaders.

The entire logistics chain behind it has to work, said Baerbock, taking the one that is highly valued by the Ukrainians Howitzer 2000 as an an example. Build a repair center in Poland for these artillery pieces. Completely new logistics would have to be implemented for main battle tanks, if only because they fire completely different grenades with their 120 millimeter cannons. Technically, they are the main difference abrams strong of everything that Ukraine has in service: they are powered by a gas turbine, which has different maintenance requirements than the usual diesel engines.

Overall, the Ukrainians would need longer training for the modern tanks, which owe their combat effectiveness to computer-controlled weapon systems. But that was also an argument, initially against the delivery of the self-propelled howitzers or anti-aircraft tanks cheetah was cited. The Ukrainians have shown themselves to be quite capable of learning. Bundeswehr Inspector General Eberhard Zorn even estimates that their soldiers leopard 2 would no longer have to be trained in the crash course than at the Howitzer 2000.

Until now, tank attacks have hardly been part of Ukrainian warfare

A recent idea that was put forward was that those states of Europe that leopard-tanks could join forces to supply Ukraine. Within the Bundeswehr, however, there are doubts about the usefulness of one leopard-Delivery. Howitzers and multiple rocket launchers, which fire very accurately over dozens of kilometers and have hit the infrastructure of the Russian army badly, are far more effective for Ukraine. Of the leopard is more suitable for the front itself, its cannon shoots about four kilometers; Until now, however, tank attacks have hardly been part of Ukrainian warfare. In the Kharkiv offensive they advanced with light vehicles. It could be different with the more heavily secured Russian lines in the south, where tanks could definitely play a role.

However, the armored forces of the Bundeswehr were cut back in the Merkel era: most recently there were 226 leopard 2 left, half of which had to serve as a spare parts store. The industry would still have 100 marten- Infantry fighting vehicles in stock, of which 40 are to go in a ring exchange with Greece. But here, too, other western states are not more generous: neither does the USA supply theirs bradley-Combat vehicles, nor the British the infantry fighting vehicle Warriorsboth tracked vehicles. But nothing is likely to change in the German position for that long. Last week in the cabinet he reassured himself whether the attitude of the federal government or individual departments had changed, said Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner on Monday in Berlin. "That could not be confirmed."



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