It happened, Western countries are breaking through and will send Western tanks to Ukraine following our example. It’s still not perfectly planned, I’ve already described the logistical and service pitfalls inherent in the premium plan, but maybe it can be improved. What will the Germans do now?
Contrary to the theme of Patriots, Poland plays the first violin in the theme of Western tanks. And we decided to take the first step (although, of course, it may have been agreed with several countries) by announcing in Lviv the shipment of Leopard 2 as part of the aid package to Ukraine. So it could be 11 or 14 points, depending on whether the Ukrainian or Polish company was meant.
As of today, we do not know which Leopard models we want to send to the East. We have three subtypes, the oldest being the Leo 2 A4, the younger and much more modern Leo 2 A5 and the Leo 2PL, i.e. upgraded and refurbished versions of the A4. Poland should be joined by other countries, unfortunately there is still the issue of Challengers 2 in play, which we should not burden ourselves (or ourselves, and I have seen such thoughts) with the current situation in Ukraine.
Germany on them
If you, like me, were wondering how the most important country from the point of view of Leopard 2, that is, Germany, their manufacturer, would react to such an initiative, then you don’t have to. The Germans have already started the dirty dance on this issue, first writing to a government official that it is doubtful that the country will join the initiative, and then saying that they may reconsider if the US sends its Abrams.
By the way, I don’t understand the American approach to the elderly, but they send such a quantity of equipment and ammunition that it is hard to blame. Germans, on the other hand, are still as schizophrenic as can be. There is no denying their merits in the area of air defense reinforcement, they have sent the advanced OPL Iris-T system, a large number of Cheetahs, the latter also intend to buy more for Ukraine.
Homeopathic enough, but the Germans also broke with the PzH 2000, recently the Americans convinced them to send them to the Marders (although there are strange, internal German fights here), but when they get stuck, they do not want to give up; step And it is undeniable that their presence in the Leopard operation is important not only because of the tanks themselves, but also because they have the greatest knowledge and logistical and service capabilities for them.
How strong their resistance is will be finally revealed on January 20. There will then be a meeting at the Ramstein base to discuss further assistance. German stubbornness is annoying, but there is one situation where it can be valuable. If the Americans get so angry that they decide to hand over the Abramses, Ukraine will win twice.
What about the Polish T-72 and PT-91?
In this context, it is also interesting what will happen to the remains of Polish tanks with Soviet roots. Will they go to Ukraine first or will they wait until the right amount of newly ordered tanks arrive in Poland? I think that January 20 can be a key date here as well, and the Americans will hold the key for us on the topic of the next Abrams. I hope that the whole situation will open the door wider for Ukraine for offensive Western weapons, including in the field of aviation. In 2023, Ukraine will need them very much.