Russian Tanks Show Up for Parade, Proceed To Destroy City Streets
Photo credit: Mikhail Japaridze - Getty Images
From the popular mechanics
Tanks are traditionally excluded from parades in the United States due to the use of asphalt-chewing metal rails.
The inability to use tanks was one of the reasons why Trump's military parade was canceled on July 4th.
A series of photos from Russia shows how quickly a tank can ruin the asphalt on a city street.
Officials have barred army tanks from parades in the U.S. for more than half a century, and new images from Russia painfully clarify why. The photos from the preparations for the annual military parade on the country's V-E Day show the steps of a tank chewing a Moscow street during a parade rehearsal.
Russian blogger and arms lover Yuri Pasholok has uploaded pictures of the T-34/85 tank to his blog. The tank was part of a contingent of military vehicles that were brought to Moscow as part of the V-E Day 2020 commemoration. This event usually includes a parade of military tanks, armored vehicles, and airplanes. The parade will take place later than usual this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The medium tank T-34/85 was an upgraded version of the original Soviet tank T-34. The T-34/85 had a larger 85mm cannon, improved armor and a dome for the tank commander, which allowed him a 360-degree view. Worldwide, more than 17,000 tanks were manufactured, many of which served until the 1970s and 1980s. As the most important Soviet tank of the Second World War, the tank played a key role in the destruction of Nazi Germany.
The T-34/85 weighs 32 tons fully loaded. Like all tanks, the T-34 uses chains instead of wheels to give the vehicle better off-road performance and spread the weight of the tank over a larger area, making the ground pressure per square inch lower than a wheeled vehicle. Chains are supposed to gain traction on every surface under the tank and then exert an enormous torque that drives the tank forward.
Photo credit: Yuri Pasholok
Obviously, this could be a problem on paved roads, and tanks have been excluded from military parades in the United States for this very reason. In 2017, President Trump said he wanted a military parade similar to the Bastille Day in Paris on July 4th. Trump wanted tanks and other military vehicles, but was prevented from doing so after the Pentagon declared the cost of the parade and how tracked vehicles traveled the streets of Washington D.C. could ruin. The problem is exacerbated by the sheer weight of modern military vehicles: a U.S. Army M1A2 main battle tank weighs 68 tons - more than twice as much as the T-34/85.
The Pasholok blog entry shows several T-34/85 in parade colors, which apparently practice in Moscow's Tverskaya Street. These tanks are apparently of Czechoslovakian origin, were built under license by Czechoslovakia and imported by the Russian army for ceremonial activities. Russia imported another 30 T-34/85 tanks from Laos in 2019.
Source: Yuri Pasholok
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