The Evolution Of Modern Russian Tanks

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21st Century Asian Arms Race

Soviet T-55 column Warsaw Pact 02

As the world’s dominant land power the Soviet Union understood the value of mechanized forces. This is why the Red Army possessed between 22,000 to 25,000 armored vehicles, including at least several hundred KV-1 and 2 heavy tanks, at the onset of the Great Patriotic War.

By the time the almost indestructible Joseph Stalins arrived at the Reichstag the total number of Soviet tanks had swelled to more than 60,000. The lesson learned from defeating the Axis powers would resonate for generations to come: Tanks will decide the outcome of any great war over Eurasia.

In the ensuing decades the Cold War arms race inspired the continuous production of new and ever deadlier tanks. Even when derided as crude and unsophisticated the Red Army’s armor always leapfrogged the West in terms of cost-effective mass-production, ruggedness, and firepower.

The Soviet Union’s relentless military-industrial development also left today’s Russian Federation with a…

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