Soviet Armored Vehicles

I took these photos during a recent visit to the military museum at Camp Shelby, Mississippi (1 June 2014).  Having been a tanker with the Big Red One (US Army !st Infantry Division) at Fort Riley, Kansas, during the mid-1970s, I was used to thinking of these vehicles as potential opponents.

 

Armored personnel carrier

Armored personnel carrier

 

Two of the vehicles are primarily infantry troop carriers, but the cannon on the PT-76 is quite adequate in caliber size to spoil one’s day for the US tanks at the time.

 

PT-76

PT-76

 

Also, note the unfriendly-appearing nature of the anti-aircraft vehicle.  The radar and guns combination would make the local airspace potentially unhealthy for any targeted planes or helicopters.

 

Anti-aircraft gun

Anti-aircraft gun

 

As I recall, the soviets emphasized low profiles on their armored vehicles in an attempt to make them hard to hit.  Standing next to the PT-76, the turret was about level with my head – and I’m not quite 6 feet tall.  It wouldn’t take much in the way of depressions in the ground surface to conceal most of one these vehicles from observation and effective counter-fire by the good guys (i.e., us).

 

PT-76 at eye level view

PT-76 at eye level view

 

Fortunately cool heads prevailed during those tenuous times as any scraps would not have been fun.  My hat is off to those who did have to trade rounds with the bad guys.  Thank you.

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