Scraping the Bottom

| March 23, 2023


The T-54/55 series of tanks was designed in the aftermath of the Second World War. The series represents the worlds most produced Main Battle Tank (MBT), and the longest lived.

The MBTs continue to serve in many African, Middle Eastern, and Asian countries that do not have the resources to buy modern, technologically advanced equipment. Several private companies even offer T-54/55 armor and firepower upgrade kits.

Russia is currently pulling theirs from the boneyard.

Russia is dusting off ancient tanks as losses mount in Ukraine

The Russian military has lost more than 1,800 tanks since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine.


The Russian military has lost so many tanks since its invasion of Ukraine began one year ago that it is apparently calling up ancient armored vehicles to make up for its current battlefield losses, according to open-source intelligence.

Based on undated photographs analyzed by the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT), a train carrying T-54 and T-55 tanks — which were first produced by the Soviet Union in 1948 — departed from the 1295th Central Tank Repair and Storage Base in the town of Arsenyev in the Primorsky Krai region in Russia’s far east. CIT is a Tblisi-based investigative organization that focuses on the Russian military.

The photos originated on the Russian social media network VK, although footage of the tanks being moved out of storage surfaced on outlets like DefenceBlog after CIT published its investigation on Tuesday.

Task and Purpose

No mention of the conscripts actually manning these relics, but there’s really not much to discuss.

Category: Russia, Ukraine

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They can’t go much older… Russkies had to buy working T-34/85s from Laos in order to have a company of ’em for Victory Day parades.


There’s been a lot of coverage on this. The idea of Russia running out of tanks is an interesting one. Don’t forget in the first Battle of Kiev, The Russians suffered the greatest military defeat in all human history. They took 700,000 casualties including the Minister of defense. But still lost less tanks than they have so far in the Ukraine.


I used to have an old 50’s International dozer.
Must have mowed down hundreds if not thousands of Japs, Germans and Viet of the Nam commies with that thing.
Had to scrap it but the memories live on….


Javelin absorbers?

Maybe they’ve done the metrics and decided totally fried up is better than mostly fried up with that costing more ducats.

I’ve only been Stryker but heard it mentioned more than once, MBTs only make sense tank-on-tank.

I’d add: Never underestimate your enemy. You do so at your peril.

Just praying and hoping this is a sign that peace is soon at hand.

Last edited 11 months ago by Anonymous

Many of those tanks have been in storage for a long time, without the benefit of maintenance and upkeep. It didn’t help that some Russian military personnel cannibalized parts to make money on the side.


I wonder if they still mountains of them in Iraq left over from the war? Never fired, slightly irradiated.

RGR 4-78

What’s a little depleted uranium among friends?




If the DU is solidly-cast leftovers from enriching natural uranium, and hasnt been slammed through a tank at 5000f/s, it is fairly benign.


If some maniacs made it from spent nuclear core, as part of fuel reprocessing, it is radwaste by another name. Avoid the neighborhood. Avoid any county where it has been violently slammed through things.


On the plus side, the old designs were robustly simple. When decently made, they were relatively easy to maintain.


A tank in the hand is worth two in the shop.

jeff LPH 3 63-66

I Tank you for the tank post Ed. Those ruskies must have really kept track of all those tracks in storage. Going to the reefer now for a tank ard full of soda pop. Later alligator


More targets…filled with cannon fodder.


Is this a legit idea?


With the old DU round maybe. That is sooo 2003. We have moved on bigly since then to the AMP. Lucky for China we provided them access in their Forbes Magazine.



USMC Steve

Then you switch to HEAT. A 120mm HEAT round would pretty much vaporize one of those antiques.

Prior Service

I’m pretty sure we can kill T55s with training sabot (M865); you just have to get a little bit closer, which is not an issue in Europe…


25MM TPT will absolutely stitch up a T55.


I suspect they will use the T-55s in the anti-infantry role, and save the more recent ones for anti-armor.

Sort of a ressurection of our WW2 doctrine that tanks kill troops and tank destroyers kill tanks.

But a hybrid where old versus crunchy and modern versus tank.

The 100mm gun on those things isn’t going to kill reliably a modern Western tank. It’s probably not going to work on the sides of a current Abrams. Perhaps the Russians have an improved 100mm DU round.

Vlad better realize that Xi will support his Ukraine misadventure, right up until Xi decides he wants Siberia. Expending all the Russian armor in Ukraine kinda tees up that fracas.



Be nice to see them beat up on each other but I gotta think that would go nuclear.


Oh, and if it does jump off, we need to stay the fuck out of it.


That would be a quandary for the dems in Congress, who would they rush to help? The “former” commies in Russia or the current commies in China?


If a way can be found to sell out America’s interests to both, the Biden crime family will find it… 🤑 


Oh, and if it does jump off, we need to stay the fuck out of it.

This times googolplex!

Just in case naw, potassium iodide.


Perhaps. Then again, we may discover they both have few working missiles and fewer working warheads.

Although a nuclear squib is still going to wreck a city.

Weirdly. The main reason, perhaps, that Putin won’t quit may be to convince Xi he won’t quit, thus China risks a quagmire.

6-ish to one population difference may somewhat mitigate that.

Of course, if China rolls the bones in Siberia, India might decide to take advantage and try to sieze more disputed areas.. So might Poland join forces with Ukraine. And might not a half-dozen ‘Stan’s seek opportunities?

I think this is why Trump and some others want a cease-fire in place as-is. Prevent a “weak man” trigger to a global war, as happend when the Ottoman Empire went senile prior to WW1.

Instability and weakness breeds …. predation.

If the USA goes “boogaloo”, and it lasts more than a few weeks, the whole world will go insane in an orgy of wars. No one else can sit on enough players.


Putin would do well to go back and study Operation Barbarossa…


He should have studied that about 14 months ago.


Chicoms are letting the Russkies use up their hardware on Ukraine then, to be perfectly Machiavellian, will enlarge “Greater China” when they’re fresh out.


If there was no nuclear deterrent, they could probably do it now, but it makes more sense to let the Russians punch themselves out. Especially if Putin ends up accidentally falling out of a window. They could use the chaos to their advantage, especially if some of the ‘Stans decide to get grabby. Again, just let them beat each other up because “The Bear and the Dragon” was fiction and Clancy’s dead.


All I know is whoever wins will be able to buy unlimited amounts of meth with the world’s largest scrap metal reserve.

A Proud Infidel®™

Meh, EVERYTHING we have goes through those damn things like a red-hot razor blade through a butter pat!


A great post for some rather interesting times… Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin’s much-vaunted ‘special operation’ into the Ukraine ‘to root out all the neo-Nazis’, is now nine years, one month and five days old(20 February 2014) and by all accounts – hasn’t gone to plan – Putin’s or anyone else that’s been given a shot at the Russian Army’s top command slot. And Russian Forces but in particular, their Armoured forces have suffered significant and substantial loses – hence this post(thank you AW1Ed). It always boils down to numbers – who’s got how many soldiers, tanks, artillery etc. As such and with time enough to do so – a couple sites I like to visit with regularity – along with this one, of course – are Oryx and Top Cargo 200. Thing I like about Oryx’s site is, it pledges to only publish a photographically verified kill-count and all it’s gathered data is OSINT(open source intel) – kinda cool. And while Top Cargo 200 could be construed to be a bit on the ghoulish side.. *shrug* Hand’s down, I think it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch a schmucks. For some reason, the Top Cargo 200 site always kinda reminds me of Rocky the raccoon’s line from the Guardians of the Galaxy… But at the end of the day, it boils down to more Russian tanks – new or newly retrofitted – heading off to the Ukraine equating to even more Russian Momma’s crying and keening and even more registered Javelin and NLAW kills eventually being posted on Oryx..

Slava Ukraini


I’ve just been corrected by the Missus – apparently our Guardians of the Galaxy raccoon/trash-panda is actually called Rocket but his sentiment still applies.


Putin would have been better off selling the tanks and hiring western mercs-r-us.


*shrug* Could make for some kind of Wagnerian group-grope opera…