Saturday, February 26, 2005

 

Do You Like Tanks?

Today I was discussing with my buddy Angus his ongoing irrational desire to build a real-life version of a Cobra H.I.S.S. tank, potentially from scratch, or perhaps out of a used Caterpillar construction vehicle.

Although I repeatedly do my best to disabuse him of the notion ("You don't have a large enough garage;" "You don't know how to weld;" "You have a wife"), I figure that the best suggestion I could offer him would be to find a way to skip the middleman by, say, perhaps buying a tank off the shelf.

This afternoon, thinking it was a capital idea, we decided to go to Google and enter in the following search term: "tank for sale." The first website that comes up?

Tanks For Sale.com-- your one-stop shop for ex-Soviet military hardware.

You want a T-55? Done. T-72? Yours. BMP? Drive it away tomorrow. Or, in six weeks once it's transported through customs, whichever comes first.

Knowing what I know of Soviet-style military hardware, I know they built their armored vehicles a little bit on the. . . smallish side.

Being smaller has some advantages (lower profile = harder to see & hit), but it comes with some downsides. One, smaller vehicles mean less armor, ammunition, fuel, and safety equipment. Two, smaller vehicles mean smaller people.

Warsaw Pact armored vehicle crews-- not to mention the mechanized / motorized infantry carried within-- had to be shorter than a certain height in order to fit inside their vehicles. This reverse amusement park restriction wasn't really too difficult to implement for the Pact nations: nutrition and genetics being what it was on the flip side of the Iron Curtain, short people were plentiful. This same pattern repeated itself in most of the Third World clients of Soviet technology.

Anyways, the reason for bringing this up is to highlight my inevitable disappointment when I raise enough funds to equip my Arlington County Home Guard-- the Russians didn't build a tank for the husky man. I shudder in horror to think how much butter I would need to employ to slip into a T-series tank, let alone a BMP.

That said, one can dream.

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Comments:
And when in sunny California, be sure to visit: http://www.milvehtechfound.com/index.html

This guy has a Scud missile launcher. With a Scud missile. He has a shop where he fixes tanks and has a hundred of them, ready to roll.

No Cobra vehicles--yet. If GI Joe were actually to destroy one with those sissy blue lasers, he might tow it in and fix it up for your friend.
 
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