How Ukraine could use British Challenger 2 tanks to lead a counterattack to end the ‘bloodiest battle’ and humiliate Putin
UKRAINE could use its new British Challenger 2 tanks to lead a counteroffensive to finally end the “bloodiest battle” of the war at Bakhmut.
Russia had been making strides in the key city known as ‘Bakhmut Fortress’ – but their progress has stalled as their soldiers now face a ‘feast of battle’.
The battle in the city, once home to more than 70,000 people, has raged for nearly seven months and has seen some of the most vicious fighting of the war since Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
Trench warfare, hand-to-hand combat, and “meat grinder”-style casualties defined the bloodshed – which has been compared to World War I combat.
But after halting their enemy’s advance, it is believed that the Ukrainians may be ready to launch their long-awaited counteroffensive.
And it has been hinted that the new Challenger 2 main battle tanks could play a key role in this renewed push.
Liberating the city and expelling the Russians would be a great embarrassment for Putin.
The Challenger 2 main battle tanks have now arrived in Ukraine – and after a final round of training, they are expected to see combat on the front lines soon.
War analysts from the Conflict Intelligence Team said the main objective of the counter-offensive will be to “block” Bakhmut.
And they believe that Ukraine will be very interested in using their new armament, especially the Challenger 2.
“The vehicles are already at the disposal of the military on the territory of Ukraine and can be used in combat in the near future,” the team wrote in its March 28 situation report.
“We anticipate that the primary objective of the Ukrainian counteroffensive will be to unblock Bakhmut.”
The Challenger 2s were hailed as “diamonds” and “beasts” by Ukrainian tankers as crews traveled to the UK to train with them on a three-week course on Salisbury Plain.
“I think it’s the best tank in the world,” said one Ukrainian.
And one of the two units that have been in the UK to train on the Challengers — the 80th Air Assault Brigade — is holding position just outside Bakhmut, Forbes reports.
Meanwhile, the second unit is stationed about 40 miles north of the key city – so it’s unclear if they’ll be able to play a role in the battle.
“These fantastic machines will soon begin their combat missions,” Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov tweeted on Tuesday.
Ukraine has long been preparing for its new push to try to defeat Putin.
Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, said this week it could come “very soon”.
US General Mark Milley this week described Bakmut as a “feast of battle” for the Russians.
“They are suffering an enormous number of casualties in the Bakhmut area,” he said.
“The Ukrainians inflict a lot of death and destruction on these guys.”
Ukraine is buying time for its counterattack – but continues to demand more weapons.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said they still need more weapons before moving into eastern Ukraine.
And meanwhile, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace warned this week that Ukrainian crews still need training to operate the Challenger 2.
“There are still some significant training sessions to be completed before the Ukrainian armed forces are ready to use them in combat,” Wallace said.
Russia has also expressed optimism about the arrival of British tanks.
Putin’s spokesman promised the tanks would “burn like the rest” when they arrived in Ukraine.
But despite their battle talks, Russia is said to have lost more than 170,000 men along with 3,600 tanks.
And Putin is believed to be bringing outdated tanks – some as old as the late 1940s – onto the market to try to replenish his armed forces.
The Sun Online was trained with the powerful Challenger 2 tanks back in February.
Major Nick Bridges gave us a guided tour of the vehicle, which weighs 64 tonnes and costs £4.2million.
“Much like a boxer in the ring, the Challenger can take 2 punches and keep fighting while other tanks around the world could be KO’d after one round,” said Major Bridges.
Maj Bridges explained that the tank’s smooth ride with advanced suspension allows for more accurate firing from the main gun.
And he revealed that his clever exhaust systems allow for better heat distribution in the tank, making them harder to detect with infrared cameras.
The 1,200 hp tank’s 120 mm gun can be armed with armor-piercing shells that fly at the enemy at 4,250 miles per hour.
It can also be armed with high-explosive bunker-busting shells capable of blowing up light enemy vehicles or entrenched positions.
The Challenger 2 can carry up to 1,800 liters of diesel, giving it an average range of 341 miles at a speed of 60 km/h.
If necessary, additional fuel can be sprayed onto the hot engine to create a smokescreen covering the tank.
The tank driver steers the vehicle with two sticks from an almost lying position.
On each side are five smoke grenade launchers that can be fired forward as a smoke screen, protecting against laser beams from flying missiles.
It also has a chain gun that spits out 7.62mm rounds to tear through soft-skinned vehicles like trucks or dismounted infantry.
Kiev continues to call for Western support to help them defeat Putin, who has lost more than 150,000 troops so far.
Vlad foolishly believed that his forces would be welcomed as liberators in Ukraine when he invaded last February.
But instead, the first attack ended in disaster, with his forces devastated and thrown back to Russia.
Putin’s future is believed to be tied to the success or failure of his war in Ukraine – with an arrest warrant out for him on war crimes charges.
https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/10454726/ukraine-tanks-challenger-2-bloodiest-battle/ How Ukraine could use British Challenger 2 tanks to lead a counterattack to end the ‘bloodiest battle’ and humiliate Putin