Theme: T 80

4th Guards Tank Division, Moscow, Oct. 4th, 1993

When first delivered to the 4th GTD in the late 1980s, the T-80UD tanks were finished in the standard three-color scheme. When repainted after extensive training use, this was simplified to dark green and gray-yellow as seen here. The tactical number of this tank, 187, is seen in shortened form on the right side due to a lack of space. The two last digits, “87,” are also found on the rear-facing red night formation light at the top of the turret. The 4th GTD traditionally used a pair of oak leaves as its symbol, usually painted on the searchlight cover, and the “2” in the center indicates the 13th GTR. This was one of the tanks taking part in the confrontation between Boris Yeltsin and the Russian parliament, and the burning “White House” can be seen in the background after being shelled by several tanks. 

(Tony Bryan)

The wreckage of a T-80BV in Grozny. Placed into combat, it was discovered that a vulnerability in the ammunition carousel caused a catastrophic explosion when the semi-combustable propellents were struck with a HEAT round, leading to nearly 20 loses during the fighting in Chechnya.

Combined with the losses of the export model T-72s fielded by the Iraqis in the Gulf War, the Russian losses there led to a decidedly lackluster opinion of Russian armor in the early 90s.