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On the morning of October 14th 1973, the Egyptian 3rd armored brigade (of the elite 4th armored division, equipped with T-55s), maneuvered from Qarrat Moura through Wadi Mabouk, in order to capture the Mitla Junction at the western opening of the Mitla Mountain Pass.

Long-range IDF observation located this surprising move, which caught the Israeli 252nd armored division off-guard, as the wadi's eastern opening was defended by just a mechanized infantry battalion with halftracks but no tanks.

The 46th armored battalion (401st armored brigade, M48A3s), which was planned to spend the day replenishing at the Mitla Junction, alerted its men out of the showers and hastily dashed south for the rescue. They arrived just in time to catch the whole Egyptian brigade in the wadi and decimate it, while the leading Egyptian vehicles were only 800 meters away from the IDF halftracks guarding the road to the Mitla.


In the following video, taken on October 19th, the deserted Egyptian 3rd armored brigade tanks are seen from 0:56 to 1:32. IDF forces (M48s, halftracks, M113s) in the Mitla Junction are seen from 1:32 and on.

The Egyptian relics shown until 0:50 are from the 1967 war, destroyed in the Mitla Pass by the IAF while trying to retreat west.





Edited by Iarmor
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BTR and BMP in the East German NVA. For those who don't understand German: lots of bad Western imperialism and superior socialism, most evident in the blatant lie about ingenious Soviet WW2 infantry motorisation. Still interesting to watch. What a horror it must have been to dismount from a BTR-60/70 in combat conditions.



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6 hours ago, DemolitionMan said:




 I know the  Bundeswehr  kept some of the former NVA's equipment for a short period of time,while it reorganized its forces.

It then donated some then scrapped a lot of it. 

MY question is what AFVs equipment did they regard as being fit for purpose.

And how long did they keep it.

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I know the swedes turned some BMP-1 in to some sort of armored resupply vehicle.

But i did not know Bundeswehr  spend money on them.

In saying that i have read/heard the BMP and the MTLB have excellent

Cross country mobility. and some of the soviet designed Artillery pieces was high regarded.

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The problem was that the Bundeswehr and East German NVA officers were initially talking past each other. It basically went like this,


"So, which parts of your equipment are still fit for use?"

"All of it!"

"Hahaha, good one! No, seriously. I know you maintained your gear well, but which of it is still combat worthy?"

"All of it!"

"C'mon. Your armored vehicles?"

"The BMPs are in top condition, ready to go to war. The T-55s, well, going a bit long in the tooth but with the right tactics, still useful."


"Oh, you remember that tank regiment that we promised to dismantle in the CFE treaty? As it happens, uh, there was a minor glitch in our accounting. We sorta misplaced the 100 tanks in some underground storage, with full combat loads. Over here. Look, like mint condition! Great, huh?"


"O-kayyy.... and your radio sets?"

"Ah! Our prized radio sets. The latest and best in electronics. They warm up in under two minutes, and you have to press the send button only for one minute while you're doing so. Nobody can triangulate so fast."


"I see, you're impressed."


At the end, the Bundeswehr kept the Igla MANPADs and also the Strela (though it was considered to be more for training than combat use), the MiG-29s, and the BMPs. Of course, the BMPs in their original condition were simply illegal to use on public roads, so they had to be retrofitted. Also, it was clear that the autoloader inside was a serious safety hazard and could not be kept if the Bundeswehr tried to get a workplace safety certificate ... nor the rear door fuel tanks. So they dismantled that as well, foamed the rear doors, and decided that the vehicle would only be used for training purposes - be it tactical retraining of junior officers and NCOs to Bundeswehr doctrine, be it mech infantry soldier training (which was more about infantry equipment and tactical decisions where and when to mount/dismount, than about the vehicle).


At the time when the retrofitting decision was made it was still unclear how much the headcount of the reunified army would be reduced (as it turned out, from short of 700,000 to short of 200,000), also they wanted to keep some people employed with the BMP conversion. Yes, they were then sold for scrap value to Sweden, Finland, basically anyone who took them in bulk.


Getting rid of the huge(*) ammo stockpiles was a much bigger problem.



(*) The 180,000 strong NVA had put more than five times the amount of ammo in storage than the 480,000 strong Bundeswehr (before the Desert Storm donations).

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