Soviet export kit

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by Capt.Sensible, May 23, 2008.

  1. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    Afternoon all,
    A friend spotted this T55 hulk out in the Western Sahara near Tifariti back in April (lat.26.0927778 long. 10.6088889). I was interested to see the labelling on the instrument panel is in English. Presumably this is some sort of export model to client nations. Has anybody else seen export versions of Warsaw Pact kit like this?

    CP
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    No but the Indians produced kit from Soviet design if I am correct. They may have produced this one.
     
  3. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I like the thought of the Indians or Pakistanis as users of English as something of a common language, not sure how it'd have got to the Sahara, but all things being fair in weapons exporting who knows.
    Egypt maybe uses English sometimes too?

    Those coords are in Lybia aren't they? Just east of the Algerian border.
    The labelling is as likely to have been done by the client state as the exporter, makes me wonder to what extent British instructors may have been helping out from state to state. Not sure that ABRO or similar ever fitted out T54/55s though ;).

    I'll have to have a shufti at some more interiors now... I'm useless at this later c.20th Soviet gear.
     
  4. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    No but the Indians produced kit from Soviet design if I am correct. They may have produced this one.
    Thanks GH, that is an interesting observation. I suppose it may even be possible to trace some of these exports. I wonder if it is possible to actually identify this particular T55 as of Indian origin?

    H
     
  5. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    I like the thought of the Indians or Pakistanis as users of English as something of a common language, not sure how it'd have got to the Sahara, but all things being fair in weapons exporting who knows.
    Egypt maybe uses English sometimes too?

    Those coords are in Lybia aren't they? Just east of the Algerian border.
    The labelling is as likely to have been done by the client state as the exporter, makes me wonder to what extent British instructors may have been helping out from state to state. Not sure that ABRO or similar ever fitted out T54/55s though ;).

    I'll have to have a shufti at some more interiors now... I'm useless at this later c.20th Soviet gear.
    I'll have to check the lat/long, I might have made an error..or generated a minor international incident, not sure which...what's that knocking at the door?

    H
     
  6. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    No but the Indians produced kit from Soviet design if I am correct. They may have produced this one.

    There is, apparently, no official record of India exporting T54/55/62 either Sovet made or home-grown. The SIPRI database - SIPRI Internet
    shows BRDM 2, AMX 13, Ferrets and Centurions as the only exports between 1955 and 1995.

    H
     
  7. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    :( Doh!! Oh well worth a try. What about the Egyptians?
     
  8. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    Nope, the only thing sent by the Egyptians to that part of the world were re-exported (ie clapped-out) Czech OT- 62A APC's in about 1980. The search continues....
     
  9. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    Nope, the only thing sent by the Egyptians to that part of the world were re-exported (ie clapped-out) Czech OT- 62A APC's in about 1980. The search continues....

    OK, now this is more like it. The hulk is located in the disputed border territory between Western Sahara and Morocco - the lat/long given is way out. The dispute spilled over into outright conflict between 1979 and 1991. SIPRI says Morocco received 40 T54 in 1962 direct from the USSR, and another 80 in 1967 or 1968 probably from Czech sources. The WS seperatists (Polisario) were supported by Algeria. Mauritania also tried to stick it's nose in. SIPRI says Algeria received c 300 T54/55 from the USSR between 1963 and 1967, and that Mauritania received 35 T55 in 1991 from an unknown supplier. Given the location and context, it is most likely that the hulk is Moroccan and therefore came off either a Soviet or Czech production line.

    H
     
  10. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

  11. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    Yes, that's a particularly unpleasent post-Colonial conlict. I still don't understand why some of the instrument panels are in English: French or Spanish would be much more likely. Hey ho....

    H
     
  12. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    conlict = conflict, ahem....
     
  13. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Oooops!! Thats the problem with being left handed in a right handed world! Conflict!
     
  14. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    Im actually right-handed but have the keybaord skills of a monkey. Pass the banannas, old chap.
     
  15. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  16. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    Yes, I see what you mean but looking at the list (and the map) English is not a prime choice for NW Africa. I suspect that without actually going over the vehicle itself with a fine tooth-comb then we will probably never know the exact origin. There must have been so many sneaky little Cold War programs to supply or support kit all over the world that it may be impossible to be sure who did it and when. I remember seeing some US kit with instructions in Chinese on it years ago. 66mm LAW, since you ask..

    H
     
  17. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Just looked at the plate with the instructions for "cold weather starting". Sorta reminds me of an Owners Handbook that you would get on a motor Car, you know the gist, "Congrats on buying your T-54/55 Tank. we hope you have many hours of fun destroying the armor of the corrupt Western Imperialists. We have made every effort to make your Tank experience as fun as possible. This guide has information about the equipment and options for your tank. If you dont know which options relate to your tank please contact your nearest dealership" :D
     
  18. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Funny thing is Gott I don't think you're actually that far from the truth of much coldwar Arms-related shenanigans... :unsure:

    "Tell you what I'll do, I'll make the first one Free,
    And when you want some more just come back to me..."
     
  19. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    Just looked at the plate with the instructions for "cold weather starting". Sorta reminds me of an Owners Handbook that you would get on a motor Car, you know the gist, "Congrats on buying your T-54/55 Tank. we hope you have many hours of fun destroying the armor of the corrupt Western Imperialists. We have made every effort to make your Tank experience as fun as possible. This guide has information about the equipment and options for your tank. If you dont know which options relate to your tank please contact your nearest dealership" :D

    Clucking bell! Somebody actuall has a copy of a Czech T55 manual out there in interweb land:
    T-55 drivers machine gun ?! - WARFARE.RU RUSSIAN DEFENSE FORUM
    I would pay good money for one of those, in English, naturally...
     
  20. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Keep your eye (or an automatic search) on eBay H, they crop up from time to time.
     

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