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American infantry workhorse in Ukraine: How Vietnam-era APCs to help in battle for Donbas

The Page collage

The Page collage

Ukraine should get 250 armored personnel carriers from the USA and Denmark — and they will help us a lot in the battle for Donbas

M113 armored personnel carriers (APC) are going to Ukraine from the USA. How does Russian propaganda choke on squealing about old equipment and why, and how exactly will these vehicles help us in the battle for Donbas and the South?

How Russian propaganda squeals about "outdated equipment"

The National Guard of Indiana, West Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, and Missouri began to remove M113 armored personnel carriers from storage and send them to Ukraine as part of the April aid package for Kyiv worth $800 million.

Ukraine should get 250 APCs from the USA and Denmark: what flashes in the photo and video is the M113A3, the latest modification of the vehicle from 1987.

Eight battalion sets is a lot in our time, when equipment breaks down like matches (not only over combat damage, but also because of the resource in the constant maneuvering phase).

Behind the kerbside (literally: in Russia), once again, they rushed to squeal about outdated equipment that fought back in Vietnam.

But for some reason, they flatly refuse to notice that most of their losses in Ukraine are BMP-1\2, BTR-80, MTLB, of the same fuzzy years, with many times worse optics, armor, and engines.

Probably, their memory is a bit muddled from the successes in the so-called "special operation"?

They also don’t notice that the M113 still remains the workhorse of the US Army in the second line — in 2022, 5,500 vehicles continue to serve as ambulances, TOW-2 ATGM carriers, M121 mortar chassis, and command and staff vehicles. And Turkey, not so long ago, did use such old-timers as linear vehicles in operations in Syria.

Why APC and IFV should not be compared

The biggest mistake is to try to compare this APC with an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) that supports its infantry with gun fire from battle formations.

Now, when fighters in the infantry line are armed with tandem grenade launchers, piercing tanks in the front, anti-tank systems in two calibers, and third-generation missiles like the Spike are operating from the depths, it doesn’t matter how thick your armor is.

As recent practice has shown, the T-90M Proryv (literally: Breakthrough) burns like an ordinary unit as well.

Moreover, by saturating the units with mechanized boxes that need drivers, radio operators, vehicle commanders, constant field repairs, the output is quite thin "companies" with 47-50 fighters who can dismount.

And as a result — IFVs are pinned down by anti-tank weapons, and their personnel are poorly trained for patrol warfare, shooting skills, tactical medicine, and everything that does not concern the maintenance of their combat vehicles.

The snake bites its own tail — for some reason, mechanics who are used to lying under the vehicles with wrenches and buckets of tar for some reason are not good at all contact melee outside their vehicles.

Photo: US Department of Defense

Photo: US Department of Defense

M113 will replace pickups, trucks and "last kilometer" vehicles

APC to replace pickups and trucks

If we consider the M113 as a replacement for pickups, trucks for motorized units, and "last kilometer" vehicles, the picture becomes completely different.

The old-timer withstands a 12.7 mm munition in the front, and with 25 mm add-on steel screens tested in Iraq — most of the anti-tank hand weapons. It is resistant to large fragments, shrapnel, and anti-personnel mines.

The General Motors engine of 275 hp is enough to pull 10 tons of payload and provide a top speed of 75 km/h. Inside the vehicle, there is a secure digital walkie-talkie and a night vision device, and smoke dischargers — on the front.

The ideal vehicle for the red zone with our realities. To bring zincs and missiles into battle formations, deploy a mortar battery in the rear, quickly rescue the wounded, take damaged equipment in tow, feed artillery — protected armored vehicles. That is not afraid of close large-caliber explosions and will be able to stand for itself in case of fire contact with "classmates".

And as much ambush work as you like, as a maneuverable group with anti-tank systems, wandering mortars, and recoilless rifles — there are mounts in an armored personnel carrier for a 40-mm Mk-19 grenade launcher and a Browning, but handicraft special vehicles modified with a rasp-file are innumerable.

Photo: US Department of Defense

Photo: US Department of Defense

BTR M113 is an ideal vehicle for the red zone with ukrainian realities

Combat taxi for the first line

The abundance of spare parts, consumables, and spare engines, even among the neighbors of Ukraine (Turkey, Lithuania, Greece, and Denmark) completes the picture that this is an extremely successful delivery.

Poor resistance to anti-tank mines? And who has a good one — the MTLB (multi-purpose light-armored towing vehicle) decorated with the letters Z or "kopeykas" (VAZ-2101) that were "killed" in hundreds by us?

Have seen the Vietnam War? The Browning machine gun saw Hitler and participated in the Korean War.

So what? That's all.

Propaganda has nothing to do with the real world, which is good. While "the Americans are getting rid of unnecessary rubbish sending it to Ukraine" in the dreams of Russian propagandists, we have got a transporter with a good passability that, with the help of the Mk-19 and a 40-millimeter armor-piercing grenade, can pierce any Russian vehicle in the front to the engine.

But it will also work as a "combat taxi", feeding and supplying the first line on the last kilometer with ambulances, CV (command vehicle), and a tractor. The workhorse of the Ukrainian infantry.



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