Saturday, January 9, 2016

Mud and Ice, Even Tanks Struggle...

Village street near Moscow, November 1941. Bundesarchiv (Source)
Mud has always been a detriment to rapid movement. Ask anyone who has ever had to slog through mud for any distance. Add cold and rain, now we're talking. (Yes, I've "been there, done that" back when I was a lad.)

Even tanks struggle with mud, as this Russian video shows...


The mighty armored fighting vehicle can have trouble with snow and ice as well.


The next time you feel your car start to spin, slip, slide, or even bog down...

Remember...

Even tanks struggle with that crap.



16 comments:

  1. There's nothing like doing an icy 360 across a bridge and emerging intact and unscathed to make you feel young again.

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    1. Yup, that's a good observation. Didn't do that on a bridge but I did something similar. I'm guessing that being on a bridge makes for a much higher pucker factor.

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  2. And people ask me why I don't want it to snow here.

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  3. My wife and I were talking about that just a couple days ago! Her family were farm workers, and spent all summer chopping weeds out of cotton fields near Lubbock. She got 1 pair of shoes and pants for school (after 10+ hours a day in the field all summer). She walked barefooted in the mud to the bus, making sure her shoes would last as long as possible. Their road was just dirt, no caliche. The bus didn't even try to make it after a rain. They lived about a mile from the blacktop. It was never warm up there in winter. All the kids in her family did that.

    She can't stand cold now, not even a little bit. I remember her being barefoot in school in the fall and late spring.

    Her dad burned up all the money on drugs and drink. They were always dirt poor. I figured they made about $15-$20/hr in the 1970's as a group. 3 months of that was a pretty good wage!!

    I wore cowboy boots all the time then, and my feet were always cold. I got dad's handmedowns until my feet passed his. Looking back, I wished I'd had some laceups so I could've worn 2 pair of socks... I remember walking in mud and cold rain to do chores, and my boots didn't even leave tracks after a few steps. All that mud stuck to my feet was heavy....

    Tanks for the memories!!!!

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    1. I got cold just reading that! Thanks for sharing that. Some people have no idea.

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  4. Ah, brings back memories as an Army Combat Engineer in a float bridge company. Water obstacles and mud seem to go together.

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    1. When I watched that Russian video I had a feeling you might have seen stuff like that back in the day.

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  5. The last time I dealt with conditions like that was back in 1992. It was at Fort Drum, NY . . . AT 92. First couple of days there were fine, then it began to rain . . . and rain . . . and rain. We were in the middle of an FTX. Shoot and scoot, shoot and scoot, etc. (Remain static and the OPFOR could pinpoint your position easily, then commence counter-battery fires or call in the A-10s.) We did most of this at night. As the supply guy, one of my chores was to drive to cantonment with any sick or injured, drop them at the aid station, then pick up supplies (MREs, ammo, re-fill the water buffalo with potable water.) This one night near the end of the FTX I attempted to pull out of our emplacement, through a wide, grassy field. Smack dab in the middle of the field I encountered a soft muddy spot. I could feel the truck starting to sink and tried to speed up, to power through it . . . to no avail. My truck sank into the mud, up to the frame, and I wasn't going anywhere. Most all of the gun trucks had had the same problem. Come the morning, we managed to extricate everyone without calling on the HQ HEMTT wreckers (a matter of unit pride) and get back on the road. The boots I was wearing that night, and next day, were so caked with the heavy clay mud that I ended up tossing them rather than try to clean them.
    Also, there was this:
    From my blog page . . .
    Unsung Heroes ...
    It might seem that posers, claiming to be hero soldiers, all served in Special Ops. Truth is ... ain't that many Special Ops troops in the world. Real heroes just do their jobs, with competence, in trying times. These guys are the engineers, mechanics and cooks who service every combat unit in the forces.

    The ones who I remember best are the cooks ...

    The mess sergeant who, of his own volition, hauled a silver-bullet of hot chocolate through the Ft. Devens Tactical Training Course on a very cold, wet day in May 1967. He found us in our bivouac area, in the snow, and saved my life ... I swear.

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    1. You always have great stories Snuffy. A good mess sergeant is worth his weight in gold. A bad one? I don't even like thinking about that.

      Mud favors the defense, as long as you don't have to move. Which means you can't shoot. Not for long anyway.

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  6. I have a friend who was a child in Hungary during WWII. He told me of tanks getting stuck in the mud in the field behind his home. They used the turrets against a tree to help pull them out, but several were simply abandoned.

    The stories this man could tell, but it takes a lot to get him talking.

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    1. I can imagine the stories he has. Being in Hungary during World War II (and for many years after) could not have been very fun!

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    2. http://www.amazon.com/Tigers-Mud-Commander-Stackpole-Military/dp/0811729117
      the title says it all

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    3. An interesting series of books. Thanks Paweł!

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  7. Used to have a friend who was once in the army in Germany. He told of a day of maneuvers where they were trying to get a line of M113 APCs up an ice-covered hill on a narrow street in a small city and one of the APCs, almost to the top, began to slip, and then slid backwards down the hill, spinning and striking numerous privately-owned German automobiles on both sides of the street all the way down.

    He said that his command had an officer who carried a briefcase on maneuvers for just such an occurrence and the briefcase contained a quantity of currency in various denominations that was to be used to settle damage claims on the spot.

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    1. That was also true with units maneuvering in smaller villages out in the boondocks. Always had a staff officer near with a bunch of cash to keep the locals happy.

      I mean fences get knocked down, cars get dinged, etc., etc.

      Or so I've been told.

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