Weird Warfare: Russian Turtle Tanks

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Weird Warfare: Russian Turtle Tanks
Weird Warfare: Russian Turtle Tanks

With the war in Ukraine grinding on, both sides have evolved their warfare tactics as what was once thought to be effective has proven otherwise. This of course will continue to happen as it has in most wars as the two sides escalate and jostle for position on the front. One of the weirdest recently developments has been the Russian “Turtle Tanks.”

A robot tank might be coming to a battlefield soon.

Seen in certain areas, these Turtle Tanks are often T-72s with a makeshift shell or outer hull made of rebar, corrugated sheet metal, or other scraps welded together. It’s supposed to help guard against the pervasive FPV drone attacks performed by Ukrainian forces.


When these monstrosities first rolled out, some praised the innovative nature of Russian forces. They seemed to believe these shells would stop Ukrainian forces from destroying the tanks, giving the other side quite the advantage.

Only, it hasn’t played out quite that way at all.

One big problem with the Turtle Tanks is the shell limits gun rotation and the crew’s visibility. Ironically, that can make the tanks more vulnerable to attack. It’s like how during WWII some tanks were so heavily armored they were slow and got stuck often, the very thing that was supposed to protect the crew becoming a huge liability.

These tanks sometimes have rollers or ploughs attached to the front to trigger enemy landmines. We saw similar implements used on US and allied armored vehicles way back during Desert Storm, so that’s not exactly cutting-edge stuff.

But what is interesting is a video shared by the official Ministry of Defense of Ukraine’s X account showing one of these turtle tanks with the rollers being destroyed by what appears to be multiple landmines at once. How exactly that happened isn’t clear. It could be Ukraine is has the ability to switch some mines to remove detonation or there’s a delay, or perhaps another innovation.

This just shows the arms race going on in the Ukraine War. One side thinks it has the upper hand with a new toy and the other shows maybe that’s not the case. That’s partly why the fighting continues grinding on.

Image via Daily Mail/YouTube