This Is How Poland Would Stop A Russian Invasion (Could Warsaw Win?)

Charlie Gao

Key point: Both Poland and Russia have very large fleets of tanks.

Poland’s tank fleet is one of the most numerous in Europe, fueled by the country’s large (for Europe) military spending and based on the tank fleet inherited from the Polish People’s Army. It consists of a mix of plain T-72M1s, domestic T-72 variants and various versions of the Leopard 2. It would be the first line of defense in a theoretical ground conflict between Russia and the West. But exactly how capable is the Polish tank fleet? How effective are its upgrades? And what are its plans for the future?

The most plentiful tank in Polish service is the T-72M1, with 350 tanks in the Polish inventory and two hundred in active service. These are pretty much standard T-72As from 1979, featuring an early-generation 125-millimeter 2A46 gun, active night vision and a laser rangefinder that feeds data to a 1A40 FCS. Armor is basic Soviet composite technology: a sandwich of textolite and steel. The turret had the “Dolly Parton” turret armor. These tanks provide a basic level of fighting capability but are terribly dated compared to any tank that Russia would field. The armor on these would likely be penetrated by any modern antitank munition, bar light RPGs.

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