After World War 2 Soviet tanks developed along logical traditional lines. In 1960 work began on a new design, the T-64, which incorporated many revolutionary and untried features but it was not a great success and in 1970 the prototype of T-72 appeared, which could be described as a simplified version of T-64. The T-72 is a family of Soviet main battle tanks that first entered production in 1971.
This T72 was on display at Bovington Tank Museum.
The Tank Museum’s vehicle is a T72M1 that was used by the former East German Army, (NVA, Nationale Volks Armee).
About 20,000 T-72 tanks have been built, and refurbishment has enabled many to remain in service for decades.
I have recently published an article that I wrote, which originally appeared in the January 1994 edition of Miniature Wargames.
The article, entitled, It fell off the back of a lorry…. is a skirmish scenario involving gangsters, market traders as well as police and security forces in the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Oh it involves a T-90 tank which is an up-armoured version of the T-72.
As well as the Brown Water Navy announcement in Battlefront’s Flames of War State of the Union, they announced a new period based on the Cold War.
October sees us diving into a brand new period as we release Fulda Gap. The period of the modern war when tensions between NATO and the Warsaw Pact were running high is a wonderful theatre to develop as the forces arrayed on both sides boast some of the coolest-looking equipment in history. And with the advances in technology, we are looking forward to seeing forces of M1-Abrams covered by A10-Thunderbolts pitting their might against the swathes of T-72s and BMP-mounted infantry. We plan for this to be a complete period with books covering nations and plastic sets for all the main vehicles of every nation. October is just the start and 2016 will have more books and additional miniatures.
Though there is very little information in the announcement, there is a mention of T72s and BMP-1s for the Warsaw Pact forces. So what of the NATO side? It appears that the US Army will be done first, with M1-Abrams and A-10 Thunderbolts, but I am looking forward to seeing the models for the BAOR.
It would make for a good game to have Chieftains, FV432s and Harriers in action against T80s and the odd Hind D Attack Helicopter.
As the announcement mentions the M1-Abrams, which entered service in 1980, we can assume that the period for the games will be the 1980s, the height of the Cold War. If Battlefront do decide to go with some BAOR British forces, we may also see the Challenger I which entered service in 1983.
As well as fighting across Europe, another possibility will be to recreate the original Red Dawn film and have Soviet forces fighting on US soil.
I might also look at doing some alternative history British Civil War games set in the same time period, this setting was described in an article I had published in Wargames Illustrated in the 1990s.
I also wonder what other nations we will see in 2016, the French possibly?