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Thread: How M88 Hercules Vehicles Will Keep Abrams Tanks Out of Russias Grip

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    How M88 Hercules Vehicles Will Keep Abrams Tanks Out of Russias Grip

    The M88 Hercules is the 750 horsepowered, 80 ton wreaker that can tow damaged heavy tanks to safety.

    How M88 Hercules Vehicles Will Keep Abrams Tanks Out of Russias Grip

    The invention of the tank, a heavily armed and armored fighting vehicle, signaled a major shift in land warfare in the early 20th century. Like all land vehicles, tanks break down, and sometimes need a tow. This is a particular problem for tanks, which suffer damage from enemy fire, cross-country travel, and the excessive wear of operating under wartime conditions.

    ***
    in the 1990s, the Army developed the M88A2. Also used by the Marines, the M88A2 could tow up to 80 tons and winch-lift up to 35 tons. This once again allowed a single M88A2 to service a single Abrams tank. Unlike previous versions of the M88, which were type-classified as Medium Recovery Vehicles, this bump in capability led to the M88A2 being upgraded to a Heavy Recovery Vehicle.


    The Pentagon is sending eight M88A2s to Ukraine along with 31 Abrams tanks. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is that the Abrams is a fairly complex piece of equipment, and while Ukrainian troops will be trained to maintain the tanks, they wont have experienced Abrams maintainers. Abrams tanks may need to spend more time in rear areas undergoing maintenance, and they will need vehicles to tow them.


    Another issue is that the Pentagon is almost certainly nervous about Russian troops capturing an Abrams and learning its secrets. If a Ukrainian M1 suffers a breakdown or is damaged on the battlefield, it could end up being towed away by the wrong side. Ukrainian troops are under strict orders to destroy high-tech Western equipment, such as the Javelin missile, if they are threatened with capture. But a 73-ton, heavily armored tank is another matter entirely. If a Ukrainian Army Abrams becomes a battlefield casualty, the Department of Defense wants to make sure the means are available to evacuate it as soon as possible.


    The Hercules is an unglamorous, but absolutely essential, vehicle for any mechanized army. An immobile tank is a liability to any army, especially in wartime, and vehicles like the M88A2 can keep a combined arms force like the U.S. Army rolling as it races to reach its objectives. Like a lot of equipment headed east lately, its unlikely its designers ever foresaw the day when it would be supplied to an ex-Soviet army to fight another ex-Soviet army.

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    countryboy (02-07-2023)

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    That's one hell of a wrecker.
    God Bless America

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    Peter1469 (02-07-2023)

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    Some of this equipment is amazing.
    Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect. -- Woody Hayes​

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    Peter1469 (02-07-2023)

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    So we won't have to wait for Ukrainian farmers to tow the tanks like the Russians?
    Let's go Brandon !!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolina73 View Post
    So we won't have to wait for Ukrainian farmers to tow the tanks like the Russians?
    The Abrams is 76 tons. Could farmers tow one?
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