TFB on Kubinka Tank Museum

Tank-Museum-3-660x440The Firearms Blog has posted a review of the Kubinka Tank Museum outside of Moscow.  This is not a particularly in-depth review, but it does include some nice photos of the museum and some of the vehicles housed there.  The vehicle descriptions are not particularly detailed, something not unexpected given that this is posted on a firearms blog, not an AFV themed blog.  Enjoy it for what it is.

Click here to view the post at TFB: The Russian Kubinka Tank Museum

Photo of the Day: New Buildings at Kubinka

Today’s POTD comes from the live journal account of Russian tank researcher Yuri Pasholok.  From what we can gather from the computer generated translation of his blog, vehicles are being moved to new buildings which are currently being constructed as part of Patriot Park.   Visitors to Kubinka will be happy to hear that these new buildings will have both air conditioning and heat!

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Russia and Israel swap M48 tanks

A couple weeks ago we posted about how Russia had agreed to return to Israel a Magach 3 (M48) tank which had been captured by Syrian forces in Lebanon back in 1982.  Israel was interested in getting this tank back hoping it might contain clues as to the fate of its crew, who have been missing since the tank was lost.  One detail that was not in the original post is that this agreement between Israel and Russia is actually a tank swap.  The tank that the Russians promised to give to Israel had been on display at the Russian tank museum at Kubinka.  In exchange for the Magach 3 tank, Israel promised to provide Kubinka a different Magach 3.  That tank has been delivered to the Kubinka museum and is reported to be in better condition than the Magach 3 given back to Israel.  Below are some videos of the Magach 3 given to Kubinka.

Video of the Day: Mark V tank Kubinka

From the youtube channel of Russian tank researcher Yuri Pasholok, here is Mark V tank Kubinka 2016.04.11.

From the Vault: The Secret Testing of Israeli M111 “Hetz” Ammunition

Today we present an article from the Sep-Oct 2006 issue of ARMOR by Jim Warford titled “The Secret Testing of Israeli M111 “Hetz” Ammunition: A Model of Failed Commander’s Responsibility.”  This article looks at the capture of an Israeli Magach-4 (M48) along with its brand new M111 Hetz ammunition by the Syrians during the 1982 “Operation Peace for Galilee” incursion. This tank and its ammunition eventually made there way to the Soviet Union were the M111 ammunition was evaluated, an event which contributed to the development of the T-72M1 variant.  This particular Magach-4 is now on display at the Kubinka tank museum outside of Moscow.

After this article was published, ARMOR published a letter in response to the piece which was also followed by a letter in answer by Jim Warford.  They may be read below.

Jim Warford was kind enough to provide us with some additional information and images relating to this article:

When I was visiting Kubinka in 2012, I had a tour guide arranged by my Russian travel agent who met me upon my arrival at the collection. He vaguely said that he worked for various governmental agencies and that he was happy to guide me through the collection. After awhile, I started to sense that he was there as much to keep an eye on me, as he was there to be my guide. Everything was going along very well (I was literally thrilled to be there), when we got to the captured Israeli Magach tank (that provided the M111 Hetz APFSDS ammunition to the Russians). I was looking forward to asking some questions about this tank, but before I could say a word, he quickly went into a speech about how they got the tank and that any reports that the tank arrived from Syria with the personal belongings and even the remains of the Israeli crew members on board, were completely untrue. While I suppose it’s possible that he gave that same speech to all his tours, I think it’s equally possible that he knew who I was and was aware of my 2001 ARMOR Magazine article “The Secret Museum at Kubinka,” where I reported the following:
“…a “victory parade” was held in Damascus, Syria, that included a captured Israeli Magach 4 flying Syrian and Palestinian flags. Several sources reported that the tank’s Israeli crew was also on display during the parade. Three of these crewmen are now listed as MIA by the Israeli government. According to the International Coalition for Missing Israeli Soldiers (ICMIS), there is reason to believe that this captured tank and the Magach 4 at Kubinka are one in the same. In January 2001, the ICMIS asked Israeli officials to request that an upcoming trip by the Israeli President to Russia include an examination of the Magach 4 at the museum. Reportedly, the Israeli tank (with turret serial number 94866 and hull serial number 817581) arrived at Kubinka still containing human remains, personal belongings, and documents belonging to the tank’s crew.”
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Captured Magach 4 driving in Russia

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Magach 4 on display at Kubinka

Valentine IX Trails in the USSR

valentine-9-1For the Record has an interesting post translating information on the Valentine infantry tank in Soviet service provided by Russian researcher Yuri Pasholok.  The post relates the results of Soviet testing at Kubinka in March of 1943 of a Valentine IX tank.  The IX variant was equipped with a larger turret and 57mm 6 pounder gun as compared to earlier versions of the vehicle which had the 2 pounder gun.  The report concludes that the Soviets were less than enthusiastic about this varient of the tank due to the lack of an HE round for the main gun and lack of coaxial machine gun.  The test results can be viewed at the Archive Awareness website.