Leopards Into The Fray: How German Tanks Will Affect The Balance Of War In Ukraine

The Leopard 2A6 is equipped with a 120-millimeter smoothbore main gun By John Amble and John Spencer The announcement this week that Germany will send tanks to Ukraine has dominated headlines. The momentousness of this decision is difficult to overstate. Germany was the European country most resistant to materially supporting Ukraine for years—motivated by a professed wariness of antagonising Russia, its main energy supplier, and by a longstanding culture of antimilitarism that crystallized after World War II and has formed deep roots in the decades since. This resistance was on display in the weeks ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As evidence of a full-scale invasion was mounting, international supporters were stepping up and pledging weapons to aid Ukraine’s defense. The UK provided two thousand NLAW antitank missiles, along with armored vehicles. Poland offered man-portable air defense systems, as did Lithuania. Turkey agreed to allow Ukraine to coproduce TB2 Bayraktar drones. These were significant moves that would impact the early course of the war.

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