Rough Diplomacy

How to Stop a Tank

NATO has joined the YouTube “do-it-yourself” brigade — detailing how to trap advancing tanks .

The minute-long video, complete with wire-frame graphic guides and drone footage, was uploaded yesterday. It is titled “How to stop a tank using felled trees.”

The accompanying screed explains the technique, where large trees are felled to create an impassable obstacle and branches are cut into spikes to make their removal difficult.

The video explains the idea dates from Roman times after the ad


It even has a name: An abatis.

“It is still an effective tool in modern warfare when done correctly,” the video states.

The footage shows Canadian and US engineers wielding chainsaws during the military training exercise “Iron Sword 2016” in Lithuania .

Such obstacles can force advancing armored vehicles to take longer routes, as well as trap them in a confined space to make a follow-up attack easier.

Moscow’s occupation of Crimea in 2014, involvement in the insurgency against Ukraine, and increasingly hostile stance against Eastern European states has prompted a significant redeployment of NATO troops to states such as Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, and Poland.

The largest such movement so far happened at formerly  with a US armored brigade offloading its tanks and troops in Germany en route to Poland for major exercises a while back.

American and Canadian army engineers showed how to stop a tank using a method called an “abatis,” during a recent exercise in Lithuania, which borders Russia. The use of an abatis is thought to date back to the Roman Empire, and since then it’s primarily served as an anti-personnel defensive device. Knock down a whole bunch of trees with their sharpened branches facing outwards, and all of a sudden you have a pretty effective defensive structure.

But if you make an abatis out of a massive, tangled web of whole trees, you can stop a lot more than just enemy infantry. You can slow down an entire column of tanks.

Of course, there are ways around it. Mostly, you could just drive around it, if there’s another route or the surrounding forest isn’t too thick. And you can also just get rid of it by burning everything in sight. That’s why most defensive positions these days are made out of other materials, like twisted metal and wire.

If all you’ve got is some explosives, some chainsaws, and some trees, however, an abatis will do as last resort.

Modern Tanks vary widly for ex:

 

 

 

 

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