T-72M

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Green and mean.

The T-72M was the export variant of the Russian T-72, sitting somewhere between the base "T-72 Ural" variant and the first upgrade "T-72A". It lacks the turret and glacis composite armour layers of her Russian brother, instead using a form of spaced armour. The T-72M is nonetheless a formidable tank, able to punch through the armour of even an M1 Abrams or Leopard 2 with its 125mm 2A46 cannon. It forms the very best of the armored forces of the German Democratic Republic, the Polish People's Republic, and Czechoslovakia in 1985.

In Team Yankee[edit]

East Germany[edit]

Die Statitiskkarte des neuen Volkspanzers!

The more advanced tank option for East German commanders, the T-72M is a pretty decent option for those who want to bury their enemies in steel, but also want a tank that isn't older than their Opa.

The T-72M has the exact same armament as its Soviet model, so this might get a bit repetitive. The T-72M mounts a 125mm 2A46 gun which is quite capable of brutalizing early model NATO Main Battle tanks and stands a decent chance of damaging later models with its AT value of 21, and with the FP of 2+, practically anything you penetrate you are going to blow up. It's also rather good at dealing with unarmored targets like infantry and light vehicles as the Brutal rule means that they have to re-roll their successful saves. The T-72M can fire on the move with near impunity as the stabilizer negates the negative effects of moving, and the laser range-finder negates the penalties of firing at extreme range. The only downside is the fact that the 2A46 only has a ROF of 1, both halted and on the move, which means that you must mass tanks to mass fire. Oh, there is also a pair of machine guns; one 12.7mm AA mounted on a pintle and a 7.62mm mounted coaxially.

As for the armor, well let's just say that it isn't great. The frontal armor of the T-72M is 15, one better than the T55AM2 and the exact same as the M60 Patton. The T-72M will have a very difficult time dealing with Dedicated AT Weapons, especially HEAT shells, as they don't lose penetration at extreme distances. Your okay-ish side armour of 8 does get a boost against them, with Bazooka Skirts bumping the value up to 10. Notably, however, the armor is only one worse than the composite version.

T-72M Panzer Kompanies starts out with three tanks costing a total of 7 points. After that, you may add any number of vehicles to the unit up to a grand total of 10 T-72Ms, with every extra tank costing you an additional 4 points (so a max of 35). Yes this does mean that if you were using T55AM2s you could have twice the tanks for the same price, but you sacrifice a lot for that cheapness, so think about it before you join the Zerg rushing hordes.

For historians out there, the T-72M was phased in with the Land Forces of the NVA starting in the 1970s, and the process was complete with first-line tank regiments by the late 1970s/early 1980s. The T-72M was the MBT of choice with the 7th and 9th Panzer Divisions, the two tank divisions of the East German army, but the motor rifle divisions' tank regiments, along with those in second-line and reserve divisions, often had to make do with the older T-54/T-55.

"Volksarmee" features a T-72M company within Panzerregiment 21 "Walter Empacher" in most of its story descriptions from an East German perspective, and provides some background on the 9th Panzer Division.

Poland[edit]

Polish Stats, towarzysz!

The best tank in the Polish People's Army arsenal, the T-72M has only 1 more point of front armor and 1 more point of side armor than the much older T-55AM2. It, too, excels at exploding. A Brutal 125mm main cannon with a Stabiliser and Laser Rangefinder mean that if the fighting men of the Polish People's Army get close enough to the imperialist swine NATO armies, even the Americans' new M1 Abrams and the West Germans' deadly Leopard 2 can be destroyed by this cheap Polish tank monument to Polish working-class brawn. It is far more capable of firing on the move than the T-55AM2 'Merida' and does not suffer under the Slow Firing rule, which is great news when the well-trained, well-equipped NATO armies are doing their best to kill you.

For a handful more points, your Polish tank company gains 3+ courage and remount over the East German version. However, the T-72M has the same problem as the T-55AM2: it does NOT survive if an enemy touches it. At 15 frontal armour, you have a chance against LRACs and RPG-17s but not much else. The T-72M serves as the most powerful offensive tool the Poles can bring to the table alongside the Mi-24W Hind. For only a handful more points than the East German version, your stats become much better suited for mine-clearing. Remount remains irrelevant since most hits will result in kills, but 3+ courage gives you some very nice utility when building an offensively-minded tank list.

A Polish T-72M company may bring 3 T-72Ms for 7 points, or up to 10 for 37 points.

Czechoslovakia[edit]

Reluctant Conscripts with a modern tank!

Thought an even cheaper version of the T-72M would be worse? Think again.

It may have the worst statline of the T-72 family with 5+ remount and courage, but who cares? With 15 frontal armor you rarely need to roll for them. What makes this unit possibly the strongest variant is 4+ skill combined with the low cost. You can run them in units of 3 to 10 tanks, and a minimum sized unit gives you a discount. Starting at 2 points per tank with a minimum sized unit and costing 3 points per additional tank. The Czech T-72M has the cheapest bang for your buck. Your individual units may be rather shit, but the discount for a minimum sized unit allows for a decent alpha strike using MSU (multiple small units) if you don't mind giving up the kill points. If one goes down, there's another to take its place and a brutal, AT21 gun is still a very dangerous weapon: scary against tanks at close, scarier against entrenched infantry (because of how many more tanks you can bring from the discount).

Unlike your infantry, T-72Ms are squishy and are pretty unlikely to survive after being hit by ATGMs. The fact that they will instantly blow up when touched by dedicated anti-tank weapons like cannons or Milans. All T-72Ms suffer from this flaw, making the Czech version the best since stats like courage, morale and remount become less relevant: this unit dies too quickly to even test these stats. You are investing all your points into firepower: combined with the discount, you can bring the most tanks to the field without compromising on special rules (brutal) or firepower (T-55AM2).

You start with companies of 3 tanks at 6 points, up to 10 T-72Ms for 27 points.

Iraq[edit]

They don't wanna be here, and they don't know how to fight!

Oh, yes. Our timeline has already seen plenty of the utter incompetence mediocrity of Saddam Hussein's T-72M tanks. As has been seen in OTL's Gulf War and 2003 invasion of Iraq, the combination of poorly-trained, led, and motivated men using obsolete and neglected equipment makes for a lot of death on one side. In this alternate 1985, however, the Iraqi military are more fortunate. The Americans and their well-armed allies in NATO are busy shooting at Soviet, Polish, East German and Czechoslovakian soldiers and thus in no position to bother with the brutal and authoritarian Hussein regime. However, what history shows us about the skill and motivation of Saddam's men holds true here- all the Iraqi crews get is 4's and 5's across the board. They do outrank their Czech counterparts in a few categories, however, and it doesn't much matter if your guys wanna bail and run for home if their tank is gonna explode the first time somebody scores a solid hit.

The T-72M in the game so far is the Iraqi Army version, as reflected by the crew's lousy stats. Saddam never trusted his own army and, whether he was deliberately imitating Adolf Hitler or not, mimicked the German dictator by creating the Republican Guard, a direct parallel to the Waffen-SS. The Republican Guard still had to use cheap Soviet hardware, but they got the best training and leadership the Iraqi regime could offer. We'll see whether or not the Republican Guard makes an appearance using the T-72M. If you want to custom-add them into the game, using the Polish or East German stats could work, reflecting the superior motivation and discipline of the Republican Guard.

The Iraqi T-72M does have one thing going for it; it isn't having to take on the Americans and their much, much better tank crews this time. At least not yet.

East German Forces in Team Yankee
Tanks: T55AM2 - T-72M
Transports: BTR-60 - BMP-1 - BMP-2
Troops: Mot-Sch├╝tzen Kompanie - Hind Assault Landing Company
Artillery: 2S1 Carnation - BM-21 Hail
Anti-Aircraft: ZSU 23-4 Shilka - SA-13 Gopher - SA9 Gaskin
Tank Hunters: Spandrel
Recon: BMP-1 OP - BRDM-2
Aircraft: MI-24 Hind
Soviet Support: SU-25 Frogfoot
Polish Forces in Team Yankee
Tanks: T55AM2 - T-72M
Transports: SKOT-2A - BMP-1 - BMP-2
Troops: Zmotory Kompania - Hind Assault Landing Company
Artillery: Dana SpGH - BM-21 Hail
Anti-Aircraft: ZSU 23-4 Shilka - SA-13 Gopher -SA-8 Gecko
Tank Hunters: Spandrel
Recon: BMP-1 OP - BRDM-2
Aircraft: MI-24 Hind
Soviet Support: SU-25 Frogfoot
Czech Forces in Team Yankee
Tanks: T55AM2 - T-72M
Transports: OT-64 - BMP-1 - BMP-2
Troops: Motostrelci
Artillery: 2S1 Carnation - Dana SpGH - RM-70
Anti-Aircraft: ZSU 23-4 Shilka - SA-8 Gecko - SA9 Gaskin - SA-13 Gopher
Tank Hunters: Spandrel
Recon: BMP-1 OP - BRDM-2
Aircraft: MI-24 Hind
Soviet Support: SU-25 Frogfoot
Iraqi Forces in Team Yankee
Tanks: T-55 - T-62 - T-72M
Transports: BTR-60 - OT-64 - AMX-10P - BMP-1
Troops: Motor Rifle Company
Artillery: 2S1 Carnation - 2S3 Acacia - AMX Auf1 - BM-21 Hail
Anti-Aircraft: ZSU 23-4 Shilka - SA-13 Gopher - SA9 Gaskin - SA-8 Gecko - Roland AA
Tank Hunters: Spandrel - VCR/TH
Recon: BRDM-2 - BTR-60 OP
Aircraft: MI-24 Hind - Gazelle HOT
US Support: A-10 Warthog - AV-8 Harrier

Monster Hunter International[edit]

The Polish hunting group White Eagle Military Contracting has at least two, likely more, T-72Ms under their ownership. Unlike most military vehicles retained by hunting companies, these retain their original armament.

IRL[edit]

Mine plough? Nein, panzer bayonet genosse!

A lot of what can be said about the T-72 apply's to the M version as well. The T-72M was the export version of the T-72 and it was cheaper to produce and less effective then the normal T-72. It had thinner armor and downgraded weapons systems. Both these traits show up in Team Yankee as the T-72M has 1 less front armor and anti tank on their main guns then the actual T-72s used by the Soviet Army. These export tanks are sometimes called "Monkey model" however, keep in mind that we in the west get that title from a Soviet defector so take that name with a grain of salt. The Soviets did this for two reasons. One: the further away from mother Russia a tank got, the more likely it was that the capitalist pigs would get there hands on one(which happened NTC operates several T-72). Imagine if a tank like the T-72 got sold to Iraq, it would be far easier for the Americans to get there hands on one and reverse engineer it, and if they did they would get an idea of Soviet Equipment that was worse then what the top of the line stuff could do. It's why they NEVER did sell or export any of the top of the line T-80's until the union fell apart. Second was of course cost, the Soviet Union is massive, and they need to keep the good equipment for their soldiers.

The T-72M, like the Soviet T-72, features an automatic loading system, reducing the crew requirement to three. Thin armor and absolutely no internal protection whatsoever against ammunition explosions means that those three men will almost certainly be killed when a shot penetrates the armor of the main hull. This happened a lot to men of the Iraqi Army and Republican Guard during both the Gulf War and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The soldiers of the Warsaw Pact were better-trained, better led, and far more motivated than the armored crews of Saddam Hussein's paper tiger, however, so as lethal as a T-72M could be to its own crew, it posed no small threat to its enemies to the West in the mid-1980s. Something else to remember: in 2003, the original T-72M was hopelessly obsolete. In 1985, it was in its prime and NATO soldiers had good reason to be afraid of it, especially if they weren't riding around in a 40-something-ton war machine. Anything lighter than another MBT would have gotten its clock righteously cleaned by the T-72M if they didn't manage to destroy it first.

East Germany's T-72Ms were either scrapped or given away when West Germany took over in 1990, but Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia all held onto their T-72Ms and are still using them as of 2019.

The actual model of the T-72M used in Team Yankee is an East German T-72M which has been fiddled with a bit, Wiki claims with Rubber Skirts, Smoke grenades and 16 additional millimeters of armor.