The Russians destroyed the American Bradleys in Ukraine – almost half of the entire fleet was lost in two months
The United States hesitated for a long time about assisting Ukraine’s originally planned spring offensive with M2 Bradley armored personnel carriers, and finally US President Joe Biden decided to send 109 units of the latest version of the vehicle, the M2A2 Bradley ODS-SA, to the Ukrainians.
Before the vehicles arrived, analysts expected a lot from the M2s: there was even an expert who wrote that Bradley TOW anti-tank missiles would likely take a heavy toll on the Russian tank stock.
️ American M2A2 Bradley ODS-SA BMPs are in service with the 47th separate mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In the video, you can see part of how American equipment moves through a corridor through a minefield. A 152-mm projectile is flying nearby. behind him – pic.twitter.com/9rn9Gfjjfo
– Ukrainian (front) July 23, 2023
In the offensive that finally began in practice in the summer, the Bradleys played a really important role: we saw them operate on the Orihiv-Tokmark axis, on Vuhledár and Bahmut. M2s were received by Ukrainian mechanized infantry assault brigades trained in NATO countries. They were used in the most difficult frontal battles, during attempts to break through.
So far, we haven’t seen much progress on the part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but as the military leadership in Kiev used to say, it is possible that they are “advancing slowly but surely”. At the same time, during the nearly two months of the campaign, the Bradley crew had already taken a heavy toll:
45 M2A2s lost seeming raw material yet authentic imaging certificate.
This meant that 41% of Ukraine’s Bradley fleet was proven lost within a few weeks.
It cannot be ruled out that the real loss has already exceeded 50%, Where not all combat vehicle losses are recorded.
Cemetery of the US Armed Forces Bradley for Ukraine in the Rabotino district of the Zaporozhye region. pic.twitter.com/6CNsg3HfZC
– Spiriteer (team) July 23, 2023
Despite this, Ukrainian soldiers praise the Bradley’s role, not because it goes after Russian tanks as a “tank-killing superweapon”, but because it has much better survivability than the old Soviet IFVs.
️ The American BMP M2A2 ODS-SA pic.twitter.com/ouNT9THkwp
– Ukrainian (front) July 17, 2023
This is an important factor because the Armed Forces of Ukraine are trying to break through the Russian defense lines under really difficult conditions: Russian forces have undermined everything, artillery is firing on potential access routes, and lots of kamikaze drones are constantly chasing Ukrainian military vehicles. No armored combat vehicle has yet been invented that is immune to the combined payload of mines, artillery devices and drones equipped with anti-tank warheads.
All this is to say: significant losses do not prove that the M2 Bradley is a “bad” or “overrated” combat vehicle, Russia’s well-prepared defense lines are likely to take a heavy toll on Ukraine’s old Soviet stock.
Bradley was fired from the service with a lancet. pic.twitter.com/58VvNlaOKJ
– Aiden (squatsons) July 24, 2023
It is also certain that the Ukrainians will not run out of Bradleys anytime soon: after seeing the losses, America announces that it will send another 50 square meters to Ukraine; By the way The US has about 6,000 of these tanks in total, so there’s still plenty to spare.
On the other hand, those who, like the Panthers, assessed the Bradleys as “gigantic, indestructible weapons” must have been wrong, Portfolio writing about why this was a completely wrong idea months before the onslaught began:
Cover photo credit: Ed Ram/For The Washington Post via Getty Images