Turkey loses 3 Leopards in Syria

Disclaimer: This article is here for your information and “entertainment” not for political discussions. Please refrain from making the discussion political. Thanks.

Apparently the Turkish army has lost 3 Leopard 2A4 tanks in Syria over the last 2 days. IS claims the kills. Media reports that it is “scary” that such a modern MBT can be taken out with relative ease. Some side notes however need to be made.

The Leopard 2A4 is an older version of the Leopard that was built until 1992 and has the old “square” turret. The armor layout in general is considered to be obsolete by modern standards and has no reactive capabilities.

Since this is the first larger conflict that features the Leopard 2 in battle, the media are paying a lot of attention to it debunking the Leopard as being one of the top notch MBTs of its era. The performance of the Leopard 2 in Afghanistan is not mentioned as such as they were small incidents rather than full-on battle. One also needs to see the Leopard 2A4 from the original Leopard 2; a true Cold War tank with lots of armor on the front, but to save weight; the sides are not as thickly armored; this is where these tanks were hit.

This also means two other things; the anti-tank crews were pretty ballsy in their movements, as they had to remain patient until they had the side of the tank; furthermore it can be said that the tank commanders probably advanced too far forward. In 2 cases the tanks exploded with no chance of survival for the crew.

A ship is only as good as its captain, but also anti-tank rockets are called as such since they are purposely designed to take out enemy armour; it is hard to make your tank fully anti-tank proof.

The projectile is airborne; in a few seconds it will hit the rear Leopard in the side

Survivability Onion

Military literature suggests the survivability onion as a measure of how to protect yourself. Pretty interesting concept (which you can also use in WoT). In follows the following procedure:

  • Don’t be seen
  • If you are seen, don’t get hit
  • If you get hit, don’t get penetrated
  • If you get penetrated, don’t get killed




61 thoughts on “Turkey loses 3 Leopards in Syria

  1. Hey, I have seen this before.
    Poor guys in the tanks are toast!

    It really is shocking tosee how easily a single remote controlled rocket can take out a several ten tons heavy machine of battle…


      1. di you guys read the text, sure older versions are less protected but don’t think for even a second that the more modern versions are completely unvulnerable

        P.S: have some respect from the guys who died: “Poor guys in the tanks are toast!” “i would love to see some Leopards on fire”
        I can’t understand how people can make such comments without feeling bad about it, I don’t think there’s any satisfaction on those two events


        1. I made my comment with respect, if I wouldn’t have, I would have written something like this:
          “Hahah, fucking türks, they deserve to be grilled!”

          Well, what do you think, which one is better?

          Liked by 1 person

            1. I did not say that, dude. Do you need glasses or something? Scroll up a bit and see that Danielson wrote that.

              Jeez, get your facts straight!


  2. IMO all MBTs are vulnerable to ATGMs, what is more important is not how strong can the MBT withstand, is getting the infantry/drones to clear the enemy personnel that has ATGM….


    1. well, they öperated”,for a while at least. But at least we can see what happens when 80’s tech meets modern AT tech. Poor tankers, there is not a more horriffic death than the one a burning tanker experiences in his last seconds. Oh well, maybe next time the turkish commanders will learn not to send them one by one, wolfpacks are much more effective , and they can at least avange the fallen ones.


  3. Well that’s expected, honestly. If media thinks tanks are like the modern-day version of Maus, well they’re the idiot ones.
    Abrams are destroyed back in its wars, ya know. This ones expected.


      1. I remember that when i was on the Leo2. We also got told that the average life expecansy of a tank in serious combat is 8 minutes. The people who where complaining where told they can go to the infantry where its around 8 seconds only.

        Liked by 6 people

          1. That depends on how fast you can eject from the plane! 🙂

            Also, about where you touch ground. Since your plane won’t be in the same place as you, if you are lucky.



  4. Poor guys. I served on a Leopard 2 A4 myself, that thing has no protection against halfway modern atgms at all. If you get hit, you are roast. Turkish media claims they survived the hit, but knowing the Leopard very well i cant really believe that to be honest. ISIS is mostly using captured US made Javelin ATGM’s or Iraqui Kornet ATGM, and those are absolutely deadly against a 80’s era armored Tank.


        1. Its the big game. Can have a little fun tinfoiling.
          And some of them turn out to be truth.

          Its all the money – nothing too complicated.
          But since we interneters are not war wagers so …. you know 😀


          1. Guys, a wise man once said : “War is a racket”. And the most lucrative business since privateering. So don’t be surprised is US made weapons turn up all around the world instead watch “Lord of war”with N. Cage, Awsome movie , I recomand it 😉

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Tanks are not designed for urban combat – usefull in many situations but super vulnerable against infantry with AT gear. History rarely shows good results from putting tanks in cities…

    Also even though concept has changed a lot from Leopard I it has always had it’s advantages in mobility and fire control – never in survivability. It has changed ofcourse to upgrade protection like Abrams, Challenger etc but still this tank works better at overwatch from 3-6km or screened properly by infantry…


    1. Major problem with is that even thou the Leo has a pretty good thermal sight with which you can spot infantry at 3-4km, most ATGM’s fly 5km+. On that distance infantry, especially when concealed behind lose cover like bushes or similar or not in large groups is near impossible to make out. A tank on the other hand is highly visible. I wonder why they didnt just plaster them with the laser detectors they use for training exercise thou, that would at least give a clue if you are targeted by an ATGM so you can hit the pedal and try to get behind the next cover.


      1. Modern generation Leo 2 has systems able to detect laser-threats… This ofcourse only works if installed so is very model specific (and expensive)


        1. I know, the A4 has it too as an accessory, but its for some reason only used in training to detect rangefinding lasers pointed at the tank so you know when you got “shot”. Its basically 4 mirror arrays mounted on each corner of the turret. We used it when we where training all the time, it was however always demounted afterwards, never really understood why. They told us its not very effective and the reflections would give away the tank more easily, but isnt not very effective better than nothing ? And for visibility, you get spotted kilometers away if on the move anyway ..


  6. ISIS my ass. Turkey IS ISIS for fuck’s sake. Lets just tell the truth, they’re getting hammered by Syrian Army T-72s. Plain and simple.


      1. Oh come on don’t give me that BS. If you don’t want to talk about politics here then change the whole article and say “3 Leopards where destroyed in Syria.”, just like that.

        If you say “3 TURKISH Leopards where destroyed in Syria and ISIS claims the kills”, you are talking politics in the first place.


          1. The difference is that you specify (or at least you assume) who is who and who did what to whom. That is the “politics” part of the news.


              1. You’re not being purely political, but you include the political part by specifying WHO did what to WHOM. This matters because by specifying that you are begging for a political argument.

                You can’t just tell someone that and not expect them to say something about the Germans or the Russians. But if you say that an X number of Pz.IVs and an X number of T-34s engaged in combat on the eastern front, you’re only talking about the battle and the vehicles.

                Of course we know that the Pz.IVs was used by the Germans and the T-34s by Russians, but if you talk only about the vehicles, you’re not talking about WHO was using them and of course their motives.


                1. An ignorant person on the subject might not even know who used Pz. IVs or T-34s.

                  The article is not about the motives of each party. It’s taking a specific situation where party X defeated party Y by using weapon Z and debunking something someone said on the situation.

                  Whether or not Turkey is ISIS is debatable. I can think of a situation as to why ISIS might’ve attacked a Turkish tank, but I won’t discuss here since it’s not the appropriate place. This is the information that we are working with.

                  I think it’s best to respect the author’s wishes, and perhaps somehow speak to the author in a private and polite manner of you feel like something is inaccurate.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. An ignorant person might not know how used what, but if you tell him it’s almost certain that he will start a political argument if you tell him WHO used what.
                    Hell an ignorant person doesn’t even know what’s going on around the world, doesn’t know anything about WWII and generally isn’t even interested in stuff like that.

                    “Whether or not Turkey is ISIS is debatable. I can think of a situation as to why ISIS might’ve attacked a Turkish tank, but I won’t discuss here since it’s not the appropriate place.”

                    Ok, then why mention that TURKISH tanks where destroyed by ISIS?You’re practically asking for a political argument.

                    Look, i’m not lecturing you about being specific,it’s just information. I’m only trying to tell you that when you specify like this, you can’t expect people not to get into a political argument.That’s all.

                    And of course i will respect the author’s wishes and if needed my initial comment can be deleted as well. Cheers!


  7. There is no modern tank today that can survive an ATGM ambush. Tanks by nature are a pack animal. Attacking in Platoon/Company/Battalion/Regiment/Corps force, on a battlefield, not a city.
    Once you put an MBT into a urban environment, you have lost every edge the Tank has.

    In a city, it is much more appropriate to use fast AFV’s that have the ability to GET THE FUCK OUTTA trouble with much more haste, and are obviously a much smaller target to begin with.


    1. Late gen MBTs have automated ATGM countermeasures designed specifically for urban combat. But, that’s not the point really.

      The point is that IF ISIS indeed claimed the kills, the Turks where completely unprepaired for urban combat. Just take a look at what modifications the Syrian Army has done to their T-72s in order to be safe from ATGMs, RPGs….generally anti-tank weaponry.


    2. :cough: reactive armor:cough: . Seriously, there are countermeasures, but the most effective one is not to get in a position where you are easy pickings for the enemy. And that means NEVER GET A TANK INTO A CITY. Stalingrad proved it, Berlin proed it, later Grozniy and the chechen wars as well. Funny how some people just never learn .


  8. These leopards are such easy targets. They sit on a hill like clay pigeons. And I guess they did this for a long time what gave the enemy the time to prepare that attack.

    They might thought that there is no real threat, otherwise they wouldn’t be so careless. Now they got punished and you can be sure that they will change their tactics and give their tank crews/tank commanders new orders.

    In WoT slang I would say that they were really retarded.


    1. New orders would not solve the problem…better training could ! The response of the other crews when they realised the cook off of the first tank was completely tragic. That’s why you can see a second or even a third tank get hit !


  9. I feel like a few years ago we we seeing reports oft the Abrams being lost in numbers, ones that were being used by our allies. Which just makes me think that they are using poor tactics if they are putting tanks in positions to be offed in the first place


  10. The leapord has always been a very cost effective tank. The M1 Abrams and challenger 2 are far more heavily protected, which is reflected in the price. Second hand ones were also supplied at reduced prices by Germany after the Cold War. However, it’s lack of armour is a real issue, considering even heavily protected tanks like Merkava and challenger, have been compromised by modern weapon systems like the rpg 29.


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