As a clumsy side note from the First World War, developed to break through the included position war, the tank rolled into the Second World War in 1939 as a relatively untested type of weapon. The implementation was very different in the belligerent countries, but the German Blitzkrieg campaigns showed early on what concentrated armored units could achieve in conjunction with aircraft support.

Six years later, the armored weapon had undergone a monumental technological and tactical development. And at focal points such as Hannut, Brody, El Alamein, Kursk, the Ardennes and Berlin, the combat vehicle with its mobility and effect had long since consolidated its tactical importance, which changed the principles of warfare and became decisive for the outcome of the war in Europe.

Among the nations that had bloody experiences with this, was the Soviet Union, which, in addition to massive material and human costs, emerged from the war with the materially and armor-tactically superiority. And, as here, she emphasizes the principles for the impending conduct of war conflicts with massive armored forces and mobilized mechanical infantry.


However, it was not until the end of the war and the beginning of the Cold War that armored units were added to the crucial strategic dimension of their already recognized tactical role.

The lines between the military hardware of the Eastern and Western Bloc were nowhere sharper than in Europe. The continent became the focal point of the friction between opposing ideologies and social models and also housed the elongated physical boundaries of the blocs.

The geography of northern Europe made the danger of a direct land war real when the parties turned away from the principles of the ultimate nuclear doomsday scenario and turned to more conventional forms of combat.

Therefore, especially in the European context, it was among the military planners of NATO (organization of the North Atlantic Treaty) and since then within the Warsaw Pact (WAPA) the pedant of the socialist countries that the tank and the warfare in numerous, fast and independent mechanized units as the main threat for the blocs were considered in Europe, and were seen as a winning factor in the upcoming conventional land war in Europe.

The number of tanks remained a fixed military force in Europe until the end of the Cold War and an important part of the rhetoric between the blocs.

As a result, the weapon type became the object of massive organization from both sides and more strategic than tactical planning. In addition, the expected combat scenarios, particularly in the offensive plans of the WAPA countries, were widespread, with Denmark and Scandinavia being designated as designated battlegrounds in the upcoming front sections


The material focus of the West was generally on the qualitative and the Eastern Bloc on the quantitative advantages, a priority that arose directly from the military doctrines of the respective defense alliances and their available resources and was seen in all types of weapons. In the decades after the First World War and until the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc in 1991, this "ratio of quantity to quality" remained one of the most important military arms equilibria in the arms race and became as important to appreciate and maintain as the political considerations and decisions on which could directly affect it.

The conditions of warfare / combat operations had also changed radically since the World War.

The addition and advancement of new weapons, such as helicopter and missile technology, and the prospect of large-scale tactical use of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons (ABC) on the battlefield have reworked the established armored and mechanized platforms and other often newly developed ones to address to adapt the expected apocalyptic conditions that would prevail during the coming great war.

In this context, Cold War military technology development offered the opportunity to add some special vehicles that are now symbols of our modern warfare, but at the same time marked the expiry of other well-functioning weapons that were no longer suitable for the new conflict scenarios.

Here, too, the opposing military blocs already started a technological race in connection with their introduction, with rapid material development and the frequent updating of weapon systems, already with their introduction.


The chapter on the role of armored forces as a key military instrument for the ideological compartmentalization of the civilian population of the socialist states in the context of the Eastern Bloc has also gone down in the history of WAPA armored units.

The Soviet Union was the most important motor and power factor among the communist-socialist states of the Eastern Bloc, and the Kremlin would go a long way to make the Soviet sphere of interest a synchronized, socialist paradise of unconditional ideological cohesion.

The Soviet political, economic and military directives, and with the founding of the Warsaw Pact in 1956, were far from over among the seven other member states if they were to block the dicates in a skeptical hinterland, which was often fatal for the dwindling had domestic economy.

Armored and mechanized units were therefore also key tools to combat the popular uprisings in Central and Eastern Europe. Major international violations of sovereignty, such as The Soviet Union's hard blow to the GDR uprising in June 1953, the bloody cleansing of the Hungarian uprising in October and November 1956, and the intervention of the "brotherhood" in Czechoslovakia after the state tried to break with WAPA and the Soviet course, in addition to the "Spring in Prague" in August 1968. In 1980 WAPA held large-scale landing exercises in Poland after the Solidarity Union and Pope John Paul II awakened the freedom of the Poles. A military emergency was initiated after the exercises.

But also as state-authorized instruments of violence for the internal control of one's own compatriots, during the dozens of local uprisings and strikes in individual WAPA member states, as the secure but authoritarian framework of socialism intensified and the unfulfilled promises and abrupt conditions for the population were too much were.