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Polish T-55L Tanks in an interesting camou scheme
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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Maple_Leaf_Eh
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:44 pm
Post subject: Re: Polish T-55L Tanks in an interesting camou scheme

Great to review this old conversation. We demonstrated the power of the internet and of this group of friends. We had informed observers making well-formed statements based on a wide variety of sources. Some statements were rebuted graciously. Criticisms were accepted manfully. We received first-person information to corroborate some of our assumptions, and we also had a lesson in web-site forwarding. And a book plug too.

Great fun fellas!
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TrevorLarkum
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:07 am
Post subject: Re: Polish T-55L Tanks in an interesting camou scheme

Thanks Polar, I hadn't expected to see it all there:

Poland: 200 T-54 tanks have been upgraded to T-55LD in 1975, 10 of which were later sold to Libya.
South Africa: 10 Polish-built T-55LD tanks (part of a batch of 200 T-54s rebuilt in 1975) seized from a French ship, the Astor, which had been transporting a heavy weapons consignment from Libya for Idi Amin in Uganda. Amin's regime collapsed on the day that the ship docked in Mombasa and it was redirected to Angola. The ship called in to Durban where the cargo was seized. 2 T-55LD tanks have been kept by the South Africans for evaluation while 8 were given to Rhodesia, together with SADF advisers for the purpose of training Rhodesian crews. The rumor was spread that the tanks had been captured in Mozambique in order to obscure South Africa's part in the deal.
Rhodesia: 8 T-55LD tanks given by the Republic of South Africa, together with SADF advisers for the purpose of training Rhodesian crews. It is unknown whenever these tanks were passed on to successor state or destroyed during the Rhodesian Bush War.

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bsmart
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:57 am
Post subject: Re: Polish T-55L Tanks in an interesting camou scheme

- Polar
- TrevorLarkum
News, as it's uncovered! I'll hold off updating my notes until we get a conclusion.

- trooper
I just took a quick look on the I-net for Bumar-Labedy works and found one reference to "T-55LD's as 200 units converted from T54 for export to Africa in 1975."

That would make sense as far as the timeline is concerned - so maybe they are originally T54's upgraded to T55?


That's a good reference - do you have a link?

Information is from Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...d_variants


And their attribution is back to our own JimWeb's JEDSITE.

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Polar
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:42 am
Post subject: Re: Polish T-55L Tanks in an interesting camou scheme

- TrevorLarkum
News, as it's uncovered! I'll hold off updating my notes until we get a conclusion.

- trooper
I just took a quick look on the I-net for Bumar-Labedy works and found one reference to "T-55LD's as 200 units converted from T54 for export to Africa in 1975."

That would make sense as far as the timeline is concerned - so maybe they are originally T54's upgraded to T55?


That's a good reference - do you have a link?

Information is from Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...d_variants
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TrevorLarkum
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:14 am
Post subject: Re: Polish T-55L Tanks in an interesting camou scheme

News, as it's uncovered! I'll hold off updating my notes until we get a conclusion.

- trooper
I just took a quick look on the I-net for Bumar-Labedy works and found one reference to "T-55LD's as 200 units converted from T54 for export to Africa in 1975."

That would make sense as far as the timeline is concerned - so maybe they are originally T54's upgraded to T55?


That's a good reference - do you have a link?

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timroberts
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:30 pm
Post subject: Re: Polish T-55L Tanks in an interesting camou scheme

This is a very popular page judging by the number of views!
Thanks for the updated information Razz
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trooper
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:58 pm
Post subject: Re: Polish T-55L Tanks in an interesting camou scheme

- Polar
I ask my buddy's on polish forum about tanks. Mayby for few days will ba answer what know "L" and "D"

BTW on Gliwice in Labendy Plant stiil production tank PT-91 "Hard" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PT-91


I just took a quick look on the I-net for Bumar-Labedy works and found one reference to "T-55LD's as 200 units converted from T54 for export to Africa in 1975."

That would make sense as far as the timeline is concerned - so maybe they are originally T54's upgraded to T55?

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Polar
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:36 pm
Post subject: Re: Polish T-55L Tanks in an interesting camou scheme

I ask my buddy's on polish forum about tanks. Mayby for few days will ba answer what know "L" and "D"

BTW on Gliwice in Labendy Plant stiil production tank PT-91 "Hard" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PT-91
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trooper
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:15 pm
Post subject: Re: Polish T-55L Tanks in an interesting camou scheme

- Polar
Well in Poland never was produced tank T-55LD. In Poland in production was T-54, T-55, T-55A. If this tank was upgraded T-54 is designation is T-55U


Well, I hate to tell you (seeing as you are from Poland) but stamped on the front glacis plate is the hull designation "L" and on the turret (if my memory is correct - it could also be on the glacis plate) is the designation "D". I'll try and explain it - each modification from the original design is designated by an alphabetical letter stamped onto the hull and turret (perhaps production run numbers?). They were built in Poland at Labdy Works in 1975 for Muyammer Ghadafi's Army - probably part of then Communist Govt. of Polands "arms for oil" barter program. Many ex-pat Poles were employed in the oil fields at the time as Ghadafi was pissed at the West. We also recieved brand new AKM's in the package and they were also stamped "Made in Poland 1975".

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Polar
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:36 am
Post subject: Re: Polish T-55L Tanks in an interesting camou scheme

Well in Poland never was produced tank T-55LD. In Poland in production was T-54, T-55, T-55A. If this tank was upgraded T-54 is designation is T-55U
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trooper
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:28 am
Post subject: Re: Polish T-55L Tanks in an interesting camou scheme

Another shot during the obligatory "kit check" for the RSM:

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trooper
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:15 am
Post subject: Re: Polish T-55L Tanks in an interesting camou scheme

I thought I would add a few more pics of the original 8 T55's sent to us in Rhodesia: (top to bottom)

1. Looking down through the commanders hatch at the gunners seat in front and below the commaders seat - a close relationship to say the least. Commanders periscope just below top of turret hatch ring could override the gunners control by pressing one of the buttons which would cause the turret to quickly swing onto the target the commander was viewing;
2. Loaders position from inside the turret - the loaders safety switch is on the r/f side of the breechblock. The loader would hit this switch after loading the maingun and ensuring his body was out of the way of the recoiling breechblock.
3. Gunners scope and maingun control mechanism - these guns were stabilized and could be shot on the move. The turret swing speed was extremely fast, no doubt a legacy of the Russians encounters with Tiger Tanks in WW2.

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TrevorLarkum
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:56 am
Post subject: Re: Polish T-55L Tanks in an interesting camou scheme

- trooper
Hi guys - I am a little late to this discussion and you all may have moved on but I thought I would add my .02 cents worth to the discussion. The tanks are newly-built (1975) Labdy Works (Poland - they now make tractors) T55LD's. "L" being the hull mark and "D" being the turret mark. It is stamped on the front glacis plate but I can't remember where the stamp is on the turret? I was one of the original crewman on the tanks when I served in the Rhodesian Armoured Car Regiment in 1979/80. The pics are ones I took and donated to R. Allports "Op Quartz" article (I am the guy top left with AKM & sunglasses trying to look cool.) I donated my original class notes to the International War Museum in Joberg S/A when I visited the display in 2005. We tried to start the old girl up but the battery pack the S/A's modified to do the starting chores wasn't up to the job - we were unable to use the air start mechanism. FYI of the 10 T55's seized in 1979 the 8 sent to us in Rhodesia were squadron tanks and the 2 kept by the S/A's were the squadron command tanks - they were equipped with big means radio equipment while the squadron tanks could only communicate with one another on their small means radios. We modified all 8 tanks with both large and small means radios from Eland 90's and moved them from the loaders position to the commander position. The camo pattern is one the museum volunteers applied without knowing what the original Libyan or later South African applied camo scheme looked like. At least the pattern appears correct. Hope this settles the debate - it was an interesting time in African history and one that I am proud to have been a part of. :chug:


Very interesting, trooper - all contributions welcome!


- Dirk
- JimWeb
Its a T-54 for a start - though it may be more accurate to say it started out in life as a T-54....


Thanks for the correction.

According to the following PDF document listing all preserved tanks in South Africa
PDF Document : Preserved Tanks in South Africa
this tank is a T-55L manufactured in Labedy in Poland.

Cheers :chug:

Dirk


It's a few years since I wrote that PDF, I'll try to update it later this year. This thread will be a goldmine for information on this particular tank.

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trooper
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:36 am
Post subject: Re: Polish T-55L Tanks in an interesting camou scheme

Hi guys - I am a little late to this discussion and you all may have moved on but I thought I would add my .02 cents worth to the discussion. The tanks are newly-built (1975) Labdy Works (Poland - they now make tractors) T55LD's. "L" being the hull mark and "D" being the turret mark. It is stamped on the front glacis plate but I can't remember where the stamp is on the turret? I was one of the original crewman on the tanks when I served in the Rhodesian Armoured Car Regiment in 1979/80. The pics are ones I took and donated to R. Allports "Op Quartz" article (I am the guy top left with AKM & sunglasses trying to look cool.) I donated my original class notes to the International War Museum in Joberg S/A when I visited the display in 2005. We tried to start the old girl up but the battery pack the S/A's modified to do the starting chores wasn't up to the job - we were unable to use the air start mechanism. FYI of the 10 T55's seized in 1979 the 8 sent to us in Rhodesia were squadron tanks and the 2 kept by the S/A's were the squadron command tanks - they were equipped with big means radio equipment while the squadron tanks could only communicate with one another on their small means radios. We modified all 8 tanks with both large and small means radios from Eland 90's and moved them from the loaders position to the commander position. The camo pattern is one the museum volunteers applied without knowing what the original Libyan or later South African applied camo scheme looked like. At least the pattern appears correct. Hope this settles the debate - it was an interesting time in African history and one that I am proud to have been a part of.

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Burik
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 5:15 pm
Post subject: Re: Polish T-55L Tanks in an interesting camou scheme

- Roy_A_Lingle
Hi HF6! Hi Folks!

- Hellfish6

I thought the Spruce Goose was in LA Harbor?


It was and a few years ago it was move someplace north of there.
Oregon or Washingtion state.

Sgt, Scouts Out! Smile


It is in McMinnville, Oregon, which is a little south of Portland; Evergreen Air Museum. Very nice museum. They have an SR71 and recently procured an Apollo missile. Now these Soviet style tanks and APCs are out back, and there is an F4 Phantom and B25 Mitchell out there too with them.

Bob
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