Cold War Kit. Part 3. Soviet BMP-1 Mechanised Infantry Combat Vehicle.

Cold War Kit. Part 3. Soviet BMP-1 Mechanised Infantry Combat Vehicle.


The first novel in my ‘Cold War’ trilogy, The Red Effect, published by SilverWood Books, is now available. Thoroughly enjoyed writing it, as i do with all my novels. There will be three books in total, covering the hypothetical invasion of West Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany, by the Warsaw Pact in the mid 1980’s. Book 1, ‘The Red Effect’, encompasses part of the intelligence build up leading to the initial Warsaw Pact strike against the NATO forces lined up against them. The purpose of the next few posts is to cover some of the Iconic pieces of equipment that would have played a part, should the Cold War have turned Hot.

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‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Available now. The Cold War that became a Hot War.

The Cold War era started very soon after the end of the second world war, when the communist east, led by the Soviet Union, and the Western world, led by the United States and its NATO allies, faced each across what became known as the ‘Iron Curtain’.

The perception of a potential Third World War, was generally one of a nuclear war. It may have come to that. In reality we will never know. But, one scenario is that of a conventional war. The massed forces of the Warsaw Pact against the supposedly technically superior, but weaker, NATO armies, that may well have escalated into a nuclear exchange. But a pure conventional war was just as likely.


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Soviet BMP. 


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The BMP is an amphibious mechanised Infantry Combat Vehicle. The track, using the hydrodynamic fairings, would be used to propel the BMP through the water at about 5 miles per hour.


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A top road speed of about 45mph.


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This model is without the standard 73mm gun and Sagger missile.


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Over 20,000 BMPs were built.


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Suspension was individual torsion bar with hydraulic shock absorbers on the 1st and 6th road wheel.


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It weighed 13 tons and carried a crew of three plus eight motor-rifle troops.


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There are two airtight doors at the rear. They also contain fuel tanks.


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There are two vision blocks at the rear and one firing-port.


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The hydrodynamic fairings can clearly be seen on the upper rear of the track covers.


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Along each side of the troop compartment, there are four firing ports.


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The two firing-ports to the front, would be used by say a PKM, a light machine gun. The other six would be for the soldiers AK-47/74s.


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There would be a combination fume extractor and cartridge deflector available at each firing port. This could be clipped on to an individual’s weapon.


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Each firing-port had a vision-block above it.


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A padded bench seat on the left-hand side.


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Space was very tight.


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There were four D-shaped hatches in the roof of the troop compartment that could be opened from the inside.


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Padded bench on the right-hand side, looking towards the gunner’s position.


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Vision-blocks on the right-hand side.


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Vision-blocks and overhead hatches on the left-hand side.


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A D-shaped hatch near the turret.


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This BMP has had its 73mm gun removed. Now looks very similar to that of a BRDM-2 reconnaissance vehicle.


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Looking down at the driver’s station,  front, left-hand side.


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Driver’s position and steering yoke in front of the commander.


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Drivers controls and vision-block.


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Looking towards the Commander’s area.


Commander’s area.


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The driver has two periscope vision-blocks and a binocular vision device.


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Looking back from the commander’s position.


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Commander’s position

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Driver’s binocular vision device.


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Driver’s hatch.

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The four D-shaped hatches can be seen open to the rear.


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BMP-1 showing the standard configuration of a 73mm gun and a Sagger anti-tank missile mounted on a rail above it..


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Rory, who had just purchased my Novel, The Red Effect, posing in front of my stand at the War & Peace show. He is wearing his Second World War Soviet uniform, carrying the iconic PPS machine gun.

i hope this has given you a further insight into what kit was around during the Cold War in the 80s.

The equipment Photographs and Blog are copyrighted to Harvey Black.

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‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Kindle version out now! The Cold War that became a Hot War. Paperback edition imminent.



  1. Is that the Czech BMP that hangs out at the War & Peace show? I used to motor around in that a while back when I did re-enactment! Cool seeing it again. I love The Red Effect, and can’t wait for the next instalment in September…

    1. The very one. 🙂 The others were at the TankFest at Bovington Tank Museum. Thank you Andrew. The Black Effect out in 4 weeks, the cover revealed on here tomorrow night. HB

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