Cold War Kit. Part 7. Soviet BRDM Series

Cold War Kit. Part 7. Soviet BRDM Series

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.

Good reconnaissance is a key requirement of any army if they are to know where the enemy is and bring them to battle. The Soviet army places high importance on reconnaissance. There reconnaissance units were fairly large as they would be used for flanking protection and also be able to take on any enemy they came across.


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BRDM-1, was an amphibious scout car used by the Soviet army. It was last produced in 1966 ( 10,000 of them) and there are still approximately 600 in service throughout the world.


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With 10mm of armour and weighing 51/2 tons, it could travel at 90kph on the road and 9kph in the water.  At the rear you can see the armoured shutter that protected the water jet outlet that powered the vehicle through the water.


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BRDM-2, the replacement for the BRDM-1.


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The BRDM-2 has a crew of 4, a driver, co-driver, commander and gunner.


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The boat shaped bow to improve its amphibious capability. The trim board would need to be lowered before it went into the water.


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Powered by a gasoline V-8 engine, it could reach top speeds of 100kph and 10kph in the water.


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Just like the BRDM-1, it had a centralised tire pressure regulating system which could adjust the pressure of all four tyres, even individually.


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The shutter conceals the circular water-jet, equipped with a four-bladed propeller at the rear.


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The turret mounted gun was a 14,5mm KPVT heavy machine gun with a coaxial mounted 7.62mm PKT general-purpose machine gun.


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Armour thickness. 10mm turret front and 7mm turret sides top and rear. Hull 7mm at the sides.


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The BRDM-2 had a number of variants.


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This one is a BRDM-2 rkh. .


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Used for radiological and chemical reconnaissance.


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Has two KZO-2 rectangular dispensers for emplacing warning posts around a contaminated area.


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Following the Gloster Meteor, the Vampire was the second jet fighter to enter service with the RAF.


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This vehicle would also have a GSA-12 gas detector, DP-5V dosimeter, DK-4K decontamination apparatus and semi-automatic detection devices.


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This is a BRDM-2 rkh that was captured from the Iraqi forces during the Gulf War.


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BRDM-2 rkh.


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Initially powered by a Halford H1 engine, called the ‘Goblin’.


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BRDM-2  9P148. Carries an AT-5 (Spandrel) ant-tank missile rail.


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Wire-guided SACLOS with a range of 4km.


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To assist with getting across ditches and rough terrain, the BRDM-2 has two pairs of chain-drivenbelly wheels in the centre beneath the vehicle.


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These can be lowered by the driver when needed.



I hope this has given you a further insight into what kit was around during the Cold War. On this occasion, it is Soviet. The equipment Photographs and Blog are copyrighted to Harvey Black.

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


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The Black Effect – Kindle and Paperback now out.

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