A recently published video on social media has shown what appears to be a cemetery of damaged Bradley Infantry Vehicles (IFVs) that Ukraine allegedly fielded in its ‘failed’ summer counter-offensive.
The video, which has been posted to Platform X, shows about fifteen Bradley IFVs in varying levels of damage. The video was allegedly taken from a Ukrainian army vehicle parked behind the front line.
In the video, most of the vehicles that were the first to roll into the Russian positions for a much-anticipated counter-offensive are seen having tracks that are hurled, while some of them are seen to have missing turrets.
The Bradley IFVs were pledged to Ukraine by the United States in January this year and delivered a few months later in April.
When Ukraine launched its much-anticipated counter-offensive operation against Russia in June, these Bradley IFVs were the first to take the hit. As Ukraine’s counter-offensive unfolded, the world was stunned by visuals showing the destruction of several US-supplied Bradley infantry fighting vehicles by the Russian forces.
Within days, while Ukrainian troops moved to capture three villages from Russia in the eastern Donetsk region, 16 Bradleys were lost. More losses followed later as the fighting intensified.
Cemetery of the remains of damaged/destroyed Ukrainian M2A2 Bradley ODS-SA IFVs. pic.twitter.com/kVWEu8w90U
— Clash Report (@clashreport) December 24, 2023
The loss of Bradleys occurred as Ukraine undertook one of the most treacherous and intricate military maneuvers known as a breaching operation. These operations, involving the breaking of enemy defenses, are considered among the most dangerous and complex military tactics.
To make matters worse, these breaching operations were executed with ineffective suppressing artillery fire and without air backup. The Bradleys’ susceptibility has increased due to these conditions, which has resulted in losses and damages.
Moving on tracks instead of wheels, the Bradley fighting vehicle is designed to carry up to ten soldiers into combat and provide support fire. The 28-ton, three-crew M-2s have caused far more damage than they have suffered, shielding Ukrainian forces from artillery, mines, and missiles while simultaneously assaulting Russian vehicles and infantry with their deadly 25mm auto-cannons. However, many were annihilated or damaged beyond repair in the process, as seen in this junkyard’s video.
Independent analysis can corroborate that the 47th Brigade has lost 31 M-2s in the six months since it saw combat. According to reports, 30 Bradley IFVs have been destroyed, and at least one was seized by the Russian troops.
In addition to this, at least 31 have been damaged to varying degrees. It is not immediately clear what Ukraine desires to do with the damaged IFVs parked in the junkyard.
2 more pictures of M-2 Bradley captured by Russian forces on the 12th of December on the Avdiivka front. I have a feeling we will be seeing this vehicle a lot. pic.twitter.com/sHBeIPzmyW
— B-AREV (@trip_to_valkiri) December 24, 2023
As explained by Forbes in a recent report, a broken M-2 is normally repairable unless it explodes or burns till it melts. After engineers tow it off the battlefield, they either ship it by rail to Poland for more extensive repairs or send it to a 47th Brigade motor pool for emergency repairs. The vehicles that can’t be repaired are written off and may serve as a supply of spare components for the vehicles that can be fixed.
The recent video of the junkyard appeared days after a news segment broadcast on Russian television showed the Bradley captured in combat. The television program stirred fears of Russian engineers accessing and seizing advanced US technology. However, military commentators were quick to dismiss the move as mere propaganda.
Bradley Is A Force To Reckon With, Despite Losses
The heavy Bradley losses have mostly been attributed to the poor military tactics and underestimation of the strategists rather than the capability of this war machine.
For instance, reacting to the video of the recently damaged IFVs published recently, a Ukrainian soldier who was reportedly a part of the summer combat observed that the concentration of damaged IFVs conceals the M-2’s remarkable design and reactive armor add-ons, contributing to its longevity.
“The Bradley withstood everything,” a Ukrainian veteran who fought during the M-2’s hardest battle was quoted as saying.
Moreover, after the video went viral on social media, pro-Russian netizens mocked the US-supplied machines. In contrast, pro-Ukrainian netizens highlighted its capability, with many of them referencing visuals of one-on-one battles where the US machine has triumphed over the Russian ones.
One such close encounter between a Ukrainian M2A2 ODS Bradley infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) and its Soviet counterpart, a BMP fighting vehicle—was filmed by the camera of a Ukrainian drone. The video opens with the Bradley’s M242 Bushmaster auto-cannon firing M792 25-mm (1-inch) high-explosive-incendiary fragmentation shells.
— Special Kherson Cat 🐈🇺🇦 (@bayraktar_1love) December 15, 2023
When rounds struck nearby trees and the ground, a number of them exploded prematurely. However, several little explosions blinked as they struck the BMP’s exterior. The BMP’s startled crew launched the vehicle into motion after 15 seconds of gunfire, first lurching out of the trees and then sprinting away from the approaching Bradley.
Additionally, the Ukrainian soldiers who launched the counter-offensive in June went so far as to say that these vehicles saved their lives. Serhiy and Andriy, two Ukrainian troops from the 47th Brigade, told ABC News that if Bradley hadn’t saved them and their crew during an early counter-offensive battle in which they were hit by attack drones, heavy caliber guns, and mines, they wouldn’t be alive today.
The driver of one Bradley, Andriy, said, “We were hit multiple times.” “Thanks to it, I am standing here now. If we were using some Soviet armored personnel carrier, we would all probably be dead after the first hit. It’s a perfect vehicle.
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