Category Archives: Soviet Army
Took my a while to find the right pictures, but this is the amphibious armored vehicle of the Soviet Army, called BTR-60. As the name suggests it was introduced in the 1960s, but some countries still operate them even today.
Since I was a radioman, I got to ride in a very special version of this P.O.S, designated BTR-60PU. Unlike the standard APC version, this vehicle does not have a turret and was never meant to carry any grunts. Instead, it has 5 UHF radios inside and a 10-meter telescopic antenna on top. You have to extend the damn antenna every time you stop, just in case your commanding officer wants to call his wife or feels like ordering his lieutenants about. After you’re finally done extending the antenna itself, you also need to secure it with 4 cables staked to the ground, just in case a little breeze knocks that %^##$ antenna down.
Oh, but you only get to ride that BTR on special occasions, like wartime or maneuvers. In peace time you’re stuck with another P.O.S – GAZ-66 command vehicle. The radios are still there and so is the damn antenna, but at least this truck has 2 beds and a table, all too small.
To save gas for the power generator, the Soviet Army doctrine calls for the truck to be connected to any electricity available when stationary. I remember my driver once connected 220v power wires incorrectly, reversing the polarity (Soviet Army soldiers never bothered with such useless things as power outlets). The whole truck’s body became a one big “don’t touch me” area. I’ve learned that the hard way by trying to open a door and got glued to it, shocked by all that electricity going through my body, unable to disengage. Good thing my driver had enough brains to pull me down, damn the man. Couple of minutes later I realized I never thought I knew THAT many Russian cuss words….