Historical Skins: T-72M1 Wittmann


The February of 2024 is here and it’s slowly beginning to be the right time to take a look at the next major piece of Armored Warfare content, which is a Battle Path we named “Europe’s Edge.”


T-72 Wittman, Sweden, 2008

As usual, there will be an option to purchase discounted access before its launch along with an exclusive piece of visual customization. And this time, it’s going to be a skin for the T-72M1 Premium Main Battle Tank called T-72M1 Wittman.

As you can probably guess from the name, the next Battle Path is connected to Europe and the post-war military history of Europe is in turn connected to the NATO.

The organization has had a complicated history, as did this Swedish T-72. Now, you might be thinking “wait a minute, Sweden doesn’t use Soviet tech and it isn’t in the NATO” – and you’d be right. But not only does Sweden have a major military force; it’s also recently submitted its NATO application and is on its way to become a member of the alliance. We wanted to introduce a skin that, in a way, represents the long, winding road from the end of the Cold War to our days. And few vehicles represent it better than this particular T-72.


East-German T-72, Worthington Tank Museum in Ontario

It started its life in the Soviet Union. It was built by UVZ in the September of 1977, judging from the serial number, and exported in the early 1980s (likely between 1981 and 1983) as one of the first T-72s to East Germany (later production T-72 Ural tanks in East Germany were built in Czechoslovakia and didn’t have the obsolete optical rangefinders). It likely saw a decade or more of service before the unification of both halves of Germany under one banner – and it wasn’t the one of socialism. Following the merge of both militaries into modern Bundeswehr, Germany got rid of a large number of its ex-Soviet equipment, including its T-72s.

Some of them went to museums, some of them were sold to third world countries – and some of them were used as OPFOR forces in western militaries. And such was the case of this specific T-72, serial number G09WT5146. It was amongst the 9 tanks of its kind sold to Sweden to serve as an OPFOR vehicle. It retained its Warsaw Pact green paintjob but received a new Swedish number and a new name – “Wittmann”.


T-72 Wittman, Sweden, 2008

The name isn’t random of course – Swedes have a thing for calling ex-German OPFOR vehicles with WW2-related commander names. Some Swedish sources claim the vehicle is named after August Wittmann, a German Wehrmacht general (much like other such vehicles are called Monty or Rommel), although, to be fair, the origins of the name are somewhat anecdotal.


BMP-1 Monty, Sweden

What is sure, however, is that the tank served with the Skaraborg Regiment (designation P 4) garrisoned in Skövde (southern Sweden). Many Swedish soldiers would learn of Soviet vehicle weaknesses from this tank for a number of years until its retirement around 2005. The vehicle was then transferred to the Axval armor museum (Pansarmuseet i Axval), the largest of its kind in Sweden back then.


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Unfortunately, it was decided in late 2007 that the museum would be closed and its collections transferred to the now-famous Swedish Arsenalen museum where it rests to this day.

We decided to model the vehicle the way it appeared in 2008 during the Axval museum farewell event where it could be seen driving around, a tired old warrior ready to finally sleep in a comfy air-conditioned hall the Arsenalen museum has several of.


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There’s the question of the vehicle model’s identity too. The vehicle is on several websites incorrectly listed as a T-72M1. We are aware of this discrepancy but have chosen to model it based on the M1 anyway because it does have a rather cool model, for one, and the T-72M1 will also be available during the pre-order.


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And finally, the question is – “when will the pre-order be available”?


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Very likely in February. But first we have to tell you more about the upcoming Battle Path – so stay tuned and follow the Armored Warfare portal for more info. But until then:

See you on the battlefield!

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