Elon Musk slammed by ex-US general over Ukraine claim

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The tech billionaire described tanks as a “death trap” in modern combat as he sparked a furious rebuke from the retired commanding general of the US army, Mark Hertling. The tech tycoon had launched a debate online after questioning how Ukraine should use western-supplied equipment against Russia. Musk’s comments came as Kyiv was supplied with tank-killing armoured vehicles as part of the latest multibillion-dollar package of military aid to arrive from the US.

Musk wrote on Twitter: “Tanks are a deathtrap now.

“With neither side having air superiority, you’re left with infantry and artillery – essentially WW1.”

The latest US aid to Ukraine contained 50 Bradley armoured cars along with hundreds of rounds of anti-tank missile ammunition.

Germany has pledged to ship 40 Marder armoured vehicles while Frances has promised AMX-10 tank destroyers. 

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The package has stopped short of sending assault tanks, something Ukraine has been calling for.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky raised the issue of tanks in a video message thanking France’s Emmanuel Macron for the gifting of AMX-10s.

Zelensky said: “There is no rational reason why Ukraine has not yet been supplied with Western tanks.”

Twitter users took to the debate over the use of tanks in Ukraine with some angry at Mush for intervening. 

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Mr Hertling wrote: “Not today, Satan,

“My New Year’s resolution is to not engage with those who offer uninformed opinions when they have zero expertise and even less background/experience on the topic.”

Nicholas Grossman, an International Relations professor at the University of Illinois wrote: “Elon Musk didn’t know what he was talking about when he told Ukraine to give in because Russian victory is inevitable,

“He didn’t when he told Ukraine to give in because Russia will use nukes. He doesn’t when he calls tanks useless.”


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Others appeared to agree with the tycoon over the limited use of tanks in Ukraine. 

Phillips O’Brien, a strategic studies professor at the University of St Andrews, responded: “He’s right on this, only way tanks can survive is if one side has air superiority or if one side has been so attrited it can but weakly resist.”

He added: “They are death traps without air superiority when going forward.

“They have some usage as a form of mobile artillery or a weapon that can apply a coup de grace when the opposing side has been greatly weakened.”

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