The late arrival of M1A1 Abrams tanks caused a reshuffle of tanks just weeks prior to the summer offensive.
Ukrainian 47th Mechanized Brigade was designed to be equipped primarily with US-supplied vehicles, including M1A1 Abrams tanks, multiple sources confirmed. Unlike many other units, 47th Mechanized Brigade was sent abroad in almost full strength, encompassing tankers and rear components.
Mechanized battalions received M2A2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, while the tank battalion received M1 Abrams tanks. They all trained together in Germany, practicing various scenarios and assault operations. However, the tank battalion stayed behind prior to returning to Ukraine. The training on the M1A1 Abrams took longer than expected, and the transfer of M1A1 Abrams tanks was not approved in time.
The situation has placed the 47th Mechanized Brigade in an uncomfortable position, as it was intended to be the main force leading the Ukrainian offensive towards Melitopol. The Ukrainian command, unable to wait, made the decision to reassign a tank battalion from the 1st Tank Brigade. This particular battalion had recently returned to Ukraine with Leopard 2A6 tanks.
The tankers of the 47th Mechanized Brigade stayed in Germany, and waited for the approval. They have returned to Ukraine this fall, bringing their M1A1 Abrams tanks with them. It is yet to be determined whether they will be assigned back to the 47th Mechanized Brigade or to a different unit.