Cuban T-72s

I’ve used the term “Cuban T-72s” to refer to a very interesting phenomenon in fiction, especially contemporary fiction. Which is to say, something that’s technically inaccurate but makes an incredible amount of intuitive sense. And it’s technically achievable as well. What is a Cuban T-72?

Well, despite being one of the premier Soviet clients, Cuba has never operated T-72 tanks. T-72s are, of course, a common Soviet export tank. So even though Cuba historically never moved beyond the T-62 despite being actively engaged in Angola, if a thriller novel or alternate timeline had them operating that autoloaded tank, I would let it slide.

So if the rest of the work is pretty good, I can let things like wrong calibers off the hook. Especially if there’s an understandable reason why the author would think that way. Note that this only applies to small things like that-someone like Ian Slater who constantly gets the easiest-to-check facts wrong is not a “Cuban T-72.”

One thought on “Cuban T-72s

  1. acesarz

    Did you notice the shifting Caliber of the BMD in A2C? Went from 73, to 37. I think it’s because the NS-37 is the main armament on one of my favorite planes of World War II.


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