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Cuddles the Warmonger

American vs. Sov..err Russian Infantry

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I know the quality of an infantry force cannot be seen just through numbers and data alone, but traditionally some forces have been seen as better than others. That being said, is there a certain hierarchy to the infantry of CMBS (in this case not counting special weapons, just the regular grunt). Would it look something like American>Russian>Ukranian or American~Russian>Ukranian (I'm completely spit balling here and just going from the traditional military standpoint, based off of Soviet Afghanistan, Russian Georgia, American Iraq, etc..)

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It'd be better as a weirdo ovoid three part venn diagram.  US infantry will likely trend towards better, between some really awesome capabilities (XM-25, Javelin, every squad is a spotter for fires as part of the boring old standard rifle squads) and likely a higher quality due to uniformly volunteer "lifer" type units in play.  However some of the better Russian units will likely touch into the realm of US squad for squad functionality.  And while not as sexy hardware decked out, they do have some good stuff (more night vision than Ukrainian forces at least, RPG-29s, functional dismounted coms).  Conversely some of their dudes are going to be the not as well trained "Russian modernization is still catching up" guys, which will likely be closer to on par with the Ukrainians.  Ukrainians will have some really good units that stack up well against peer level Russian forces, but almost none of the cool sexy gadgets, and more than a few Ukrainian units more or less magicked into existence in the last few months, so while doing a-okay against well armed separatists, might struggle against the full force of the Russian military.  

 

Don't think you can dispute the squad for squad aspect of the US on top, just for the technical capabilities alone, but I'm sure the other countries will have some force structures that are not SOF but still worth a damn.  

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so while doing a-okay against well armed separatists, might struggle against the full force of the Russian military.  

 

I almost agree with all of your comments except for this one. Unfortunately there is nothing a-okay about Ukranian military perfornmance even when facing lightly (let alone well-armed speratists). Besides  the individual soldier valor and bravery which have been proven to be highly admorable on many occasions - I tend to see their overall capacity and skill no higher that of the Iraqi army (circa 2003). Russian army has plenty of its own issues (espcially when compared to us); but their "vacationer" insertion in Agust of 2014 (while operating with extremely limited support and SOPs) sort of let's you know where the balance of power lies there....

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My grandfathers and other Finnish veterans of WW2 consider to think, that russian soldiers were respected as an enemy in many ways. Rugged people with good endurance and capability to withstand hard and horrible conditions in the field. Brave and sneaky enemy too in fights, something to be really worried about and to respect.

 

I don't think that these characteristics have changed in the past 70 years.

 

And one thing I know for sure, is the brilliance of russian mindset to design and produce basic infantry equipment. Their assault rifles, general purpose and heavy machineguns, automatic grenade launchers, hand grenades, RPGs, Mortars and basic artillery pieces and some of the vehicles (especially military trucks and mt-lb's :wub: ) are the best I know, although im not an expert.  Simplicity, ruggednes and reliability are the characteristics I admire the most with such equipment, when serving in the field. 

 

Their small arms ammunition characteristics, quality and the purpose to spare valuable resources are also the best overall compromise I know. For example, with 7.62mm and 5.45mm projectiles they invest heavily in penetration over fragmentation in terminal- and barrier performace and Russians also do it with saving valuable resources like copper and lead, and using cheaper steel instead with various components. 

Edited by wee

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My grandfathers and other Finnish veterans of WW2 consider to think, that russian soldiers were respected as an enemy in many ways. Rugged people with good endurance and capability to withstand hard and horrible conditions in the field. Brave and sneaky enemy too in fights, something to be really worried about and to respect.

 

Same characrteristics would apply to the Ukranians as well though, wouldn't they? In fact, most of the units that had fought in the Winter War of 1940 had come out of Ukraine...

 

I don't think that these characteristics have changed in the past 70 years.

 

Maybe not,  few would question the toughness and courage of Russian (or Ukrainian) solders - but I think that here we are talking about overall infantry training strandards and associated tactics here.

 

And one thing I know for sure, is the brilliance of russian mindset to design and produce basic infantry equipment. Their assault rifles, general purpose and heavy machineguns, automatic grenade launchers, hand grenades, RPGs, Mortars and basic artillery pieces and some of the vehicles (especially military trucks and mt-lb's :wub: ) are the best I know, although im not an expert.  Simplicity, ruggednes and reliability are the characteristics I admire the most with such equipment, when serving in the field. 

 

Their small arms ammunition characteristics, quality and the purpose to spare valuable resources are also the best overall compromise I know. For example, with 7.62mm and 5.45mm projectiles they invest heavily in penetration over fragmentation in terminal- and barrier performace and Russians also do it with saving valuable resources like copper and lead, and using cheaper steel instead with various components. 

 

I see your point, and I certainly would hate for this to turn into another unecessary AK-47 vs. M-16 debate. However, a counter-argument is that their infantry personal gear and uniforms were absolutely deplorable (by our standards) up untill a few years ago... The truth is - infantry was always sort of an afterthought in Soviet military doctrine (perhaps for good reasons) up untill last few years and the results of that neglected aproach (while changing) are still quite evident in modern day Russian Army.

Edited by DreDay

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No need for that from my behalf. I've shot both platforms a lot, and I simply love them both, and I see the benefits and advantages both platforms have over each other. My opinnion is that comparsion of AK and AR family weapons is very difficult and doensn't serve any real purpose. Personally, I have formed an opinnion that AKs are more like "heavy submachine guns" and AR family weapons more like "light infantry rifles", from standpoints of tactical doctrine where they were designed originally.

 

I also never ment that Russian weapon systems and equipment (not to speak about personell and people) are superior to their western counterparts. I personally like their equipment, respect their design mindset and product characteristics. Same thing also applies with equally many western military hardware and products. I placed my words in earlier post little unclearly. I just like to pick up the good parts from both of the systems and military mindset, "east european and west european", so to speak. ;)

 

I totally agree with you about the western training standards. It seems to be more humane and personell (subordinates) are treated more better while the training is at least as good. I've heard "horror stories" over the years where russian conscripts have gotten beaten, teased and abused by their superiors, senior soldiers and older cadres. I've never understood what's the purpose of such old tradition and how it serves the development of team spirit and training results. I would never ever want to serve or be part of similar military tradition.    

Edited by wee

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No need for that from my behalf. I've shot both platforms a lot, and I simply love them both, and I see the benefits and advantages both platforms have over each other. My opinnion is that comparsion of AK and AR family weapons is very difficult and doensn't serve any real purpose. Personally, I have formed an opinnion that AKs are more like "heavy submachine guns" and AR family weapons more like "light infantry rifles", from standpoints of tactical doctrine where they were designed originally.

 

I also never ment that Russian weapon systems and equipment (not to speak about personell and people) are superior to their western counterparts. I personally like their equipment, respect their design mindset and product characteristics. Same thing also applies with equally many western military hardware and products. I placed my words in earlier post little unclearly.

 

Fair enoght good sir, I did not mean to call you out on it; just more of a friendly debate.. I would certainly agree and support everything that you've stated in this latest post.

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Best to just scale it to Veterancy/training sliders, equipment aside.  CMSF did this, IIRC.  

 

Agreed. I would even prefer to have other "aside" sliders like force morale, C3, etc...

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Fair enoght good sir, I did not mean to call you out on it; just more of a friendly debate.. I would certainly agree and support everything that you've stated in this latest post.

 

Ah, the friendly debate is something I like and value very high, especially with sophisticated and cultivated people like you, Sir.

 

I also never got any other feeling from your earlier post. An earlier posts, which I like very much.  Let's also drop the titles and formatilities, you can call me Tapio if you like. :)

 

-Tapio

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Ah, the friendly debate is something I like and value very high, especially with sophisticated and cultivated people like you, Sir.

 

I also never got any other feeling from your earlier post. An earlier posts, which I like very much.  Let's also drop the titles and formatilities, you can call me Tapio if you like. :)

 

-Tapio

 

Likewise Tapio. It's always a pleasure to share my thoughts with a worthy match. Sorry for the "sir" gig... old habits die hard. You can call me Dre (not a Dr, but I do have an MBA) :P

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US better at shooting while RU better in suppresive fire and movement due to better APCs.

Most of US inf are ride in Strykers and HMMVEs. Most MSV use BTRs.

 

To keep our friendly debate going - what makes Strykers inferior to BTRs? BTRs have a better main gun (especially if talking about BTR-80A/82A), but they have worse protection, FC, optics, and navigation gear. Now as far as dismounted infantry aspect of it - US infantry squads are made out of 9 men that split into 2 equally capable fireteams (each having a SAW), while Russian MSV squads are made up of 6 men that split into a fire-support team (TL + RPG + MG) and an assault team (3 riflemen). US seems to exert more firepower in such breakdown... Now I don't think that it's all that productive to compare individual squad OOBs outside of their higher formations - but I hope that you see my point....

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Dre and Weer,

 

Not to forget that bigger fireteams not only have more firepower but those can sustain more casualties, before they start to fallback and drop their mission objective. Four man fireteam suffering two man casualty still have two man left while three man fireteam has only one. Two men have theoretically twice the firepower and better possibilities to achieve their objective compared to single man "last man standing".

 

Four man fireteam can also be easily be subdivided to two patrols with two man each if needed, which means more dynamical capabilities in the mission and "more cards to play"  from my, or squad leader's point of view.

Edited by wee

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What's the situation in US and RF basic motorized/mechanized infantry platoons with communication equipment? How many men have those? Only Platoon leader? Squad or assistant squadleader? Single riflemen? Specialists?

 

Commos have significant impact on capabilities and performance of the unit, not only to lead the troops effectively but also to reduce leader casualties.

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Dre and Weer,

 

Not to forget that bigger fireteams not only have more firepower but those can sustain more casualties, before they start to fallback and drop their mission objective. Four man fireteam suffering two man casualty still have two man left while three man fireteam has only one. Two men have theoretivally twice the firepower and better possibilities to achieve their objective compared to single man "last man standing".

 

Four man fireteam can also be easily be subdivided to two patrols with two man each if needed, which means more dynamical capabilities in the mission and "more cards to play"  from my, or squad leader's point of view.

 

That is an excellent point (much like the argument that our 4 tank Pls are better than Soviet 3 tank Pls for much the same reasons). Of course, the counter argument to this has always been - does it really matter when one of your squads is going to be fighting against an entire platoon of enemy infantry and APCs/IFVs? That's where the operational aspects of combat come in and tactical ones tend to take a second seat; that's why I was careful to preface my post by saying that comparing individual unit OOBs is not that productive outside of looking at their higher formations and associated role that they perform within that formation’s operational doctrine...

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What's the situation in US and RF basic motorized/mechanized infantry platoons with communication equipment? How many men have those? Only Platoon leader? Squad or assistant squadleader? Single riflemen? Specialists?

 

Commos have significant impact on capabilities and performance of the unit, not only to lead the troops effectively but also to reduce leader casualties.

 

At this point both militaries are trying to equip each individual rifelman with some form of radio and GPS/GOLASS positioning device. US is definitely further along, but the Russians are catching up quick. At the very least, SLs and porbably even TLs would have portable radios in both armies by now...

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I think the quality of non weapons gear depends on if the Ratnik goes into masses or not, as it is a fairly good set of equipment for an infantryman.

 

You might very well know this, but Ratnik is just a set of standards for all aspects of infantry gear (including comms, cammo, weapons, med kits, etc...) Whether or not it gets deployed as a whole, Russians have been on a roll to upgrade their squad-level comms and navigation gear ever since the conflict with Georgia in 2008. I have a strong suspicion that they would continue on that track regardless of other Ratnik components. After all - look at the "polite men" in Crimea last year - almost all had secure comms gear, and that's no joke even by modern standards...

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 worse protection

 

They have the same.

ACs, RPGs and .50 will penetrate them bouth.

FC, optics

 

Here i will agree. But still 30mm AC is a huge boost.

 

Now as far as dismounted infantry aspect

 

There is no dismounted inf in MSV. Each BTR or BMP are part of the infantry section just like any other soldier in it.

while Russian MSV squads are made up of 6 men that split into a fire-support team (TL + RPG + MG) and an assault team (3 riflemen).

 

They never split coz russian section are smaller then US one. Sure some soldiers can be assignet to the some sort of task but they will not do it regulary.

US seems to exert more firepower in such breakdown...

 

As i said above MSV section will allways have support from BTR or BMP.

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I think the quality of non weapons gear depends on if the Ratnik goes into masses or not, as it is a fairly good set of equipment for an infantryman.

 

Ratnik is too damn heavy I think. Add rest of the stuff and equipment to it and the standard payload would be incredible. Only few men out of the many can still be fast and manueverable under that load. Rest of the guys will get fatigued, exhaused, slow and clumsy quickly. I presume that only the best of the best will get that Ratnik gear and rest of the guys will continue to fight with 1980s and 90s ballistic protective gear.

 

Like old ssh40 steel helmets were still seen with russian soldiers (mostly sailors I think) during Crimean crisis in last May.

 

I've been thinking the ballistic protective gear last years. You definetly need some for sure, but I think the equipment is getting too heavy and cumbersome, starting to hinder too much the average rifleman. Every kilo added to ballistic gear reduces soldiers capabilities to carry ammunition, various grenades, RPGs and water to the battlefield. And that's the equipment you primary need to repel the enemy.

 

Ps. Nothing bad to say from ssh40. One of my favourite steel pots. Very comfortable to wear and chinstrap is very easy to use securely. I think it's more comfortable to use and chinstrap is more easily operated than the Finnish composite/kevlar helmets designed in 1990s.

Edited by wee

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What's the situation in US and RF basic motorized/mechanized infantry platoons with communication equipment?

 

For now section leader and senior gunner have the radios. When the Ratnik will show up MSV will have the same netcentric gear as the us army.

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There is no dismounted inf in MSV. Each BTR or BMP are part of the infantry section just like any other soldier in it.

 

As i said above MSV section will allways have support from BTR or BMP.

 

I think you both are right. I think Dre means with "dismounted" that the Motostrelki fight dismounted, with close proximity of their BTR/BMP giving the needed firesupport.

 

Guys, please tell me. MSV, what that acronym stands for? Motostrelki... something, or am I totally lost? 

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They have the same.

ACs, RPGs and .50 will penetrate them bouth.

 

Well that's true in general, but Strykers have heavier armor, SLAT protection against RPGs, and an overall good record of surviving multiple RPG/HMG/IED strikes in Iraq. I am not sure that BTRs can match that...

 

Here i will agree. But still 30mm AC is a huge boost.

 

Sure, but an ol' .50 cal with TI sights and good FC can still be more beneficial under many scenarios...

 

There is no dismounted inf in MSV. Each BTR or BMP are part of the infantry section just like any other soldier in it.

 

I am not sure I know what you mean... BTR and BMP squads operate as a whole (APC/IFV and riflemen working together)... but of course they carry dismounts that operate outside of the vehicle in most combat engagements...

 

They never split coz russian section are smaller then US one. Sure some soldiers can be assignet to the some sort of task but they will not do it regulary.

 

With all due respect, I think that you might be a little behind times on this one - current Russian doctrine calls for the dismounted infantry squad to be split into to sections as I have mentioned above. It is not as engrained as US fireteam concept, but it is somewhat similar and that is also something they very much train for. They no longer advance in line formation with "left/right go, I am covering" as per old Soviet doctrine.

 

As i said above MSV section will allways have support from BTR or BMP.

 

Agreed, but how is that different from our doctrine for mechanized/motorized forces?

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