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Modern Russian tank tactics

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Unless I missed something in reading it...it sounds like the "new" Russian tactic is...area fire of suspected enemy positions. Nothing revolutionary there. And extremely wasteful of precious tank ammo. 

If anything...it seems to confirm that they know that their sighting systems are lacking(vs Western systems) since it is implied that they don't expect to spot western tanks first. They are HOPING that the western tanks will "reveal themselves by firing". Thereby allowing their "sniper tanks with special crews" to target them.

Then there is stuff about fighting from trenches and behind berms. Not exactly practical when engaged in mobile tank warfare...

The only thing I agree with them on is... that a tight-knit crew functioning as a team is vital....

 

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12 hours ago, cbennett88 said:

Then there is stuff about fighting from trenches and behind berms. Not exactly practical when engaged in mobile tank warfare...

I read something several years ago that implied that the Israelies had a handle on it. According to this article, they were assigning a bulldozer to every company of tanks to provide a hasty defense. Just a pile of dirt I assume, but every little bit helps.

Michael

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Dogma falls victim to experience. Now that the Russians have some actual combat under their belts (this century) the theories of armchair tacticians fades into the background. I recall in Vietnam M48s would engage in what they called 'recon by fire'. We do that in the game as well. Put a few rounds into a suspicious building, put some mg fire into a copse of trees.

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Reminded me of pragmatic use in WW2 of US tank destroyers i.e. M10 when there weren't enemy tanks about and there was use to be made of finite life gun barrels, in leu of more appropriate targets, rather than have them standing around with nothing to do. Would their rotation / shoot & scoot tactics be effective against Javalin?

Not sure what the 'special sniper tanks' are about - best tank crew chosen (from peers or top down?) to get the juicy popping up mole pickings?

Edited by Wicky

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The Ukrainian Prime Minister came out yesterday and said also that due to their military being involved in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that they are more prepared now than in 2014 for actual combat should it ever arise.  Could the Ukrainians ever stop an armoured invasion by the Russians?

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2 hours ago, Bootie said:

Could the Ukrainians ever stop an armoured invasion by the Russians?

Depends. My guess is that if the Russians wanted in bad enough, they would make a way somehow. The real question is how bad is bad enough?

Michael

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13 hours ago, Bootie said:

The Ukrainian Prime Minister came out yesterday and said also that due to their military being involved in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that they are more prepared now than in 2014 for actual combat should it ever arise.  Could the Ukrainians ever stop an armoured invasion by the Russians?

Limited invasion like in 2014 - yes. But if Russia will expand warfare area on other directions (Crimea, Chernihiv - Kharkiv), all will depend from acceptable level of losses in Russian troops and their goals in such invasion. In 2014 rugged fight in sector A (Luhansk direction) foiled plans of Russia to destroy Ukaininan troops and to develop own success futher to administrative border of Lihansk region or even on Kharkiv direction. Level of Russian losses wasn't too high, but even such level and successful escape of Ukrainain troops has made further advance inexpedient. Instead a "blitzkrig" Russian group could stuck in positional fights - they hadn't too much forces forces and time for that. 

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On 11/23/2018 at 9:06 AM, cbennett88 said:

Unless I missed something in reading it...it sounds like the "new" Russian tactic is...area fire of suspected enemy positions. Nothing revolutionary there. And extremely wasteful of precious tank ammo.  

It is not really new. "Tank Carousel" was used in Chechnya. In fact it is just using of echelones. 1-st echelones fires, 2-nd covers, 3-rd reloads. Indirect tank fire is not new either. It was learned by heavy tank crews already in 1950s. But combining with drones and C2 systems it can be interesting.

Something like British "pepperbox", but more accurate thanks to modern technologies. Typical formation is BTG, 10 tanks, 30 bmps. Just imagine 40 barrels giving 5-10 shots at their objective ahead before attacking. Compare it to battalion's organic 6 82mm tubes and 6 AGS-30!

Why to save 125mm HEs if they explode in burning tank in case of failed attack?

Edited by DMS

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35 minutes ago, DMS said:

Why to save 125mm HEs if they explode in burning tank in case of failed attack?

If you plan for failure...😉

Because...those rounds are going to come in handy when you are fighting infantry in an urban environment. 

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Just now, cbennett88 said:

Because...those rounds are going to come in handy when you are fighting infantry in an urban environment. 

Urban enviroment is a good reason to launch "carousel", reloading 1 platoon of 3. Classic Soviet tactics encourages to use echelones: 1-st echelone attacks enemy in the outskirts of the city, 2-nd goes in being prepared to urban combat. So 1-st echelone would go back to reload HEs, while 2-nd continues assault. Somewhat carousel of larger scale.


 

.

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13 hours ago, DMS said:

Urban enviroment is a good reason to launch "carousel", reloading 1 platoon of 3.

Totally agree!

But...that isn't the situation described in the article. There, the tactic/technique was to be used in tank vs tank warfare(against western tanks).

It's not like I don't see that tanks can be used in a variety of roles other than strictly tank vs tank fighting. And...yes...if they have nothing else they can be used for, then by all means, re-purpose them as "artillery", etc. But...(from my reading of the article) the "new tactic" seemed to be about tank vs tank warfare. I still hold that, while the technique of "area fire" to expose hidden enemy tanks/positions is valid...the job is much better done by artillery(which the Russians have never been in short supply of!).

BTW...it did just occur to me...doesn't every round fired from the main gun of the tank progressively (slightly) degrade the accuracy of the gun(even smooth bore)..leading to lower muzzle velocity, greater dispersion, etc? I know muzzle reference systems help correct for this but...if you are lowering the accuracy and penetration of your primary weapon (even slightly) every time, why would you willingly do so right before the part of the battle where you'll need those factors the most(i.e. tank vs tank)??

 

Found these on barrel wear IF you like REALLY technical reading 💤💤😴...

http://www.naun.org/main/NAUN/mechanics/17-292.pdf

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214914718300217

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20 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

And the US army was using indirect fire from tanks and TDs in WW II.

Michael

This. Emrys is totally right, in fact this is probably what the majority of some types of tank/TD (especially tds) ended up using their cannons mostly doing for lack of better more effective use to put them to.

I mean jeesh not only was indirect tank fire used then, and indirect MG fire from all sides, Ive read plenty of accounts of indirect MG fire from the British and German side even in WW1. I mention the indirect machine gun fire because this is another inventive way of using a weapon that would be useful and not probably immediately thought up or ever intended for when said weapon was designed, just as indirect tank fire is.

So no, unfortunately as much as anyone wants to believe the Russians invented indirect tank fire or it came about in the 50s - no it was old hat. I know the Kremlin would love for us to think the Russians invented every way of fighting and weapon and have unlimited powers sometimes, and certainly the Russians are very dangerous and worthy opponents; but this revisionist military history stuff coming out of Russia these days gets a bit old. @DMS this isnt really directed at you - I want to point that out because your statement caused my response but its not personal to you and I know language can be a barrier in communications on what I can read for what you provide and what you talk about. That said I can speak maybe 3 or 4 words of Russian and you can hold a conversation on an english speaking forum about military history and I tipmy hat to you on that.

( O/T - I know - and influenced by much eye rolling reading about the head of the Russian equivalent to NASA saying they wanted to check if the US really landed on the moon on 1969. Give. Me. A. Break. The Cold War is over get over it. Who cares if it even was a hoax, does that really change anything for anyone? It does seem like a colossal waste of money to possibly, maybe, embarass the actions of people in the US govt in 1969?)

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9 hours ago, cbennett88 said:

It's not like I don't see that tanks can be used in a variety of roles other than strictly tank vs tank fighting. And...yes...if they have nothing else they can be used for, then by all means, re-purpose them as "artillery", etc. But...(from my reading of the article) the "new tactic" seemed to be about tank vs tank warfare. I still hold that, while the technique of "area fire" to expose hidden enemy tanks/positions is valid...the job is much better done by artillery(which the Russians have never been in short supply of!). 

May be they plan to use sort of semi-direct fire, when tank platoon fires from 3-4 (5? 6?) kms under control of forward observer or a drone? From open position. Enemy tank will have to show up and fire to cover infantry. At very large distance Russian tank armor has a chance to defeat modern projectile.

I think that Russian planners are realists and do not expect that tanks will suffer few casualties. If tank wores out barrel - it is a good case.

3 hours ago, Sublime said:

Russians invented indirect tank fire or it came about in the 50s

No, I didn't mean that! It was used before, by Soviets too, but not just by Soviets of course.

I mean that Soviet generals planned to compensate low artillery numbers in tank divisions actively using indirect tank fire. It was not just a possibility, but a regular drill. For regiments armed with T-10 tanks and ISU-152 spgs.

3 hours ago, Sublime said:

the Russian equivalent to NASA saying they wanted to check if the US really landed on the moon

They say it was a joke. Jokers...

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Meh I dont believe it was a joke. I think the reaction just wasnt what they expected and Putin probably called the guy and said "Your making us look like asses"

Like I said It was not personal to you DMS, not saying you re the one makin wild claims on hehalf of the Russian govt :)

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Experience of tank firing from close positions turned out very useful in Donbas war. First attempts to recall forgotten tactic appeared probably in late 2015, when the war became positional and army became to receive from volunteers PDAs with artillery soft and maps, tied in local networks. After that old tactic got "second birth". As example I could remember destroying of enemy BMP in the trench near Dokuchayevsk with two shots of SPG-9 also from close position with targeting from UAV, which transmitted coordinates on the PDA of SPG crew.

Now this tactic is embedding on the level of each squad. Of course mech.squad leaders havn't PDAs yet, but on the trainings each BMP-1 crewman and even each squad trooper must be able to decide elementary work of artillery spotter. The article about it (in Ukrainain😞http://www.mil.gov.ua/news/2018/11/24/pihota-vtilyue-v-zhittya-novu-taktiku-zastosuvannya-ozbroennya-bmp/

Edited by Haiduk

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Back circa 2000 Donald Rumsfeld was calling it 'transformational warfare', using technology as a force multiplier. It didn't always work as advertised (sometimes it didn't work at all). But often it was quite useful. The US no longer has a monopoly on 'transformational warfare'. When the Pentagon made a study of 'lessons learned' from the Ukraine conflict they reached some worrying conclusions about their own preparedness. Its been a long time since they've gone toe-to-toe with a technologically sophisticated first world  opponent.

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On 7/20/2019 at 7:55 PM, MikeyD said:

Back circa 2000 Donald Rumsfeld was calling it 'transformational warfare', using technology as a force multiplier. It didn't always work as advertised (sometimes it didn't work at all). But often it was quite useful. The US no longer has a monopoly on 'transformational warfare'. When the Pentagon made a study of 'lessons learned' from the Ukraine conflict they reached some worrying conclusions about their own preparedness. Its been a long time since they've gone toe-to-toe with a technologically sophisticated first world  opponent.

The irony is that the war in Ukraine is not exactly representative of large scale mechanized warfare either.

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I saw a comment in an article a couple years ago that Ukrainian 'rebels' were fielding a larger operational tank fleet than the whole German army.

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7 minutes ago, MikeyD said:

I saw a comment in an article a couple years ago that Ukrainian 'rebels' were fielding a larger operational tank fleet than the whole German army.

Yes, but they are still sitting in positional warfare and small unit tactical fighting.

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From the article:

In Syria, militants don't bother with planning strategic offensives and drawing arrows on operational maps, but rather adhere to the mobile tactics of guerilla warfare – guessing the strength of government positions, rushing in on high-speed jihad-mobiles, making precise strikes and quickly disappearing.

That's their problem imo. Without any coherence at the strategic level, not surprising that they lose.

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18 hours ago, MikeyD said:

I saw a comment in an article a couple years ago that Ukrainian 'rebels' were fielding a larger operational tank fleet than the whole German army.

They have sufficient lack of tank crews (especially drivers) and spare parts for tanks. So, significant part of their armor is unoperational. Though, in case of escalation, crews can be quicly formed from "vacationers".

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In Belton Cooper's 'Death Traps' he commented that tank losses were so unexpectedly high in the European theater that there weren't enough replacement crews coming from the states. For awhile Sherman tank crews might be seen going into battle either missing a man (pull a man out of four tanks to crew a fifth) or with a conscripted infantryman filling in as 'seat warmers'. General Patton resorted to passing out directives to crews that were little more than the most basic tactics advice. In WWII the US had an endemic problem with the shrinking number of veteran soldiers being VETERANS while the ever-growing percentage of piecemeal replacement troops were NOT. The US attempted a 'cohort' troop replacement system of full unit withdrawal and retraining to keep everyone in the unit on the same page but that kind'a fell apart with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

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