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Soviet tank commander, in ou out?


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i am by no means expert but, judging by their gung-ho doctrine, i'd assume commander is most likely expected/ordered to be unbuttoned at least up to 300-400m from the enemy line when the tanks get close support from infantry. this is me only guessing though, hipefully someone with actual knowledge chips in.

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4 minutes ago, mbarbaric said:

i'd assume commander is most likely expected/ordered to be unbuttoned at least up to 300-400m

He is more effective in tank vs tank engagement if you chat about WW2. In the game to unbutton has more purposes. If the infantry has spotted enemy armor and wants to share his intel with a tank, the tank needs to be unbuttoned. The infantryman needs to be closer than 30 mtr from the tank. I would advise against unbuttoning at 300 meter. Any rifleman can take out the tank commander. What you likely to see, is the tank popping smoke and reversing and won't show up till the end of the game. 

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Soviet doctrine was to fight buttoned. "Why" isn't entirely clear to me, but I imagine it's a number of factors - NBC, vulnerability to small arms since you're planning to close aggressively, the general low height of the Soviet armour, etc. It's probably a combination of factors.

The unbuttoned position for Soviet TCs isn't really conducive to it either - they're pretty exposed.

In practical terms, it shouldn't really matter. If you're following Soviet doctrine, you're massing armour in line, and so making up for poor spotting with multiple rolls of the dice - ten tanks with poor spotting will have the edge over one with better optics, at least until you start hitting Abrams and the technological edge takes over.

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@domfluff, that sounds reasonable. If you have 10 tanks against one. It doesn´t really matter, that the one spots first, because it will reveal itself when it fires the first shot. Even if it does kill one of your tanks with the first shoot (and more kills with the first shot are not possible), now the other 9 tanks now where it is and will start open fire against it.
And there is even a high chance that the tank will not hit or that the first shot will be deflected by the armor.
In addition, moving targets are by nature easier to spot than standing ones. So even if soviet tanks would have the same ability to spot enemy armor than NATO ones, they would still come second. So buttoned up it is.

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It's something that's easiest to see in action in Cpt. Miller's training scenarios.

A typical engagement is that you have your tank company in line, and an enemy tank pops up. One of your tanks might spot it, fire, and miss. They return fire, and miss. Then five of yours return fire and maybe three of them hit and kill it. Everything T-64 and higher has an excessive amount of turret armour, and very few US tanks have laser rangefinders or similar aids, so there's a very good chance of a first round missing, and even if it does hit, there's a good chance that it won't kill with the first hit.

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17 minutes ago, chuckdyke said:

The thermal sights on armored vehicles can detect enemy activity through darkness and smoke, conditions that limit even the best-equipped infantry. I suggest that modern Russian equipment is on par. 

U.S. Army Tank Doctrine (inetres.com)

Sure. No thermals on anything Russian in Cold War.

That's limited to the Dragon, the M60A3 (TTS), the M901, and then later the Bradley/Abrams team.

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Open them hatches and let your tank Commanders ride to Glory.

At this time frame, they all still can spot better from a open hatch.

As was mentioned above, you will want to button them up once you are within range of enemy small arms fire.

 

For most other things, the AI does a decent job of having them button up if they start getting incoming fire.

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1 minute ago, domfluff said:

Sure. No thermals on anything Russian in Cold War.

For ordinary cold and lukewarm objects, the thermal radiation is mostly emitted in the infrared. Over the course of the 1950s, improvements were made to the T-10. Later models had stabilization for their main gun, heavier weapons, NBC equipment, and infra-red lights for night fighting. 6 Soviet Cold War Tanks (warhistoryonline.com) it depends what your definition of thermal is. 

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Correct. An active IR Lamp for fighting at night is something which most of these tanks will have, and will not turn on, because doing so would advertise their position very clearly.

There is no Russian equipment in CM: Cold War that has any thermal optics.

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3 hours ago, domfluff said:

Soviet doctrine was to fight buttoned. "Why" isn't entirely clear to me, but I imagine it's a number of factors - NBC, vulnerability to small arms since you're planning to close aggressively, the general low height of the Soviet armour, etc. It's probably a combination of factors.

The unbuttoned position for Soviet TCs isn't really conducive to it either - they're pretty exposed.

In practical terms, it shouldn't really matter. If you're following Soviet doctrine, you're massing armour in line, and so making up for poor spotting with multiple rolls of the dice - ten tanks with poor spotting will have the edge over one with better optics, at least until you start hitting Abrams and the technological edge takes over.

This is exactly spot on. 

22 minutes ago, domfluff said:

There is no Russian equipment in CM: Cold War that has any thermal optics.

So is this. 

Dom has it right on both counts. 

Quote

it depends what your definition of thermal is. 

Yikes.

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1 hour ago, chuckdyke said:

and infra-red lights for night fighting. it depends what your definition of thermal is. 

most of the IR lights and optics work at near-infrared to Short-wavelength infrared spectrometer .

Thermal sights capture the  Long-wavelength infrared.

 

That's  two sub-division under infrared spectrum, but they have a significant difference on wavelength 

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2 hours ago, chuckdyke said:

I think it means Tank Commander. 

Yes, "TC" does mean "Tank Commander".  It can also mean "Track Commander" when applied to any other kind of tracked vehicle; ranging from Personnel Carriers to Self-propelled Artillery pieces.

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I keep seeing unbuttoned Russian commanders getting offed by non-penetrating hits to the turret. Something you don't see as often with American tanks because the commanders tend to be farther from the impact... and the Russians aren't firing squash head HE rounds at them.

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57 minutes ago, MikeyD said:

Something you don't see as often with American tanks because the commanders tend to be farther from the impact.

The situational awareness could be far better unbuttoned, at least that's what I think. I don't know or this was the case during the timeframe of this game.  

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yesterday I watched US training video about T64/72 and how US are supposed to deal with it. As some in this thread already mentioned, the video said the commander is buttoned down due to chemical threat. so that is that I guess. Will link the video if I can find it again.

 

found the video, quality is quite poor but it is interesting.

 

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Everything I've read about Soviet (and Soviet trained tankers) indicates that the TCs would be buttoned up when fighting. Heads out is fine for road marches. 

 

Americans & Israelis fight heads out and only button up when taking direct fire or under air/artillery attack. You lose more TCs that way but the gain in situational awareness is better (assuming you don't have equipment with independent thermal sights for the TC). 

 

You see the doctrine reflected in the equipment. Soviet TC hatches aren't conducive to fighting buttoned up, NATO equipment is more likely to have things like open protected positions for TC hatches. 

 

H

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7 hours ago, Halmbarte said:

Everything I've read about Soviet (and Soviet trained tankers) indicates that the TCs would be buttoned up when fighting. Heads out is fine for road marches. 

 

Americans & Israelis fight heads out and only button up when taking direct fire or under air/artillery attack. You lose more TCs that way but the gain in situational awareness is better (assuming you don't have equipment with independent thermal sights for the TC). 

 

You see the doctrine reflected in the equipment. Soviet TC hatches aren't conducive to fighting buttoned up, NATO equipment is more likely to have things like open protected positions for TC hatches. 

 

H

This is a good summary of the question. Pretty much nails it on the head. 

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On 5/7/2021 at 3:26 AM, MikeyD said:

I keep seeing unbuttoned Russian commanders getting offed by non-penetrating hits to the turret. Something you don't see as often with American tanks because the commanders tend to be farther from the impact... and the Russians aren't firing squash head HE rounds at them.

Yes. Moreover, while US unbuttoned TCs are only keeping their head above the armour, unbuttoned TCs on Soviet tanks often are literally sitting on the turret roof, thus being more exposed to splinters, blast, ricochets, you name it (although forward-opening hatches partially shield their body).

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On 5/6/2021 at 10:08 AM, Badger73 said:

Yes, "TC" does mean "Tank Commander".  It can also mean "Track Commander" when applied to any other kind of tracked vehicle; ranging from Personnel Carriers to Self-propelled Artillery pieces.

Also, in the case of wheeled fighting vehicles (as in the case of my 3 gun truck escort elements for logistics convoys in Iraq 2005-2006) it also meant Truck Commander.

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On 5/9/2021 at 6:45 PM, ng cavscout said:

Also, in the case of wheeled fighting vehicles (as in the case of my 3 gun truck escort elements for logistics convoys in Iraq 2005-2006) it also meant Truck Commander.

And there is also BC for Bradley Commander. Although in the CW time frame it would have been used for Battalion Commander as well.

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