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Soviet vs. Allied Tactics and Operations


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This will probably turn into one of those essay length topics, but that's a good thing for me.

I'm hoping somebody here in the know will outline the major differences between Soviet and NATO doctrine of the tactical and operational level.

It would be great if someone could note the differences as early as WW2 as well.

Thanks.

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Would have to agree -- your questions would in fact require an essay, or several. However perhaps more on point would be reference to any number of open source references. Of course for US doctrine, take a look a the CD for sale on this site. However "NATO" doctrine is probably harder to track down, especially for the period before the wall fell. To the best of my recollection there was no NATO tactical doctrine -- tactical doctrine was simply the member nation's doctrine for that sector. For the operational level -- you'd have to try to track down alliance political--military documents of that era. For the soviet side, though one can use the recent FMs on the OPFOR on the CD, better is to use the old FM 100-2-1,2,3 series on the Soviets. Hard to find, but good reference. For a very good overall coverage look for the Scott's "The Armed Forces of the Soviet Union" from Westview Press I believe, very good operational level reference. If you really want to dig into primary source material, try to find "Tactika" kind of a Soviet 100-5 from the late '80s (Canadian intel folks translated). Long post, but big questions, one final thought -- our doctrines are derived from "our" histories and analyzes of those histories. Thus "AirLand Battle" is an American read on history, technology, and the way to succeed against a numerically superior foe, as was the soviet doctrine of echeloned forces, massive artillery support and "push logistics" their best stab at how to win offensively in the face of precision weapons and potentially NBC use. JFB

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job151,

Excellent post. Thanks for all the references. I don't have access to them all, but what I do will help me.

Is there any way to get the OPFOR stuff without ordering the CD? I'm a student with no money.

I'm reading "The Soviet Conduct of Tactical Maneuver: Spearhead of the Offensive" by David Glantz right now. I think it is pretty good and it covers a lot, but who knows what I'm missing.

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>Is there any way to get the OPFOR stuff

>without ordering the CD? I'm a student

>with no money.

Look in the 'TacOps Library' folder that is on your TacOps v3.x CD. There are several OPFOR manuals in there.

A good number of folks don't notice that folder at install time.

------------------

Best regards, Major H

majorh@mac.com

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Glantz is a great place to start; especially since he has paid better attention than most to what the Soviets meant by what they wrote in their manuals! The various US Opfor ppublications aren't bad but did not always quite grasp what the Soviets were trying to do.

Do you have access to a good research library? If so, you ought to be able to get a fair amount of material (there's a lot out by Glantz. 8)

Other than Glantz, you might look for:

Orenstein (editor/translator), _The Evolution of Soviet Operational Art_ - an excellent collection of translated documents & articles.

Trindafillov, _The Nature of the Operations of Modern Armies_ (1928) is one of the key books in the Soviet's development of operational art. The other, albeit in a none too hot translation, is Svechin's _Strategy_. Neither is an easy read.

Finally, some easier reading: Dmitri Loza's _Commanding the Red Army's Sherman Tanks_ is a good look at a worm's-eye view of the Eastern Front from the Soviet side.

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Try an Internet search on the word 'ATDL'.

That should lead you to the Army Digital Library. There are a lot of field manuals there but they don't have a consistent viewing and navgation format and they are not as easily to use as the edited versions that I provide.

------------------

Best regards, Major H

majorh@mac.com

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