Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Red Army Tank Tactics

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Two days after NKO No. 325 was issued, the Voronezh front issued instructions for use of the Front's armored forces.
    NKO N. 325, although it set the general direction for chang within the armored forces,lacked the specificity and tacit practical knowledge necessary to allow subordinate commanders and staffs to implement fully the concept consistently and successfully. A concentric organizational response came with examples of successful actions and methods. By the end of 1942, the War Experience Branch of the Red Army General Staff knew the refinements necessary for a change process.

    Armored warfare progressed from poor tactics and uncoordinated operations at the hands of inexperienced leadership to successful tactical breakthroughs using large tank units led by a core of veteran commanders. The Red Army was rapidly closing the disparity in armored warfare experience with the German Army. In their next period of the war, they would master the operational level of fighting large tank/mobile units.
    Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

    Comment



    • By the beginning of the second period of the war [Soviet military delineation], November 1942 to December 1943, the Red Army had collected a considerable body of combat experience. In the operations around Stalingrad in November 1942, the Red Army inflicted on the German Army its severest defeat of the war.

      Through exploitation of war experiences, the Red Army tank armies and corps created operational-level breakthroughs. Organizational structure of these forces required adjustment. The tank armies were composed of two tank corps, one cavalry corps, and two or three infantry divisions. When the tank corps operated near infantry, such as in the initial stage of breakthrough operations, the purpose of the composite structure was fully served, as the infantry penetrated and the mobile force exploited. But when independent actions of the tank corps, particularly in the depths of the German defense, required rapid, mobile actions, the infantry lagged behind, which not only posed coordination and support problems, but also limited the operational mission and potential of the armored forces.

      While the tank corps structure of corps-brigades with same composition worked, controversy over the structure and composition of the tank army drew the attention of Stalin and senior military leaders. General Pavel Romistrov, an academician and tank corps commander whose star was rising swiftly due to his battlefield exploits, was summoned to Moscow to present the case for the more homogenous tank army structure. He argued for the tank armyís structure to drop infantry divisions to create a fighting force that would be completely mechanized and motorized. The discussions continued for two hours, during which Stalin noted Rotmistrovís vies on the role of tank armies in offensive operations, and it became evident to Rotmistrov that Stalin understood well the significance of massed employment of tank forces.
      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

      Comment


      • From a German digest of battle training intructions (March 1943)
        A captured Russian order calls for the following method of the tank attack:
        a) Tanks advance after an artillery preparation for 1-2 km, then stop (always beyond fire zone of anti-tank guns) and combat hostile anti-tank guns and heavy infantry weapons.
        b) During this firefight infantry advances, catches up with tanks and "fortifies occupied territory" (digs in).
        c) Artillery, heavy infantry weapon and anti-tank guns are brought forward. As soon as they are installed on positions an attack is resumed in another sector as described in a)
        Countermeasures:
        Tanks, assault guns and heavy anti-tank guns on self-propelled chassis combat Russian tanks by offensive actions, as far as possible from flanks and using concealed positions.
        As soon as hostile tanks stopped that are subject to artillery fire (as far as possible by heavy field howitzers)
        All infantry weapons aim their fire at attacking infantry.
        Infantry protects itself from the fire of hostile artillery and static tanks using narrow and deep holes and trenches. An increased use of the spade and artillery observers kept in the first line are of special importance.

        When hostile tanks have been were noticed in defense during our attacks, they mostly employed the following methods:
        Fast and skillful occupation of position by tanks and creation of the firefront on reverse slopes, frequently on camouflaged positions. Using own crews as observers tanks engage in firefight from large distances (2000-4000 meters), where our anti-tank weapons cannot effectively combat hostile tanks.
        Only by bringing forward artillery, ranging and concentration of fire from many batteries an advance which stalled due to hostile fire actions can be resumed again.
        Therefore most effective countermeasures: rapid concentration of fire of the maximal possible number of batteries in order to neutralize hostile tanks or force them to retreat. Dynamic leadership, agile observation and close liaison with infantry should be secured.
        http://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/r...inspect/zoom/6

        Comment


        • Thanks for the website!!
          Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post
            From a German digest of battle training intructions (March 1943)

            A captured Russian order calls for the following method of the tank attack:
            a) Tanks advance after an artillery preparation for 1-2 km, then stop (always beyond fire zone of anti-tank guns) and combat hostile anti-tank guns and heavy infantry weapons.
            b) During this firefight infantry advances, catches up with tanks and "fortifies occupied territory" (digs in).
            c) Artillery, heavy infantry weapon and anti-tank guns are brought forward. As soon as they are installed on positions an attack is resumed in another sector as described in a)
            Countermeasures:
            Tanks, assault guns and heavy anti-tank guns on self-propelled chassis combat Russian tanks by offensive actions, as far as possible from flanks and using concealed positions.
            As soon as hostile tanks stopped that are subject to artillery fire (as far as possible by heavy field howitzers)
            All infantry weapons aim their fire at attacking infantry.
            Infantry protects itself from the fire of hostile artillery and static tanks using narrow and deep holes and trenches. An increased use of the spade and artillery observers kept in the first line are of special importance.

            When hostile tanks have been were noticed in defense during our attacks, they mostly employed the following methods:
            Fast and skillful occupation of position by tanks and creation of the firefront on reverse slopes, frequently on camouflaged positions. Using own crews as observers tanks engage in firefight from large distances (2000-4000 meters), where our anti-tank weapons cannot effectively combat hostile tanks.
            Only by bringing forward artillery, ranging and concentration of fire from many batteries an advance which stalled due to hostile fire actions can be resumed again.
            Therefore most effective countermeasures: rapid concentration of fire of the maximal possible number of batteries in order to neutralize hostile tanks or force them to retreat. Dynamic leadership, agile observation and close liaison with infantry should be secured.







            http://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/r...inspect/zoom/6
            I rarely spent time here but when I do I usually read your posts, Armstrong's and Amvass (IIRC his name).
            I have a question regarding the (a) part (in bold) and the question addresses both you and Armstrong:

            It seems that (a) claims that there is a distance in which the soviet tank can engage the German AT guns while the German AT guns cannot engage the soviet one.
            How likely is it to have such distance in real life under battlefield conditions?

            My understanding is that while the tank has the advantage of armor, and it can technically engage an enemy AT gun from a safe distance in practice this is not likely to happen. The first shot will most likely come from a hidden AT gun, so by the time the tankers acquire an AT gun, they will already be within the AT gun's fire zone.
            Is this one case of instructions which sound reasonable on paper but are not that practical to apply in real life?
            Last edited by pamak; 11 Jan 20, 06:13.
            My most dangerous mission: I landed in the middle of an enemy tank battalion and I immediately, started spraying bullets killing everybody around me having fun up until my computer froze...

            Comment


            • They are definitely talking about experience from the year 1942 when the German Army didn't have many heavy anti-tank guns and heavy tank guns.50-mm and 37-mm tank and AT guns were only effective at medium and short ranges. So, yes, well-armored tanks like T-34 and KV could theoretically engage anti-tank weapons from a safe distance where they had few chances to be knocked down themselves. According to other similar German reports and observation in many cases this factor was well understood by them and they tried to keep the distance of firefight as large as possible.
              As for the instruction itself, I would be curios to read the original. I'm not sure that this triple translation is completely accurate in details.

              Comment


              • Agree with Artyom, it would be good to see the original. I translated the German text from the website posted by Artyom and had a very similar translation to his: "Tanks advance 1-2 km after artillery-preparation, keeping outside the anti-tank gun range, and fight enemy anti-tank guns and heavy infantry weapons."

                Considering it is 1942, the tank tactics could be a little too rote. In the book referenced by Nick on the 1944 regulation, one can see two years later a more flexible and agile coordination between the tank attack and artillery:
                {Para} 414. "At the established time the tanks move forward on signal at high speed without altering formation in the same order as in the departure area or in the deployment area. As the tanks approach to within 150-200 meters of the main defensive line, the artillery shifts fire forward and strikes previously identified targets and areas in the depth of the main defensive zone simultaneously.
                The Artillery accompanies the attacking tanks in the entire depth of the attack and shifts its fire to correspond with onward moving tanks."
                Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 15 Jan 20, 07:29.
                Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
                  Agree with Artyom, it would be good to see the original. I translated the German text from the website posted by Artyom and had a very similar translation to his: "Tanks advance 1-2 km after artillery-preparation, keeping outside the anti-tank gun range, and fight enemy anti-tank guns and heavy infantry weapons."

                  Considering it is 1942, the tank tactics could be a little too rote. In the book referenced by Nick on the 1944 regulation, one can see two years later a more flexible and agile coordination between the tank attack and artillery:
                  {Para} 414. "At the established time the tanks move forward on signal at high speed without altering formation i the same order as in the departure area or in the deployment area. As the tanks approach to within 150-200 meters of the main defensive line, the artillery shifts fire forward and strikes previously identified targets and areas in the depth of the main defensive zone simultaneously.
                  The Artillery accompanies the attacking tanks in the entire depth of the attack and shifts its fire tocorrespond with onward moving tanks."
                  This is related to another thing I was thinking.

                  The 1942 tactic of having the tanks stay outside the effective AT-gun range until the tanks (hopefully) can destroy the AT guns from safe distance makes them more vulnerable to area fire by regular artillery which has more time to bring its weight on the enemy formation at a relatively fixed range. This can work if the offensive artillery support and counter-battery fire are effective in neutralizing the defense's artillery so that the tanks of the attacker can remain more or less unmolested by the defense's area artillery fire during their duel with the defense's AT guns (my assumption is that regular area fire by artillery was capable of reliably immobilizing tanks and disrupt the attack)

                  As for the Para 414, I guess that tank formations of echelons in depth can help the subsequent waves engage from relatively safer distance AT guns that were unmasking themselves to engage the first wave. Of course, battlefield conditions, smoke, fire and friendly tanks advancing in front would still make the task of locating the unmasking AT guns challenging for the tankers in subsequent waves.
                  Last edited by pamak; 14 Jan 20, 17:19.
                  My most dangerous mission: I landed in the middle of an enemy tank battalion and I immediately, started spraying bullets killing everybody around me having fun up until my computer froze...

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by pamak View Post

                    As for the Para 414, I guess that tank formations of echelons in depth can help the subsequent waves engage from relatively safer distance AT guns that were unmasking themselves to engage the first wave. Of course, battlefield conditions, smoke, fire and friendly tanks advancing in front would still make the task of locating the unmasking AT guns challenging for the tankers in subsequent waves.
                    Agree in part, the concept for echelons in depth was to have an offensive force that had a depth comparable to the depth of the defense. The Soviet depth in an operational level offensive was for a penetration into the operational depth of the enemy defense. In the case of the Germans particularly from mid-1943 to the end of the war, they lacked reserves in the operational depth to deal with Red Army's ofensives that penetrated into the operational depth.
                    Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                    Comment


                    • I understand.

                      I was talking about tactical formations developed in depth and not about the operational depth in larger formations
                      My most dangerous mission: I landed in the middle of an enemy tank battalion and I immediately, started spraying bullets killing everybody around me having fun up until my computer froze...

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by pamak View Post
                        I understand.

                        I was talking about tactical formations developed in depth and not about the operational depth in larger formations
                        In the Soviet concept, the tactical formations of the first echelon are to make the penetration of the enemy's forward defense while the tactical formations of the second echelon are to develop the attack into the operational depth. The echelons are integral parts of a greater concept. I believe that Red Army beat the German Army at the operational level when it created densities of forces in the main breakthrough sectors which by the second half of 1944 blew through German defenses in Belorussian, Ukraine ....
                        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post

                          In the Soviet concept, the tactical formations of the first echelon are to make the penetration of the enemy's forward defense while the tactical formations of the second echelon are to develop the attack into the operational depth. IThe echelons are integral parts of a greater concept. I believe that Red Army beat the German Army at the operational level which could creates densities of forces which by the second half of 1944 would blow through German defenses in Belorussian, Ukraine ....
                          Do you have any recommendation of sources in ENGLISH?
                          I am on vacation, and I can spare time reading such things. I would be interested in finding details such as the distance between tank companies in a tank battalion level attack or the distance between tank battalions deployed in depth in a tank Brigade level attack. The links you and Artyom exchange are the real deal but unfortunately, I only speak English and Greek.
                          My most dangerous mission: I landed in the middle of an enemy tank battalion and I immediately, started spraying bullets killing everybody around me having fun up until my computer froze...

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by pamak View Post

                            Do you have any recommendation of sources in ENGLISH?
                            I am on vacation, and I can spare time reading such things. I would be interested in finding details such as the distance between tank companies in a tank battalion level attack or the distance between tank battalions deployed in depth in a tank Brigade level attack. The links you and Artyom exchange are the real deal but unfortunately, I only speak English and Greek.
                            From Red Armor Combat Orders p18, the width of a front of an extended order, brigade 800-1200m, rgt 500-800m and bat 400-600m. From the description it appears most details are in a previous part 1.
                            From the link it should be easy to extrapolate the info you require: http://niehorster.org/012_ussr/45_or...gan_index.html



                            How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                            Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by pamak View Post

                              Do you have any recommendation of sources in ENGLISH?
                              David Glantz's "Soviet Military Operational Art: In the Pursuit of Deep Operations". The work has been out since mid to late 1980's; you will probably not find it in e-book. The publisher is Frank Cass.

                              Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post

                                In the Soviet concept, the tactical formations of the first echelon are to make the penetration of the enemy's forward defense while the tactical formations of the second echelon are to develop the attack into the operational depth. The echelons are integral parts of a greater concept. I believe that Red Army beat the German Army at the operational level when it created densities of forces in the main breakthrough sectors which by the second half of 1944 blew through German defenses in Belorussian, Ukraine ....
                                I should have added in this piece, that the Germans did not create enough of an operational reserve. They kept their panzer forces relatively forward.
                                Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                                Comment

                                Latest Topics

                                Collapse

                                Working...
                                X