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Red Army Tank Tactics

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  • Just checked Amazon. Richard Harrison has been busy translating a number of the Staff Studies (some are available in ebook, a couple are for $4.99):

    Battle for Moscow
    Iasi-Kishinev
    The Budapest Operation
    Operation Bagration
    Battle of Kursk
    Rollback: Red Army Winter offensive SW strategic direction 1942-43
    Prelude to Berlin: Offensive Opns in Poland and E. Germany 1945
    Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 17 Jan 20, 12:09.
    Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
      Just checked Amazon. Richard Harrison has been busy translating a number of the Staff Studies (some are available in ebook, a couple are for $4.99):

      Battle for Moscow
      Iasi-Kishinev
      The Budapest Operation
      Operation Bagration
      Battle of Kursk
      Rollback: Red Army Winter offensive SW strategic direction 1942-43
      Prelude to Berlin: Offensive Opns in Poland and E. Germany 1945
      Yep!

      Rollback was the one in the link I mentioned in a previous post, and it is just S 4.99 in the Kindle version..
      I am usually suspicious of very cheap prices @ amazon because there are many books out there which are free online and some people sell them supposedly cheap @ amazon. But I do not think that this is such case. So, I got it and I will have a look at it.
      Thanks anyway for the information.
      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 Snowygerry View Post

        The last "uncommitted reserve" wins the "battle".

        An ancient concept.

        But on the Russian front it took on a dimension never seen before, maybe not after either.
        I was trying to see the precise translation of the original to identify the actual location because somehow I could not clearly understand the ending of the sentence "... usually the first position and before the regimental sector of the enemy defense."
        To me it reads like this "first position" is within the forward(s) battalion sectors of an enemy regiment deployed in the defense. So, the breaching of those battalion sectors is the event which triggers the attempt (at the corps level) to commit the second echelon and try to develop a tactical penetration into an operational breakthrough
        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 R.N. Armstrong View Post
          Actually the trailing battalion, still in company columns for faster maneuvering, is looking to reinforce success by either of two forward battalions and commit on command of the brigade/regiment commander's decision. The brigade/regiment is actually the first echelon of the division/corps (depending on force structure). The division/corps is the first echelon of the army.

          An interesting aspect of the first echelons at each level is the Red Army's tolerance for casualties which could be 30-50% to achieve the mission of a penetration. When one looks at Western Eur/American armies, the tolerance is much less, and their commanders could be relieved of command for casualties in the mid-teens or more.
          I can see a case, esp. in the t60 and t-70 tanks, for formations and tactics to be kept as simple as possible- no or few radios,

          The one-man turret of the Soviet light tanks made co-ordinating a tank platoon nearly impossible, because the commanders were kept busy acquiring targets, loading and firing the main gun and machine gun, and commanding their drivers.
          wiki


          Basically, a run through the jungle to a reorganization point, or a pre set ambush.

          The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

          Comment


          • Originally posted by marktwain View Post

            I can see a case, esp. in the t60 and t-70 tanks, for formations and tactics to be kept as simple as possible- no or few radios,

            The one-man turret of the Soviet light tanks made co-ordinating a tank platoon nearly impossible, because the commanders were kept busy acquiring targets, loading and firing the main gun and machine gun, and commanding their drivers.
            wiki


            Basically, a run through the jungle to a reorganization point, or a pre set ambush.
            It was easy with flags to coordinate a tank platoon and company based on line-of-sight distances among tanks in lower level units. US tankers in M-60's still practiced maneuvers with red/green flags in 1969-70 at Ft. Hood, TX.

            Two semaphore signal flags can convey a lot of orders and directions.
            Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 18 Jan 20, 07:21.
            Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

            Comment


            • One possible tactical mistake in these orders concerns the use of heavy spg's and tanks. These are stated to follow the medium tanks in an attack to deal with threats as they occur. Seems reasonable at first glance.

              However, during Citadel, Model adopted these same tactics in his northern thrust, which failed to make any significant advance. OTOH, Manstein, used his heavies to lead the attack, which proved far more successful in the south. Despite German losses to mines, local Soviet tanks were still unable to counter the Tigers, relying on imports and ersatz tactics to defeat them instead.

              This role of Soviet heavy armour in 44 could be considered flawed, since heavies are supposed to be designed to be dominant afv's on the battlefield. I can only assume it's due to lack of stowed ammunition, or flawed turret armour, that relegates their use in a support role, rather than a cutting edge to an attack.
              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 Nick the Noodle View Post
                One possible tactical mistake in these orders concerns the use of heavy spg's and tanks. These are stated to follow the medium tanks in an attack to deal with threats as they occur. Seems reasonable at first glance.

                However, during Citadel, Model adopted these same tactics in his northern thrust, which failed to make any significant advance. OTOH, Manstein, used his heavies to lead the attack, which proved far more successful in the south. Despite German losses to mines, local Soviet tanks were still unable to counter the Tigers, relying on imports and ersatz tactics to defeat them instead.

                This role of Soviet heavy armour in 44 could be considered flawed, since heavies are supposed to be designed to be dominant afv's on the battlefield. I can only assume it's due to lack of stowed ammunition, or flawed turret armour, that relegates their use in a support role, rather than a cutting edge to an attack.
                Interesting point.

                Model's panzer attack was somewhat piecemeal, and his heavy tanks spent a lot of time moving laterally which meant they were not committed like Manstein's. Model was against the attack because the Soviets were well prepared in depth. I believe with the exposed left flank vulnerable to an attack by two fronts with two tank armies, his attack was designed to save armor for a counterstrike on his left flank and vulnerable rear area. The attack did occur and the Germans were able to delay and fall back intact because of the amount of armor Model still had on hand.

                I suspect you have Zaloga and Grandsen's "Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles of World War Two" which makes the point of your last paragraph. The authors give the production path from KV's to IS. By August 1943, the new IS-1 would take time to initiate production. As a compromise in Sept-Oct, 130 KV-85's with the more heavily armed turret of the IS-l were manufactured. There was a concern that the heavy tanks had the same gun as the T-34-85. A small number of the IS-85's were produced but the decision was made to build the IS-122. By the end of 1943, 102 IS-122's were completed.

                "The most serious disadvantage of the IS-2 was that its small internal size permitted storage of only 28 rounds of ammunition, these were of the split type which slowed the rate of fire. ...in terms of weight, size and cost, it was much more comparable to the Panther medium tank than to the much larger and heavier Tiger."

                In the spring of 1944, the IS-2m(modified) was introduced. "Apart from fire control improvements and other internal changes, the main difference was the use of a new, simpler and better angled bow casting." But it still had the limitation of 28 rounds.

                Another dimension is that the tank regulations simply lagged behind the more improved heavy tank or the limitations of 28 rounds kept would be better employed following the medium tanks, saving the IS-2's limited ammunition for key engagements.

                Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                  One possible tactical mistake in these orders concerns the use of heavy spg's and tanks. These are stated to follow the medium tanks in an attack to deal with threats as they occur. Seems reasonable at first glance.

                  However, during Citadel, Model adopted these same tactics in his northern thrust, which failed to make any significant advance. OTOH, Manstein, used his heavies to lead the attack, which proved far more successful in the south. Despite German losses to mines, local Soviet tanks were still unable to counter the Tigers, relying on imports and ersatz tactics to defeat them instead.

                  This role of Soviet heavy armour in 44 could be considered flawed, since heavies are supposed to be designed to be dominant afv's on the battlefield. I can only assume it's due to lack of stowed ammunition, or flawed turret armour, that relegates their use in a support role, rather than a cutting edge to an attack.
                  good post , Nick.
                  \teh soviet Tank force, IIRC, had major problems with transmissions, largely caused by using outdated Holt caterpillar tractor designs in increasingly heavy tanks .
                  Movinga KV-1 too far turned it into a stationary defense point...
                  The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post

                    Interesting point.

                    Model's panzer attack was somewhat piecemeal, and his heavy tanks spent a lot of time moving laterally which meant they were not committed like Manstein's. Model was against the attack because the Soviets were well prepared in depth. I believe with the exposed left flank vulnerable to an attack by two fronts with two tank armies, his attack was designed to save armor for a counterstrike on his left flank and vulnerable rear area. The attack did occur and the Germans were able to delay and fall back intact because of the amount of armor Model still had on hand.

                    I suspect you have Zaloga and Grandsen's "Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles of World War Two" which makes the point of your last paragraph. The authors give the production path from KV's to IS. By August 1943, the new IS-1 would take time to initiate production. As a compromise in Sept-Oct, 130 KV-85's with the more heavily armed turret of the IS-l were manufactured. There was a concern that the heavy tanks had the same gun as the T-34-85. A small number of the IS-85's were produced but the decision was made to build the IS-122. By the end of 1943, 102 IS-122's were completed.

                    "The most serious disadvantage of the IS-2 was that its small internal size permitted storage of only 28 rounds of ammunition, these were of the split type which slowed the rate of fire. ...in terms of weight, size and cost, it was much more comparable to the Panther medium tank than to the much larger and heavier Tiger."

                    In the spring of 1944, the IS-2m(modified) was introduced. "Apart from fire control improvements and other internal changes, the main difference was the use of a new, simpler and better angled bow casting." But it still had the limitation of 28 rounds.

                    Another dimension is that the tank regulations simply lagged behind the more improved heavy tank or the limitations of 28 rounds kept would be better employed following the medium tanks, saving the IS-2's limited ammunition for key engagements.
                    I do have Zaloga and Grandsen's "Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles of World War Two", but it is at least partially out of date, and haven't used it for a while. Published 1984 so not surprising. For example, and concerning the IS-2, it states its turret armour was 160mm on p175. It was actually 100mm. They had wanted it 130mm, but the turret was already severely unbalanced with the 122mm, and therefore overhardened instead. It did mean upon a hit, the turret would remain relatively intact, although the spalling would often kill all the turret crew. It appears the kit was more important than the men who served it.

                    As I said earlier, I suspect fragility and limited rounds relegated it more as a heavy spg artillery piece than as an actual combat tank.
                    How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                    Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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                    • Originally posted by marktwain View Post

                      good post , Nick.
                      \teh soviet Tank force, IIRC, had major problems with transmissions, largely caused by using outdated Holt caterpillar tractor designs in increasingly heavy tanks .
                      Movinga KV-1 too far turned it into a stationary defense point...
                      Thank you .

                      The KV-1 up to the C mark was extremely unreliable, the C, with its extremely thick armour being the worst. Internally, the next model, the KV-1S had a new drivetrain and far more reliable. The KV-85 was essentially a 1S with a bigger gun. For their huge size and weight, they were not successful heavy tanks. The IS successors remained very reliable, the only true heavy tanks to be so. However, their mobility was substandard, easily being out maneuvered by all the Cat's. This may be another reason why they were follow on tanks. It should be noted they do appear to be very successful in an ambush role, and therefore a decent defense against usual Heer counter attacks.
                      How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                      Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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                      • Two great posts, I can agree with both.
                        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by marktwain View Post
                          \teh soviet Tank force, IIRC, had major problems with transmissions, largely caused by using outdated Holt caterpillar tractor
                          That's an urban legend. Different tanks (e.g. T-34 and KV) had different types of gearboxes which had little common. Early T-34 gearbox was mostly based on Christie design.

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                          • https://warspot.ru/3207-tselesoobraz...entralizovanno

                            About the problems with the use of IS-2 in half-a-year after introduction. Google stranslate should do it.
                            There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

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                            • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                              However, their mobility was substandard, easily being out maneuvered by all the Cat's.
                              Not really. The speed, power and cross-country possibilities were on pair with German heavy tanks and not much worse than Panter.

                              There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

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                              • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
                                "The most serious disadvantage of the IS-2 was that its small internal size permitted storage of only 28 rounds of ammunition
                                In most cases ammo load was larger than prescribed in regulations and manuals at the expense of internal space. That applies to IS as well. Numbers you can find in tank books are actually the minimal ammunition loads.
                                these were of the split type which slowed the rate of fire
                                Usually a shot fired from a 122-mm gun produced such a heavy cloud of smoke and dust that it was impossible to see a heck from a tank and make any aiming at the target until this cloud dispersed or until a tank moved to another position. In any cases the rate of fire was limited irrespective of technical characteristics of the gun. Point No.2 - due to a strength of recoil IS-122 couldn't deliver fire while moving (which was a normal mode of operation for medium tanks like T-34), only from a halt or stationary position. In combination with smaller speed that meant that it couldn't approach to the attack objective as fast as medium tanks. So limited speed, limited maneuverability, limited rate of fire, limited ammunition load -> prescribed employment in the second wave. Yet, it should be remembered that actual practice could be very different from regulations (and not always for good).

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