Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Red Army Tank Tactics

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

  • I did. What's your interest?

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post
      I did. What's your interest?
      My interest is in his sources, new archival material or other sources, or reinterpreting existing sources with a different perspective, or is it a rehash of conventional knowledge relying on a writing style.

      Your opinion on usefulness.

      Thanks
      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post
        Is that from Zetterling and Frankson? They are not fully accurate. German Abgänge on the Eastern Front in 1943 were 1,965 thousand men. That doesn't include wounded and sick that stayed on theater of operations, Luftwaffe, 20 Geb. Army in Finland, German allies etc. Total Axis losses on EF - I haven't seen these data anywhere, but they should be well in excess of 2 million men. Soviet battle and non-battle losses (army and navy) in 1943 were 7.557 thousand men (Krivosheev).

        Historically that didn't happen. Personnel strength was sustained at approximately constant level. Production and import of armor compensated losses.

        The theory, or to put it better doctrine, in 1941 was that heavily armored tanks immune to most anti-tank weapons would be capable of rupturing any defense with moderate losses. By 1943 it became simply impractical because all types of Soviet tanks could be knocked out by common German tank and anti-tank guns. Add to that an increased use of mines to which problem no fully satisfactory solution existed. Still, tank were expected to pave the way for infantry regardless of their vulnerability. All that meant that tank force attacking organized defense was bound to suffer large losses. That was simply inevitable even if technical or training deficiencies are not considered.
        Compared with that German tank employment was apples to oranges. For German tanks support of infantry was not considered a principal or typical task and it was relegated to assault guns which adopted a special and more cautious tactics. In operation "Citadel", for example, the initial attack was supported by a relatively small number of "Tigers" and assault guns and the bulk of armor was committed only after breaching the first line of defense. Still, this method didn't fully worked due to unusual strength and depth of defense. Should German employ their tanks Soviet-style, that is for attack on strongly organized defense, they would definitely suffer heavier losses.
        So, it a nutshell, Soviet tanks were expected to lead infantry attack regardless of losses, German tanks were not.
        Concerning the 4:1 losses mentioned earlier. Even if Zetterling and Frankson overestimate Soviet losses by a half a million men, and underestimate Heer losses by half a million men, we are still talking 3:1 losses in favour of the Germans. Given this is 1943, the overall method of Soviet command is failing at this point.
        How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
        Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

        Comment


        • Edited post.
          Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
          Artyom's posts have been very good examples of how the Red Army tank force at the tactical level began to turn around in the face of catastrophic defeat through a rigorous study and implementation of their war experiences (which was done in all the combat, combat support and combat service support arms) into effective practice.
          While I'd gladly admit that the Soviets were getting the theory correct, actual results in 42 and 43 reveal that in practice the battlefield tactics were still extremely poor.

          Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
          There was a similar review at the operational level which from your past posts is a level that you do not recognize, but clearly a level in Soviet theory from the 1930's. From my studies, I believe the Red Army beat the Germans at the operational level.
          I'm not convinced. Let's assume I agree with this level of battle. Losses dictate they did not get this level correct. I'm reminded of the army of Charles the Bold of Burgundy. He created an army that used all the best practices from Europe. He had the equivalent of French Gendarmes, English longbowmen, Italian mixed pike and crossbow units et al. He had modern cannon and personal firearms. His combination of troops was as good as that of Alexander or Edward III. While technically a magnificent army it still lost every time, and Charles the Bold's technically excellent theories cost him his life.

          Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
          At the time of Kursk, mid-July 1943, the strategic correlation of forces between Soviet and Germans was 1.71:1 (Glantz/House, p. 303). Glantz from his decades of study, often noted that the Red Army through the course of the war improved its for by increasing the weapons of war. The Soviets stayed in the fight against the invasion at a high price in blood.
          Using Lanchester's square law as a guide, a linear advantage of 1.71 is actually close to 3:1 on the battlefield. The fact that the Soviets were losing at least 3:1, a 9 fold failure effectively, proves the courage of the average Soviet soldier was coupled with the sheer incompetence of most Soviet commanders in 1943.
          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

            Concerning the 4:1 losses mentioned earlier. Even if Zetterling and Frankson overestimate Soviet losses by a half a million men, and underestimate Heer losses by half a million men, we are still talking 3:1 losses in favour of the Germans. Given this is 1943, the overall method of Soviet command is failing at this point.
            Casualties aren't the only part of the equation. In 1943 Soviets liberated a territory roughly 1 million sq km big. With this come ressources of all kind. Germany lost it. Also, Germans lost the strategical initiative and were unable to maintain their strength.
            There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Emtos View Post

              Casualties aren't the only part of the equation. In 1943 Soviets liberated a territory roughly 1 million sq km big. With this come ressources of all kind. Germany lost it. Also, Germans lost the strategical initiative and were unable to maintain their strength.
              True enough, but the real problem with Germany was that a third of its economy was dealing with the Strategic Bombing offensive. Without that, the Heer could of had 50% more Tigers, Panthers and Panzer IV's. It could also have had 50% more kit across the board, such as half tracks, locomotives and FW190's.

              Continuously losing 3 to 4 times as many troops as your opponent, especially when you outnumber them in men and machines, is not a sign of military competence.
              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

                True enough, but the real problem with Germany was that a third of its economy was dealing with the Strategic Bombing offensive. Without that, the Heer could of had 50% more Tigers, Panthers and Panzer IV's. It could also have had 50% more kit across the board, such as half tracks, locomotives and FW190's.

                Continuously losing 3 to 4 times as many troops as your opponent, especially when you outnumber them in men and machines, is not a sign of military competence.
                It's a "what if". It doesn't count. Especially in 1941-43 when the offensive was far from it's peak.

                Soviets were losing more men but they also had more. Same goes for the tanks. Plus, they were usually the ones on the offensive.

                Western Allies didn't performed much better given their enormous advantages.
                There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Emtos View Post

                  It's a "what if". It doesn't count. Especially in 1941-43 when the offensive was far from it's peak.

                  Soviets were losing more men but they also had more. Same goes for the tanks. Plus, they were usually the ones on the offensive.

                  Western Allies didn't performed much better given their enormous advantages.
                  It's not a 'what if' to state the Germans would have had 50% more kit if there had been no strategic bombing, only where the extra resources would be spent on.

                  As stated earlier, without the West, the Soviets would have run out of men and machines before Germany. This includes tanks, therefore Red Army tactics were wanting. Tanks leading an advance is not a problem if a suitable vehicle is available, and the Soviets never created a better protected tank than the Churchill, even a KV-1C which was compared to the Churchill III by the Soviets.

                  The Western Allies performed did perform much better, when they had fuel. Western armies were heavily motorised, which ironically often kept them immobile, until fuel could be brought up. As an example, MG was authorised, mainly due to the fact not every army could be supplied with petrol.

                  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
                    Edited post.
                    While I'd gladly admit that the Soviets were getting the theory correct, actual results in 42 and 43 reveal that in practice the battlefield tactics were still extremely poor.
                    I
                    Nick, thanks for your observations. In context, something was coming together in the Red Army winter campaign from November 1942 to March 1943 which drove back the German army and created the Kursk salient. By late '42, tank corps were led by more experienced tactical commander (survivors of fighting tank brigades and ad hoc groups) and, as we have seen, as tk bde cdrs they were assimilating war experiences. That's why I asked Artyom above for some examples of tank corps war experiences, so we could see the change in the nature of the lessons learned in tank corps operation which could have both tactical and operational level missions.

                    The theory was good, but one can see from the Finnish War and the first year and a half in Barbarossa the Red Army was far from practical application. In organizational management the hardest thing to change in an organization or group is 'organization culture'. My study of the Red Army's process of collection, analysis, and application of its war experiences reveals a specific process for battlefield change. The Red Army's ultimate victory was due to:
                    --leadership that recognized the need and chose direction for change;
                    --an executive agent to manage the change;
                    --war experience identification and clarification for lessons;
                    --willingness to be self-critical;
                    --modification to organization and equipment, as well as tactical procedures and operational practices;
                    --mechanisms for transmitting tacit practical knowledge;
                    --enforcement of change for concentric (vice eccentric--see S.L.A. Marshall, Men Against Fire for definitions);
                    --evaluation of effectiveness.

                    I believe the identification of an executive agent to ensure the collection, analysis, and dissemination of lessons learned and changes is a dimension overlooked in organizational theory. In sum, it is what an army learns from experience, rather than experience per se, that makes the difference in battlefield changes.
                    Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 20 Jun 20, 08:51.
                    Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                      Edited post.

                      I'm not convinced. Let's assume I agree with this level of battle. Losses dictate they did not get this level correct. I'm reminded of the army of Charles the Bold of Burgundy. He created an army that used all the best practices from Europe. He had the equivalent of French Gendarmes, English longbowmen, Italian mixed pike and crossbow units et al. He had modern cannon and personal firearms. His combination of troops was as good as that of Alexander or Edward III. While technically a magnificent army it still lost every time, and Charles the Bold's technically excellent theories cost him his life.
                      I'm not going to try to convince you about the operational level of warfare; I fought that battle in the U.S. Army for decades and when they accepted it doctrinally, they did not understand it any better than they did the German concept of Auftragstaktik.

                      My lesson from military history on the introduction of technology, is that it usually is unsuccessful when first introduced because in large part is the problem of integration with the other arms in an army. The introduction of tanks with froth with problems. My favorite example, for the negative side of such change, is the French introduction of the mittreuse in the Franco-Prussian War. It was placed back with the artillery, instead of on the front line like the later introduction of the machine gun.
                      Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 20 Jun 20, 08:56.
                      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                        Edited post.
                        Using Lanchester's square law as a guide, a linear advantage of 1.71 is actually close to 3:1 on the battlefield. The fact that the Soviets were losing at least 3:1, a 9 fold failure effectively, proves the courage of the average Soviet soldier was coupled with the sheer incompetence of most Soviet commanders in 1943.
                        Somewhere in the back of my mind, I recall after reading the Lancaster's square law it didn't sit well with the clean numbers on the dirty battlefield. I will have to see if I still have notes from it. But, I always have a bias about theoretical numbers with the real world which has been reaffirmed recently with the scientific miscalculations and misguidance(s) in the Covid-19 pandemic.
                        Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 20 Jun 20, 08:57.
                        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

                          It's not a 'what if' to state the Germans would have had 50% more kit if there had been no strategic bombing, only where the extra resources would be spent on.

                          As stated earlier, without the West, the Soviets would have run out of men and machines before Germany. This includes tanks, therefore Red Army tactics were wanting. Tanks leading an advance is not a problem if a suitable vehicle is available, and the Soviets never created a better protected tank than the Churchill, even a KV-1C which was compared to the Churchill III by the Soviets.

                          The Western Allies performed did perform much better, when they had fuel. Western armies were heavily motorised, which ironically often kept them immobile, until fuel could be brought up. As an example, MG was authorised, mainly due to the fact not every army could be supplied with petrol.
                          Without war with Britain, there couldn't probably be an attack on SU. War with Britain was the part of equation.

                          Soviets created IS-2 which was similar in terms of protection to the later Churchills. They also had ISU-122/152. Unlike Churchill, they had a much greater firepower able to deal with everything on the battlefield.

                          Western Allies never fielded an army as large as Soviet one. Nor they lacked time and ressouces. Finally, they faced much smaller part of German forces. Still, despite the enormous superiority over Germans, the battles in NA, Italy, France, Benelux, Germany, weren't so one-sided given the ratio of forces.
                          There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
                            My interest is in his sources, new archival material or other sources, or reinterpreting existing sources with a different perspective, or is it a rehash of conventional knowledge relying on a writing style.
                            Here are, for example, references for the Chapter 8 "Pre-war Soviet tanks"
                            Kavalerchik.pngKavalerchik2.pngKavalerchik3.png

                            In general, the book focuses more on technical characteristics of armored vehiccles and less on combat employment. I can provide a pdf copy to you, if you want.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Emtos View Post
                              Soviets were losing more men but they also had more. Same goes for the tanks. Plus, they were usually the ones on the offensive.
                              Any serious student of the WWII eastern front would know this is absolutely true. After the German defeat at Kursk they never again executed large offensive operations while the Soviets planned and executed one after another. However they were still losing men and material in lopsided numbers in favor of the Germans through the end of 1944.

                              I agree with Nick's posts and the numbers bare this out from both Soviet and German sources.

                              Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                                As stated earlier, without the West, the Soviets would have run out of men and machines before Germany. This includes tanks, therefore Red Army tactics were wanting.
                                Let's see. Production of tanks and SP guns in 1943 was 24,134:
                                http://www.armchairgeneral.com/rkkaw...n.htm#tsp41_45
                                Lend-lease deliveries - 3,231
                                http://www.armchairgeneral.com/rkkaw...L_general1.htm
                                Losses (irrevocable) according to an official publication - 23,500
                                So deliveries were more than sufficient to compensate losses. They would be sufficient even without LL.
                                As far as operational strength is concerned there were about 14,000 operational AFVs on 1.11.42 and about 12,000 on 1.1.44 the decrease was fairly limited and was partly due to limited battle activity (and hence limited losses) in October 1942.
                                The same applies to personnel strength which was kept on a relatively stable level after 1942.
                                The West didn't have anything to do with supply of personnel for the Soviet Army, its role in supply of armor was considerable but not essential.
                                Tanks leading an advance is not a problem if a suitable vehicle is available
                                I said two or three times that they were not available as by 1943 KVs and T-34 were readily pierced by 50/75-mm tank and anti-tank guns. That meant that pre-war Soviet doctrine became outdated. Which meant for a lack of better option that they had to accept heavy losses when giving armored support to attack. Add to that German tanks having a qualitative edge by 1943, add to that a gap in the level of training etc etc.

                                Comment

                                Latest Topics

                                Collapse

                                Working...
                                X