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  • #46
    Thanks for the references. Isaev does not footnote his source for the drivers' training hours. I suspect it is probably from a memoir. The Berlin Operation was rushed in a six-week window of planning, replenishment, and reorganization after two-months in sustaining the Vistula-Oder operation. An interesting assessment of driver, as well as other crew training, would be to look at the tank schools training course durations during 1943, 1944 and the eve of the Berlin Operation to determine the full measure of preparedness.
    Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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    • #47
      The second citation is interesting in its talking to the training for Lend-Lease tanks. Dmitriy Loza in his memoirs "Commanding the Red Army's Sherman Tanks"(available in English), opens with units of the 5th Mechanized Corps in its second month of reconstitution 65 km southwest of Moscow and had his 233rd Brigade of Sherman tanks mastery of equipment interrupted on 15 November for rail deployment to 60 km southwest of Kiev. The chief mechanic who had offloaded tanks from rail flatcars demonstrated how to "jump down off" the flatcar to the driver-mechanics and tank commanders. The driver-mechanic started the Sherman motor, and "danced in place" with several somewhat risky forward and backward movements. With the tank maneuvered crosswise on the flatcar, it slowly moved forward on planking to an embankment about a meter less in height, landing with a heavy thud.

      In German accounts, they often gave the Russian soldiers credit for improvising. This example shows how leadership and experience would work through truncated training.
      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post

        Thanks for the references. Isaev does not footnote his source for the drivers' training hours. I suspect it is probably from a memoir. The Berlin Operation was rushed in a six-week window of planning, replenishment, and reorganization after two-months in sustaining the Vistula-Oder operation. An interesting assessment of driver, as well as other crew training, would be to look at the tank schools training course durations during 1943, 1944 and the eve of the Berlin Operation to determine the full measure of preparedness.
        Training course duration and real training are two very different things.

        https://books.google.be/books?id=TVP...201944&f=false

        https://books.google.be/books?id=aH1...201944&f=false

        https://books.google.be/books?id=oQI...201944&f=false

        https://books.google.be/books?id=JLt...%D0%B5&f=false

        We can say that the training prior to the arrival to units was bad even in late war. Then it was on commandrs to train their units. Or not.
        There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

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        • #49
          There are many evidences that crews arriving with replacement tanks typically had less than satisfactory level of training. That was frequently combined with a Soviet habit of shipping replacement tanks to units just days before going to action. Typically tanks were given to veteran crews which were left without tanks, while original crews were assigned to reserve.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
            para 478. "As a rule, tanks avoid villages.
            That is a provision which looks reasonable in theory but is not always feasible in practice. I believe probably about 90% of combat activity in mobile type operations were fights for villages/towns. That was because settlements were natural places to organize resistance due to availability of concealment and protection and also because they typically controlled roads, bridges and river crossings. In Central Europe settlements with solidly built stone or brick houses were a special problem since they were strongly resistant to tank guns. I would identify several typical Soviet reactions:
            1) Rushed attack by vanguard units trying to use surprise.
            2) Envelopment maneuver: defenders pinned down from the front, while tanks bypass the town and cut roads leading from it to sides and rear. Usually the threat of encirclement sufficed to force defenders to abandon the town.
            3) Night attack, if time was available. In 1945 it was such a typical practice that some units described their methods as "march during the day, combat during the night"
            4) Town bypassed and blocked by infantry, while tanks advance by alternative routs. For example, from the top of my head 1 GTA bypassed Pozen/Poznan in January 1945 leaving it to the 8 Guards Army and advanced further into Germany.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post
              That is a provision which looks reasonable in theory but is not always feasible in practice. I believe probably about 90% of combat activity in mobile type operations were fights for villages/towns. That was because settlements were natural places to organize resistance due to availability of concealment and protection and also because they typically controlled roads, bridges and river crossings. In Central Europe settlements with solidly built stone or brick houses were a special problem since they were strongly resistant to tank guns. I would identify several typical Soviet reactions:
              1) Rushed attack by vanguard units trying to use surprise.
              2) Envelopment maneuver: defenders pinned down from the front, while tanks bypass the town and cut roads leading from it to sides and rear. Usually the threat of encirclement sufficed to force defenders to abandon the town.
              3) Night attack, if time was available. In 1945 it was such a typical practice that some units described their methods as "march during the day, combat during the night"
              4) Town bypassed and blocked by infantry, while tanks advance by alternative routs. For example, from the top of my head 1 GTA bypassed Pozen/Poznan in January 1945 leaving it to the 8 Guards Army and advanced further into Germany.
              Rotmistrov, cdr 5th GTA, was relieved of command in part during the Belorussian operation for allowing his mech corps to get caught up in fighting for Vilnius [the other part was his disagreement with Front cdr Chernyakovsky in changing 5GTA's breakthrough sector just before the attack].
              Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by Emtos View Post

                Training course duration and real training are two very different things.

                https://books.google.be/books?id=TVP...201944&f=false

                https://books.google.be/books?id=aH1...201944&f=false

                https://books.google.be/books?id=oQI...201944&f=false

                https://books.google.be/books?id=JLt...%D0%B5&f=false

                We can say that the training prior to the arrival to units was bad even in late war. Then it was on commandrs to train their units. Or not.
                Good evidence for your point, although the last two sources were July 42 and Jan 43, which would be in the window of the Red Army throwing its men and tanks into battle out of necessity. There is the dimension of selection for driver-mechanic in tanks, usually for prior experience with farm vehicles. It would be good to see a study on the tank school training goals and what was achieved in basic training. Even after any basic school training, my experience has been that the real training begins with combat experience those in the fighting units.
                Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Before those periods were different pauses. Normaly units should have more time for forming and training.
                  There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Emtos View Post
                    Before those periods were different pauses. Normaly units should have more time for forming and training.
                    You would think so, but the loop for what is to be trained is part of a system of exploiting war experiences in which units were assigned to collect war experiences, a section on the General Staff would collect the material and sharpen to the lesson, then it was coordinated with the Operations section of the General Staff for the countermeasure, followed by General Staff/Stavka directives for the implementation of the countermeasures which would be disseminated to the units and the schools. Additionally, the General Staff assigned staff officers down to the army level to ensure the directives were being implemented correctly. I don't know if there was such a monitoring at the schools' inclusion of lessons learned in the training.

                    I should add the General Staff Section for the Collection of Materials from War experiences published their lessons some three to four months after the major operations.
                    Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                    • #55
                      Looking at how some directives were implemented, I have my doubts.
                      There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Emtos View Post
                        Looking at how some directives were implemented, I have my doubts.
                        That's an easy statement to make, and I can agree that implementation was not flawless. Why else would the General Staff send watchdogs down to army level? For this aspect of implementing directives see Nikolai Saltykov's "Dokladyvaya v general'nyi shtab", Moscow: Voenizdat, 1983.
                        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          In the Spring of 1943, the Supreme High Command remembered the bitter lessons learned by the Red Army on the southern strategic flank at Kharkov in the spring of 1942, and it did not want to lose another bid for the summer strategic initiative. The Stavka demanded that officers of the General Staff carefully verify how well commanders of all ranks were studying the draft 1943 Field Service regulations and how well they knew the combat equipment, the armament, and the methods of fighting enemy tanks, including the new German 'Tiger' tanks. (Saltykov, p. 165) The General Staff watchdogs could provide immediate assessment on the assimilation of lessons and battlefield countermeasures by Red Army units.

                          In June 1943, the institution of the General Staff (GS) officers was reorganized. The group of officers of the GS existed independently in the General Staff. Their reports often became delayed by low staff officers, reducing their timeliness and usefulness to the Operations Directorate. The officers were united into an officer corps representing the GS and placed directly under the control of the Operations Directorate. The reorganization help the GS tighten its control over the actions of the Fronts and armies. Additionally, the officer corps assisted in working the new issues in Fronts and groups of Fronts for operational-strategic and strategic missions. An officer group of 12-15 officers headed by a senior officer was created at each Frontal HQ. This group inspected or studied things specifically for the GS. (Saltykov, p. 174)
                          Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            In 1943, the Red Army's natural development and countermeasures for the battlefield came through resolution of tactical and operational problems. As the Red Army successfully dealt with one set of problems at the tactical level, it had to solve new problems encountered at the operational level. This required new paradigms for the army, just as any new problem would have required. (COL Richard N. Armstrong, "Battlefield Innovation: Red Army War Experiences 1941-45, National Secuirty Program Discussion Paper Series, John F. Kennedy School for Government, Harvard University, 1992.)
                            Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                            • #59
                              I've found excerpts from "Battle manual for tank and mechanized forces. Part 2. Battalion, regiment, brigade":
                              https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=450327788
                              https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=450327789
                              https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=450327825
                              https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=450327826
                              https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=454732369
                              That was a preliminary version disseminated in 1943 for evaluation. In the final version content and the number of order of paragraphs was different somewhat. Also there are many curious comments, amendments and revision of the all three parts of the manual proposed by troops.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                In the Red Army's Kursk counteroffensives, the Western Front, which had not been the object of the German assault, was a major force in the counteroffensive. The Front's main attack was by the 11th Gds Army, and it received a large amount of scrutiny. General E.A. Shilovskii, from the General Staff Academy and editor for the Collections of Materials for the Study of War experience, traveled to the Front and observed the breakthrough operation first hand. General Shilovskii, paralleling his 1939 study, produced an article in "Military Thought" on the "Preparation and Conduct of an Operational Breakthrough," which is an excellent guide to the preparation, attack, and exploitation phases of a breakthrough operation. The following year he wrote Front Breakthrough, expanding the strong analytical structure for the conduct of operational level breakthroughs.
                                Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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