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  • No Russian Halftracks?

    What is the actual reason for the Russians not to build a halftrack of their own?
    Was it just a consideration of the materials they had (best to build tanks, the infrantry can walk, or ride, with no protection), a tactical concept or something else? One might ponder on if they had such vehicles in say, 1942 and on, instead of the lend-lease scout armoured cars sent from the U.S.

    Cheers

    Tom

  • #2
    I think they would have produced one by '44 if by that time there weren't large amounts of lend-lease HT's.

    However, I do wonder why there weren't even prototypes in the early days. The early RKKA had all sorts of other weird specialized vehicles...like the "chemical armored car" for example...

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    • #3
      Did the British build any?
      Wolster

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Wolster View Post
        Did the British build any?

        Hmmm. Good point! I can't think of any.

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        • #5
          There were stop-gap ZIS armored trucks, but not built in considerable numbers nor used primarily as APC's.
          http://www.o5m6.de/zis_5_armoured.html

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TRDG View Post
            What is the actual reason for the Russians not to build a halftrack of their own?
            Was it just a consideration of the materials they had (best to build tanks, the infrantry can walk, or ride, with no protection), a tactical concept or something else? One might ponder on if they had such vehicles in say, 1942 and on, instead of the lend-lease scout armoured cars sent from the U.S.

            Cheers

            Tom
            Russian half-tracks:
            http://rkkaww2.armchairgeneral.com/g...ers/ZIS_22.htm
            http://rkkaww2.armchairgeneral.com/g...ers/ZIS_42.htm

            Also there was GAZ-65 model...
            If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

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            • #7
              Those would make an excellent modelling project.

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              • #8
                Halftracks more along the lines of

                having an armoured HT to carry troops into battle, more than a weapons carrier, good try though Alex. Like the ones the Germans and the U.S. used to great effect, some of the time anyways. All that land and terrain conditions would seem perfect for a Russian halftrack to carry all those Russian infrantry to and from various battlefields. One might suspec their lack of trucks as a clue as well that they never put this one up on the drawing board. Was it at least looked at by someone higher up in the Russian Command?

                Cheers

                Tom

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                • #9
                  They were too busy with building tanks.

                  you have to remember that most of Soviet industry was either destroyed or evactuated in haste in 1941. It took the better part of two years to get tank production back onstream, and many of the facilities that were building them after 1942 were the same factories that had built trucks and automobiles before the invasion. Material and manhours spent on trucks (or halftracks) meant fewer tanks, simple as that.

                  Some of the shortfall in wheeled vehicles was made up by Lend-Lease, and these, along with Soviet trucks, were almost entirely used to move supplies, not men. US halftracks and Scout Cars were also delivered, and these went to reconnaissance units. The infantry walked, or rode on tanks. While it may have been less comfortable (and more dangerous in the latter case), they got the job done.
                  Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

                  A contentedly cantankerous old fart

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                  • #10
                    Good points

                    Those were some of my thoughts pretty much as well, but was there an actual "command decision" not to even check the HTs out? Their manpower was huge at that time still, why not focus on some less costly and with less materials on a halftrack? I suspect the armoured German spearheads had something to do with that as well, at least in their first successes. Would'nt the Germans use of their HTs be studied by the Russians, and considered at least?

                    Cheers, we might be off again on a good topic here.

                    Tom

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TRDG View Post
                      Those were some of my thoughts pretty much as well, but was there an actual "command decision" not to even check the HTs out? Their manpower was huge at that time still, why not focus on some less costly and with less materials on a halftrack? I suspect the armoured German spearheads had something to do with that as well, at least in their first successes. Would'nt the Germans use of their HTs be studied by the Russians, and considered at least?

                      Cheers, we might be off again on a good topic here.

                      Tom
                      Remember the Germans were total nuts about mechanization, and even so, they had very few halftracks early in the war. There was not the opportunity for anyone to study how they used them before Barbarossa, simply because they were not used on any scale, even then. Most of the Wehrmacht walked, some rode in trucks, and only the lucky few had halftracks in 1941. By then the die was cast, and halftracks for troops was a luxury the Red Army chose not to pursue.
                      Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

                      A contentedly cantankerous old fart

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Roger that

                        But there were more German HTs in 42, then more in 43, and did'nt the "few" HTs go with the armoured Pz divisions, the ones that many Russians saw and fought. That might make the Russians beleave that the Germans had more than they really did. Pure speculation on my part, that is one of the questions I'm kinda trying to find a reply to. How good was Russian intel on HT numbers that the Germans had? Compared to say, their exact intel at the Kursk battle on what the Germans planned...... Do you see what I mean?

                        Cheers

                        Tom

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TRDG View Post
                          But there were more German HTs in 42, then more in 43, and did'nt the "few" HTs go with the armoured Pz divisions, the ones that many Russians saw and fought. That might make the Russians beleave that the Germans had more than they really did. Pure speculation on my part, that is one of the questions I'm kinda trying to find a reply to. How good was Russian intel on HT numbers that the Germans had? Compared to say, their exact intel at the Kursk battle on what the Germans planned...... Do you see what I mean?

                          Cheers

                          Tom
                          First, and perhaps most important, in 1942 Soviet tank production was a shambles. At one point there was only one factory building T-34s (STZ), and it was threatened by the German advance, finally halting production at the end of that year.

                          Secondly, the German halftracks were not assigned to Panzer divisions, at least not outside command echelons. They were intended for the Panzergrenadier divisions, most of whom had only one of three companies mounted in APCs until 1943. The Panzergrenadiers mostly rode trucks.

                          As for Soviet tactical intelligence, I can't answer one way or another. Kursk was an exception, too, a set-piece battle, long anticipated, where the Red Army had lots of time to conduct reconnaissance, deploy maskirovka, and prepare a defense in depth.
                          Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

                          A contentedly cantankerous old fart

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                          • #14
                            I don't think the value of having an armoured infantry carrier of one sort or another was lost on the Soviet Army at all. Many developments after the Great Patriotic War certainly showed this. BTR's to BMP's in huge numbers showed they were paying close attention to getting large masses of Infantry on to objectives quickly and in good order. Russian Military Science knows and did know that the bottom line was that Infantry is a requirement to take and hold ground and it canít be done without them.

                            As for their use in the War, like pointed out already it just wasn't practical to build and get them into action in the numbers required to make a difference. I suspect that like many armies, the huge shift in doctrine required to employ them even had they be available would have put a strain on the training of soldiers to use them properly.

                            As for Recce Troops using them, this is already a specialist group used to being mobile to carry out their missions, so their training would require little change to training and doctrine.

                            Despite the desire to armour up foot soldiers, most armies really didn't have the vehicles to truly follow tanks into the maelstrom of combat. Halftracks only provided limited protection and a ride closer to the action. (There are exceptions to this rule.) Kangaroos were the first real attempt to be able to drive right into battle and where used they proved effective. IMHO.
                            Eternal War(gaming) Armoured Struggle Car Bob

                            History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis.
                            Lazarus Long

                            Draw the blinds on yesterday and it's all so much scarier....
                            David Bowie

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TRDG View Post
                              What is the actual reason for the Russians not to build a halftrack of their own?
                              Was it just a consideration of the materials they had (best to build tanks, the infrantry can walk, or ride, with no protection), a tactical concept or something else? One might ponder on if they had such vehicles in say, 1942 and on, instead of the lend-lease scout armoured cars sent from the U.S.

                              Cheers

                              Tom
                              Soviet halftracks made, over 2,600. Un-armored. Fully-tracked, fully armored, a few hundred. It's been said that their half tracks (Or, half-trucks, as they were known) were horrible in SUMMER conditions thus not worthwhile producing. Let's not forget that the German hanomag was not meant to be used in close-in combat. The panzergrenadiers would have to dismount to advance to the target. That being said, what is wrong with the Soviet option of "tank descent" (tank riders)?

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