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*FM 100-2-1
Field Manual Department of the Army
No. 100-2-1 Washington, DC, 16 July 1984


Operations and Tactics


This field manual is part of FM series 100-2, The SovietArmy. The othervolumes are
FM 100-2-2, The Soviet Army: Specialized Warfare and Rear Area Support, and FM
100-2-3, The Soviet Army: Troops, Organization and Equipment. These manuals
cannot stand alone but should be used interchangeably.
These field manuals serve as the definitive source of unclassified information on
Soviet ground forces and their interaction with other services in combined arms
warfare. These manuals represent the most current unclassified information and they
will be updated periodically. More information would become available in the event of
war or national emergency.
Users of this publication are encouraged to recommend changes and submit
comments for its improvement. Key comments to the specific page and paragraph in
which the change is recommended. Provide a reason for each comment to insure
understanding and complete evaluation. To send changes or comments, prepare DA
Form 2028 (Recommended Changes to Publications and Blank Forms) and forward it
to Deputy Commander, USA CACDA, ATTN: ATZL-CAT, Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027.
FM 100-2-1

The cover design is an adaptation of this patch which

is worn by Soviet motorized rifle troops, whose organiza-
tion is representative of the Soviet combined arms theme.
FM 100-2-1


Quick Reference


INTRODUCTION......................... 1 ARTILLERY SUPPORT ...................... 9
SOVIET MILITARY DOCTRINE ............ 2 ANTITANK SUPPORT ..................... 10
COMMAND AND CONTROL .............. 3 AIR DEFENSE ............................ 11
OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS: FRONT AIR SUPPORT ............................ 12
AND ARMY ............................. 4 SMOKE ................................... 13
LOWER................................. 5 ELECTRONIC WARFARE ................ 15
RECONNAISSANCE..................... 7 CHEMICAL WARFARE .................. 16
FIRE SUPPORT.......................... 8

1 INTRODUCTION ........................ 1-1 ORGANIZATION OF HEADQUARTERS...... 3-2
SOVIET GROUND FORCES ............... 1-1 COMMAND POST ........................ 3-3
GROUPS OF FORCES...................1-1 TACTICAL COMMUNICATIONS ........... 3-3
The TVD............................. 1-1 DIVISION-LEVEL COMMAND AND
The Soviet Front ..................... 1-1 CONTROL............................. 3-4
STRENGTH AND DEPLOYMENT OF Dual Allegiance....................... 3-5
FORCES.............................. 1-1 Division Command Group ............... 3-5
Division Command and Staff
2 SOVIET MILITARY DOCTRINE .......... 2-1 Procedures......................... 3-10
THE STRUCTURE OF SOVIET MILITARY CONTROL ............................... 3-12
THOUGHT............................. 2-1
Principles of Military Art ................ 2-2 4 OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS: FRONT
The Laws of War ....................... 2-2 AND ARMY........................... 4-1
COMBAT ACTIONS ....................... 2-5 FRONT OFFENSIVE ...................... 4-1
COMBINED ARMS OFFENSIVE WARFARE.. 2-5 Offensive Planning .................... 4-1
The Attack in Depth ..................... 2-6 Offensive Phasing .................... 4-2
Nuclear Warfare Implications ........... 2-7 Rapid Advance ......................... 4-4
Limited Nuclear War Considerations ..... 2-8 Concentration of Forces .................4-4
Nonnuclear Warfare.................. 2-9 Attack Echelons ........................ 4-5
Chemical Warfare .................... 2-9 The Front Operational Maneuver Group .. 4-5
ECHELONS AND FORGE RATIOS ......... 2-10 Nonnuclear Front Offensive ............. 4-6
First and Second Echelons ............. 2-10 ARMY OFFENSIVE...................... 4-6
Reserve Forces ........................ 2-11 Echelonment of Forces ................ 4-6
Force Ratios ........................... 2-11 Use of Forward Detachments...........4-7
NORMS, INITIATIVE, AND FLEXIBILITY .... 2-11 The Army 0MG ...................... 4-9
Other Support Elements ............... 4-9
3 COMMAND AND CONTROL ............ 3-1
AUTHORITY .............................. 3-1 AND LOWER ............................ 5-1
COMMANDERS .......................... 3-2 MOVEMENT .......................... 5-1

FM 100-2-1

The M arch ............... ............. 5-1 TARGET DAMAGE CRITERIA ........ . 8-1
Prebattle Formation ...... .............. 5-8 PHASES OF FIRE SUPPORT ........ .8-1
Attack Formation ............................. 5-11 FIRE SUPPORT ZONES.............. .8-2
ATTACKING A DEFENDING ENEMY ....... 5-13 AIR SUPPORT ........................... . 8-2
Concept ................ .............. 5-13 FIRE SUPPORT ASSETS............. . 8-3
Forms of Maneuver .................... 5-13 TRENDS IN FIRE SUPPORT......... .8-3
Objectives ............................. 5-14
Planning ........................... 5-14 9 ARTILLERY SUPPORT .................. 9-1
Reinforcements ........................ 5-16 ARTILLERY ASSETS ...................... 9-1
Fire Planning ........................... 5-17 Allocation Procedures................... 9-1
Division Attack .............................. 5-18 Organization for Combat ................ 9-1
Regimental Attack .................... 5-22 COMMAND AND CONTROL ............... 9-3
Battalion Attack ....................... 5-24 Command Relationships ................ 9-4
Conduct of the Attack ................. 5-27 Coordination, and Communications ... 9-4
Combined Arms Tactics ............... 5-27 FIRE CONTROL AND TARGET
THE MEETING ENGAGEMENT ............ 5-29 INTELLIGENCE .... ..... ............. 9-6
Objectives and Characteristics ......... 5-29 Observation Posts ..................... 9-6
The March Prior to Engagement ........ 5-31 Reconnaissance and Target Acquisition .. 9-6
Initial Phase ........................... 5-34 EQUIPM ENT.............................. 9-7
Deployment of Main Force ............. 5-34 ARTILLERY AMMUNITION ................ 9-7
Follow-on Forces ........................... 5-36 TACTICAL DEPLOYMENT OF AN ARTILLERY
PURSUIT ....... ......................... 5-36 BATTALION ................. ..... 9-8
THE ROLE AND NATURE OF THE METHODS OF FIRE .................... 9-12
DEFENSE ...................... .... 6-1 Offensive Fire ....................... 9-12
CONCEPTS OF THE PREPARED DEFEI NS • •;E .. 6-1 Defensive Fire ........................ 9-15
Security Echelon ...................... .... 6-2 FIELD ARTILLERY CONDUCT OF FIRE ..... 9-16
Main Defensive Area ............... .... 6-2 FIRE PLANNING ..................... 9-18
Fire Sacks .......................... .... 6-2 FIELD ARTILLERY IN THE OFFENSE ....... 9-20
Minefields and Obstacles ........... .... 6-2 FIELD ARTILLERY IN THE DEFENSE ....... 9-22
Anti-tank Defense ................. .... 6-3 FIRING NORMS ......................... 9-22
Counterattacks ..................... .... 6-3
CONCEPTS OF THE HASTY DEFENSE .. .... 6-3 10 ANTITANK SUPPORT .................. 10-1
Reverse Slope Defense .............. .... 6-3 ANTITANK WEAPONS SYSTEMS ......... 10-1
Support Elements .................. .... 6-4 ORGANIZATION AND EQUIPMENT ........ 10-1
CONDUCT OF THE DEFENSE .......... .... 6-4 TACTICAL EMPLOYMENT ................ 10-1
Defensive Planning ................. .... 6-4 THE OFFENSE ................... .. 10-2
Division-level Defense .............. .... 6-5 THE DEFENSE ........................... 10-3
Regimental-level Defense .......... .... 6-6
Battalion-level Defense ............. .... 6-7 11 AIR DEFENSE ................... ....... 11-1
W ITHDRAWAL ....................... ... 6-10 CONCEPTS AND PRINCIPLES ............. 11-1
RELIEF............... . ............ ... 6-11 ORGANIZATION AND EQUIPMENT....... 11-2
MISSIONS .............................. 11-3
7 RECONNAISSANCE .................... 7-1 SUPPORT IN THE OFFENSE .............. 11-4
ELEMENTS ...... ....................... 7-2 PROTECTION OF MARCH COLUMNS ..... 11-9
UNITS ............................... 11-10
8 FIRE SUPPORT ....................... ...8-1 PROTECTION OF RIVER CROSSINGS .... 11-10
CONCEPT............................. ...8-1 AIR DEFENSE OPERATIONS IN
FIRE SUPERIORITY ................... ...8-1 MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN ............... 11-11
FM 100-2-1

WEAKNESSES ......................... 11-11 (REC) ................................... 15-1
TRENDS ............................... 11-12 TARGET PRIORITIES ..................... 15-2
CONCEPT ............................... 12-1 FINDING .............................. 15-2
The Air Operation ..................... 12-1 USE OF FIREPOWER ..................... 15-4
Air Support of Ground Forces .......... 12-2 GROUND BASED EW CAPABILITIES ...... 15-4
COMMAND AND CONTROL .............. 12-2 SEABORNE EW CAPABILITIES............ 15-5
Aviation Control Element ............... 12-2 ELECTRONIC COUNTER-
Forward Air Controller ................. 12-2 COUNTERMEASURES (ECCM) ............ 15-5
Difficulties in Coordination ............. 12-3 Organizational ECCM Techniques ....... 15-5
Night and Weather Conditions .......... 12-3 Individual ECCM Techniques ........... 15-5
PLANNING AND PREPARATION .......... 12-3 Antiradar Camouflage .................. 15-5
PREPLANNED AIR SUPPORT SATELLITES ............................. 15-6
M ISSIO NS ............................. 12-4
AVIATION EMPLOYMENT ................ 12-5 CHEMICAL WARFARE .. ...... WARNING........ 16-1
Air-Ground Coordination ............... 12-5 NUCLEAR WEAPONS ..... 16-1
Control Versus Mass ................... 12-6 NUCLEAR OPERATIONS .. ............... 16-2
Reconnaissance and Targeting ......... 12-6 Planning ............... 16-2
Mission Execution ..................... 12-6 Targeting .............. 16-2
SUPPORT IN THE OFFENSE .............. 12-8 Offensive Employment .. 16-2
SUPPORT IN THE DEFENSE .............. 12-9 Defensive Employment.. .. . ... .... .. . . . 16-3
TRENDS ............................... 12-9 BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS .. 16-3
13 SM O KE .. ........................... 13-1 SOVIET PROTECTION AND WARNING
TYPES OF SMOKE SCREENS ............. 13-1 EQUIPMENT.......... .................. 16-5
SMOKE ................................ 13-2 NBC TRAINING .......................... 16-6
Premilitary Training .................... 16-6
14 ENGINEER SUPPORT .................. 14-1 Unit Training .......................... 16-7
ORGANIZATION ......................... 14-1 Training of Chemical Defense Troops.... 16-8
Engineer Support in the Offense ........ 14-2 Training of Chemical Defense Officers .. 16-8
Engineer Reconnaissance .............. 14-2 PROTECTIVE MEASURES ................ 16-9
Movement Support .................... 14-2 NBC Protective Equipment ............. 16-9
Minefield Breaching ................... 14-2 NBC Reconnaissance .................. 16-9
M ine Laying .......................... 14-4 Decontamination Procedures .......... 16-11
Assault River Crossings ................ 14-4 COMBAT IN AN NBC ENVIRONMENT .... 16-12
ENGINEER SUPPORT IN THE DEFENSE.... 14-4 Actions During the March ............. 16-12
CAMOUFLAGE AND WATER SUPPLY ..... 14-5 The Offense ................. 6-12
The Defense ......................... 16-12
15 ELECTRONIC WARFARE ............... 15-1 Recovery Operations ................. 16-13
SOVIET EW CAPABILITIES ............... 15-1 CONCLUSIONS ......................... 16-14



This field manual describes the operations and are capable of employing chemical agents from bat-
tactics of Soviet general purpose ground forces. The talion level upward.
content is based on information in Soviet writings and The Soviets' basic principle of land warfare is violent,
other open source literature. Most available informa- sustained, and deep offensive action. Mechanized and
tion is focused on potential battle in Central Europe. armored formations, supported by aviation and artil-
This manual reflects that focus. Though Soviet military lery, are to seize the initiative at the outset of hostili-
activity extends to other parts of the world, the Soviet ties, to penetrate the enemy's defenses, and to drive
forces opposite NATO represent a general model for deeply and decisively into the enemy's rear area.
Scvict forces elsewhere, as well as for forces of Soviet
allies and surrogates.
The ground forces constitute the largest of the five GROUPS OF FORCES
Soict military services. Soviet armies have always been In peacetime, the major combined arms commands
massive. Today, they are also highly modernized, well are located in the 16 military districts in the USSR and
equipped, and have great firepower and mobility. Man- in the 4 groups of forces in Eastern Europe: Group of
power and materiel combined make the present Soviet Soviet Forces, Germany, Northern Group of Forces in
ground forces a very formidable land army. Poland, Central Group of Forces in Czechoslovakia,
The main combat power of the ground forces is and Southern Group of Forces in Hungary. The Soviets
centered in tank and motorized rifle divisions that are also maintain sizable forces in Mongolia and
deployed under combined arms commands (armies Afghanistan. (See map on page 1-2.)
and fronts) and controlled through the Chief of the In wartime, forces in the groups of forces and mili-
(;eneral Staff. The airborne troops are nominally an tary districts will be organized into theaters of military
arm of the ground forces but are subordinate opera- operations (Russian: (ID) and fronts (army groups)
tionally to the General Staff. for combat operations.he military districts will con-
In the years immediately following World War II, tinue to function as territorial commands, acting as
Stalin maintained massive ground forces to offset the mobilization and training bases and providing
threat of US nuclear power. As the Soviets developed logistical and other support services.
their own strategic nuclear capability and forces, their
emphasis shifted away from the ground forces. Under
Khruschev, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the size ,The TVD
of the ground forces was reduced, while strategic Besides being a level of command, a TVD is also a
rocket forces increased in size. geographic entity. It consists of a particular territory,
The Soviets are concerned about the growing threat such as a continent or sea, where military forces of the
from China and wars in the Middle East and Far East. USSR and/or its allies operate in wartime. The Soviets
Thliey are increasingly aware that a war may be fought consider the major type of wartime operation to be the
without the use of strategic nuclear weapons. For theater strategic operation. Within each TVD there are
these reasons, the Brezhnev regime reemphasized the one or more strategic axes. A strategic axis consists of a
importance of the ground forces. Steady and sys- wide strip of land or sea and the air space above it, lead-
tematic improvements continue. More than 30 divi- ing the armed forces to the enemy's most important
sions have been added since 1967. Many new weapons administrative-political and industrial-economic
and equipment of all types have been introduced. centers!-The TVD's most important function will be to
Officer and conscript training has been improved. New orchestrate and control coordinated theater-wide
tactics, operational art, and strategy also have been operations involving fronts, fleets, independent
developed. armies, or flotillas.
The Soviets believe that any future war could involve
the use of nuclear weapons and that the initial stage of
the war will be decisive. Tactical nuclear weapons
The Sovie rnt
have been assigned at all levels from division up. The The fron is the largest field formation in wartime. It
Soviets have the largest and most effective array
of is an operational and administrative unit, and its size
chemical weapons and equipment in the world. They
and composition can vary widely depending on the
FM 1002o1

Soviet Military Districts and Groups of Forces I-

1 - Leningrad 5 - Carpathian 9 - Transcaucasus 13 - Central Asia
2 - Baltic 6 - Odessa 10 - Volga 14 - Siberian
3 - Belorussian 7 - Kiev 11 - Urais 15 - Transbaykal
4 - Moscow 8 - North Caucasus 12 - Turkestan 16 - Far East
A - Group of Soviet Forces, Germany C - Central Group, Czechoslovakia
B - Northern Group, Poland D - Southern Group, Hungary

mission and situation. Roughly equivalent to a missile, air defense, engineer, chemical defense, signal,
US/NATO army group, a front could be composed of intelligence, reconnaissance, and rear support units.
three to five armies with organic artillery, missile, air By altering the mix of motorized rifle and tank divi-
defense, engineer, signal, intelligence, reconnaissance, sions and artillery and missile support, the army can
and rear service units, plus aviation, air assault, and operate in either offensive or defensive roles in
special purpose forces. different geographical areas and under various opera-
tional constraints.
The Combined Arms Army. The combined arms
army is an operational and administrative organization; The Tank Army. The tank armyis an operational and
it is the basic Soviet field army. A typical combined administrative unit, and, like the combined arms army,
arms army includes two to four motorized rifle divi- is a basic component of afront.The size and composi-
sions and one or two tank divisions, plus artillery, tion of the army will depend on the mission, the situa-
FM 100-2-1

tion, and the area of operations. A typical tank army Many Soviet divisions are maintained at reduced
includes two to four tank divisions and one or two strength in peacetime, but they can be brought up to
motorized rifle divisions, plus artillery, missile, air operational strength quickly by calling up trained
defense, engineer, chemical defense, signal, intelli- reservists.
gence, reconnaissance, and rear service units. A typical For over a decade, the Soviets have been modern-
role of a tank army is to exploit penetrations deep into izing and upgrading their ground forces. This has
the enemy's rear areas. involved large-scale improvements in mobility, fire
There are three basic types of maneuver divisions in power, shock action, command and control, obstacle-
the Soviet ground forces: motorized rifle, tank, and air- crossing capability, air defense, electronic warfare
borne. (For more detailed information, refer to FM (EW), and logistic support. New and advanced equip-
100-2-3, The Soviet Army: Troops, Organizationand ment has been introduced.
Equipment.) The Soviets have been paying increased attention to
the development of power projection forces that
would enable them to assert their influence in areas
STRENGTH AND distant from their borders. Naval and air transport
DEPLOYMENT OF FORCES resources can be employed to project regular ground
The Soviet ground forces have a total strength of force units as well as naval infantry and airborne units
about 1,825,000 men. There are currently 191 and independent air assault brigades.
maneuver divisions. There are 134 motorized rifle divi- Soviet power projection capabilities are impressive
sions, 50 tank divisions, and 7 airborne divisions. Of in the Persian Gulf region. The Soviets have a sub-
these maneuver divisions, 30 are stationed in Eastern stantial number of divisions in varying states of readi-
Europe (East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and ness based in Afghanistan and in the Transcauscasus,
Hungary), 80 are stationed in the European portion of North Caucasus, and Turkestan Military Districts.
the USSR, 29 in the Central Asian portion and Soviet aircraft based in Afghanistan can reach most
Afghanistan, and 52 in Siberia, the Far East, and points in the Persian Gulf region and large portions of
Mongolia. the Arabian Sea. Port facilities in the People's
There are four basic deployment groupings: against Democratic Republic of Yemen and Ethiopia greatly
NATO, against China, against the Middle East, and a enhance the operating potential of the Soviet fleet in
strategic reserve. The largest, best-equipped, and most the Indian-Ocean and Airabian Sea.
combat-ready is the group deployed against NATO.




To the Soviets, war is a manifestation of the class tary decision-making level. The system deals with all
struggle. It is an expression of the conflict between the military issues, ranging from national defense policy
"progressive forces of socialism" and the "reactionary down to platoon tactics. Soviet military officers are
forces of imperialistic capitalism," which they feel will quite familiar with the entire system of thought and
be ultimately resolved in favor of socialism. The Soviet routinely express themselves in these terms. They
concept of war represents a continuation of politics. In think and formulate decisions using these concepts.
Western perceptions, war occurs when politics fail to Military science is the study and analysis of the
resolve conflicts nonviolently. The Soviets feel that war diverse psychological and material phenomena rele-
is the least desirable method by which the forces of his- vant to armed combat for developing practical recom-
tory will move toward complete victory for socialism. mendations for the achievement of victory in war.
The Soviet political and military theorists compare Unlike doctrine, military science is characterized by
the socialist and capitalist camps by a concept called controversy and debate. In military science, there may
the "correlation of forces." This concept compares the be several points of view, diverse "scientific" concepts,
relative political, moral, economic, and military and original hypotheses that are not selected as doc-
strengths of both sides. In the Soviet view, the correla- trine and therefore are not accepted as official state
tion of forces has been shifting in favor of the socialist views on military issues. Military science encompasses
camp since the Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany in World virtually all things military.
War II. Soviet Marxist-Leninist ideology requires the Militaryart is the most important and primary field
correlation to shift continuously in favor of socialism. within military science and is the basis for strategy,
The correlation of forces may be advanced by both operational art, and tactics. It is the theory and practice
violent and nonviolent means. When it is advanced by of conducting armed conflict. The principles of mili-
violent means, the military component of the correla- tary art are the basic ideas and the most important
tion is the dominant factor. recommendations for the organization and conduct of
battles, operations, and warfare.
The concept of military art and its role in military
THE STRUCTURE OF science are not just empty exercises in the Marxist-
SOVIET MILITARY THOUGHT Leninist theory. Many Soviet military officers hold
Soviet military doctrine is the officially accepted set advanced degrees in military science and are serious
of concepts that, delineate the ways and means to and intense in their study. They are convinced of the
achieve military objectives in the interest of politics. superiority of this methodology for preparing the
This doctrine also specifies the structure of the Soviet Soviet armed forces to achieve success in modern war-
armed forces, allocates industrial resources and out- fare. The structure of ideas, terminology, and concepts
put, and orients research and development efforts to associated with this system of thought constitutes the
support armed forces. Military doctrine is the blue- very vocabulary through which Soviet officers express
print drawn up by the highest Soviet political leaders their perceptions of military problems and the mea-
that describes in specific detail the shape of the armed sures they develop to resolve them.
forces and the way they are to be used. Military art applies to three separate but interdepen-
The formulation of Soviet military doctrine is a con- dent levels of combat activity:
tinuous evolutionary process based on: * Strategic - national and theater level.
* Communist ideology. - Operational -fronts and armies.
* Soviet foreign policy. * Tactical - division and below.
* Economic and military strengths of adversaries. Soviet perspectives on and prescriptions for armed
* Soviet resources and geography. conflict require that tactical success leads to opera-
* History. tional success. Similarly, operational gains lead to
* Science and technology. strategic success.
Soviet military doctrine is based on an elaborate, It is often difficult to separate Soviet tactics from
integrated system of thought. The doctrinal concepts what the Soviets call "operational art" because the
are precisely defined, and each has its place in a maneuver divisions that are the subject of tactics are
hierarchy of importance that corresponds to its mili- the maneuver elements that achieve the "operational"
FM 100-2-1

objectives of armies and fronts. Moreover, the two * Maintain continuous and reliable command and
concepts are closely interrelated in Soviet military control.
thinking and planning. A recurring theme in Soviet * Be determined and decisive in achieving the
military writing is the need for the commander to keep assigned mission.
the "operational" goal in mind. The overriding objec- * Maintain complete security of combat operations.
tive of the combined arms offensive is to rapidly turn * Reconstitute reserves and restore combat effec-
tactical success into operational success by a well- tiveness as quickly as possible.
orchestrated combination of massive fire, maneuver, These are general principles that apply to all three
and deep, violent strikes. levels of military art: strategy, operations, and tactics.
It is important to understand what the Soviets mean At each of these levels, there are more specific,
by "tactics" and "operations" as well as the various detailed principles.
words and verbal formulas that they associate with Soviet military thought subscribes to certain "laws of
each concept. To the Soviet officer, the word war" at the strategic level, and "principles of opera-
"operation" informs him that the activity in question tional art and tactics" which apply to the actual
involves at least an army or a front that was probably conduct of combat.
tailored for the mission. "Tactics" consist of combat
actions at division level and lower. Divisions have a set The Laws of War
organizational structure that, except for combat sup- First Law: The course and outcome of war
port reinforcements, does not vary from mission to waged with unlimited employment of all means
mission. of conflict depends primarily on the correlation
Divisions fight battles, whereas armies conduct of available, strictly military combatants at the
operations. First echelon divisions usually pursue tacti- beginning of war ...
cal objectives in the enemy's tactical depth, whereas Second Law: The course and outcome of war
armies-normally using their second echelon divi- depend on the correlation of the military
sions-must achieve operational objectives in the potentials of the combatants.
enemy's operational depth. Third Law: (The) course and outcome (of war)
depend on its political content.
Fourth Law: The course and outcome of war
PRINCIPLES OF MILITARY ART depend on the correlation of moral-political and
Soviet military theorists consider the following psychological capabilities of the peoples and
points to be the general principles of military art. They armies of the combatants.
do not represent any special revelation of truth or
radical departure from traditional military thought. Marshal Sokolovsky
However, by their emphasis on these particular points, Military Strategy
Soviet military leaders reveal the character of their
military thinking and predict the basic characteristics In simpler terms, these laws mean the following:
of future Soviet military operations. * FirstLaw: Be prepared. Prepare in peacetime for
According to the Soviets, their armed forces must: the next war. Forces-in-being are the decisive factors.
* Be fully prepared to accomplish the mission The side with the most and best troops and equipment
regardless of the conditions under which war begins at the start of war will win the war.
or must be conducted. * Second Law: The side which can best sustain a pro-
* Achieve surprise whenever possible. Military tracted war will win the war.
operations must be characterized by decisiveness and * ThirdLaw: The higher the political stakes of awar,
aggressiveness. Forces must strive continuously to the longer and more violent it will be.
seize and to hold the initiative. * Fourth Law: War aims must be seen as just.
* Make full use of all available military assets and Modern war cannot be waged without public support.
capabilities to achieve victory. Soviet planning and preparation for war reflect a
* Insure that major formations and units of all ser- dominant feeling that war is inevitable. This is not to
vices, branches, and arms effect thorough and con- say that the USSR wants war, but that it is preparing for
tinuous coordination. it continuously.
* Select the principal enemy objective to be seized The Soviet state is autocratic, militarized, and cen-
and the best routes for attacking it. Make a decisive tralized. Its political and economic systems give
concentration of combat power at the correct time. priority to military requirements. The state allocates
FM 100-2-1

resources and directs production for preparation and The most significant points of this list are:
maintenance of a war footing. * He who gets to the initial battle with the "most"
The preparation of a nation for war is * The enemy must be confronted with more than
accomplished along three main lines: one situation to deal with.
* the preparation of the armed forces, * One should not be diverted bygeographical objec-
* the preparation of the national economy, tives, but should concentrate on the destruction of the
* and the preparation of the population. enemy's military forces.
* Detailed, exacting preparation must precede an
Marshal Sokolovsky attack.
Military Strategy * Design actions to preempt the opponent and keep
him reacting to situations that you control.
The Soviet Union is prepared to exert itself at great * Concentrate on the enemy's weak points rather
expense to achieve its goals. It is a nation which than his strengths.
through civil war, collectivization, attendant famine, Contemporary Soviet military theorists hold that
and purges inflicted more than 20 million deaths on its nuclear weaponry and other means of modern warfare
own citizens from the Russian Revolution to the start have modified the basic principles. By the early 1970's,
of World War II. It is a nation that endured the loss of the following principles dominated Soviet operational
20 million people during World War II. Its tolerance art and tactics:
for sacrifice is high.
As the "laws of war" dominate strategic planning for
war, so do "principles of operational art and tactics" Russian Military Principles of the 1970s
govern the conduct of warfare within a given theater of
operations. The popular Western version of these * Mobility and high rates of combat operations.
Soviet operational and tactical principles is very brief: * Concentration of main efforts and creation of
objective, offensive, surprise, maneuver, and mass. This superiority in forces and means over the enemy
list does not fairly characterize the basis on which at the decisive place and at the decisive time.
Soviet military leaders plan and conduct operations * Surprise and security.
and tactics. * Combat activeness.
Just as they add new equipment to their forces * Preservation of the combat effectiveness of
without abandoning older equipment, the Soviets have friendly forces.
modernized operational and tactical principles * Conformity of the goal to the actual situation.
without fully abandoning earlier ones. A good place to * Coordination.
begin is with those classical principles that were
taught by the tsarist general staff. Commenting on the above listing, Colonel V. Ye.
Savkin wrote the following:

Classic Russian Military Principles The enumerated principles have become the
most important although of course, they cannot
* Extreme exertion of force at the very encompass the entire diversity of combat
beginning of a war. activity. Even now, as there is further develop-
* Simultaneity of actions. ment of means of warfare and military art, other
* Economy of forces. principles can be formulated. For example, the
* Concentration. principle of simultaneous action upon the
* Chief objective - the enemy's army. enemy to the entire depth of his deployment and
* Surprise. upon objectives of the deep rear has acquired an
* Unity of action. increasingly realistic basis with the adoption of
" Preparation. nuclear weapons.
* Energetic pursuit.
* Security. Colonel V. Ye. Savkin
* Initiative and dominance over the enemy's The Basic Principles of
will. Operational Art and Tactics
* Strength where the enemy is weak. (Moscow, 1972)

FM 100-2-1

A melding of contemporary writings and those of the Russian principles, results in the following specific
recent past, plus the influence of significant classical Soviet principles of operational art and tactics:

Modern Operational and Tactical Principles

* The offensive is the basic form of combat rather than by massing maneuver forces.
action. Only by a resolute offense conducted at a * If maneuver forces must be massed, do so
high tempo and to great depth is total rapidly. Disperse them as soon as possible after
destruction of the enemy achieved. the task has been achieved.
* Combat maneuver units must be mobile and * Maneuver first with firepower. Firepower is
capable of rapid movement. maneuver.
* Fire support, command and control, and * Maneuver forces should attack the weakest
logistics must be as mobile as maneuver units. points in enemy defenses. If necessary, create
* Conduct thorough and continuous reconnais- weak points or holes with nuclear or nonnuclear
sance. Find the enemy's weak points. fires. Bypass enemy strongpoints to strike
* Perform a thorough estimate of the situation deeply into his rear.
and make timely, analytical decisions. Be * Avoid frontal attacks. Whenever possible
realistic. Consider the mission, enemy, your strike the enemy in the flanks or rear.
own combat power, terrain, weather and light * Maintain security of your own flanks and rear.
conditions, and time. * Maintain sufficient follow-on force to assure
* Prepare and plan extensively and in detail. achievement of the mission and to deal with
* The planning and conduct of an operation contingencies.
must involve the full coordination and coopera- * Maintain uninterrupted combat support.
tion of all commanders involved. * Maintain effective, continuous command,
* There must be unity of command, a single control, and communications. Loss of
commander for any operation. communications leads to loss of control and
* Fully orchestrate all available combat means defeat. Maintain redundant communications at
in a coordinated, cooperative, combined arms higher levels. Rely on audio and visual signals
effort. and well-rehearsed battle drills at lower levels.
* Deceive the enemy. Attack from an * Staffs at every level must have the equipment
unexpected direction at an unexpected time. and skills necessary to collect and analyze
Use terrain and weather to your advantage. information quickly and to develop and dissemi-
* Strike early with great force. Constantly strive nate orders rapidly based on the commander's
to preempt and dominate the enemy. decision.
* Attack the enemy violently and simul- * Employ radioelectronic combat to deprive the
taneously throughout his depth. Carry the battle enemy of effective command and control of his
to the enemy rear with swift penetrations by combat forces.
maneuver units, fires, aviation, airborne and * Adhere to the spirit and letter of a plan. If the
heliborne assaults, and by unconventional plan fails, use initiative to accomplish the
warfare means. mission.
* Be bold and decisive. Seize and hold the * Be prepared to react effectively to a rapidly
initiative. changing battlefield. Develop procedures to deal
* Prosecute an operation relentlessly, without with numerous contingencies.
pause, under all conditions of visibility or NBC * Think quickly and be decisive and resourceful
contamination. in accomplishing the mission.
* Keep the enemy under constant pressure and * Conserve fighting strength through the use of
off balance. Do not allow him to react effectively. combat vehicles with collective NBC protection,
* Fully exploit the effects of nuclear or chemical dispersal of forces, minimum combat power
strikes with deep attacks by all available forces. necessary to accomplish a task, the use of
* Whenever possible achieve mass by concen- captured enemy equipment, and effective
trated, massed nuclear or nonnuclear fires logistics.
FM 100-2-1

These principles are idealistic. They are what the Offensive actions are divided into three subcate-
Soviets strive to achieve. They show what the Soviets gories which key on enemy actions and disposition.
would like to do, but not, in all cases, what they maybe When the enemy is stationary, in a defensive posture,
capable of doing. However, the principles serve as a the Soviets conduct an attack against a defending
basis from which any examination of Soviet operations enemy. When both the Soviets and the enemy are on
and tactics must start. the offense and their forces collide, the action that
occurs is the meeting engagement. When the enemy is
withdrawing, action performed against him is called
OF COMBAT ACTIONS Defensive actions are not as clearly delineated.
An important consideration in understanding Soviet Though the Soviets recognize a hasty and a prepared
military thought is their categorization of types of defense, the distinction between them is not absolute.
combat actions. It is important to adhere to their With time and preparation, a hasty defense becomes a
categorization and terminology to fullyunderstand the prepared defense. Withdrawal is a topic given very
essence of Soviet operations and tactics. The 1966 little attention in Soviet writings. If not categorically,
Soviet book Taktika (Tactics) was written at a time then at least in perception, it is probablyviewed within
when it was assumed that all major combat activity the larger context of defense.
would take place under nuclear conditions. The book Adhering to the Soviet terminology is particularly
described four major categories of combat action: crucial when examining Soviet offensive actions. Too
offense, meeting engagement, defense, and with- many US analysts have used US tactical terms such as
drawal. The listing of the meeting engagement as a "deliberate attack," "hasty attack," or "movement to
separate major category of combat reflects the view contact" to describe Soviet offensive actions. The use
held at that time that it would be the most prevalent of these terms results in a distorted image of Soviet
form of combat under nuclear conditions. More recent actions. Their tactics are not a "mirror image" of US
writings, to include the Soviet Military Encyclopedia, tactics. To fully understand the Soviet military thought
indicate that the meeting engagement is looked upon process and the options available to the Soviet com-
as one element of the broad category of offense, rather mander, the Soviet categorization must be adhered to.
than a separate major category. This probably reflects According to the Soviet categorization, there is no
the contemporary Soviet view that both nuclear and such thing as a "breakthrough attack" This is another
nonnuclear warfare are possible and that the attack term used incorrectly and too freely by US analysts. The
against a defending enemy may be just as prevalent as misuse of this term has resulted in incorrect percep-
the meeting engagement. tions of Soviet tactics. The "steamroller attack" of
Contemporary Soviet writings describe only two World War II, with troops and equipment massed
basic, diametrically opposed forms of combat action: across a narrow frontage to bludgeon their way
offense and defense. through enemy defenses, is no longer the most com-
mon type of Soviet attack: The Soviet commander
conducting an attack against a defending enemy has
Categories of Soviet Combat Action other options.


* Attack Against a Defending Enemy OFFENSIVE WARFARE
* Attack from the March Although some aspects of the Soviet concept of com-
* Attack from a Position in Direct Contact bined arms are similar to the US military practice of
* Meeting Engagement (enemy is also on combined arms and joint (interservice) operations,
offense) the Soviet concept has a different meaning than does
* Pursuit (enemy is withdrawing) the US term. For example, within the Soviet Army, units
of different branches do not normally cross attach
among themselves to obtain the optimum mix of
DEFENSE combat elements for a given mission. Instead, a unitof
" Hasty Defense one arm will attach its subunits to support or rein-
* Prepared Defense force units of anotherarm without receiving attach-
* Withdrawal ments in return.
FM 100-2-1

The major difference, however, goes beyond vari- action by tank, infantry, artillery, and aviation. The
ances in methods of attachment and reinforcement. separate arms and services were required to combine
The concept of combined arms is far more compre- their efforts under a single control element to imple-
hensive and formalized in Soviet doctrine. It is the ment a unified plan. As a consequence, the require-
cumulative expression of the principles of military art. ment for thorough and continuous coordination
Combined arms combat is the primaryvehicle for their among all combat elements throughout the planning
implementation in operations and tactics. and execution phases of every operation increased
Over the past 60 years, the development of the markedly. Maintenance of reliable and continuous
Soviet combined arms concept has been essentially a command and control became at once more difficult
doctrinal response to increases in the lethality and and more critical. The roles of the combined arms
mobility of weapons and armies. commander and combined arms staff were expanded
Their initial combined arms problem arose from the and refined. The combined arms commander, advised
need to coordinate artillery and infantry during World by his staffs has the overall responsibility for the plan-
War I and the Russian Civil War. During the 1930s, as ning and execution of the operation as well as the
the range and speed of weapon systems began to authority to carry it out.
increase, the Soviets developed the theory and practice To execute the operation in depth successfully, the
of operations in depth. This theory included a number combined arms force had to maintain a rapid tempo of
of tactical prescriptions: the primacy of offensive advance. By tempo, the Soviets mean not only speed
operations, surprise, "shock power," and the combina- but also the flexibility and aggressiveness to create and
tion of several arms and services to attain decisive develop opportunities and to build advantage upon
operational success to a considerable depth within the advantage. To accomplish this, the Soviet armed forces
enemy's defense. adopted the practice of echeloning their formations.

The First Echelon. Typically, the first (assault)

The Attack in Depth echelon attacked and penetrated the enemy's tactical
The principle of attacking in depth was the Soviets' defenses, and the second (exploitation) echelon
response to the increased capability and mobility of drove through the penetration deep into the enemy's
fire support systems (artillery and aviation) and the operational rear. Both echelons were controlled by the
appearance of mechanized infantry, tank, and airborne same combined arms commander. He assigned
forces. Enemy weapons and formations located several missions to the commanders of the first and second
kilometers from the FEBA became an immediate threat echelons in support of his overall mission and con-
to forces opposing them and had to be engaged with trolled the entire force until the operation's ultimate
the same urgency and decisiveness as closer targets. objective had been accomplished.
On the other hand, Soviet fire support systems could While the purpose of echeloning has changed little
reach farther, and their tank and infantry formations over the years, the circumstances under which
had increased in mobility. Soviet military theorists con- echeloning is applied and the manner in which it is
cluded that the deeper threat and the potential for applied have varied considerably-depending on the
deeper fire and maneuver by Soviet forces necessitated relative strength and defensive tactics of the Soviets'
a combined arms effort. They decided that simul- enemies. During World War II, Soviet commanders
taneous artillery attack and airstrikes through the usually employed a heavy second echelon (one third to
entire depth of enemy defenses combined with tank one half of the entire formation) at the tactical level
and infantry formations to break through his tactical only when the enemy defensive formations were
defensive and to drive rapidly and forcefully into the tstrong and deeply echeloned and the enemy had large
depth of his operational rear would best attain success . eserves. When enemy defenses were thin and the
in combat. The enemy's lines of communication, com- , defender did not possess significant reserves, the
mand and control would then be destroyed or dis- Soviets often attacked in a single large echelon (main-
rupted and the remainder of the forward ed- of hisp taining a relatively small combined arms reserve) to
tactical defensive system would begin to fragment and overwhelm the enemy along his entire front. Use of a
collapse. Disorganized, demoralized, and isolated, single-echelon formation simplified command and
enemy commanders would be unable to reestablish an control problems for the Soviet commander and
effective and coordinated defense. denied the weaker defender the opportunity to rein-
The successful execution of this high-speed, deep force laterally and to deal with the attacking force as it
operation required closely coordinated aggressive presented itself in several "waves."
FM 100-2-1
4 \
~9 gl

The Second Echelon. Even when they did not group. The second echelon was thought capable of
echelon their divisions (tactical echeloning), the both building up the offensive or exploiting success of
Soviets would form an operational second echelon the first echelon.
(within armies andfronts). The composition, size, and
specific employment of the second echelon force was The Operational Maneuver Group. The concept
again determined largely by the enemy's strength, of the mobile group and its role in combined arms
tactics, and disposition. When the enemy was able to combat received renewed Soviet interest as the basis
establish a strong tactical defensive system of several for refining their contemporary operational offensive
echelons (reinforced by tactical reserves) and had siz- methods. The modern version of the mobile group, the
able operational reserves available as well, the attack- operational maneuver group (OMG), can move
ing Soviet second echelon comprised as much as half of faster, go deeper, and has better combat and combat
the attacking formation (e.g., two divisions of a four- service support than its World War II counterpart. The
division army). The missions of this standard second OMG concept significantly contributes to fulfilling the
echelon included reduction of bypassed enemy forces, existing requirement for the deep theater offensive
exploitation through the penetration achieved by the operation in keeping with the evolving nature of
first echelon, or an attack in a new direction, and modern war.
possible replacement or reinforcement of the first The concentration of the necessary amount of force
echelon if the first echelon suffered heavy losses. at the right time and place was critical to the mainte-
nance of the tempo required for successful execution
The Mobile Group. When the enemywas relatively of the deep combined arms operation. During World
understrength and lacked credible operational War II, the Soviet Army concentrated tremendous
reserves, the army second echelon would take the force against a narrow sector of the enemy's defenses
form of a mobile group made up of a tank or to achieve a rapid breakthrough. For example, in one
mechanized corps (normally one to three divisions instance, a guards rifle corps was assigned a zone of
reinforced with highly mobile combat and combat ser- advance of 22 kilometers but concentrated 80 to 90
vice support elements). This group, essentially a large, percent of its force into a sector less than one third the
mobile, operational raiding force, either replaced or width of the zone. As a consequence, in a sector 7
supplemented the standard second echelon. The kilometers wide, the corps massed 27 battalions, 1,087
mobile group differed from the standard second eche- pieces of towed artillery and mortars, and 156 tanks
lon in that it was expected to drive to deeper objec- and self-propelled artillery weapons, resulting in a
tives and be able to sustain itself longer without major force advantage of 4 to 1 in infantry, 10 to 1 in artillery,
additional support. It also differed in that while the and 17 to 1 in tanks.
standard operational-level second echelon usually was
primarily nonmotorized infantry, the mobile group
was composed of tank or motorized infantry forces. Nuclear Warfare Implications
When the mobile group was the only follow-on The advent of nuclear weapons caused Soviet
element, part of its force would usually assist the first planners to go through a long period of rethinking and
echelon to make the initial penetration. When a revising their combined arms doctrine. Modern, totally
mobile group and a second echelon were formed to mechanized armed forces-supported and threatened
conduct an operation in anticipation of heavier by weapons that can change the face of the battlefield
resistance in the tactical defense zone, the mobile in a matter of minutes-gave a whole new meaning to
group could be committed before or after the second the high-speed, combined arms operation in depth.
echelon, depending on the actual level of resistance Possible nuclear or chemical attacks by the enemy
encountered by first echelon units. make concentration inadmissable in its World War II
The mobile group of thefront typically consisted of sense. At the same time, the availability of friendly
a tank army. The front mobile group's missions were nuclear strikes and the longer ranges of conventional
similar to the army level group except that the objec- artillery reduce the requirement for massed artillery
tives were larger and deeper. formations. Improved troop mobility permits both the
In the post World War II era, the Soviets completely rapid concentration and quick dispersal essential to
motorized all infantry units and increased the number the survival of tank and motorized rifle formations as
of tanks in divisions. This full mechanization along with they maneuver on a nuclear-threatened battlefield.
the advent of nuclear weapons resulted in dropping In this context, the Soviets now stress that the
the different roles of a second echelon and a mobile "quality" of mass must compensate for the reduced
FM 100-2-1

quantity formerly provided by concentrations of may include the use of chemical weapons. They further
troops and equipment. This quality takes the form of believe this nonnuclear phase is most likely to lead to
intense strikes with conventional air, artillery, and the eventual use of nuclear weapons. Soviet emphasis
weapons of mass destruction. on destroying as much of enemy theater nuclear
The enemy, being under nuclear threat, also must capability during the nonnuclear phase as possible
disperse his formations making himself more vulner- using air and rocket attacks, airborne, heliborne, and
able to penetration by an attacking force. But enemy special purpose forces, and rapid, deep penetrations by
troops are also highly mobile and capable of rapidly ground forces, might deny a credible enemy nuclear
concentrating to protect a threatened sector. There- option.
fore, surprise and timing of operations are extremely
critical to complicate enemy targeting and to deny him
the time to use his mobility to reinforce. Limited Nuclear War Considerations
In the past decade, the Soviet political and military
Mobility. In an NBC environment, the need for leaders have discussed the possibility of a limited
mobility on the battlefield increases dramatically. nuclear war. They accept that a war could be limited to
Exploitation forces must be prepared to move great a given theater of military operations (TVD) and
distances while maintaining command and control and would not necessarily escalate to an intercontinental
combat effectiveness. The ability of Soviet combat exchange of nuclear strikes.
vehicles using collective NBC protective systems to Attempting to limit nuclear war to a TVD would
move through contaminated areas and the increased place even greater pressure on Soviet forces to achieve
emphasis on the use of airmobile forces in combat theater objectives quickly to present enemy decision
areas enhance mobility. makers with a fait accompli that would make escala-
In past wars, the numerical relation of opposing tion clearly unattractive. In this context, the principles
forces in a particular sector could be changed onlyby a of tempo, decisiveness, and mission take on added
slow process of providing more men and equipment. importance.
Nuclear and/or chemical weapons can bring a sudden In a war that is nuclear from its start, nuclear strikes
change of great magnitude to the balance. Their use would be directed against the strongest sectors of the
can change ratios of forces and means on any axis of enemy's defenses and throughout his operational
advance and to the entire depth of the enemy's disposi- depth. Divisions, in "nuclear-dispersed" formations,
tions. This constitutes both a threat and an opportunity would attack through the created gaps led by forward
to the Soviet commander and strongly reinforces the detachments advancing at top speed into the depth of
Soviet policy to preempt enemy use of nuclear or the enemy defenses. Their aim would be to seize or to
chemical weapons. neutralize remaining enemy nuclear weapons and
delivery systems and command, control, and com-
Decisive Force Capability. Since the mid-1960s, munications facilities. They would try to split and to
the Soviets have moved toward a doctrine and force isolate the enemy by attacks from different directions
capability to fight decisively at all levels of conflict, and across a broad front.
with nuclear weapons or without them. Soviet This exploitation force would probably attack in
planning and preparation for both nuclear and non- two echelons to take full advantage of the speed of
nuclear combat always assume the possibility of enemy advance that it would expect to achieve. In a nuclear-
use of nuclear weapons. They develop plans and doc- supported attack, the echelons are essentially an initial
trine under the supposition that dispersion and exploitation force and a follow-on relief exploitation
mobility must always be maintained. The Soviets plan force. A rapid tempo of advance is assured by assigning
for enemy nuclear weapons and delivery systems to be tank elements to the first echelon and by using
detected and destroyed as the first priority by whatever motorized rifle units with the tanks on the main axis. In
means is most effective and acceptable at the time. this instance, the BMP is preferred for employment in
Planning, likewise, assumes that whatever the level of the first echelon, since it was designed primarily for
conflict (nuclear, chemical, or conventional), all types this type of combat. The BMP is a fast, highly maneuver-
of weapons releasable at the time will be employed in able, infantry fighting vehicle, which would be ideal for
an integrated, complementary way to accomplish the operations in which nuclear weapons have already
objectives of the war. softened or breached the defense. In a nuclear-
The Soviets believe a theater war is most likely to supported attack, tanks are especially effective in the
commence with a phase of nonnuclear combat that first echelon, since they have maneuverability, fire-
FM 100-2-1

power, lower vulnerability to enemy nuclear attacks, provide more advantageous positioning offorces when
and the capability to achieve penetrations of great and if the nuclear phase is initiated.
Even when nuclear weapons are not used from the
outset, Soviet commanders deploy their troops based Chemical Warfare
on the assumption that the enemy may strike with The Soviets do not perceive clear delineations
nuclear weapons at any moment. They continuously between conventional, chemical, and nuclear warfare.
update their own plans for nuclear employment so It is possible that chemical weapons would be used
they will be prepared if they are required to preempt early in an operation or from its onset.
such an attack. The Soviets have developed their com- Chemical attacks would be directed principally
bined arms concept to fit a nuclear engagement as well against enemy positions in the forward battle area.
as a nonnuclear phase, which is planned within the Soviet military writings indicate that non-persistent
context of a pervasive nuclear-threatened environ- agents would be used across the front of a Soviet attack,
ment. Thus, the Soviet command does not have to while persistent agents would be used to protect their
make a complex transition from nonnuclear to nuclear flanks.
war-fighting modes, since the nonnuclear mode is Simultaneously with strikes across the front, chemi-
already adapted to an overall nuclear posture. cal strikes also could be expected throughout the
The Soviets would prefer to avoid nuclear warfare. depth of enemy defenses. These chemical strikes
They would probably do so as long as their objectives would be combined with other forms of conventional
were being achieved and there were no indications attack to neutralize enemy nuclear capability, com-
that the enemy was "going nuclear." However, the mand and control, and aviation. Subsequent chemical
Soviets would attempt to preempt enemy nuclear use attacks might be conducted against logistic facilities.
by a massive, initial, in-depth, theater nuclear strike. Besides offensive chemical capability, Soviet forces
are equipped with the best chemical protective and
decontamination equipment in the world. They know
Theater Nuclear Targeting Priorities that their chemical capability greatly exceeds that of
any other nation. Not to use this capability would
deprive them of a decisive advantage.
Nuclear delivery means. Though they might use chemical weapons, the
Command and control. Soviets would strive to keep a theater offensive non-
Deployed troop formations. nuclear. They would attempt to achieve the swift, early
Reserves. destruction or neutralization of enemy tactical nuclear
Supplies. capability by rapid, deep penetrations by ground forces
and strikes throughout the enemy depth with all avail-
able nonnuclear means.
They perceive that their decision to go nuclear must be The vulnerability of densely concentrated forma-
made early so that sufficient nonnuclear offensive tions to nuclear weapons caused the Soviets to alter
power remains to follow up and to exploit the gains of their method of achieving mass. The "breakthrough"
nuclear employment with an immediate, high-speed concept of World War II, with its massed troops and
air and ground offensive. weapons, narrow frontages, and fixed echelons, is
maladapted to the nuclear-threatened battlefield.
Though it is still an option when attacking enemyposi-
-Nonnuclear Warfare tions that are well-prepared and arrayed in depth with
Nonnuclear warfare is distinguished not so much by substantial reserves, densely-massed formations are a
major differences in combat deployments as by the least-preferred option.
extra missions assigned to artillery, helicopters, and Under nuclear-threatened conditions, the Soviet
tactical air. These conventional fire support systems offensive concept would have the following features:
must provide additional massive fires to take up the * Avoid concentrating forces.
slack in destructive firepower that would otherwise be * Concentrate fires, but not firing weapons.
provided by nuclear strikes. Nonnuclear operations * Attack across broader frontages, on multiple axes.
are related closely to nuclear operations. Conventional * Avoid enemy strong points.
and/or chemical combat can appreciably alter the * Probe for enemy weak points.
"correlation of forces" in the Soviets' favor as well as * Penetrate where possible.
FM 100-2-1

* Commit follow-on forces when and where they Second echelon forces are likely to be dispersed
can best contribute to success. laterally, following behind first echelon forces.
* Drive rapidly and deeply into the enemy rear to Dispersal provides both security and flexibility in
destroy nuclear weapons and enemy defenses. commitment.
The desire to keep a theater war nonnuclear has The distance between echelons is not fixed. It is
been a driving force behind the vast qualitative and decided by the commander based on the situation. The
quantitative improvements in Soviet conventional second echelon is located close enough to the first
ground forces over the past fifteen years. echelon to insure timely commitment, but far enough
back to provide protection and room for maneuver.
Second echelon forces normally advance in march or
ECHELONS AND FORCE RATIOS prebattle formation.
A Soviet tactical commander develops his concept The preferred method of committing second
for an attack much the same as a US commander does. echelon forces is through gaps or around flanks of first
The Soviet commander considers the same factors echelon forces. For example, a second echelon regi-
which we know as METT-T (mission, enemy, terrain, ment normally would pass between first echelon
troops, and time available). He assesses his objectives, regiments or around the flank of its parent division.
the terrain, enemy forces, and avenues of approach.
Then he assigns forces necessary to insure completion
of the task. One tool that he uses in allocating forces is Commitment of Forces
Second echelon passes
Forces may be allocated to a first echelon, a second through gaps or at flanks to
echelon, a combined arms reserve, or special reserves. avoid passage of lines and
If enemy defenses are well prepared in depth, the intermingling of forces.
Soviet commander will normally organize his forces
into two echelons, special reserves, and, possibly, a
small combined arms reserve. If the enemy defends
with most of his forces forward, the Soviets normally
will attack in a strong, single echelon, followed by a
combined arms reserve and special reserves. Combat
organization is variable and adaptable to the situation.

First and Second Echelons

A first echelon is a main attack force. It will contain
the majority of the combat power of the formation or
unit. Missions of first echelon forces are:
* Penetrate or defeat enemy forward defenses.
* Continue the attack.
* Under nuclear conditions, exploit nuclear strikes
on enemy defenses.
Second echelon forces are assigned missions at the
same time as first echelon forces. Possible missions for
second echelon forces include:
* Exploit the success of first echelon forces.
* Conduct a pursuit.
* Destroy bypassed enemy forces.
* Replace or reinforce first echelon forces.
Regardless of a previously assigned mission, second However, the second echelon could be committed
echelon forces are used to reinforce success, not on an axis of a first echelon unit. Whenever possible,
failure. The main goal at all levels is to carry the battle the Soviets will avoid a passage of lines and inter-
swiftly and violently into the enemy rear. The com- mingling of forces of two echelons, such as would
mander commits second echelon forces in a manner to happen if the second echelon unit were passed
best achieve this goal. through the first echelon unit.
FM 100-2-1

Whereas, second echelon forces have assigned This 3:1 ratio refers to more than just cumulative
missions, reserve forces do not. This is the key distinc- numbers of first echelon troops and weapons relative
tion between them. Reserve forces are the Soviet com- to enemy troops and weapons in a given sector. It is,
mander's asset for flexible development of the battle instead, a more sophisticated calculation of the total
and for reacting to contingencies. force, to include all maneuver units and combat
support that a commander can bring to bear relative to
the total force with which the enemy can oppose him.
Reserve Forces In computing his strength relative to enemy
Combined arms reserves are made up of tank, strength, a Soviet commander considers all organic,
motorized rifle, and artillery subunits. When a large attached, and supporting combat power. When an
single echelon is employed in an attack, a combined attack begins, his actual strength advantage at the FEBA
arms reserve will be used to exploit success. It will could be as small as 2:1. The remainder of his force may
advance in a manner similar to a second echelon, but not be readily visible to defending enemy units.
will not have a pre-assigned mission. It is committed Massive artillery and air strikes will pour down on
when and where the Soviet commander believes it can defensive positions from remote locations while
best lead to deeper penetration and success. second echelon or reserve forces approach in march
A small combined arms reserve, approximately one- or prebattle formation. Nevertheless, the commander
ninth the size of the parent unit, may be formed when considers this entire force, which may give him an
two echelons are employed. Such a reserve is used advantage of 3:1 or 4:1 over the defender, when plan-
primarily for security and reaction to enemy ning and conducting a mission to penetrate enemy
counterattack. forward defenses.
Special reserves are organized from antitank, The Soviet norm for dispersion on the nuclear-
engineer, chemical, or other combat support threatened battlefield is calculated so that no two
elements. They are used primarily for defense against equivalent subunits (battalion or smaller) would be
enemy counterattacks, security, and tasks requiring destroyed by a single tactical nuclear weapon. The dis-
specialty skills. tance between those subunits should be great enough
that they could not be totally or partially destroyed by a
single tactical nuclear weapon capable of destroying
Force Ratios an entire subunit of that size. A Soviet commander may
After World War II, but before the introduction of depart from these guidelines and temporarily decrease
tactical nuclear weapons and the complete mechaniza- dispersion to achieve the force ratio necessary for a
tion of Soviet ground forces, Soviet military planners penetration of enemy defenses. Even if he does
routinely weighted a main attack with ratios of 3-5:1 in concentrate forces, he will rarely, if ever, mass his
tanks, 6-8:1 in artillery, and 4-5:1 in personnel. troops and weapons to the densities that were accept-
Contemporary Soviet writings indicate that an aggre- able before the advent of tactical nuclear weapons.
gate ratio of combat power of approximately 3:1 is The concept of echeloning allows the Soviet com-
sufficient in conducting an offensive operation or an mander to disperse his unit laterally and in depth. At
attack against a defending enemy. the same time, he can apply a sizable part of his force
rapidly when and where he wants to, based on the
developing battlefield situation.
Desired Attack Force Ratio


Soviet military doctrine includes a system of per-
formance standards, expressed in numerical form
called "norms." Norms define the ideal performance in
a multitude of tasks and conditions. They are used to
3 to 1
AA determine things such as interval, rates of march,
frontages, logistics requirements, fire support, and
z :::- training drills.
Norms provide a mathematical prescription for
proper action. They are formulated by historical
analysis, training exercises, requirements, and gaming
FM 100-2-1

models. Based on norms, a given situation has an Flexibility in battlefield thought and action increase by
approved response. The correctness of a commander's degree, upward through division, army, and front.
action or his troops' response is often measured by Soviet officers today are well-educated and well-
their adherence to the established norms for that trained in their military specialties. Most of them are
situation. graduates of branch academies where they receive the
The advantage of this system is that it provides a high equivalent of a college education plus a thorough
degree of combat readiness, at least in the initial stages. grounding in their branch skills. Though their world
Drills at the subunit level (battalion and lower) are outlook is biased by a lifetime of political dogma, they
well-rehearsed. The tactical level commander is aware are not ignorant nor incapable of professional, purely
in advance of how well his troops can cope with time military judgment. It is not likely that they would
and space factors. rigidly adhere to a plan faced with imminent failure if
The obvious disadvantage to strict adherence to an expedient to success were at hand.
norms is less provision for the unexpected. If a situa- Flexibility in Soviet operations has been evident
tion arises for which there is no established normative since the final years of World War II. Since the mid-
response, a lower-level commander might find himself 1960s, Soviet military writers and theorists have
in peril. emphasized:
The topic of initiative receives much attention in " The need for rapid concentration and dispersal of
Soviet military writings. When a plan fails, comman- combat power on the modern battlefield.
ders are strongly urged to use initiative as a cure-all. • The rejection of the classic "breakthrough"
The Soviet perception of initiative involves finding a achieved by massed forces.
correct solution following normative patterns. If the " The need to attack on multiple axes.
commander adheres to norms and is successful, he is " The lack of a continuous front.
praised. If he violates normative patterns and fails, he is " The exploitation of weak points in an enemy
condemned. Success, however, is most important. If a defense.
commander solves a problem by his own devices, he is * Swift transfer of combat power from one point to
lauded. another on the battlefield.
Soviet operations and tactics are not as thoroughly " The achievement of surprise.
rigid as is perceived by many Western analysts. The " Speed in the attack.
amount of flexibility exhibited increases with the rank " Independent action by commanders.
of the commander and the size of force commanded. " The need to carry the battle deep into the enemy
There is probably little tactical flexibility at subunit rear.
level (battalion and lower), The first level where any These concepts are not descriptive of a rigid
real tactical flexibility might be found is at regiment, offensive doctrine, but of one that is both mobile and
which is the smallest fully combined arms unit. flexible.



The Soviet National Military Command Authority Committee of Defense-essentially a war cabinet with
exercises complete control over the military- oversight of the political, diplomatic, and economic
economic planning and activities of the Soviet Union. It aspects of the nation at war, as well as general policy
is Composed of three major bodies: matters concerned with the conduct of military
" The Council of Defense. operations.
" The Main Military Council. The Main Military Council is immediately
" The General Staff. responsible to the Council of Defense for the overall
The Council of Defense is responsible for planning leadership and status of the Soviet armed forces in
and preparing the country for war. It is chaired by the peacetime. The Minister of Defense heads this council.
General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet The Chairman of the Council of Defense is a member,
Union. The council is made up of selected Politburo as are the First Deputy Ministers of Defense. The
members, including the Minister of Defense. This ministers include the Chief of the General Staff and the
council is the USSR's highest military-economic Commander in Chief of the Warsaw Pact Forces. Other
planning agency; it deliberates interrelated issues members might include the commanders of the five
concerning the nation's defenses, economic plans, and military services, the Chief of the Main Political
government branches. These include the mobilization Administration, the Chief of the Rear Services, and the
of industry, transportation, and manpower for war, and Chief of Civil Defense.
the peacetime structure of the armed forces. Its In wartime, the council would be transferred into
deliberation and decrees are translated into law. In the STAVKA (Headquarters of the Supreme High Com-
wartime, this body would be reorganized into the State mand), which would represent the top echelon of

Soviet National Military Command Authority vm






~i~aars~as~--rP---*~~-P-- -naarmee-u
l ~

*NOTE: These controlling bodies transfer to wartime
NAVY organizations indicated. The General Secretary of the
Communist Party, Chairman for the Coucil of Defense in FRONTS
peacetime, becomes the Supreme Commander in Chief of
Soviet Armed Forces in wartime.
FM 100-2-1

Soviet wartime military control. The General Secretary one or more airborne divisions, military transport
of the Communist Party, as Chairman of the State Com- aviation, and fleets on maritime axes. These are joint
mittee of Defense, would become the Supreme Com- operations, conceived by the STAVKA, planned and
mander in Chief of the Soviet Armed Forces. conducted by the General Staff for the Supreme
The STAVKA will plan and direct strategic opera- Commander in Chief. The sizing of the fronts, the
tions on a global scale through theaters of military allocation of other forces, the assignment of missions,
operations (Russian:TVD), sizing and allocating forces and the concepts of operations are responsibilities of
to implement its plans. The number of fronts, their the General Staff.
composition, missions, and the general plans for the Given the extent and redundancy of communica-
conduct of TVD operations will be established by the tions, the mobility of the forces, the anticipated tempo
STAVKA. It also will monitor individual front and fleet of operations, and the requirements for the highest
actions and supervise coordination between them. level centralized control, the Soviet General Staff will
The GeneralStaff is the major link in the centraliza- probably exercise direct control over the major opera-
tion of the Soviet National Military Command tional forces, with close supervision over their
Authority. The General Staff is the executive agency for coordination.
the Main Military Council in peacetime and the
STAVKA in wartime. The Soviet General Staff is
charged with the basic military planning for the Soviet COMMANDERS
Armed Forces, both in peace and war. The military ser- The Soviets recognize that effective command and
vices, the military districts, and the Groups of Forces control is critical for success in modern combined
outside of the USSR report to the Minister of Defense arms warfare. Their method of insuring success is to
through the General Staff in peacetime. In wartime, establish and to maintain a system of tightly centralized
field forces in a TVD (fronts and fleets) would report control over the combat and supporting forces at each
to the Supreme Commander in Chief and the STAVKA level of command.
through the General Staff. The Soviet commander at each level is charged with
overall responsibility for his forces. Soviet doctrine
emphasizes that under the fluid conditions of modern
EATER OF MILITARY OPERATIONS warfare, even in the course of carefully planned opera-
The area of land and sea (and the air space above) on tions, the commander must accomplish assigned
which the armed forces prepare for war, deploy mili- missions on his own initiative without constant
tary forces, and conduct war at the strategic level make guidance from above. To do this, the commander must
up the theater of military operations, or "TVD." The be well informed about the general situation and the
theater of military operations usually encompasses a intentions of the senior commander.
considerable portion of the territory of a continent. The front commander is responsible for the
The basic types of strategic ground operations are the conduct of the entire operation in which his front is
offense, defense, and counteroffense. The strategic involved and for carrying out long-term operational
offensive operation is considered the chief and and strategic plans. Army commanders receive their
decisive form of strategic operation. Only as a result of missions from their front commander. Division com-
such an offensive operation is it possible to defeat and manders, in turn, receive their missions from their
destroy the enemy's field forces within the TVD, to respective army commanders.
capture vitally important territory, to destroy the
enemy's ability to conduct organized resistance, and to
A strategic offensive operation can be conducted All headquarters (front, army, and division) are
over one or more strategic axes or across the entire organized in the same basic manner, but differ in size
width of a TVD. It can be conducted to the entire depth and complexity. The higher the level, the larger and
of the TVD, or may only be planned to obtain more complex the staff is.
intermediate stategic areas; one or more subsequent The staff, supervised by the chief of staff, assists the
strategic offensive operations may be required to commander by planning, monitoring, and controlling
accomplish all of the strategic tasks required for total operations. The principal functions of a Soviet staff are:
victory in the TVD. operations, intelligence, communications, rocket
A strategic offensive operation is conducted with troops and artillery, air defense, engineer support,
several fronts, (army groups), one or more air armies, chemical defense, aviation, rear services, armaments
FM 100-2-1

and equipment (technical matters), and political necessary. Radio stations and special vehicles are
support. located some distance from the actual command
The political directorate, a department of the center.
Central Committee of the Communist Party, is All headquarters have an administrative element that
responsible for propagating Party policy throughout provides local security and traffic control. Air defense
the armed forces. Political officers (deputy com- of these headquarters receives a high priority. Due to
manders for political affairs) are present at all levels dispersion in a mobile environment, command posts
down to company. They conduct troop indoctrination will often be responsible for their own local ground
and training, assist the commander in maintaining defenses.
troop morale, motivation, and discipline, and advise The seven basic types of command posts are
him on nonoperational matters. The political officer described as follows:
does not play a formal role in making military deci- * A main commandpost is the primary command
sions, but he does exert considerable influence on the post at division, army, and front. It is augmented by
general policy and political direction of his unit. forward and alternate command posts.
Arms and services are staff elements for tank, * A forward command post is deployed near the
artillery, aviation, air defense, communications, and first echelon troops to enable the commander to con-
chemical troops. Each is responsible for the technical trol his unit in combat more effectively, especially in
aspects of its arm. The senior officer of each arm is also the main sector. It is employed at division level or
an advisor with direct access to the commander. higher when control is difficult from the main com-
The logistic staff is responsible for coordinating rear mand post, or when the main command post is moving
service activities and for liaison between other staff or has been put out of action.
elements and logistics organizations. Logistic activities * An alternate command post, with reduced
are managed by chiefs of rear services and chiefs of staffing, is established to insure continuity of control
technical matters/armaments services through their should the main command post be put out of action.
supporting staffs. * A rear area command post is established for the
deputy commander for rear services. From it, he
organizes and directs the rear service support for his
Control is exercised through a series of command * A command observation post is normally an
,posts. The distance between them is planned so that armored command vehicle, an APC, or tank. It is the
only one would be put out of action by a single tactical only command post formed below regiment level.
nuclear weapon. The number of command posts and * Auxiliary command post is set up at front and
their sizes depend on the level of command. There are army levels when the situation requires an extra com-
seven basic types of command posts: forward com- mand post. It is often used to control an operation on a
mand post, main command post, alternate command secondary axis.
post, rear services control point, command/observa- * Airborne commandposts are used atfront,army,
tion post, auxiliary command post, and airborne and division levels to provide the commander an
command post. airborne platform from which to control operations.
The commander decides where the posts will be
located and how they will move. Frontand army com-
mand posts generally are deployed in depth to facili- TACTICAL COMMUNICATIONS
tate control of their entire areas of operation. The Soviets recognize that they cannot effectively
During lengthy moves, command posts may leapfrog control the battlefield actions of combined arms
forward along parallel routes. They are preceded by formations without good communications. They know
reconnaissance parties that select the new locations that the enemy will continually strive to disrupt their
and act as traffic regulators. While on the move, com- communications. To counter this threat, the Soviets
mand posts maintain continuous contact with subordi- stress considerable redundancy in communications
nate units, higher headquarters, and flanking units. modes and equipment.
Normally, the alternate and main command posts The organization of communications to meet
move by leap-frogging each other, one moving while immediate tactical requirements is a responsibility of
the other is set up and controlling operations. the commander at each tactical level. Unit communi-
During movement halts, command posts are dis- cations officers are charged with establishing and
persed in concealed areas and are camouflaged if maintaining continuous communications.
FM 100-2-1

The following principles are applied in organizing services have separate nets that are similar and parallel.
tactical communications: * Staff nets are used by the chief of staff for directing
* Responsibility for command communications is other staff elements at his level and for keeping
from higher to subordinate headquarters; however, if subordinate and superior staffs informed of his com-
communications are not established by the higher mander's intentions. The chief of artillery at front,
headquarters, the subordinate headquarters must army, and division has his own staff communications
provide them using its own equipment. for control of units subordinate to him and to direct
* Communications with supported units are the the actions of similar forces at the next lower level; the
responsibility of the headquarters of the supporting aviation commander or controller at each level may
units. have similar communications. The chiefs of engineer
* Lateral communications normally are established and chemical troops must use the main staff com-
from right to left; but if such communications are not munications network.
established by the unit on the right, the unit on the left * Liaison nets are established between ground force
must do so. units operating in coordinated action, and from sup-
* Radio is the principal means of communications, porting units to supported units. Each liaison officer
especially when in contact with the enemy. Messen- provides his own communications equipment to
gers and other liaison services are used for augmenta- operate with his parent unit.
tion and security. * Coordinationnets are established between com-
* Wire is used extensively in the defense and in the manders to insure mutual understanding and unity of
preparatory phase of offensive actions. purpose and action with adjacent units.
* Operator discipline is strict, operating procedure * Warning nets are used to warn subordinate units
is of a high order, and security precautions are to be of impending air, tank, nuclear, and chemical attack
observed minutely. and to disseminate meteorological information.
* Command nets are designed to provide communi- * Air defense nets include air surveillance nets to
cations with subordinate units two levels down, in a radar sites, air warning nets, and air defense control
"skip echelon" manner. This communications nets connecting higher and lower staffs and air defense
structure allows, for example, a division,to control a units.
battalion, or a regiment to control a company, if neces- * Rear services nets are used by rear elements to
sary. control supply, transport, medical, and other support
Soviet communications equipment ranges from services at all levels from front down to battalion.
simple, easy-to-operate electronic devices to complex, More reliance is placed on cable and wire for these
vehicle-mounted equipment that requires highly nets than for the other types.
skilled operators. Radio is the principal means of * Specialpurposenets are established between main
communications except in static situations where command posts and selected units.
wire can be employed effectively. Communications units are assigned at all levels from
Soviet ground force radios include low power,-fre- front to battalion to support internal headquarters and
quency modulated (FM) and amplitude modulated to provide communications with higher, subordinate,
(AM) sets of manpack and vehicle-mounted types, and adjacent units. At the tactical level, each division
medium power high frequency (HF) radio stations of a has a signal battalion, each regiment has a signal com-
heavy mobile variety, and multichannel radio-relay pany, and each battalion has a communications
equipment. platoon.
Field telephones are used widely with automatic A variety of communications means are provided to
switching equipment; switchboards are provided tactical units for use when radio and wire communica-
down to company level. Teleprinter communications tions are not appropriate. These include flares, tracer
are provided down to regiment level. rounds, signal flags and lights, and loudspeakers.
Couriers are also used. They are transported by
helicopters and a wide variety of ground vehicles.
The following types of communication nets are DIVISION-LEVEL
* Command nets are used by the commander pri- The Soviet division commander exercises command
marily to pass combat orders. Channels generally are authority over his unit and is responsible for its actions.
direct from a superior to his immediate subordinates, His deputies are responsible, however, for some of the
but they also permit skipping echelons. The arms and technical operations of the various branches of service
FM 100-2-1

represented in the division. This frees him to concen- be part of one system known as the "military rear." The
trate his energies on planning and fighting the battle. logistic plans of the division are not independent but
The division commander is the onlygeneral officer in a are part of a centrally directed logistic system. Army
division. Many division commanders are senior andfront logistic plans directly affect the division, and
colonels, who are later promoted to major general assets from these levels augment the division rear.
(one star) rank. In the Soviet view, proper coordination and trans-
mission of orders result, for example, in first echelon
divisions receiving logistic allocations according to
Dual Allegiance established criteria for first echelon divisions in a given
Each branch of service, except for tank and type of operation. Because logistic planning has started
motorized rifle, is represented on the division staff by a atfront level, there should be no fundamental conflict
chief of the branch. Collectively, these officers are between division requirements and the assets that
referred to as the chiefs of the arms and services. They have been allocated to the division. The division com-
are responsible to the division commander but receive mander also makes his plans and establishes require-
additional instructions and guidance from their ments according to the same criteria. The Soviets
counterparts at the next higher level. recognize that all plans do not operate perfectly and
The division operates as part of an armywhich is part that the situation and special problems affect the
of a front. The operations of the front are directed by division's logistic requirements. Since centralized
an extremely centralized system of command and con- planning has properly allocated resources from the
trol. From the front commander's point of view, for highest levels, the division should be able to resolve
example, all artillery organic or attached to hisfront is any conflicts.
under his control. The artillery, as a branch of service, If the system works, the administrative and technical
has certain capabilities that assist the front com- burden on the division commander is reduced, and he
mander in the accomplishment of his mission. He can concern himself with the tactical conduct of his
directs the chief of rocket troops and artillery atfront maneuver units. The commander at the highest level
level to plan and direct the front's artillery fires to sup- has centralized control over the assets available to him.
port his concept of the operation. The division's The drawback is the increased need for coordination.
artillery assets are thus part of the general artillery When the logistic plan, for example, is not properly
effort. Centralized fire planning at front level insures coordinated at each level, shortfalls and overages
that proper allocation of resources is made and that occur.
weapons engage appropriate targets. There are two fundamental areas of division-level
The division chief of rocket troops and artillery command and control: the command group and the
(CRTA) is responsible for integrating his fire plan with staff. The command group includes the commander
the fire plan from the army CRTA. Within the con- and those officers who work for the commander in a
straints posed by the army fire plan, the division CRTA direct command relationship-those who cause the
must satisfy the requirements of his division unit to execute his orders. The staff includes those
commander-or resolve any conflicts through proper officers who assist the commander in planning and
coordination. While the possibility for confusion supervision. Some officers are in both categories.
exists, the Soviets do not view this as an infringement
on command prerogative. On the contrary, it insures
unity of command at the highest levels. The fire plan, Division Command Group
for example, is viewed as an aid to planning, and not a A Soviet division commander commands through a
"constraint. The division commander learns from the group of deputy and subordinate commanders. The
army fire plan which targets will be attacked by non- four maneuver regiment commanders are considered
divisional artillery. He can then decide which targets to major subordinate commanders. The deputy com-
attack with division artillery. manders are the chief of staff, the deputy commander
A good example of dual allegiance to the unit com- for the rear, the deputy commander for technical
mander and a branch chief at the next higher level is matters, the chief of rocket troops and artillery, and the
the operation of the logistic system. A deputy com- deputy commander for political affairs.
mander for the rear commands the service support The division commander is responsible for the
operations of the division. However, all logistic assets combat readiness of the division. He is answerable for
in the Soviet Army, from the company to the Chief of the combat training, political education, and military
the Rear at the Ministry of Defense, are considered to discipline of his troops; the condition of the division's
FM 100-2-1

equipment; and the logistic and medical support of the sion commander. He is also under the staff supervision
division. He is responsible for all troop control of the army deputy for political affairs. The potential
measures during the preparation, organization, and exists, of course, for the political officer to interfere
conduct of combat. with operations by reporting on the political reliability
The chief of staff is the primary assistant to the com- of the commander and other officers through political
mander. He is a staff officer and also a deputy com- channels.
mander. The chief of staff is the only officer authorized The politicalofficer,who is also secretary of the divi-
to issue orders in the name of the commander. It is his sion party organization, operates through a division
responsibility to understand not only the commander's political section which includes the Komsomol (Com-
specific instructions, but his train of thought and munist Youth Organization) subsection, the propa-
general approach. He insures the execution of the ganda and agitation subsection, the political
commander's orders during the commander's information subsection, and the personnel and
absence. The commander usually is located well for- welfare subsections. The political officer helps to
ward at a small mobile command post during offensive promote the authority of the commander, to raise
combat. The main division command post is located troop morale, and to enhance troop effectiveness. He
some distance to the rear and is under the control of' bears direct responsibility for the organization of
the chief of staff. political work in the division. Elements under his
The deputy commanderfor the rearis responsible control organize and conduct political indoctrina-
for the combat service support of the division and tion sessions, politically oriented, club-type activities,
commands the logistic assets of the division. He and lecture on current events and Soviet history.
develops plans and orders, is supported by a rear staff,
and operates a rear area command post. He can be con-
sidered the "installation commander" for the rear area. Political Officer Responsibilities
Small depots which belong to the chiefs of arms and
services and assets controlled by the deputy com- Soviet regulations state the political officer
mander for technical matters also are located in the must accomplish the following:
rear area. The deputy commander for the rear has no * Participate in planning for combat and political
authority over the officers in charge of these elements training.
in matters concerning their respective technical * Organize and conduct political work.
operations. He is responsible, however, for rear area * Cultivate unreserved dedication to the Soviet
organization and security and assigns locations in the fatherland, the Communist Party and the Soviet
rear area. Additionally, he establishes policies and government, proletarian internationalism and
plans concerning security and damage control. undeviating observance of the military oath,
The deputy commander for technical matters obedience to and respect for superiors, and
controls the division maintenance battalion. He is absolute adherence to military regulations and
responsible for direct suppQrt maintenance for both orders.
armored and wheeled vehicles, procurement of repair * Conduct propaganda among soldiers concern-
parts, and vehicle replacement. He also oversees ing the successes in the building of
maintenance training throughout the division. During communism, which includes organizing
combat, he directs the repair and evacuation of political agitation and propaganda; organizing
disabled equipment, and informs the commander on and supervising political training for officers;
the status of the division's equipment. educating troops to develop hatred for enemies
The chief of rocket troops and artillery (CRTA) of the Fatherland; and educating troops to
coordinates and plans the artillery fires of the organic develop a sense of personal responsibility for
and attached artillery of the division. The division com- the condition of their equipment.
mander issues orders concerning artillery support to
the CRTA, who has authority to inspect the artillery
units in the division and to hold them accountable for The regimental commanders command the divi-
their technical proficiency. During the course of the sion's maneuver units. They are responsible for the
battle, however, he serves primarily as a special staff combat readiness of their units, as well as their combat
officer, advising the commander on artillery matters. and political training. They are the instruments
The deputy commander forpolitical affairs (also through which the division commander fights the
called the political officer) is subordinate to the divi- battle.
FM 100-2-1

The Division Staff

The chief of staff controls the staff and coordinates staff and reports problems to the commander. He is
its work. He is the primary conduit for information responsible for coordination of all staff work, and is
between the commander and his unit. He reports staff personally responsible for the coordination of logistic
findings and acts as the organizer for execution of the requirements between the chiefs of arms and services
command decision. He monitors progress through the and the deputy commander for the rear.

The Soviet Division Staff I -















1. This staff officer has a role similar to that of the deputy commander for
HEADQUARTERS CHIEF OF 4TH SECTION technical matters except that he is responsible for the technical condition of
COMMANDANT PERSONNEL armaments and related combat equipment and instruments.
2. These three sections assist the division commander, but they are not
subordinate to him.
3. The chief of the intelligence section is also the chief of the reconnaissance
4. The chief of the communications section is also chief of signal troops.

FM 100-2-1

Coordinating Staffs. The eight sections which gence sections and reconnaissance units. Specific
make up the group the Soviets call the division staff are responsibilities of the intelligence officer include-
under the direct control of the chief of staff. The four * Collecting and analyzing information on the
coordinating staff sections belonging to this group are: enemy, terrain, and weather and its dissemination to
" first section, operations, the commander and adjacent units.
" second section, intelligence, " Organizing reconnaissance missions, including
" third section, communications, and requests for aerial reconnaissance, in coordination
" fourth section, personnel. with the first section.
The most important coordinating staff section is the * Preparing the observation plan, in coordination
operationssection, headed by the chief of operations. with the first section.
The chief of operations has responsibilty for training * Preparing the intelligence portion of the division's
and formulating operations plans and orders. He moni- combat order.
tors the work ofall other staff sections, keeps abreast of " Preparing periodic intelligence reports.
the situation, and is ready to present information and " Exploiting documents and materiel.
recommendations concerning the tactical situation. " Interrogating prisoners of war.
He is present when the commander announces his The third section, or communications section, is
decision, and he writes combat orders and important headed by the chief of communications, who is also the
combat reports. Inspection troops assigned to the first chief of signal troops. He organizes communications
section check on the execution of assigned missions with subordinate, adjacent, and higher headquarters.
and adherence of subordinate elements to command The section must insure that the commander has
directives. In coordination with the intelligence sec- continuous and uninterrupted tactical control byplan-
tion, the chief of thie operations section keeps the com- ning wire, radio, and mobile communications. The
mander informed on the progress of operations. His term "mobile communications" includes all means of
specific duties include- communications other than radio and wire. Specific
* Collecting information concerning the tactical responsibilities of the third section include-
situation of friendly forces to include the division, " Organizing division radio nets.
adjacent units, and higher units. " Establishing call signs and radio procedures.
* Preparing and disseminating orders, operational " Organizing courier and mail service.
plans and reports, summaries, and situational overlays. " Operating the division message center.
* Providing liaison for the exchange of information " Supervising the supply, issue, and maintenance of
within division headquarters and with higher, subordi- signal equipment.
nate, and adjacent units. The fourth section, or personnel section, is headed
* Organizing the main command post and insuring by the chief of personnel. He assigns men; requests
rear area antitank, antiaircraft, and NBC defense. replacements; records losses; administers awards and
" Organizing troop movement and traffic control. decorations; and collects, records, and disposes of war
" Coordinating the organization of reconnaissance booty. The fourth section keeps complete personnel
with the intelligence section. files on company-grade officers, while files on enlisted
* Controlling the distribution of maps. personnel are maintained at regimental level. Files on
The second section, or intelligence section, is higher ranking officers are maintained at levels higher
headed by the chief of intelligence, who is also the than division.
chief of reconnaissance troops. He is part of an intelli- Coordinating staff responsibility for logistics rests
gence chain of command which originates atfront. In with the chief of staff. It is evident, however, that the
this regard, division-level intelligence efforts fit into an chief of staff cannot devote a large portion of his time
overall intelligence plan. to detailed logistic coordination and still fulfill his
The chief of the second section is subordinate to the other duties. Thus, the Soviets operate to a certain
chief of staff, but can report directly to the division degree without a logistic staff officer. This fact
commander. In coordination with the operations increases the burden on the chiefs of arms and services
section, the intelligence section makes collection and the deputy commander for the rear. Each chief is
plans and collects and evaluates information responsible for consolidating and forwarding logistic
concerning the enemy, weather, and terrain. The requests for his branch to the deputy commander for
section disseminates necessary evaluated information the rear.
in a timely manner. During combat, the division intelli- Special Staffs. The division staff also includes the
gence officer directs the efforts of subordinate intelli- following four special staff sections:
FM 100-2-1

* The topographicsection gathers and analyzes ter- naissance troops is also the chief of the intelligence
rain data and maintains supplies of maps, catalogs, and section. Their duties are described in the previous sec-
map-related equipment. tion on coordinating staff.
* The cryptographic section encodes and decodes The relationship between the chief of a given branch
the division's cryptographic communications, desig- and the unit commander is best explained by the rating
nates the codes to be used in communicating with system. For example, the division commander signs
subordinate units, and supervises communications the engineer battalion commander's efficiency report,
security procedures and cryptographic training. This but the report is written by, or at least greatly influ-
section's activities are integrated into a large effort, enced by, the chief of engineers. The division com-
coordinated by the chief of the intelligence section. mander shows the report to the rated officer, usually in
The intelligence officer operates according to the presence of the chief. When the division com-
guidance from higher levels in this regard. mander is displeased with the performance of the
* The administration and finance section engineer battalion, he is likely to express his dis-
organizes the administration and records necessary for pleasure to the chief and not to the battalion
providing quarters, food, supplies, and pay for division commander.
personnel. It is responsible for all division financial
planning, accounting, auditing, and pay procedures. Other Advisory Staffs. Besides the chiefs of arms
The division's finance officer supervises subordinate and services, the deputy commander for the rear, the
unit finance officers, who are responsible for the deputy commander for technical matters, and the
distribution of funds. deputy commander for political affairs may be con-
* The headquarters commandant combines the sidered special staff officers.
functions (in US Army terms) of the division The deputy commander for the rear advises the
headquarters commandant and the division provost commander on supply and rear service matters. As
marshal. He is responsible for insuring that the division noted, he also shoulders part of the coordinating staff
headquarters and command posts, in garrison and in responsibility for logistics. Through the rear staff, he
the field, are properly sited, organized, supported, and prepares logistic plans and orders.
protected. He also directs the activities of the Com- The deputy commanderfor technical matters also
mandant's Service (somewhat similar to US Military serves as a special staff officer. He advises the com-
Police), and he operates the division's stockade. He mander on maintenance and repair procedures and
may also be responsible for handling prisoners of war. vehicular operational readiness.
Furthermore, although probably not designated a
Arms and Services. The chiefs of arms and services division staff officer, the commander of the helicopter
serve as special staff officers and advise the commander element (or squadron in selected divisions) acts as the
on matters pertaining to their fields. division commander's primary adviser for employment
The chief of rocket troops and artillery serves as of the division's organic and attached air assets. When
division fire support coordinator. Acting as the chief aircraft are used for fire support, the helicopter
artillery advisor in combat, he usually is located at the element (squadron) commander carefully coordi-
forward command post with the division commander. nates his plan and its execution with the division
The chief of airdefense troopsacts as a special staff CRTA.
officer for air defense. He advises the commander on
air defense tactics and employment. Other Support Sections. Besides the coordinating
The chief ofengineertroops advises the commander and special staff, there are several additional sections
on engineer support for all the division's missions. He which may not be considered as the personal staff of
assigns tasks to engineer units based on the com- the division commander as they are not subordinate to
mander's concept of the operation. him. These include the KGB section, the military
The chief of chemical troops is responsible for the prosecutor, and the military tribunal.
division's protection from NBC weapons. He is The KGB section, staffed by personnel from the
responsible for the supply and maintenance of NBC Committee for State Security (KGB), is responsible for
gear and equipment, for organization of NBC recon- counterintelligence. It works independently of the
naissance, and for all NBC training and work per- political officer. This section investigates and inter-
formed by division personnel. rogates espionage suspects, enforces the political
The chief of signal troops is also the chief of the reliability of division personnel, and participates in
communications section. Likewise, the chief of recon- determining key assignments.
FM 100-2-1

The militaryprosecutoris in charge of investigating operation is upcoming. In the division, the commander
and prosecuting criminal activity by division person- receives his mission from the army commander. This
nel. He is responsible for enforcing both military order could be delivered by radio, messenger, or at a
regulations and civil laws, including those related to formal briefing. The division commander studies the
counterintelligence. In close coordination with the mission, the concept of the operation, and scheduled
KGB special section and the deputy commander for support by army units. He analyzes the role of his
political affairs, the prosecutor and his staff investigate division in the overall operation of the army. From this
cases and prosecute them before military tribunals. analysis, he extracts information that will permit his
The division prosecutor is responsible to the staff and subordinate commanders to begin prepara-
prosecutor at army level. tion for combat, and issues this information in the form
The military tribunalalso lies outside the tactical of a warning order.
chain of command and consists of at least one judge The chief of staff organizes the staff to present
and one or more officers trained in law. The tribunal information to the commander concerning the enemy,
presides over trials of military personnel charged with terrain, troops available, and weather. From this
violating military law and of civilians accused of information, the commander makes his estimate ofthe
treason or espionage. situation. If time permits, he makes a personal recon-
naissance with his subordinate commanders and staff
officers as required to better evaluate the situation.
Division Command and Staff Procedures Given sufficient time, written staff estimates are pre-
The Soviet division commander must gather pared and coordinated for the commander.
information on which to base decisions, convey his The operations section prepares several possible
decisions in the form of orders, and supervise the courses of action for the commander's consideration,
execution of these orders. The commander relies on and the chief of staff indicates his preference. Based on
his staff to assist him in accomplishing his tasks. As a the available data and the recommendations from the
result, the Soviets have formalized staff procedures and staff, the commander makes a decision. The decision
have established formats for combat documents. It may be one of the recommended courses of action, a
should be understood that these procedures may be combination of two or more recommendations, or a
performed completely only when time is not a factor in new solution.
the decision-making process-for example during
preparations for a major offensive. Once fast-moving Combat Order. The commander announces his
combat has begun, all procedures will be abbreviated. decision in the presence of the chief of staff, the chief
As far as can be determined, the Soviet commander of the operations section, and, when possible, other
follows procedures familiar to US commanders. He key personnel such as the coordinating staff, the chiefs
makes' an estimate of the situation, issues a warning of arms and services, and the deputy and subordinate
order, considers courses of action that have been commanders. The final decision is issued in the form of
researched and presented by the staff, and finally an operation order-in Soviet terminology, a "combat
makes a command decision which is approved by .the order." When time permits, the combat order contains
army commander. The decision is printed in an the following information:
approved, detailed format and disseminated according * A brief description of the enemy situation.
to a fixed distribution list. In their military writings, the * The missions of the division and adjacent units.
Soviets emphasize the need to be able to adjust rapidly * Boundaries separating the division and adjacent
to radical changes in the situation which can occur on units.
themodern battlefield. This emphasis is more preva- * Commander's concept of the operation.
lent than emphasis on rigid adherence to formal proce- * Guidance on NBC measures within the division
dures. As a result, the commander's estimate and deci- zone.
sion may take only a few minutes and may be based on * Immediate mission, subsequent mission, and
very scanty information. The combat order may be direction of advance for subordinate units.
nothing more than a sentence transmitted by radio or * Missions for artillery, antiaircraft, engineer, chemi-
messenger to a regimental commander. cal, and other special units.
* The time troops must be prepared for action.
Warning Order. The Soviets attempt to maximize * Detailed coordinating instructions.
the time available for combat preparations by issuing * Location of the main command post and its antici-
warning orders to alert subordinate units that an pated direction of displacement.
FM 100-2-1

Annexes to combat orders are forwarded with the and questions passed by radio or messenger. The best
order. If they are incomplete when the order is method, according to Soviet thought, is personal
transmitted, they are sent out separately to prevent contact between the commander or staff member and
delay in transmission of the order. Types of annexes the subordinate organization's commander.
include coordination requirements, intelligence,
security, signal, artillery, engineer, movement order, Command Posts. The Soviet division commander
and counterattack plans. also organizes a series of command posts for control
A separate order for logistics is written by the deputy purposes. During an attack, the division commander
commander for the rear and his staff. The order moves well forward, where he can best influence the
organizes the rear area, routes of movement for rear action. This forward command post is completely
elements, supply routes, supply points, sequence and mobile and may move 2 to 5 kilometers behind the line
time of resupply, rear area security, and the location of of contact. The commander usually will have with him
the rear area command post. The order is approved by the operations officer and the CRTA. He also may
the division commander. select other officers.
The division's main command post also is mobile,
Supervisory Control. The issuance of orders does but is much larger than the forward command post. It
not insure that they will be carried out or even under- is controlled by the chief of staff and moves 10 to 15
stood. Therefore, the Soviets place a great emphasis on kilometers behind the line of contact.
supervision after the order is issued. The chief of staff is Additionally, the rear area is expected to move two
responsible to the commander for the overall organiza- to three times a day and is controlled by a rear area
tion of staff supervision. Each staff section is command post. This command post usually will not be
responsible for checking on the execution of the more than 30 kilometers from the line of contact.
orders which it prepares and insures that orders have On the march and during the attack, the commander
been understood correctly. The chief of staff issues the controls the action by radio and messengers. In a static
necessary orders, with the division commander's situation, or in the defense, wire communications will
approval, to resolve the misunderstandings. be installed. Command posts on the ground can be
Proper supervision may take many forms. Super- expected to be well dispersed and camouflaged. Addi-
vision may include personal visits by the commander tionally, in a static situation, an alternate command
or appropriate staff representatives, observation from post probably will be established to assume command
the air and ground observation points, and instructions if the main command post is destroyed.

Divisional Command Posts


FM 100-2-1

Communications. Normal radio nets in the division The commander is usually a colonel or a lieutenant
include command, staff, coordination, warning, and colonel. He is most likely to be in his late thirties or
special purpose nets. The command nets link the early forties and to have had advanced tactical training
division commander with regimental commanders at one of the higher military academies. He is expected
and major support units such as the artillery, engineer, to maintain strict control over subordinate com-
and chemical units. Battalion commanders are manders; to inspect frequently the various training,
contacted directly when emergency conditions administrative, and equipment maintenance aspects of
dictate. The chief of rocket troops and artillery estab- his command in garrison; and to set a high personal
lishes a command net with division artillery units. The example. In combat, he has considerable prerogatives
staff net provides the chief of staff communications in the way in which he organizes and executes his
with staff elements of the reconnaissance battalion, the tactical mission.
motorized rifle regiments, and the tank regiment. The The chief ofstaff is usually a lieutenant colonel and a
coordination nets link the main command post with graduate of one of the higher military academies. He is
the division rear, and division headquarters with the second-in-command of the regiment and is the
adjacent units. The warning net consists of radio only officer who may issue written orders in the com-
receivers set on a designated warning frequency mander's name. The chief of staff is responsible for
throughout the division. This net is used for tactical mobilization readiness and troop control. He coordi-
alert and warning messages. The special purpose nets nates the work of the functional staff groups and
employ radiotelegraph and relay equipment to com- refines and presents to the commander the informa-
municate with units executing special missions and tion which is required for decision making.
with airborne units behind enemy lines. Division com- The deputy commanderfor politicalaffairs most
manders also may establish other nets as required often is a major or lieutenant colonel. He has a dual
when the necessary equipment is available. reporting responsibility-to the regimental com-
Soviet units usually observe radio silence in, and mander and to the deputy for political affairs at division
when departing, assembly areas. While moving toward headquarters. It is the political deputy commander's
the enemy, radio transmissions normally are limited to responsibility to conduct political activities directed at
various codewords which inform commanders that insuring full combat readiness, military discipline, and
assigned tasks have been accomplished or that diffi- high morale. He directs the work of political and
culties have been encountered. Visual signals, such as Komsomol activists, is responsible for indoctrinating
flags and flares, are used to a great extent during the troops in the political goals and implications of
movement. combat actions, and supervises recreational activities.
When contact with the enemy occurs, normal radio The deputy commander for technical affairs is
procedures are reinitiated. Call signs identify units, and normally a major or lieutenant colonel and a graduate
prearranged codewords refer to landmarks. Subordi- engineer. He is responsible to the commander for the
nate commanders inform the division commander, serviceability and maintenance of the armored and
usually by codeword, when phase lines are reached, automotive equipment in the regiment. He is the
when NBC contamination is encountered, when direct superior of the technical officers who are found
contact with the enemy occurs, when the enemy is sus- in each subunit down to company level. During
pected of conducting a withdrawal, and when other combat he organizes the recovery, repair, or evacua-
important developments occur. tion of disabled armored vehicles. Besides his other
duties, the technical deputy is responsible for the mili-
tary and specialist training of all technical troops in the
COMMAND AND CONTROL The deputy commanderforrearsernices, normally a
The regiment headquarters consist of a commander, major or lieutenant colonel, is responsible for
a chief of staff, his staff group, three functional groups transport and the supply of regimental subunits both in
each headed by a deputy commander, and chiefs of garrison and in the field with ammunition, fuel, food,
organic or attached support arms or services. clothing, and equipment. During combat he com-
The commander, the chief of staff, and the deputy mands the rear area command post.
commanders for technical affairs, rear services, and The staff group is subordinate directly to the chief
political affairs form the command group. The com- of staff and comprises the assistant chiefs of staff for
mander draws a major part of his decision-making operations, intelligence, communications, and
input from them. personnel. The staff group also includes a finance

FM 100-2-1

The Soviet Regimental Staff


--- q


(1) Also Deputy Chief of Staff (6) An ad hoc group which provides advice if required;
(2) Commands the reconnaissance company represents organic or attached arms and services listed
above. Officers in this group head, or are members of,
(3) Commands the signal company other staff groups. Their primary task is to command
(4) Controls work of traffic regulators the combat support and combat service support
(5) Also commands the maintenance company

officer, a cryptographic officer, and a headquarters Additional observation posts are established by
commandant who controls headquarters disposition, artillery and air observers.
security, and traffic control (see tasks, next page). The main command post consists of several
The chiefs of organic and attached arms and services armored vehicles, including the commander's vehicle.
form an ad hoc group to advise the commander on It is staffed by the chief of staff; the deputy commander
matters within their expertise. These officers are the for political affairs; the assistant chiefs ofstafffor opera-
commanders of combat support and service support tions, intelligence, and communications; and the com-
units which are organic or attached to the regiment. manders of the regimental engineer and chemical
The headquarters of the regiment operates a main defense subunits. The commanders of supporting
command post and a rear area command post (the artillery units, mounted in their own command
command post of the deputy commander for rear vehicles, normally are collocated. The main command
services). The regimental commander's armored post moves in tactical bounds up to 5 km behind the
vehicle may be located forward of the main command line of contact. When in position, the command post is
post, functioning as a command observation post. dispersed and camouflaged.
FM 100-2-1

Tasks of Officers in the Staff Group - I st _II


ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF Major Planning operations, liaison and training; serving as the Deputy
ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF Captain Planning reconnaissance missions; collecting, evaluating, and dis-
FOR INTELLIGENCE or Major seminating tactical intelligence; commanding the regimental recon-
naissance company.
ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF Captain Establishment and maintenance of communications; supervision of
FOR COMMUNICATIONS serving of signal equipment; management of the regimental post
-office; command of the regimental signal company.
ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF Major Maintaining statistical records on personnel, equipment and priso-
FOR PERSONNEL ners of war. Processing replacement leave, and awards and decorations.

The rearareacomnandpost consists of one or two BATTALIO N- LEVEL

vehicles. The deputy commander for rear services is COMMAND AND CONTROL
aided by the commanders of service support units as The battalion commander is normally a major
required. He is responsible for organizing administra- responsible for-
tive and logistic support of the regiment from his * The combat and mobilization readiness of the
command post. This involves the receipt and issue of battalion.
fuel, ammunition, food, and minor equipment. The * The combat and political training, education,
rear area command post also maintains staff control of military discipline, political reliability, and morale of
vehicle and manpower replacements; maintenance, the battalion's personnel.
repair, and recovery of vehicles; medical services; and * The condition and security of weapons, combat
personnel services. During combat, the rear area com- and other equipment, ammunition, fuel, and other
mand post is expected to operate about 15 km behind materiel of the battalion.
the line of contact. Ammunition supply for the artillery * The successful accomplishment of the battalion's
is coordinated by an officer from the artillery battalion, missions.
who is located in the rear area command post for this The battalion commander is assisted by a staff that
purpose. includes chief of staff, deputy commander for technical
After receiving a mission from the division com- matters, and deputy commander for political affairs.
mander, the regimental commander, assisted by his The chief of staff is the commander's "right arm."
staff, makes an estimate of the situation. A warning He has the authority to give orders to all subordinate
order is sent to subunits. Intelligence on the enemy elements; and he insures compliance with orders from
and information on friendly units is disseminated. After the battalion commander and higher commanders.
all factors have been weighed and possible courses of The chief of staff draws up the combat and training
action have been examined, the commander makes his plans (based on the regimental plan and the battalion
decision. Frequently, details are marked on a map from commander's guidance) for the battalion and insures
which the staff formulates written combat orders. If that they are carried out. He also insures that required
time and the tactical situation allow, commanders will reports are prepared and dispatched on time to regi-
issue orders at a meeting with subordinate com- mental headquarters. He is the principal organizer of
manders. If rapid deployment is necessary, orders are rear service support for the battalion.
given by radio and then backed up by schematics that The deputy commanderfor technicalaffairs super-
are delivered to the subordinate commanders. vises the battalion's maintenance service element and
The regimental commander controls his subunits by reports directly to the battalion commander or chief
issuing combat instructions over the radio. These frag- of staff. He is responsible for training of rear services
mentary orders change, supplement, or elaborate on personnel, and for the technical condition of their,
initial combat orders as the tactical situation changes. equipment.
FM 100-2-1

The deputy commander for political affairs The battalion commander directs the combat
organizes and conducts political training. He reports actions of his unit from his command vehicle located
to the battalion commander and to the regimental near his companies.
deputy for political affairs. In an attack, the commander controls his battalion
The communications platoon leader acts as the bat- primarily by radio, although he also uses messengers,
talion communications officer. It is his responsibility personal contact, signal flares, signal flags, and other
to train battalion personnel in signal procedures and to means. Before contact with the enemy, radio silence is
supervise communications training of the battalion, to observed, except for brief transmissions concerning
include the conduct of classes for radio operators and reconnaissance reports and the crossing of phase lines.
periodic inspections of communications equipment. In the defense, the battalion relies primarily on wire
In combat, the battalion communications officer and telephone communications, but messengers, sig-
receives instructions from the regimental communica- nal flares, and radios also are used extensively. NBC
tions officer, battalion commander and chief of staff. warnings are provided over a dedicated radio receiver.

Representative Communications Net in a Motorized Rifle Battalion





23 126 107

130 123 311,- 107

1. Although the company commanders and the battalion commander have R126s for dismounted control, Command Nets
they would attempt to control their subordinate elements from their BMPs. ....: .
2. The battalion chief of staff would control the battalion rear services. The battalion technical officer is Fire Support Nets
responsible for the maintenance section
Dismounted Nets
3. The antitank platoon in the BTR-equipped motorized rifle battalion would be part of the fire support net.
Rear Services Nets
4. The battalion chief of staff's R-311 receiver is used to receive air and NBC warnings.

FM 100-2-1

A Detailed Example: Tank Battalion Command and Control II _

The radio is the most important of several authorized to transmit on the radio except in an
means of control available to the Soviet tank extreme emergency or to request support. This
unit commander. Soviet military writers insist communications posture is consistent with his
that only the speed and flexibility of radio com- role, which is to lead his platoon in the execution
munications can adequately meet the demands of the company mission. He does not have the
for command and control in modern combined responsibility to translate his superiors' mission
arms combat. At the same time, they stress the into a platoon mission.
importance of being able to employ other means The noncommissioned tank commander
of control to supplement or, if necessary, to monitors and complies with his superiors' com-
replace radio communications. The Soviets mands and follows his platoon leader in the
train extensively in the use of audio and visual execution of the company mission. Since he is
signals, pyrotechnics, and "do-as-I-do" control not issued a map, he has limited capability to
procedures with well-rehearsed tactical forma- relay targets of opportunity to fire support units.
tions and battle drills. However, a commander of a tank company or
The battalion is the primary unit for execution a platoon does have greater latitude when his
of maneuver. Consistent with that concept, con- unit is employed as a reconnaissance group or a
trol of radio communications is centralized at march security element, or is attached to a
battalion level. When individual tank companies motorized rifle battalion. For example, the
operate with their parent battalion, all of the bat- company commander of a tank company that is
talion's tanks may monitor the battalion VHF reinforcing a motorized rifle battalion will
(FM) command net and receive orders from the operate his own company VHF (FM) net while
battalion commander. In combat, the battalion maintaining communications with his parent
commander attempts to maintain a position tank battalion using his HF (AM) radio. The rein-
from which he can observe and direct the forced motorized rifle battalion commander
actions of all his companies. Requests for fire normally will communicate with the reinforcing
support are almost always coordinated at bat- tank company on the tank company com-
talion level. The supporting artillery commander mander's net.
(with fire mission computation capability) is The variant of a reinforced tank battalion radio
collocated with the tank battalion commander. net shown at right approximates the portrayal of
Attached units such as a motorized rifle radio net structures in Soviet military journals
company, an artillery subunit (as large as a bat- and books. Each long vertical rectangle drawn
talion), an air defense element, and an engineer with a broken line represents a command
support element, as well as organic supply, element or subelement within (or attached to)
maintenance, and medical sections, all operate the battalion. Each solid horizontal line repre-
stations in the battalion VHF (FM) command and sents a single radio net. A symbol (diamond,
coordination net. These organic support circle, etc.) enclosing a number on a given hori-
elements normally do not transmit unless zontal line within the broken lines of a given
called. command element shows that the command
Company commanders also have the element routinely operates a radio station (of
authority to transmit on the battalion nets. They the type represented by the number) in that
have the authority to call for supporting fire in radio net. The identity of the radio net is written
combat, but such calls for fire normally are on the horizontal line, and the identity of the
channeled through the battalion commander. command element or subelement is indicated at
While Soviet tactical communications practices the top of the command column. A symbol
seem restrictive, they do appear to be adequate drawn with a broken line (diamond, circle, etc.)
for the company commander's limited control that appears within a command element on a
authority, which normally is confined to fire radio net line shows that the particular com-
control of his tanks and the deployment of his mand element may operate in that net either as
company in rehearsed battle drills. required, or as the alternative to another net, but
As might be expected, the authority of the it does not have sufficient radio assets to
platoon leader is even more restricted. He is not operate in the net on a continuous basis.

FM 100-2-1

A Detailed Example: Tank Battalion Command and Control, continued


The battalion command group is represented command net (AM). He uses an amplifier- company commanders (columns 2, 3, and 4) commander to his firing battery over the nets
Shown here is a radio net diagram of a tank battalion to which an entire artillery supported by an entire artillery battalion if it were fighting in the first echelon, or if it by columns 7 through 10. Within the command equipped R107 VHF (FM) transceiver to has two radios in his tank. He uses his R1 30 HF shown here. The degree of centralization of fire
battalion is attached for support. A tank battalion normally would be directly were operating separately from its parent regiment, as it might in a pursuit. group is the battalion commander (column 7) communicate with the regiment on the (AM) vehicular radio to operate in the battalion support coordination will be dictated by the
operating from his own tank, which also serves regimental command net (FM). It appears that AM command net (CMD NET #1). He operatesin combat situation as reflected in the task
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 as a mobile command observation post (COP); the battalion FM command and coordination net
the chief of staff has primary responsibility for organization and combat orders.
the battalion chief of staff (column 8), who maintaining these battalion stations in the two (CMD NET #2) on his second radio, the R123. Below regiment level, the Soviets do not
RECON BN CHIEF OF BN TECH operates the battalion command post from an regimental nets, thereby leaving the battalion Unlike most other subordinate stations, he has employ sufficient quantities of secure-voice
c STAFF CDR AFFAIRS armored command vehicle; the supporting
commander free to use both his time and his permission to transmit in the net. Under excep- equipment to be operationally significant. From
artillery battalion commander (column 9), who radios to control the battalion. The chief of staff tional circumstances, such as when the bat- platoon to regiment level, commands routinely
operates his battalion command observation will use his R130 radio to operate in the bat- talion is widely dispersed in a pursuit, he may are transmitted by radio in clear text during
i i REGT CMD NET #1 (AM)
I i
I I..U.... I
post from a van or an armored command talion HF (AM) command net (CMD NET #1) as use the R123 to control his own FM net, in combat.
'I23 1 vehicle; and the deputy commander for tech-
CDR COR CR I . . . .'~'~
REGT CMD NET #2 (FM) required. He operates the net control station which case his only radio link with the battalion Stations are identified by callsigns that are
I nical affairs (column 10), who directs mainte- (NCS) of the battalion command and coordina- would be the AM command net (CMD NET #1). issued in the communications operating
CDR CMD NET (1) (AM) /130\ 13 0i nance, recovery, and support operations from tion net (CMD NET #2) using the R123 VHF(FM) The company net alternative is shown by broken instructions compiled by the battalion
123 I 123/ I 123 :23
I I 123 , R CMD
NE N M (2 1

an armored command vehicle or APC. Not
shown is a second command truck belonging to
radio in his CP vehicle. Finally, the chief of staff
maintains the only battalion station in the
lines within each company command element.
Each tank below company level normally is
communications platoon leader. The regimental
communications officer issues the battalion a
ICV& TKS TKS TK TKS ICVI I the signal section which serves as a backup higher headquarters NBC and air warning net, equipped with one radio, the R123 VHF (FM). block of frequencies and callsigns. Each radio
2 1 I 123 I 1231 I I command post. It is equipped with sufficient using the R311 HF (AM) radio receiver. He The commander of the attached motorized net "item" created normally remains in effect
3 12_ I 23
radio assets to duplicate every station main- retransmits any warning messages on the bat- rifle company (column 5) has two VHF (FM) for the duration of an operation.
x3/5 ICDR,' x. x 91 x2/4 I
<1'23I ! ----- (123>1
tained in the battalion command post. talion FM command and coordination net (CMD radios in his vehicle. He uses his R123 to Place names are identified on the radio using
S-L,_ L L _ _ 1ST TC CMD NET L J The battalion commander (column 7) has two NET #2). communicate with the supported tank battalion code names assigned to major terrain features
I fl2T3 I----, - I radios in his tank. One is a VHF (FM) radio, the
1I23 The attached artillery battalion commander commander on the FM battalion command and by the battalion commander during the ground
CDR R123, which can be pretuned to four preset (column 9) operates a station in the tank bat- coordination net (CMD NET #2). He controls his reconnaissance phase of a combat operation.
TKSX9 ... I I I .
123 >I 1< 123> I I
frequencies. The battalion commander normally talion command and coordination net (CMD NET own company net using the R107 VHF (FM) This local encoding process may be supple-
2ND TC CMD NET _ will operate the radio on his own FM command #2) using an amplifier-equipped R107. He rarely radio in his vehicle. mented by an encoded map reference grid
I I and coordination net (CMD NET #2). He can transmits on the net, because he normally is Air defense elements and the combat system. Pyrotechnic tables and brevity codes
switch to the regimental command net (FM) as collocated with the tank battalion commander. reconnaissance patrol, normally composed of a also are generated locally, although some code
I 123 "> I I I
required. If his companies are operating their He communicates with his own higher head- tank platoon, (columns 1 and 6) operate in the assignments may come from higher
1(123>1 AND
I I L __ L,.,. RD TC CMD NET L v I I I own command nets, he is capable of communi- quarters on the artillery regiment AM command battalion FM command and coordination net headquarters.
MOTORIZE ED 123'.-1 WARN I I cating directly with any subordinate company's net using an R130/R104 HF (AM) radio. (CMD NET #2). Most information is disseminated orally by
tanks by turning to that company's net. He nor- The artillery battalion commander operates Shown within each company command the battalion commander and the communica-
mally would use the preset capability on the
i I I 1 107)1 I 311 his own command net using another R107 (FM) element (columns 2, 3, and 4) is an artillery bat- tions platoon leader during the ground recon-
CMD NET R123 radio to reduce the time required to radio equipped with a power amplifier. Not tery command observation post. Normally, the naissance, which normally precedes an opera-
:r1ST I I L
ARTY REG/GP CMD NET (AM) change frequencies. shown in the diagram is the battalion fire direc- battery commander is collocated with the com- tion. At that time, the battalion officers record on
: CDR :1 CDR I COR I--- ATTACHED The other radio in the battalion commander's tion net, which is controlled by the battalion fire mander of the tank company that he is tasked to their maps codenames, frequencies, callsigns,
I I ARTYEBN tank is an HF (AM) set, the R130 transceiver. direction center.
I a 17 1 CMD NET (FM) 101 I
iI I
The battalion commander normally will operate The last element to be considered within the
support, and communications between the two
commanders are accomplished face to face. The
and perhaps even a simple radio net diagram.
1ST BTRY 1ST BTRY . I o a 1r
_J For obvious reasons, the Soviets call the map
FWD OP FIRE POS I RECOVERY this radio on his own battalion HF (AM) battalion command group is the deputy battery commander maintains radio "the officers' encoded map," or "encoded
1ST BTRY 7 0 Each battery commander
I I DISABLED AND command net (CMD NET #1), in which only his commander for technical affairs. As the senior communications with his battalion commander working map."
CMO NET establishes his own command net, company commanders and chief of staff may


I 1

operate. The battalion commander has both
command and technical control of this net. The
commander will use his R130 to operate in the
officer in the battalion support group, he
maintains a station in the battalion FM
command and coordination net (CMD NET #2)
on the artillery battalion command net (FM)
using an R107 radio. He uses a second R107 to
communicate with his own battery firing
The Soviets strive to maintain strict radio
discipline. In the defense, they communicate by
wire whenever possible. In the offense, they
-= i " Y v
using an R123 vehicular FM radio. He also uses position, and forward observation post (shown maintain radio silence until the outbreak of
regimental command net (AM) as required. a second R123 to control the battalion technical on the diagram for the first battery only) on his battle, when those authorized to transmit may
The battalion chief of staff (column 8) controls support net. Battalion repair and recovery ele- own battery FM command net. do so without restriction. In an attack against a
107 Portable
FM Radio
(R-107/FM) the battalion command post, which is mounted ments also monitor this net, and disabled tanks Fire requests generated by the tank company defending enemy, the battle is considered to
Portable radio with power amplifier in a vehicular A command tank with two radios I Broken symbol indicates operation
(R-130 and R-123)
as required. in an armored command vehicle. He normally and other vehicles may tune to the net to normally are coordinated at battalion level. have begun with the artillery preparation. In the
RadioStation configuration (R-107/FM)
2 Solid horizontal lines represent
has three transceivers and one receiver in his request assistance. However, Soviet artillery doctrine and organiza- meeting engagement, radio silence is lifted as
pnmary radio nets. mobile command post. One is the R1 30 HF (AM) The principal subordinate command elements tion do provide a means for direct response to soon as any element of the Soviet advancing
Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) or Infantry Combat Tank with mounted radio (R-123) also may represent a
311 Radio (R-311)
Vehicle (ICV)with mounted radio (R,123/FM) tank-like vehicle such as the ZSU-234) 3 Vertical broken lines show com- transceiver, which he uses to communicate of the reinforced tank battalion are shown on company-level fire requests. These requests force, other than the combat reconnaissance
mand subelements. with regimental headquarters on the regimental the left side of the diagram. Each of the tank can be passed through the supporting battery patrol, makes enemy contact.



The offensive is the only type of combat against targets in the enemy rear. i may be
action .... employment of which attains deployed as a unit or as subunits. Its mission is to seize,
the complete route of the enemy and the disrupt, or destroy nuclear weapons, airfields,
seizure of important objectives and areas. command, control and communication (C 3 ) centers,
logistics facilities, and key terrain such as river crossing
A. A. Sidorenko sites and road junctions. In this manner, it helps shift
The Offensive the focus of the battle away from the forward edge of
the battle area (FEBA). If successful, the activities of
the brigade facilitate rapid penetration byfirst echelon
TVD OFFENSIVE formations through the enemy's forward defensive
Front and army operations normally take place zone and directly support the high-speed movement of
within a theater of military operations (Russian: TVD), large exploitation forces advancing from thefront into
encompassing a considerable part of the territory of al the depths of the enemy's defenses.
continent and comprising a level of command. A TVD-isst W
offensive has a strategic mission to defeat and destro IN.
enemy field forces, to capture vital territory, and to RONT OFFENSIVE
bring about the political destruction of the enemy. -The Gj of a front offensive is to seize key
Offensive operations within a TVD could b political and economic centers and concurrently to
supported by 2 destroy enemy military forces defending them.
* Strategic aviation. &A n offensive involves much more than attacks
SStrategic rocket forces. ~against enemy forward defensive positions. It involves
* Airborne forces. ,,coordinated, repetitive, intensive strikes throughout
* Transport aviation. 3 ,E the entire depth of enemy field forces. These strikes
* Naval and naval infant ry are accomplished by an initial, massive, nonnuclear air
Within the TVD ,4heio perational formations are operation, heliborne and airborne assault, possibly
frontsand armies. Afront is a wartime formation com- coordinated with deep attacks by an operational
prised of several armies or separate divisions. Its size maneuver group, all available unconventional warfare
varies with the mission it is given within the overall ,means, surface-to-surface rockets and missiles, elec-
strategic operation: n army is the largest peacetime il 1ronic warfare, possible chemical warfare, and, if
ground maneuver ormation at the operational level. In deemed necessary, nuclear warfare.
wartime, the composition and size of an army alsoo S The overridingaim in a Sovietfront offensive is to
varies dependent upon mission An army may be either delay orprevent the warfrom turningnuclearby the
tank or combined arms) Its structure provides ade- swift, early destruction or neutralization of enemy
quate control and ground-based support for the divi- nuclearweaponsby nonnuclearmeans. High rates of
sions assigned to it during the army's participation in a advance by attacking ground forces, coupled with
front operation. _ A ' strikes throughout the rear, are intended to cripple the
os-Dsand smaller organizations are found at the enemy's ability to respond effectively to the Soviet
tactical level. The division has a fixed organization and offensive and to resort to tactical nuclear warfare. The
serves as the "building block" and maneuver element top priority target for Soviet weapons would be enemy
,ofarmies. The motorized rifle and tank divisions are nuclear delivery systems.
balanced, powerful, and mobile organizations capable
of operations in a nonnuclear as well as a nuclear
environment. At this level, the Soviets emphasize both Offensive Planning
sustainability and mobility. Organic logistic assets can In planning an offensive operation for the front,
sustain the division for several days of high-intensity, consideration is always given to those situations in
high-speed combat and are as mobile as the maneuver which either side would employ nuclear weapons.
units. Destruction or neutralization of the enemy's nuclear-
The development of air assault brigades has given capable delivery systems is considered essential. Thus,
the theater commander large, flexible, and well-armed continuous reconnaissance is planned to target those
formations that he can employ early in the battle systems with a nuclear capability accurately. Planning
FM 100-2-1

at front level is essentially the same for both nuclear are all variable based on missions, enemy defenses, ter-
and nonnuclear operations in objectives, employment rain, weather, and time.
of forces, main and supporting attacks, and axes of ,
advance. Thesimilarities end, however; in planning the
scheme of maneuver and fire support. Normally, Offensive Phasin
conventional operations require successive intermedi- To assist in phasing offensive operations at the
ate operations with a continuous regrouping offorces. operational level, the Soviets have defined a series of
Frontalaviation is given the mission to engage targets terms outlining various depths of the enemy defenses
deep in the enemy rear area while the artillery has the and the objectives encompassed within those depths.
mission to neutralize the enemy near the FEBA. In con- The initialphase of the operation requires the pene-
trast, nuclear operations keep the umber of inter- 4Ftration of the enemy's, forward defenses and the
mediate operations to a minimum. tobjectives are neutralization or destructioq of the enemy in the area
attained by employing high speed operations along defined as the itkfical deth.'This depth includes the
multiple axes of advance, exploiting the results of the reserves of the 'fi ~ird enemy divisions. The subse-
nuclear fire lan (see diagram below). quentphase calls for the neutralization or de ffriuimTin
anm gat ron level must support the conduct of of those enemy units in the area encompassed by the
operations deep in the enemy's rear area. Armies i'mediate6jraiioilal dep!f ", The enemy corps
assigned to the front- reseFrves at ffund irnthis' area. When the situation
* Attack along one or more axes to split the permits the introduction of a front's second echelon
,defenders into separate or isolated groups. These armies as exploitation forces, the enemy's strategic
groups are to be destroyed while the offensive is con- reserves at Armnny Group and Theater level are attacked.
tinued toward the enemy's rear area. The finalphaseof the offensive is the accomplishment
* Attack along converging axes to envelop enemy of the frot final objectives: the capture of logistical,
forces. These forces are to be destroyed as the offen- political, and economic centers and the neutralization
sive continues to the depths of the enemy's defenses. of remaining enemy forces.
The width of afront offensive zone could extend to The categories of objective depths which regulate
approximately 350 t'ilometers. The frontage, organiza- front offensive operations are identified and illustrated
tion, rate of advance;'nd concept of the front offensive on the next page.

Front Planning Objectives ,,





FM 100-2-1

Front Offensive Objectives and Depths




x xxx
X x
X (
xxx xx .
x (

x X x (
x txxx~~--x - X --- Q

x x(

X (
0 xxxxx 0





FM 100-2-1

Ra id Advance /
$ jxoviet offensive ' characterized by a high rate of to develop penetrations leading to the enemy rear to
advance. Over a perioI of several weeks or more, the topple the enemy defensive structure. They anticipate
Soviets anticipate a rate of advance of approximately that elements of a front second echelon probably
50 kilometers per day under nuclear or nonnuclear would not have to combat enemy forces in defensive
conditions. Rate of advance is not expected to be positions. After the first two to five days of the war, they
uniform. While fighting through enemy defensive posi- expect prepared poitio 3 ve been overrun and
tions, the Soviets expect a rate of several kilometers combat to be characterized by rapid movement into
per hour or up to 30 kilometers per day. Once a major :the enemy rear interrupted by violent, relatively brief,
penetration has been achieved, the rate would meeting engagements.
increase considerably.
When confronting an enemy that has taken up defen-
sive positions, the Soviets attempt to strike weak points Concentration of Forces
in the defense and to drive to the enemy's rear A front norma ducts a main attack over one or
whenever possible by bypassing his major force more axes whose proximity to one another depend
concentrations. They attempt to cripple the enenmy upon whether the front is to split or envelop the enemy
quickly by destroying or disrupting his nuclear in its drive towards its objectives. The direction of a
capability, his command and control facilities, and his main attack would be decisive in the defeat of the
logistic system before he could effectively react. enemy and seizure of territory. One or more sup-
Even if the Soviets are forced to deal with an enemy porting attacks accompany the main attack. A sup-
that is emplaced in defensive positions across their porting attack ties down opposing enemy forces to
entire frontage, they still attempt t void a costly, prevent them from reinforcing the sector threatened
time-consuming battle of attrition. hey ould strive by the main attack.

Soviet Front Offensive Operation (Variant)



CAA - Combined Arms Army
TA - Tank Army
600-800 KM 250-350 KM 100-150 KM 25-30 KM AAB - Air Assault Brigade
12-15 DAYS 6-7 DAYS 3-4 DAYS FIRST DAY MRD - Motorized Rifle Division

FM 100-2-1

Certain sectors of enemy defenses may be desig- combined arms reserve, or operational maneuver
nated as breakthrough sectors. These are areas, nor- group (OMG).
mally across a main attack axis, that an operational- . Tank armies nay be placed in the first echelon for
level commander deems necessary, desirable, or likely ittaining greater speed when terrain and other condi-
for major penetration. Under nuclear conditions, ions permit this employment. This variant would be
enemy defenses in a breakthrough sector are ikely if a massive nuclear strike preceded the ground
destroyed by tactical nuclear strikes, followed by rapid ffensive or if enemy defenses were not well prepared.
exploitation by maneuver units. Under nonnuclear Most forces of afront are placed in its first echelon.
but nuclear-threatened conditions, the sector is e mission of the front's first echelon would be to
attacked by massed air and artillery fires and numerous overcome enemy defenses and to attack through the
attacks on multiple axes by maneuver units. Inmediate operational depth (to enemy corps rear
The benefit gained by the attacker who uses only aeas).
conventional weapons on the nuclear-threatened bat- Frontfirst echelon forces are reinforced by artillery,
tlefield is that the enemy also must avoid concentrating /other combat support, and logistic elements from
forces. The defender must leave, gaps and/or lightly front second echelon forces.
manned sectors between his units. Whenever possible, / The remainder, or follow-on, forces of the front
the Soviet commander directs his attack against these could include-
undefended or lightly defended areas, thereby achiev- * A second echelon or a combined arms reserve.
ing a favorable force ratio without massing his own * An operational maneuver group (OMG).
fore~s. 1- "* Special reserves.
, reater range and increased mobility of modern i A front second echelon (or a combined arms
artillery weapons enable Soviet artillerymen to mass reserve), normally at least one army, has a mission of
fires against a target without concentrating the exploiting success achieved by first echelon forces by
weapons themselves. This practice reduces their continuing the main thrust of the offensive to reach
vulnerability to a nuclear strike and makes it more diffi- deeper objectives. Committed follow-on forces then
cult for the enemy to determine long in advance where become part of a new first echelon. Then a combined
a main attack might be made. The fires of combat heli- arms reserve normally is constituted from former first
copters and close air support fixed-wing aircraft also echelon forces.
are integrated into their overall fire planning. This
again enhances the Soviets' ability to focus a great deal
of firepower without putting masses of troops at risk to The Front Operational Maneuver GroupO M &
an enemy nuclear strike. o 6 Since the late 1970s, important changes in the ,
When the Soviets do concentrate forces; they are operational employment and organization of Soviet
likely to do so in several locations along the FEBA and ground maneuver formations have been observed. The
in relatively small numbers in any one sector. By nar- most significant operational change has been the
rowing the width of an attack frontage, they achieve concept of employing aetailored high-speed exploita-
superior force ratios at several points along the FEBA. tion force at army and probablyfront level. This force,
In such a situation, they probably attack with most called the operatio maneuver grou (OIG, is
forces in the first echelon, tailored for the situation and is designd tomoe deep
The Soviet commander is more likely to use multi- into the enemyar aa and to seize critical objec-
ple, narrow penetrations when he has a clear numeri- tives, normally before ~ echelon Soviet forma-
cal advantage over the enemy across his entire frontage tions are committed to combat. ArontOMG could be
and when the enemy has positioned the bulk of his wthte imnedia te obtive
defending forces forward. When enemy defenses are (enemy corps rear) is attained.
echeloned in depth, the Soviets tend to use an attack The OMG is an updated version of an older concept
force echeloned in depth to maintain the momentum infused with new technology. It waswidely used in the
of the attack after the initial penetration. final stages of World War II when the Germans and
Japanese were unable to present a deeply echeloned
defense and had no large operational reserves. The
Eh ons predecessor of the OMG was the army and front
Asa very general rule, combined arms armies would "mobile group" of World War II. Mobile groups were
be used in the first echelon of a front. Then tank armies large operational exploitation forces used to move
would normally appear in its second echelon, rapidly and decisively deep into the enemy's rear area
FM 100-2-1

to destroy his command and control and lines of later time, possibly after completion of the air opera-
communication, to defeat his reserves, to encircle and tion. It could be of airborne-regiment or possibly
destroy his forces, and to capture or destroy keypoliti- division size. Linkup may be planned with advancing
cal an on mic centers. ground forces, probably an OMG. Possible objectives
mission f an OMG is to help the first echelon include nuclear weapons, command and control
penetrate the enemy defenses, if required, and then to centers, enemy airfields, major bridges, and logistic
raid deep into the enemy rear as early in the offensive facilities.
as possible. The OMG is to destroy enemy nuclear ^ Ejairborne forces are equipped with BMD
weapons, air defenses, communications, command "'airborne assault vehicles. On the ground, in the enemy
and control, to seize airfields or disrupt lines of com- rear, they fight as motorized infantry. A front may also
munication, and to assist advancing main forces by employ small, foot-mobile, special-purpose airborne
seizing bridgeheads, road junctions, and so forth. forces to conduct reconnaissance and sabotage in the
A front OMG may be attached from resources con- enemy rear.
\ trolled by the theater of military operations (TVD) or
Supreme High Command. It could be as large as an
army, constituted either before or during an operation. ARMY OFFENSIVE
An OMG may not always be formed. Whether one is An army in the first echelon of afront offensive nor-
formed depends on a number of factors the most mally has a mission to attack through enemy defenses
important of which are the planned direction(s).of the to the immediate operational depth, the enemy corps
main attack; the tactics, strength, and readiness of rear area. The achievement of an arm ission is the
enemy forces; and the nature of the terrain over which culmination of successive attacks co ducted by its
an attacking force must maneuver. An OMG is most divisions. o ,;M
likely to be used when the enemy defense system is A combined arms army may have two to four
seen to be at a low state of readiness or when enemy motorized rifle divisions and one or two tank divisions.
defenses are relatively shallow and not supported by A tank army may have two to four tank divisions and
large reserves. one or two motorized rifle divisions.
An army offensive normally has a frontage 60 to 100
kilometers wide. The first echelon of an army normally
Nonnuclear Front Offensive contains most of the army's combat power. Army
A nonnuclear Soviet front offensive probably would follow-on forces could include-
begin with a massive air operation, conducted continu- * A second echelon or a combined arms reserve.
ously for several days, using massed assets from * An operational maneuver group.
frontal, strategic, and naval aviation. The two main * Special reserves.
goals of the air operation are to neutralize enemy
theater nuclear capability and to gain tactical air
superiority for the remainder of the operation. Targets Echelonment of Forces
of the air operation are nuclear delivery systems, air- When an OMG is formed at army level, the bulk of
fields and aircraft, air defense systems, and command the forces available to the army commander probably
and control facilities. is distributed between the first echelon and the OMG.
The Soviets are willing to accept great losses in their This may cause the second echelon or reserve to be
own air assets to achieve their goals. They believe that smaller in those armies where OMGs are employed.
they could conduct the remainder of the offensive with If enemy defenses are not well prepared in depth
older, possibly obsolescent, aircraft provided theysuc- and not backed up by operational-level reserves, the
ceeded in crippling enemy tactical air power. army probably attacks in a single strong echelon
'I " Ground attacks by frontground forces are preceded followed by a combined arms reserve and, possibly, an
by a massive artillery preparation conducted by first OMG. If the enemy is well prepared in depth and does
echelon armies. If nuclear weapons are used from the have operational reserves, the army probably attacks in
onset, they are used in a massive, in-depth strike before two echelons. In other words, if the enemy defense has
the nonnuclear preparation. Whether they are used or an operational second echelon (or reserve) the Soviets
not, nuclear strikes always are included in fire employ an operational second echelon to sustain the
planning. momentum of the offensive.
An airborne operation conducted by a front could First and second echelon forces operate in concert
be launched either at the start of an offensive, or at a to destroy defending enemy forces before them, up to

FM 100-2-1

_ _~Q
Soviet Army Offensive Operation (Variants)




(1) Several variants are depicted.
(2) Combined Arms Army (CAA) depicted consists of 3 motorized rifle divisions (MRD), a tank division (TD), and an independent tank regiment (TR).
(3) CAA main attack could be on axis 1 oT axis 3. Supporting attack on axis 2.
(4) Frontage: approximately 60 km.
(5) Depending on CAA missions and/or development of battle, second echelon could be committed to:
- maintain momentum on axis 3
- secure OMG lines of communication on axis 1
- develop opportune success on axis 2
(6) Flexibility most apparent at operational (Army and front) level.

assigned mission (objective) depths. Second echelon The army's second echelon or combined arms
forces of an army normally are committed after the reserve, normally about division size, advances behind
army's immediate objective is attained. An army OMG, army first echelon forces. It is dispersed laterally on
if employed, could be committed as early as the first multiple routes to minimize vulnerability to enemy
day of an operation. detection and attacks. Based on the development of
One or more divisions in the first echelon probably the battle and on his assigned mission, the army com-
attack on a predetermined army main attack axis. mander commits his follow-on forces at the most
Other first echelon divisions conduct supporting opportune time and place. He does this to achieve a
attacks. Achievement of a "breakthrough" of enemy "breakthrough," deeper exploitation, and dissolution
prepared defensive positions is a probable mission of of enemy tactical and immediate-operational defenses.
forces conducting the main attack of an army.
First echelon regiments of the army's first echelon
divisions attack from the march at top speed to achieve Use of Forward Detachments
deeper penetration of the enemy's main defenses, and The offensive is characterized by surprise, speed,
to exploit surprise and enemy disorganization. Second and a striving to preempt or forestall the enemy. Some
echelon regiments of the army's first echelon divisions subunits of first echelon forces may attempt to strike
would exploit the best penetrations into the deep deep into the enemy forward defensive area before
tactical rear of the enemy. enemy defenses are fully organized and solidified. Such

FM 100-2-1

missions are likely given to forward detachments of an army's offensive zone to penetrate enemy covering
army's first echelon divisions, fully supported by forces. Then they drive at top speed in prebattle or
artillery and close air support. It is also possible that an march formation to seize and hold key terrain within
army could employ a tank-heavy regimental-sized the main defensive area. Battalion-sized heliborne
"operational" forward detachment to achieve similar assaults designed for linkup with the forward detach-
but deeper results in the enemy main defensive area. ments also could be employed. The purpose of such
Division forward detachments, normally reinforced operationally-planned tactics is to disrupt or preempt
tank battalions, could advance during the night before enemy defensive structure while opening multiple
the offensive. They attack on multiple axes across the avenues for swift attacks by larger first echelon forces.

Combined Arms Army Offensive (Variant)


AkI - -- 1 2

- o T8- C-
l _ :r ms MRR
woo .. ----
/ASSAULT -- - - . - MRR

. _


-- . . .. TB +


r L ,,
TB - Tank Battalion
TR - Tank Regiment DETACHMENT (TR+)
MRR- Motorized Rifle Regiment ARMY FIRST ECHELON

Strong forward detachments probably would be situation would complicate or forestall enemy use of
used throughout the operation to continually press the tactical nuclear weapons. The Soviets probably would
advance into the enemy rear on several axes. Numer- accept heavy losses in deep-penetration forces if they
ous deep penetrations by forward detachments and/or could cause an early collapse of the enemy's defensive
OMGs early in the operation would result in an structure before he could resort to use of nuclear
intermingling of enemy and friendly forces. This weapons.
FM 100-2-1

The Army OMG

Army OMGs likely are formed from resources that purpose. The relative importance of raiding versus
are normally part of or supporting the army. OMGs may seizing an objective varies depending upon whether
be established before an operation as part of the initial the OMG is operating in isolation or as part of an
plan or during an operation to exploit an unforeseen encirclement operation.
opportunity. At army level, the OMG probably would
be as large as a reinforced division. An OMG could
operate 100 kilometers or more beyond other army Other Support Elements
forces. Encirclement of enemy forces is accomplished by
Command and control of an OMG is conducted by a blocking routes of withdrawal with forward detach-
combination of radio, an airborne command element, ments, OMG, pursuit maneuver units, air assault forces,
and air and ground couriers. Sustaining an OMG or air strikes. Encirclement may be achieved by the
requires highly mobile transport and supply. The army itself, with the cooperation of a flanking army or
Soviets attempt to maintain a ground line of com- with the support of front assets. Surrounded enemy
munication as well as resupply by air. forces are destroyed piecemeal while the army con-
The relationship between the OMG and the second tinues to develop the offensive in depth.
echelon in an operation varies depending on the An army of a front first echelon receives artillery
concept of operation. If the OMG is operating away units from the front artillerydivision. The army com-
from the main axis of advance, its activities and those of mander then allocates artillery to his divisions. He may
the second echelon may not be directly related. If the retain some artillery at army level to form an army
OMG is operating on the main axis of advance, the artillery group. Within the army, artillery from second
second echelon may be required to destroy forces echelon divisions probably is allocated to first echelon
bypassed by the OMG or to secure the OMG's lines of divisions.
communications. A first echelon army probably would receive from
Unlike the second echelon, the OMG acts as a large front additional engineers and river crossing equip-
operational raiding force. Typically, it is assigned an ment, air defense weapons, chemical units, and
ultimate objective or objectives (perhaps located on transportation assets.
the main axis) but is expected to disrupt, capture, or An army offensive could also include an airborne or
seize other objectives along the way, while attempting heliborne assault operating in conjunction with an
to avoid a decisive engagement with large enemy OMG to seize deep objectives. Smaller special-purpose
forces. The OMG could attack targets en route with its airborne units could be employed to conduct recon-
entire force or more likely with units detached for this naissance and sabotage.



The Soviets emphasize swift, efficient movement, or * Enemy strength and disposition.
transfer, of combat power from one point on the bat- * Disposition of friendly forces and missions of
tlefield to another. This is accomplished by rapid adjacent units.
column movement in march formation and * Attachments and supporting units.
successive deployment into prebattleformation and * Terrain, weather, and light conditions.
attackformation. Commanders insure that their unit * Possible march routes.
is constantly ready to perform a march, with minimum * Nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC)
warning and preparation. Units frequently rehearse the conditions.
march, and its conduct is strictly controlled. They * Control measures.
practice deployment from march column into * Reconnaissance and security.
prebattle and attack formation in standard battle drills. Based on this estimate, he selects routes, iftheyhave
These formations and drills are designed for a rapid not been specified by his commander. The following
transition into combat while maintaining maximum norms apply:
security, speed, and firepower. * A division is assigned either a march zone or march
routes. As many as four routes are possible.
* A regiment is normally assigned one or two routes.
The March * A battalion marches on one route.
A march is an organized troop movement conducted * Distance between routes should be at least 3
in column formation on roads or cross country. It may kilometers to reduce vulnerability to nuclear strikes.
be simply an administrative move from one point to Planning the march is carried out in as much detail
another. In wartime, however, the march often will be as time and information will permit. If possible, a route
governed by the possibility of enemy contact. It is reconnaissance is conducted to determine route
planned and conducted with the expectation of conditions; to locate contaminated areas, choke
contact. points, or obstacles; and to determine requirements
A march may be conducted- for engineer or decontamination support.
* When moving from a rear assembly area to a Considering the total length of the march and the
forward assembly area or attack position. time available, the commander determines the average
* When leaving an assembly area to launch an attack rate of march for the entire march. He then divides the
from the march. march route into segments. Based on the terrain, he
* When moving forward in anticipation of a meeting determines the permissible rate of march over each
engagement. segment and the time to complete each segment. He
* During a pursuit. then determines control measures for conduct of the
* When conducting a passage of lines. march and the times associated with each control
In any march, the challenge facing the commander is measure.
the proper disposition of combat and support Prescribed times for units to pass from assembly
elements within the column, to insure efficient transi- areas to march column are indicated below.
tion into combat. The column organization, estab-
lished before starting the march, should minimize or
preclude any reorganizing before commitment in March Column Assembly Times
Having received an order to conduct a march, the
Soviet commander issues a warning order to his UNIT MINUTES
subordinate commanders. He then conducts an Motorized rifle company 5
estimate of the situation to include- Motorized rifle battalion 10 to 15
* Mission of the march. Artillery battalion 15 to 20
* Time available. Artillery regiment 40 to 50
* Locations of possible or anticipated enemy Motorized rifle regiment 60 to 120
contact. (reinforced)
FM 100-2-1

A start line or start point is designated for the * Nature and location of enemy nuclear delivery
beginnng of the march. It must be far enough from systems.
assembly areas to allow columns to form and reach the * Movement axes of enemy columns.
required speed as they pass the start point. * Strength and composition of enemy forces.
Control lines (points) are established to insure * Deployment lines and routes.
timely and orderly movement. Their number will be a * Location of contaminated areas.
function of the distance to be covered, the terrain, The advance guard precedes the main force on the
weather, time of day or night, and state of the roads. same route and provides movement security and
Usually they are designated for every 2 to 3 hours of warning. It normally consists of about one third of the
movement. Elements of the force must cross these total combat power of the main force. The advance
control lines or points at the designated time. guard of a motorized rifle regiment is normally a
Halts and rests are specified to preserve the strength motorized rifle battalion reinforced with tank,
of personnel and to maintain equipment. Short halts artillery, antitank, antiaircraft, engineer, and chemical
are 20 to 30 minutes duration every 2 to 3 hours of elements. The advance guard of a tank regiment is
movement. The column formation is not disturbed, normally a similarly-reinforced tank battalion. In a
and unit intervals are maintained. division marching on multiple routes, the lead regi-
Within units, vehicles pull over to the right side ment on each route forms its own advance guard.
of the road with spacings of not less than 10 There is no "divisional advance guard," as such.
meters between them. Refueling, minor mainte- The advance guard, in its turn, will dispatch to its
nance, and if necessary, partial decontamination front a forward security element (FSE) consisting of
are accomplished. Long halts are used on marches about one third of its combat power. A forward
of over 24 hours duration. They are not normally security element of a regiment's advance guard will
scheduled at night to allow maximum time for normally be a reinforced company. (The FSE is known
night movement. If used, they are 2 to 4 hours as an "advance party" in some texts.)
duration, usually at the beginning of the second The FSE is preceded by a combat reconnaissance
half of a day's movement. Units disperse off- patrol (CRP). The CRP is normally a platoon rein-
road in camouflaged positions. Maintenance, forced with engineer and NBC reconnaissance
resupply, and decontamination (if required) elements. It reports intelligence information and
are accomplished and troops are fed a hot meal. makes the initial contact with any enemy forces
Day rest is scheduled after a night march and night encountered.
rest after a day march. Troops are dispersed and con- Flank and rear security elements for a regiment are
cealed in such manner to facilitate rapid continuation normally of platoon size. (More detailed information
of the march. Necessary logistical functions are on the organization and function of march elements is
accomplished. found under The Meeting Engagement later in this
March formation normally consists of the following chapter.)
elements: March considerations include dispersion, rate of
* Reconnaissance. march, and march order. Particularly under nuclear
* Advance guard (or forward security element of a conditions, march formations must maintain disper-
battalion). sion both laterally and in depth. A division attains
* Flank security elements. lateral dispersion by marching in a zone up to 25
* Main force. kilometers wide on as many as four routes, each
* Rear security element. separated by 3 to 4 kilometers.
The focus for march planning is security of the main The average rate of march is based on the total route
force and creation of conditions for its successful distance and the time allowed for the march.
commitment into battle.
The organic reconnaissance battalion precedes its
division on the march. Scout elements of the recon- Average March Rates for Mixed Columns
naissance battalion may operate 50 kilometers forward
of the division. A regiment is preceded by its organic Day, on roads ............. 20 to 30 KM/HR
reconnaissance company, whose scouts may operate
25 kilometers forward. Reconnaissance forces are Night, on roads ....... .... 15 to 20 KM/HR
trained to obtain as quickly as possible the following
information about enemy forces: Cross Country ............ 5 to 15 KM/HR
FM 100-2-1

Dispersion in depth is a function of the organization and the interval between vehicles and between
of the forces on each route and the intervals between subunits in each column.
units and vehicles. The commander balances the The average movement intervals and vehicle speeds
requirement for dispersion in depth with the require- shown in the tables below apply to marches of some
ment for timely commitment of his forces in case duration. If enemy contact is made, units may move at
of enemy contact. maximum speeds. Examples of typical march forma-
The depth of a march formation depends on the tions for Soviet motorized rifle and tank forces are
number of march routes, the interval between units, shown on the following pages.

Unit Dispersion Intervals I - - I - -


Between vehicles in a company 25-50 M Increased at high speeds and when traversing
contaminated or rugged terrain or on icy roads.
May be decreased at night.

Between companies in a battalion 25-50 M Up to 300 M or more under nuclear conditions.

Between battalions on the same route 3-5 KM

Between regiments on the same route 5-10 KM Can vary as contact becomes imminent.

Between regimental rear services and main force 3-5 KM

Between division rear services and main force. 15-20 KM

NOTE: Vehicles speeds are determined by road conditions.

Average Speeds of Vehicles -I I I I -- I-

I ~slL --
Concrete, asphalt-concrete 40-50 20-35 10-20

Gravel and rubble 40-45 20-30 10-20

Dirt 15-25 8-15 5-10

FM 100-2-1

March Formations, Reinforced Motorized Rifle Battalion I - I - -- --I ~- C - _

T - -
Up to 3 KM
I - 5-10 KM -- I
Visual and SECURITY / MAIN
.6-0 - - "-
Range Motorized Rifle Company 2 x Motorized Rifle Co
Tank Platoon Tank Company (-)
Artillery Battery Artillery Bn (-)


Motorized Rifle Company
Tank Platoon
PATROL Artillery Battery
t asOU44--
Up to 3 KM


Within FORWARD Motorized Rifle Co
Visual and SECURITY Motorized Rifle Co (-)
Fire Support ELEMENT Tank Company (-)
Range Motorized Rifle Pit Artillery Bn (-)



2 x Motorized Rifle Co
Tank Company (-)
Artillery Bn (-)
PATROL I < I ---- 5-10 KM -I PATROL
0-- Within 0--
Visual and REAR Ut
Fire Support Up to 3 KM
Range ELEMENT o--
Motorized Rifle Co (-) FLANK SECURITY
Tank Platoon ELEMENT
Artillery Battery Motorized Rifle Platoon


FM 100-2-1

March Formations, Motorized Rifle Regiment





2-4 1.0-5.2 1.2-2.2 1.0-3.2 1.5-2.8 3.5-6.4


30-50 KM .I


-o- MR PLT
1-3 KM


Up to 25 KM
20- 1.8-5.2 1.2-2.2 1.6-3.2 1.5-2.8 3.5-6.4


1. Above distances are approximate and only serve to depict minimum and maximum expected distances.
2. Although basically identical inorganic structure, the regiment marching ahead of a division may include
a motorized platoon at flank, with the advance guard covering upto 25 kilometers and extending 20 to 30
kilometers ahead of the main body of the division.

To assist movement and enforce march control, Use of radios is restricted to minimize risk of radio-
each regiment employs a traffic control platoon and electronic detection, jamming, and enemy attack.
each division employs a traffic control company. Subunits normally march under radio listening silence.
Traffic regulators wear distinctive black uniforms with The Soviets are well drilled in and rely heavily on hand
white belts and helmets. Before the march, they and arm signals, flags, and light signaling devices.
normally are placed at critical points such as turns, During long halts, wire communications maybe used.
intersections, choke points, and control points. Use of Extensive use is also made of motorcycle-mounted
traffic regulators permits less reliance on maps and couriers.
radio communications.
N* v


- ~ --

- ~xJ- - - -xJ-


v v


25 KM -- 60 KM+

1 - 50 KM LI' 100 KM+ -

(NOT TO SCALE) (All distances approximate)

FM 100-2-1

Air defense for the march normally is planned in Before the march, rear services elements are brought
advance and includes organic and supporting antiair- forward to replenish supplies, to perform mainte-
craft weapons and aviation. Air defense weapons can nance, and to evacuate the wounded and sick.
be located in the column or in stationary positions Refueling and maintenance elements are sent forward
occupied in advance. Normally, the weapons are distri- to halt or rest areas. Every attempt is made to replenish
buted throughout the column. fuel reserves on the vehicles before combat.
When enemy aircraft appear, the commander gives During the march, logistical support is performed in
the signal to open fire. Simultaneously the column areas of halts or rests. Vehicles which break down
speeds up and vehicle spacings are increased to a between these areas are taken to the right of the road
distance of up to 100 meters between vehicles. If a and repaired there. Wounded and sick personnel are
large group of aircraft attack, the column may be given medical aid in place. The seriously wounded are
forced to disperse or seek concealment off the road. evacuated.
Engineer support for the march allows the force to Control of rear services during the march is effected
overcome or bypass those areas which would disrupt through detailed planning and coordination between
the march. Engineer subunits inay be formed into- rear services chiefs, commanders of rear services units,
* A movement support detachment (MSD) which and the supported commander. A rear command post,
performs route reconnaissance, removes obstacles, headed by the deputy commander for rear services (at
organizes bypasses, marks the route, and does limited regimental and division level) is established. It moves
road repair. at the head of the column of rear services units (on the
* A mobile obstacle detachment (MOD) which main axis if there is more than one column) but will be
provides protection for advancing columns by situated wherever the best control can be maintained.
mechanically laying minefields and creating expedient Under nuclear conditions, units probably will
obstacles on likely enemy approaches. encounter contaminated areas. Bypassing zones of
(The organization and employment of the MSD and radioactive contamination reduces casualties and
MOD are described in Chapter14, EngineerSupport.) saves time spent on decontaminating personnel and
Logistic support of the march can be divided into materiel but may not always be possible. Some zones
two phases: before the march and during the march. could be too large to bypass.

March Formation, Reinforced Tank Battalion -II C - ~_I



Tank Pit
Up to 25 KM Mobile Obstacle Detachment (Engr)


Tank Pit Tank CO(-) MR Pit
NBC Recon Artillery Btry
Movement Support Detachment (-)
Engr Recon (Engr)


FM 100-2-1

Two methods of crossing contaminated zones are Platoon leaders normally ride in the lead vehicle of a
possible. The first is immediate movement across the platoon column. Company and battalion commanders
zone. The other is movement across the zone after ride near the front of their march formations.
waiting for a reduction in radiation levels. The crossing Regimental commanders normally are located near the
is made on primary routes to insure high speed and front of the regimental main force.
control, unless better axes are selected to reduce the The march is completed when the last control
distance traveled or to bypass areas of very high measure is crossed and the unit enters a new assembly
radiation. area, or when it enters prebattle formation or combat.
Units move across the contaminated area at high
speeds with increased spacings between vehicles,
especially in dusty conditions. Personnel wear protec- Prebattle Formation
tive equipment and use the protective systems of For the sake of speed, the Soviets prefer to remain in
combat vehicles. column or march formation whenever possible. They
When a decision is made to wait for a reduction of normally resort to lateral deployment only by
radiation levels, forces disperse and camouflage. After necessity, such as when combat is imminent. The next,
radiation levels have fallen, the crossing is made successive lateral deployment out of march formation
without significant change in deployment. is into prebattle formation (known incorrectly as
The Soviets use their best available fire suppression "approach march formation" in some Western
means to preclude an enemy attack during their move- publications). In prebattle formation, a unit advances
ment across the contaminated area. This fire sup- dispersed laterally and in depth. This formation is used
pression mission is an ideal role for self-propelled when approaching the battlefield, moving in the
artillery. depths of a defending enemy's rear area, and attacking
Throughout the march, order, speed, and interval enemy defenses when preparatory fires have signifi-
are enforced vigorously. The Soviet penchant for cantly reduced enemy resistance. Prebattle formation
detailed planning and execution dominates such also may be used to rapidly cross nuclear-contami-
activity. nated zones and areas that are burning or obstructed.

Prebattle Formation -- I -- I -- I


0 , ' 0

LDOR LDR 0 * 0


<d <3
FM 100-2-1

Prebattle formation minimizes troop vulnerability to company moves in march column within the forma-
enemy tactical .nuclear strikes and conventional tion. Deployment into and out ofprebattle formation is
artillery and air strikes. It facilitates rapid maneuver as rehearsed often by set battle drill.
well as quick deployment into attack formation. Units A company in prebattle formation advances with
in prebattle formation either deploy into attack forma- platoon columns in one of the formations described in
tion or return to march formation, depending on the the examples on page 5-10. In prebattle formation a
tactical situation. A unit might remain in this formation unit does not laterally deploy beyond platoon columns.
for a lengthy period of time. It normally would pass The intervals between company or platoon columns in
through some form of prebattle formation when prebattle formation will be large enough to allow full
moving from the march into full deployment for an deployment of the subunit into attack formation
attack. without additional lateral expansion of the entire
In prebattle formation, a battalion advances with its formation. Prebattle formation provides a combination
companies deployed on line, deployed in a forward or of speed, dispersion, flexibility, and firepower in an
reverse wedge, or echeloned .left or right. Each anticipated direction.

Battalion Prebattle Formations


800M MR C(-)

500- MR PLT 500- MR PLT
800M 800M
I i


500- 500-

800M TK PLT 800M


FM 100-2-1

Company Prebattle Formations (Platoons in Column) -- I I L--


15-H 6
00 I t~
00 A 1500

300 M
0 150-300 M
300 MO

Up to 600 M,


300 M

200 MO O
K'" 0
0 0o 0 ' &
300 M
t h 10-30

150-300 M
300'M 300 M'

p to 600



LEGEND: 0 Tank 0 BTR Platoon Leader Company Commander

FM 100-2-1

Attack Formation
Normally, the attackformation is assumed immedi- formation normally is assumed within about 1000 group of forces for offensive or defensive combat. For
ately before combat. In prebattle formation, platoons, meters of enemy positions. example, the battle formation of a motorized rifle regi-
and possibly companies remain in column. Attack Platoon leaders normally are located centrally. ment in the attack may be two tank-reinforced bat-
formation is assumed when platoons disperse laterally Company commanders normally are located centrally talions in the first echelon and one in the second
into line formation. Within their company, however, and slightly to the rear of lead elements. echelon, or it may be three battalions in the first
platoons need not be formed on line but may be also Attack formation (boyevoyporyadok) is sometimes echelon with a company held in reserve (see illustra-
arrayed in wedge or echelon formations, based on the referred to as "combat formation" or "battle forma- tions on page 5-12). The battle formation of a battalion
situation. However, an array ofplatoons on line is most tion" in Western publications. It is called attack in the defense might require two company strong-
common. Tanks on line normally precede BTRs or formation in this manual to distinguish it from the points forward and one to the rear, and a platoon-sized
BMPs. If troops dismount, they normally follow closely Russian term boyevoyporyadok voysk, which is best antitank reserve. The manner in which artillery and
behind the tanks. BTRs or BMPs normally follow translated as battleformation. other support elements are deployed for a given battle
between 100 to 400 meters behind the tanks. Attack Battle formation is the organization of a unit or or operation is also part of the battle formation.

Company Attack Formation (Platoons on Line) - I I- --- L- I I


Iw-Up to 400 M-H ]-Up to 400 M-'. j--Up to 400 M-.I I--Up to 400 M---I

I 100- l-
-- 1
0 200 M . 100-
400 M

I200 M
0 200 M
100-200 M - 100-

SD 6)Aco 100-
200 M
Up to
300 M


Up to 800 M --


Up to 200 M
50-100 MI-"-.
400 M
H-~50-100 M T
100-200 M
200 M
I--*' 0100 M hPA- 100- 1

I -' C
100-200 M

Up to 800 M
L.j 200 M


(NOT TO SCALE) LEGEND: 6 BTR a Platoon Leader a Company Commander SMotorized Rifle Platoon (Dismounted)

Fold out for 5-11 5-11

FM 100-2-1

Company Attack Formation (Platoons on Line) I = - 11911- 1-- - - I-

Up to 400 M

I Up to H
Up to 300 M
Up to 300 M Up to 300 M
200 M Up
100 M
to 400 0
1- Up to 800 M -- I
L Upto4
Up M

Up to 200 M Up to 200 M

(NOT TO SCALE) LEGEND: 0 Tank 0-4Tank Platoon Company Commander

Tactical Formations of a Motorized Rifle Battalion (BMP) -III- I I r I




800 M -t7n -- -
---- I 00 1---------
<D - --- an-------
200 M MR PLT 500-800 M




5-12 Foldin
FM 100-2-1

The attack against a defending enemy is employed The advantages of an attack from a position in direct
when the enemy is in a defensive position, and the contact are as follows:
Soviets know his location. It normally follows a plan, * It allows more thorough study of terrain and
based on intelligence on enemy disposition and the enemy disposition.
factors of mission, terrain, troops, and time available. * It permits more refined organization of battle.
The attack against a defending enemy is the tactic * It is easier to coordinate fire and maneuver.
which has been incorrectly described as a "break- The disadvantages of an attack from a position in
through" or "deliberate attack." These terms are incor- direct contact are as follows:
rect because they do not fully describe all options avail- * Unit may be already committed.
able to the Soviet commander conducting what he * Unit is under threat of attack during preparation.
calls attack against a defending enemy. * There is less chance of surprise.
* There is less chance to build up momentum and to
overcome inertia.
Principles of Attack Doctrine

* Conduct aggressive reconnaissance. Forms of Maneuver

* Breach enemy defense at weak points or gaps. The three basic forms of maneuver in the attack are
Maneuver against enemy flanks and rear. the frontal attack, the flank attack, and the
* Bypass strongpoints. envelopment.
* Rapidly maneuver forces and fires in decisive The frontal attack is directed against the enemy's
direction. frontline forces to penetrate his defenses along single
* Mass fires. or multiple axes. A unit conducting a frontal attack
* Give priority to destruction of enemy nuclear attempts to create openings for subsequent exploita-
weapon systems. tion. The frontal attack was previously one of the most
* Strike rapidly and deeply into enemy rear. frequently employed forms of offensive maneuver. Its
* Maintain momentum under all conditions. success depends on superiority of forces and fire-
* Employ radioelectronic combat. power, the presence of sufficient reserves, and
thorough planning. The frontal attack, by itself, is the
The two methods of conducting an attack against a least preferred form of maneuver. Normally, it is used
defending enemy are to attack from the march and to in combination with a flank attack or an envelopment.
attack from a position in direct contact. The flank attack is conducted to strike enemy
An attackfrom the march, the preferred method of forces in their flank or rear at a relatively shallow
attack, is launched from march formation out of depth. It normally is initiated through gaps or breaches
assembly areas in the rear. Subunits deploy laterally at in enemy formations. Forces conducting the flank
designated control lines and assume attack formation attack and those conducting a simultaneous frontal
within approximately 1,000 meters of enemy defenses. attack coordinate fire support.
The Soviets perceive the advantages of the attack
from the march to be as follows: The unit is not
committed before attack. The attack increases chance Combination of Frontal and Flank Attacks ...
of surprise, allows greater flexibility, decreases vulner-
ability to enemy artillery, and enhances momentum.
Preparation for combat is performed out of enemy OBJECTIVE
Disadvantages of the attack from the march are:
* Commanders may not be familiar with terrain and
enemy dispositions.
* It is more difficult to coordinate fire and maneuver
and simultaneous combined arms efforts.
An attackfrom a position in direct contact,the less
preferred method, is launched from a position which
may be part of, or immediately behind, a defensive
position. It is most often used when changing over to FRONTAL ATTACK
the offense from the defense.
FM 100-2-1

The envelopment is a deeper attack that causes the are not fixed dimensions, but vary with each situation.
enemy to turn and fight in a new direction. It is In the initial phase of an attack, when configuration
launched against enemy open flanks or through gaps or of enemy defenses may be evident, commanders may
breaches. There is no requirement for mutual fire assign objectives to subordinate commanders to
support with forces conducting a frontal attack. create, at each level, a minimum 3 to 1 advantage in
combat power.
An idealized, but representative, hierachy of tactical
Envelopment with Frontal Attack objectives for an attack in which a 3 to 1 ratio is created
at all levels is portrayed in the illustration at right.
This illustration shows a hierarchy of objectives for a
division attacking in an army first echelon at the
beginning of an offensive operation. If the division
OB.IE TVE attack is successful, it will reach an enemy brigade rear
area,, or, possibly, the enemy division rear area.
As the offensive continues and enemy resistance
decreases, objective depths would increase based
-o again on the situation. If enemy resistance were light
(during a later phase of an offensive), a division final
objective could be as deep as 80 kilometers.

FRONTAL ATTACK Division-level planning and preparation for the
attack are based on the objectives and missions
assigned by the army commander. The division com-
The Soviets seek to exploit massive suppressive fires mander assesses the situation, outlines his concept and
through the vigorous, sustained, forward movement of intentions, specifies preliminary actions and missions,
attacking units. Attacking forces attempt to bypass and directs the preparation of required information
strongpoints and to envelop defensive positions. The and planning. Warning orders are then passed to
maneuvers used vary with the situation. Units attempt subordinate and attached units, specifying where,
to exploit gaps in a defense and to maneuver against its when, and by what means the attack will be conducted.
flanks and rear. The objective is a strike into the key Preliminary actions are regulated by a strict time-
points and to the full depth of an enemy defense. table. The less time available, the more rigidly the work
is regulated. Concurrent planning and action at all
levels is emphasized.
Objectives Soviet attack plans are worked out in great detail.
Soviet tactical objectives are expressed as dashed Despite the demands such planning may impose, in
lines on a terrain map, arrayed at various depths, based favorable circumstances the average reaction times to
on enemy dispositions and terrain. Assignment of an mounting an attack when already in contact, from
objective to a maneuver unit requires that unit to receipt of orders or contact report to an H-Hour, are
attack to the limit of the objective line and to destroy or indicated below.
neutralize enemy troops, weapons, equipment, and
support systems.
The objective lines, all normally assigned by the next Reaction Times To Mounting An Attack
higher commander, are based on his knowledge of the
enemy and his concept of attack. Divisions and regi- UNIT REACTION PLANNING
ments normally are assigned an immediate objective TIME TIME
and a subsequent objective. Battalions and companies
normally receive an immediate objective and a subse- Division 2-4 hours 1-3 hours
quent direction of attack. A battalion may sometimes
be assigned a subsequent objective.
Regiment 1-3 hours 30 minutes to
At the tactical level, objectives form a progressively 2.5 hours
higher and deeper hierarchy. The depths of objectives Battalion 25-60 minutes 20-45 min
FM 100-2-1

Possible Hierarchy of Tactical Objectives for a

Soviet Division Attack Against a Defending Enemy

.I -a


\ \\ \ 14









LEGEND: - - --- Immediate Objectives Subsequent Objectives

NOTE: Objectives assigned based onmaintaining a minimum 3 to 1 advantage in maneuver forces

combat power.

FM 100-2-1

On receipt of a mission, the division commander and * Location and organization of enemy artillery and
his chief of staff immediately assess the assigned mortars.
mission, calculate available and required time, and * Positions critical to the stability of the defense.
establish what information about the situation they * Perimeters of strongpoints and defensive areas on
need, what they already have, and what is lacking. the FEBA and in the depth of the defense.
Analysis of the assigned mission centers on the role of * Obstacles.
the divisions in the attack; where, unless told, its main * Probable areas of nuclear or chemical strikes.
effort should be concentrated; what attack formation In planning an attack from the march and the
should be used; and what rates of advance are possible required movements of troops to the line of attack,
during the attack. critical attention is given to timing. Usuallythe next
The division commander reviews the army's higher commander specifies the routes, start lines or
offensive plan, the allocation and procedures for points, lines of deployment, and the line and time of
employment of nuclear and chemical weapons, and attack. The length of the routes and distances from a
the role of the division in the army's scheme. He notes start line to other control lines are measured and
the axes, objectives, and groupings of flanking broken down by 5 kilometer segments. Permissible
division(s). speeds are determined for different sectors based on
The basis for his attack planning stems from the condition of the routes, the time of year and day,
consideration of- the weather, the composition of the columns, and
* Objective(s). possible enemy action during movement. Average
* Enemy dispositions. speeds are calculated, and schedules for troop move-
* The army's fire plan, particularly the provision for ments are developed. In calculating troop movements,
nuclear/chemical fires, and the allocation of artillery. planners reduce the speed of movement from
* The terrain in the assigned attack zone, the successive lines of deployment to the line of attack by
weather and light conditions, and time of the attack. 25 to 50 percent from the march speed.
* Combat effectiveness and supply situation of all An attack against a defending enemy may be staged
elements of the division. from an assembly area. If an assembly area is occupied,
The balance of forces directly influences the align- the stay is limited to the time necessary to assign
ment of Soviet troops for the attack. The calculation of missions to subordinate units, to check preparations,
the relative balance of forces is made across the entire and to organize combat formations. The assembly area
zone of the planned action and to the full depth of the is located far enough forward for first echelon regi-
assigned mission. When nuclear weapons are ments to move to their lines of deployment, normally
employed, the commander assesses the balance of during the hours of darkness, and to reach their attack
forces after expected nuclear strikes. lines during the artillery preparation.
In calculating the balance of forces, the Soviets Troops are dispersed in assembly areas with their
attempt to determine the quantity and quality of the attached reinforcements and are grouped by bat-
opposing forces. Besides a precise count of battalions talions. Their movement routes, with prescribed
and companies, tanks, artillery, mortars and antitank control and deployment lines, permit rapid, effective
weapons, this estimate also assesses morale, actual movement to the attack line. The attack line is desig-
strength in personnel and equipment, and the combat nated in the combat order. It is planned to be as near as
experience and readiness of each side. possible to the forward positions of the enemy defense.
The assessment of the balance offorces derives from If a division assembly area is used, it would probably
intelligence estimates that primarily pertain to- be located about 60 to 75 kilometers from the forward
* Grouping of forces and the structure of enemy edge of the battle area (FEBA) and cover an area of 300
defenses in the attack zone to the depth of the attack to 600 square kilometers. First echelon regiments
mission. could occupy assembly areas as close as 20 to 30
* Presence and location of enemy weapons of mass kilometers from the FEBA.
destruction and their possible employment.
* Distribution of strongpoints in the defense and
location of antitank weapons. Reinforcements
* Existence of gaps, breaks, and boundaries in the A first echelon division may receive the following
defense. reinforcements from army and front resources:
* Location of reserves, especially armor, and the * 2-4 artillery battalions
possible nature of their commitment. * 1 engineer company

FM 100-2-1

" 1 engineer (construction company) " Methods of firing in support of the attack.
* 1 engineer (ponton bridge) company " Plans for partial decentralization of artillery con-
" 1 engineer (amphibian) company trol during the accompaniment phase in the enemy
SAir defense depths.
" Communications support " Plan of support for commitment of second eche-
" Signal intelligence resources lon forces and reserves.
" Medical support The CRTA incorporates the planned fires of the
" Chemical defense RAGs and DAGs into a division fire plan. The com-
" Motor transport pleted division plan is forwarded to army level for
The division commander assigns some artillery to approval and incorporation into the army plan. Adjust-
his first echelon regiments to form regimental artillery ments in the organization for combat and planned fires
groups (RAG) and retains the rest in a division artillery are made as the planned attack develops. These
group (DAG). These are temporary groupings which changes are also forwarded to the army CRTA.
may be modified based on need. (See Chapter 9, A possible fire plan outlining the timing for an
Artillery Support). artillery fire preparation is shown below.

Fire Planning Possible Artillery Fire Plan

Fire planning, being highly centralized, integrates
conventional artillery and air strikes as well as missile TIME PHASE OF FIRE
strikes and possible nuclear or chemical fires. The fire PREPARATION
plan includes details which specify the time of assign-
ments, groupings, and displacement of artillery. H-25 Heavy surprise conceritration of
Fragmentary orders provide specifics concerning the nuclear strikes or conventional
missions of designated artillery units and identify the artillery and air strikes on the
location of observation posts and firing positions. entire depth of the defense.
Deadlines for units to be ready to fire are specified.
Artillery units are among the first combat forces to
H-20 Destruction fire against strong-
points, observation points, head-
Artillery units allocated by higher headquarters join
quarters, and artillery. Priority
the designated elements of the attack force in the
fires against enemy's forward
assembly area or link up on the march. Artillery desig-
nated to support or reinforce the attack take up firing
positions early enough to be ready to cover the
H-15 Conventional suppressive fire
advance of the division several hours before the attack
against enemy forward positions.
is launched. Artillery attached to maneuver regiments
usually moves near the head of the regimental main
H-5 Heavy, surprise concentrations
For the attack, fire planning is conducted in the first against enemy strongpoints.
echelon regiments and divisions based on the scheme
of maneuver and fire plan of the division and higher H-Hour Artillery fires in support of
headquarters. The chief of rocket troops and artillery the attack begin.
at division level receives instructions from and advises
the division commander on- Fire planning is basically designed to suppress
e Nuclear fires allotted to the division and plans for enemy defensive capabilities, including artillery, and to
integrating nuclear, chemical, and conventional fires cover the deployment and initial assault of the
and available air strikes. attacking maneuver elements. High priority is given to
* Fires to create passages through obstacles and neutralizing enemy antitank defenses and to being able
obstructions. to engage possible counterattack forces. Fire planning
* Priorities of sectors of the enemy defense which also provides for suppressing enemy strongpoints on
are to be neutralized. the flanks of the attack zones.
* Starting time, duration, and phases of the fire Fire planning for the attack is methodical and highly
preparation. quantitative because of the need to determine
FM 100-2-1

ammunition requirements and to distribute planned remaining forces are organized into a second echelon,
fires effectively. The availability of artillery and its or- a combined arms reserve, or special reserves (such as
ganization is measured against the numbers and types engineer, chemical, or antitank subunits).
of targets and the commander's decision for coordi- The main difference between a second echelon
nated action in the attack. Targets are allocated to artil- force and a combined arms reserve is that the former
lery, tanks, aircraft, and nuclear or chemical weapons. has an assigned mission while the latter does not. A
The width and depth of the area for which combined arms reserve is used to exploit developed or
preparatory fires are planned depends on the strength developing success or to react to contingencies.
and deployments of the enemy defense. When time Within the division's attack zone, a main attack axis
permits, fire planning is based on thorough, detailed may be designated based on terrain, disposition of
reconnaissance and careful study of the attack plan. In enemy defenses, or the order received from army or
any attack, a systematic targeting effort underlies the higher headquarters. One or two of its first echelon
fire plan at all levels. Accordingly, the commander's regiments probably would attack along or abreast the
attack order contains specific details such as- main attack axis. Another first echelon regiment
* Time of start, direction, and plan of fires. probably would conduct a supporting attack. (The
* Locations, times, and methods for clearing illustration on page 5-19 depicts a typical Soviet
passages in obstacles (friendly and enemy). maneuver plan against a defending enemy.)
* Procedures for marking and guarding cleared A second echelon regiment normally has a mission
passages. to continue the attack against a deeper objective along
* Firing procedures for direct firing weapons. the main attack axis. Normal commitment of a second
* Coordination with troop units in direct contact. echelon regiment takes place after the division's
* Actions if the enemy fires a counter-preparation. immediate objective has been achieved. However, the
* Necessary signals. time of commitment depends on the success of first
The commander also specifies in his attack order echelon forces and the manner in which the enemy
other actions to be carried out while units move to the uses his reserves. The second echelon is committed by
attack lines. These include: the commander when and where it can best contri-
* Emergency procedures and alternate routes in the bute to overall success. The division commander could
event of enemy use of nuclear or chemical weapons commit the second echelon on an alternate axis, based
and/or creation of zones of contamination. on his evaluation of the developing situation.
* Organization of air defense measures. A regiment designated a combined arms reserve
* "Safe distance" lines in the event nuclear strikes would not have an assigned objective at the beginning
are to be employed. of an attack. It would be held in readiness to attack
* Procedures for relieving units if they lose their along the most opportune axis at a time determined by
combat effectiveness due to enemy nuclear strikes. the division commander.
* Signal instructions for the attack, calls for fire sup- Before being committed, second echelon or
port and to cease fires. combined arms reserve subunits advance in march or
prebattle formation approximately 15 to 30 kilometers
to the rear of the first echelon. This distance varies
Division Attack with the situation. The commander keeps second
A division normally conducts an attack as part of its echelon or reserve forces far enough forward to influ-
parent army offensive. In some circumstances, it may ence the battle in a timely manner, but far enough to
conduct an attack under control of a corps or front. the rear to protect them from the bulk of enemy direct
Attacking divisions have missions which contribute to fire and direct support weapons. Second echelon or
the accomplishment of the army's missions. Achieve- reserve subunits, before commitment, probablywould
ment of a division's mission is the culmination of fires be kept sufficient lateral depth to protect them from
and attacks by its maneuver regiments. enemy nuclear or chemical weapons.
A likely mission for a division attacking in the first When attacking with three regiments in a single
echelon of its parent army would be to penetrate echelon, a division zone of attack is normally 15 to 25
enemy forward defenses, to attack through the enemy kilometers wide. This width could vary considerably
brigade rear, and to continue the attack to the full with the situation. Within the zone of attack there
tactical depth-the enemy division rear area. probably would be no distinct, continuous division
A division normally attacks with most of its combat "attack frontage." Each of the three first echelon regi-
power in a first echelon or a strong single echelon. The ments attacks on its own axis, with situation-variable
0- 0CD





ATTACK 4 6 -Hft~ ZONE OF 20 D

N+ 4 ZONE OF m


<--- 5-15 KM - -)t----

15-30 KM -


NOTE: Division second echelons/reserves normally are spaced 15 to 30 kilometers to the rear of first
echelon force. Distances between elements of a regiment can vary
from 5 to 15 kilometers.
Wo Regimental attack frontages vary from 3 to 8 kilometers depending on mission. (NOT TO SCALE)

&?- MR CO

TK BN ( )

J ~ 4 MR RN
r r


(~ .

TK RN (-)
®[] AT RN

SvCS 0

f 50~-(REGT 20 ECH)


b r
1--Up to 5 KM 5-15 KM

NOTE: Division commander may deploy regiments on multiple axes, in a single echelon, with no obvious
main attack if enemy forces areill-prepared or deployed forward.
FM 100-2-1

just described, with three regiments about equally kilometers, followed by two second echelon regi-
dispersed in a single echelon. The leading regiments ments and a small reserve.
attack and probe for weak points in enemy defenses, Because this type of attack makes their forces
penetrate wherever they can, develop penetrations, extremely vulnerable to tactical nuclear strikes, it is
and carry the attack as deeply as possible. The division not likely the Soviets would employ it under nuclear or
commander allows the battle to develop to a stage nuclear-threatened conditions. Under any conditions,
where he can determine which penetration promises such an attack requires rapid concentration of forces
the best opportunity to drive into the enemy rear. He and fires to create the breach and just as rapid a
then commits his combined arms reserve through this dispersal of forces on the other side of the breach.
penetration. Though this type of attack is less likely, it must be con-
The challenge facing the opposing commander sidered a possible option.
under such an attack is to maintain the integrity of his The Soviet division attack options described are not
main battle area. Otherwise, he may be forced to all-inclusive, but representative. The organization,
commit his reserve before the direction of the Soviet concept, and conduct of a Soviet division attack varies
main attack becomes obvious. with the division's mission, and the commander's esti-
Another Soviet option, less desirable, especially mate of the situation. The basic concept for an attack is
under nuclear conditions, is the attack with forces to strike enemy defenses with intensive fires, find or
massed across a narrow frontage. Such an attack might create a gap, slip through, and drive deep at top speed.
be conducted to create a breach in well-prepared, A division attack could include a vertical envelop-
deeply arrayed enemy defenses. A division conducting ment by a helibomrne force of up to battalion size. An
the main attack of its parent army could conduct such organic motorized rifle battalion, stripped of its
an attack to achieve a breakthrough for an offensive combat vehicles and reinforced with air mobile
operation. A probable array for the division in these combat support, could conduct such an assault.
circumstances would be two regiments in the first The locations of division elements in the attack are
echelon massed across a frontage as narrow as 6 to 10 shown below.

Deployment of Division Elements in an Attack I I sl --


DIVISION FIRST ECHELON Concentrated to attack on two or three axes each several km wide.
DIVISION SECOND ECHELON OR Moves by bounds 15-30 km behind the first echelon until committed.
REGIMENTAL ARTILLERY GROUP 1-4 km from the forward edge of the battle area (FEBA).
DIVISIONAL ANTITANK RESERVE Between first and second echelons on the axis of the main attack or on a threatened
DIVISION FORWARD CP Up to 5 km from the FEBA.
DIVISION REAR AREA CP Up to 30 km from the FEBA and located near the rear service elements.
REGIMENTAL MAIN CPs Up to 5 km from the FEBA.
LOGISTIC UNITS The divisional medical post, together with repair and evacuation elements, moves
behind the first echelon. The rest of the divisional logistic units will be some 5-10 km
behind the second echelon.
FM 100-2-1

Heliborne assaults could extend out to 50 sized reserve. A motorized rifle regiment has three
kilometers beyond the FEBA. Likely objectives are key motorized rifle battalions and one tank battalion. The
terrain such as defiles, bridges, or river-crossing sites. A subunits of the tank battalion normally are assigned to
division may employ a forward detachment, such as a the three motorized rifle battalions. A tank regiment of
reinforced tank battalion, to link up with a heliborne a tank division has three tank battalions and possibly a
assault. motorized rifle company or battalion. Motorized rifle
The use of forward detachments at the beginning of subunits may be assigned to the three tank battalions.
an offensive operation is discussed in Chapter 4. It is Either regiment normally attacks with two
likely that forward detachments also would be reinforced battalions in its first echelon, and one rein-
employed throughout an offensive operation, particu- forced battalion in a second echelon. A regiment could
larly after penetrating the enemy main defense area. also attack with three battalions in a single echelon
A division forward detachment of reinforced with a reserve of one or two companies.
battalion size may be dispatched on a swift, indepen- An antitank reserve of a motorized rifle regiment
dent penetration into the enemy depths to seize and normally consists of its antitank battery, a tank platoon,
hold a tactical objective until the arrival of main forces. and an engineer mobile obstacle detachment.
It may also be used for tactical raids. In either case, A regiment's zone of attack can vary from about 3 to
missions of forward detachments are intended to 8 kilometers, depending on the attack concept and the
accelerate the advance of main forces and the dissolu- situation. The most typical attack frontage of a regi-
tion of the enemy defense. ment is 4 to 5 kilometers. The distance between
Typical objectives for a forward detachment echelons can vary from about 5 to 15 kilometers.
include- Motorized rifle regiments and tank regiments have
" Road junctions. an organic 122-mm howitzer battalion. When attack-
" Bridges. ing in a division first echelon, a regiment normally
" River crossing sites. receives additional artillery from division. The regi-
" A mountain pass. mental commander may assign artillery, up to a bat-
" Air defense weapons. talion, to each of his first echelon battalions. The
" Rockets and missiles. remainder is formed into a regimental artillery group
" Command posts. (RAG). A RAG is normally deployed 1 to 4 kilometers
" Communications centers. from the FEBA (see illustration on the next page).
" Tactical reserves. A first echelon regiment could also be supported by
" Withdrawing forces. attack helicopters from front, army, or division.
Advance guards differ from forward detachments in An attack from the march conducted by a motorized
mission. An advance guard is a march security element rifle regiment follows this sequence:
which protects and warns the main marching force * The air and artillery preparation, which may be up
and engages enemy forces encountered on the march to 50 minutes duration, is planned and executed to
route. A forward detachment is a deep attack force end just before maneuver subunits assault enemy
detailed to achieve an independent mission. It is not forward defenses.
restricted to the route of its main force. * The regiment advances out of assembly areas at
least 20 kilometers to the rear, concurrent with the fire
Regimental Attack * Subunits normally deploy at distances from enemy
A maneuver regiment is the smallest fully combined forward defenses of approximately 8 to 12 kilometers
arms ground force element. It is capable of limited in battalion columns; 4 to 6 kilometers in company
independent action, but normally attacks as part of a columns, and 1 to 5-4 kilometers in platoon columns.
parent division. If enemy defenses are not well prepared, the attack
A regiment attacking in the first echelon ofa division may be conducted in prebattle formation. Attack
normally will have a mission to penetrate, destroy, or formation is used against prepared enemypositions. In
neutralize forward strongpoints of defending enemy general, the Soviets do not deploy laterally except
battalions, to continue the attack to an enemy battalion when absolutely necessary. They will remain in march
rear area, and to be prepared to continue the attack or prebattle formation whenever possible, for sake of
into enemy brigade and division rear areas. speed. Even after a lateral deployment, subunits may
A regiment normally is organized for combat into revert back to march or prebattle formation if enemy
three reinforced battalions and, possibly, a company- resistance is not as great as anticipated.


~3*MR CO -'Mr


TK CO(-) aao

CP 3-8 KM


~,- 0

CO 91

-. - --~r ne n

I_ 3~~3KM ...- Distances Approximate
5 KM 'I
10 KM :1 0A
1. Atank regiment attacking in two echelons would be of similar configuration, with modifications based -t
on differences in combat support elements. 0
N 2. The extreme limits of a regimental zone of attack are 3-8 kilometers. The most typical attackfrontage I
W of a regiment is 4-5 kilometers. (NOT TO SCALE)
FM 100-2-1

Battalion Attack
A battalion normally attacks as part of its parent attack through strongpoints of defending enemy bat-
regiment. A battalion does not have the organic talions and to continue the attack in an assigned direc-
combat support or combat service support required tion. Soviet subunits normally do not stop on objec-
for independent action. The exception to this is the tives and consolidate them, but continue the attack
employment of a battalion as a forward detachment to deeper into the enemy rear.
accomplish a deep, independent mission. In such a A motorized rifle battalion has three motorized rifle
circumstance, the battalion would be reinforced to companies and normally has a tank company attached,
sustain itself for as long as possible. as illustrated below. A tank battalion has three tank
A battalion attacking in the first echelon of a first companies and may have either a motorized rifle
echelon regiment would probably have a mission to platoon or company attached.

Attack Formations, Reinforced Motorized Rifle Battalion _ _s I ___ sl



Up to
noN 3 KM


-- \ ,-
0 1 2 3 KM (NOT TO SCALE)




Up to
2 KM Up to


NOTE: Tank battalion formations are of same general configuration minus mortar battery. (NOT TO SCALE)

FM 100-2-1

A battalion could attack with three reinforced probably would have up to a battalion of artillery
companies in a single echelon, plus a small reserve, attached to it. This artillery is under the operational
possibly a platoon. A battalion also could attack with control of the maneuver battalion commander. It may
two reinforced companies in a first echelon and one be used for direct fire.
reinforced company in a second echelon. When two A typical tank or motorized rifle company attack
echelons are employed, a normal distance between frontage is from 500 to 800 meters. Platoons normally
echelons is 1 to 3 kilometers. A normal frontage for an attack on a frontage of 100 to 200 meters, with 50 to
attacking battalion is 1 to 2 kilometers, within a zone of 100 meters between vehicles. The frontage of a 4-tank
2 to 3 kilometers. platoon attached to a motorized rifle company could
A battalion attacking in a regiment's first echelon extend to 400 meters.

Deployment for an Attack from the March


(Attack (Companies in (Battalion in (Battalion in
Prebattle Formation) Prebattle Formation) March Formation)

- _c.._

- -
MR co, %1


S --


10 I3 UpKMtoK
TK C0 e* MR CO


Up to 1000 MCI
1.5 - 4 KM ,1
4-6KM 1

I- 8-12KM
FM 100-2-1

There would probably be little maneuver evident in manders are killed, the attack probably would not
platoon and company tactics. These subunits normally grind to a halt but would be carried forward on its own
attack on line, in unison. However, maneuver probably momentum. However, elimination of tactical com-
will be evident in the way a battalion commander manders would diminish coordination of the attack,
moves his companies. especially fire coordination.
Normally, company and battalion commanders are Shown below is a reinforced tank battalion attacking
located centrally and slightly to the rear of lead ele- from the march against a strongpoint in the depths of
ments in combat vehicles with extra antennas. If com- the enemy's defense.

Tank Battalion (Reinforced) Attack from the March I_ ____ _ _ C__



/ BN



FM 100-2-1

Conduct of the Attack

Mounted assault speed is approximately 12 kilo- Mine-clearing is covered by smoke and intensified
meters per hour (200 meters per minute). This speed fire on enemy defensive positions. Ideally, the Soviets
allows tanks to fire from a brief halt, allowing one would like to create one lane through an obstacle or
aimed round to be fired from the main gun. There are minefield per platoon. Normally one tank per tank pla-
indications that the Soviets are striving to increase toon is equipped with a mine roller. In addition, each
mounted assault speed to 20 kilometers per hour to tank company has a mine roller/plow. Mobile mine-
reduce vulnerability to antitank weapons. Dismounted clearing vehicles hurl line charges out to several
assault speed is approximately 6 kilometers per hour. hundred meters to clear lanes several meters wide.
Soviets prefer motorized rifle units to assault Combat vehicles cover each other's passage through
mounted. The factors favoring mounted assault are- the minefield. If dismounted, riflemen follow in
* NBC contamination. column behind tanks.
* Open terrain. The artillery preparation should end just before first
* Reduced enemy antitank capability. echelon elements reach the FEBA. Fires are normally
* Weak enemy defenses. shifted on command of maneuver commanders within
If a dismounted attack is planned, a dismount line is about 200 meters of lead elements, depending upon
designated, within about 400 meters from the FEBA. If weapon caliber. There is no pause between the
possible, dismount is performed with the BMPs or preparatory fires and the start of fires in support of the
BTRs in defilade to protect riflemen from machine gun attack. While fighting through enemy defenses,
fire and vehicles from antitank fires. Factors favoring maneuver elements will be preceded by a pattern of
dismounted assault are- intense artillery and mortar fires. Fires like the rolling
* Strong enemy antitank capability. barrages of World War II are unlikely; however, fires on
* Well-prepared enemy defenses. successive concentrations or lines will be provided.
* Fords or bridges. Fixed-wing air strikes normally are used for targets
* Obstacles or minefields. beyond artillery range. Attack helicopters provide
* Rough terrain: no high speed avenues of attack. close air support on the FEBA in direct support of
* Maximum firepower needed. ground units.
Subunits go into the final assault moving at maxi-
mum possible speed.
Combined Tank and Motorized Rifle Assault -

The most probable array is: Combined Arms Tactics

* Line of tanks The essence of the attack and final assault is
* Line of dismounted infantry combined arms cooperation based on the close and
* Line of BMPs or BTRs uninterrupted interaction of all forces to best exploit
or their capabilities. Each arm provides strength and
* Line of tanks protection where another arm is weak or vulnerable.
* Line of BMPs or BTRs The Soviets believe the tank is the major ground
force weapon. The tank is the keystone of combined
Dismounted riflemen follow closely behind tanks. arms cooperation in the attack. Concern for the enemy
The BTRs or BMPs normally remain within 100 to 400 antitank threat is the dominating factor in coordinating
meters behind tanks and fire through gaps between the combined arms effort. For this reason, Soviet tanks
tanks. If the terrain is rugged or heavily wooded, normally carry more high explosive (HE) rounds than
motorized rifle subunits might lead the assault. antitank (AT) rounds.
A first echelon battalion may have a section or Tank fires are directed by tank company
platoon (two or four) of self-propelled antiaircraft commanders and platoon leaders. An entire tank
guns (ZSU) attached. The ZSUs follow approximately company may engage an area target with salvo fire.
400 meters behind attacking maneuver elements, with Tank platoons engage area or point targets at the direc-
150 to 250 meters between vehicles. tion of platoon leaders. Platoon leaders direct fires by
Minefields are breached by a combination of- visual signals, radio, and designation with tracer
* Tanks with mine rollers and plows. rounds.
* Line charges. Motorized rifle subunit fires are directed primarily
* Sappers. against enemy personnel and antitank weapons.
* Artillery fire. Artillery attached to motorized rifle battalions may
FM 100-2-1

initially be used for indirect fire then revert to direct If required to repel counterattacks, part ofthe attack
fire from the immediate rear of assaulting maneuver force meets the counterattack head on while the main
subunits. strength of the attacking unit strikes the counterattack
Consistent with their principle of doing the on the flanks and in the rear. Artillery fires are called for
unexpected to surprise the enemy, the Soviets would immediately. Regimental or division antitank reserves
attack through difficult terrain against lightly defended move forward to lay down a base of fire and lay hasty
or undefended areas. Attacks by motorized rifle minefields. If necessary, the attacking force may
subunits along forest trails or ridge lines are likely. temporarily take up the defense to defeat counter-
The bulk of responsibilityfor neutralization of attacks, then resume the attack. The chart below
antitank weapons falls upon artillery. The massive, identifies combined arms tactics.
continuous artillery fires in the attack would be
extremely intense. Even if enemy antitank weapons are Penetration by First Echelon. When a first
not destroyed, the Soviets expect the enemy gunners echelon regiment's battalions have achieved a major
to be forced to keep their heads down. penetration, the area of penetration will be widened
After penetrating the forward edge of an enemy for exploitation by second echelon forces or, if still
defense, the Soviets strive to attack further into the capable, first echelon battalions will continue the
depths of the defensive position. Enemy strongpoints attack into the enemy depth. Battalions may revert to
that cannot be reduced immediately may be bypassed. prebattle formation and advance rapidly to deny
If strongpoints cannot be bypassed, they are enemy movement of reserves and to prevent the
attacked, preferably from their flanks or rear. Close and organization of the defense on new positions.
continuing fire support by massed fires is employed. The Soviets expect a defending enemy to attempt to
Smoke is used, as well as flame weapons, against rapidly assess the direction and weight ofa main attack
strongpoints. and to allocate available forces to defeat the attack.

Soviet Combined Arms Tactics (Who does what to whom?) II


MOTORIZED RIFLE Antitank Weapons

Infantry Fighting Vehicles


Infantry Fighting Vehicles
Antitank Weapons
FIXED-WING CLOSE AIR SUPPORT Targets beyond range of
Fixed-Wing Aircraft

FM 100-2-1

Therefore, as the first echelon battalions move to remain in prebattle or march formation for ease of
deeper objectives, the regimental commander stays control and speed, unless confronted by a stubborn
particularly alert for enemy counterattacks. enemy defense.
A first echelon regiment which has successfully Intensified reconnaissance, artillery and air strikes,
penetrated the enemy forward defenses may establish and rapid ground attacks are employed to locate and
and secure the gap through which the division follow- destroy enemy nuclear delivery systems and reserves.
on force will attack. The first echelon regiment also If enemy defenses are stronger than anticipated and
could be used as a forward detachment to move ahead cannot be penetrated, second echelon or reserve
of the division to seize important objectives in depth. forces may be committed earlier. If, however, first
Often such actions take place in coordination with echelon forces succeed in penetrating enemy forward
heliborne forces. Regiments may send out forward defenses and are capable of continuing toward deeper
detachments of battalion strength. An independent objectives, second echelon or reserve forces may not
tank battalion of a motorized rifle division is likely to be be committed until much later in the battle.
used as a forward detachment. Assuming the division commander commits his
second echelon or reserve on the axis of the most suc-
Commitment of Second Echelon or Reserves. cessful penetration and the attack continues success-
The division second echelon or combined arms fully, this penetration could be developed further by
reserve is ideally committed upon achievement of the the parent army's commitment of its follow-on forces.
division's immediate objective. This commitment must Additional divisions could be committed on a widen-
take place before the momentum of the advance ing and ever deepening rapid penetration and exploita-
decreases. tion. This is the fundamental concept behind achieve-
The commander of a second echelon or combined ment of an operational "breakthrough".
arms reserve regiment normally is collocated with the
division commander. This enables him to keep abreast
of the battle as it develops. It also simplifies the division THE MEETING ENGAGEMENT
commander's task of amplifying or assigning the
mission of the second echelon or reserve when he Objectives and Characteristics
decides to commit it to the battle. The commitment of The Soviets define the meeting engagement as
the division second echelon or reserve is usually follows:
marked by an intensification of reconnaissance
activity, artillery fire, air strikes, and the use of smoke to A clash between opposing sides when they are
screen the force from enemy observation. simultaneously striving to fulfill assigned
A second echelon or reserve regiment converges in missions by means of offensive actions. A
battalion march columns toward the penetration. It meeting engagement is characterized by
may remain in battalion columns for the sake of speed obscurity of the situation and by abrupt changes
if enemy resistance has been minimized. Otherwise, in it ... by rapid changes in . .. formations.
battalions assume prebattle formation or, if required
by enemy dispositions, assume attack formation. Soviet Dictionary of Basic Military Terms
Ideally, the regiment passes through developed pene-
trations to drive swiftly into the enemy rear to seize
deep objectives. The objectives of the meeting engagement are
The division commander constitutes a combined destruction of the enemy's forces, seizure of key ter-
arms reserve from first echelon forces or uncommitted rain to insure favorable conditions for future opera-
combat assets as soon as the original follow-on force is tions, and continuation of the advance.
committed. Surviving pockets of resistance are The meeting engagement may occur under widely
attacked by follow-on forces or are destroyed by differing circumstances, either offensive or defensive.
concentrated fires of artillery and aviation, including The circumstances in turn influence its organization
attack helicopters. and conduct. There are four likely circumstances at the
Hastily occupied positions in the enemy rear are beginning of war: when the defender is advancing to
attacked from the march in mounted formations. A forward positions; after penetrating enemy forward
dismounted attack may be required due to the defenses, in a clash with advancing reserves; during
presence of minefields or a density of antitank pursuit; and during counterattack. These circum-
weapons. As a basic rule, exploitation units attempt to stances are illustrated on the next page.
FM 100-2-1

Circumstances Under Which a Meeting Engagement May Occur



Could also occur at the outset of any attack when opposing Would involve the penetrating force meeting the defender's
forces are not in initial contact, and both assume the advancing reserve elements.


Meeting engagement likely during counterattack by either Strong probability that the counterattacking force could be
side. met head-on or from the flanks by the enemy.

Because, in the Soviet view, an offensive generally The Soviets do not look upon the meeting
develops unevenly over a wide front, meeting engage- engagement as a purely chance occurrence.
ments are characterized by-
* Intense combat over a wide front with consider- One of the most important tendencies in the
able room to maneuver. development of the meeting engagement ... is
* Extremely limited planning time, resulting in the ever greater tendency for early initiation of
heavy reliance on battle drills. the meeting engagement instead of its acci-
* Continuous effort to seize and maintain the dental rising. As a result of... the depths of
initiative. action of modern reconnaissance . . . com-
* Deployment into combat from the march at high manders of both sides, more often than not, will
speed. already have some indication of the strength and
* Uncertainty due to lack of detailed intelligence. firepower of the enemy far before the meeting.
* Sudden changes in the situation. The decision for the meeting engagement will be
* Open flanks on each side. taken as a result of real assessment...
* Both sides seeking advantageous maneuver room.
* The rapid approach of the opposing forces. A. I. Radzievskiy
* An unclear and fluid situation. Tactics in Combat Examples-Regiment

FM 100-2-1

Organization of the March

Soviet commanders are trained to anticipate a The organization of a march formation anticipating a
meeting engagement, to identify a likely point of meeting engagement varies with the situation. The
contact, to choose terrain, and to take the initiative. general organization for a march when enemy contact
They believe that the side which aggressively seizes the is possible is described in Section I of this chapter. A
initiative with fire and maneuver will win the meeting more detailed description of such a march formation
engagement. follows, using a reinforced motorized rifle regiment as
The commander anticipating a meeting engagement an example. (The BTR-equipped motorized rifle regi-
must consider these factors in his planning and ment is used as an example because it is the most
decision making: numerous type of maneuver regiment. The description
* Continuous and thorough reconnaissance from his also applies to BMP and tank regiments, with substitu-
own reconnaissance means and the correct interpre- tions or deletions of subunits based on organizational
tation and use of reconnaissance information differences. See FM 100-2-3.)
furnished from higher levels. A regiment conducting a march usually is preceded
* The requirement for speed in his troop leading by its organic reconnaissance company, out to about
procedures-the making and transmitting of 25 kilometers, and possibly by elements of the division
decisions. reconnaissance battalion, out to about 50 kilometers.
* Anticipation of enemy air and artillery strikes, These elements attempt to avoid enemy contact and to
nuclear or nonnuclear, and the use of such information obtain as much information as possible on the enemy.
in gaining fire superiority. The advance guard of a motorized rifle regiment
* Achievement of the initiative through immediately usually consists of a motorized rifle battalion rein-
responsive deployment of maneuver forces. forced with artillery, tanks, air defense, engineer, and
* Adequate flank and rear security. chemical elements.

Soviet Concept of the Meeting Engagement I


ELF /.

9pG P~A-
eGUCftD.MM~ %



FM 100-2-1

The advance guard has the tasks of- threat comes from the flank, artillery and tanks may be
* Insuring that the main force moves unhindered. placed in the middle of the column.
* Insuring suitable conditions for the commitment
of the main force. Typical Composition
* Warning the main force of surprise attack. of Advanced Guard Main Body
* Preventing the penetration of the main force by
enemy reconnaissance.
The advance guard dispatches a forward security * Motorized rifle battalion commander, staff,
element (FSE), which in its turn dispatches a combat
artillery commander.
reconnaissance patrol (CRP). * Signal platoon.
The combat reconnaissancepatrol is a fighting
* Antitank platoon.
* Antiaircraft section.
patrol consisting of a motorized rifle platoon aug-
mented with chemical/radiation and engineer recon-
" Artillery battalion (minus 1 battery with the
naissance personnel. The mission of the patrol is to
* Tank company (minus 1 platoon with the FSE).
provide prompt information on the enemy's strength,
* Two motorized rifle companies.
composition, and direction of movement. The patrol
* Rear, including medical post.
attempts to penetrate and report on the enemy main
body. The patrol also reports information on routes,
the radiological and chemical situation, and the nature The main force, about two thirds of the combat
of the terrain. power of the regiment, maneuvers to destroy enemy
The forward security element (called the "advance forces that cannot be quickly overcome by the advance
party" in some texts) is normally a motorized rifle guard. The composition of the main force may vary.
company reinforced with tanks, artillery, mortars,
engineers, and chemical defense. The mission of the
FSE, moving up to 10 kilometers behind the CRP, is to Typical Composition of Main Force
advance at maximum speed and to engage lead enemy
elements. Through use of its mobility and fire power, it * Regimental commander, staff, fire support
seizes and holds a position advantageous for subse- commanders.
quent commitment of the advance guard main body. * Antitank battery.
The advanceguardmain body constitutes the bulk * Antiaircraft artillery and missile battery
of the combat power of the advance guard. (minus elements with advance guard).
The advance guard main body has the mission of * Artillery battalion.
either eliminating enemy opposition, permitting * Tank battalion (minus one company with
continuation of the march, or fixing the enemy force to advance guard).
permit a flank attack by the main force. Artillery and * Two motorized rifle battalions.
tanks are habitually placed forward in the column. If a * Rear.

Elements of March Formation

Up to 3 KM

Up to 5-10 20-30



FM 100-2-1

Elements of the regimental engineer company division, army, or front assets.

(minus elements in the advance guard) are dispersed Rear security elements of up to platoon strength
throughout the formation. The signal company and normally are positioned up to 3 kilometers from the
chemical defense company (minus) are probably in advance guard and the main force. Depending on the
the middle or rear of the formation. enemy threat, flank security elements of up to platoon
In addition, there may be additional engineer, strength are dispatched up to 3 kilometers from the
antiaircraft, artillery, and signal support furnished from column.

Typical March Formation of a Reinforced Motorized Rifle Regiment (BTR)

In Anticipation of a Meeting Engagement

-+ < <a < C






-t~--t~- 05, '10 0~





FM 100-2-1

Initial Phase
The initial phase of the meeting engagement is that At the time of initial contact, the advance guard main
period of combat from the time of enemy encounter by body is moving in march column 5 to 10 kilometers
the leading element (the combat reconnaissance behind the FSE. The commander-
patrol) up to the commitment into battle of the main * Defines the plan for engagement.
force. The initial phase is carried out by the elements of * Issues orders to the commanders of the CRP and
the advance guard. The subsequent employment of the FSE.
main force depends on the outcome of the initial * Moves forward, with the artillery commander, at
phase. maximum speed to an observation point.
With current reconnaissance capabilities, the initial * Issues orders for the deployment of the advance
enemy encounter by the CRP should not be a complete guard main force.
surprise. Rather, the use of reconnaissance reporting * Launches the attack.
may permit employment of long-range fires, both
artillery and air, to inflict damage on the enemy and to
delay his advance. A one hour delay could permit the Buildup of Firepower
further advance of the march column by 25 to 30 (Advanced Guard)
The actions of the elements of the advance guard are Time: +60 minutes
indicated on the following pages. The buildup of major
weapons, based on the typical organization described Soviet Forces Now Committed:
above, is also shown. 31 BTRs
Upon contact, actions of the CRP are to- 13 Tanks
* Report contact to advance guard commander. 6 Mortars, 120-mm
* Attempt to penetrate to enemy main force, 18 Howitzers, 122-mm
bypassing his advance elements. 2 Antiaircraft Guns
* Perform chemical and engineer reconnaissance. 4 ATGMs
* Collect all information on the enemy that will
expedite the commander's decision. As the forward elements of the advance guard
encounter the enemy, the regimental commander is at
or near the head of his main force, some 20 to 30 km'to
Buildup of Firepower (CRP) the rear of the advance guard. This deliberate spacing
is calculated to give the commander about 2 hours for
planning and execution of his battle.
Time: 0 minutes

Soviet Forces Committed: 3 BTRs

Deployment of Main Force
Actions of the FSE, moving in column behind the When the advance guard becomes engaged, the
CRP by up to 10 kilometers, are to- main force continues its forward movement. The
* Advance at maximum speed. deployment of the main force depends on the outcome
* Engage the enemy with all weapons. of advance guard action. Four possible outcomes of
* Develop the fight. advance guard action are shown below:
* Seize and hold a position until arrival of the * Attack by FSE and/or advance guard is successful.
advance guard main body. * Advance guard achieves no immediate success.
* Enemy forces deny further offensive action by
advance guard.
Buildup of Firepower (FSE) * Advance guard is unable to hold the enemy.
Possible outcomes for this advance guard are
Time: +20 minutes illustrated on the next page.
When the outcomes of the advance guard action
Soviet Forces Now Committed: require deployment of the main force, the commander
10 BTRs decides what form of maneuver to use. There are three
4 Tanks basic choices:
6 Mortars, 120-mm * Envelopment - A deep maneuver, executed
6 Howitzers, 122-mm through gaps or from an open flank, requiring the
FM 100-2-1

Possible Outcomes of Advance Guard

Action in a Meeting Engagement


" Enemy element destroyed.
" Advance guard resumes march.
" Main force of regiment does not deploy.


" Advance guard continues attack.
" Main force continues march forward and prepares to


* Advance guard shifts to defense.
* Main force deploys and attacks.

., a
* Main force defends on the best available terrain.
* Advance guard withdraws and joins the defense.
* Follow-on division forces are committed to attack.
* Division assumes defense if enemy force is too large to

enemy to turn and fight in a new direction. The double should provide covered or concealed routes for the
envelopment involves a deep maneuver around both enveloping force, open ground for deployment, and
flanks. good fields of fire. The area adjacent to the original
* Flank attack - A more shallow maneuver, which route of advance must be 3 to 5 kilometers wide for an
may be executed through gaps or breaches. envelopment by a battalion-sized advance guard.
* Frontalattack - A direct maneuver against enemy Envelopment by a regimental-sized main force
defenses, most often conducted with an envelopment requires an area 10 to 15 kilometers wide.
or a flank attack. The Soviets consider the major contributing factors
The envelopment and the flank attack are the to a successful envelopment to be-
preferred forms of maneuver. However, in some cases * Effective real-time intelligence and counterintelli-
the frontal attack is required. gence capability.
The time available to execute a maneuver may be a " Effective utilization of terrain.
major factor in the commander's selection of a form of " Coordination between forces.
maneuver. If an envelopment occurs, space could be " Appreciation of enemy tactics and capabilities.
the controlling factor. Terrain must be trafficable and " Capable, ingenious leadership and staff work.
FM 100-2-1

Follow-on Forces
The preceding description of the meeting engage- of combat. There are many other possibilities as forma-
ment focuses on the actions of a motorized rifle regi- tions move on a fluid battlefield and encounter one
ment. Unless such a regiment has been assigned an another. The meeting engagement will not always
independent mission, such as pursuit or acting as a unfold in the sequence of encounters by recon-
forward detachment, it is marching as part of a division naissance elements, advance elements, and main
force. Consequently, the development of battle might bodies. Neither will it always begin with a head-to-
require the commitment of the follow-on elements of head meeting; it may arise from direct encounter by
the division. The procedures are substantially the same main bodies, or from oblique encounters.
as in the example of the lead regiment. Whatever the patterns and condition, the Soviet
Before his lead regiment is fully engaged, the formula for a successful meeting engagement requires
division commander's forward command post surprise, rapid and decisive maneuver, and concen-
normally is near the head of the main division force and trated preemptive fires against the enemy.
most likely with the next following regiment. He
monitors the action of the lead regiment and, after its
engagement, moves his command group to the best PURSUIT
location to control subsequent deployments. The Soviets define the pursuit as follows:
The Soviets believe that the disadvantage of a hastily
planned attack is more than offset by the advantage of a An attack on a withdrawing enemy, undertaken
quick strike against the enemy before he has sufficient in the course of an operation or battle for the
time for his own preparation. Division follow-on forces purpose of finally destroying or capturing his
can be fully engaged in less than three hours after the forces. Destruction of a withdrawing enemy is
lead regiment's main force is engaged. achieved by hitting his main body with (fire)
The employment of division follow-on forces is strikes, by relentless and energetic parallel or
dictated by the progress of the initial actions of the lead frontal pursuit, by straddling his withdrawal
regiment and is shown below. route, and by ... attacking his flanks and rear.
The division's actions in a meeting engagement have
been portrayed as a sequential, front-to-rear unfolding Soviet Dictionaryof Basic Military Terms

Employment of Division Follow-on Forces


* Lead regiment exploits success or resumes * Lead regiment holds pending arrival and
march. deployment of follow-on forces.
* Follow-on regiments initiate pursuit or * Follow-on forces counterattack and attempt to
resume march on one or multiple routes. envelop enemy. If successful, subsequent
* Depending on the assigned mission and actions are as above.
degree of success, units could consolidate posi- * Follow-on forces may be required to augment
tions and await orders, or resume march in new defense.
* Lead regiment attacks enemy defenses and, * Follow-on forces conduct counterattack. If
by fixing enemy force, facilitates commitment of successful and the enemy withdraws, exploita-
division follow-on forces. tion or pursuit is initiated; alternatively they may
* Depending on availability of maneuver space consolidate the position, regroup, and later
and size of enemy force, follow-on regiments resume march.
flank or envelop enemy. * Follow-on forces establish defensive posi-
* If follow-on forces succeed, exploitation or tions to or through which the lead regiment
pursuit are carried out. Alternatively, the posi- withdraws.
tion may be consolidated, forces regrouped, and * Division holds pending commitment of army
the march resumes. follow-on forces.
FM 100-2-1

Pursuit features swift and deep movements offorces Active reconnaissance, appreciation of enemy
to strike the enemy's most vulnerable areas. Three tactics, and knowledge of the current tactical situation
basic requirements for successful pursuit are planning are essential in obtaining indicators of enemy with-
and organization, detection ofwithdrawal, and mainte- drawal. Signs of preparation for withdrawal include-
nance of high tempo. * Nuclear strikes against first echelon attacking
By definition, a pursuit occurs when the enemy formations.
withdraws. An enemy could be forced to withdraw- * Intensified movement to the rear, especially
* As a result of a meeting engagement. artillery and reserves.
* After a penetration of his defensive position. * Increase in fires in individual sectors of the front.
* Following a nuclear strike. * Conduct of heavy fire concentrations in separate
An enemy may deliberately withdraw- areas which apparently are not in accord with the
* When threatened with encirclement. developing situation and at a time when there appears
* If he is making a redistribution of forces. to be a general reduction of fires.
* When he attempts to draw the opposing side into a * Intensified reconnaissance.
kill zone. * Preparations for demolitions and/or destruction
* When he withdraws for safety before launching a of facilities, installations, and equipment.
nuclear strike. * Limited local counterattacks.
Normally, a regimental commander is the lowest Once pursuit has been initiated, its success depends
command level to order initiation ofpursuit. However, on the maintenance of a high rate of advance with con-
commanders at all levels are expected to move inde- tinuous application of force.
pendently into pursuit when indicators of withdrawal The forms of pursuit are frontal, parallel, and
are seen. combination frontal and parallel. The preferred and
The scale of a pursuit is governed by the size of the most effective form is combination frontal and parallel.
force involved and is categorized as- The frontal pursuit is conducted by forces in
* Tacticalpursuit - Conducted by a regiment or a contact. It is the most likely type of pursuit at the very
division. In the case of a regiment, pursuit would beginning of the enemy withdrawal, at night, in diffi-
probably begin about 10 to 20 km in the enemy depths; cult terrain, when overcoming obstacles, or when off-
in the case of a division, from 20 to 30 km. road maneuver is limited. Frontal pursuit applies
* Operational pursuit - Conducted by army or constant pressure on the enemy. It limits his freedom
higher headquarters on a broad front; may extend to a of maneuver, his ability to take up defensive positions,
depth of several hundred kilometers. and his ability to disengage. The aim of a frontal pursuit
Tentative planning for pursuit is included in the is to force the enemy to deploy and to accept combat
initial attack plan. The amount of detail in such under unfavorable conditions, and to delay the with-
planning depends on the anticipated actions of the drawal. Maneuver and flank attacks, though limited, are
enemy, the battle formation of attacking troops, and conducted. The frontal pursuit normally is not decisive
the amount of planning time available. since it only pushes the enemy back on his approach-
ing reserves.
In the parallelpursuit, the pursuit force advances on
Planning Considerations For Pursuit routes parallel to the withdrawing enemy. High-speed
parallel pursuit may permit either attack on the
enemy's flank or cutting his main withdrawal routes.
* Possible enemy routes of withdrawal. Under threat of flank attack, the enemy may be
* The scheme of maneuver. required to split his force and delay withdrawal while
* Availability and condition of pursuit routes. defending against the pursuer's attacks. Unless accom-
* Forces available. panied by frontal pursuit, this method gives the enemy
* Critical terrain features (high ground, road some opportunity to maneuver and counterattack.
junctions, river crossings, bridges, defiles). In the combinationfrontalandparallelpursuit, the
* The use of forward detachments and heli- main pursuit force moves parallel to the withdrawing
copter assault forces. enemy. A smaller force pursues directly, maintaining
* Allocation of nuclear weapons and delivery constant contact with the enemy. The combination
systems. form has the advantages of both frontal and parallel
* Combat support and combat service support pursuit. It hinders disengagement, leads to flank
resources. attacks, and cuts the enemy's withdrawal routes.
FM 100-2-1

Forms of Pursuit I - I~ - I I lls

Used at initial enemy
withdrawal to-
* Pressure the enemy.
* Limit maneuverability.
* Delay withdrawal.
* Force enemy to deploy.

High speed pursuit to-
* Permit flank attack.
* Cut off withdrawal

Combines both methods of
pursuit to maintain high
rate of advance with con-
tinual force to hinder dis-
engagement and cut with-
drawal routes.

The .Soviets believe that a timely and correct taken to insure maintenance of contact. Artillery fire
decision to initiate pursuit is critical to its success. If and air strikes harass and disrupt the enemy's with-
the enemy is able to begin an undetected withdrawal, drawal. In the initial phase, tank and motorized rifle
he avoids the constant pressure that disrupts his pursuit groups attempt to take up routes parallel to the
action. Further, if the enemy can gain a safe distance of enemy withdrawal route. This helps establish the
withdrawal, the attacking forces are vulnerable to combination frontal and parallel method of pursuit.
tactical nuclear strikes. Units in contact initiate frontal pursuit immediately
The enemy will attempt to withdraw at an on detection of withdrawal, moving in whatever
advantageous time, usually at night. Timely actions are formation they have at the moment. As the situation
FM 100-2-1

permits, they reform into march or prebattle reconnaissance reporting, seizure of critical points on
formation, and then into attack formation when withdrawal routes, destruction of the enemy's means
required. of nuclear attack, and link up with tactical airborne or
The actions of the frontal pursuit force are aimed at heliborne landings.
facilitating the commitment of a parallel pursuit force, Heliborne or airborne forces may be assigned
which is preferably tank heavy. The parallel force, with missions similar to those described for forward detach-
security elements in the lead, also uses march or pre- ments. Vertical envelopment permits operations much
battle formations until deployment for the attack is deeper into enemy territory.
required. When pursuit is initiated, the parallel pursuit force
In pursuit the commander attempts to employ the normally is formed from uncommitted second echelon
maximum available combat troops. Pursuit is con- elements. The control of artillery is decentralized to
ducted in a wide zone - up to 30 km for a division. The maneuver battalions. Batteries and even individual
commander retains the tactical options to converge on guns move with lead elements to deliver direct fire.
the most important axis or to redirect the effort on a Artillery elements also are a normal component of
new axis. This flexibility also is required when forward detachments.
engaging advancing enemy reserves or counterattack During pursuit, artillery missions include fire on
forces. columns and concentrations at road junctions, defiles,
Centralizedplanningand decentralizedexecution bridges, and crossings. They also include repulse of
characterize the pursuit. Preservation of control is a enemy counterattacks, destruction or delay of enemy
primary concern in such a fast-moving situation. At the reserves, and destruction of enemy means of nuclear
same time, the Soviets attempt to disrupt the enemy's attack.
command and control, as an integral part of destruc- Air support complements other fire support in the
tive pursuit. Continuity of their own control is destruction and disorganization of the retreating
achieved by- enemy, particularly mobile targets. The situation
* Designating the direction of advance, routes or during the course of a pursuit may become obscure.
zones of advance, phase lines, and objectives. Consequently, air reconnaissance is an important
" Fixing times for completion of specific missions. factor in insuring the success of the pursuit.
" Altering missions as subsequent developments
* Augmenting normal radio communications with Air Support During Pursuit
aerial relays.
* Using two command groups. The commander will AIR RECONNAISSANCE IS
be at an observation post behind the leading combat USED TO DETERMINE-
elements. The second group, headed by the chief of
staff, will be with the main force. * The beginning of the withdrawal of rear area
* Designating the phase lines from which the forces.
artillery must be prepared to fire by specified times. * The composition of withdrawing forces and
As the pursuit is developed, reconnaissance direction of movement.
elements provide information on the disposition of * The composition and direction of movement of
retreating enemy formations and on the forward move- reserve force moving forward.
ment of his reserves. Because of the potential depth of * The nature of obstacles and intermediate
the operation, aerial reconnaissance may be the defensive positions.
primary means of identifying significant threats to
pursuit forces. This intelligence is vital at the stage
when a pursuit force faces the risk of becoming over- The actions of the pursuing force, in conjunction
extended. It could be the basis for termination of the with forward detachments and air-landed forces,
pursuit. act to create nuclear targets. Priority nuclear targets
Before or during the course of pursuit, forward include-
detachments may be designated to move ahead ofmain " Approaching reserves.
pursuit forces and to operate independently to out- " Main groupings of retreating force.
distance withdrawing enemy forces. These detach- • Enemy concentrations at critical areas (bridges,
ments avoid combat until they reach their assigned road junctions, defiles).
objective area. Their missions may include concurrent * Means of nuclear attack.
FM 100-2-1

Soviet Tactical Pursuit (Attack of a Withdrawing Enemy)


- - - - - -D -


E p\\~pss



01 Fir


Movement support detachments and mobile sustaining pursuit is the requirement that, in a large
obstacle detachments provided by engineer troops are scale offensive, a tank division with reinforcing trans-
instrumental in sustaining the rate of advance. In the portation units should be self-sufficient for up to five
initial phase, their missions include operating from days.
forward positions to breach obstacles and minefields. The pursuit is terminated on order of the next
In the course of the pursuit, their mission is to provide higher commander. Conditions under which pursuit is
bridging and road repairs and to block withdrawal terminated include the following:
routes of bypassed units with mines, demolitions, and * The enemy has been destroyed.
obstacles. * The pursuing force has outdistanced its logistic
With maximum commitment of forces, support.
requirements for fuel, ammunition, and maintenance * The pursuing force has become overextended and
increase. Priority of logistics is given to units having the is in danger of being cut off.
greatest success. The depth of pursuit is governed by * The advantage no longer belongs to the pursuing
the capability for logistic support. One yardstick for force.



Soviets consider the offensive as the only means to availability of resources do not favor resuming the
achieve decisive victory. However, defensive doctrine offense in that sector.
has not been totally overlooked. Grounded in the his- The defense atfront and army levels mayinvolve the
tories ofWorld War II and the great defensive battles of entire formation during the initial stage of hostility
Stalingrad, Moscow, and Kursk, the Soviets have where an enemy attacks across international borders,
developed a doctrine that is mindful of recent techno- or in a sector where no offensive action is planned.
logical developments such as ATGMs and nuclear Usually only part of the formation is on the defense
weapons. Stated reasons for assuming the defense while the rest takes offensive action.
are- During World War II, entire theaters were on the
* To consolidate gains. defense. Extremely dense defenses sometimes were
* To await additional resources when temporarily developed, consisting of three or more static defensive
halted by the enemy during the course of an offensive. belts with the majority of the combat forces deployed
* To protect the flanks of a formation or a seacoast. in the first defensive belt.
* To repulse an enemy counterthrust. The development of nuclear weapons required
* To regroup after severe losses suffered from modification of this concept and increased the
nuclear weapons. importance of a security echelon and a reserve.
* To free resources for other units that are on the Modern defensive doctrine at front and army levels
offensive. stresses defense in depth; but rather than multiple con-
* To await logistic support. tinuous belts, the defensive area consists of clusters of
strongpoints. At both front and army levels, the key is
The Soviets define the defense as follows: stubborn defense of the forward area by motorized
rifle forces deployed in depth and decisive counter-
A type of combat action conducted for the pur- attacks by highly mobile, tank-heavy forces of a second
pose of repulsing an attack mounted by superior echelon and a reserve. The increased fluidity ofcombat
enemy forces, causing heavy casualties, retain- has required an increase in the size of reserves.
ing important regions of terrain, and creating The operational reserve and second echelon may
favorable conditions for going over to a decisive make up half of the force. While second echelon divi-
offensive. Defense is based on strikes by nuclear sions of an army will occupy defensive positions, their
and all other types of weapons; on extensive major tasks will be to counterattack and to destroy
maneuver with firepower, forces, and weapons; enemy forces penetrating the forward defenses.
on counterattacks (or counterstrikes) with si- It is the first echelon divisions that hold the forward
multaneous stubborn retention of important edge of the army and front defenses. It is at division
regions which intercept the enemy direction of level that we find all the principles of defense
advance; and also on the extensive use of vari- employed. Therefore, the remainder of this chapter
ous obstacles. Defense makes it possible to gain will examine the defense as conducted by a first
time and to effect an economy in forces and echelon division.
weapons in some sectors, thereby creating con-
ditions for an offensive in others.
Soviet Dictionary of THE PREPARED DEFENSE
Basic Military Terms In organizing and establishing a prepared defense,
the Soviet commander considers the same factors
In most of these cases, the defense is temporary and addressed by a US commander:
leads to the resumption of the offense. * Mission
The two major forms of the defense are theprepared * Enemy
defense and the hasty defense (sometimes called * Terrain
"defense in the course of the offense"). A hasty defense * Troops
may turn into a prepared defense if conditions and * Time
FM 100-2-1

Main Defensive Area

In analyzing his mission, the commander determines The main defensive area may appear as bands, belts,
what it is he must accomplish and for how long. The or layers, but it is simply a defense in depth. The basic
destruction of an amphibious assault along the coast element of the main defensive area is the company or
will require different measures than will the protec- platoon strongpoint. This is established on terrain that
tion of an exposed flank. is key to the defense and must be retained at all costs.
The enemy and his weapon systems influence the The subunit occupying the strongpoint prepares an all-
mix of weapons and the type and amount of prepara- round defense with alternate and supplementaryfiring
tion required. Whether or not he is in contact makes a positions for all weapons. Fires are planned to be
great difference to the defender. mutually supporting as well as provide for fire sacks.
The terrain and vegetation also affect the force com- Vehicles are dug in, and a network of communication
position and deployment. This includes consideration trenches is constructed linking weapon positions with
of natural features such as high ground and other key supply, command and control, and fighting positions.
terrain, rivers, and marshes. Everything that can be is dug in and given overhead
The troops available for commitment to the defense protection. Wire provides the primary means of com-
seriously affect the force dispositions. munication. Minefields, obstacles, and barriers are
Finally, the amount of time available to establish the emplaced and covered by fire. In addition, the Soviets
defense will temper all these considerations. rely heavily on the use of maneuver by fire and fire
sacks to damage or destroy the enemy force.

Requirements for Establishing the Defense

Fire Sacks
* The deployment and employment of a security Maneuver by fire is the concentration of fires from
echelon. many guns from dispersed firing positions. Fire is
* The location and deployment of forces in a concentrated on an advancing enemy in a sudden and
main defensive area. devastating strike or series of strikes. Fire sacks are
* The location of "fire sacks" (kill zones) and formed based on key terrain, enemy avenues of
ambush sites. approach, defensive strongpoints, obstacles and
* Construction of minefields and obstacles. barriers, and preplanned fires. (The Russian term for
* The location, composition, and employment of this defensive deployment translates to "fire sacks" and
the reserve. is so used herein.) Fire sacks are similar to the US con-
cept of a kill zone. Obstacles and barriers are planned
along the edge of the fire sack to contain the enemy
Security Echelon force, and reserves are placed where they can counter-
The security echelon or zone is that portion of the attack into the "sack" after the fires are lifted to destroy
battlefield forward of the main defensive area. It is any remaining enemy.
occupied by a force whose mission is to delay and Fires are planned to cover all approaches to the posi-
deceive the enemy as to the location and deployment tion. Finally the entire position is camouflaged. This
of the main defensive forces. The security force may include the use of dummy positions to draw fire
engages the enemy at the longest possible range and and to deceive the enemy as to the true location of the
attempts to cause him to deploy prematurely. defenses.
The security force's size and composition depend on Strongpoints are linked with other strongpoints
those factors mentioned earlier. The zone may extend until a defensive area or belt is formed. This occurs at
to a depth of 30 kilometers at army level and 15 every level, thus multiple belts are formed. Included in
kilometers at division level. It is at least far enough and between these belts are headquarters, logistic
forward to prevent aimed direct fire from being placed facilities, reserves, and combat support forces. Each of
on the main defensive area. these elements is responsible for its own security.
The security force deploys on the best terrain to
effect maximum damage to the attacking enemy.
Obstacles and barriers are used extensively. When Minefields and Obstacles
faced with encirclement or decisive engagement, the Minefields are placed forward of the defensive posi-
forces of the security zone attempt to withdraw under tion to slow the enemy and to force him to concen-
cover of artillery fire and to return to the main defen- trate. Fires are planned to attack these concentrations
sive area. and to prevent or delay breaching. Minefields are
FM 100-2-1

designed to break up the enemy's assault and to strip reserves. Emphasis is placed on their use to defeat tank
away the infantry's supporting armor. They are also penetrations or flanking maneuvers.
designed to force the enemy into areas where concen- The reserve is positioned to undertake multiple mis-
trated fires of all weapons may be brought to bear. sions: blocking, counterattacking, reinforcing. amd
Minefields within the main defensive area are placed to providing rear area security.
confine the enemy within fire sacks and to make the
employment of the reserves easier.
Besides preplanned minefields, the Soviets also Counterattacks
employ hasty antitank minefields laid by engineer Counterattacks are planned at every level for use if
mobile obstacle detachments, by mechanical mine- the enemy succeeds in breaching forward defensive
layers, or by helicopter. Hastily laid minefields positions. Z.Cgmitment of this force requires the
normally are used with an antitank reserve to counter authority of the next higher commander. With the
enemy tanks that may have penetrated the depths of exception of first echelon battalions, whose reserve
the defense. companies may have to conduct a frontal counter-
Obstacles (including minefields) are used to slow, attack, this force generally is launched from a flank.
disorganize, and canalize the enemy force. They are Regimental and higher counterattacks normally are
used alone or with preplanned fire concentrations. spearheaded by tanks, preceded by an intense air and
The use of natural obstacles is stressed; they include artillery preparation, and supported by the fires of adja-
lakes, rivers, marshes, escarpments, and densely cent units. A counterattack normally is conducted
forested areas. Artificial obstacles may include antitank from the march. While tactical counterattacks usually
ditches, wire entanglements, abatis, and antiheliborne are planned to restore the defenses, those at opera-
and antiairborne stakes. tional level may be the opening phase of a
Anti-Tank Defense
Antitank defense is essential to any defense and is of CONCEPTS OF THE HASTY DEFENSE
great concern to Soviet tacticians. (See Chapter 10, The writings of Soviet tacticians indicate that the
Antitank Support.) The system of antitank (AT) hasty defense will be more prevalent than the prepared
defense is composed of- defense. They acknowledge that there may be diverse
* Subunit strongpoints containing well-sited AT situations in which the hasty defense must be estab-
weapons. lished. The force making the transition to the defense
* Tank ambushes set up throughout the defense. may be in contact with the enemy. If so, a limited attack
* Antitank reserves placed to respond to enemy tank could be required to gain defensible terrain. Con-
penetrations. versely, it maybe necessary to establish a defense to the
* Tanks within the second echelon to bolster the rear and withdraw to it. In any case, the nature of a
first echelon or to counterattack. hasty defense does not provide time for detailed
* Mobile obstacle detachments. (See Chapter 14, preparation.
Engineer Support.) The same factors of mission, enemy, terrain, troops
* Artillery in the direct fire role, both in forward available, and time available considered in a prepared
positions and from positions in the depths of the defense are the primary considerations in establishing
defense. the hasty defense. They may differ in that-
* Antitank obstacles covered by fire and comple- * The mission of hasty defense is more transitory.
menting the maneuver of fires and forces. * The enemy situation is clearer, and attack is
* Maneuver by antitank forces and weapons. imminent.
Antitank guns and ATGMs are concentrated by * The terrain may be unfavorable for organization of
platoon and battery. They employ multilayered cross- a defense; it may be better suited for the attacker.
fires, long-range fires, and all-around fires. Coopera- * Time will be short.
tion between guns and ATGM systems is considered
essential to adequate antitank defense. As with all
facets of combat, the integration of combined arms is Reverse Slope Defense
considered paramount. Establishing the defense when in contact with the
Attack helicopters mounting rockets and antitank enemy poses particular problems, since forces may
missiles are used as mobile, quick-reaction, antitank have to dig in while under fire and observation of the
FM 100-2-1

enemy. For this reason, a reverse slope defense is often priority of support going to units selected to initiate
chosen. Part of the force is left in contact with the offensive actions.
enemy on the forward slope(s), while the remainder
of the force prepares the position on the reverse
slope(s). The Soviets recognize the following CONDUCT OF THE DEFENSE
advantages of a reverse slope defense: At division level, the tactical defense is very
* It hinders or prevents enemy observation of the important and can be an integral part of a larger offen-
defensive position. sive operation. A typical Soviet response against a
* Attacking forces will not be able to receive direct counterattack is to place a division on the defense to
fire support from following forces. halt the attack while other divisions continue the
* Enemy long-range antitank fires will be degraded. advance.
* Attacking enemy forces will be silhouetted on the
crest of the hill.
* Engineer work can be conducted out of direct fire Defensive Planning
and observation from the enemy. In the Soviet view, the prepared defense is distin-
A disadvantage is that the maximum range of all guished from the hasty defense by the amount of time
weapon systems cannot be exploited. When possible, and engineer support available for preparation of the
both forward and reverse slope defense are used to defense. The types tend to merge as a function oftime.
take maximum advantage of the terrain. The latter stages of a hasty defense may approximate
When the force going over to the defensive is in the early stages of a prepared defense. The prepared
contact with the enemy, it is extremely difficult to defense is more detailed than the hasty defense, so this
establish a security echelon. If established, its depth is section will deal mainly with it for descriptive
not nearly as great as in the prepared defense. Addi- purposes.
tionally, long-range fires do not play the part they do in Two fundamental considerations affect the division
the prepared defense because the opposing forces are, commander's defensive planning. First, the defense
for the most part, within direct fire range. Deception is should provide protection against nuclear weapons.
difficult to achieve, since friendly forces may be under Defense under nuclear conditions demands disper-
direct observation of the enemy. Obstacles are sion, deception, and field fortifications. The advent of
emplaced but are not as extensive as in the prepared small-yield nuclear weapons has complicated the
defense. problem of dispersion. When the minimum yield of a
warhead was approximately 20 kilotons, dispersion
was achieved by maintaining intervals between bat-
Support Elements talions. The development of warheads of less than 1
Differences in mission arise from the temporary kiloton increased the need for dispersion so that now,
nature of a hasty defense. Normally, the primary objec- according to the Soviets, company and platoon strong-
tive is to deny enemy access to a specific area. points are the basis of the defense. Increased dis-
However, attrition of the enemy force is essential to persion leads to problems in fire support coordination
any defense. In many cases, defensive positions are and troop control. Furthermore, a defense that is too
chosen to support resumption of offensive action dispersed does not offer sufficient resistance to accom-
rather than for a prolonged defense. plish the defensive missions. As a result, the Soviets
Combat support remains basically configured for caution that dispersion must not be accomplished at
continued offensive action. Artillery groupings may be the price of effective defense.
organized to support the next offensive phase. The second fundamental consideration is that the
Engineer mobile obstacle detachments lay mine- defense must be organized in sufficient depth to pro-
fields across critical avenues of approach. Maximum vide effective fire and maneuver. The enemy must be
use is made of armored mine layers, armored engineer engaged at as great a range as possible and must
vehicles, and dozer blades attached to tanks to prepare continue to meet an ever-increasing volume of fire as
obstacles and hasty positions. Engineer works are he nears the defensive positions. Fire support weapons
carried out in a sequence that insures readiness to must be positioned so that they can shift their fires
repulse an enemy attack. against threatened axes within the defensive position.
Combat service support also remains configured to To counterattack enemy penetrations, units deployed
support offensive action. Primary effort is devoted to in the depth of the defense must be in position to
preparing units for future offensive actions, with maneuver and concentrate rapidly.
FM 100-2-1

A system of fire is constructed to bring all available come from the division's second echelon. A security
fires on the enemy as he approaches and to provide for force of up to battalion size maybe deployed in front of
continuous fire at the forward edge, the flanks, and each first echelon regiment.
within the defensive position. In addition, it should A detailed and coordinated fire plan is developed.
provide for the rapid concentration of fire against Weapons are positioned so that the maximum amount
threatened axes. of fire can be brought to bear directly in front of the
FEBA. Enemy penetrations are blunted by shifting
artillery fire and by conducting counterattacks.
Division-level Defense The commander controls the defense through a
When a division is ordered to assume the defense, series of command posts and command observation
the commander issues orders based on a map recon- posts. At division level, there are normally four com-
naissance and personally clarifies missions on the mand posts: a main command post, a forward
ground. He determines key terrain, enemy avenues of command post, an alternate command post, and a rear
approach and probable main attack axis, areas for area command post.
possible nuclear and chemical strikes, organization for The main command post is located in the rear of the
combat, maneuver requirements, organization of defensive sector and contains the bulk of the staff. The
strongpoints, probable counterattack axes, and loca- chief of staff directs its operation.
tions of command posts and command observation The division commander establishes a forward
posts. Soviet commanders are expected to make maxi- command post with a small group of selected staff
mum use of the terrain and to avoid establishing pat- members. The composition of this group varies but
terns that would make enemy targeting easier. usually includes the operations officer and chief of
A tank or motorized rifle division typically defends a rocket troops and artillery (CRTA). This post may be as
sector 20 to 30 kilometers in width and 15 to 20 kilo- close as 3 kilometers from the FEBA.
meters in depth. The commander normally organizes An alternate command post contains representa-
the main defensive area in two echelons and a reserve. tives from key staff sections. Displaced from the divi-
The first echelon's mission is to inflict losses on the sion main command post, it is ready to take over direc-
enemy, to force him to concentrate, and to canalize tion of the division if the main command post is
him into fire sacks. The second echelon's mission is to damaged or destroyed.
stop and destroy enemy penetrations or to reinforce or The rear area command post is established and con-
replace troops of the first echelon. trolled by the deputy commander for rear services.
While there is no rigid requirement for the composi- Besides the command posts, the commander may
tion of echelons, normally at least two regiments are establish command observation posts which are con-
placed in the division's first echelon. In a motorized trolled from the forward command post. These posts
rifle division, the first echelon consists of motorized have radio and wire communications and permit the
rifle regiments. A tank regiment usually is employed as commander and his CRTA to better observe different
a division's main counterattack- orce. - sectors of the battlefield.
The division commander issues a combat order There is no rigid structure for the location of com-
which contains information about the enemy, the mand posts. Command posts are established where the
mission, the concept of the operation, the location of commander orders them established. He makes use of
the FEBA, and the position to be occupied. The order terrain to camouflage command posts and places them
further specifies the following details: according to his mission concept. The Soviets avoid
* For first echelon regiments: reinforcements, establishing command posts on distinguishing terrain
missions, defense sectors, and axes and areas in which features.
main efforts are to be concentrated. They anticipate radio communications to be diffi-
* For second echelon regiments: reinforcements, cult and often impossible or undesirable in combat and
missions, defense sectors, and axes and deployment they train accordingly. During training exercises, the
lines for counterattacks. Soviets regularly practice the use of radio, wire, pyro-
* The time that positions are to be occupied. technic (visual signals), sound, and courier
* Coordination requirements. communications. It is standard procedure for them to
When the defense is established before contact with employ wire communications in a defensive position
the enemy, the Soviets establish a security echelon up or an assembly area. This means of communication-
to 15 kilometers forward of the main defensive area. including the prompt restoration of destroyed lines-
The elements which make up the security echelon receives heavy emphasis in Soviet tactical exercises.

6-5 Fold out for 6-6

FM 100-2-1

Defense of a Motorized Rifle Division, Variant i L I I I - I



1. Main defensive area is organized into
two echelons and a reserve:
- First echelon inflicts enemy losses,
forcing him to concentrate and canalize
MR REGT him into fire sacks.
10-15 KM - Second echelon's mission is to destroy
enemy or reinforce/replace first echelon.
BN (+)
2. Ina motorized rifle division a tank regi-

_0 ment acts as the main counterattack

3. The security zone is comprised from
elements of the division's second echelon.
4. Detailed and coordinated fire plan is
developed for fire support.

10-15 KM LEGEND:
TK REGT (-) ®_ Preplanned artillery

BN (-) Mixed minefield

0 (antipersonnel and

\\/VV Barrier

- --_ Probable enemy avenue

=- of approach

Shown above is a simplified diagram of the defense first echelon, its mission is to prevent penetration of capability to mass fires. The defensive frontage for a
of a motorized rifle division. Not all details or weapons the main defenses by repulsing enemy assaults with regiment is normally 10 to 15 kilometers. The depth
are shown, but the primary elements found in the intense fire and counterattacks by its reserve. When may vary from 7 to 10 kilometers.
division and its regimental echelons are typical. given the mission to defend in the division's second A regimental reserve normally is positioned near the
echelon, a regiment attempts to defeat any enemy regiment's second echelon. It is usually of company
penetration of the division's first echelon. size and tank heavy. Its mission is to conduct counter-
Regimental subunits normally are dispersed so that a attacks against an enemy penetration.
Regimental-level Defense single low-yield nuclear strike can destroy no more A regimental antitank reserve normally is formed
A regiment may be used in the first or second than one company. Dispersion is also limited to insure from the antitank missile battery (found only in
echelon of the division defenses. As part of a division's the stability of the defense and to maintain the motorized rifle regiments), the engineer company,
FM 100-2-1

and either a tank or motorized rifle platoon. The greater depth is required, it may deploy in two eche-
engineer company probably operates as a mobile lons, with two companies in its first echelon and one in
obstacle detachment to emplace hasty minefields and its second echelon. Reserves are located behind the
obstacles. The antitank reserve occupies an assembly second echelon. The distance between the first and
area generally near the regimental command post. second echelons can be up to 2 kilometers.
A regiment in the division first echelon has its A company occupies a strongpoint 500 to 1000
command post centrally located between its first and meters in width and up to 500 meters in depth.
second echelons. A regimental command observation Normally, all three platoons of a company defend in
point may be established in the area of one of the one echelon. (See diagrams on pages 6-8 and 6-9.)
subordinate battalions. Regimental logistic units and Artillery, tanks, engineers, and chemical defense
the rear area command post are positioned to the rear troops attached to a battalion may be allocated to the
of the regimental second echelon. Communications companies. This allocation depends on the number
are established between the command and observa- and types of attachments received by the battalion and
tion posts. Wire is the primary mode, supplemented by the importance of the sectors the companies are
messengers, pyrotechnic signals, and radio. defending. Although artillery may be assigned to the
The division commander is responsible for security companies for direct fire support, artillery is usually
forward of the FEBA. The regiment is responsible for positioned to provide the best fire support for the
local security in front of the defensive positions of its entire battalion.
first echelon battalions. When time and terrain limit The battalion commander positions a small reserve
establishment of a security echelon by division, regi- (normally a platoon) where it can most rapidly and
ments in the first echelon organize combat outposts. effectively stabilize the defense in the event of an
Each first echelon battalion places a reinforced enemy penetration. Key terrain and likely enemy
motorized rifle platoon forward, across the main avenues of attack are factors in determining where the
expected enemy avenue of approach into the battalion battalion reserve will be positioned. Reaction time for
defensive area. The reconnaissance company of the a mounted reserve is based on speeds of 20 to 30 kilo-
first echelon regiment performs screening and recon- meters per hour in daytime and 15 to 20 kilometers
naissance activity in front of the combat outposts. Each per hour at night.
battalion organizes its own observation and listening The mortar battery of a motorized rifle battalion is
posts. deployed in accordance with the overall fire plan and is
positioned to provide close-in fires for the company
Battalion-level Defense The battalion's rear service elements are located in
After receiving the mission from his regimental com- covered and concealed positions within the battalion
mander, a battalion commander begins organizing his area. Rear service elements are responsible for their
assigned sector. The regimental order is as complete as own security and should change locations frequently
possible. As a minimum, it contains the battalion's to avoid destruction from enemy air and artillery fire.
mission, trace of the FEBA, and battalion boundaries. Defensive fires are centrally organized and are
In a hasty defense, there may be no time for the regi- planned as far forward ofthe FEBA as possible. Fires are
mental commander to issue an order with detailed concentrated on avenues of approach using a series of
supplementary instructions. Consequently, the designated fire lines. The distance between these lines
motorized rifle battalion commander is allowed more is 400 to 600 meters on high-speed avenues. The
initiative and flexibility in organizing his defensive distance is less on less-likely avenues of approach
position in this situation. The battalion initially because of a probable slower rate of advance. Artillery
consolidates on the terrain it occupies or attempts to fire is used to separate attacking infantry from their
seize critical terrain favorable for the defense. In con- tanks approximately 200 to 400 meters from the FEBA.
trast, organization of a prepared defense is centrally Final protective fires are planned within 100 meters of
planned by the regiment. the FEBA, with concentrations to halt the advance of
A typical battalion defensive area is 3 to 5 kilometers enemy forces that have penetrated the defenses.
wide and up to 2 kilometers deep. A battalion usually Antitank defenses are organized to engage enemy
defends with companies in a single echelon. Single tanks at an effective range up to 3 kilometers forward
echelon deployment permits the greatest concentra- of the FEBA. Normal distance between tanks and anti-
tion of firepower but it also reduces defense in depth. tank weapons in defensive positions is about 100
When a battalion defends on a narrow frontage and/or meters. On open terrain, there may be up to 200
FM 100-2-1

meters between tanks in defensive positions. The ter- of a typical defense by a reinforced motorized rifle
rain is a dominant factor in positioning tanks and anti- battalion.
tank weapons. Each tank and antitank weapon has a The Soviets constantly emphasize that the defense is
primary and secondary sector of fire as well as primary a temporary form of combat that makes the transition
and alternate positions. to the offense easier. This transition can be made,
Barrier plans and the system of fire complement however, only when each level of command is able to
each other. Both antitank and antipersonnel minefields counterattack. The Soviets stress that counterattacks
are laid forward of the FEBA and throughout the depth should be made when the enemy attack is stalled and
of defensive positions. Antitank obstacles are covered he is unable to secure the terrain seized and to bring
by direct and indirect fires. Shown below is an example his reserves forward.

Typical Defense by a Motorized Rifle Battalion (Reinforced) LI I --

CO (+)



MR CO (+)

NOTE: A battalion usually defends in a single echelon, inan
area 3 to 5 kilometers wide and up to 2 kilometers deep. When @0000 Mixed minefield Preplanned artillery
(antipersonnel and concentration
defending a narrow frontage or if greater depth isrequired, it
may deploy in two echelons as above. Distance between antitank)
echelons can be up to 500 meters in depth. Reserves are .. _ Probable enemy avenue of
located behind the second echelon. /\~/,\ Barrier -- approach

FM 100-2-1

Each level of command is prepared to conduct a (primarily tank-heavy) second echelon formations,
counterattack. If the enemy's forces and fires over- which act as counterattack forces.
whelm the Soviets' first echelon defenses and prevent As previously discussed, the Soviets emphasize
them from conducting a counterattack, subunits hold dispersion into company-sized strongpoints, while
their position, strike the enemy with all available fires, maintaining mutual fire support as a defense against
and create sufficient resistance for a counterattack by tactical nuclear weapons. By forming company strong-
forces of the next higher command. As the enemy points, adequate maneuver space is created to shift
advances into the depths of the Soviet defense, he forces and to counterattack once the enemy's main
advances on positions that have been better prepared; attack is determined. The strongpoint is usually
and he encounters progressively larger, more powerful centered on the platoon in the second main trench.

A Motorized Rifle Company Strong Point - --- I -I -








LEGEND: (Broken symbol denotes alternate position.)

Sector of trench with
communications trench Company observation post (one horizontal
line denotes a platoon observation post

J II- I Defense position _... -- Road ogee Mixed minefield (antipersonnel and antitank)

FM 100-2-1

The next higher commander authorizes a counter- information on the new defensive position. With-
attack to be launched. In most cases, counterattacks drawals are organized and executed under strict
are initiated from the flanks. Counterattacks are pre- secrecy and security. The mission is to disengage the
ceded by intense air and artillery fires and the fires of force in a timely, organized manner without losing its
adjacent units. The counterattack force attacks from combat capability. The force executing the withdrawal
the march. Counterattacks at army or division levels is divided into three groups.
may be the opening phase of a Soviet counteroffensive. The coveringforce has the mission to deceive the
enemy and to cover the initial withdrawal of the main
body. This force normally comes from units along the
WITHDRAWAL forward edge of the defense. It normally consists of a
The Soviets view the withdrawal as a combat action reinforced platoon from each forward-deployed
designed to disengage troops from attack by superior company.
enemy forces. The experiences of World War II taught The rearguard covers movement of the main body
the Soviets the complicated nature of retrograde and fights a delaying action if the enemy attempts to
operations under pressure. On the modem battlefield, maintain contact in the pursuit. It is organized to fight
a withdrawal will bring the full application of the independently of the main body and covering force.
enemy's combat power to destroy withdrawing units. Normally, it is organized as a combined arms force
The Soviets can be expected to resort to deception, consisting of tank, motorized rifle, artillery, and
movement at night and during periods of reduced engineer elements. Maximum use is made of artillery,
visibility, and covert preparations to avoid alerting the mortar, and long-range ATGM fires through a series of
enemy. delay positions to prevent enemy interference in the
The Soviet commander's withdrawal order is withdrawal of the main body.
detailed and includes the mission, routes, formation to The main body breaks contact and attempts to with-
be used, delay positions, control measures, and draw without disclosing its intentions to the enemy.

Basic Concept of the Withdrawal L I Ir


. I


A• |
" 'I
Ar 7 1



A "1

Deceives enemy and Independently fights a delaying action to Conducts deceptive withdrawal under
covers initial with- cover movement of main force. Applies cover of darkness, weather, supporting
drawal of main body. maximum use of fires. fires, and ruse tactics.
FM 100-2-1

Deception may be achieved by withdrawing under the carefully organized and is executed quickly and
cover of darkness or adverse weather conditions, by secretly. It attempts to preserve as much of the unit's
using supporting fires to cover noise, or by employing a combat capability as possible. As a rule, a relief is con-
ruse. A route reconnaissance and a reconnaissance of ducted at night or during periods of reduced visibility.
the new positions to be occupied are conducted and Soviet doctrine stresses the temporary nature of the
guides posted to expedite movement. Air strikes and defense and emphasizes the need for counterattacks as
artillery support are closely coordinated and planned soon as it is feasible to initiate a renewed offensive. The
to cover the withdrawal. relief operation is a means to achieve this end.
A regiment conducts a withdrawal in the following A battalion relief usually is conducted with the
sequence: regimental commander establishing the relief
* First echelon battalions designate platoons to act sequence. The two battalion commanders (the one
as covering forces which attempt to portray a normal relieving and the one being relieved) conduct a joint
defensive posture to the enemy. reconnaissance of the defensive position. During this
* The regimental commander designates a rear reconnaissance, they coordinate routes to and from
guard, normally a reinforced second echelon battalion. the relief areas, traffic regulation posts, locations for
* On order, the main body (first echelon battalions, guides to meet the relieving units, and the sequence of
minus covering forces, plus support elements) with- relief. In addition, the battalion commanders review
draws through the rear guard, in the following order: the present system of fire and observation as well as
rear services first, then combat support elements, and obstacles and minefields that have been prepared for
finally the maneuver subunits. the position.
* The main body proceeds, without pause, on multi- The commander of the battalion which is being
ple routes, all the way back to a new defensive position relieved specifies to his subordinates the following:
or assembly area. * The sequence of turnover of the defense area.
Once the main body has completely passed through * Assembly area(s) after the relief.
the rear guard, the covering force breaks contact on * Camouflage and security measures.
order and withdraws through the rear guard to join the * Instructions for guides to meet and accompany the
main body. Minimum radio communications or arriving relief units.
listening silence is observed. * The location of traffic regulation posts.
The rear guard fights a delaying action, leapfrogging * The times for commencing and completing the
to successive positions, using to the maximum: relief.
* Smoke. * Actions in the event of an enemy attack during the
* Mobile obstacle detachments to layminefields and relief.
to create obstacles across enemy avenues ofapproach. The commander of the battalion which is being
* Artillery fire concentrations. relieved exercises overall control until the relief is
* Ambushes. completed. Should the enemy attack during the relief,
* Attack helicopters. the relieving battalion, under the command of the out-
* Fixed-wing air strikes. going battalion commander, attempts to repel the
If the enemy does not pursue, the rear guard attack.
assumes march formation and joins the main body as At the appointed time, the relieving battalion moves
quickly as possible. to the relief area by concealed routes. The relief is
carried out successively by platoons. The first to be
relieved are motorized rifle and antitank subunits.
RELIEF They are followed by mortar, artillery, and tank sub-
The Soviet term "relief of troops" involves an units. Tanks may be reassigned and left in place if the
organized transfer of positions, areas, and zones in a relief is carried out by battalions of the same motorized
combat situation from one unit to another. The units rifle regiment. Once in position, the relieving subunits
being relieved have usually sustained considerable establish observation posts and their system of fire.
losses and are on the defense. A relief also may be con- Relieved commanders transfer their positions,
ducted to enable a fresh unit to occupy the defense provide information on enemy activities and routines,
positions of the relieved unit in preparation for a and acquaint relieving commanders with the location
renewed offensive. Because units being relieved are of obstacles, minefields, and primary directions of fire.
normally in direct contact with the enemy, they are Established communications are maintained, and wire
subject to enemy fire and ground attacks. The relief is lines are left in place and passed on to relieving units.

FM 100-2-1

All engineer installations, to include minefields and The relieving battalion commander checks the loca-
obstacles, are thoroughly checked and verified with tions and weapon positions of his subunits to insure
respect to boundaries, passages, and degree of they are prepared for combat. The relieving battalion
readiness. attempts to maintain the same routine and level of
If the enemy attacks, all available subunits-under activities that existed before the relief. When the
the command of the commander being relieved-are relieving commander reports to his superior that the
used to repulse the attack The reserve of the subunit relief is completed, the relief is officially terminated.
being relieved may be used to counterattack. It is the The relieved battalion withdraws to assigned assembly
last element to be withdrawn from the defensive area. areas and carries out its subsequent assigned mission.



The tactical concepts of Soviet ground forces offront operations. Visual reconnaissance is a secon-
require timely, accurate, and continuous information dary mission of all aircraft in the divisional tactical area.
on the enemy, terrain, and weather. Reconnaissance, as In-flight observations are transmitted to the maneuver
defined by the Soviets, is the collection of information elements on the tactical air net.
about the location, activity, disposition, composition, Helicopters flying in the vicinity of the FEBA depend
size, armament, combat readiness, and intentions of on local air superiority. When air superiority is denied,
the enemy. The Soviets recognize that reconnaissance helicopters are used to emplace observation posts or
will be met by enemy countermeasures and deception. reconnaissance patrols rather than perform as air
They employ multiple, overlapping collection means reconnaissance platforms. All helicopters performing
to insure success of their reconnaissance efforts. any missions may be expected to pass tactical informa-
tion to those headquarters and units with whom they
have radio communications.
Principles of Soviet Reconnaissance From front to regiment, there are chemical defense
units which monitor nuclear and chemical contami-
* Aggressiveness. The decisive actions and ini- nation. Chemical defense troops from these units
tiative used by commanders and headquarters provide direct combat support to the maneuver units
to obtain necessary information by all means down to company level. Equipped with radiological-
available. chemical reconnaissance vehicles, these troops
* Continuity. The conduct of reconnaissance at monitor radiation and chemical agents and mark
all times regardless of the intensity of combat, contaminated areas. Helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft
time of day, or weather conditions. Established also may conduct NBC reconnaissance.
contact with the enemy must not be broken and Soviet artillery from front to division has organic
observation must be continuously maintained. target acquisition units which obtain and transmit
* Timeliness. The gathering and reporting of meteorological and topographic information. The
reconnaissance information in sufficient time to division artillery regiment has a target acquisition
counter enemy actions. battery which gathers information from a topographic
* Reliability. The degree to which the intelli- survey platoon, sound/flash ranging platoon, a recon-
gence information accurately portrays the naissance platoon, a surveillance radar section, and a
enemy situation. This involves verifying the meteorological section.
intelligence with data from other sources and Engineer units fromfront to regimental level maybe
assigning additional reconnaissance missions used in reconnaissance detachments. Engineer
to confirm or deny the information. specialists normally accompany maneuver unit recon-
* Accuracy. The accurate determination of naissance patrols. The Soviets are particularly aware of
coordinates of important enemy targets such as the need for engineer intelligence to assist in main-
missile installations, nuclear capable artillery, taining a rapid rate of advance. The reconnaissance
nuclear storage sites, etc. resources of the division's combat engineer battalion
also include mine detection equipment and the means
for detailed bank and bed survey of water obstacles.
ELEMENTS USED IN RECONNAISSANCE Airborne or airmobile forces may be employed
The effective ranges of the reconnaissance means at behind enemy lines to locate enemy headquarters,
front level vary at each level of command. These ranges communications systems, and nuclear weapons. They
are also dependent on weather and terrain. also may be given the mission to attack these targets.
Aerial reconnaissance by high performance aircraft Radio intercept and radio direction finding are the
normally is conducted by aviation units at front and primary electronic means of gathering enemy intelli-
army level. Aviation units conduct visual, photo, and gence. Radio intercept is the ability to monitor and
electronic intercept and direction-finding reconnais- understand message content. Radio direction finding
sance missions. Ranges of reconnaissance aircraft vary. is designed to locate broadcast stations.
Missions of 350 to 400 km usually are flown bypairs of Medical reconnaissance is conducted to identify
aircraft to support armies or divisions. Long-range areas potentially dangerous to health, including the
missions in excess of 400 km also are flown in support presence of biological agents.
FM 100-2-1

Rear services officers reconnoiter and establish to determine the strength, composition, and disposi-
observation posts to facilitate recovery and repair of tion of enemy° elements. Whenever possible, recon-
damaged equipment, to identify sites for forward naissance subunits bypass enemy groupings and
supply points, and to determine local sources of continue the advance along the prescribed route.
supply. Engineer reconnaissance detachments and
chemical defense specialists usually accompany recon-
naissance patrols at division and regiment. Other
CONTROL OF specialists accompany reconnaissance patrols as
Soviet divisions and regiments have dedicated
reconnaissance organizations, i.e., a reconnaissance
battalion for the division and a reconnaissance Typical Reconnaissance Patrol Tasks
company for the regiment. These units gather and
produce intelligence which will assist the accomplish- * Identify, locate, and report on enemy head-
ment of the division and the regimental mission. At quarters, nuclear weapon systems, troop loca-
division, reconnaissance elements are controlled by tions, communication centers, and movement
the chief of reconnaissance and supported by a small of enemy units.
staff. The division's long-range reconnaissance -," Determine the disposition of enemy defenses,
company can operate up to 100 km forward of the - locate enemy boundaries and artillery positions,
main body; other elements of the battalion operate up iand provide topographical information on
to 50 km forward. Regimental reconnaissance (approaches to enemy defensive positions.
company elements may operate up to 25 km forward * Report enemy emplacement of demolitions
and closer once contact is established. and the location of minefields.
During tactical movement, a divisional recon- * Determine obstacle-crossing sites and provide
naissance battalion usually moves one or more hours hydrographic information on water obstacles.
ahead of leading elements of the division. The division * Monitor areas of suspected NBC contami-
normally moves on two or more routes and the recon- nation.
naissance battalion organization depends on the SIdentify routes for advance, withdrawal, and
division formation. The battalion may form one or two lateral communications.
reconnaissance groups and several patrols; however, * Identify key terrain.
this depends on the combat situation and the overall .* Identify possible sites for friendly communica-
mission of the division. Even when the reconnaissance tion installations.
battalion advances on more than one route, move-
ments of each element are controlled by the battalion
commander. At each successive objective, he estab- RECONNAISSANCE ORGANIZATIONS
lishes a reconnaissance base from which he directs the To obtain timely intelligence Soviet commanders
employment of reconnaissance groups and patrols sometimes organize and dispatch reconnaissance
operating in advance of the base. Radio contact is main- groups. These groups may be formed by the com-
tained with the division headquarters. The battalion mander from army through regiment. A reconnais-
commander is expected to be able to implement sup- sance group is a temporary tactical subunit formed for
plementary reconnaissance missions or to make the execution of a specified reconnaissance mission.
changes in the direction or rate of advance. He is also The composition of such groups, usually reinforced
expected to request additional support from the main platoons or companies, depends on the situation and
body if his unit becomes too heavily engaged with an the assigned mission. In an attack, a division could form
enemy unit. a reconnaissance group consisting of a motorized rifle
Generally, elements of the battalion seek to avoid company, reinforced with a platoon of tanks and
sustained combat with an enemy force. They cross engineer and NBC reconnaissance squads. Reconnais-
open areas at high speeds and cross closed and broken sance groups conduct reconnaissance by observation
terrain by bounds, moving from one vantage point to as well as by more active methods such as ambushes
another. At the vantage points, they may dismount and raids. In an extreme case, they may destroy cover-
from the vehicles to get better observation. Upon ing subunits of a withdrawing enemy. Along with their
contact with an enemy element, reconnaissance primary reconnaissance mission, they may be assigned
subunits attempt to use feints and flanking maneuvers missions to destroy enemy means of nuclear attack and
FM 100-2-1

to seize and hold important terrain features in the suspected enemy positions to gain information. Their
enemy rear until the arrival of the main attacking force. mission is to cause the enemy to react and thereby
A reconnaissance detachment is a temporary reveal his dispositions, strength, and fire plan. The
tactical subunit of reinforced company or battalion patrol conducts its reconnaissance byfeints or demon-
strength. The basic subunit (motorized rifle or tank) is strations employing fire and maneuver against actual
almost always reinforced with elements of the other or suspected enemy positions. These positions
arm to make it a balanced combat force. Depending on generally are assigned to the patrol as reconaissance
the mission, specialized reconnaissance elements such objectives by the controlling headquarters.
as artillery, engineers, or NBC may be assigned or A reconnaissance in force is employed when
attached. A reconnaissance detachment of battalion ordinary air and ground reconnaissance activities fail
strength is assigned a zone approximately 7 kilometers to provide sufficient intelligence on which to base a
wide and 35 kilometers in depth, or it maybe assigned plan of attack. Like the combat reconnaissance patrol,
an axis of advance. A reconnaissance detachment ful- the reconnaissance in force is intended to force the
fills its mission by observation, by ambush, and by enemy to expose his defensive system. Its specific
direct attack if necessary. objectives are to fix the true trace of enemy defense
A separate reconnaissancepatrol is a temporary and to locate troop concentrations and weapons; to
tactical subunit composed of a reinforced squad or a determine the enemy defensive fire system and the
platoon. It normally is assigned a specific objective types and locations of fortifications and obstacles; to
and/or route instead of a zone. A squad-sized patrol locate tactical reserves, boundaries between units, and
may operate away from its parent unit at a distance of8 secondary troop dispositions; to capture prisoners and
kilometers during the day and 3 kilometers at night, documents; and to seize and hold important objectives
while a platoon-sized patrol may operate at a distance which permit surveillance of the defensive position
of up to 15 kilometers during the day and up to 5 until the main force attack takes place. The subunit
kilometers at night. A separate reconnaissance patrol which conducts a reconnaissance in force for a
accomplishes its mission by observation, but may division is normally a reinforced battalion and for regi-
engage in limited combat if necessary. Limited combat ment, a reinforced company. Reconnaissance in force
in this case means that the patrol may use reconnais- is conducted to convince the enemy that an all-out
sance by fire to determine enemy positions when no attack is under way. The attack is made on a com-
other means are available. The separate reconnais- paratively wide frontage and is accompanied by feints
sance patrol also is frequently used to capture and demonstrations by subunits in contact in other
prisoners for intelligence exploitation. sectors. An artillerypreparation normally precedes the
Combat reconnaissancepatrolsin reinforced small assault.
subunit strength are employed to attack known or



The Soviet concept of fire support embraces all In the offense, fire superiority is achieved by fire
combat support provided to the ground-gaining arms preparation and normally is maintained during the
by rocket and artillery troops and aviation using entire battle. In the defense, fire superiority may be
conventional ammunition. Nuclear fires are excluded achieved in selected sectors for a given period of
from this concept. The Soviets consider nuclear time-for example, in a sector selected for a counter-
weapons to be so powerful that they cannot be said to preparation or a counterattack.
support the combat operations of the ground-gaining
arms. Instead, they constitute a separate and inde-
pendent element of combat power which can accom- TARGET DAMAGE CRITERIA
plish the missions of destroying major enemy combat Target damage is the effect of fires on a given military
formations, command and control facilities, and target and results in total, partial, or temporary loss of
logistics centers. the target's combat effectiveness.
Even though Soviet military doctrine distinguishes
between fire support and nuclear attack, the two are
closely related. First, fire support units must plan and Categories of Target Damage
deliver nuclear strikes. Second, they must adjust the
fire plan to take into account the effects of nuclear Destruction. A destroyed target has com-
strikes on the enemy. Finally, nuclear strikes greatly pletely lost its combat effectiveness. Prepared
affect the tempo of combat activity, which, in turn, defenses are considered destroyed when they
influences the type of fire support required (mobile are no longer usable without major reconstruc-
fire support systems, such as combat aircraft, will be tion. A point target is considered destroyed
more in demand) and the kind of logistics support when there is a 90 percent probability that it has
needed (fuel and ammunition). suffered serious damage. An area target is con-
Artillery support is planned and coordinated by the sidered destroyed when it is highly probable (90
chief of rocket troops and artillery (CRTA) assigned to percent) that no less than 50 percent of the
the staff of the supported maneuver element at each target's subelements or no less than 50 percent
level of command. (At regimental level, the artillery of the target area has suffered serious damage.
staff officer is called the chief of artillery.) The CRTA is Suppression. A suppressed target has
not the commander of the organic field artillery unit. suffered sufficient damage to lose its combat
Air support normally is planned by the aviation com- effectiveness temporarily or to restrict its ability
mander and his staff atfrontandarmylevel and coordi- to maneuver or effect command and control. An
nated by air representatives at lower levels of com- area target is considered to be suppressed when
mand (in some cases down to maneuver battalion) it is highly probable (90 percent) that no less
who function as forward air controllers. than 25 to 30 percent of the target's sub-
elements, or 25 to 30 percent of the target's
area, has suffered serious damage.
FIRE SUPERIORITY Harassment. Harassment fire is conducted
Fire superiority is a firepower advantage over the sporadically to prevent troop movement in the
enemy in the course of a given battle or operation. Fire open and to lower the morale of the enemy.
superiority is a unit's ability to execute its own fire mis-
sions successfully while suppressing substantive
counterfire by the enemy. The Soviets believe that fire PHASES OF FIRE SUPPORT
superiority is relatively assured for the side'that opens Offensive fire support is divided into four phases: fire
fire first; achieves surprise; renders highly accurate, support for a force's movement forward, fire prepara-
effective fire; masses fires effectively either through tion, fires in support of the attack, and fire
maneuver by fire or maneuver of the fire support accompaniment.
means. To achieve and maintain fire superiority, a Fire support for a force's movement forward
Soviet unit maintains continuous fire on the fire sup- consists of long-range fires designed to protect a force
port means of the enemy, especially his artillery. moving from an assembly area to the line of departure.
FM 100-2-1

Firepreparationfor the attack or counterattack is ing in the depth of the enemy's defenses. Fire
the combat support rendered by rocket forces, accompaniment includes artillery, rocket, and air
artillery, and combat aircraft before the attack by strikes against troops and weapon systems opposing
maneuver elements. Fires for the preparation are pre- the attacker's advance as well as against enemy
planned and may be delivered simultaneously or reserves deep in the rear. During this phase, previously
sequentially. In the offense, the preparation immedi- established fire superiority must be maintained. Fire
ately precedes an attack. It also could be used before strikes must destroy nuclear delivery systems, enemy
the introduction of second echelon or reserve forces. aircraft remaining on the ground, artillery units, com-
In the defense, it is used before the execution of a mand and control centers, antitank weapon systems,
counterattack The preparation is intended to destroy and enemy troops. Fires must keep the enemy from
and to suppress enemyweapon systems, command and using his reserves for counterattacks and must support
control elements, and troops in the tactical and the commitment of the attacker's second echelon
immediate operational depth of the enemy's defenses. forces to insure a high rate of speed.
The Soviets strive to achieve fire superiority early in Rocket, artillery, and combat aviation units coordi-
order to deny any real opposition by the enemy. nate mutually supporting fires with each other and
Fire preparation consists of artillery and air prepara- with the supported maneuver unit. The fire
tion and includes fires from rocket forces, artillery accompaniment phase begins with the end of the fire
(including mortars), combat aircraft, and sometimes support phase and continues until the supported
tanks and other direct fire weapons. Targets for the maneuver forces have accomplished their missions.
preparation phase are allocated (depending on the The Soviets consider fire support (artillery and air)
target's type, dimensions, degree of fortification, the most decisive element in modern combat. They
mobility, and depth in the enemy's defenses) to rocket stress the need to integrate all means of fire support
forces, artillery, or aviation. closely and to execute a well-coordinated fire support
The length and organization of the preparation will plan throughout the depth of the enemy's defenses.
depend on the nature of the enemy's defenses, the type
and density of fire support means being used for the
preparation, the role of nuclear strikes in the attack FIRE SUPPORT ZONES
plan, and the nature of the ground attack. It could last The Soviets distinguish between close and long-
up to 50 minutes or longer or it could be repeated range fire support zones. The close fire support zone
against well-fortified, deeply echeloned defenses. extends as far as the range of the attacker's direct fire
The preparation consists of intense artillery and air weapons-approximately 3 kilometers into the
strikes against nuclear delivery systems, artillery and enemy's defenses. Domination of the close fire support
mortar batteries, antitank weapons, enemy battle is important to ensure the destruction of
strongpoints, and command and control centers. forward defending troops and their supporting
Firesin supportof the attack are rendered by rocket weapons.
and artillery forces and combat aircraft during the The depth of the long-range fire support zone has
maneuver unit's assault on enemy defenses. Fire sup- increased greatly since World' War II because of
port involves the destruction or suppression of enemy improved mobility of modern weapon systems and
troops and weapon systems forward of friendly attack- combat fighting vehicles. In the tactical context (divi-
ing troops. This phase is designed to prevent the sion and lower), the long-range fire support zone
enemy from restoring fire, command and control, and extends out to the limit of a division's subsequent (or
observation systems that were disrupted during the final) objective. Domination of the long-range fire sup-
preparation phase. Fires continue to suppress enemy port battle is very important today because of critical
troop activity and weapon systems and to maintain fire targets such as nuclear weapons and delivery systems
superiority, thereby facilitating the forward move- deep in the enemy's rear area.
ment of assaulting tank and motorized rifle troops.
The fire in support of the attackphase is planned and
organized at army, division, and sometimes regimental AIR SUPPORT
level. It starts immediately after the end of the fire Air support is extremely important for maintaining a
preparation and continues at least until Soviet attack- high rate of advance. Maneuver units could outrun
ing units have overrun enemy front-line battalions. their artillery support. Artillery units could outrun
Fireaccompanimentis rendered by rocket, artillery, their logistic support. In any case, air support is needed
and combat aviation forces to maneuver forces attack- to cover and support the advance of maneuver units.
FM 100-2-1

In the past decade, the Soviets have tried to integrate replaced with newer models equipped with ATGMs
air support into the total fire support effort. Major field that have greater standoffrange. Newer attack helicop-
exercises feature joint air and ground operations. The ters can maneuver after missile launch. Assault heli-
quantity and quality of fire support means available to copter tactics are being more closely aligned with
the commander have been increased in recent years. ground maneuver unit tactics, while fixed-wing avia-
Helicopters have become increasingly important in tion is being reorganized to provide more flexible
execution of both the close and long-range fire sup- employment.
port battles and have begun noticeably to influence Third-generation high-performance aircraft with
Soviet thinking about the tactics of ground combat. improved avionics, ECM-ECCM equipment, and
Combat helicopters provide fire support to tank and increased combat radius and payload have replaced
motorized rifle units during both the offense and older models. The Soviet Union has in production or
defense. Helicopters are used also for reconnaissance development precision-guided munitions (PGM)
and heliborne operations, as observation platforms for similar to those deployed by US forces.
artillery forward observers and as mobile means of The deployment of a wide array of mobile and semi-
control and communications. mobile air defense missile and gun systems has given
The establishment of army aviation has given ground ground formations greater freedom of maneuver,
maneuver formations a vertical dimension. The heli- while simultaneously freeing aircraft from air defense
copter now provides combined arms and tank armies missions for ground support roles.
with a highly maneuverable, versatile platform for
reconnaissance, command and control, and fire sup-
port. General-purpose and attack helicopter units can TRENDS IN FIRE SUPPORT
move with armies and divisions at the high rates of Soviet fire support concepts are undergoing
advance they will seek to achieve in conducting com- considerable modification. The introduction of a
bined arms operations in depth. significant variety of modem equipment in a relatively
short time has raised command, control, and coordina-
tion problems. The need to improve interaction
FIRE SUPPORT ASSETS between supporting and supported units is constantly
Divisional and nondivisional artillery units are being emphasized, as officers are exhorted to learn the
expanded. Older, towed howitzers are being replaced tactics and the capabilities of the unitswhich comprise
by self-propelled versions. A 122-mm howitzer bat- the combined arms team.
talion is being added to the tank regiment of the tank Present Soviet efforts are directed toward upgrading
and motorized rifle divisions. The addition of large- employment procedures and personnel proficiency to
caliber, self-propelled howitzers and long-range maximize the capabilities of new fire support assets.
multiple rocket launchers to the artillery available to The Soviet aim is to achieve ever greater rates of
army and front commanders greatly enhances their advance and deeper penetrations into the enemy's
ability to provide area and counterbattery fire support rear, while minimizing the enemy's capability to
to subordinate divisions as they maneuver at consider- release destructive power on attacking Soviet forces.
able depth in the enemy's rear. Soviet fire planning and execution are still
The increasing densities of artillery enable entire extremely centralized. While this could be an
battalions to fire missions that were previouslyfired by advantage in the preparation and during fires in sup-
individual batteries. Improvements in target acquisi- port of the attack, it could cause considerable difficulty
tion radar allow the Soviets to achieve greater surprise in the accompaniment phase.
and shorter, more intense fire preparations. Fire The command and control system for air support is
missions may be initiated without registration from even more centralized than that of the artillery. Com-
battalions and batteries. Artillery pieces may be laid munications are limited between air and ground com-
using shorter, emergency occupation procedures. manders, especially below division level. This is true
Soviet artillery battalions are beginning to receive even in attack helicopter units, where close coordi-
electronic field artillery computers. Automation of nation with ground units is critical. The Soviets
gunnery computations should help Soviet artillerymen recognize the limitations of their present command
to reduce their mission times and to deploy their firing and control system. They are trying to improve com-
batteries with more flexibility. munications equipment and coordination to enhance
The size of helicopter forces has been expanding at a the ground commander's influence over combat sup-
constant rate. Older combat helicopters are being port assets.


ARTILLERY ASSETS Organization for Combat

In the Soviet ground forces, the branch of rocket The command and organizational structure, which
troops and artillery is responsible for the following: insures flexibility in concentrating artillery fire, is
* Surface-to-surface guided missiles and free flight established by temporary, mission-oriented groupings.
rockets of fronts, armies, and divisions. Organizing artillery into army, divisional, and regi-
* Field artillery (multiple rocket launchers, field mental artillery groups provides maneuver com-
guns, howitzers, and mortars 120-mm and larger). manders continuous artillery support with the
* Antitank artillery (See Chapter 10). required degree of centralized control. Artillery
Motorized rifle units from division to battalion are groups usually consist of at least two battalions of
assigned their own organic field artillery element-an similar or mixed type units, to include field guns,
artillery regiment to a division, an artillery battalion to howitzers, and multiple rocket launchers. Command
a regiment, and a mortar battery to a battalion. The and control of the group is provided by a designated
same is true of the tank division except that the tank commander and staff, usually the commander and staff
battalion has no organic artillery or mortar unit. of the artillery regiment or battalion which is the core
Both the motorized rifle and tank divisions are of the group.
assigned their own surface-to-surface missile (SSM)
battalion. Army Artillery Group (AAG). Front artillery
The combined arms army, and sometimes the tank assets normally are allocated among committed
army, has an artillery regiment or brigade with at least armies, proportionate to the importance of the
two long-range gun battalions and a howitzer bat- assigned tasks. When an army commander receives
talion. The army usually has an SSM brigade and may front artillery assets, he decides, based on the concept
also have an MRL regiment. of the operation, what artillery will be suballocated to
A front would contain an artillery division made up his first echelon divisions. The division executing the
of several long-range gun and howitzer regi- major army mission gets the most artillery. The remain-
ments/brigades, an MRL brigade, and at least one ing artillery battalions may be formed into an AAG
antitank regiment/brigade. It may be supported by a which will then assume the primary counterbattery
heavy artillery brigade in addition to the artillery divi- mission for the army.
sion, A front would also have at least one SSM brigade.
(For more information on fire support organization, Division Artillery Group (DAG). The division
see FM 100-2-3). commander also allocates artillery, resulting in the
formation of a DAG and several regimental artillery
groups. The division may organize more than one DAG
Allocation Procedures if necessary due to span of control, number of
The following are general procedures for the alloca- battalions available, and assigned missions. The DAG
tion of artillery by a higher headquarters to a maneuver may vary in size from two to four battalions and is
force for the execution of a given operation: employed in general support of the division. The DAG
* Front and army normally allocate artillery bat- assists the army with the counterbattery mission or, if
talions in accordance with the importance of the capable, may perform this mission itself.
missions to be carried out by armies and divisions.
.e A division will allocate some of its organic and Regimental Artillery Group (RAG). Regimental
attached artillery to leading regiments. artillery groups are formed from organic and attached
* A regiment may attach some artillery to leading artillery and reinforcing nondivisional artillery bat-
maneuver battalions. talions assigned to provide support to the first echelon
* Motorized rifle regiments in a division second maneuver regiments. Normally RAGs are composed of
echelon normally retain their organic artillery. two to four artillery battalions and temporarily are
* Second echelon divisional artillery may be assigned the numerical designation of the supported
temporarily attached to first echelon divisions. regiment. The RAG destroys targets that hinder the
* Second echelon divisions, regiments, and bat- advance of the attacking forces. An example of the
talions are not normally reinforced with additional formation of artillery groups is illustrated on the
artillery until they are committed. following page.
FM 100-2-1

Formation of Artillery Groups (Example) - C, _------ -- ---







1. The artillery division has 20 battalions of field guns, howitzers, and multiple rocket launchers.
2. In addition to its organic artillery division, the front may be allocated a heavy artillery brigade from the
Reserve of the Supreme High Command, but these assets are not likely to be suballocated to armies.
3. A first echelon division may receive artillery battalions from a second echelon division.
4. Antitank and SSM battalions are not normally included in artillery groups.
5. The regimental howitzer battalion is part of the RAG.
6. An artillery battalion or battery assigned to a RAG may be further allocated to amotorized rifle ortank

FM 100-2-1


Artillery groups established for the defense are At regiment and above, an artillery officer who plans
normally maintained intact until the offense is and coordinates artillery fires serves on the staff of
resumed Groups formed to support the offense are maneuver unit commanders. He is called the chief of
generally dissolved or reorganized when the sup- artillery at regiment and the chief rocket troops and
ported maneuver units enter the exploitation phase of artillery (CRTA) at division and above. The artillery
an operation. DAGs and RAGs are formed or dissolved staff officer (chief of artillery or CRTA) is responsible
in accordance with plans and orders of higher head- for controlling the artillery units organic or attached to
quarters. Through his CRTA, the division commander his maneuver unit, although he does not command
may assign specific artillery units to provide support to them. The commander of the organic artillery unit
designated maneuver units. In a fluid situation, such as assigned to the maneuver unit is directly responsible
in exploitation or pursuit, artillery support will be pro- for the performance of his artillery unit.
vided to lead maneuver units. Through the division At maneuver battalion level, the commander of an
command and control net, the division commander attached artillery subunit acts as the fire support
retains the ability to form new groups as the situation coordinator to the battalion commander.
may require. When groups are dissolved, army and The division CRTA controls the division artillery
front assets may revert to centralized control to pro- regiment (including the MRL battalion), the SSM
vide long-range reinforcement for divisional and regi- battalion, the AT battalion, and the ATGM batteries,
mental artillery. mortar batteries, and howitzer battalions of the
An artillery battalion or battery assigned to a RAG subordinate maneuver regiments, though he does not
could be directed to support a maneuver battalion. command any of these units. The CRTA also has the
The release from centralized control wouldpermit the authority to inspect the artillery units in the division
artillery subunit to carry out missions in support of the and to hold them accountable for their technical
specific maneuver battalion while remaining subordi- proficiency.
nate to the RAG. Motorized rifle battalions also have a In combat, the artillery groups form the basic
significant organic capability in the mortar battery. Its framework for the control of artillery fires in the divi-
deployment is coordinated with that of other artillery sion. Decisions about the employment of artillery are
weapons, as authorized by the maneuver battalion made on a centralized basis. The division commander,
commander. with recommendations from his CRTA, exercises

The Role of the CRTA in the Motorized Rifle Division



-- m m -- - -m mmmm mmm



m m - m - m- m m - - - I



NOTE: The CRTA coordinates the fires of all the above units through the command battery, though he
commands none of the units. The mortar batteries must satisfy the requirements of their battalion
commanders, and the howitzer battalions and ATGM batteries must satisfy the requirements of their
regimental commanders.

FM 100-2-1

control over all organic and allocated artillery within the tasks of the motorized rifle regiment and its RAG.
the division. The following procedures are observed: The senior commander who allocates the artillery unit
* The division commander specifies the artillery can change the mission of attached or supporting
organization for combat and the tasks to be carried out artillery during the course of combat. The period of
by the artillery. attachment normally will cover the time needed to
* The CRTA conducts and coordinates fire planning. accomplish a particular tactical mission. Such a period
* Artillery commanders normally are collocated could vary from a matter of hours to several days.
with the commanders of the supported maneuver
* The DAG commanders report directly to the Coordination and Communications
CRTA. The artillery commander normally is collocated
* RAG commanders report directly to the supported with the commander of the maneuver unit he is sup-
maneuver regimental commander while retaining porting and thereby effects coordination face-to-face.
cntact with the CRTA. Provision also is made for the artillery commander to
*o Artillery battery and battalion commanders keep enter the VHF (FM) command net of the supported
their supported maneuver commanders informed and unit. Except when subunits have been detached for
report to their controlling artillery headquarters. special missions, artillery commanders retain rigid
The division CRTA coordinates the artillery fires of control of the deployment ofweapons and observation
the division through the command battery, though he posts to provide continuous artillery support in all
commands none of the units. The mortar batteries phases of combat.
must satisfy the requirements of their battalion com- Radio and wire are the primary means of com-
manders, and the artillery battalions and ATGM bat- munication, although Soviet artillery units also use
teries must satisfy the requirements of their regimental messengers as well as visual and sound devices. By
commanders. regulation, communications are established from
senior to subordinate and from supporting unit to
supported unit.
Command Relationships
An attachedartillery battalion or battery is under the
operational control of the maneuver force com- Radio Communications of a
mander. A supporting artillery battalion or battery Division's Artillery Regiment
remains under the control of its parent artillery
organization, with its fires delegated to a particular
maneuver force.
An artillery battalion attached to a maneuver bat-
talion takes its orders from the maneuver battalion
commander. Its batteries can be assigned to support
motorized rifle/tank companies, but the battalion still
can be called on to support the maneuver regiment
and to receive missions from the RAG commander.
A supporting battalion remains subordinate to the
parent artillery unit or the RAG; but, if it has no regi-
mental missions, it will fire missions for the motorized
rifle or tank battalion that it is tasked to support. Its bat-
teries, however, cannot be tasked separately to support
subordinate companies of the maneuver unit, even
though supporting and supported commanders may
be collocated. Thus, a supporting artillery battalion
will carry out missions for the maneuver battalion only
if the RAG commander permits or specifically directs
the action.
The fire plan of an attachedbattalion will reflect the
specific support of the battalion to which it is attached,
but the fire plan. of a supportingbattalion will reflect
FM 100-2-1

Soviet artillery units may send radio traffic over sup- (VHF) vehicular radio, which is installed in every
ported unit command nets, artillery command nets, howitzer. At higher levels of command, longer-range
and fire direction nets. Artillery group command nets HF (AM) radios such as the R130 are also used for
(e.g., RAG or DAG) have battalion commanders as artillery command communications.
substations. Battalion nets have battery commanders The Soviets use wire communications whenever
and the battalion command observation post as substa- subunits remain in one location for any length of
tions. Batteries have their own nets but can switch to time-normally in assembly areas of defensive
the battalion fire direction net if required. The bat- positions. To provide redundancy, artillery wire nets
talion command observation post has direct radio normally parallel the wire nets of the supported units.
communications with battery firing positions on the Soviet subunits also use pyrotechnics, especially in
fire direction net. coordinating prearranged artillery fire with the
Towed artillery units rely primarily on the R107 advance of attacking maneuver forces. Signal flags are
(VHF) portable radio for internal radio communica- used to acknowledge fire commands at the gun posi-
tions, whereas self-propelled units use the R123 tion, for convoy control, and for signaling between the

Towed Artillery Battalion Radio Nets I I II II - II _ -







NOTE: Inself-propelled battalions equipped with the new artillery command and reconnaissance vehicles
(ACRV), the R123 vehicular VHF radio is used in place of the R107. Besides replacing R107s shown here,
the R123 is also found ineach self-propelled howitzer. The LOP normally communicates with the BN COP,
-but may also communicate with the BTRY COP.

FM 100-2-1

firing point and the truck park (prime movers and finding equipment, topographic survey equipment,
ammunition carriers) in a battery firing position. artillery fire direction computer equipment (manual
and electronic), and communications equipment. The
topographic survey equipment provides constant posi-
FIRE CONTROL tion data on the vehicle's location. Communication
AND TARGET INTELLIGENCE equipment consists of crew intercom, two radio sets,
two telephones, and two reels of wire. The latter are
Observation Posts used to establish communications with supplemental
Artillery fire is controlled through a network of observation posts that are established by the crew of
observation posts. The network of artillery observation the mobile observation posts, using instruments
posts established in a division zone may include carried in the vehicle.
command observation, forward observation, mobile In the offense, the mobile observationpost advances
observation, lateral observation, dummy observation, closely behind lead motorized rifle or tank subunits,
close-in, and alternate observation posts. The number conducting reconnaissance and fire missions on the
and type of observation posts depend on the mission. move or during short halts. During a march, the mobile
During high-speed offensive operations, personnel in observation post moves as part of an artillery recon-
these posts often operate out of armored command naissance party in the lead security element of the sup-
and reconnaissance vehicles. The most important ported motorized rifle or tank unit. In the defense,
types of observation posts are discussed below. mobile observation posts may form part of the combat
The command observationpost (COP) serves as outposts in the forward security zone.
both an observation post and command post. The COP A lateral observationpost (LOP) is established in
is located where the artillery commander can observe addition to the COP or FOP so that the same sector of
his zone or sector of fire, study the target area and the battlefield can be observed from two of the
terrain, follow the progress of friendly forces, and observation posts. At battalion level and higher
direct or coordinate artillery fires. In most cases it will artillery echelons, the LOP is used for .accurately
be collocated with the forward command posts of the locating targets, reference points, and registration
supported maneuver unit commander. points and for adjusting fire. LOPs also are used to
The COP normally is manned by the artillery study enemy defenses, dispositions, and activity. The
commander, and fire direction, communications, and LOP also is used for observing high-burst or center-of-
reconnaissance personnel. Although both battalions impact registrations. The controlling observation post
and batteries have fire direction centers (FDCs) at the is usually the COP, and the LOP is situated on the flank
firing position, fire direction computations normally in a position that will give good observation of the
are accomplished at the COP and the FDC artillery unit's zone of responsibility.
simultaneously. A dummy observationpost may be used to confuse
Artillery commanders may establish one or more the enemy as to the actual position of the COP. After
forward observationposts (FOP) to supplement the the COP is established and functioning, scout
COP. At the battery and battalion levels, the FOPs are observers construct a dummy COP. They use materials
manned by the headquarters platoon leader, a scout, found on the battlefield to simulate radio antennas and
and a radioman. A FOP may be located with the sup- other equipment. Although field training regulations
ported unit commander or with one of the advance call for a dummy observation post, it normally is used
maneuver elements. FOPs are employed especially in only in static situations.
the offense, during combat in the depth of the enemy's
defenses. When the COP can no longer cover its zone
of responsibility-or if the commander displaces, Reconnaissance and Target Acquisition
causing the COP to displace-the FOP assures con- Observation posts frequently combine several target
tinuous close fire support for the maneuver forces. intelligence capabilities (i.e., flash ranging and visual
A mobile observation post (MOP) may function observation). Lone ground observers can be located in
either as a COP or FOP. The Soviets have a number of trees or buildings. Air observers may use light observa-
artillery command and reconnaissance vehicles tion helicopters such as the Mi-2/HOPLITE.
(ACRV) that are used as MOPs. The crew of the MOP Artillery reconnaissance patrols are used primarily
consists of five men: commander, driver/mechanic, to locate enemy artillery units, especially those capable
RTO/gunner, navigator, and rangefinder operator. of nuclear strikes. The patrols may set up observation
The vehicle contains day/night observation and range- posts behind enemy lines to adjust the artillery fire.

FM 100-2-1

They also report on enemy organization and to motorized rifle and tank regiments in a conven-
deployment. Intelligence data from other observation tional, nuclear, or chemical environment. The SP
posts and stations are transmitted to the COP, which howitzers are equipped with filtration and overpres-
apparently relays them to the firing position. sure NBC protection systems. Ammunition resupply
A target acquisition battery is organic to the Soviet for self-propelled howitzers is likely to be limited as
division artillery regiment. This battery and the divi- long as they have to depend on wheeled trucks for
sion reconnaissance battalion provide the bulk of the logistic support.
division's artillery intelligence. The battery subunits The self-propelled howitzers are complemented by
include the following: a new, tracked, artillery command and reconnaissance
* Radar section. (This has a mortar- and artillery- vehicle (ACRV). There are two of these ACRVs in each
locating capability.) battery, one for the battery command observation post
* Sound ranging platoon. (COP) and one for the battery fire direction center
* Surveillance radar section. (FDC). Two ACRVs are also assigned to the battalion
* Reconnaissance platoon. headquarters. One serves as the battalion COP and one
* Topographic survey platoon. as the battalion FDC. A surveillance variant of the BMP
* Meteorological survey section. is also in service with the artillery.
The sound ranging platoon is capable of operating a The Soviets use multiple rocket launchers(MRLs)
six-microphone sound ranging base that can locate to deliver strikes at decisive moments in a battle. The
targets up to a range of 20 kilometers in a zone 6 to 8 MRL is an excellent area coverage weapon. The area
kilometers wide. covered by a salvo and its rapid ripple fire make it an
excellent delivery system for chemical agents.
Each motorized rifle battalion has an organic 120-
EQUIPMENT mm mortar battery. These indirect fire support
Soviet field artillery is subdivided into field guns, weapons are also used to assist the regiment in accom-
howvitzers, mortars, and multiple rocket launchers. plishing its mission. For more information on fire sup-
Until the mid-1970s, Soviet field artillery was all towed, port equipment, see FM 100-2-3.
with the exception of multiple rocket launchers,
which are mostly truck-mounted. Towed guns are
lightweight, low-cost, and simple. Their disadvantages ARTILLERY AMMUNITION
are lack of cross-country mobility and absence of gun Conventional shells consist of HE, fragmentation,
crew protection against nuclear, chemical, or conven- and HE fragmentation types. The HE shells are used for
tional counterbattery strikes. The Soviets continue to destroying fortifications. Fragmentation shells are
bring self-propelled weapons into their field artillery intended mainly for attacking personnel and equip-
inventory. ment in the open. The HE fragmentation shells are
Fieldguns are used by the Soviets for- fitted with fuzes for either instantaneous or delayed
* Killing troops in the open. detonation and are the standard projectiles for all
* Destroying buildings above ground level. howitzers and guns. A time-delay fuze is also fitted for
* Engaging of rapidly moving targets. airburst effects.
* Bombarding of distant targets such as artillery bat- The impact area of fragments from one HE
teries, headquarters, and columns moving in the rear fragmentation shell are-
areas. * 122mm: 800 square meters.
* Destroying tactical nuclear delivery means. * 152mm: 950 square meters.
Howitzers are used by the Soviets for hitting indirect The sizes of craters caused by one HE shell can vary
targets and for destroying or neutralizing enemy defen- according to the surface struck, its condition, and also
sive positions. Tank and motorized rifle divisions have the type of fuze. These are average dimensions for
three howitzer battalions in their artillery regiment. point detonation fuzes striking flat ground:
Each motorized rifle regiment and some tank regi- * 122mm: 1.5 meters at widest point and 0.5 meter
ments have one battalion of howitzers. This enables maximum depth.
the regimental commander to engage targets of oppor- * 152mm: 1.5 meters at widest point and 1.5 meters
tunity quickly. maximum depth.
Tracked, self-propelled (SP) howitzers have been Field artillery pieces (152-mm and smaller) have an
introduced in recent years, considerably enhancing antitank capability, and about 10 percent of their
the Soviet artillery's ability to give continuous support combat load may be armor-defeating ammunition.

FM 100-2-1

Smoke is used to obscure the view from observation Combat Formation of an Artillery Battalion - I II
posts and fire positions, especially antitank positions.
Smoke shells are most likely to be used when the wind
is blowing towards or across the enemy position.
Smoke is also used for marking enemy positions, and
deceiving the enemy by concealing the size and direc-
tion of an attack. (For more information on the use of
smoke, see Chapter 13, FM 100-2-1).
Illuminating shells are used widely by the Soviets in AXIS OF ADVANCE
night combat to observe enemy movements, to acquire I N
targets for all arms, and to provide reference points.
The standard illuminating shell lights up an area of up 4=
to 1.5-km radius for 30 seconds. One gun firing two to

three rounds per minute is required to provide -\

\ \
continuous illumination for every 750 to 1,000 meters o'
of frontage. Other types of ammunition include- \ \\
* Nuclear. \ \\
* HE rocket-assisted projectiles. BTRY \ \
* Chemical. \% \
* Incendiary.
* Canister. 1ST BTRY
1-10 2D
* Propaganda. /
Planning for ammunition consumption is based on
the unit offire, which is a fixed number of rounds per ( TEMPORARY
weapon or weapon system that is used for planning and , I FIRE POSITION
accounting purposes. It is not an authorized allowance OP COP 20 BTRY/
or daily expenditure rate. For example, the unit of fire PRIMARY
for the 122-mm howitzer is 80 rounds. For each opera- S / FIRING
tion, planning factors for ammunition expenditure are POSITION
established in units of fire. Ammunition distribution
and stockage also are measured in units of fire.

Battalion firing positions normally are laid out in the / \ \
form of a large triangle with three batteries dispersed
to each of the three points of the triangle. Normally, I
batteries in the battalion area emplace 500 to 1500 MTR RIFL BN COP \ cm
meters apart. The triangle will form a forward or
reverse wedge pointed toward or away from the
\ .
enemy (see illustration at right).
The battery firing position is selected by the artillery
battalion commander. Certain factors must be con- S \ i I I .
sidered in the selection of a firing position. Wooded
areas, foothills, and thickets are the most desirable
areas for concealed gun positions. If a concealed posi-
- .. '\ - ALTERNATE
tion is desired in the vicinity of a heavily populated FIRING POSITION
area, gun positions are located in orchards or garden
plots. The entrance to and exit from all gun positions is
concealed as much as possible.
For an unconcealed or open gun position, sufficient NOTE: Within the battalion firing position, batteries are normally separated from each other by 500 to
range must be allowed for the battery to accomplish a 1500 meters.

FM 100-2-1

direct fire mission at the weapon's maximum effective simplifies the computation procedures required for
direct fire range. The fire position also should afford battery fire missions because it reduces the need for
cover for the gun crews and their ammunition and individual piece corrections. The Soviets continue to
should have interlocking fires with adjacent weapons. favor this disposition, despite its obvious vulnerability
Unconcealed firing positions could be found near to enemy counterbattery fire and air attacks, because
fences, thickets, and roads, or in ditches. they rely largely on manual computation in their fire
Within the batteries themselves, gun positions direction procedures. The reduced computation and
normally are laid out at right angles to the axis of mission time enables batteries to complete missions
advance. The battery is deployed in a straight line with and relocate more quickly, thereby reducing their
equal intervals between guns. This pattern of deploy- exposure to enemy fire and compensating somewhat
ment reduces emplacement/displacement time. It also for the vulnerability inherent in the formation.

Artillery Battery Firing Position I I I I -


(RPK OR RPG-7) 15-
20 M


(Most likely tank
\ approach)
Up to O
300 M
I'Ar1 I j. GUN PIT - m
IV',/ . WITH

20-40 MI

(immediate ammo)


Minimum 400 M -[ " 200-500 M

NOTE: Slit trenches and crew shelters may be dug beside gun pits and command posts. Positions may be
linked by communication trenches. (NOT TO SCALE)
FM 100-2-1

Soviet artillery does use formations that vary the Main and alternate gun positions are selected for a
interval between guns and disperse the guns in depth battery in the offense, but only a main one is used in a
with the aid of electronic field artillery computers. The meeting engagement. Main, temporary, alternate, and
Chief of Soviet Rocket Troops and Artillery, Marshal dummy sites are used in defense.
Peredel'skiy, indicated in December 1980 that such In the offense, minimal work is done on gun
computers were available and being deployed. Even positions. When time allows, positions will be
with computers, the Soviets may retain the linear developed progressively and camouflage nets may be
formation for the sake of speed and simplicity. They are used to conceal gun pits.
trying to reduce the time that a firing battery remains Battery firing positions are organized by platoons
in position after the first round is fired to as little as 4 (two firing platoons of three guns each). Each platoon
minutes. Soviet artillerymen are now required to has a platoon headquarters and three gun sections. The
render effective fire from emergency positions platoon leader of the first firing platoon is the senior
without firing a registration. Under these conditions, firing position officer and performs most of the func-
the linear deployment retains its utility and attractive- tions carried out by the battery executive officer in a
ness to Soviet artillery commanders. US Army howitzer battery. (The battery commander is
Possible variants in battery firing position deploy- normally at the COP with the supported unit
ment are illustrated' below. commander.)

Deployment of a Howitzer Battery (Variants)

I---- Up to 110 M ---- H I"--Up to 100 M --- =

I -

i I S/ ®
/®. i
/P \
Up to
200 M
30 M Up 0 40-50 M o
40 M
_--, --- 40-50 M
I ,

40 M -=--- -- - _I
.- 30-50 M -' I .-- Up to 110 M--

Senior Battery Officer (Commander of the Firing Position) Platoon Leader of Second Platoon
® Base Piece

FM 100-2-1

Rocket launchers are used to place heavy fire on Some protection from fire and observation may be
important targets at decisive moments in an engage- gained by siting the battery behind high cover.
ment. They also may be used for roving gun missions During meeting engagements, the battery may
and counterbombardment. Rocket launcher batteries deploy in line on one or both sides of a road. The head-
move forward 1 to 5 kilometers from their camou- quarters and ammunition trucks may remain drawn up
flaged positions to occupy fire areas, usually loaded at the side of the road.
and accompanied by one or more ammunition trucks Normally bullhorns are used on the battery fire
per launcher. To evade counterbattery fire, rocket position. A land line is laid when time permits. The bat-
launchers normally move to either a camouflaged posi- tery COP issues fire control orders by radio or field
tion or to a new fire area immediatelyafter firing. Since telephone. Deployment of a BM-21 rocket launcher
they move often, rocket launchers are seldom dug in. battery is illustrated below.

Deployment of a BM-21 Rocket Launcher Battery

1. After firing, rocket launchers return to camou-
flaged position or move to a new fire area.
2. Indefense each BM-21 might beemplaced ina
firing position, and land line would be laid.
15-50 M
3. Launchers may be fired remotely from crew
I shelter trenches using 60-meter cable.

300 M

I I, r
I'I ii I
-5 KM

II'l I
j1I ,1
-4 -- I

\ r

I-10-300 M-.]

A Battery COP 0 CP of Battery Senior Officer

E Multiple Rocket Launcher

.1 Shelter Trenches
for Launcher Crews
E:z Ammunition
(upto 3 per Trucks

FM 100-2-1

The following Soviet definitions are furnished as another. In the offense, maneuver by fire is used in the
necessary background: depth of the enemy's defenses to suppress enemy
Rapid fire is a method of conducting artillery fire strongpoints, to repulse counterattacks, and to cover
whereby the weapon is fired as quickly as possible by fire the attacking unit's flanks. In the defense,
while not exceeding its maximum rate of fire and not maneuver by fire is used to destroy the enemy as he
sacrificing accuracy. When the command for rapid fire deploys to attack; repulse the attack; support a coun-
is given, each individual weapons crew begins to fire terattack; protect gaps in the defenses, including gaps
independently when ready. created by enemy nuclear strikes; seal off enemypene-
Systematic fire is a method of artillery fire where trations; render assistance to neighboring units; and
every round (salvo) is fired on command at a set support a unit that is defending all directions. Wide use
interval. This method is used for firing on observed of maneuver by fire helps compensate the defending
targets during registration (individual rounds) or unit for having fewer weapons and enables the
when the unit is firing a destruction mission (salvos). defending commander to achieve fire superiority at
Systematic fire is used against unobserved targets in the critical time in decisive sectors. Plans for maneuver
the course of fire assaults* of a given duration, during by fire are normally a part of the defensive fire plan. In
controlling fire*, and during harassing fire, usually such planning, artillery units are assigned several sup-
alternating with rapid fire. The tempo of systematic fire plementary sectors of fire covering areas along the sup-
against observed targets depends on the capabilities ported unit's flanks and the gaps between units.
and equipment of the observer, whereas the tempo of In conducting fire with direct aiming (often
fire against an unobserved target is determined by the confused with "direct fire"), the gunner of the artillery
amount of time allotted for the expenditure of a given weapon can aim the piece using direct visual contact
amount of ammunition. The tempo of systematic fire is with the target. An artillery gunner who can sight
constant during a fire assault but may be intermittent directly on the target will usually engage it with direct
for harassing fire. Systematic fire may be fired by a fire, but because of the target's range or characteristics
single weapon, a firing platoon, or an entire battery. On of the weapon, he may engage it with indirect fire. A
receiving the mission, the firing unit also receives a mortar crew, for example, could sight directly on a
rate of fire and an ammunition expenditure target but would have to engage it with indirect fire.
requirement. The Soviets write at great length about direct aiming
Counterbatteryfire is the use of artillery to accom- advantages like the reduction in mission time and a
plish the suppression and/or destruction of enemy drastic reduction in ammunition expenditure. Direct
artillery batteries located in screened firing positions. fire is recommended against targets at relatively short
(The Soviets no longer officially use this term but state ranges (under 1,200 meters). Indirect fire with direct
that the concept it represents is still valid and neces- aiming is considered feasible at ranges out to 3
sary.) Combat with enemy artillery is one of the Soviet kilometers and perhaps farther, depending on the
Army artillery's most important missions because it weapon sighting equipment and visibility.
enables Soviet ground forces to achieve fire superiority
on the battlefield. However, combat with enemy
artillery today requires more than counterbattery fire. Offensive Fire
It now requires the destruction of the enemy com- The offensive fire assault is characterized by
mand and control centers as well as his artillery and surprise and a high density of fire on the target. Several
requires the cooperation of the other combat arms and batteries or battalions fire against an individual target.
combat aviation. Fire assaults constitute the major subelements of an
Maneuver byp re is the shifting of a unit's fire from artillery preparation for an attack. All (or at least the
one target (or group of targets) to another without larger part of) the artillery of a division or army carry
changing firing positions. This is a combined arms con- out these assaults simultaneously on a large group of
cept in which the artilleryplays a critical role. It is used targets. Targets may be destroyed or suppressed byfire
to mass fires on the most important enemy objectives assaults (see TargetDamage Criteria,Chapter8). The
and troop formations to destroy them in a short period number of fire assaults is determined by the nature of
of time or to redistribute fires to destroy several targets the target to be destroyed (dug-in, covered, armored,
simultaneously. Maneuver by fire also may be used to etc.), the number of rounds allocated for its sup-
shift the main combat effort from one direction to pression/destruction and the time required for
available artillery to expend the rounds allocated. The
*These methods of fire are identified and discussed insubsequent paragraphs. duration of the fire assault is determined bythe tactical
FM 100-2-1

situation and by the maximum rate of fire of the Afire concentrationis conducted simultaneously by
weapons firing the mission. Soviet experience in several batteries or battalions against a common target.
World War II indicates that a fire assault would not The fire concentration is used against enemy troop
exceed 15 to 20 minutes. A fire assault of a given concentrations, strongpoints, artillery batteries,
duration typically begins with rapid fire (2 to 4 rounds command and control centers, and other targets. The
per minute per weapon) and continues with dimensions of the fire concentration target area
systematic fire at a rate that will use the allocated depend on the fire mission and the firepower of the
ammunition in the time allotted for the mission. When artillery subunit firing the mission.
a target must be destroyed in the shortest possible Batteries and battalions conduct fire concentration
time, the duration of the assault is not fixed and the with all weapons firing at once on the center of the
mission is conducted at rapid fire until the allocated target area. Depending on factors such as target
ammunition is expended. A fire assault also is fired at disposition and whether the target is "observed," all'
the rapid rate of fire when a target is to be destroyed weapons may fire on the same elevation and deflection
rather than suppressed and when a moving target or a settings or some units may be assigned different
target deployed in the open is to be suppressed. In the settings.
time intervals between fire assaults, controlling fire Massed fire is conducted against an important
(see below) may be used against the target. enemy objective by all or most of a given formation's
Controllingfire is directed at an enemy target in the artillery to destroy it in the shortest possible period of
intervals between fire assaults on the same target. Con- time. It consists of one large fire concentration or
trolling fire is intended to deny the enemy the freedom several large fire concentrations fired simultaneously.
to conduct combat activity or to allow escape before Before massed fire is conducted, target areas are desig-
the next fire assault. It normally is used when the inter- nated and each area is assigned a codename. If the
val between fire assaults exceeds 15 minutes. Usuallyit dimensions of the target area do not exceed 800 by
is conducted by a single battery firing at a systematic 800 meters, all participating artillery groups (regi-
rate offire, rapid fire, or a combination of the two, and ments, battalions) will fire simultaneously on the
will expend one tenth to one fifth of the rounds allo- center of the target area, applying the principles used
cated for the engagement. for fire concentrations. If the target area is larger than
800 by 800 meters, it is subdivided into numbered
targets or target sectors. (Areas have codenames;
Safety Distances for Fire Support targets and sectors have numbers.) The targets/target
sectors are then distributed among the assigned
The minimum safety distance between artillery groups or subunits for destruction or suppres-
artillery and aircraft fire and friendly troops sion with fire concentrations. To the extent possible,
varies depending on the weapon caliber, type of the mission will be fired simultaneously.
projectile, and the range from which the Successivefire concentrationsare used in the attack
projectiles are being fired. when the supported maneuver unit has begun the final
GUNS AND HOWITZERS: assault on enemy defensive positions. Successive fire
* Firing without registration over troops concentrations are used when the successive sup-
in the open at pression/destruction of specific targets or target
* Range less than 10 KM 500 M groupings (such as strongpoints, weapon systems, and
* Range greater than 10 KM 700 M command/control points deployed to the front and on
the flanks of attacking troops) is required. Although
inarmored vehicles or fortifications at successive fire concentrations are used primarily to
in armored vehicles or fortifications at
* Range less than 10 KM 300 M support the offense, it can be used to support counter-
attacks in the defense. Successive fire concentrations
* Firing after registration over may be single or double. In conducting a single
successive fire concentration, the artillery unit fires
" Troops inthe open 400 M initially on the single line of targets closest to the
* Troops in armored vehicles or
fortifications 200 M attacking troops and shifts the single fire concen-
tration to progressively deeper lines or groups of
MULTIPLE ROCKET LAUNCHERS: 1000 M enemy targets as the supported attacking troops
advance. A double successive fire concentration
AIR STRIKES: 200-700 M requires the simultaneous fire of two artillery groups.
FM 100-2-1

The first group fires on the line of targets closest to the initiated on a signal from the combined arms division
supported attacking troops, while the second group commander when the ground assault begins. The
fires on the next line of targets. The first artillery group supported maneuver regiment or battalion
then shifts its fires from the first line of concentration commander gives a signal to shift fire to each subse-
to the second line, while the second group shifts its quent line of concentration . The successive fire
fires from the second line to the third-and so forth. In concentration was used widely with the rolling
a double successive fire concentration every line of barrage (see below) during World War II and it is still
targets, except the first, is attacked twice. given prominence today.
The first line of concentration covers the defender's The rollingbarragenormally is used in the support
forward positions. Subsequent lines of concentration phase of the attack. It is a continuous curtain of fire
are 300 to 1,000 meters apart through the depth of the which is successively shifted from one phase line to
enemy's defenses. On each successive fire concen- another in front of attack troops. Like the successive
tration, concentration sectors are assigned to every fire concentration, it may be fired against a single line
battalion or battery firing the mission. The duration of or against two lines simultaneously, and fire is shifted
fire on the intial line of concentration (line of targets) in a similar way. The rolling barrage differs from the
is determined by the amount of time required to get successive fire concentration in that it is planned
the attacking troops from the line of attack (where assuming a uniform distribution of targets throughout
normally they deploy into attack formation, and the target area. It then shifts fire between phase lines
preparatory fires become supporting fires) to the that are uniformly spaced. (The successive fire
artillery fire troop safety line. The duration of fire on concentration focuses on targets that require concen-
subsequent lines of concentration is determined by trated fires, and the intervals between lines of concen-
the distance between the lines of concentration and is tration are determined by target location.) Fire

Successive Fire Concentrations I

Sector LYNX Sector TIGER Sector LION Safety Line Line of Attack
(5 min +) (5 min +) (5 min +) (fire shifted (Fire support
from LION phase
r/ commences)

4 y
The fire preparation
! I phase must begin
efore attackers are
10II 3
I I in
range of enemy
A TGMs; i.e., 3-4 KM
H Up to 2 KM --- *
9 I I
0.2- I -5 K
"---0.3-1 KM --- I-0.3-1 KM - -- 0.2- 3-5 KM
0.4 KM
-- 400-1000 M --.
1. Average target size (200 x 300 meters) would be engaged by up to one artillery battalion.
2. Targets would have already been engaged by preparatory fire. (NOT TO SCALE)

FM 100-2-1

concentrations may be superimposed on the rolling defense, standing barrier fire normally is planned well
barrage to insure the destruction of the most in advance. It is fired in front of and to the flanks of the
important targets. defensive positions, and is observed from a ground
In the rolling barrage, concentrations are planned observation point. All the artillery of a formation
on phase lines every 400 to 800 meters, depending on except rocket artillery is used to fire the standing
the density of targets in the target area. Intermediate barrier fire. Each battalion or battery is assigned a fire
phase lines are planned for every 100 to 200 meters. concentration sector on the line of fire concentration.
Artillery units will fire on each phase line for at least 5 The width of each unit's sector is computed based on
minutes at a rate of 4 to 6 rounds per 100 meters per 50 meters of coverage per gun (howitzer) or mortar.
minute and on each intermediate line for 1 or 2 Every standing barrier fire line of concentration is
minutes at the same rate. assigned a code name.
A rolling barrage is divided into battalion and battery The line of concentration for the standing barrier
sectors. Standard sector widths are as shown below. fire must be no closer than 300 to 500 meters from
friendly troops for troop safety and so gunners can fire
antitank weapons in direct fire at enemy tanks and
Sector Width for Rolling Barrage APCs as they come through the barrier fires. Standing
barrier fires begin the moment enemy tanks and infan-
TYPE METERS try approach the planned line of fire concentration and
OF Per Per Per continue at rapid fire until the infantry is cut off from
WEAPON Weapon Battery Battalion the tanks and halt their attack. If the infantry goes
Field guns 20-25 150 450 around the fire concentration line, the fires will be
shifted to the new approach.
Howitzers 35 200 600-650 Standing barrier fire is used with other artillery fire
and fire from tanks and infantry. For example, if dis-
The division or regimental commander gives the mounted infantry should lie down to escape the effects
order to shift from a phase line, but fire is shifted auto- of the standing barrier fire, a fire concentration would
matically from intermediate lines in accordance with a be fired to destroy them. Tanks penetrating the
timed firing program. Phase lines are given the names barriers would be destroyed with direct fire.
of animals of prey (lion, tiger, etc.). Rolling barrierfire is placed on several successive
The depth of a rolling barrage depends on the nature lines of concentration, each closer to Soviet defending
of the enemy's defenses, the attack plan, and the avail- troops. Lines of concentration for the rolling barrier
ability of artillery and ammunition. Normally, the fire are planned for terrain that can be observed from a
rolling barrage is conducted through the depth of the ground observation point. Distances between lines of
defenses of the enemy's first echelon battalions. The fire concentration will be 400 to 600 meters and more.
rolling barrage requires a great deal of ammunition and The final line of concentration closest to friendly
is not, therefore, the most likely method of offensive troops will be 300 to 400 meters from forward defen-
fire. It may be used, however, to support a penetration sive positions. Every battalion or battery participating
of well-prepared defensive positions and assault river in the fire mission will be assigned a sector of fire on
crossings. each of the lines of fire concentration. The width of
each sector is based on the assignment of 25 meters of
coverage for each gun (howitzer) or mortar. The
Defensive Fire entire barrier fire concentration area is given a general
Barrierfire is a continuous curtain of defensive fire codename, and each individual line of concentration is
across the approach of attacking tanks and infantry. It is given a number in sequence beginning with the one
used normally in the defense but also may be employed farthest from the defensive positions. Lines of concen-
in offensive operations against enemy counterattacks. tration might be coded "Lion-1," "Lion-2," or "Shark-
Barrier fire is used with fire concentrations, massed 1," "Shark-2," etc. The rolling barrier fire begins the
fires, and directly aimed fire from tanks and guns. moment the lead tanks or APCs approach the initial
Barrier fire is further divided into standing barrier fire, line of fire concentration. The fire continues on that
fired on one line of concentration, and rolling barrier line until the bulk of the advancing force has moved
fire on successive lines of concentration. out of the zone where rounds are impacting. Then the
Standing barrierfie is fire placed on a single line of fire is shifted to the next line of concentration. Fires
concentration to disrupt an enemy attack. In the continue to be shifted until surviving enemy APCs or

FM 100-2-1

tanks have passed through the last zone of fire 25 kilometers per hour, each subunit being headed by
concentration. its commander. An artillery battalion occupies some
1.5 to 2.5 kilometers of road space, depending on
vehicle spacing.
FIELD ARTILLERY CONDUCT OF FIRE The ability of field artillery to keep up with
Massed artillery, "hub-to-hub" weapons, unsophisti- maneuver units may be reduced if numerous small
cated fire direction procedures, and weak logistical attacks require the artillery to deploy. There also are
support may have been the case during World War II, problems in moving artillerypieces across water obsta-
but are not descriptive of Soviet artillery today. cles. Normally the Soviets use amphibians or ferries for
There are numerous historical examples in which towed artillery, or wait for a bridge to be constructed
Soviet artillery massed against German forces, before the bulk of field artillery crosses. When mine-
particularly in the latter stages of World War II. The fields are encountered, artillery often is delayed until
Soviets have studied these battles, observed conflicts combat engineers have cleared a lane.
since that time (especially the 1973 Arab-Israeli These problems have diminished considerably for
conflict), conducted exhaustive weapon effects units equipped with self-propelled howitzers. First of
studies, and incorporated these findings into all, the 122-mm SP howitzer is amphibious. Both the
professional papers. 152-mm and 122-mm self-propelled howitzers have
Soviet offensive doctrine calls for intense artillery excellent mobility on the road and cross-country. The
preparations of short duration, if possible, that require 152-mm SP howitzer requires only one fifth of the time
a certain number of rounds by type to be delivered to required by an equivalent towed battery to move from
achieve destruction. Defensive doctrine calls for one position to another and be ready to fire.
prolonged, high volumes of artillery fire in depth to Because of the increased mobility of self-propelled
break up and to destroy the enemy's attack. To achieve artillery, the Soviets probably move artillery batteries,
surprise and to limit susceptibility to enemy fires, platoons, and individual guns within an assigned firing
Soviet artillery tries to be short but violent in the position area to escape enemy counterbattery fire.
Rffense and more prolonged in the defense. The fires Within his assigned area, the battery commander
are massive and are concentrated on critical points in selects a primary position and one or more temporary
the offense or are dispersed throughout the sector firing positions each 300 to 400 meters away from the
in the defense. This requires not only a numerical previous position. The battery/platoon fires a mission
superiority in artillery pieces but also rapid fire, long of 3 to 4 minutes duration and then moves to an alter-
range, and mobility. Above all, the Soviets stress the nate position. This technique might be used during a
importance of thoroughly integrated fire- and long offensive preparation or in the defense when
maneuver plans. forward or rearward movement is limited. Such
While the regimental artillery battalion provides the frequent and disjointed movement within a firing
flexibility and responsiveness required in a fluid battery would force fire direction personnel to make
combat situation, numerous longer-range tube numerous time-consuming corrections in elevation
artillery and multiple rocket launcher battalions from and deflection for each firing platoon and possibly for
division, army, and front provide massive reinforcing each weapon. Therefore, it is probable that this is prac-
fires when required. In this way, the Soviets seek to ticed only in artillery units with electronic fire direc-
achieve the densities of fire that they believe necessary tion computers. Average reaction times from receipt of
without sacrificing the mobility that artillery units fire orders to first rounds on the ground (on
need to survive and to perform their mission on the preplanned targets) are as indicated below:
modern battlefield.
In the offensive, an artillery battalion leapfrogs its
batteries forward individually in bounds of some 3 to 4 Reaction Times for First Rounds of Fire
kilometers. By day, it takes a towed howitzer battery
Mortar battery ............ 1 to 1.5 minutes
about 30 minutes to move, from receipt of the move-
Artillery battalion ........... 2 to 3 minutes
ment order until it is ready to fire the first round in its
MRL battery ................. 4 minutes
new position. At night, the same move requires about
RAG ... .............. ....... 4 minutes
40 minutes.
DAG .......... ................ 5 minutes
An artillery march column has 25- to 30-meter
intervals between vehicles and 100 meters between The standard reaction time for shifting fire is 2
batteries. A column normally moves at a speed of 15 to minutes.
FM 100-2-1

Time Frames for Repositioning of Artillery I I-




122-mm HOW 0-30 BTRY 5-7 9 3 (20 kph) 3.5 10-12 18

BN 11 14 3 3.5 23 32

152-mm HOW, D-1 BTRY 5-7 9 3 3.5 10-15 15-20

BN 11 14 3 3.5 23 32

152-mm HOW, 020 BTRY 10 13 3 3.5 12 18

BN 11 14 3 3.5 23 32

130-mm GUN, M46 BTRY 10 13 3 3.5 12 18

BN 11 14 3 3.5 23 32

122-mm MRL, BM21 BTRY 3-5 6.5 3 3.5 10-12 18

BN 7 9 3 3.5 23 32



Officially, self-propelled artillery (152-mm SP, 122-mm SP) can emplace or displace in5 minutes; but
self-propelled batteries may require as little as one fifth of the time required by equivalent towed artillery
to relocate and be ready to fire.

Battery firing procedures of Soviet tube artillery In executing his duties as battery commander/for-
differ significantly from those of the US Army. The most ward observer/computer, he is assisted by several
significant difference is probably the location of the individuals assigned to the reconnaissance section and
battery commander. During the conduct of fire, the headquarters platoon. These include the headquarters
Soviet battery commander (a captain or senior lieu- platoon commander, the commander of the reconnais-
tentant) is placed in a command observation post sance section, an observer, a range finder, a computer,
several kilometers to the front of the firing battery. and a radio telephone operator.
From this observation point, he conducts target Operations in the firing position also have many
observation, assists in the computation of fire missions, dissimilarities when comparing Soviet doctrine with
maintains contact with the ground forces his battery that of the US Army. The Soviet's method of fire
supports, and controls the actions of his firing battery. direction, gun-supervision, and gun positioning are all
The Soviets place great emphasis on the experience of different. The only similarity between a US and Soviet
the senior officer and his ability to make the most tacti- firing battery is probably that each has six guns,
cally sound decisions about target identification, although the Soviet battery is broken down into two
acquisition, and engagement. platoons containing three guns each. The battery FDC

FM 100-2-1

is manned by the batterysenior officer (platoon leader battalion firing position. He will be assisted by fire
of the first firing platoon), assisted by fire direction direction computer personnel. Depending on the type
computation and communications personnel, and has of mission, battalion dispersion, and time available,
direct radio communications with the battery COP, battalion fire direction personnel may compute the
the battalion COP, and the battalion FDC. The battery gunnery problem for the entire battalion or run check
senior officer relays firing data to the guns. computations while each battery computes the data
The command "to battle" is acted on with the same for its own guns. In any case, all computers should
sense of urgency in the Soviet firing battery as the begin computation silultaneously because all battalion
command "fire mission" in the US firing battery, but stations hear the battalion commander transmit the
the individual steps to bring fire on the target vary fire mission.
significantly. As stated, the battery commander in the The order to commence fire comes from the
COP decides what targets of opportunity will be taken battalion commander. The battalion commander can
under fire. He also decides how to attack the targets require each battery commander to adjust fire for his
relayed to him by the maneuver forces he is own unit by weapon or by battery salvos. Battery and
supporting. battalion COPs may be supplemented by forward
In the Soviet system, there are four individuals ground or air observation posts. Lone ground
responsible for the preparation of firing data: observers can be located in trees or in the garrets of
* The battery commander. buildings. Teams are sometimes located forward in
* The commander of the headquarters platoon. armored vehicles. Air observers may use light observa-
* The computer located in the COP. tion helicopters to see deeper into the enemy's area.
* The computer located in the firing position. (Air observation is considered essential to the success
The computer positioned in the firing position is of counterbattery missions.) Forward and air
usually the first to solve the gunnery problem. The observers transmit target data to the COP where
senior officer in the firing battery immediately relays computation is accomplished.
the data to the gun platoons. The data is then set on the As electronic computers are introduced into Soviet
six guns in preparation to fire. field artillery battalions, the procedures can be
The battery commander and the computer in the expected, to change to accommodate and exploit the
COP also are required to solve the gunneryproblem to new capability. It is unlikely that there will be more
provide a separate check on the data supplied by the than one computer available to each battalion, so fire
firing battery computer. If, for some reason, the data mission computation and fire control are likely to be
from the COP is ready before that ofthe firing position, centralized at battalion. Battery fire direction
the battery commander transmits his data directly to personnel will probably receive from battalion fully
the firing position. If a discrepancy exists between the computed data that is ready to be passed to the guns.
firing data supplied by the two computers, the battery They may run check computations manually on a
commander decides which is the more accurate. This routine or random basis.
system demands that the battery commander be as Centralizing electronic computation at battalion
proficient in computing the various gunneryproblems level is consistent with establishing the battalion
as the computers. The Sovietsfeel thatthe independent (rather than the battery) as the basic firing unit in
computation of each gunnery problem by four Soviet artillery. It may be some time before these
different computers significantlyreduces the chances changes in organization, doctrine, and equipment are
for a large error.This technique also insures that a fire seen in all the field artillery units of the Soviet Army.
direction system is readily available in the event that However, the forward areas will probablybe equipped
either the fire direction capability at the COP or the first.
firing position is destroyed or suppressed.
When the battalion controls the conduct of fire,
the observation, computation, and firing are con- FIRE PLANNING
ducted similarly to battery level. The battalion com- The fire planning process includes target
mander, normally a major, is located at the battalion acquisition, organization for combat, assignment of
COP near the command post of the supported conm- tactical missions, determination of ammunition
mander. Target acquisition and fire direction com- requirements, and formulation of a detailed fire plan.
putation personnel assist him in acquiring targets, The fire plan is coordinated and approved at the
computing fire missions, and adjusting fire. Normally highest level of participating units and includes input
the battalion chief of staff will be in charge of the from subordinate units.

FM 100-2-1

Planners are guided by the following principles and The basis for division artillery fire planning is estab-
targeting priorities when developing offensive fire lished by the division commander, his CRTA, and other
Illustrative Fire Plan, 122-mm Howitzer Battalion - I - IL-O - FP-- _- ---
plans: staff members during the reconnaissance of the area of
anticipated action. During such reconnaissance, the
organization for combat and means of coordination METHOD OF FIRE AND TARGETS SIGNALS 1ST 2ND 3RD
Principles of Fire Planning may be refined. The artillery representative receives BATTERY BATTERY BATTERY
information from the maneuver commander that
forms the basis for determining the following: H-40 FIRE ASSAULT: Artillery and mortar bat- i * Green flares TGT 60 TGT 18 TGT 40
PLANNING GUIDANCE to teries, CPs, radar, platoon strongpoint of * SNOWSTORM 2121 90 rds 140 rds 80 rds
* Targets to be fired on by artillery.
* Nuclear fires, chemical strikes, conventional H-27 companies in first echelon of defense. (Radio/telephones) Sector 11 Sector 11 Sector 11
* Priority of each target.
fires, and tactical air support are included in a * Sequence in which targets will be attacked. (113 Min) I' 120 rds 90 rds 120 rds
single, coordinated plan. * Time for attack of each target.
* Fire preparations precede major offensive An overriding factor in fire planning is the H-27 FIRE ASSAULT: Platoon strongpoints * Star flares Sector 16 Sector 16 Sector 16
actions, whether or not nuclear weapons are to availability of nuclear fires. Doctrine emphasizes the to within deeper defensive positions; * HAIL 3131 120 rds 165 rds 165 rds
be used. planning of nuclear fire with conventional fire support H-17 destruction of targets by direct fire; (Radio/telephones) TGT 69
* All artillery may be deployed for firing with in all types of military operations. (10 Min) controlling fires against artillery and 14 rds
direct aiming at regimental and lower levels. Extracts from an example fire plan for a 122-mm mortar batteries.
* Fires of tanks and antitank artillery may be howitzer battalion supporting the attack of a
used during preparations. motorized rifle battalion are given at the right. The H-17 FIRE ASSAULT: Platoon strongpoints * Yellow flares Sector 11 Sector 11 Sector 11
attack is made from positions in contact. This extract to H-5 within companies of first echelon of * RAIN 4141 120 rds 150 rds 150 rds
TARGET PRIORITIES has two major parts: preparatory fires and fires in (12 Min) defense. (Radio/telephones)
FOR OFFENSIVE FIRES support of the attack. Fires in support of the attack
* Nuclear-capable artillery and missiles and consist of preplanned, successive fire concentrations H-7 OVERLAPPING FIRE: 1st Battery fires * Yellow flares Target 60
their control systems. delivered on three lines to a depth of 2.5 kilometers. to at artillery and mortar batteries. (Over- . RAIN 4141 60 rds
The first line, WOLF, includes the platoon strongpoints H-1 TOTAL ROUNDS
* Command posts, observation posts, laps H-Hour transition from preparatory (Radio/telephones)
on the forward edge of the defense, designated as to supporting fires.) PREPARATORY 1584
communications, and radar stations.
* Enemy defensive strongpoints, especially sector 11. When the assaulting forces reach a safety
ATGM positions. line about 200 meters from line WOLF, fires are lifted
* Conventional artillery and air defense units. on call to the deeper line, RAT.
Besides successive fire concentrations, other on-call TIME METHOD OF FIRE AND TARGETS SIGNALS 1ST
* Reserves and service support units. BATTERY BATTERY BATTERY
fires are preplanned; these consist of fire concen-
trations, fire at individual targets, and barrier fires. H-Hr SUCCESSIVE FIRE CONCENTRATIONS * Line 1 WOLF Overlapping 45 rds 45 rds
The fires of all artillery units within a division are Barrier fires are planned where enemy counterattacks to " Green flares Fires, as
incorporated into the army or front fire plan. The are expected. They may coincide with the lines of suc- H-5 On Line 1 WOLF * HURRICANE 5555 above
artillery unit commander at each level coordinates the cessive fire concentrations. (Sector 11) (Radio/telephones)
fires under his control. He determines new require- The firing during the preparation phase is based on a
ments and missions and, with the chief of rocket troops time schedule shown in the fire plan and supple- ON 5 minute fires on Line 2 RAT * Line 2 RAT 50 rds 50 rds 50 rds
and artillery or chief of artillery (depending on the mented with radio, telephone, and visual signals. In CALL (Sector 21) " Star flares
level), makes suggestions to the combined arms com- addition, signals are prescribed to call for fire, to cease " THUNDER 6666
mander concerning adjustments in tactical organiza- fire, and to shift fire.
tion as the situation develops.
The division CRTA submits requests and
ON 5 minute fires on Line 3 TIGER " Line 3 TIGER 32 rds 32 rds 32 rds
recommendations for the employment of nuclear fires. Signals for Fire CALL (Sector 16) * Yellow flares
The fires of nuclear weapons organic to the division
* TYPHOON 7777
and/or nuclear strikes allocated to the division from RADIO/
army level are integrated with air strikes, conventional ACTION VISUAL TELEPHONE (Radio/telephones)
fires, and the overall scheme of maneuver.
Prearranged signals are used for requesting and Call for Fire FIRE CONCENTRATIONS Readiness to open fire on Targets 20, 25, 32, 33, 69, 71
Green Flares Hurricane ON
shifting nonnuclear fire to successive lines and objec- Individual targets Targets A and B
tives. The CRTA indicates exactly where to establish BARRAGE FIRES
Cease Fire Red Flares Stop
artillery observation posts, trying to place them
together with the observation posts of the maneuver TOTAL ROUNDS, PLANNED
NOTE: These fire concentrations and barrage fires are contingency plans and will beused depending oon SUPPORTING 1152
commanders. Shift Fire Three-Star Flare Storm
the progress of the attack.

Foldin 9-19
FM 100-2-1

Fire planning for an attack is a deliberate and precise readyto deploy into attack formation. The fire prepara-
process. Weapons and ammunition, target charac- tion might consist of several artillery strikes, the first
teristics, and the plan of the maneuver commander are and last of which normally would be the most power-
considered in terms of the target damage criteria. (See ful. The final strike concentrates on the enemy's
Target Damage Criteria,Chapter8). If ammunition is artillery and mortar batteries, and overlaps the end of
limited, the maneuver commander may have to accept the fire preparation phase and the start of the fire sup-
a lower level of damage. port phase. Suppression of enemy defenses may take
In the example fire plan, 1.9 units of fire are place simultaneously throughout the entire tactical
expended to attack the prepared enemy defense. Thus, and immediate operational depth of the enemy's
the total expenditure of rounds is expected to be 18 defenses. (Tactical and immediate operational depth
guns x 1.9 units of fire x 80 rounds per unit offire, or are determined by the enemy's division and corps rear
2,736 rounds. boundaries, respectively).
Of the total, 1.1 units of fire are planned for prepara- The fire preparation phase might last up'to 50
tory fires (1,584 rounds) and 0.8 units of fire (1,152 minutes. Because of the mobility of potential targets
rounds) for the rest of the day. and the threat of enemy counterbatteryfire, the Soviets
If time is available, it is normal to lay out on the are striving to increase the intensity and to reduce the
ground the ammunition planned for use during the length of the preparation phase-possibly to less than
preparation. The ammunition loaded on battery and 15 minutes. They are adding more artillery to the force
battalion (possibly regimental) transport is kept for structure, and are giving special emphasis to the addi-
later use. tion of multiple rocket launcher units.
Artillery support of the attack starts when the
supported maneuver units begin their assault and con-
FIELD ARTILLERY IN THE OFFENSE tinues with their advance through the enemy's defen-
There are four phases of artillery support for an sive positions. The artillery fires on the enemy immedi-
attack against a defending enemy: fire support for a ately in front of and on the flanks of attacking Soviet
force's movement forward, preparation, support of the troops, shifting fires in sequential bands progressively
attack, and accompaniment. deeper into the enemy's defensive positions (normally
Firesupportfor a force's movementforward is used successive fire concentrations or rolling barrage).
to cover a unit's movement to contact with the enemy. Artillery support tries to keep the fire superiority
It may be used to cover a first echelon's movement attained during the artillery preparation phase and sup-
from an assembly area to an attack position, or to cover presses enemy defenses during the attack.
a follow-on force's movement forward before actual Artillery support fires must coincide with the
commitment to battle. advance of the supported maneuver unit. The length of
Artillery preparationfor an attack is the phase of time artillery fires on the initial barrage line or line of
artillery fire that precedes the tank and infantry assault targets is determined by the time required for the sup-
against the enemy. The artillery preparation is to sup- ported attacking troops to move from the line of attack
press and/or destroy a defending enemy with to a safety line. Fires are shifted from line to line on the
organized, thoroughly planned, massed fires so as to command of the maneuver unit commander.
deny him the opportunity to organize resistance. In the artillery accompanimentphase, artillery units
During the preparation phase, artillery fires are support maneuver units as they exploit their success in
directed against enemy troops, weapon systems, com- the rear of the enemy's defenses. The accompaniment
mand and control centers, supporting communication phase begins at the end of the support phase and con-
systems, and defensive structures. tinues until the attacking forces have accomplished
The duration and organization of the artillery their mission-this normally would refer to the divi-
preparation is determined by the overall attack plan, sion mission of the day. During the accompaniment
the nature ofthe enemy's defenses, the level of destruc- phase, artillery units displace with the units they sup-
tion required, the number and type of fire preparation port and fire on newly located targets or targets that
missions allocated to rocket troops and aviation, and have survived the preparation and support phases.
whether and in what quantity nuclear or chemical Priority of fires go to the enemy's tactical nuclear
weapons are employed. The length of the preparation weapons, artillery and mortars, and antitank weapons.
depends on the time required to achieve the planned Artillery operations in this phase coincide with the
level of destruction. In an attack from the march, the operations of the supported units and aviation support
preparation lasts until first echelon maneuver units are elements. During the accompaniment phase, artillery
Foldout for 9-19 9-20
FM 100-2-1

units provide fires to the maneuver units as they attack The fire and maneuver of artillery units during all
enemy defenses from the march, fight meeting phases are planned in the initial fire plan. The artillery
engagements, force water obstacles, commit the accompaniment part of the plan is then refined con-
second echelon or reserve to battle, or repulse an air- tinuously during the course of the attack. The artillery
borne assault. If the enemy counterattacks, the accompaniment is conducted in close cooperation
artillery, in conjunction with tanks and motorized rifle with aviation elements and other forces and systems
troops, fires on the counterattack force as it advances (e.g., tactical rockets) executing the fire accom-
and deploys for the attack. During pursuit, accompany- paniment phase.
ing artillery fires- on the withdrawing enemy and The Soviets plan to achieve certain density norms
destroys or. sippresses enemy units left behind to for artillery, depending on the tactical situation. In the
cover the withdrawal. penetration of well-prepared enemy defenses, for
In the accompaniment phase, artillery units fire example, high numbers of tubes per kilometer of
various types of missions, depending on the tactical frontage are desirable, even under nuclear-threatened
situation. If the attackers encounter an enemy strong- conditions. However, modern artillery and meth-
point in the depth of the enemy's defenses, the sup- ods of fire control will allow lower densities than
porting artillery attacks the target with a fire concen- those which were considered standard during World
tration or massed fires. For repulsing a counterattack, War II.
the artillery employs defensive fire tactics such as Some average guidelines for desired densities are-
standing barrier fire or rolling barrier fire. In sup- * Attack of a well-prepared defense, in the direction
porting a unit that must overcome an enemy occupy- of a main attack: 60 to 100 tubes per kilometer of
ing hasty defensive positions, force a water obstacle, or frontage.
commit its second echelon, the artillery might have to * Attack on a hasty defense in the direction of a main
conduct a short preparation (4 to 10 minutes) attack: 60 to 80. tubes per kilometer of frontage.
followed by supporting fires (successive fire concen- * Attack on a supporting axis: 40 tubes per kilometer
trations). The antitank reserve normally is used to of frontage.
repulse enemy counterattacks, to provide security for These densities include all calibers of guns,
the flanks of supported units, or to reinforce hasty howitzers, and mortars. Densities computed in
defensive positions assumed by the attackers in the number of tubes may increase by 50 to 75 percent
course of the attack. when multiple rocket launchers are included.
In this phase, the supporting artillery must conduct Based on the fire plan, artillery is deployed to
wide-ranging maneuvers in depth and across its front, provide preparatory fires and the initial fire support of
using both fire and movement, and be prepared to the attack. The figure below provides tactical deploy-
reorganize and reorient its fires (maneuver by fire) to ment guidelines for Soviet artillery.
reinforce maneuver units moving on the main direc- The prime mission of artillery in the meeting
tion of attack. (The main direction of attack might engagement is to gain and keep fire superiority over
change during the course of the attack). the enemy.

Tactical Deployment Norms I-


Between Weapons 16-60 M 20-40 M 15-50 M

Between Batteries 500-1500 M 1000-2000 M

(normally about
1000 M)

From the FEBA 500-1000 M 3-6 KM (DAG) 3-6 KM

1-4 KM (RAG)
FM 100-2-1

In the meeting engagement, artillery is used- The artillery organization for combat in the defense
* To neutralize enemyfire support means, especially is similar to that in the offense. Artillery groups are
nuclear-capable means. located so that they can execute their primary mission
* To impede maneuver and deployment of enemy and still be capable of massing fires in support of
forces. forward defense positions, particularly against armor.
* To cover the deployment and support the attack of Fire planning supports the defensive mission of the
friendly forces. force. The defensive plan provides for-
In anticipation of a meeting engagement, code * Destruction or neutralization of enemy nuclear
designation for fire requests on particular areas and and nonnuclear weapons. Counterpreparation and
terrain features are planned in detail; a chart of counterbattery fires are planned for this purpose.
selected reference points is distributed. Although * Neutralization of enemy command and control
basic fire planning is carried out by the CRTA, artillery facilities.
often receives orders and amendments to orders by * Neutralization of enemy march columns and troop
radio while on the move. Detailed fire planning is concentrations.
conducted by units initially engaging the enemy. As the * Interference with the deployment of the attacking
battle develops, and as additional artillery is deployed, enemy.
the fire plan is refined and enlarged to provide maxi- * Support of friendly units, to include forces in the
mum fire at critical points. Accompanying artillery is security zone.
positioned to facilitate prompt fires for each maneuver * Neutralization of the enemy in front of the forward
unit as it is committed. Reinforcing artillery displaces defenses.
at a greater distance to be in the best location to * Neutralization of enemy units that have penetrated
support the battles with maneuver by fire. the defenses through extensive use of on-call fires and
In apursuit,long-range artillery, moving forward by direct fire artillery.
bounds, delivers interdiction fire on crossroads and * Delivery of fire in support of counterattacks and
communication routes to slow the enemy's retreat and counteroffensives.
to disrupt the approach of his reserves. The more * Covering by fire the gaps and flanks in friendly
mobile artillery units available to the tactical com- sectors, engineer obstacles, and natural obstructions.
manders (self-propelled weapons, multiple rocket * Contamination of terrain and obstacles.
launchers, and mortars) normally are attached to * Firing of smoke rounds.
parallel pursuit units. Control of forward artillery is * Illumination.
decentralized to a great degree to meet the require- Artillery weapons are deployed in concealed and
ments of a fluid situation. Nuclear strikes may be dispersed positions to employ flanking, interlocking,
employed on the retreating enemy force. Tactical air and suppressive fires at very close ranges and with
support is increasingly important during the pursuit, great intensity. Each battery prepares primary, alter-
when the artillery does not have sufficient time to nate, and night-firing positions. Selected artillery units
emplace. will occupy temporary firing positions, located well
forward, to provide fire support to units in the security
FIELD ARTILLERY IN THE DEFENSE Roving batteries and guns are employed to confuse
Fires in the defense consist of fire strikes, by all the enemy as to the deployment and fire plans for
available delivery means, planned against the likely friendly artillery. The regimental chief of artilleryplans
approaches to the defense positions. Close coordina- in detail the deployment of a roving unit. The plans
tion is stressed between nuclear, chemical, and con- include positions, missions, method offire and number
ventional artillery and aircraft delivery means. Intelli- of rounds to be fired from each position, itinerary and
gence efforts concentrate on determining enemy duration of the mission. The roving unit may leave
formations and locating their nuclear delivery means. camouflaged decoys in a position to create the
As in the offense, "maneuver by fire" in the defense impression that it is still occupied.
means the shifting of concentrated fires. An essential
part of maneuver by fire is the ability to shift fires as the
enemy maneuvers. It is used to bring a high volume of FIRING NORMS
fire against the enemy's most important attack group- Firing norms are established for ammunition
ings, against targets in his rear, and for covering expenditure, the area coverage expected, the effect of
friendly flanks with fire. the target, and the density of fire over time. When

FM 100-2-1

establishing these norms, Soviet artillery planners * Type and caliber of weapon engaging the target. targets are unobserved and situated at a range of 10
consider several variables which are listed in the tables * Range to the target. kilometers or less from the artillery. The table is based
they publish for use in the field. * Whether the target is under direct observation on the assumption that the rounds are fired by bat-
The norms change as any one or more of the during the artillery attack. teries that have made deliberate (as opposed to emer-
variables change. These variables include- A general table of ammunition expenditure norms gency) occupation of their firing positions. This means
* Type of target (e.g., equipment or personnel, to which most subsequent tables refer is given below. that the batteries are laid based on survey data and that
deliberate or hasty defensive positions, hard- or soft- Time is not considered. These norms might apply to they are firing with meteorological data that is no more
skinned vehicles, point or area disposition, etc.). any of the methods of fire described. Note that the than 3 hours old.

Ammunition Expenditure Norms





J -V
-a C.
76 85 100 122 130 152 203 82 120 160 240 ?u L

1 (Missile) launcher Target 800 720 540 300 280 200 70 140 60 510 360 200
Battery (platoon) of armored Target 1000 900 720 450 360 270 120 450 220 120 560 400 240
2 self propelled artillery (mortars) suppression
Battery (platoon) of unarmored self-propelled or Target
3 dug-in towed artillery (mortars) 540 480 I 360 240 220 180 100 400 240 160 100 400 320 180
_ Battery (platoon) of towed Target
artillery inthe open 250 220 150 90 80 60 30 180 90 40 20 150 120 60

5 SAM battery Target 250 240 200 150 150 100 60 200 100
6 Signal and radar vans or radar Target 180
control point in the open 420 360 280 180 120 60 350 180 80 40 300 240 120
7 Dug-in troops and weapons in prepared Suppression of 1 hec-
defense strongpoint positions tare of target area 480 450 320 200 200 150 60 200 100 50 320 240 100
Dug-in troops and weapons, -tanks, infantry
Suppression of 1 hec-
8 fighting vehicles, and APCs in hastily pre- tare of target area 400 350 1 250 150 150 110 45 300 140 85 45 240 180 80
pared defensive positions, and assembly areas
9 Troops and weapons in assembly Suppression of 1 hec-
area in the open tare of target area 50 45 30 20 15 5 35 10 8 4 10 8 5

10 Command post in dug-out Suppression of 1 hec-

shelter or other overhead cover tare of target area 480 450 320 200 200 150 60 200 100 50 320 240 100
Command post inthe open Suppression of 1 hec-
11 (or mounted invehicle) tare of target area 120 100 80 50 50 40 15 25 20 10 30 20 15

12 ATGM, anti tank gun or other Target

12 individual target inthe open suppression 250 240 180 140 140 100 50 240 140 80 35

FM 100-2-1

Calculation of Fire Coverage -- I --- I I L - ~


A HECTARE IS 10,000 SQUARE METERS, = 10,000 M 2 = 2.47 acres

100 M

POINT TARGET - 90 percent probability that target is no longer combat effective.
AREA TARGET - High probability (at least 90 percent) that at least 50 percent of the elements comprising the target are no longer
combat effective and/or that at least 50 percent of the target area has been destroyed (rendered ineffective for combat).

AREA TARGET - High probability (at least 90 percent) that 25-30 percent of the elements comprising the target grouping are no
longer combat effective and/or that 25-30 percent of the target area has been destroyed.

At ranges of 10 kilometers or less, coverage is deter- Minimum Target Size -- I

mined using the table on page 9-23. To compute the
ammunition expenditure on unobserved targets SUPPRES-
located at distances greater than 10 kilometers, the SION BY: RANGE RANGE
Soviets use the following formula:
Up to 6 KM Over 6 KM
Battery of
Nd= N1O 122-mm
10 Howitzers 100 M x 150 M 100 M x 200 M
(1.5 hectares) (2 hectares)

Nd The number of rounds of ammuni- A target smaller than the minimum is attacked
tion expended per hectare of target with the same amount of ammunition required
area at a given distance beyond for the minimum size target. a,
10 kilometers.
Each weapon is assumed to be able to suppress an
D = The actual distance to be fired, area, given in hectares, the size of which depends on
rounded off to the nearest kilometer. the time allotted and the type of target. Examples A and
B, Target Area Suppressions (shown at right) illustrate
N10 = The number of rounds to be fired the area coverage of an unobserved platoon strong-
per hectare of target area per point given different mission times. The firing unit is a
norms established for the same 122-mm howitzer battalion.
weapon system at a distance of 10 In Example A, the range is 10 kilometers; in Example
kilometers or less. B, 15 kilometers. The Soviets will not always fire 100
percent of the suppression norm depending on the
Based on expenditure norms, the Soviets establish importance of the target or because of limitations on
minimum target dimensions for firing batteries. The time and/or ammunition. A unit might also fire less
minimum target size (example at right) varies with than 100 percent because the target is being engaged
range to target and weapon dispersion factors. by more than one artillery unit.

Foldout for 9-23 9-24

FM 100-2-1

Target Area Suppressions

TARGET: Hastily prepared strongpoint position (see target number 8, Ammunition Expenditures
Norms, page 9-23).
AMOUNT: 100% of norm = 150 rounds per hectare of target.


5 6.0 2.0 4.0 - 3.0

10 9.6 3.2 6.4 2.1 4.8 -

15 13.2 4.4 8.8 2.9 6.6 2.2

20 16.2 5.4 10.8 3.6 8.1 2.7

TARGET: Hastily prepared strongpoint position, (see target number 8, Ammunition Expenditure
Norms, page 9-23).
AMOUNT: 100% of norm = 225 rounds per hectare of target.
(Product of formula Nd = D N10 applied to expenditure norm of 150, or 1.5 x 150=225.




6.4 3.2

8.8 4.4


NOTE: A dash in place of a number indicates that the number of hectares covered was less than 2 for a
battery and less than 3 for a battalion.

FM 100-2-1

To achieve the optimum coverage in a battalion frontage of the battalion's target. As a result, each ofthe
concentration, the following guidelines apply: three batteries in the battalion superimposes its fire on
* Target Unobserved (Corrections not Possible). that of the other two.
Range setting: If the target is 100 meters deep or less, * Target Observed (Fire Adjusted). When the target
all tubes will fire on a single elevation setting. If the is observed and fire can be adjusted on the target, the
target is deeper than 100 meters, all tubes will be fired battalion target area normally will be subdivided into
on three different elevation settings with the interval three roughly equal target groupings. Two batteries
between settings equal to one third of the depth of the will be assigned target groups side by side across the
target. (See illustration below.) target's frontage, and the third battery will attack
Deflection settings: Each battery will fire on a single targets in the depth of the target area. (See illustration
deflection setting that insures coverage of the entire at right.)

Distribution of Rounds on an Unobserved Area Target

<--- TARGET DEPTH (d) -


* •U •

.4 .4 .4 - z
i li •
*I 0 0 z
OI 0

* 0 0 0WJ
. 1 .4 U_

* U U)

d • 1st Battery Burst
b+ b -
3 3 • 2d Battery Burst

RANGE SETTINGS . 3d Battery Burst

a Interval between deflection settings of the six guns in any one battery

b Basic Range Setting

d Depth of Target (greater than 100 meters)

FM 100-2-1

Range settings: Each battery will fire on a single into Soviet artillery manuals as "norms," although such
elevation setting if the depth of the target is 100 meters a change is now being called for by the Soviet Chief of
or less. If the depth of the target exceeds 100 meters, Rocket Troops and Artillery.
each battery will fire on three different range settings The Soviets now are striving to reduce drastically the
so that the interval between lines of concentration is time required for fire missions. Among the reasons
equal to one-third of the depth of the target. given, the most important are-
Deflection settings: If the target coverage per weapon * Target mobility. Targets on today's battlefield are
is 25 meters or less, each battery will fire all tubes on a normally armored, highly mobile, and can relocate
single deflection setting. If the target coverage (sheaf) within minutes from the time they come under fire.
per weapon is 25 meters to 50 meters, then the battery * Increased effectiveness offire. The same ammuni-
will fire on two different deflection settings. Mortar tion allocation is much more effective against a target
batteries will always fire on a single deflection setting. when the entire allocation is fired within a short
Target coverage per piece is obtained by dividing the period of time. This is especially true for the initial fire
target frontage by the number of weapons in the firing assault of a long fire preparation and for short, intense
battery. fire preparations.
Until recently, the time required for mission * Increased survivability. The Soviets assess that
accomplishment was not a major consideration in enemy target acquisition capabilities have improved
Soviet artillery planning except as a factor in coordina- considerably, allowing enemy artillery to acquire and
tion with supported maneuver units. Minimum time fire on Soviet artillery batteries within 4 minutes from
requirements may still not be officially incorporated the time the first Soviet round is fired.

Battery Target Grouping Assignments for an Observed Target -I - -





Platoon command post

3d Battery ) ATGM emplacement
2d Battery APC in defensive position }) Recoilless rifle

I 200 M
Antitank grenade launcher (NOT TO SCALE)
FM 100-2-1

As a result of this perception of the threat, Soviet The Soviets are introducing qualitative and
artillery planners try to reduce mission times to 4 quantitative changes in field artillery equipment and
minutes. This goal is especially important for the organizations, and revising their deployment doctrine.
accompaniment phase. However, in a large-scale The density of artillery fire support assets in combined
attack, the preparation and support phases often will arms formations has been greatly increased. The
be longer. When the enemy is defending and the introduction of improved munitions, self-propelled
Soviets have overwhelming fire superiority, they weapons, electronic fire direction computers, and
perceive their own vulnerability to enemy counterbat- improved target acquisition assets has enhanced the
tery fire to be greatly reduced. mobility and reaction time of artillery fire support.
When the rounds strike a target over a shorter Although the Soviets apparently continue to
period of time, the result is an increase in the density of compute combat power ratios on the density of
fire on the target. In Soviet artillery computations, artillery weapons, the current emphasis is on density of
density of fire is measured by the number of rounds fire rather than weapons. The artillery battalion has
striking a hectare of the target area in one minute. been designated as the basic tactical and fire unit.
Apparently, the Soviets have not yet formally estab- Missions that previously were fired by a single battery
lished minimum density "norms", but their publica- now are assigned to two or three battalions. Artillery
tions strongly suggest that 25 to 30 rounds per hectare units practice conducting fire missions without first
per minute is the minimum acceptable density against firing registration and by adjusting fires with ground
most types of targets. Densities might even be higher surveillance, counterbattery radars, and sound-ranging
for a moving target. equipment. Batteries are assigned two or three
The Soviets consider highly dense artillery fire to be alternate firing positions within a battalion firing
extremely effective in- position and are expected to reposition after one or
* Suppressing or destroying enemy defenses- two fire missions.
especially ATGM positions. The Soviets consider that these measures will insure
* Suppressing or destroying moving armored their artillery fire superiority by simultaneously
targets-since the effect is so intense and sudden that contributing to the battlefield survivability of Soviet
the target is unable to escape or take cover. artillery and the destruction of the enemy's artillery.
The Soviets are developing technical, operational, Achieving the desired mobility and firing norms will
and organizational solutions to the problems of depend, in part, on the wider fielding of automated
reducing mission times and increasing fire density, systems for intelligence analysis and firing data
such as those identified below. computation.

Solutions for Increasing Fire Effectiveness _ _~


* Increasing the rate of fire of newer * Firing for effect without registration.
generations of artillery weapons. * Using entire battalions to fire missions that
* Using improved rangefinders to reduce previously were fired by individual batteries.
adjustment time on the target and to eliminate
the need for registration for many types of ORGANIZATIONAL
missions. * Using more artillery to accomplish the same
* Using electronic computers to reduce mission mission. This is the reason for designating the
computation time. battalion as the basic firing unit.
* Providing organic artillery to all. maneuver
OPERATIONAL regiments. Tank regiments, formerly without
* Firing accurately from emergency occupied, organic artillery, now have up to a battalion of
positions. 122-mm howitzers.



The Soviets divide antitank weapons into two cate- mutually supporting antitank weapons sited in depth.
gories: general and special. During tactical moves, antitank elements are placed
General weapon systems include missiles, aircraft, throughout march columns.
tanks, and artillery. These systems are designed to
destroy a wide variety of battlefield targets, but maybe
employed successfully against tanks and other ORGANIZATION AND EQUIPMENT
armored vehicles. According to the Soviets, any Since neither front nor army has a fixed organiza-
artillery-type weapon (over 20 mm) should have an tional structure, the antitank units at these levels will
antiarmor capability. All conventional artillery up to also vary. Normally, the front would have at least one
152-mm caliber has good direct fire antitank capability antitank regiment assigned to its artillery division.
and carries some armor-defeating ammunition. The Frontand army antitank assets can be allocated to first
122-mm towed and SP howitzers and the 152-mm SP echelon divisions, be assigned to the army combined
howitzer with their 360 degree traverse are particu- arms reserve, or form the nucleus of an army antitank
larly effective in this role. Field artillery often is used reserve.
for direct fire. Antiaircraft guns could engage ground The motorized rifle division antitank battalion
targets if required. normally consists of an ATGM battery and two gun bat-
Special antitank weapon systems consist of antitank teries. A gun battery has two platoons and a fire control
guided missiles (ATGMs), antitank guns, grenade section. Whenever possible, the battalion is reinforced
launchers, and recoilless guns. These weapons are by engineer units who assist in construction of antitank
designed specifically to destroy tanks and their crews obstacles. There are no antitank guns in Soviet tank
by direct fire. The Soviets consider ATGMs to be very regiments or at Soviet tank division level. The only
effective antitank weapons, but limited by minimum ATGMs are in the tank division's motorized rifle regi-
ranges, low rate of fire, and visibility requirements. ment. All motorized rifle regiments have an ATGM
Soviet antitank forces therefore have been structured battery.
with a mix of ATGMs and direct fire weapons (guns An ATGM battery consists of three platoons. Each
and grenade launchers). The direct fire weapons pro- platoon has three BRDM-2s mounting six AT-
vide quick-response fires at medium, short, and point- 3/SAGGER or five AT-5/SPANDREL ATGMs. In addi-
blank ranges, on broken ground, and under favorable tion, platoon and battery commanders have BRDM-2
visibility conditions. scout cars which mount 14.5-mm machine guns and
The Soviets state that in a nonnuclear environment, carry target illumination equipment for night combat.
direct fire from antitank guns, ATGMs, and tanks is the The 14.5-mm machine guns on the command BRDMs
principal and most reliable means of destroying tanks. are for engaging enemy infantry and soft-skinned
However, if nuclear weapons are employed, they will vehicles.
constitute the principal antitank fire support means. Each BRDM-2 SAGGER launch vehicle carries six
The capabilities of nuclear weapons, combined with missiles ready for launching and eight in reserve. Each
the variety of delivery systems, allow for the destruc- SPANDREL launch vehicle carries five ready-to-fire
tion of whole tank units at practically all depths of the missiles and an estimated ten reserve missiles. Addi-
battlefield. tional missiles are carried by three trucks.
The Soviets believe that the high density of armored The antitank platoon of a BTR-equipped motorized
vehicles and improved techniques for their employ- rifle battalion consists of three squads. One is
ment on the battlefield demand particularly careful equipped with two 73-mm recoilless guns SPG-9. The
and complete integration of general and special anti- other two each have two manpack ATGM consoles
tank weapon systems available at every level into the (AT-3 or AT-4). Each squad is transported in a BTR.
antitank fire support plan. The plan is developed in
detail and coordinated at the highest level. Special
emphasis is placed on careful terrain analysis to TACTICAL EMPLOYMENT
identify high-speed armor approaches and on the Antitank units can be employed as a special antitank
organization of surveillance and earlywarning systems. reserve, as an element of a combined arms reserve, or
Flanks and likely armor approaches are covered by they may be integrated into a combined arms
FM 100-2-1

formation itself (usually in the defense). The most fre- observation posts, normally collocated with one ofthe
quent type of tactical employment is' as a special fire positions. The battery reconnaissance section
antitank reserve. deploys as a forward observation post to give warning
Regimental, divisional, and sometimes army antitank of approaching enemy tanks. Antitank minefields may
reserves are formed both in attack and defense. They be laid by a mobile obstacle detachment 1.5 to 2
may consist of guns and guided missiles and generally kilometers in front of antitank fire positions on the
will include an engineer mobile obstacle detachment main tank approaches.
(MOD) to lay hasty minefields. Tanks also may be An ATGM battery can deploy with distances of 30 to
included if the role of the antitank reserve is to deploy 300 meters between vehicles and up to 1,500 meters
rapidly to meet tank threats. When additional assets between platoons; however, normal frontages are 500
(flamethrowers, tanks, combat engineers) are meters per platoon and 1,500 meters per battery. Bat-
attached to the antitank reserve, these elements tery and platoon commanders control the fire of the
normally are subordinate to the antitank artillery launchers from observation points that usually are
commander. sited slightly to the rear and preferably on high ground.
Command relations of antitank units under condi- In good tank country, platoons are likely to be in line,
tions of attachment or support are comparable to but in broken country, one or more subunits will be in
those of field artillery units. (See section on Command depth and platoons may be deployed independently.
and Control, Chapter 9). Within platoons, vehicles may be one-up, two-up, or
If the antitank unit is designated as an antitank echeloned to a flank. Whenever possible, ATGMs will
reserve, the unit commander is assigned missions be sited on high ground, clear of close or wooded
directly by the combined arms commander. If the anti- country.
tank artillery unit is part of a combined arms reserve, Normally each launcher is given an 80 degree arc of
the unit commander is assigned missions by the fire overlapping with each ofits neighbors. Missiles are
commander of the combined arms reserve. nearly always launched when the BRDM is stationary,
Antitank units may deploy in line, in two lines, preferably behind cover, or in defense, from a prepared
echeloned right or left, or they may form a horseshoe emplacement. A normal drill is to fire not more than
or circle. These formations may be adopted by two missiles, then move at least 200 meters to a new
platoons within a battery or by the batteries of a bat- firing position. Missiles also may be fired and con-
talion. Siting of the weapons within a platoon or trolled remotely from a position up to 80 meters away.
battery is guided by the principles of defense in depth Standard time for setting up in this mode is about 1.5
and mutually supporting fires. minutes.
The most common formation for the antitank
battalion is two lines of batteries. Two batteries are
placed in the first echelon and one in the second. They THE OFFENSE
are sited to provide mutual support. Battery fire posi- During an attack, the antitank reserve usually moves
tions are located up to 1,000 meters apart. Alternate behind advancing first echelon tanks and infantry in
fire positions for the battery in the second line the most exposed direction of attack, ready to repulse
normally are chosen on the flanks. enemy armored counterattacks. The combined arms
The echelon right (or left) battle formation is commander or the CRTA chooses successive firing
chosen when it is necessary to cover tank approaches lines to cover likely tank approaches. Firing positions
from both the front and one of the flanks. The subunits are selected by the antitank unit commander.
are again sited for mutual support. The antitank reserve advances to successive firing
Weapons sited at the top of a horseshoe formation lines in coordination with the progress ofthe attacking
open fire at extreme ranges, inviting enemy tank force and the orders of the combined arms com-
attacks so that the other guns can open flank fire. If mander to whom it is attached.
enemy tanks penetrate the kill zone of a horseshoe, fire In preparation for an attack, antitank units are
will be delivered simultaneously by all weapons. located on the most likely enemy armor approaches or
Antitank guns usually are sited about 100 meters may be positioned well forward to participate in the
apart, but occasionally may be up to 300 meters; bat- artillery preparation phase of the attack. They may be
teries and platoons are usually 300 to 500 meters apart, called upon to conduct fire with direct aiming against
but may be up to 1,000 meters. Subunits normally are the enemy's armored vehicles. Antitank guns can
sited with overlapping fields of fire. Antitank battalion conduct indirect observed fire (particularly when
and battery commanders control fire from command there is insufficient artillery).
FM 100-2-1

During the artillery preparation phase, antitank units detected armor concentrations in assembly areas. Air-
are responsible for- craft, especially ATGM-equipped attack helicopters,
* Containing enemy armor. are the most effective weapon for engaging moving
* Covering the deployment of the attacking units. armor forces at greater ranges. Minelaying helicopters
* Engaging armored and antitank targets on the for- also may be used to lay hasty antitank minefields.
ward edge of the enemy position as part of the Indirect artillery and MRL fires are effective in isolat-
preparatory fires. ing tanks from supporting forces and causing tank
During the support phase of the attack, antitank crews to secure the hatches. Although indirect
subunits cover the flanks and support the deployment artillery and MRL fires increase the vulnerability of
of the second echelon and reserve. attacking tanks to special antitank weapons (by strip-
During the accompaniment phase, fire positions are ping them of their supporting forces), the smoke and
selected in the depth of the enemy positions from dust of the explosions can simultaneously degrade the
which to defeat armored counterattacks. Having effectiveness of direct fire support weapons by impair-
received orders to deploy to one of these positions, the ing gunner visibility.
antitank unit commander will lead his weapons At the start of a defensive action, the antitank reserve
forward, put out observation posts, and move himself normally occupies camouflaged positions from which
to a position from which he can direct fire. He will it can cover the most likely tank approaches. The
establish close cooperation with the maneuver force Soviets state that each tank, ATGM, or antitank gun
commander and the mobile obstacle detachment. firing from a prepared camouflaged defensive position
In anticipation of a meeting engagement, antitank can defeat two to three attacking tanks. The com-
subunits march with the advance guard or at the head mander selects from one to three firing lines to which
of the main force. They must be prepared to deploy his weapons may deploy on each possible approach.
immediately and to provide fire support. At the Subunit reconnaissance and engineer preparation of
beginning of a meeting engagement, antitank units will routes. and fire positions follow, if time allows.
deploy in the threatened sector on an assigned firing An antitank unit maybe integrated into the defensive
line, covering the deployment of the combined arms first echelon, occupying designated positions in either
force. a battalion defensive area or company strongpoint.
This type of deployment is usually by platoon, with the
separation between platoons insuring mutually sup-
THE DEFENSE porting fires. Battle formation depends on the mission
The antitank fire support plan is developed in and terrain and must insure the following:
greater detail in the defense than in the offense. The * Concentration of fire on tanks by direct sighting
Soviets believe that the basic system of fire in the along armor avenues of approach.
defense is antitank fire. The antitank fire plan is * Covering by fire of approaches to antitank barriers.
designed to place an enemy armored force under con- * Close coordination between the weapons of the
tinuous fire from the point of its first detection until it antitank subunits and the antitank weapons of the
is destroyed in a first echelon kill zone. company strongpoint or the battalion defense area.
ATGMs are given an engagement zone that extends * All-round defense of each platoon.
out to 3 km from the forward edge. Tanks firing from As the antitank reserve for a defending combined
defilade positions first engage attacking tanks at 2 to arms formation, an antitank subunit's tactical deploy-
2.5 km in front of the defensive positions. The engage- ment is based on mission and terrain and must insure
ment zone for antitank guns extends out to about 1.5 the following:
km. SPG or RPG weapons engage enemy armor at * Coordinated and concentrated fires on armor
ranges less than 1000 meters.. approaches.
In the defense, antitank units have these missions: * Echelonment of the firing positions in depth.
* Destroy enemy tanks and APCs forward of the first * Conduct of flanking fire on enemy tanks.
echelon. * Maneuver of the unit within the area of deploy-
* Destroy tanks and APCs that have penetrated the ment and to firing lines.
first defensive echelon. If the defending units are forced to withdraw,
* Cover gaps in the defense. ATGMs and antitank guns cover the withdrawal of
* Support the counterattack. forward elements. Antitank units break contact and
Fixed-wing aviation, surface-to-surface missiles, and withdraw to a new firing position when enemy armor
massed artillery fires may be employed against has closed to 500 meters.




The objective of the Soviet tactical air defense of these weapons, with a suitable mix of
system is to reduce the effectiveness of enemy air capabilities to ground force commanders.
attacks. This can be achieved by forcing enemy aircraft * Surprise. Soviet writers emphasize the
to expend their ordnance while still beyond the effec- principle of surprise.They are aware of not only the
tive or optimum ranges of their weapons or by destroy- physical destruction that can be achieved by an
ing the aircraft when they come within effective range attack on an unsuspecting enemy, but also of the
of Soviet air defense weapons. psychological effects of violent and unexpected
There are two important concepts in Soviet tactical fires on aviation crews. The psychological effects
air defense. First, air defense is considered to be an often are only temporary, but they can reduce the
integral element of the combined arms concept. effectiveness of attacking air crews at critical
Secondly, air defense of ground forces is achieved by a moments.
variety of weapons and equipment that together form a * Mobility and maneuver of air defense
system of air defense. weapons. The Soviets' mobile tactical air defense
Soviet air defense of maneuver units includes system allows air defense units to maneuver with
three phases. The first phase includes all actions tank and motorized rifle forces.
taken to destroy enemy aircraft while they are still * Continuous activity by air defense units.
on the ground at airfields or in marshaling areas. Comprehensive air defense coverage can be
Soviet aviation resources and surface-to-surface guaranteed only if air defense units are constantly
missiles play the major role in this phase. The active and provided with adequate logistic support.
second phase includes all actions taken to destroy * Aggressive action,, initiative, and originality
enemy aircraft while in flight but still at some dis- on the part of air defense unit commanders. The
tance from Soviet ground forces. Soviet aviation Soviets recognize that air defense unit com-
plays a sizable role in these actions, and medium- manders must exploit the full capabilities of their
range air defense missile units also may have equipment if they are to carry out their missions
some role. The third phase entails the destruction successfully. This demands aggressive action,
of enemy airplanes and helicopters that have initiative, and originality on their part. The future
penetrated into the air space of Soviet maneuver battlefield will be a fluid and volatile environment.
elements. This role primarily belongs to Soviet Air defense unit commanders must be responsive
tactical air defense forces. These threephases may to changes in the tactical situation. For example, if
overlap, and all three maybe conducted simultane- the supported unit's mission is modified, the air
ously. This chapter discusses only the third phase. defense unit commander must reevaluate his own
The mission of the Soviet tactical air defense unit's deployment in light of the new require-
forces is to protect ground force units and other ments. The air defense unit commander also must
potential targets from attacks byfixed-wing ground be aware of changes in the tactics employed by
attack aircraft and armed helicopters. To accom- enemy air forces.
plish this mission, it is not necessary for Soviet air * Coordination of actions between supported
defense units to destroy every attacking enemy maneuver units and supportingair defense units
aircraft. If the Soviet tactical air defense system and between air defense units. This principle
can prevent enemy air crews from pressing their emphasizes the Soviet perception of airdefense as
attacks or can force them to expend their ordnance a single system composed of its various parts
prematurely, for the most part it will have accom- rather than a series of separate, distinct actions
plished its mission. Soviet ground forces then are that bear no relation to each other or the conduct of
able to continue their missions. the ground battle. Air defense is an integral
The basic principles that have influenced Soviet air element of the ground battle.
defense developments and apparently form Soviet * All-round security. The Soviets recognize that air
tactical air defense doctrine are: attack can come from any quarter and that it is not
* Firepower. The Soviets use a variety of air enough to provide security for only the units close to
defense weapons, both missiles and guns, and a the forward edge and only in the direction of enemy
force structure that provides a significant number forces.

FM 100-2-1


The Soviet inventory of tactical air defense weapons regiment's. air defense assets, and he may sometimes
includes a variety of missiles, guns, and support equip- control the employment of SA-7 SAMs of the subordi-
ment. There are air defense weapons at nearly every nate motorized rifle battalions or companies.
level. As with other weapon systems, the Soviets have Soviet tank and motorized rifle regiments have an
incorporated recent technological developments into organic air defense battery equipped with the ZSU-23-
newly designed air defense weapons while improving 4 self-propelled antiaircraft gun (SPAAG) and the SA-9
other weapons already in production. They have SAM. The battery consists of a headquarters, a platoon
developed a variety of air defense missiles while con- of four ZSU-23-4s, a platoon of four SA-9 SAM
tinuing to develop antiaircraft artillery (AAA). launchers, and support and service elements. The regi-
A BMP-equipped motorized rifle battalion has an air mental headquarters has a squad of three SA-7 SAM
defense platoon containing nine SA-7 surface-to-air gunners.
missile (SAM) launchers. A BTR-equipped motorized The ZSU-23-4 has a relatively small engagement
rifle company has an air defense squad containing envelope and is considered a limited area or point
three SA-7 launchers. While tank companies are not defense weapon. Normally it is employed with
known to have SA-7s, most Soviet tanks are equipped individual SPAAGs located within several hundred
with turret-mounted antiaircraft machine guns. All meters of one another. When the four guns of a ZSU-
Soviet tactical units receive training in the employ- 23-4 platoon are employed in pairs, the pairs are
ment of massed, small arms weapon fire. This tech- usually kept within approximately 1,500 meters of one
nique is practiced routinely to engage low-flying another. Typical missions for these weapons may
enemy aircraft, usually under the supervision of the involve two to four ZSU-23-4s protecting a battalion in
company commander when he has been notified that the regiment's first echelon or on a road march.
enemy aircraft are approaching his position. The SA-9 has an engagement envelope significantly
The SA-7s of the BTR-equipped motorized rifle larger than that of the ZSU-23-4 and is an area defense
company usually are employed as a squad, with the weapon. It provides the regimental commander with
company commander retaining tight control. SA-7 an organic air defense missile capability that can
gunners are not routinely attached to the platoons of encompass his entire unit. The SA-9 normally is
the company. In a prepared defense, the battalion com- deployed between the first and second echelons of a
mander or regimental chief of air defense may control regiment, a location from which it can protect both
the employment of the company's SA-7s. first and second echelon subunits without being
No air defense unit is organic to BTR-equipped exposed to direct fire from enemy ground forces.
motorized rifle battalions or tank battalions, although Probable missions of SA-9 units include protecting the
there may be an SA-7 squad assigned to protect the bat- regimental command post, the regiment's organic
talion command post or other points designated by the artillery battalion, and other organic or attached
battalion commander. SA-7 SAM squads can be elements in the regiment's sector.
employed in any tactical unit, and also at higher' levels. A number of the new SA-13 SAM systems have been
Armored vehicles of the battalion command group are deployed in the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany
equipped with vehicle-mounted antiaircraft machine since 1980. SA-13 units are replacing SA-9 units. Unlike
guns. the SA-9, the SA-13 is a tracked vehicle with greater
The Soviet practice of positioning the command cross-country mobility.
post in the key sector of the battalion's area in the Introduction of the SA-6 or the SA-8 SAM into the
defense provides an element of protection. The divisional air defense regiment significantly improved
primary means of air defense for the maneuver bat- air defense mobility and firepower. The transporter-
talion, however, is provided by its companies and the erector-launchers (TEL) of both missiles are highly
air defense elements attached from regimental or divi- mobile. The SA-6 is mounted on a nonamphibious
sional assets. Usually such attachment is practiced by tracked vehicle, and the SA-8 is mounted on an
the Soviets and is the rule when the battalion is amphibious wheeled vehicle.
engaged in independent or semi-independent actions. Employment of the SA-6 or the SA-8 has a major
The systemic nature of Soviet tactical air defense impact on the division's combat capability. The
measures can be seen in the maneuver regiment. There division now has an organic air defense system that
is a chief of air defense in the regiment. His provides a significant degree of protection to the
responsibilities include planning and directing air entire division. The range of the SA-6 provides for
defense activities within the regiment. He advises the greater depth in the division's air defense system,
commander on allocation and deployment of the especially against aircraft employing standoffweapons.

FM 100-2-1

While the range of the SA-8 is significantly less than forward edge of the battie area (FEBA) for first
that of the SA-6, its higher road speed and amphibious echelon armies. Laterally, this SA-4 coverage overlaps
capabilities make it especiallywell suited for pursuit or the envelope of adjacent armies.
exploitation. The mission of the division's air defense regiment is
A Soviet army usually has one or two SAM brigades to protect the maneuver regiments and other units or
equipped with the SA-4 SAM. Generally, the missions of facilities within the division's area of activity. First
army-level air defense units are to augment divisional echelon maneuver regiments, division headquarters,
air defense capabilities in the forward area and to and the division's artillery and rocket units have the
engage and destroy aircraft that get past the divisions' highest priorities for protection. The division com-
air defense systems. mander is assisted by a chief of air defense, a field grade
The Soviets have developed extensive and effective officer, who with his staff plans and directs the
radar target detection and fire control systems. Their division's air defense operations.
radars can be assigned to two general categories: Air defense regiments equipped with the SA-6 or the
surveillance and fire control. Surveillance includes SA-8 SAM are capable of including all elements of the
early warning, target acquisition, and height finding division in their engagement envelopes. Typical
radars. Some fire control radars also have limited target employment of the regiment's five missile firing bat-
acquisition capability. teries might involve two batteries providing support
It is important to view Soviet radars as systems rather directly to the two first echelon maneuver regiments,
than as separate units. Because the majority of target while the remaining three batteries provide protection
acquisition radars are concentrated above division for the division headquarters, rocket and artilleryunits,
level, most target information is accumulated and and the remainder of the division. Units to the rear of
processed at army and front air defense operations first echelon maneuver regiments are protected by the
centers and passed down to divisions. High level com- engagement envelopes of the first echelon regiments
manders select the weapon system that can best and the missile batteries directly supporting them. The
engage a given target. Target detection and monitoring ranges of the SA-6 and the SA-8 allow them to be
by front, army, and division target acquisition radars deployed several kilometers behind the line of contact,
provide the necessary data for engagement without thus reducing their exposure to enemy ground-based
unnecessarily exposing the air defense firing battery weapons. From these positions, the missile batteries
and TEL-mounted (particularly SA-8) radars to detec- can still engage-targets well forward of the FEBA.
tion by enemy forces and subsequent neutralization by SA-7 SAMs employed in the rear area provide local
electronic countermeasures or destruction. (For more air defense against enemy aircraft that penetrate the
information on air defense organization and equip- division's primary air defense network. Control of the
ment, see FM 100-2-3.) SA-7s is probably highly centralized to prevent engage-
ment of friendly aircraft by mistake.
Front through division air defense assets are
MISSIONS employed to create an area defense. Radars provide an
Frontheadquarters plays a major role in the control unbroken detection envelope extending well into
of air defense assets of its subordinate units. The enemy territory and across the entire zone of opera-
front's own air defense weapons are used for various tions. Enemy aircraft that manage to get past Soviet
missions, depending on the situation. Some may aug- fighters probably are engaged first by front and army
ment the air defense weapons of armies of the front. SA-4 missile units. While gaps mayappear in the missile
Others may provide general, front-wide air defense engagement envelope, significant effort is devoted to
coverage or fill gaps between armies. In any event, maintaining continuous coverage.
front air defense assets are used primarily to insure If enemy aircraft penetrate the air defense systems of
continuous coverage in both detection and engage- front, army, and divisional air defense regiments, they
ment capabilities. Front air defense weapons usually will be engaged by the short-range SA-7 and SA-9 SAMs
are located somewhere to the rear of army air defense and the ZSU-23-4 antiaircraft guns of the maneuver
weapons to engage aircraft that penetrate forward air regiments. Tank, motorized rifle, and artillery units in
defenses. the division's first and second echelons and the air
SA-4 units of Soviet armies provide medium- to high- defense subunits themselves are expected to be the
altitude air defense and augment the air defense assets primary targets of enemy air attacks. The ZSU-23-4
of divisions. Their engagement envelope extends from platoon of the maneuver regiment, directly supple-
the army's rear to about 45 kilometers beyond the mented by the regiment's SA-9 SAMs and further

FM 100-2-1

supplemented by divisional air defense batteries, pro- battalion commander, and direct communications are
vides the key regimental air defense. established. The ZSU-23-4 platoon maintains com-
munications with the regimental air defense battery. It
also receives information from the divisional air
SUPPORT IN THE OFFENSE defense target identification and warning network.
Soviet ground force air defense weapons can fully This communications system provides for timely
support fast-moving tank and motorized rifle forces in receipt of information on the tactical air situation.
dynamic offensive combat. Air defense units offront The maneuver battalion commander and the ZSU-
and army conduct basically an area defense, engaging 23-4 section or platoon leader work closely to inte-
enemy aircraft at some distance from the supported grate their weapons into an effective air defense plan.
maneuver divisions and themselves. Divisional air As the battalion occupies the assembly areas, air de-
defense regiments conduct primarily an area defense, fense weapons deploy in accordance with this fire
though there is a significant element of point defense plan. Light discipline is strictly enforced, and radio lis-
in support of the division's maneuver regiments. tening silence is employed to reduce the likelihood of
Operations by air defense batteries and the SA-7 SAM detection by enemy signal intelligence units. If the as-
sections are largely of the point type due to the sembly area is to be occupied for an extended period,
capabilities of their weapons and the units they defend. such as overnight, the ZSU-23-4s and the weapons and
Air defense actions are most complex in the vehicles of the battalion are usually dug in.
maneuver regiment. As the supported unit performs its The battalion commander provides guidance for the
assigned missions, it continuously changes its location placement of the ZSU-23-4s and the SA-7 SAMs.
and combat formation. The air defense unit com- Observation posts and firing positions are selected to
mander must respond to these changes and redeploy provide comprehensive observation and interlocking
his own weapons to provide continuous and effective fires on the most likely approach routes for low-flying
protection to the regiment's elements. aircraft and armed helicopters. When the entire
Allocation of air defense units is weighted in favor of platoon is employed, the two pairs of ZSU-23-4s are
maneuver units in areas where the threat is perceived kept within mutually supporting range. As a rule, one
to be the greatest. For example, a motorized rifle regi- gun crew is on alert in each of the ZSU-23-4 pairs
ment in the division's first echelon usually receives except when warning of an air attack is received, at
additional air defense support from one or more bat- which time both crews go to alert status.
teries of the division's air defense regiment. These bat- The SA-7 SAM squads of the three motorized rifle
teries need not operate in the maneuver regiment's companies supplement the coverage provided by the
formation. The range of their radars and missiles allows ZSU-23-4 section or platoon. The three gunners of one
them to provide support to the first echelon from loca- company's SA-7 squad maybe placed near the ZSU-23-
tions farther to the rear. Iocating these missile bat- 4 section or platoon. The ZSU subunit leader may be
teries to the rear also decreases the likelihood of their given some degree of control over these SA-7 gunners
being destroyed by enemy ground fire or aircraft. in such a situation. The SA-7 squad of another
A motorized rifle battalion attacking in a regiment's motorized rifle company could cover a less likely
first echelon often is supported by ZSU-23-4s of the avenue of approach. Placement of these SA-7 gunners
regiment's antiaircraft artillery platoon. In his combat is similar to that in an air defense ambush. The three
order, the regimental commander assigns the ZSU SA-7s of the third motorized rifle company may be
platoon the mission of supporting particular battalions retained with the battalion in the assembly area to
for a specified period. This period can begin before a provide close-in protection. Observation posts are
battalion moves into an assembly area, in which case collocated frequently with SA-7 firing positions.
the air defense element provides protection to the bat- Besides the ZSU-23-4s and SA-7 SAMs, the battalion
talion during the road march to the assembly area. employs its vehicle-mounted machine guns, ATGMs,
Alternatively, the ZSU-23-4 platoon may join the and massed small arms for close-in defense. When the
maneuver battalion in the assembly area, though the battalion is reinforced by a tank company, the anti-
Soviets prefer to have both subunits arrive at the aircraft machine guns on tanks provide additional air
assembly area at approximately the same time. Failure defense firepower in the assembly area.
of the air defense subunit to join the maneuver bat- To attack the battalion in its assembly area with
talion at the designated time leaves the battalion conventional ordnance, an enemy aircraft must first
exposed to possible enemy air attack. In either case, penetrate the engagement envelopes formed by
the ZSU-23-4 platoon leader reports to the maneuver missile units of front, army, and divisions. The
FM 100-2-1

attacking aircraft then come within range of the regi- SA-7 gunners ride in armored personnel carriers or
mental and battalion defense systems. The ZSU-23-4s the BMP. Employment of a BTR company's SA-7
engage enemy aircraft immediately as they come gunners in a group, close to the company commander,
within range. SA-7 gunners engage enemy aircraft that is preferred. It offers greater control and increased
maneuver to avoid ZSU-23-4 fires or pass over the SA-7 probability of a target's destruction. It also reduces the
firing positions. Finally, small arms and vehicle- possibility of firing on a friendly aircraft.
mounted weapons engage enemy aircraft that pass When two maneuver battalions attack on line in the
over the maneuver battalions' positions. first echelon of a regiment, each normally is supported
In an attack, the exact location of tactical air defense by a ZSU section. While the ZSU-23-4 sections remain
weapons depends on the mission of the supported within mutually supporting range, they are located far
unit, the attack formation chosen by its commander, enough apart to reduce the chances of their simul-
and considerations of terrain, fields of fire, and taneous destruction by conventional weapons. The
observation. If the maneuver unit is attacking on a two guns of each section usually are located from 150
broad frontage, sections of two ZSU-23-4s are usually to 250 meters apart to insure adequate freedom of fire
deployed in a line formation to provide protection to for engaging low flying targets (see below).
the dispersed elements of the supported unit. When The air defense platoon command element usually
attacking on a narrow frontage, the two ZSU-23-4 sec- follows the ZSU-23-4 sections at a distance of approxi-
tions of the platoon are deployed in column toprovide mately 200 meters. Trucks carrying additional
greater control and increased concentration of ammunition for the ZSUs follow at a distance of 1.5 to
platoon fire. 2.5 kilometers to the rear of the firing sections.

Air Defense Support for a Motorized Rifle Battalion Assault -- - - -- ----- -C - L --- -- - -~I
L--Je _-

Not more than

-- 400 M --

150-250 M

-- 200 M --'

~L ~b ,
I~~ Pl~j~
I - SA-7/Grail ZSU-23-4
(NOT TO SCALE) SAM Section - Wa Self-propelled AA Gun C Command APC

FM 100-2-1

Basic employment techniques for air defense elements. The ZSU-23-4 platoon leader is responsible
weapons in a meeting engagement do not differ signifi- only for the performance of his own platoon.
cantly from those for the attack. Two ZSU-23-4s of the When the platoon leader reports to a maneuver
platoon normally are placed in a regiments' advance battalion commander, he is informed of the battalion's
guard. SA-9 SAMs and any reinforcing elements from mission and disposition and the commander's tactical
the division's air defense regiment most likely remain plan. He may receive further instructions from the bat-
with the maneuver regiment's main force. Air talion commander, and they may conduct a joint ter-
observers are posted on all vehicles, and SA-7 gunners rain reconnaissance.
are prepared to engage designated targets in their The platoon leader identifies likely routes of
sectors of observation and fire. approach for enemy aircraft, paying special attention
An additional concern is the need to protect air to routes suitable for low-flying aircraft and helicop-
defense weapons, especially ZSU-23-4s with the ters. Positions for air defense weapons are also recon-
advance guard, from enemy direct fire. The advance noitered. If the battalion commander has directed that
guard battalion also may be protected by SA-6 or SA-8 air defense ambushes and roving units are to be
SAM batteries operating from the regiment's main deployed, the ZSU-23-4 platoon leader designates
body. primary and alternate positions on a map and estab-
A motorized rifle battalion in a pursuit may be aug- lishes schedules for their movement. These positions
mented by air defense elements from its regiment or and schedules are then coordinated with the battalion
possibly a battery from the division's air defense regi- commander.
ment. Air defense during pursuit is especially Battalion air defense preparations begin at the
important, since the enemy will likely use air power to company level. Air observation posts are established in
reduce the rate of advance and the strength ofpursuing each company area close to the command observation
Soviet forces. posts, on terrain affording good visibility or along likely
routes of enemy air approach. Schedules for rotating
air observers are established, and sectors of observa-
SUPPORT IN THE DEFENSE tion and fire are designated for each post to maintain
The Soviets believe that the motorized rifle and tank 360-degree observation of the air space surrounding
battalions in a division's defending first echelon regi- the battalion's defensive area. SA-7 SAM firing positions
ments will be priority targets for attacking enemy are established in each motorized rifle company's area.
aircraft. Therefore, regimental air defense weapons are These positions often are collocated with air observa-
deployed well forward, with the ZSU-23-4 platoon tion posts near the perimeters of the companies' posi-
usually supporting first echelon motorized rifle bat- tions to extend the engagement envelopes as far as
talions. The SA-9 SAM platoon is probably located in possible. While tank companies have no organic SA-7
the rear of the first echelon battalions or in the forward SAMs, they do establish their air observation posts as
area of the second echelon, protecting the regiment's part of the battalion's air defense warning system.
artillery battalion and command post. If the air threat is Company commanders determine sectors of fire for
great, batteries of the divisional air defense regiment employment of massed fires of small arms and vehicle-
may be allocated to any of the maneuver regiments. mounted weapons, including tank-mounted antiair-
Remaining divisional air defense batteries protect the craft machine guns. ATGMs can be used to engage
division main command post and division artillery and troop-carrying and armed helicopters. Signals for
rocket units. warning and engagement are coordinated, with
A ZSU-23-4 platoon leader normally is given a primary reliance on visual signals and field telephone
mission order by his air defense battery commander to communications. Finally, personnel camouflage their
provide protection to a specific maneuver battalion or vehicles, equipment, and positions as a passive air
battalions for a given period of time. During this time, defense measure.
the ZSU-23-4 platoon leader reports directly to the As in other combat actions, the ZSU-23-4s may be
maneuver battalion commander. The platoon leader deployed in pairs (sections), with pairs of guns not
also maintains communications with his battery head- more than to 1,500 meters apart. Positions for the ZSU-
quarters and the division's target Identification and 23-4s are usually well within a battalion's defensive
warning net. area, which affords them a measure ofprotection from
The maneuver battalion commander has overall enemy observation and direct ground fire. This enables
responsibility for the organization and conduct of air the ZSU-23-4s to provide protection to the entire bat-
defense by his own battalion and any attached talion. Air observation posts are established in the
FM 100-2-1

battalion rear area and at the battalion command The battalion's air defense capabilities are only part
observation post. The ZSU-23-4 platoon or section of an overall air defense system. Preparations in the bat-
command post usually is located near the battalion talion are directed primarily against low-flying aircraft
command observation post. that have penetrated the overall air defense network
The fires of the battalion's organic and attached air and are attacking the battalion. Before aircraft can
defense weapons are combined into an integrated air reach the outer limits of the battalion's air defense
defense fire plan. The division target identification and network, they must penetrate the SAM engagement
warning network provides information about the envelopes of the SA-4 SAMs offront and army, the SA-6
enemy air situation. (Note the graphic illustration or SA-8 SAMs of the division, and the SA-9 SAM platoon
below. ) of the maneuver regiment's air defense battery.

Air Defense of a Motorized Rifle Battalion in a Defensive Posture I -


A Air observation post
SSector of observation/fire for SA-7 section
C SA-7/Grail SAM section (3 launchers) launch position
SLimits of fire for infantry and tank weapons when employed
-- ZSU-23-4 (positioned for 360-degree coverage) against aircraft

FM 100-2-1

The Soviets believe that it is better to engage a Air defense units play a significant role in defending
hostile aircraft prematurely and waste some ammuni- Soviet ground forces against attacks by enemy airborne
tion than to wait and allow the aircraft to expend its and airmobile troops. When an enemy airborne opera-
ordnance from an advantageous position. Aircraft are tion is detected,frontalaviation attempts to intercept
fired on continuously as long as they remain within and destroy enemy transport aircraft while they are at
range. the marshaling airfields and en route to the drop zones.
Aircraft posing the greatest threat are engaged on a Front, army, and division SAM units engage the
priority basis. The preferred engagement technique is transport aircraft entering their respective air defense
to continue firing at an already engaged target rather zones. Regimental air defense units near the drop
than to switch from target to target--unless a later- zones also engage the transport aircraft. The ZSU-23-4
acquired target seriously threatens the air defense ele- fires on paratroops and equipment descending to the
ments. Air observers and weapon crews outside the ground. Vehicle-mounted machine guns and small
attacked sector maintain observation and readiness to arms fire also are used in this role.
fire to preclude enemy success through simultaneous Enemy airmobile units are engaged primarily by
air attacks from several directions. antiaircraft artillery and SA-7 and SA-9 SAMs. ZSU-23-4
Company commanders usually direct the firing of guns are effective in combating airmobile forces flying
their SA-7 SAMs and the employment of massed small at very low altitudes to avoid radar detection. The
arms fires. A helicopter usually is engaged by the importance of visual surveillance in the early detection
massed small arms fire of a single platoon; high-per- of these approaching helicopters is stressed repeatedly
formance aircraft are engaged by all weapons of the in Soviet writings. Vehicle-mounted machine guns and
company. Between attacks, air defense weapons are small arms fire also engage helicopters. Additionally,
repositioned to reduce the likelihood of destruction in antiaircraft artillery attack enemy airborne and air-
subsequent attacks and to deceive the enemy as to the mobile forces that have landed.
strength and composition of air defense units.
Second echelon battalions of a motorized rifle regi-
ment are located several kilometers behind the FEBA AIR DEFENSE RECONNAISSANCE
and usually do not have attached air defense elements. The Soviet concept of reconnaissance in air defense
They benefit from the efforts of all air defense elements includes airspace surveillance and evaluation of the
located to their front. terrain for suitable weapon positions and likely routes
Second echelon maneuver regiments develop their of approach for low-flying aircraft-both ground-
air defense plan in coordination with the division's attack fighters and armed helicopters. Surveillance of
chief of air defense. It is also likely that one or more of the surrounding air space is continuous to maintain
the division's air defense batteries will be located in current data on the enemy air situation.
the defensive areas ofthese second echelon regiments. Terrain reconnaissance usually is conducted by the
In all cases, second echelon regiments take both commander of the supported unit and the commander
active and passive air defense measures. Air observa- of the supporting air defense element. They conduct a
tion posts are established, SA-7 SAM and massed unit preliminary map reconnaissance to tentatively identify
fires are planned, and camouflage measures are taken. positions for deployment of air defense weapons in
One problem identified by Soviet writings on air defensive areas, along routes ofmarch, or in areas to be
defense of defending maneuver units is that their com- seized by advancing Soviet forces. Significant emphasis
manders often forget that air defense is an integral part is placed on identification of all potential attack routes
of combined arms actions. Such an oversight can result for low-flying enemy aircraft of all types. Routes of
in a poorly organized system of air defense, uncoordi- approach suitable for armed helicopters and positions
nated actions by organic and supporting air defense from which these helicopters might employ ATGMs
elements, and unnecessary losses of personnel and are of special concern. The Soviets consider armed
equipment to enemy air attacks. helicopters to be a serious threat to their tank and
Lesser problems involve maintaining continuous air motorized rifle forces. Soviet commanders are trained
observation and insuring that first echelon units have to observe areas masked by trees or folds in the terrain
current and accurate information about the air situa- that might be used by enemy aircraft using nap-of-the-
tion. A problem less frequently mentioned is the high earth (NOE) flight techniques to avoid radar
ammunition and missile expenditure rate that must detection.
result from the policy of early, multiple, and prolonged The Soviets use electronic and electro-optical
engagement of targets. means and visual observation to conduct air

FM 100-2-1

surveillance. Radar is used for technical surveillance, gence (ELINT), radars on the vehicles may not be used
providing an all-weather detection capability. unless the requirement for their use outweighs the risk
Whenever possible, preliminary target data is passed of detection. Additional radars from the division's air
from higher-level radar units to air defense com- defense regiment may be used if increased radar
manders and their firing batteries. This reduces the coverage is desired. Two radars are usually used, and
vulnerability of battery radars and radar-equipped gun they are set up at critical points along the march route.
carriages and missile launchers to electronic counter- Usually only one radar moves at a time. If the com-
measures. Ideally, only aircraft that have been posi- mander decides not to use the additional radars during
tively identified as hostile are engaged. the march, one is placed in the advance guard and the
The Soviets are well aware of developments in elec- other in the main force of the unit. Both remain ready
tronic countermeasures and radar-homing ordnance. for use at any time.
Radar personnel receive extensive training in counter- SA-7 gunners engage low-flying aircraft under the
measures against enemy aircraft that use jamming direction of their company commanders. Individual
devices and radar-homing weapons. SA-7 gunners are assigned specific sectors of observa-
The development of technical reconnaissance tion and fire to preclude several gunners engaging one
means has not reduced the importance ofvisual recon- target while additional targets approach from other
naissance. Soviet commanders are taught that an effec- directions. Tight control over the SA-7 gunners
tive system of visual surveillance often mayprovide the reduces the expenditure of missiles.
first warning of an enemy air attack-especially one Regimental air defense weapons, particularly the
conducted by attack helicopters using NOE flight tech- ZSU-23-4 SPAAGs, play a major role in the defense of
niques. This is especially true at the subunit level. units making tactical marches. While one or two pairs
Air observers are posted in all units operating close of ZSU-23-4s may be employed to protect units on the
to enemy forces or in areas where enemy air attack is march, the use of all four seems to be the rule. ZSU-23-
likely. Visual air surveillance is conducted on a 360- 4s are employed within 1,500 meters of each other to
degree basis, and observers are assigned sectors of air insure mutual support. Individual self-propelled anti-
space to monitor. According to the Soviets, an aircraft aircraft guns maintain at least 50 meters between
can be detected at ranges from 2 to 5 kilometers when themselves and other vehicles to insure an unob-
the observer is assigned a 60- to 90-degree sector of structed field of fire for engaging low-flying aircraft.
observation and at ranges of 6 to 7 kilometers when Targets can be engaged by the ZSU-23-4 moving at
assigned a 30-degree sector. Of course, terrain and visi- slow speeds or during the short halt which yields more
bility affect these distances. Using binoculars can accurate fire. Whenever a column stops, even for brief
increase detection ranges to about 12 kilometers. Air- periods, the ZSU-23-4s pull off to the right side of the
craft flying at high altitudes may be detected at ranges road with the rest of the column and remain ready for
of up to 50 kilometers when more sophisticated action.
optical rangefinding equipment is used. When the threat of air attack is great, or when the
commander directs, weapons of the division's air
defense regiment are employed to protect columns.
PROTECTION OF MARCH COLUMNS The SA-6 and the SA-8 SAMs-especially the SA-8, with
The Soviets anticipate that their units may be sub- its high degree of road mobility, amphibious capability,
jected to heavy attacks by both ground-attack fighters and integral radars-are well suited to providing air
and armed helicopters when conducting road defense protection for columns. These weapons
marches. Accordingly, marching regiments are pro- provide large engagement envelopes which could have
tected by their organic air defense weapons and by air a significant impact on enemy aircraft using limited-
defense weapons from their division. range, standoffweapons. It is highlylikely that SAM bat-
Air attack is considered likely at chokepoints where teries are used to protect columns, especially those
rapid movement is impeded by terrain or other obsta- moving up from the rear.
cles. These chokepoints include bridges, mountain Air defense batteries relocate as necessary to pro-
passes, built-up areas, and similar locations. vide continuous and effective protection to the sup-
Air observers are designated on all vehicles, and air ported unit. Soviet commanders maintain effective
defense elements, including SA-7 gunners, remain protection by leaving at least one battery in firing posi-
ready to engage targets at all times. Vehicle-mounted tion to cover for the one(s) moving. Air defense
weapons are also employed. To reduce the likelihood elements attached to a maneuver unit usually move as a
of detection of the column by enemy electronic intelli- part of that unit.
FM 100-2-1

Soviet commanders employ special techniques to attack. They accomplish this mission by creating
increase flexibility and effectiveness in their air envelopes of protected air space above and around the
defense. Among these are the use of air defense crossing sites.
ambushes and roving air defense elements. Air defense SA-7 gunners generally operate with the maneuver
elements used for both these techniques are similar in companies. As the battalion approaches the near river-
task organization and usually consist of a single antiair- banks, SA-7 gunners move with the motorized infantry
craft gun, section, or platoon. SA-7 SAM squads also and are posted at key locations with assigned sectors of
may be used independently, or with other weapons. observation and fire. During the crossing, the SA-7
Air defense ambushes and roving units are used to gunners cross with the companies, ready to engage
cover gaps in air defenses, to provide air defense enemy aircraft. On reaching the opposite bank, they
coverage on less likely approach routes for enemy air- are again assigned positions and designated sectors of
craft, and to deceive the enemy as to the disposition of observation and fire. The SA-7 gunners may also take
other air defense elements. These tactics often are part in air defense ambushes if terrain or threat
employed when the air defense assets are thought to considerations so dictate.
be inadequate. A platoon of four ZSU-23-4s often accompanies a
Air defense ambushes are most frequently reinforced motorized rifle battalion operating as an
positioned along less likely but possible approach advance guard of a motorized rifle regiment.
routes for enemy aircraft. They usually consist of one During the motorized rifle battalion's march to a
or more ZSU-23-4s or SA-7 SAMs. The ZSU-23-4, with river, the ZSU-23-4 platoon usually moves at the rear of
its inherent mobility and high rate of fire, is especially the forward security element. Normally, the ZSU-23-4
well suited for both ambushes and roving units. When platoon is employed in two pairs. In some situations,
necessary, radar elements of the divisional air defense only one pair may be located with the forward security
regiment may support a unit operating from ambush. element while the other pair is with the advance guard
Engagement is made only of those targets that main body.
approach on the designated route or in self-defense. If the battalion is opposed while approaching the
Air defense units are immediately repositioned after near bank, the ZSU-23-4s may engage ground targets.
engagement or discovery by the enemy. However, their vulnerability to antitank and other
Employment of roving air defense units is similar to direct fire weapons makes such employment very
that of ambushes. The primary difference is that while risky. Air defense commanders seek alternative
an ambushing unit lies in wait for approaching enemy approach routes to the near bank if the threat of direct
aircraft, a roving unit moves to the most likely areas of fire is significant. The ZSUs take up firing positions on
enemy air attack and occupies a series of predesig- the near shore, usually 300 to 500 meters from the
nated positions in the supported unit's area. The roving water's edge, and not more than 1,500 meters apart.
unit occupies these positions according to a pre- From these positions, they engage aircraft attacking
arranged schedule or on order of the air defense unit the crossing site and, if necessary, support crossing ele-
commander. ments with direct fire.
The Soviets believe that sudden and intense ground After motorized rifle subunits have crossed, ZSU-23-
fire from an unexpected location or direction can be 4s usually cross the river with the tank company on
highly effective in destroying attacking aircraft. They ferries or by bridge. While crossing, the ZSU-23-4s
believe that such fire can seriously degrade air crew remain ready to engage attacking aircraft.
performance and cause them to fire their weapons pre- On reaching the far shore, they take up firing
maturely or force them to break off their attack The positions jointly agreed on by the maneuver unit com-
Soviets also think that ambushes and roving air defense mander and the ZSU-23-4 platoon commander. Air
units can make the enemy believe that significant air defense assets on the far shore at this point in the
defense elements are located in areas where there are crossing consist of an SA-7 squad and the two ZSU-23-
actually only a few weapons. This can reduce the effec- 4s. These air defense weapons provide an engagement
tiveness of enemy reconnaissance and the likelihood of envelope above and around elements of the battalion
enemy air attack in the area concerned. on both sides of the river. As the rest of the battalion
crosses and the regiment's main body reaches the near
bank, ZSU-23-4s on the near shore usually are replaced
PROTECTION OF RIVER CROSSINGS by other air defense weapons-possibly by the regi-
Soviet air defense plays a major role in river crossings ment's SA-9 SAM platoon. Replacement of the ZSU-23-
by protecting the crossing site and forces from air 4s by other regimental or divisional air defense
FM 100-2-1

weapons allows the ZSU-23-4 platoon to move forward the division of air space among the various systems. To
and continue supporting elements on the far shore. accomplish this, they use a combination of
Major problems identified by Soviet articles geographical, altitude, and time divisions of the air
discussing air defense of river crossings are how to space to be defended.
insure comprehensive radar and visual observation and A hypothetical geographic division of the air space
how to deal simultaneously with threats on multiple might include establishing a boundary parallel to and
axes of approach. Other problems include difficulties well forward of the FEBA, beyond the maximum range
in maintaining continuous 360-degree fire coverage of SA-4 SAMs. Frontalaviation engages enemy aircraft
and providing adequate ammunition resupply to firing forward of this boundary, and ground-based air
elements on the far shore. The ammunition problem is defense systems engage aircraft to the rear of this
especially critical for the ZSU-23-4s. Commanders are boundary. There also may be "safe corridors" through
cautioned often to be sure that ammunition carriers the engagement envelopes of ground-based systems
are moved to the far shore to guarantee continuity of for safe passage of Soviet aircraft beyond the line of
fire. The Soviets believe that these problems can be contact. These corridors may be used in conjunction
overcome and that well-trained, well-led air defense with time periods in which SAM units refrain from
units can successfully support river crossings. engaging aircraft unless directly attacked. Time
periods also may be established during which all air-
craft are fired on or during which no aircraft is fired on.
Air defense units operating in mountainous terrain WEAKNESSES
have unique problems. The rugged terrain makes it The greatest potential weaknesses of the Soviet air
extremely difficult to maintain the unit integrity of defense system are that command and control could
both maneuver and air defense units. This makes main- fail under the intense pressures of combat; Soviet com-
taining comprehensive air surveillance and air defense manders might fail to vigorously push their air defense
fire support more difficult and results in a greater assets forward at the same pace as their maneuver
degree of decentralization than normal. These diffi- forces; and it may be difficult to supply air defense units
culties affect fire control and operations of air defense with sufficient ammunition and repair parts during
batteries, platoons, and even sections. The importance prolonged, fast-moving offensive operations.
of the SA-7 is greatly increased in mountain operations. If the air defense "umbrella" is not moved forward
Because ofthe restrictive nature of mountainous ter- when necessary, Soviet tanks and motorized rifle units
rain and the typically limited road networks in such become exposed to enemy ground attack aircraft and
areas, maneuver units often have to move in several armed helicopters, and they may suffer major losses.
widely separated columns. Air defense weapons are The only alternative to taking these losses would be to
placed forward in each column. Radar equipment and slow the pace of the advance, which would signifi-
ZSU-23-4 SPAAGs, when present, usually move from cantly reduce chances of success.
high point to high point along routes of advance to There is also the question of how Soviet air defense
obtain the best radar coverage, observation, and fields systems, including the personnel manning the
of fire. SA-7 SAM squads probably have greater freedom weapons and equipment, will react when subjected to
to engage than is normally the case. At times, authority intensive and repeated attacks by large numbers of
to engage is even delegated to section leaders. Greater modern aircraft using sophisticated electronic warfare
use is made of air defense ambushes using ZSU-23-4s, equipment and highly lethal advanced ordnance that
SA-7 SAMs, and the fires of motorized rifle units. will probably impose a high attrition rate on air
Elements of the division's air defense regiment may defense units.
directly support one or more of the division's columns. An underlying theme in Soviet writings is criticism
The employment of highly mobile SA-6 or SA-8 SAMs in of some maneuver unit commanders for failure to
divisional air defense regiments greatly increases the recognize fully that air defense is an integral element of
capability to support mountain combat. combined arms combat. In tactical exercises,
maneuver unit commanders often "forget" about the
air threat and fail to employ their air defense
AIR SPACE CONTROL capabilities effectively.
The Soviets have a multitude of air defense systems Other problems frequently mentioned are failure to
in their forces. Soviet commanders are concerned with organize effective and continuous air surveillance and
FM 100-2-1

failure to supply air defense units with sufficient duced into service to replace the SA-9, is mounted on a
ammunition and other materiel. In both cases, the tracked chassis and has good cross-country mobility.
effectiveness of these units is greatly reduced. The more recently fielded weapons systems have
Air defense command and control relationships are redundant missile guidance capability, providing an
subject to conflicting pressures for centralization and enhanced ability to conduct successful engagements
decentralization. Factors favoring centralized control in a sophisticated countermeasures environment.
include the greater efficiency and effectiveness of cen- Continuing qualitative improvements are expected.
tralized target detection systems and the increased An improved man-portable SAM can be expected.
ranges of modern SAMs. Factors favoring decentralized While the ZSU-23-4 is an exceptionally good weapon,
control include the need for flexibility to support fast- its limited range, lack of an amphibious capability, light
paced operations by maneuver units and the many armor protection for crew members, and reduced
unforeseen contingencies that can arise in local effectiveness against more modemrn aircraft make it a
situations. likely candidate for replacement. Western develop-
The regimental air defense staff sometimes plays a ments in remotely-guided standoff weapons will
role in the employment of company air defense probably influence future Soviet air defense weapon
weapons, and there may be occasions when the divi- development.
sion air defense staff dictates how maneuver regiments Overall, the division's air defense capabilities have
employ their air defense batteries. There also may be progressed from a point defense system to an area
situations in which army orfront directs the employ- defense system. The combination of the SA-6 and SA-8
ment of divisional air defense assets. In general, the SAMs with the area defense weapons offront and army
Soviets impose enough centralization to optimize effi- and the point defense weapons within the division
ciency while allowing sufficient decentralization for gives Soviet ground forces a comprehensive, over-
effectiveness. lapping, and mobile area air defense system.
Caution must be exercised when attempting to With the increasing lethality of air defense weapons
balance the "weaknesses" outlined above against the and their deployment at lower levels in the force struc-
overall capabilities of the Soviet air defense system, ture, effective control of the air space becomes more
Most of these weaknesses have been clearly identified complex The Soviets stress the need for the various air
by the Soviets themselves, and they are working to cor- defense forces to adopt common terminology and to
rect them. The most pervasive shortcomings appear to conduct operations with a single integrated plan under
be with individual commanders rather than with unified command and control. This emphasis on unity
system failures. It is highly unlikely that these problems of effort may be reflected in the apparent reorganiza-
would be so prevalent that they would seriously tion of air defense elements formerly under PVO
degrade the overall effectiveness of the Soviet air Strany and PVO of the Ground Forces into a single
defense system in combat. service, the Air Defense Forces (Voyska PVO).
Soviet ground-based tactical air defense systems
present a formidable threat to any potential air enemy.
TRENDS Soviet air defense efforts appear to be nearly "state of
The most evident trends in Soviet tactical air the art" when viewed as a whole, and they are unsur-
defense developments in recent years have been the passed by any systems currently deployed by other
progressive increase in the size of the engagement nations. Soviet air defense weapons are deployed in
envelope and the lethality of the weapons. New variety and quantities unmatched by any other military
weapons systems are being introduced and modifica- force. Soviet air defense doctrine is comprehensive in
tions are being made to previouslyfielded systems. The threat evaluation and formulated response. It is
SA-8 has been modified to carry six, rather than four, cohesive in organization and equipment. It responds
ready-to-fire missiles. The SA-13, currently being intro- effectively to ground forces' support requirements.



Fixed-wing combat aircraft and attack helicopters employs initial, massive nonnuclear air strikes
provide air fire support to Soviet ground maneuver throughout the theater of operations.
formations. Air support assets are an integral element The increase in the number of Soviet ground attack
of combined arms formations at front, army, and aircraft in the last decade and the concurrent improve-
division levels. The majority of the aircraft and heli- ments in their range, armaments, and avionics have
copters were introduced during the past decade and provided Soviet military strategists with a viable, non-
have significantly increased offensive air support nuclear offensive option for gaining the operational
capabilities. initiative and creating the conditions of victory in the
Tactical fixed-wing aircraft support fronts and period directly after the outbreak of hostilities. The
armies in theaters of military operations (TVDs). concept of the air operation entails Soviet fixed-wing,
These assets accomplish the missions of air defense ground attack aircraft from frontal aviation and inter-
cover, air reconnaissance, and ground support. The mediate-range aircraft from strategic aviation and naval
aircraft also can conduct battlefield and rear area aviation committed to a series of massive strikes
interdiction. against priority theater targets over a period of several
The support role of helicopters has greatly days. With a small proportion of available air resources
expanded concurrently with the rapid expansion of assigned to the neutralization of enemy air defenses
the number of helicopters. Attack helicopters are and the creation of approach corridors, the majority of
routinely employed in exercises to provide immediate the aircraft attack enemy nuclear weapon systems,
air support to motorized rifle and tank regiments and command and control centers, and airfields.
battalions. Helicopters also perform a variety of During the initial hours of the air operation, the
logistic, intelligence, liaison, and communications commitment of fixed-wing aircraft to priority theater
functions. In addition, helicopter support for targets precludes their use for direct air support of
airmobile operations is a common feature of major ground force operations, and ground force com-
Soviet field exercises. manders rely on combat helicopters to fill this role.
The flexibility and maneuverability of tactical Integrated fires of artillery, attack helicopters, and
aviation assets give them a key role in modem combat. operational and tactical missiles assist in the creation
According to the Soviets, aviation has particular advan- of corridors through the enemy's forward air defenses.
tages over other combat forces in that it can- Missile strikes and attacks by air assault, special
" Conduct independent operations. purpose, and partisan forces are planned against air-
" Execute rapid, wide maneuvers. fields, nuclear delivery and storage sites, and command
" Combat enemy air, ground, and naval forces. and control facilities.
" Execute missions under diverse tactical and The air operation is simultaneously a concentrated
environmental conditions. effort to establish air superiority and a principal com-
* Concentrate forces quickly for the execution of ponent of the overall Soviet effort to achieve total fire
unexpected missions. superiority to deprive the enemy of his nuclear attack
* Be redirected after launch to a different target. capabilities. The air operation is distinguished from a
Tactical aviation assets can provide continuous fire general offensive in that the strikes are not in direct
support to ground maneuver formations. Air fire support of a coincidental advance by ground maneuver
support is responsive to rapid changes in the battle- formations.
field situation and can keep pace with mobile ground Due to its scale, an air operation is probably a TVD-
formations. Furthermore, aviation assets generally can planned and directed operation. However, an air
strike targets that are out of range of artillery. operation on a smaller scale may be conducted in the
course of a front operation to establish local air
AIR SUPPORT DOCTRINE As the number of priority targets is reduced in the
course of the operation, ground attack aircraft are
The Air Operation reassigned to the air support role according to a pre-
A massive air operation is the Soviet approach to the arranged plan. Through this plan the ground force
initial stage of a nonnuclear theater offensive. It commanders regain the use of air support resources.
FM 100-2-1

Air Support of Ground Forces

Besides the air operation at the onset of theater-level The aviation element in selected motorized rifle and
hostilities, Soviet doctrine calls for air support of tank divisions has been upgraded to squadron strength.
ground forces in offensive operations. The Soviets The division aviation element formerly contained six
recognize four stages of air support within an offensive to eight light, general-purpose helicopters. Selected
operation: support of movement forward, air prepara- divisions now have an organic aviation squadron that
tion, air support, and air accompaniment, which cor- includes up to 12 HIP and HIND ATGM-equipped
respond to the phases of the fire support plan. The attack helicopters, in addition to the general-purpose
major difference between the phases is their time of helicopters.
deployment, although there are some differences in
targeting, command, and aircraft used. (See page 12-8,
Support in the Offense.) COMMAND AND CONTROL
The command and control structure of frontal
aviation is integrated with that of the ground forces to
ORGANIZATION AND EQUIPMENT insure close and continuous coordination in a com-
Soviet tactical aviation assets are organized on a bined arms offensive. At front level, the deputy com-
functional/mission-related basis. The Soviets consider mander for aviation serves as chief of aviation on the
that homogenous formations of fighters, fighter- front staff.
bombers, reconnaissance aircraft, etc., increase fire-
power and strike capability, promote firm control and
maneuverability, and enhance the capability to Aviation Control Element
conduct sustained operations. Tactical aviation assets At army and division level, an aviation control
consist generally of fighter, fighter-bomber, heli- element normally is assigned to the staff of the com-
copter, and reconnaissance units, as well as mander. At army, this element generally consists of
miscellaneous support units. these personnel: an air controller, an intelligence
The distribution of these assets among the different officer, a liaison officer, and communications
levels of command is currently in flux. The ongoing personnel. Aviation control elements at division level
aviation reorganization shows an apparent desire to are similar to, but smaller than, those at army level.
centralize control over most fixed-wing tactical Aviation control elements advise on the use of air
aircraft and to decentralize control over the attack assets, transmit air support requests to the aviation
helicopters. organizations, maintain communications and control
Frontal aviation organizations are located in 12 of with aircraft in the battle area, and advise the com-
the 16 military districts within the USSR and with each mander of air reconnaissance information. The avia-
of the Groups of Soviet Forces in the GDR, Poland, tion control element is separated into two sections.
Czechoslovakia, and Hungary. The strength and Each of these sections has a specially-equipped BTR-
composition of the aviation assets of a front can vary 60. One section chief is collocated with the com-
considerably. Frontal aviation may include two or mander, and the other is collocated with the chief of
three air divisions and independent regiments of staff.
reconnaissance aircraft.
An air division typically contains either fighter or
fighter-bomber aircraft, usually organized into three Forward Air Controller
regiments of three squadrons each (see FM 100-2-3). A forward air controller is assigned to ground force
Divisions are commanded by major generals or regiments when fixed-wing aircraft or combat heli-
colonels; regiments by lieutenant colonels or colonels; copters are assigned for their support. The Soviet
squadrons and flights by majors and captains, forward air controller is an air forces officer and
respectively. generally a pilot. His tasks are to advise the regimental
Concurrently with the rapid expansion of rotary- commander, to serve as the communications link
wing assets, the Soviets have organized a steadily between the regiment and the aviation control
increasing number of independent attack helicopter element at division, and to direct attacking aircraft'to
regiments (see FM 100-2-3). These independent their targets. He is equipped with a vehicle and the
attack helicopter regiments are apparently a principal equipment required to maintain communications with
component of what the Soviets refer to as army avia- the division and the airfield. The forward air controller
tion, and are probably subordinate to army-level can call up air support at the request of the supported
maneuver force commanders. ground unit commander.
FM 100-2-1

It is rare to find an air representative in a ground tion of automated control systems to speed and
force battalion. However, a forward air controller may simplify collecting, transmitting, and processing
be assigned when air support is provided in a parti- information at all levels of command and control. More
cularly important or difficult battalion action. frequent joint tactical briefings, technical conferences,
Normally, however, a battalion commander has no and meetings between lower-level ground force and
direct communications with air support resources. air commanders also are suggested in Soviet military
For mutual recognition and target designation, publications.
radioelectronic means such as radio beacons are used
widely by the forward air controllers. Signal flares,
colored smoke, beacon lights, and cloth panels are Night and Weather Conditions
used when there is visual contact. When aircraft are At present, the Soviets are striving to increase the
operating against objectives that cannot be observed effectiveness of air support in poor weather and at
by ground troops or forward air controllers, target night. Soviet air operations slow considerably under
designation is carried out mainly using reconnaissance these conditions because of inadequate aircraft and
information obtained by the aircraft crews themselves. ground-based equipment and shortcomings in flight
The crews use flares, aircraft maneuvers, and radio- personnel training. Also, some of the mutual identifi-
electronic means for signaling, for communicating, cation and target designation systems used during
and for making mutual identification. complex weather conditions and for night flying are
unsophisticated The Soviets are evidently making
efforts to correct these shortcomings. It is believed
Difficulties in Coordination that about 20 percent of the third-generation, fixed-
Judging from Soviet military writings, the method of wing aircraft introduced in the 1970s and frontal
coordination between the air and ground forces, aviation's combat helicopters are equipped with radio-
especially at lower levels, is not always successful. The electronic and infrared instruments. This equipment
procedures worked out by air and ground force com- enables pilots to carry out sorties at night and in poor
manders before the launch of combat air missions weather at low altitudes, and to search for, to detect,
often inhibit flexibility in mutual cooperation and pre- and to destroy targets. Even when modern, sophisti-
vent changes required by the situation that evolves cated equipment is used, the Soviets believe that-for
after the missions are underway. Problems also arise air support of ground troops-it is important to train
because many ground force commanders do not have pilots to navigate by landmarks, to search for targets
in-depth knowledge of the combat capabilities of avia- visually, and to determine the distances to targets
tion, and air forces commanders often are unfamiliar without technical aids.
with the development of the ground battle except in Effective frontal aviation operations in support of
general terms. Ground force unit commanders some- advancing troops depend a great deal on providing
times hesitate to call for air support unless the support appropriate airfields. In some regions it is possible to
has been planned beforehand. As one Soviet com- use certain types of modem aircraft from unpaved
mentator stated recently, "The aviators fight according airfields. Some captured enemy airfields also could be
to their rules, and the combined arms troops accord- used. When appropriate airfields are available, third-
ing to theirs." The plans for mutual cooperation generation aircraft with their increased operational
worked out before the actions are often incomplete range and load capability enable the Soviets to provide
and account for only the situation when aircraft air support to ground forces advancing at high speed.
approach the FEBA. Lower-level ground force com- However, the Soviets have been seeking a type of air-
manders are not always informed of the fighter- craft that could operate from small, unpaved airfields
bomber and combat helicopter resources allocated for and insure reliable air support to their ground forces.
immediate missions. The combined arms commanders To help fulfill this need, the combat helicopter has
do not always know the location and condition of avia- emerged as a weapon system that can provide ade-
tion during the battle, the aviation's readiness to quate support with the required flexibility.
commit reserves, or the types of air strikes available. A
failure by higher headquarters to supply damage
assessment data to ground commanders causes PLANNING AND PREPARATION
unnecessary firing at previously destroyed targets. Planning and preparation of air support before an
To resolve the problems of mutual cooperation suc- offensive begin with the .front commander's orders
cessfully, Soviet military experts suggest wider adop- to his aviation commander(s) and to his army

FM 100-2-1

commanders. The order specifies the air units to be missiles have to be assigned by the commander in
committed, the ground armies to, be supported, and charge of the entire operation (usually the front
the time of attack commander or above).
With this information, the combined arms com- The Soviets normally maintain strict centralization
mander and his aviation staff reconcile the air assets in controlling air support resources. The supporting
allocated by the front commander with the air support aviation will not always be under the operational
requirements of the ground force divisions. A control of the combined arms commander. Instead, air
maneuver division commander consults his aviation support resources may be apportioned into regiment-
staff and develops his requirements by determining the flights or aircraft sorties with the required quantity of
targets to be attacked in his sector and estimating his munitions. These resources are allocated temporarily
immediate missions. Available air support is divided to the combined arms commander for the destruction
among preplanned, on-call, and immediate air support of selected objectives. The combined arms com-
missions. An on-call mission is one in which the target mander may not know which air force unit or forma-
may be predesignated, but the timing of the strike tion will accomplish the missions he requested.
remains at the discretion of the ground force com- Such centralized control allows a rapid reallocation
mander. If combat helicopters are to be used, air sup- of air support resources to accomplish the most
port is divided specifically between the fixed- and important missions that suddenly arise during opera-
rotary-wing aircraft, depending on the targets, flight tions. Air force units that were not originally assigned
distances, and disposition of enemy antiaircraft for ground support may sometimes take part in
defenses. After these determinations are approved and delivering airstrikes against ground objectives. Decen-
integrated with thefrontfiresupport plan, the aviation tralized employment of aviation (especially combat
commander issues specific orders to his air divisions helicopters) will be used when operations are being
and regiments concerning targets, numbers of sorties, waged on separate and disconnected axes. In that case,
air approach corridors, communications codes, and aviation assigned for air support will be transferred to
mission timing. The air representatives at army, divi- the operational control of the combined arms com-
sion, and regiment then confirm, for the respective mander, for employment according to his needs.
commanders, the air resources allocated to them.
Normally, the frontal aviation commander holds a
percentage of his forces in reserve to meet unforeseen PREPLANNED AIR SUPPORT MISSIONS
demands of division commanders. Division com- As preplanned target assignments are received by air
manders also can withhold a percentage of their allo- regiments and squadrons, they are studied closely to
cated air assets as reserves. determine the best tactical approach. Large-scale maps
When a regiment has been assigned specific air and, in some cases, scale models of the terrain and
support, the regimental commander explains his targets are used to familiarize pilots with their assign-
objectives to the commander ofthe supporting air unit ments and to determine the optimum flight path and
and the forward air controller assigned to his regiment. approach maneuvers.
He also seeks their recommendations. Once airborne, the aircraft proceed to a designated
Both front and army commanders pay particular checkpoint behind friendly lines where they confirm
attention to coordination of artillery and missile fire their target assignment with ground control. The
with preplanned and on-call air strikes so that artillery emphasis placed on strict adherence to predetermined
and missile fire can neutralize or suppress enemy anti- timing and flight paths indicates the probable use of
aircraft defenses before the arrival of attack aircraft. "safe" corridors through friendly antiaircraft defenses.
Coordinating the delivery of nuclear strikes is an Aviation control elements and forward air controllers
important function for the ground and air com- maintain communications with attack aircraft either
manders and their staffs. The commander of combined directly or through radio relay aircraft.
arms forces decides the employment tactics for As the aircraft approach the target area, forward air
nuclear weapons immediately within the ground force controllers establish communications and make sure
zone of advance to the depth of the range of his tactical targets are correctly identified by the pilots. When the
missiles. He has to determine the target and the type, target is in sight and has been confirmed by the for-
method, and time of delivery of nuclear strikes for his ward air controller, the flight leader assigns individual
own missiles and for the carrier aircraft operating in targets and orders the attack. Aircraft follow the
the zone of advance. Aviation missions for delivery of original flight plan through friendly antiaircraft
nuclear strikes beyond the range of ground force defenses unless changed by ground control.

FM 100-2-1


A request for immediate air support is submitted by separate target sectors. Attack helicopters normally
the ground commander to the next higher head- are employed after the completion of the artillery
quarters and then forwarded, through the chain of preparation. However, it is possible to use both simul-
command. If a request for air support does not exceed taneously. In such a situation, the helicopters are
the division commander's allocated assets, he can assigned entrance and exit corridors parallel to and
order the air strike through his aviation control between artillery fire concentrations, and under the
element. Otherwise, army or front approval must be trajectory of artillery rounds.
obtained, depending on the size of support requested. The Soviets constantly emphasize that familiarity
As with preplanned support, the aviation control among the different elements of the combined arms
element at each command level participates directly in force of each other's tactics and equipment, and
the evaluation of each air support request and in the relationships of mutual trust and understanding, must
coordination of the strike mission. be firmly established in peacetime if effective coopera-
Aircraft designated for immediate missions can be tion and coordination is to be maintained during
airborne in holding areas or on the ground at airfields. combat. The peacetime distribution of air assets
Occasionally, an aircraft on armed reconnaissance among the military districts and groups of forces and
patrol can be diverted to respond to an air support within the force structure reflects the Soviet desire to
request within its area of operations. The Soviets establish a peacetime organization that closely
recognize three levels of combat readiness for frontal corresponds to the wartime 'structure of combined
aviation aircraft and crews. Aircraft in categories one arms formations. The aviation command and control
and two respond to ground force requests for immedi- structure is closely aligned with that of ground
ate air support. Before takeoff, pilots receive a short maneuver formations to insure effective, continuous,
briefing that designates a checkpoint toward which to combined arms coordination.
proceed and, possibly, the target location. On reaching The Soviets prefer to use experienced pilots from
the checkpoint, the pilots contact the air represen- the supporting aviation unit as forward air controllers.
tative of the ground force units being supported to They prefer to have qualified helicopter pilots direct
receive target designation or confirmation. Approach, helicopter strikes and qualified fighter-bomber pilots
attack, and recovery air control procedures remain the direct fighter-bomber strikes. However, either forward
same as in preplanned air support missions. air controller may direct strikes by both types of sup-
porting aviation so long as adequate air-ground
communications can be established.
AVIATION EMPLOYMENT The forward air controller provides pilots the target
The Soviets emphasize that aviation can provide location (either in grid coordinates or in relation to a
responsive and continuous fire support if its employ- predetermined reference point), the time to execute
ment is guided by the following principles: the strike, and information on the ground situation.
* The early attainment of air superiority. The forward air controller normally does not attempt
* Coordination and integration with other arms. to mark the target, but frequently uses pyrotechnics to
* Employment in mass. mark friendly troop locations. He may give the pilots a
* Strict, centralized control. signal when they should climb and identify their target.
The pilot has primary responsibility for pinpointing the
target. However, the forward air controller assesses
Air-Ground Coordination and adjusts the strikes for successive target runs. Com-
The Soviets consider that the coordinated use of the munications security between the forward air
airspace over the battlefield and aerial delivery of controller and aircrews is maintained by the
ordnance close to friendly troops are among the most transmission of brief coded messages and prearranged
complex problems of modern combat. A considera- signals.
tion in their emphasis on early attainment of air Minimum safety distances between friendly troops
superiority is simplification of the airspace manage- and air strikes during peacetime exercises vary
ment problem. To reduce air-ground coordination between 200 and 700 meters. In actual combat, the
problems as much as possible, attack helicopters, Soviets likely accept less rigid safety distances.
fixed-wing ground attack aircraft, and artillery are not Control and target identification posts are estab-
normally employed simultaneously in the same fire lished as necessary to exercise command and control
zone. Attacks by fixed-wing aircraft and artillery fire of helicopters and aircraft in a designated air sector.
sometimes coincide in time, but they are assigned The posts support the introduction of aviation into an

FM 100-2-1

area of combat operations and also may direct ground planning air and ground operations. There are four
strikes. The posts also accomplish direct coordination major categories of targets for air reconnaissance:
between ground-attack and fighter aircraft and ground * Nuclear weapon systems and storage depots.
air defense units. These posts are equipped with radar, * Active and potential enemy airfields.
communications, and automated equipment and may * Defensive positions and systems (air defense,
be ground- or air-based. command and control centers, electronic warfare
* Enemy reserves, supply depots, and approach
Control Versus Mass routes (particularly key intersections and bridges).
According to the Soviets, strict centralized control is Aircraft crews on any mission are expected to
one of the "ecisive conditions for the successful immediately report observed enemy activity. Primary
conduct of combat operations" by aviation. responsibility for air reconnaissance is borne by dedi-
Centralized control and mass are viewed as corollary cated reconnaissance regiments. These regiments
principles, providing for the fullest exploitation of the have specially equipped reconnaissance aircraft.
mobility and maneuverability of aviation. Airborne electronic intelligence collectors also are
Aviation assets may be dispersed to avoid available from aviation assets.
destruction by the enemy's nuclear or massive conven- Perishable target intelligence data is transmitted by
tional fire strikes. However, through centralized radio from the aircraft to ground command posts.
control they are rapidly reconcentrated to deliver Greater effort is being made to develop and improve
massive strikes against the enemy's main attack or in methods for secure transmission of reports from the
support of their own main attack. Centralized control aircraft to data collection and processing centers. The
also is alleged to enhance the planning and execution processing of data from an air reconnaissance mission
of surprise strikes on the enemy, to allow the mainte- takes 2 to 8 hours, although procedures for inter-
nance of a strong air reserve, and to simplify coordina- preting reconnaissance data are being modernized to
tion among aviation assets performing different speed up this process.
missions in the same air space (e.g., air defense, ground In training exercises, the Soviets have shown some
support, reconnaissance). reservations about employing armed reconnaissance
In a rapidly changing combat situation, centralized flights on battlefield and rear area interdiction
control expedites the reallocation of aviation assets to missions ("free hunting" flights) until air superiority is
accomplish important missions that suddenly arise established. Armed reconnaissance efforts would be
during combat operations, such as destruction of directed toward disrupting the enemy's resupply
enemy nuclear weapons, aviation, and reserves. At operations and troop movements through the
times, aviation assets that were not originally assigned immediate exploitation of reconnaissance data: (by a
ground support roles may be tasked to strike ground flight of a reconnaissance aircraft and two to four
objectives. In contrast, it would seem that decen- attack aircraft). Targets for interdiction missions are
tralized control of aviation assets, especially attack nuclear storage areas, enemy airfields, troop reserves,
helicopters, is desired when combat operations are and command and control centers. Targets may be
conducted on separate, disconnected axes. In such located up to 480 kilometers behind the front lines.
cases, combined arms commanders control and Interdiction of enemy efforts to deploy and concen-
employ allocated aviation assets according to the trate his forces against a rapid and highly mobile attack-
needs of their maneuver forces. ing force is considered particularly effective when the
enemy lacks in-depth reserves and relies on moving
forces laterally to blunt offensive operations.
Reconnaissance and Targeting The classification (characteristics and configura-
The principal method for gathering target intelli- tion) and location of targets are the bases for planning
gence is air reconnaissance. The front commander's strikes): Targets are classified as single, multiple, line,
staff prepares an overall reconnaissance plan that or area. (See examples in the upper chart at right.)
details tasks for tactical aviation assets. Tactical
aviation reconnaissance focuses on the tactical and
operational depths of the enemy, although targets at Mission Execution
strategic depths also may be assigned. Air strikes in direct support of ground maneuver
Air reconnaissance is conducted to determine the formations are primarily preplanned, with some on-
enemy's intentions and collect intelligence for call. The combined arms commander identifies the

FM 100-2-1

targets, times, and desired damage for air strikes. The technique and ordnance, communication codes, and
aviation commander determines the force, size, ord- approach and departure routes.
nance, and attack technique that will accomplish the A portion of available air assets is held in readiness to
strike mission. execute immediate missions against unexpected
Preplanned strikes are planned in great detail and targets. On-call strikes are made against predesignated
integrated with other forms offire support. Large scale targets, with the timing of strikes left to the discretion
maps and, in some cases, terrain models are used to of maneuver force commanders. Aircraft and heli-
familiarize pilots with targets, to plan approach and copters designated for on-call missions can be
departure routes, and to develop attack techniques. airborne in holding areas or on the ground at forward
Attack variations are developed and practiced to pro- airfields.
vide pilots with a ready response to changes in the The Soviets recognize three levels of combat readi-
situation. ness for fighter-bomber aircraft and crews, which are
The plan for preplanned strikes normally covers the described in the lower chart below. These categories
first 1 to 2 hours of combat operations, but maycover a are probably also applicable to other types of ground-
period of up to 24 hours in a static situation. The plan attack aviation assets. Aircraft in categories one and
specifies the targets, strike force, time, location, attack two respond to on-call missions.

Classification of Air Strike Targets I


SINGLE (OR POINT) Rocket launcher, tank or armored vehicle, Single aircraft using low-level or dive delivery
parked aircraft, or helicopter. Radar firing point, of ordnance. ARM employed against radars.
observation point, or bunker. Single helicopter using ATGM or rockets.
MULTIPLE Group of 10-20 single targets occupying an Attack by a small group (2-8) of aircraft or
area of 1-1.5 km. helicopters with the appropriate ordnance,
LINE Tactical march column (usually 1 km or longer), Attack by a single aircraft or a small group
train, runway. along the long axis of the target. Helicopters
attack column from the flank.
AREA Dispersal or assembly areas of a battalion or
larger unit, supply depot, large command and Massive and concentrated air strikes, delivered
control center, forward airfield. from various altitudes and directions.

Levels of Combat Readiness



ONE Aircraft are fully serviced and armed. Combat crews are 1-2 hours 3-5 minutes
briefed on their mission and are inthe aircraft ready to start
engines. Ground personnel are assisting the combat crews.
TWO Aircraft are fully serviced and armed. Combat crews are 2-4 hours 15 minutes
briefed and are in the vicinity of aircraft ready to take off
within a specified short period of time after receiving a
mission order.
THREE Aircraft are refueled and serviced. Cannons are loaded. 2-4 days 1-2 hours
External systems (bombs, rockets, missiles, fuel tanks, etc.)
are not loaded. Combat crews are known, but briefing on air
and ground situation is given before takeoff.
FM 100-2-1


The Soviets prefer to use helicopters for immediate, Besides the air operation at the onset oftheater-level
time-sensitive strikes close to friendly forces. The hostilities, Soviet doctrine calls for air support of
reduced logistic requirements of combat helicopters, ground forces in offensive operations. The Soviets
compared to those of fixed-wing aircraft, very often recognize four stages of air support within an offensive
allow deployment close to the main battle area which operation: support for movement forward, air prepara-
enhances their ability to respond to on-call missions. tion, air support, and air accompaniment, which cor-
The Soviets indicate that helicopters have other advan- respond to the phases of the fire support plan. The
tages over high-performance aircraft, such as the major difference between the phases is their time of
ability to concentrate and maneuver undetected for a deployment, although there are some differences in
strike and the enhanced capability of helicopter pilots targeting, command, and aircraft.
to evaluate more rapidly and exactly the battlefield Supportformovementforwardisto protect units as
conditions. The Soviets, concerned for the they move up from assembly areas.
vulnerability of helicopters to high-performance Air preparationtakes place prior to the onset of a
fighters, prefer to employ them in ground support only ground offensive, across a specified frontage. It can be
to the range of their air defense umbrella. simultaneous with the preparation fire of both the
Conversely, fixed-wing aircraft are employed more artillery and missile units and requires close, detailed
frequently in strikes on previously reconnoitered, coordination with these forces with regard to target-
fixed or semifixed targets, in the immediate rear, or at ing and timing. Air strikes in the preparation phase
greater depths. The vulnerability of high-performance generally extend no farther than the enemy's
aircraft to ground-based air defenses when executing immediate operational depth (i.e., enemy corps rear
ground attacks necessitates a low-altitude, high-speed area). Depending on the combat situation, the
target approach and minimum time in the target area. duration of an air preparation can be from 10 minutes
Making such an approach, the pilot has only 3 to 6 to over an hour. The targets are those that conven-
seconds to identify his target and, after attacking his tional artillery and missiles cannot destroy because of
target, should clear the target area within 10 seconds. their distance, mobility, or "hardening." The plan for
The Soviets emphasize the importance of deception the preparation phase specifies in detail the targets,
and surprise in paralyzing hostile antiaircraft defenses. strike aircraft, time, location, attack technique and
Aircraft approach the target area at the lowest ordnance, and approach and departure rates. In special
permissible altitude given weather and terrain restric- situations, such as amphibious assaults, long-range
tions. Ideally, the approach altitude over enemy terri- aviation and/or naval aviation may participate in air
tory is 50 to 100 meters. Radio transmission is reduced preparation attacks.
to a minimum or prohibited entirely. Detected gaps in Air supportbegins after ground forces start an offen-
enemy radar coverage are exploited, and decoy flights sive. Its targets are at tactical and immediate depths
in advance of attacking aircraft can be used to distract and include enemy nuclear weapons, command and
defending antiaircraft systems. If more than one pass is control systems, and enemy reserves. The majority of
necessary to destroy the target, attacking flights air strikes are preplanned, but immediate air attack
approach the target from different directions to mini- missions against centers of resistance are made at the
mize antiaircraft effectiveness or approach from the request of ground force commanders within the
direction of bright sunlight to minimize visual detec- limitations of their allocated resources. The air sup-
tion and recognition. Electronic countermeasures play port phase closely follows the operational plan pre-
a large role in neutralizing air defenses. pared before the onset of the offensive and is an exten-
As long as modem antiaircraft defense relies on sion of the strong artillery fires associated with Soviet
radioelectronic equipment, neutralizing its operation offensive operations. As in the air preparation stage,
through interference is considered by the Soviets to be the targets generally are those beyond the destruction
a major way to reduce aircraft losses. Soviet aircraft capabilities of artillery and missiles.
possess radioelectronic jamming equipment, which Air accompaniment occurs as Soviet ground forces
they believe will help them overcome the enemy penetrate deeply into enemy defenses. The specific
antiaircraft defenses. The Soviets also expect their point at which air accompaniment begins is not clear,
aircraft losses would be reduced due to the destruc- but it is during the advanced stage of offensive opera-
tion of enemy antiaircraft defense weapons by fire tions when the progress of the ground forces has out-
delivered by the ground troops. The ground force stripped the prepared fire support plan, and reassess-
radiotechnical facilities can also create interference in ment and reallocation of air resources are necessary.
enemy systems of control. After allocating air resources before an offensive, the

FM 100-2-1

front commander plays little further direct role in the " Major command and control points, headquarters,
conduct of air support unless large reallocations are and communications centers.
required. However, in the air accompaniment phase, " River-crossing sites and equipment, ammunition,
the role of the front commander is again emphasized, and fuel dumps.
indicating the probability of significant reallocations of Variations of the plan also provide for air strikes
air resources supporting maneuver forces to adjust to against attacking forces that are out of range of artillery
the developments in the combat situation. and tactical rockets, and concentrated fire by all fire
Air cover for airborne and airmobile operations is a support weapons or forces that have reached, or pene-
type of air accompaniment mission which might take trated, forward defensive positions.
place concurrently with the preparation phase or sup- Helicopters with ATGMs are employed to counter-
port phase over the FEBA. attack armored or mechanized forces. The helicopter
Both fixed-wing aircraft and combat helicopters are force seeks routes that allow it to approach the flank of
used in the three stages of air support for offensive the enemy force undetected. If terrain variations do
ground operations. The increasing numbers of combat not provide adequate concealment for the force,
helicopters deployed enable them to play a greater smoke may be employed to conceal its approach.
role in the support of ground forces freeing fixed-wing During withdrawal, helicopters support rear guard
aircraft for missions against deeper targets such as units by attacking advancing enemy units from ambush
nuclear weapon depots and airfields. and by laying minefields.
In a meeting engagement, air support assets,
especially attack helicopters, screen and support
Soviet units as they maneuver into position. Also, air TRENDS
strikes are employed against enemy columns moving The Soviets are attempting to resolve problems
forward to reinforce engaged units. Soviet exercise about the provision of more reliable and continuous
scenarios frequently have attack helicopters employed air fire support to ground forces. In this respect, their
in flanking attacks against reinforcing or counter- efforts seem to be concentrated in two areas: improved
attacking enemy armor columns. accuracy of munitions delivery and improved air and
In a pursuit, air support assets (either high- ground interaction.
performance aircraft or helicopters) attack with- The Soviets have already introduced a new genera-
drawing enemy units through armed reconnaissance tion of helicopter-mounted ATGMs with greater
and in ambushes along withdrawal routes. Combat standoff range and accuracy. They also have in produc-
helicopters also can be assigned to support forward tion or development precision-guided munitions
detachments outside the range of artillery fire. (PGM), "smart bombs" which are similar to those
deployed by US forces. A new air-to-surface missile, the
AS-X, is expected to have a range of approximately 40
SUPPORT IN THE DEFENSE kilometers with electro-optical guidance and low alti-
In the defense, air fire support is integrated into the tude (150 meters) firing capability.
overall defensive fire plan. The air fire support plan Soviet discussion on organizational forms of aviation
extends to the immediate operational depth of the has centered on improved interaction with maneuver
enemy and seeks to disrupt his attack plans. formations, including organization of support for
Several variations of the air fire support plan are army-level operations, organization of bomber "strike
developed in detail. Variations of the plan take into groups," and development of improved night air
account the anticipated actions of the enemy and his reconnaissance and fire support of ground maneuver
most probable avenues of approach. An aviation coun- units.
terpreparation is planned for each variation. The objec- Subordination of some aviation assets to the army
tive of the counterpreparation is to launch a powerful, commander has been accepted in practice, as the
surprise, concentrated strike of short duration to Soviets frequently refer to "army aviation." The issue
preempt the enemy's plan. The targets of the counter- now appears to be the optimum composition and
preparation are- strength of the army-level aviation force. Discussion
" Nuclear warheads and delivery systems. focuses on a mixed air regiment ofreconnaissance and
" Artillery in firing positions. liaison aircraft and up to a division-sized unit of ground
" Aviation on airfields. attack aviation.
" Armored or mechanized forces preparing to Considerable interest also has been expressed in
attack. forming aviation "strike groups." The strike groups

FM 100-2-1

would be capable of conducting independent opera- recognize limitations in their capability to maintain
tions against key targets at operational and strategic continuity of air support at night. They see a need for
depths of the enemy, both during and subsequent to improved target designation and mutual identification
the conduct of an air operation. It also would deliver procedures between air and ground units at night,
strikes in support of ground maneuver formations at even to the extent of forming special helicopter units
operational and tactical depths. A strike group would for night combat.
be two to three air divisions strong, would consist pri- As new equipment is introduced and when organiza-
marily of fighter-bomber and bomber (probably tional modification is accomplished, Soviet aviation
BACKFIRE and BADGER) aircraft, and would be will be able to provide increased support to combined
subordinate directly to the Soviet High Command. arms forces. Improved accuracy of ordnance delivery,
A third area of expressed interest is the improve- greater flexibility in employment, and increased
ment of nighttime aerial reconnaissance and ordnance responsiveness to combined arms commanders will
delivery in support of ground maneuver formations. enhance air-ground coordination.
Despite heavy emphasis on night combat, the Soviets



The Soviets employ smoke extensively on the battle- screens are either stationary or mobile depending on
field. It probably will be used every time the situation prevailing winds and the dispensing means used. Each
permits. The Soviets distinguish between toxic and basic type is intended to serve a different tactical
nontoxic smokes in their doctrinal literature. This purpose, but all may be employed simultaneously.
distinction drives their planning on when they should The intent of blinding smoke screens is to blind
mask. They intend to force the enemy to use his chemi- enemy gunners, observation posts, and target acquisi-
cal protective systems which will generally lower his tion systems and to restrict the enemy's ability to
effectiveness. engage Soviet forces effectively. The blinding smoke
A number of different agents may be used together. screen normally is produced by the Soviet S-4 mixture
For instance, chloride mixtures produce a particulary and WP and/or PWP. The casualty effects and
effective liquid agent. Liquid chloride agents are com- collateral damage produced by WP and PWP are
posed primarily of titanium, silicon, or tin tetra- significantly greater than those of other agents. These
chlorides. Smokes, such as the S-4 compound, (chloro- smokes probably are preferred for use against enemy
sulfonic acid, sulfur trioxide, and sulfuric acid) maybe positions. The WP and PWP can be delivered by rocket
seeded with particulates to block portions of the elec- launchers, artillery, mortars and fixed-wing aircraft or
tromagnetic spectrum more fully. The vast quantities helicopters. S-4 probably is delivered by spray tanks
of white phosphorus on the battlefield suggest also mounted on aircraft.
that random mixtures of this agent will combine with Blinding smoke rounds are included in the artillery
other obscurants, both man-made and natural. preparation for an attack and in fires in support of the
Soviet forces are well equipped for the use of smoke. attack. Likely targets are enemy defensive positions,
Their munitions and equipment include-- rear assembly areas, counterattacking forces, fire sup-
* Smoke grenades. port locations, and subsequent objectives.
* Smoke barrels, drums, and pots. The screening properties of a blinding smoke
* Spray smoke generators. screen, coupled with the dust, HE combustion effects,
* Mortar and artillery smoke rounds. and incendiary effects of phosphorus, create an
* Combat vehicle engine exhaust smoke systems. environment in which fear and confusion are added to
Smoke delivery systems are plentiful, as are smoke- the measured effectiveness of the smoke.
filled artillery projectiles, smoke bombs, spray tanks, The purpose of camouflage smoke is to provide
and generator systems. Conventional wisdom, stem- freedom of movement for units, to conceal the loca-
ming from Soviet open writings, holds that some 7 to tion of units and the nature and direction of an attack,
10% of all artillery units of fire are smoke rounds, to provide protection against the thermal radiation of
mostly white phosphorus (WP) and more recently nuclear explosions, and to degrade night-vision sights.
plasticized white phosphorus (PWP). The camouflage smoke screen is used on or to the front
The Soviets maintain that when firing is done from a of friendly troops. These screens normally are
position covered with smoke at targets outside the employed up to the point where forces deploy to the
smoke, effectiveness decreases approximately 10 attack formation. The number, size, and location of
times. When only the targets are concealed by smoke, camouflage smoke screens vary depending on terrain,
effectiveness decreases four times. weather, and the tactics conducted. Soviet writings
In recognition of the need to counter target acquisi- describe a battalion-level exercise in which four sepa-
tion and guidance systems operating in the IR and rate camouflage screens were established to cover the
microwave regions of the electromnagnetic spectrum, battalion's deployment to company columns, move-
the Soviets are developing smokes and aerosols ment toward the forward edge of the battle area
capable of attenuating such radiation. (FEBA), and final deployment to attack formation, a
distance of approximately 3 kilometers.
Camouflage smoke screens normally are established
TYPES OF SMOKE SCREENS by using a combination of smoke barrels, smokepots,.
The Soviets recognize three basic types of smoke combat vehicles with smoke-generating systems,
screens: blinding, camouflaging, and decoy. Each type decontamination vehicles, vehicles mounting smoke-
is classified as being frontal, oblique, or flank in nature, generating devices, and/or aircraft. The smoke
depending on the placement of the screen. Smoke generators of armored or TMS-65 decontamination

FM 100-2-1

vehicles establish a smoke screen very quickly. of troops maneuvering in smoke is extremely difficult
However, they can be easily detected, so normally they even when the use of smoke is planned and com-
are used only when cover is available or well behind manders have had an opportunity to conduct recon-
friendly lines. Smoke-generating vehicles start at the naissance and to prepare their troops. When meteoro-
center of the line to be smoked and travel in opposite logical conditions are not considered, smoke
directions along that line at approximately 15 kmph. unexpectedly covering friendly forces can lead to dis-
Two vehicles are sufficient to lay a smoke screen long orientation, loss of command and control, and tactical
enough to cover a battalion advancing to the attack. disaster. Careful analysis of meteorological conditions
For larger smoke screens, the line is divided into seg- in the planning process cannot be overemphasized.
ments, with two vehicles assigned to each segment. The meteorological conditions that most affect the
The Soviets state that camouflage smoke screens employment of smoke are wind, lower-atmosphere
should cover an area at least five times the width of the stability, temperature, relative humidity, and
attacking unit's frontage. precipitation.
The Soviets are concerned with the threat of enemy Wind direction is usually specified according to its
helicopter-mounted ATGM systems. Consequently, relation to the line of the FEBA and is classified as head,
Soviet doctrine calls for advancing forces to move as tail,oblique,orflank. A wind that blows at an angle of
close behind the smoke screen as possible. The higher 60 ° to 90 ° to the FEBA is considered either a head or
the smoke screen, the higher a helicopter must go to tail wind, depending on whether it is blowing from
observe troop movement behind the smoke screen one's FEBA to that of the enemy (tail) or vice versa
and the more vulnerable the helicopter is to ground- (head). An oblique wind blows across the FEBA at an
based air defense weapons. The TMS-65, which can lay angle of 30 ° to 60 ° . A flank wind blows parallel to, or
a smoke screen approximately 400 meters high, is an not more than 30 ° from, the FEBA. A tail wind is highly
excellent dispenser for this purpose. There is favorable when forces are attempting to establish a
considerable observation-free maneuver space behind blinding smoke screep.
a screen of this height. Conversely, smokepots provide Wind speed data help to predict the drift rate and life
a 5- to 10-meter high screen which screens against span of a smoke screen and the quantity ofsmoke agent
ground observation, but leaves the force vulnerable to required. The Soviets classify wind speed as being
helicopters "hugging the deck" and "popping up" to favorable, moderate, dr unfavorable as shown below.
Soviet literature and training indicate that the
Soviets do not consider "neutral" smokes to be harmful Wind Effects on Smoke Operations
to personnel or equipment given the relatively limited
exposure expected during the movement to attack. WIND SPEED CONDITION
Consequently, Soviet troops rarely wear protective
clothing when operating in camouflage smoke. 0-1.5 meters/sec .............. Unfavorable
A decoy screen is established to deceive an enemy as 1.5-3.0 meters/sec .............. Moderate
ito the actual location offriendly forces and a probable 3.0-5.0 meters/sec .............. Favorable
direction of attack. The site and location of decoy 5.0-8.0 meters/sec .............. Moderate
screens depends upon the type of combat action, time Greater than 8.0 meters/sec ... Unfavorable
;available, terrain, and weather conditions. An example
of the use of decoy screens is a river crossing in which Under favorable conditions, the smoke cloud is dis-
several possible crossing sites are screened simultane- rupted very little, its life span is optimum, and the
ously. If the enemy fires into the decoy screen, black quantity of smoke agent required is minimal. Under
smoke devices and fires will be ignited to simulate moderate conditions, a relatively large quantity of
burning vehicles or equipment. Other "disinforma- smoke agent is required; however, the life span of the
tion" which should be expected includes speakers cloud still permits tactical use. A high density of smoke
emitting sounds of tanks operating. may be achieved under moderate wind speeds. If the
wind direction changes frequently, there is a danger of
ineffective dispersal. With unfavorable wind speeds,
METEOROLOGICAL the smoke cloud disperses too rapidly or not at all.
INFLUENCES ON SMOKE Three conditions of atmospheric stability are
Local meteorological conditions impact greatly on recognized: stable, neutral, and unstable. Stable
the employment of smoke. The command and control conditions exist when the lower layers of the air are

FM 100-2-1

cooler than the upper layers. This usually occurs at by vertical air movements. These conditions normally
night and in the early morning when there is a cloud- occur on cloudless days, and/or when wind speeds
less sky. During this time, intermixing of air in the exceed 12 to 14 meters per second. Under these
atmosphere is very limited, and the smoke tends to conditions a smoke cloud quickly disperses.
drift along the earth's surface. Neutral conditions exist Heavy rain is unfavorable for smoke. Falling rain-
when the air temperature is the same at the earth's sur- drops wash the smoke out of the air, and lead to the
face as it is at the upper layers. This usually occurs accelerated dispersion of a smoke cloud.
when there is cloud formation and the wind speed Favorable meteorological conditions for employing
exceeds 2 to 3 meters per second. This condition smoke occur when a wind is stable in direction with a
favors the employment of smoke. In unstable condi- speed of 3 to 5 meters per second and a stable or
tions, the lower layers are warmer than the upper neutral atmospheric condition exists. Average condi-
layers, thus causing an intensive intermixing of the air tions for using smoke include a wind speed of 1.5 to 3

Munition Expenditure Norms for Producing

a 1-km Smoke Screen for 15 Minutes



Number Number Number Number Number Number
of tubes of rounds of tubes of rounds of tubes of rounds

82-mm mortar 12 1000 8-12 750 8 500

120-mm mortar 8 300 8 220 4 150
122-mm howitzer 8 300 8 220 4 150

1. The wind speed is assumed to be 3 to 5 meters per second.
2. Ifthe wind speed is 6 to 7 meters per second, the ammunition consumption should be multiplied by
3. An artillery battery of 6 pieces, regardless of the caliber of its weapon, can produce a smoke screen-
- over a 500- to 700-meter front if the wind isa crosswind.
- over a 150- to 200-meter front if the wind-is a head or tail wind.
If a front exceeds these dimensions, it must bedivided among the batteries.
4. When there isalayer of snow over 20 cm indepth, the ammunition consumption should bemultiplied
by a factor of 1.5 to 2.

Munition Expenditure Norms for Producing

a 120- to 200-Meter Smoke Screen for 15 Minutes


Up to 5 More than 5 Up to 2 3-5 6-7 More than 7
meters per meters per meters per meters per meters per meters per
second second second second second second

82-mm mortar 120 200 25 40 60 90

120-mm mortar or
122-mm howitzer 40 70 12 18 25 40

FM 100-2-1

meters per second or 5 to 8 meters per second with points. Artillery, mortar, and aircraft are to be the
neutral atmospheric conditions. Unfavorable condi- primary means of dissemination.
tions consist of wind speeds of less than 1.5 or greater * Artillery, aircraft, smokepots, and barrels are to be
than 8 meters per second, gusty winds, winds that are used to create screening smoke throughout the tacti-
unstable in direction, strong unstable atmospheric cal depth of the enemy's defense and to screen the
conditions, and heavy rain. flanks of attacking units.
An analysis of worldwide environmental conditions * Screening smoke of 2 to 3 hours' duration should
shows that certain areas are better suited for smoke be placed along a wide front to cover units conducting
use than others. For example, in Western Europe the river-crossing operations. Screens are to be placed on
winds are normally stable, the relative humidity is both sides of the river; floating pots and barrels also
normally high, and the average number of cloud-free may be placed in the river. Decoy screens are
days is low (approximately 36 to 38 per year). As a employed at one or more other likely crossing sites in
result, Western Europe provides highly favorable an attempt to deceive the enemy.
conditions for the use of smoke. The Middle East, * Important locations and possible targets such as
especially the desert regions, is not very favorable troop concentrations, crossing sites, bridges, railroad
because of the low relative humidity. junctions, and unloading areas are to be screened as
Smokepots also may be used to establish a smoke the situation dictates.
screen. To estimate the number of pots required to * Avenues of approach to these locations also should
maintain a smoke screen for a particular operation, the be screened, with particular attention being given to
Soviets use the following formula: eliminating reference points that could aid enemy avia-
tion in targeting the screened location.
* Reliable communications and continuous coordi-
N= N AT nation between units using smoke and forward air
LWD warning and air defense posts is essential.
• Maneuver forces should be covered by smoke
screens set down on a broad front.
N = number of smokepots required * Camouflage, blinding, and decoy smoke screens
A = area of smoke screen (square meters) should be used to conceal the direction and time of
T = time to maintain smoke screen (minutes) attack and to minimize losses.
L = length of impenetrable smoke screen from one • Smoke may be used to mark targets for friendly
pot (meters) aircraft and for signaling purposes.
W = width of smoke cloud at end of screen from one * Smoke should be used to screen logistics routes
pot (meters) and activities such as the repair and evacuation of
D = duration of smoke formation from one pot tanks, evacuation of casualties, etc., that are within
(minutes) range of enemy fire and observation.
* Smoke should be used to cover the movements of
guns into firing positions and from position to position.
For safety, N is increased by 10 percent to 15 * Smoke should be used to screen the activities of
percent. Additionally, as the amount required is engineer units when clearing minefields and to mark
affected by available light and meteorological condi- passages through engineer barriers.
tions, the required number may be reduced by 30 per- Soviet smoke doctrine and capabilities are
cent to 40 percent at night and increased by up to 50 impressive. However, very little training has been
percent if the wind is gusty or has a velocity greater observed, except for limited driving drills. When
than 5 meters per second. vehicle drivers cannot see to drive, and young com-
Soviet guidelines for the use of smoke are- manders cannot see to command, it must be expected
SBefore and during an attack, smoke should be that there will be confusion, and perhaps a hesitancy to
placed on enemy firing positions and observation use their doctrine as fully as they would like.

FM 100-2-1



The Soviets recognize that execution of combined * Provide personnel and equipment for water
arms operations requires extensive use of engineer purification and supply of potable water.
support. This support is influenced bythe requirement * Assist in assault of fortified positions by furnishing
to maintain high speed offensive operations, by the sappers.
widely-dispersed nature of combined arms operations, Most of the tasks described above are done by
and by the increased lethality of conventional and sappers. Engineers carry out more specialized work
nuclear weapons. such as the construction and operation of floating
bridges and ferries.
The engineer company in a motorized rifle regiment
ORGANIZATION of a motorized rifle or tank division is organized into a
There are two types of Soviet engineers: sapper, or mine warfare platoon, a technical (construction)
combat engineers found at regiment and division, and platoon, and a bridge platoon. The company has
more skilled engineers organized and trained for several APCs, vehicle-launched bridges, and assorted
specific missions. The latter type of engineer normally mine-clearing equipment.
is organic to army and front. From his senior commanders, the battalion com-
Engineer troops are assigned down through regi- mander receives engineer support to enable his unit to
mental level in all Soviet maneuver divisions, and cross natural and man-made obstacles, and to
platoons are sometimes detailed to battalions for construct defensive positions and barriers.
specific operations. The Soviets may assign motorized rifle or other
At army level, engineer units could include a ponton troops to perform engineer tasks when necessary.
bridge regiment, an assault crossing battalion, and a Troops of all arms and services are trained to perform
general engineer regiment or brigade. At front level, some engineer tasks such as building weapons
there might be a general engineer regiment or brigade, emplacements and trenches, emplacing and clearing
along with specialized ponton bridge regiments and mines by hand, and camouflaging weapons and
assault crossing battalions. equipment.
Motorized rifle or tank divisions have an engineer Motorized rifle and tank regiments, however, rely
battalion with various vehicle-launched bridges, heavily on their organic engineer company to-
ponton bridges, and heavy amphibious ferries, along * Provide limited mine warfare capability.
with trucks, and mine-clearing, construction, and * Execute route reconnaissance and route opening.
demolition equipment. The engineer battalions in tank * Support crossing of water and dry gaps with truck-
divisions have a larger number of heavy amphibious launched and tank-launched bridging.
ferries to support the divisions' armored vehicles. * Provide earth-moving capability for road work and
Airborne divisions have an engineer battalion of lesser entrenchments.
strength, with no heavy vehicle-launched bridging " Execute camouflage and demolitions.
equipment, ferries, or ponton bridge sections. The Soviet concept of engineer support includes the
The engineer battalion at division level is capable of attachment of support units from higher levels to those
performing the following missions- front line units in contact with the enemy from assets
* Provide engineer staff planning for organic and of senior commanders. Engineer unit tactical employ-
attached engineer troops. ment does not always follow strict organizational lines.
* Construct, repair, and maintain roads, bridges, Tactical employment of combat engineer, engineer
fords, and culverts. reconnaissance, and road and bridge subunits
* Support stream and river crossings with necessary generally involves the formation of one or more of the
equipment. following functional groupings:
* Coordinate organic and attached engineer troops " Mobile Obstacle Detachment (MOD).
in water crossings. " Movement Support Detachment (MSD).
* Assist in emplacement of obstacles and mines. " Engineer reconnaissance patrol.
Provide technical assistance in preparation of field Each engineer unit organic to a maneuver unit is
fortifications. commanded by a chief ofengineer services (CES). The
* Conduct engineer reconnaissance and develop CES is responsible for the organization of engineer
engineer intelligence. support, maintenance and use of engineer equipment,

FM 100-2-1

and combat readiness of the engineer units. He engineer reconnaissance patrol may consist of one or
concentrates engineer efforts to support a main offen- two BRDM scout cars or APCs. It is usually com-
sive effort or critical defense sector. At each level, the manded by an officer. Reconnaissance of tank fording
CES coordinates with the chief of engineer services at sites require divers and a tracked amphibian with river
the next higher level. reconnaissance devices. An engineer reconnaissance
The CES at regimental level is usually a major. He patrol is equipped with portable mine detectors and
participates fully in the staff,and coordinates with the route marking flags and may have a vehicle-mounted
other chiefs of services, and the chief of staff. He contri- mine detector for mounted mine reconnaissance of
butes to the reconnaissance plan, the combat order, roads and trails.
river crossing, and NBC defense plans. In accordance
with the commander's decisions, he plans engineer
support, the disposition of engineer subunits, and the Movement Support
use of combat units assigned to engineer tasks. Information gathered as a result of engineer recon-
naissance is used to determine the selection of march
routes requiring the least amount of engineering
ENGINEER SUPPORT IN THE OFFENSE preparation and the employment of engineer assets for
In the offense, the primary mission of the engineers route clearing.
is to assist in maintaining a high rate of advance. The movement support function includes all
Emphasis is on clearing and maintaining routes for the engineer activities which facilitate the movement of
advance of maneuver elements. This includes the maneuver forces. A movement support detachment
clearance or removal of mines and other obstacles, (MSD) is task organized from division or regimental
crossing of water obstacles, assisting in flank protec- engineer assets based on the mission and the avail-
tion and protection against counterattacks. Engineer ability o