IDfotmation Cutoff Dat€: 30 NoveEber 1976

Ihis is a Deparhent ol DefenseIntellige[ce Document py@aBd by the Soviet/WaEawPact Division, Direc'tonte fo! Intelligence &esearch, Delen6eIntelligence Agency Autho!: Major A. E. Hemedey, Clound FotcesBranch, Tlctics 8!d Otganization Section

PREFACE This study i6 produced pimadly as an inshuctional aid fot usein seFice schoolsand hoop units. It is int€nded a! a "how they fight" Eranualand descliber the tactics of a Soviet tank battslion when it iNdeployed in combined asn6 operationsin the Europeantheate! o! a sihilar environment. Details of t nk equipment in service at the ple8ent time are included as an Appendix. lte dbcus6ion of tactic6 i! at tank company and attached unit level. Tho6e requiling the detrils of bethods of opetrtion of taDk or motolized rifle coEpanies should con6ult Souiet Tank Compan! Ta.tica (U, DDI-1120-129-76 dat€d May ?6, ot The Sovict Moto.bed. Rifle Companf (U) DDI-1100-??-?6 dat€d May ?6. Tank tactics usd in btrilt-up aressare descdbedin Sovict Militarr Opetution| in Built-up Atuos (Ul DDI-1100-155-?7 (to be published). Addressees leque6ted to lorward infonation which will 6upplemmt o! co[ect thjs are leport. Questions and comments 6hould be lefened in w ting to the Defense Intelligenc€ Agency(A'ITN: DB-1B4),Washineton, D.C, 20301.



SUMMARY CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Purpose Scope CHAPTER2 ORGANIZATIONFOR COMBAT Subordination Structure Equipment Command Battalion CommandPost Battalion Support Group
Conhol Radio Radio Security OrdeIs

1 1 1 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 6 ,l 7 7 7 I 11 11 11


MarchFormalion Advanceto Contact and Combat Fomation MarchSecuriEy CHAPTER4 THE MEETINGENGAGEMENT Concept Tank Battalion Reinforcement Reconnaissance Deployment

13 13
7',t t7 71 t7 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 2l 2l 27 22 22

Section A Concepts Ceneml

Tank Battalion Support

Attack Frcntages Depths and Relative Strengths Ffte Support

Position SectionB Attack on a Prepared Deployment Reconnaissance Estimat€ Attack Coodination ObstacleCrcssing Assault Action

Pag€ Section c Second Echelon Tank Battalion in a Resiment's Attack On a PleDared Position Concept Ech Second elonPlanning SectionD Attack on an EnemyHastyDefense Concept Deployment Section E Pusuit Concept Deployment CHAPTER6 WATEROBSTACLE CROSSING Concepts Reconnaissance Initial ftoEsing and Fora€d Crossings Orgsnization Deployment Unopposed Deployment Opposed U6eof Smoke CHAPTER? NIGHT OPERATIONS Coneepts Night Observation Deployment Frontagesand Rate ol Advance CHAPTER 8 DESTRUCTION NUCLEAR DELIVERY MEANS OF Concept Combat Reinforcement Mission Combat Organization Communications Planning Order8 Execution Significance CHAPTER9 DEFENSE Concept Reinforcement Deployment Delen6ivePositions Defen6eOrganization
Reconnaissance and O!de!8

22 23 23 23

27 27 28 30 32 34


36 36

37 31 37 39 39 39 39 39 39 40 41 4l 4L 4l 41 43 43 43 43 43 43 44 44

Administrative Planning Conduct of tlle Defense Infanby Suppo ing Fire Countet Penetration


Page Service Support in Combat SecondEchelon Defense

Type of Withdrawal

44 44 44 45 45 45 45 45 47 47 47 4A

Mtusion6 Rear and Flank Guard Actions Main Body Movement Disengagement Organizationf or Withdrawa-] Orden and Coordination Conductof Witldrawal Conduet of Battalion RearcuardAction Withdrawal Tactics CHAPTER11 SECURITYDURING HALTS Concepts
Location of Rest Areas Camouflageand Concealment Reconnaissance a Rest Arca of Orden for Occupation

4a 4a
49 49 49 49 49 50 50

SecurityAft€r Occupation RegimentalRest Arcas CHAPTER12 CONCLUSIONS General CombatOrganization Command and Control TacticalEmployment Assessment CombatPotential of APPENDIXES APPBNDIXA APPENDIXB APPENDIXC APPENDIXD SOVIETTANKS SOVIET TANK T.?2 TANK ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT SOVIETCONVENTIONALSYMBOLS LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Figure 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 1.

54 54


Oryanization a SovietLankbatralion(L , ol 2 (U,) Representative command of a reinforced net tank batta.lion Tacticalfomations of a Soviettank battalionfU.) 8 A companyof T-62sin combatline 9 Deploymentof a reinforced (U.) 7 2 tank battalionfor the meetingengagement patrol is bdefed(U.) A combatreconnaissance Stages in committing a reinforced tank battalion in a meeting engagement(U.) t4


Page Figure 8. 9. 10. 11. !2. 13. t4. Tank unit"sare usually reinforced lor a mission (U.) Tank battalion deploybent during an assaulton a plepaled position (tt.) The unit commander entates tank commandeh o his beforean attack(U.) position(U.) The stages an attack on an enemyhastydefense of Dtect ard pamllel pursuit opention (U.) Tank batttlions in the filst echelon cross wat€r obstacles by snorkell i n g( U . ) . ..... Diaglamatic layout of a tar* battalion's control system for a water (U,) crossing (U.) Unopposed crossing a wat€robstacle of Opposed crossing a waterob6tacle a tank battalion(U,) of by Assault crossings are made by tanks using snorkels and a.recoveled by int€nse artillery fire Illustration of the concept of a reinforced tank battalion's attact against enemynuclear deliverymeans (U,) Tank battaliondefensive deployment(Nuclear conditions) Tank battalion as a reat and flank guard during a legimental \nithdrawal , BMPSol attacbed rifle units may be used in reconnaissance T-?2 in firing position the bottom line--T-5ss in the Att.ck-a "quick concentmtion of tank fire': T-54/55

20 27 26


31 33 34 38 42 46 49 50

19. 20. 21. 22. 24. 25. 26. 27. 24. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 36.

T.72 The new Soviettank T-72 Designteaturesin contrast to'l-62 BTU dozermountedon T-55 KMT mine plows Mineplow on T-55 T-62 with minerolteE T-72 showing snorkeltube lashed the rearof the tun€t tlre to Soviettanks with the combatsnorkelcontrastlpith the wider traininetube
in this photoglaph T-62 in the water fitted with combat snorkel

60 61 61 62 63 63 64 64 65

T.34-TARV T.54.T ARV

SUMMARY A Souiet tanh battalion, whethet assiEnedto a rifle or tcnk d.ivision,i.snomally organizeil into o headquorters,three tanh companies,a support analmaintenoncephtoon, and a medical Bectipn. Ind.ependent tdnh battaLionsma! be allocated more. than three tanh companies to accomplish specific mi$ions. Bdttalions usually take part in combinealarms operations unaLer the command of a regimental headquorters. The battalion operotes under the closesuperuisionof the regimental commander etcept in the meeting engagement,withdruwal, and.on an operation to destroy enemy nucleor deliuery mean$. The battdlion commander has more opportunity to u6e h's init[atiue in these l'tter opemtians. Fire support for the tanh bdttalion is hormslly aftsnEed b' the rcgimental commanaLeL The strict control and lach of opportunii! to display initiqtiue by compan! and pla,toon commdnders mdy aLegrade performance of a tahh bdttalion if tactical plans are the seuerelyupset during 4n operdtion. In combat a tank battalion is reinforced by motorized rifle elements, artillery, combat entlinee6, and chemrcal defen$e specialists. The extent of rcinforcement depenils on the mbsion. The reinforced battalion operatesuhen possible as a single maneuverelement in order to concenffate its firepouer. Howeuer, in the meeting engagement, pursuit and in the withdrawal the battalion may use an aduance or rear gudrd to pin the enemy alaun by fire uhile the rcst of the battolion maneuDers. goui.et tactic1l concepts for iLeployment of tank battalions arc sound. Tactical drills are uell rchearsed. and effectiue. Operctions arc designed to exploit the concentrated fiepower, mobilitf, and armor aniL CBR protection of tanhs. Deployment b normally from the line of march, companies use a combct formatinn suitable to the tetain aniL phase of operations. Combat security ia emphaaizedby I elementscf the battalian during operations. Control of the tank battalion in combat normolly is by rodio supplemented by uisual means.Attached. subunih ore on the battalion command net ouer uhich strict railio iLiscipline i$ maintained, The degree of radia security may inhibit the rapid. disseminatian of taryet Ouemll. we judge the Souiet tank battalion, reinforced to execute a particular mission, to be uell-oryanized and troined in sounal tactical concepts; and drills; it has high combat power and.potential


PURPOSE 1. This study presents infomation on the organization,command techniquesand tactics oJ the Soviet medium tank battalion. Details of vehicle pedonnance are limited to those that are relelant to tactical employment. The study is primarily intended to provide instructors at schools and in field units with reJerence material. SCOPE 2.a. The battalion is the badc unit of maneuver in the Soviet tank arm. Battalions are reinforced with detachments ftom other arms to enable them to complete a padicular mission. The descdption of tactics is at company and, in the case of attached arms, detachmert level. Details ol company tactics may be found in DD-l120-129-?6 Souiet Tanh Company ?acfics, and DDI-1100-??-?6, The Souiet Motorized.Rifle Company. b. The study concentmtes on tactics in a European setting in both nonnuclear a.nd nuclear environments. These tactics are designed prima-rily for use in {ast moving combal be{wpenmpchanized forces. Soviet tactical t€rminology has been used and deJined only when US terms {ail to describe Soviet concepts, organization and tactics adequately. Unless otherwise stated, military terms in common use have the meaning given them in JCS Publication l dated 3 Sep ?4. Soviet telms which have no US equivalent are defined when first used c. In tactical diagams, the reader should recognize that a radio command net links each company and detachment commander with lhe balLalioncommander. The adminishative and logistic elements of the tank battalion are a.lso able to list€n to the command net, although they are not shown in the majority of diagrams because of space limitations. Company tanks a-re on Lislening watch. d. The tactical diagrams are not templates and should not be used as such. Although scaleshave been included when possible, the deployment of a Soviet tank battalion in combat depends as much on the t€nain as upon tactical concepts. Frontagesused in the diagrams are for nonnuclear operations. In nucleai operations these frontages would be doubled. The diagr:ams are illustrative ol the text and of general principl€s, and are not intended to portray the way in which each and every Soviet operation wil be conducted.

CHAPTER 2 ORGANIZATION FOB COMBAT SUBORDINATION 1. tn both tank ard motorized rifle divi. sions, the tank battalion is subodinat€ to a regiment. In some motorized dfle divisions there is ,lso an independentt3nk battalion subordinate the division commander. to The number o[ Larks in each ba(taiion varies according subordination. to Detdiisolpersonnel strcngths and equipmentcan be found in DIA Soviet Ground Force Organizational Guide,DDI-1100-2-75 datedJune 1975. STRUCTURE as 2. The Soviettank battalionis organized shownin Figure1. In the tank batt€lion o4anic to a tank regimentthere are 31 tanks (10 per company plus a battalion comma.rdtank), and in the tank battalion of a motorized rifle r€giment there ale 40 tanks (13 per company plus a batta.lioncommand tank). The independent rine division tank battalionof a motorized probably is organized like the tank battrlion of a motonzedrifle reglment. lnformation conceming the equipment snd performance of these tanl6 is included in Appendix A. Battalions are also equipped with an armoredrecovery vehicle, an almoled command vehicle, an armored scout car, and an ambulance.Each battalion also has nrne mheclearingplow6. Officers and soldiers are equippedwith pei€onalweapons. Hard-held sudace to air missiles and tank mounted gunsare found in va.rying anliafcrafi machine in numbers eachtype of battalion. EQUIPMEIYT 3. The main battle tank ol the mecuum tank battalion is still eith€r the T-62 or th€ T-54/55, but growing numbers of the new T-72 are being intrcduced into Soviet units in the USSRand EastemEurope. COMMAND 4, Usualy, a major or a captaincomm.urcls a Soviet tank battalion. Companies comar€ or mandedby captains seniorlieutenants, and platoons by lieut€nanb or pmporchchihi (a

ol loa Figure1.Organization a Tanl ErtialionSubordinalc TankReSiment

lank roughly equivalent to a US wanant officer). A commarder below battalionlevel has little latitude in the way he executes his missionexceptwhenhjs unit is employed a as group or a march security leconnaissance detachm€nt. The battalion headquarterc is divided into a battalion commandpost (CP) groupand a battalionsupportgtoup. BATTALION COMMAND POST 5. The battalion CP is mounted in an armoredpeFonnel carrier (APC). It is controlled by the battalion chief of staJf, nor' mally a captain or seniorlieutenant. The CP is officer, communlmannd by the opemtions cations chief, political officer, a chemicalbiological-radiotogical (CBR) specia.list,radio operato$ and clerks. The battalion com_ mander is mounted in a tank for combat are opentions. Communications maintained by the CP with the battalion and regimental commanders. The CBR warning net is a.lso maintsined in the CP. A second APC is sometimes held in the battalion with radios netsasthe CP listeningwatch on th€ same on but rrithout a radio on the CBR waming net. 6. The battalion CP collatesand disseminates tactical intelligence and preparesoperation ordeE under the battalioncommander's guidance. training The chieJof staff organizes for keeping both the irnd is responsible battalion and regimental commander rnformed as to the combat strendh of the battalion. Out of combat, the chief of staff oiganizes daily routine of administration. the BAIAALION SUPPOBTGBOIJP of 7. This groupconsists the deputybattalion commander for technical affais, the medicalsection,and the supply and maintenanceplatoon. When the battalion is on the the march, the supportgroup supplies necessary ammunition, fuel, and lubricanf,sby Whenin action, dlect delivery in halt areas. the tanks are resupplied in their lorward positions. The support $oup establishes a point in order to maintechnicalobservation tain visual surveillanceover the battlefield to locate damagedtank6. A lepair and evacua' ouL tion groupthen carries on lle spot repairs

or evacuatesa damagedt€nk. Medical teams first aid, and recove!the wounded,administer evacuate them to regimental aid posts for treatment or movement to the rcar. The are battalion'ssupport resources augmented ftom regihent as required. CONTROL controls th€ 8. The battalion commander battslion by radio, visual, and audio signalsin the employment of well-rehearsed tactical formatiols and dlills. Tenain is identified by leferencepoints. Soviet producedrnaps ate extremely detailed and heated as classified documents. They arc carriedonly by office$. Except in the assault, tank units are usually led by commanders, The Soviets demand a high standard of personal leadershipand example set by unit leaders. be RADIO 9. R,adio nets are, when possible, controm troled at battalion level. Comma.nders the motorizedriflc, artillery, and air defense units attachedto a tank battalion join the battalion command net. Companiestransmit fLe support requ€sts to the battalion commander-andnot directly to the supportunit. Thrs reducesthe time availablefor artillery to engaget€igets of opportunity. The types of radio setsvary according division,but tank to are battalion'sintemal radio communications net effective.An exampleof a representative is at Figure2. BADIO SECURITY 10. Radio transmissionsecurity in the SovietFound forcesis stdct. Normallyorderi are given by battalion and company commandels of tank and attached units and arc acknowledged subordinatecommandeis, by Codewotds or numbels are usedlor reference points. Though they have common frequenci€s,it doesnot appea!to be the customfor tanks to transmit info@ation on ta.rgetsof opportunity dilectly to eithe! the infantry or ihe artillery.






netduring ng on receiv mode lhe battalion on NOTE:ll should be.otedthatthet.nks in thecompaniesoperate mosroperarons. NetotaReinlorced Baltalion Tank Fisure2. Represenlalive Command


'[e eI at+rsod Faq;rq eq11€Io4uot Faxa ol lueqcued p$os ern Jo e^rFrlpu pun fqfuel ar€ eserd,$BllIrE arn q suoqrn4sur uslLrrra p! os Jo saldEBxg uoflBmproot r{.ressareuaql lno Sqrifrlec lnorBla saleu --rproqns noql o1 uo $epro 4aw ssEdfJere6 oqr|. ruepuBr[Eo3 uo-rIB?+Bq ssord .ftelmln Jo la,r os aw ur r1lsrcgucarFrep$ooc $ e{ar[I,

'las aFpaqcs aIlIIa e g1€ pelB oIIE Foddns arlJ '.ropuEE@oc pluau[8er eql ^q Jo sFepp q$a pougop l{llensn $ uorsslu soIIB!@q aqJ lero fl porBaitr pe'reJard aql 'olper i(q ro .suoll -rn4sul u"$I!d ,{q ..{[ero Bpro uouBrado srq sans$ repusurEor uoIIF4eq eq.l .II



GENERAL 1. Soviet tank bathlions train to move into combat in well-reheaEedformations. position m Eachvehiclehas its predesignated t}le battalion formation. Tank battalions are ableto change fomation rapidly upon either radio, flag, or hand signals. They plactice formations appropdatefor movementin or out of contact with the enemy, Variation6 are designed take into accountboth the enemy to threat and the tenain. Att€ched units are The purdeployeda5 the situationdemands. pose of dgid aalherence set batde drill is to two-fold: a. To move as rapidly as possible in all phases operations. of b. To movein sucha way asto employthe maximum direct and iDdirect fire when contacts,ith the etremy made, is Such deploymentdrill proficiencyalsominimizesthe effect of t}Ie lack of skill of newly conscripted Soviet 6oldiers in maintaining Iinesof the advance. MARCH FORMATION 2. Duing movement to coiltsct, a tank battalion moves in column, on roads with commandelsleading their respectivesubunits. Tank battalions move at 15-20 kilometers per hour at night and 20 to 30 kilometersper hour in the da].time. If suitable loads exist, companiesmay move on parallel roads to avoidhaffic congestion. ADVANCETO CONIACT AND COMBAT FORMATIONS 3. Whenrontact with lhe enemyis imminent, tank batta.lions will move fLst into a Iine of company columns, then a line of platoon columns, and finaly in an assault line. Attached Eotorized ifle units ca.neither precede follow tank companies, or depending on the situation. The company and platoon columns and lines are echeloned to left or right to use t€nain cover or guard a flank as requir€d. Attached artilery, air defense and engin€er units are given loca.l protection within battalion formations.Figure 3 shows som€ Wpical battalion formation8 (attached armsnot shownfor sakeof clarity).







]SI IANX BATTALION OQUAITEiS NC A. a.fl.lton.olnn (out ol contet th 6.6y o, t6.l6erch) NOTE 30 matarsbatw6anvahicles.nd sub units i .i 30 kihnctr.s pcr hour.


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to 6 kn. hffi q. y tb.ut$)

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COMlAi LIN' D. D.Dlovh6,

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Cdrbrr LiE ^n dirr.6.E did.t.5 r5{ibNr6 t td.in raluc



rm FEE

-<tooCOMIANY COIUMN @lu6i ,o.tt.vh lffi.ttq l.o

PLAIOON COLUMN ol a tohk bttolt.a


Fi8ur.3. Tacticrl Form.tionse M.diunT.nhBrttalion of

MARCH SECURMY 4. When contact iS expected,matrch security procedules are put into eff€ct by each cornponent detachEentof the battslion. The entire battalion may also be employed a6 lne advanceguard for a regiment. In either care tlte battalion will be reinforced--,typically by the following units: a. A motodzed dfl€ company. b. An artillery batt€]ion.

c. An edgineersquad. d. An air defensebattery. e. A chemicaland radiological leconnaissance team. 5. Eachdet€chmenr deployed, terrain i6 as dictates, in order lapidly to be cohmitted into action. Battalion formation6 ate changed to meet variousmarchsecurityrequireme;b. Primary consideratioDsare rapid movemmf and all lound prot€ction.


Filun 4. A onrnny or T6- la tut

n |iE

@NCEPT 1. Ihe Soviets define the meeting engagement as combat between opposing columns npidly advancing towsrds each other. A rcinforced tank battalion, is most likely t,o be committed to a meeting engagemmt: a. During an advance contact. to b. Against enemy resewesalter a successtuI brcakthrough opelation. c. In the course of either an enemy or Soviet counterattack. d. During pusuit opemtiom. The Soviets consider that success meetin ing engagements gained by the force that is first deploys into combat lornation and assaults the enemy by fire. They regad the meeting engagementas being carried out rn tlEee phases: and secudtv a. Advance of leconnarssance elements. by security b. Deplo''mmt and a.6sa'l1t elemenb (if faced by a weak en€my). c. Assault by the mair body (when rcquted by strength). The Soviets coEsiderthe meetrngengagement to be the most impofiant batta.lion operation and it fteque[tly is the focu6 of trainnrg



2. A tank batt€lion may take part in a meeting engagementeither as ttre advance guad of s regidmt or ss part of the mam body after contact has aheady been made with the enemy. A typical reinforcement of a tank battalion has beeB de6cribed in Chapt€r 3. Figure 5 shows tlle type of fornation which a battalion employs during the meeting engagement approachmarch.




a q_
5 ro r0 xtloMrTEr5
I TO 2 XllOMarEtS

1 9 2 xtolreTEts

toss[LatattE^! crou'|No
Combit R.clonrissanc Prirol Laad[.i.n S.curily octaahiEnt



Racocnaissncaaxis ol

OE tbto.i{d riflc oLloo|l olr !rlilLry brtilry 3 Comb.t Rlaonnai..ancc Palrol O|.LDt pLtooo M.in thdy

Battrlio. t|.a&urn rs Groso Entin .r pLt@|| Anli.ncr.tt b.nlry Ciamical spacaalisls

Or|. tleto.ir.d RnbCo.np.ny ArtilLr, Baltrlion


9 Raconnaissanca Petrol orlr plaloon



Fi ur. 5. Dcglo'tFnl ol . R.inlorccd TantB.ttalim lor th. ift.tan8 EmaSEn.nt

RECONNAISSANCE 3. The combat leconnarssance patrol of the tank battalion, usually a tsnk platoon, is

tue while the Eain body of t}le battalion If assaulus, the Soviet tank battalion is part of the regimental main body, then the battalion commander rill be eiven an axis of advance

Fisurs6. A @nbar r&omrisnce

latrol i. bri€l.d {U.l

tasked with identjfying enemy locations, strengths,movements,and axes,and rcporting them to battalion and regimental staffs. DEPLOI'},IENT 4. When the battalion is employed a.6an advance guard, the commander of the lead (normally a reinmarchsecurity detachment forced tank company) has the authority to make the decision as to whetier to assaultthe enemycolumn.If the enemyis in strength, he may deploy and engagethe enemy with tank

by the regimental commander. Ordersfor the executionof a meehngengagemenL given are by Edio. Fire support from artillery attached to the battalion is augmented,astime allows, by aftilery attached to the regiment. Smoke €ither delivered by artiuery or generatedby the tanks themselves may be usedto conceal movement or obscure the freld of view of enemy Antitsnk Guided Missile (ATGM) opemtors.Tf Lhe main body i6 to attack, it will do so approx[nately 20 minutes alter initial contact is made. .


torcearivls in ihisposilionin €nemy march lO column appror. minules allcr being sight€d by combat recon.




Reporls b3llalion to cdmander post ttloves obse.vation and lo updalesinlormalaon en€my on

Corhb.t Rec.nn6issance


2 L.ad March S.curity 3
Uoves lro|n l€.d narch securily .l€tachment lire position lo Rec€ives contrci reporl giv€s Ballalion conmander ord6rs Mill.ry Battalion MainAody 7 MainBody MainBody Deployes tjre lositionlron column lo Deploys conDany into columns



Deploys platoon mns inlo colu
Ass3ullswith fire supportlron march s.curity detachmenl and iill€ry


FEur.7.Slates ConmittingR€intorc.dT.nk in a Battalion Meeting ina Enga$ment



'sseccnsroJ ssaulrE:ecmosar pue 'e^qer.llur 'peeds Sq4nbar uoq€rado arrnBur{p B rllt?lluasse q +I sB luouraSeSue Suqaaltr uoIIe$Bq aq1 roJ sqldap ro sa8eluo+ aqFcsop ol epBE sr ldua$B oN .rf4uBJr4 pezFoloE pue srluPl lo s{uBt Jo suoolqd olll

ro euo Jo odasar IFrrrs B rruoJ .uolsacro uo '.{eul rapuBEEor oqJ '(l em8ld aas) .uoleqro ouo m uEnloc Inreua oql qFesse r(IleErou uollsrl€q {uel E Jo ^poq qBu aqJ I


Section A--Concepts GENERAL conceptis to neu1. The Soviet offensive positionswith nuclear tralize enemydefensive o! nonnuclear fte and attack on a naITow ftont, if possible the llank and rear of the to enemymain position.Rapidlymountedoperations from the line of march are caEied out against hasiily prepared enemy defenses, whjle delibemte opentions are conducted againstwell-preparedpositions. TANK BATTAIION STJPPORT 2. A tank battalionis usuallysupported by the fLe of artillery and aircraJt and has the following attachmentsfrom other arms in offensive operations. a. b. c. d. Onemotorizedrifle company. platoon. An engineer platoon. A CBRreconnajssance Armoredrecoveryvehicles, supplyvehi clessnd ambulances.

Figur.a, T.nk unil3aret{6lly Einforc6dfor a hasion {u.l


ECHELONS 3. A battalion may attack in either one or two echelons.The secondechelon,usually one tank company,follows the first echelon at a distance of three kilometels. lf the filst echelon fails to reachits objective.Lhe mi6sion is teken ove! as a plioity task of the second echelon. When the fi$t echelon takes iLs objective, the second echelon is used to exploit the success. The second echelon is lrequently-bul inaccurarely-refeEedto in Soviet military writing as a "resewe". The tlue reserve (usually one tank platoon) is lormed by the battalion codrmander. The reselveis not given a miBsionat the outset of an operation. It is used to contend with untoreseen contingencies to mate a shift a.nd in the thrust of the operation. ATTACK FRONIAGES AND DEPTHS 4. Terrain,the degl€eto which the enemy folce has beenneuhalized, and whetherthere is to be use of nuclear weapons dictat€ the frontage of a battalion during an attack. The following distance6may be taken as typical:
Nuclee Conditioru 2 kilometeF 800 meteE 200 meters 100 meleB Non'Nucieu Conditioc 1-1.6LilometeB 600 meteB 160 meteB ?6 meieB

twice or thrce timesasstrongasthe attacking force may be engaged preparation if ffues have effectively neutralizedthe enemy defpnsive position. This inve$ion of usual attack defense ratios shows the effectiv€ness the Soviets expect from the destructiv€ force of nuclea.r weapons heaw a.rtillery and fire. FIRE SUPPORT 6. Ffue support for the t€nk battalion is nomally aranged by the regimentalcommander. Artillery is allocated bom division resoruces. Firc supportmay be augmented by dilect or indirect fte of tank units not taking part in the attack. Preparatory firc js usually on a fimed basisand canbe up to 40 minutes in length. Artiuery attachedto an attacking tank battalion coversthe movementof the -During the final battalion's fi$t echelon. posiassaulL, artillery engages enemy reserve tions. Soviet tanlG close to 150-200m of artillery fire du ng the advance. Artillely targelsin supportof second echelon missions are selected the tank battalioncommander by of after consolidation firct echelon objectives. SMOKE 7. Smokemay be usedbefore or after the start ol an offensive. Before lhe offensive starts the control of smoke is likely to be letained at legimental level or higher. When the battalion penetrates enemy d€fenses the the battalion commander rDaycall for smok€ either to conceala flank or to confusethe enemy as to the direction of the attack. The Soviets recognize lle value of smoke in obscuring the field of vision of ATGM operEtors. Since Soviet tank unit commandeE regad ATGMS the enemyrs as most dangerous antitank weapon,we believe that smokewill frequentlybe used. SectionB Attack on a Prepared Position DEPLOYMENT 8. A tank battalion requLes an initial kilometets deploymentareaof 8 to 10 square to prepale for an attack on a prepa.red 18

Uuit formulation)

A batt€lion attack in two echelons is normally carried out to a depth of 3 to 4 kilometers. After preparation fires, the fi$t echeloncaniesout an attsck to overcome the enemy forward poEitions. When the first echelon has consolidat€d its position the secondechelon attack is deliveted againstthe positionsin depth. enemy'6 RELATIVE STRENGTHS 5. The Soviets judge t}lat the usual preponderance attackers defense of to shouldbe betwe€n3 and 5 to 1 in tanks.But an enemy

position. The arca should be out of enemy obseFation, allow for camouflag€, and have good access roads: In this arca, tanks are resupplied with arnmunition and POL and are prepa.red for combat. Preliminary orders are given and units from motolized dfle and other attached units join th€ tarik companies. A poinL aL l}lc Eronl ol Lhedeploymenr area is designated th€ departwe point from which subsequent movement is timed. Once the battalion starts its advance no stops are made, although movement contol points may be established approximately every one to one

a.nd a hal-f hours march along ihe route. Routes arc Bom€times posted with c'olored ma.rkers. An area i6 selected some 4 to 6 kilomete$ ftom the eD€my position for companjes to deploy into column. Companies move into a column of platoons 1 to 3 kilomete$ ftom the enemy position depending on the tenain, and into 3n assault tine 1000 meters to 500 met€B in ftont of the enemy position. (See Figue 9). Second ech€lon companies remedfl approximately three kilomete$ behind the fust echelon in the advancemovement.




ACITON No. departur.lincin b:ttalio. column I Brtlrlioncross€s m 4 2 Battalion ov€siniocompany column to 5 tildnctcrs inlo 3 8.tt.lion rnoves ass.ultlorm.tion comp.ni.s ol (tuo companies lst ech€lon) kilom€ter in I lron tho obj€ctive 4 Th. third conp.nr (znd .ch.lon) mov€s tibnGt rs 3 bahind lst edlelooin column the provid$ dir.ct fir. suppondunnt 5 A 3.condbattalioo thea3sault priorto and 5 Artillory brtralbnprovid6lar. suppon durin8ttuassault

Figure Trnt B.ttrlion Deglolm€nt 9. OurirysnAss.uhona PcparudPosition


RECONNAISSANCE 9. When a battalion attacks from a position which is behind the Soviet FEBA, the battalion commander makes a reconnaissanc€ on the ground with the commander6 of his tank companies and attached units. The battalion commander and the reconnaissance group follow the planned route of advance, and familia.rize themselves with the departure and conhol poink and those deployment areasbehind their own FEBA. Detailed reconnaissance i-6 made of fords and other cdtical points. Areas to be used as second echelon deployment areas and by the batta.lion medical ald station and the battalion support goup arc confirmd. The reconnaissance group js aided in its task by the command€$ ol units along the FEBA. Radio Commuhications are established with units which are to support the Lanl{ batl,alion with 6Je dudng the offensive. Soviet military rvdte$ stress the importance of effective coordination by the attacking and supporting units during reconnaissance.In the assault, the battalion commander maintains peBonal surveillance over the battlefield ftom his command po6t. The battalion command is abl€ therefore both to

transmit to the regimental commander updated tactical intelligence and to personally influence the battle. ESTIMATE 10. An estimat€ is made of the amount of neutalization possible, and the objectives of the bnk battalion's ffust and second echelons and suppolting units aie tien decided. Special attention is given to identifying the enemy tank and ATGM threat. The location of the battalion CP, the fire positrons o{ attached armored pe$onnel cardels (APCS), and dismounting areas for motorized infantry ,.re planned in thi6 phase. Not€ t}Iat if the offensive is to be mounted by the battalion from a defensive position in contact with the enemy, orden for the advance and attack ar€ given at this stage. ATTACK COORDINATION 11. The tank baltalion commander is responsible for coordinating passageof lin$, and supporting fires of attached units and those units along the FEBA which are within range. He is assisted by the battalion chief of staff. This coordination is worl(ed out r rithiE

Fig. 10. The unii commrnderorientates hrk commande$beforean atiack his


the fi-re plan laid down by the regimental commander. Movement timings are planned so that the battalion attacks as soon as possible aJter nuclear, air or artilery strikes. as The last stagein coordinationis descdb€d "political agitation" in {hich the Soviet soldier is exhorted by the political officers to be brave and complete the unit ta6k with "uplifted sptiLs." OBSTACLE CROSSING 12. A tank battalion crossesminefields after clealance of platoon lanes by enginee$ units or by battalion tanks filled vrith mule ploughs.Eachtank companyholds three sets of mine ploughswhich may be fitted when requted, Such clerring operationsmay be covered by use of smoke, Areascontaminated by nuclear fa.llout are crossed at high sp€ed, partial decontamination being completedas soon ar placticable after the assault.Engineer in units create passages obstacles(including minefields) demolition,usuallyduring the by prepantory artillery barra8e, Once made, these pas6ages are marked and guarded by engineer units. NaEow defiles, canals or sfuealrs which could impede the attack are unit6. bddgedby engineer ASSAULT ACTION 13. Following prepa-ratory fires, the first echelon oi the battalion assaultsin company Iine formation. An assault speedof fouteen to twenty-two km/hr is usual. Tanks engage targetsaccordingto the priority set by, and upon the orde$ Of, company commandeE. This strict ffue control ensurcsthe concentration of fire against the most dangerous ta.rgels.Infanl,ry may djsmount or remain mounted depending on the situation. Djsmounted infantry follow the tanks as closely as possible gaincoverfrom file. Infontry in to A.P.CSfollow 150-200m behind the tanks. Second echelons a.$sault through gaps in the fiIst echelon. The battalion consolidates the defense of the objective once it is taken and enemycounterattscks neutralized artilare by Iery or nuclear fire support. The battalion commander then calls the battalion support group forwad l,o replenish POL and ammunition or continuesthe advance orderedbv ar

t}Ie regimentalcommander.Damagedtanks are repailed in the battalion position if and when possible,Each deputy companycomfor manderfor t€chnicalaffair€is responsible the vehicles his own unit. Technicalas6istof by ance is provided where necessary regiment. A sepaEt€ technical radio net is established and suppl€ment€dby audio and visual signals as needed. Human casualties arc evacuated once the tank is moved into a covered position. SectionC Second Echelon Tank Battalion in a Regiment's Attack on a Prepared Position CONCEPT 14. The tank battalion in the second echelonof a regiment's attack on a prepared position can haveone or more of the following missions: a. Completionof the missionof fi$t echeIon units. b. Destructionof enemy deep or resewe positions. c. Neutralization enemycounterattacks. ol d. Pursuitof a withdrawing enemy. e. Attack of enemyhastyor mobiledefensivepositions. f. Destructionof enemy nucleardelivery Since achieving such objectives can rcsult in many changesin the routine descibed for a filst echelon unit. each slageof planningis abbreviated. Success usuallydependson the initiative of the regimental commander and his closely monitoring the status of filst Lrnits. echelon SECONDECHELON PI,ANMNG 15. The battalion commarder in the second echelon must be thoroughlyfamiliarwiti the missions of first echelon units. This includes a knovledge of file planning and support. He alsoreceives following inforthe mation from the regimental commander: a. Details of attached and detached unils. b. Intelligenceinfomation on known enemy positionsin depth and reserves.


c. Deployment a.reas and routes of add. The pfiority of likely missions and objectives. Once his mission is defined, and aJter making his estimate of the situation, the second echelon tank battalion commander issues orders by radio. his Section D Attack on an Enemy Hasty Defense CONCEPT 17. The Soviets consider that an enemy will move into a haslily prppared defensive position: a. At the outset of opemtions. b, When mB-lcingcontact $rith a Soviet advanceguard. c. Dudng mobile defensiveoperalions. d. When t}le Soviets have the initiative duing withdrawal or pu$uit operation. The Soviets count on the fact that a hasty defenselack6 the stability and fte support of a fully coordinat€d defensive position. Communications may not have been checked and positions will not be dug in and may not be on advantageous tenain. The Soviets seek to

expioit such wealalesses rapid declsive by actionftom the lin€ of march. DEPLOYMENT 18. The breakthrough an enemyhastily of prppared posilionis aLrempted dcfensivp from the line of march usually after a successful attack on a preparedposition. Soviet tank battalions which carry out the operations are task organized supported the same and in way as for the meeting engagement. Advance guard units assault enemy shong points and attempt to djsrupt the defense before it can stabilize. The operation is dynamic and fire supportjs utilized asit becomes available. The main body deploys into combat fomation directly from the march and assaultsto the flanks and rear of tbe enemy position to preventenemy reinforcement. Initial success is exploit€dto force the enemyto withdraw. Should the initial breakthrough of such a hasty defense fail, a further attempt is made from a different flank or axis. In this casethe battaiion rvhich made t,tleinitial assault consolidatpson the most advantageous terrain and givesdircct firc support to the attack oI a second echelon battalion,(SeeFigure11.)


5ro9. I f n.Dy witrdrowt dtr.roSovr.t b.dkthrousl' op.rotr.n hor su...d.d


Sovr€, ..rntorc.d
Io. o h..thg

ronk lEtrdhoh 6tso^i,at
ond odvonc.s


ma.chsecuily delachment and establishes defense giv€s a mainbodylire supporl


ARTILTERY BATTALION FIRE IN POSITION stosr3 ted doftt ttutity deto.hne^, belo.. .telente .o^ s,obili.4 onockt st s6 1 Mdin bodr ot,t.*s l.on o dnk

FiSu l1 . TheStates anAttack an Enemy re ol on Hasty Defens€


Sectiou E

DEPLOYMENI 20. During ttre pusuit, a tank batt4lion usestlle tsctical fomation appropdat€ t tlle situation. The battaliotr remaiDs in combat fom?rtion until the edemy is forced to reaeat but will form into march columns as 6oon as practicable, rn order to make a rapid advance. If the battalion penetrat€s th€ rcm deployment area of a routed enemy, it caD be expected to folm into tactical colurnts element aBd an headed by a reconnaissance advance guard. t]le battalion commande! is cbarged with making every eftori, t-o keep in contact with the reheating enemy by means of reconnaissancepahols and flank seculity detachments.

19. Orce a brcaHbrough of either a prepared or hafty defen$ive position has been accomplished, a tank battalion will refomr iDto columnE aDd attempt to di$upt the enemy's withalrawal. Such an operation may be carded out by pusuing the eneBy diEctly, oD a parallel rout€, or both (See Figure 12.)

-olcr't}.' in direct pursuit. €>_*>_ ott>-

Reinlorcedtant battarion


_€T}FiSure 12. Directand ParallelPursuitOp€rations a Tank Resiment of


CHAPTER 6 WATEROBSTACLE CROSSING CONCEPTS 1. Tank battalions may cross water obstacles by fording, snorkeling, or using bridges, feEiesdepending the situation. or on Balta.lionsin first echelon unil,s may be requiredto make opposed crossings fordby Battalionsin secondecheing o! snorkeling. lons, or in support of forward echelons overbridges or noImally c!o6swaterobstacles by ferly and are not further discussedin this columns study. Battalionsleadingrcgimental as forward elementsor advanceSuardsanticipatecrossing obstacles independently fordby ing or snorkeling. Main body battalionscross a6 obstacles a controlledoperation,probably operation! usuallyover as part ol a regimental b dsesor feries.

Fisur€13. tank baflalioB in lhelirsl echelon c.oswaler oblra.|4 bv rnorkgllinq{U,J

RECONNAISSANCE AND INITIAL CROSSING 2. Initial selection of crossingareasis made after reconnaissance by units from division or regiment. These unils arc accompanied by engineer officers who are responsiblefor the technical as6e6sment the proposed sites. of Leading units ivitl attempt io cross u.rdefended obstacles immediately and establish a bddgehead 3 to 4 kms deep on the enemy bank. Helibome troops may be used in securingsuch b dge heads. TORCED CROSSINGS 3. If the obstacle is held by the enemy, or is under enemy observaLion. operationis Lhe considercd a "forced crossing." In this case,a regimental operation is mounted to make a bridgehead and the battalion cross€s the obstacle as ordered,

ORGANIZATION 4. The tank battalion headquarte$ section, in an APC and controled by the chief of staff, collates tactical intelligence from divisional, regimental, and battalion patrols. This section continuously updat€s intelligence on enemy shengths and dispositions and the characteristics of the water obstacl€. An organization is established to control the passage of the battalion ftom its deployment area ovel the crossing. Control points are established both on the ioute to the site(s) and at the crossing. The route from the deployment area to the crossingsite is sometimes marked with colour€d flags. In air underwater crossing the deputy commander for technical affairs establishes a command post at the site. Crcssing control points are supported by engineer units who improve entry and exit points if requtued. Figure 14 depicts the control system for a crossingsite.






llit roEliq coirrEnd Fo.l

@ @ @ A


Elt n**cao


\ FiSur+4.Diagramatic Layoutolafank Aattalion's fora Gossing ControlSystem Wrter


'rapuBEEor lquaErFar eql ,fq paqsqqqsa ale .ttqeqord qmod Io4 -uoC olpe.I fq 63ru€duor sIq o? EaW sfepr puB $apro snl s€ Fcar rapu€uuo3 uoJFt+Eq aqJ qcrBEr Jo aql eq] uo.g alcqrqo arB seltolc uollBueq {u4 e 'al$ Sqrsso.Ic pesod

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(ssorldoNn J,Nf, w]rolirso

Stog., bf dtvttto ol Cro$rag tit t dt. inttldlll s.l..t.d patrols oc.onPdniad br r&onnoi$on6 r.grh..r 50 to loo otld oP.rcthg lpecrdllth .ngire.r kilom.t B in lrcnt tI tdv.n ins .otomnt

advan@ g{i{d lords river _\L-


toik b.ttoion) f,.sih.ntu odvono suotd (t.hlq...t cstobfrth.s o h.rdg. h.od 3 ,o 1kil6n.,eB.le6P on th. .nemf bonk-

M.in bodf ot rcgtm.at totscs d.r.,gi"..r


ot CrossinS a WaterObstacle Fisurc15.An Unopposed

.po.{oldap sr qde.6el?d 7 u! paqFcsep uopBarrE8ro IInJ aqt pue 8qlo{ -rous roJ pdr?d$d eq lsnE s{uB1 sluoqsuEq aqJ '(9 L amBlJ aas) loddns &aElJe f^Baq Iapun scdv snorqrqdEe Sursn slrun alJu pozl

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patrols in .mphib6us tanks cross obstacb Reconnaiss.nce in under coverol d6rknessor lowvi.ibilily \

U ) V

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I l\ \ \ \ ) I \"_/


obstacre snorl(elling bv main to Advancins columns cross


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R.maind.rd r.Siripntadvanc! to ctossnveronc. lerriesandbridt€s tr6 Putin Pocition

Sto9.3 !.dgeh.od,! 6tobft.h.d on l tt tutnlot .<t b! o tonk &ttolt n whLh tu..d rtr.r lry tno'l[.llns. Furttor @.tngt bf brtdgB q @.'

bv Obstacle aT Figure Opposs€d ol t6. Crossing aWater

USE OF SMOKX ?. The Soviets project the extensiveuse of smoke during fiver crossing operations lo obscule6'iendly troop movementwben sulr_ able conditions exist. To allow a favorable

buildup of the smoke screen the weathet should be cool and humid witb a wind speed or b meters per second parallel l,o tbe respec_ tive fronts. Smoke is also u_sed part of a as deception plan to confuse the enemy as Lo tbe area in ]vhich the sossing is to t€ke place.

Fisure17. Asuh crcsi;q! ar€ mde hy r,nks uridqeo,k€t3.nd.E 6@.Ed rry i.teN. anitbry firu



7 CHAPTER NIGHTOPERATIONS CONCEPTS 1. lbe Soviets consider night opentionsto be nomal combat activity. Tank battalions have th€ sameformationsand tactical drills is for day and night operations. Darkness used to gain the initiative, achieve su$rise, and minimize the threat posedby enemyground obsewation reconnaNsance units. Smokemai be used to obstruct the view of the enemy's optical suweillance equipment. Night observation equipment, both passive and active. is concentrated primaJily at platoon and company level. Night viewing equipmentallows the tank to operate and useits gun to a aange of approximately 800 meters. This mngemay be increased with the new$t Soviettank, the T'72. During night operations tank battalions ate norrDallyreinforcedwith a company or more of infantly. NIGIIT OBSERVATION usedby 2. The night observation devices Sovi€t t nk batt4lions and moto zed rifle supporting elements are designed to allow drivers and command€rs limited visibility in the dark. They are therefore particularly 'suited to allow the battalionto move,recoDnoiter, and obs€w€at night. As most of the €quipdent is active Infta Red (IR), it is detecta6le and therefore is less usefui as a tsrget acquisitionmeans.Once surprisehas been Iost at night, the Soviet tank battalion can be expected immediatelyto us€ artificial illumination. Considenbleuse is made both of white ligh0 to illuminat€ the battlefield, and and of colored lights to mark objectives seweasdirectionalaids. NIGHT TRAINING 3. The Soviet tank battalion tiains for night movementas a unit. The most common tlaining ex€rciseis a l€ngthy march rather than maneuver practiceof assaultformaor tion6. Night firing is caried out by platoons in strictly conholled range exelcises. The target is normally illuminat€d and gunners prefer to use the day sight if there is sufficient light to do so. Night taining, for the most part, is stereotyped lacksrealism. and DEPLO}'I\,TENT 4. Coordination between the tank batallion and supportingmotorizedrifle and artillery units is stressed the key to ruccessful as night operations. Movement is organized during daylight when possible, and, whenthe tactical situation permits, personnel are allowed to familiafize themselves with the points arc terrain to be crossed. Reference designatedand malked by cololed flar€s. D ection is kept by use of the tank'6 dftectional g'yro and by marking objectives with colored flarcs. Routes are marked by luminous posts. Machine gunnels fire trace! to mark targets. Motorized rifle units geneHlly follow tanks during night operations. Deployment drills arethoseusedby day. FRONTAGES AND RATE OF {)VANCE 5. Fire support and ftontagesremain the same as during daytime operations but the mte of advance cut to between5 and 15 is p€r kilometers hour.

CONCEPT 1. The Sovietssbte in their tactical wdting that they wiU use a heavily teinforced tank battalion in coniunction with nuclear and nonnuclear artillery to desftoy enemy nucl4r delivery rdeans following a breakthrough opelatron. Thi! type of opgration allows the t€nk bath.lion commander 6o!e tlutt normal latitude and opportunity for initiative in both the planning and execution stages. The operation is a.lsounique as the battalioD cornmander is responsible for an extensivecommand radio net including communications with artillery, aviation, and even aAbome forces. The Soviets stat€ they will employ nuclear weaponr in a.ll stages ol the operation to neutralize eneEy defensivepositions. @MBAT REINFORCEMENT 2. A taDk battalion tasked to deshoy a locat€d enemy nuclea! delivery syst€m is typically reinforced by: platoon. a. A reconnaissance b. A motorized ri-flecompany. c. A howitzer battery or multiple rocket launcher battery. d. An aitiaircraft battery. platoon. e. An engiDeer f. Bridge laying vehicles, g. A minelaying parw. h. A repair and recovery section. In addifion, the battalion commander has nucleat and nonnuctrear fire suppori from artillely and suppolt ftom strike aviation. Airbome o! helibome a6saultscan be used eith€! in conjunction wiih the main attsck or to prevent the movement of enemy leaelves. (SeeFigwe 18 for illustration).


En€sy felerves n.utralized bysovi.t airborn.assautt

l 3 rNcHHOW(N(rC)

Frontalassiult lcad by

Fr.my posilions detense nL,ct.irdchvery In ot means are attrcted by Sovietnucte.rstntes

battalion ahacls .nemy nuctear deliv.ry fleans ,ft.r successful br.atthrougn oparalion

Initia brlal$rough ot enemy I d.tenses

Figur€ lllustration theConceDt R.i 18. ol ota

Atlack Ataanst En€ny Nuclerr Dctive.y lleans


MISSION 3. WhiI€ a singular mission is usua.l in Soviet tank tactics, Sovi€t military wyitings underline the importance of avoiding any combat which may detract ftom the destruction of nuclear delivery means.Stealthand surprise heavilyemphasized. ar€ COMBATOBGANIZATION 4. For an attack against an erleriy nuclesr deliverymeans, reinforcedtank battalionis a organized into a reconnaissance detachment, a lead march securirydetachmen!, and a main body. The strcngth of each componentd€pends on the Iocation and strength of the enemy position, the tactical situation and t€rrain. In general, t}Ie lead Earch security detachment is shong enough to create a fire base to support subsequent action by the main body. The main body is split into a number of covering goups and a tactical reserve, Raconnaissance enrou[eto the objec, tive is detailed and continuous, aid caried out both to the front snd llanks. COMMUNICATIONS 5. Considemble communicationsreinfolcement is probably required to coordinatethe various ground groups, file support units, and aviation. Details of communications me not availablebut the complexity of the operation probably leads to coNiderably more signals traffic than is nomal in Soviet t€nk operaPLANNING 6. The battalion commander, afl,erreceiving his mission,givesa warning oder to his troops outlining the natule of the operation. He follo!r's this order by making an estimate of the situation, consideringin detail the followingfactors. a. Enemy f'orce! (1) Location and strength of €nemy gtound unik on or near axis. (2) Nuclear delivery capability and meansthroughout the arca to be taversed, includingthe time expected betweenstrikes.

(3) Position and shehgth of mobile b. Own Forces (1) Plannedlocation, time and type of nuclearst kesin support. (2) Planned dtection and timings of fi endly fl ankingoperations. (3) Drop zones lor planned airbome supporting operation. c. Terrain (1) Location of areas givingprctection ftom nuclear strikes on axis of advance. (2) Concealed rcutest obiective, d. CBR (1) Location of area6 chemiea.l and of radiologicol conlamination or nearlhe axis on ol advance. (2) Planned strikes in support of the opeEtion and their effect on the time schedule. e. Commrmications (1) Method of communicating with supporting file units and aviation, (2) Codewords,referencepoints, and ftequenci€s. (3) Cbannelfor updatingtacticalint€lligencetom higher headquartels. (4) Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) for strike aircraft. ORDER,S 7. Oral ordeis for the operation are given by t}le battalion command€! to his subodi nate commanders. modelis sometimes A used to explain terrain and enemy positions. In addition to assigning missions, the batta.lion projectshow the enemywill leact commander and the countemeasures intends to u6e. he Orders encompass subunit mGsionsfor the approach march, assault, consolidation, and exploitation phases of the battalion operation. The batta-lioncommandertries to organize the execution of the milsion to follow up nuclear strikes as quickly as possible. EXECUTION 8. the operation takes place aJter a successfuI Soviet breakthrough of enemy defenses. In these circumst€nces the tactical situation is fluid.



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CHAPTER 9 DEFENSE CONCEPTS 1. The Soviets regarddefensive operations as a transitional phase designedto rcpel the attackor supedorenemyforceswhile creating favorable conditions for a retun to the offensive.Reconnaissance troops may be 50 to 100 kilometers in fronr oI lhe main positions,Combat security detachdefensive ments, usually taken ftom second echeion batta.lions, may be deployedasmuch as 15 to 16 kilometers forwa.rd oJ the fir6t echelon units to break up enemy probing attacks. Lastly, batta.lions sendout combatreconnaispatlols up to 500 meten in front of the sance FEBA. On defense, lank balralion'smission a is either to hold $ound; to act as a mobile Iesewe, oI serveas a counter attack forc€. In each case a tank battalion conducts the defensivebattle as part of a regimental op€raREINFORCEMENT 2. Dudng deJensive operatiom a tank battalion normally b reinforcedby the following units: a. A moto zedrifle company. platoon. b. An engineer c. An artiilery batta-lionand morta.runit to support the battalion by fire. d. Chemical specialisk monitor the CBR to haz ard. DEPLOYMENT operations a tank bat3, During deJensive talion usually deploys in one echelon.Normaily. a resewethe size of one platoon is constituted. Regiments deploy combat secuup to 15 to 16 kilometers dty detachments forward of the main defensive postion t,o Platoon-sized reconbreakup probingattacks, patrols are dispatched up to 500m naissance in ftont of the battalions position and to
exposed flanks. Two or three defensive emplacements are dug for each tank either by engiaeersor by a combat tank fitted with a dozer blade. A tank with the dozer blade attachment can dig between two and four emplac€ments an hour. Minefields, wirc a.nd demolitions are used to dfuectthe enemy into killing zones. Mines are laid in cluste$ of fifty to a hundred. The Soviets have the capability to lay mines by helicopter. DEFENSIVE POSITIONS 4. The baris for a lank battallon defensive position is the antitank fire plai. A commander lays out his defenseso that tanks have overlapping areas oi obsewation at 1000 metels without tuming the turret. By mathematical analysis the Soviets ardve at the following frontages, depths and intervals, as being the ideal: Platoon. 150 meters b€tw€en tanks; ftontage 300 meters. Company. 300 meters between platoons; frontage 1000 meters; deptfi 500 meters. Battalion. 1000 to 1500 meters between companies; ftontage up to 5 kilometers; depth 3 kilometers. Tanks ar€ positioned on reverce slopes l,vhen possible, and have one or two altemate positions. The intervals between subunits are covered by indir€ct firc means. Local protection for tanks is given by motodzed infantry dug in up to 200m in front of tank positions. The BMPS and APCS of the moto zed rifle units a.lso are positioned on reverse slopes. Each platoon and company position is designed a6 a "sbong point" $rith all-round defense. The battalion position is 6etup 60 that "shong points" are in mutual support. Figure 19 shows a typical layout for a tank battalion in defense. Tanks have p mary and seconda.ry fields of firc in each of their positions.






I '1 c.ap.ir.id Pr.b



I 9s-r

El lE

^.ao'cdantnrdr.ik ^dii,nr flh.lr.]d






( Nucle.r Fi$Jre R.inlorced Ertt.lion 19. Tank Delensiv. Conditions o.ploymeol )

DET'ENSEORGANIZATION 5. The drill for organizing a defensive position is affected by both the tactical situation and t}le availability of time. A taken up in contacl, with the enemyis defense inil,ially linear-tanks remainingin the pos! tions they were in when the offensive lost itg impetus.Such a defense developed time is as and enemy action allows. Reinforc€mentis made as soon as possibleand positionsadjusted until the situation is stabilized.This may take up to 10 or 12 hours. RXCONNAISSANCE AN'DORDERS 6. After being given his mission,the battalion comrnander moves quickly Lo his aEsigneda.reawith the commandersof attached units. Ta6korganization fire coorduation and are decided upon. Reconnaissance ca-rried is out. If time is short, the battq.lion chief of st€ff positions the secondechelon and the resewe. Du ng the reconnaissance, folthe Iowing questions resolved ordersgiven are and for: a. Attachment of motorizedrifle units to tank companies. b. Location of company and platoon strongpoints. c. Zones concentrated of tank fire. pad. Positionsof combat reconnaissance trols and flank secudtyunits. e. Fieldsof fLe, f. Indirect fire supportmissions. g. Orders initiating diect and indirect fires. h, Action to be taken again6t attack ah i. Priodtiesfor enginee$ j. Protectionfrom nuclear strikes k. Designationof counter attack routes and linesof deployment points to the front and flanks l. Defense ADMINISTRATIVEPLANNING

c. AEangesevacuation of secondline ta.nk casualtiesto workshopsin the rear. d. Locat$ the supply platoon and plans the resupplyof ammunition. The deputy fo! technical affain al6o alranges the combat administration of the battalion for the move forward into l,he defensive position. CONDUCTOF TI{E DEFENSE 8. The Sovietsexpectto faceboth nucleaj and conventional artillery fLe prior to glound attack. After such preparatory fire the tank batallioncommander restores integlity of the the position by rclocating his tanks and communications equipment as necessary. In order to presewe the secudty of tank fLing positions, combat seculity detachmentsrepulse enemy probing,attacks. Smokemay be used to obserse strong points and to silhouette an assaulting enemy. Combat secuity detachmentsact as artillery forward obseners for as long as possiblebefore breakingcontact, As the enemy closesto 1500 meter6, tanks concentlate fire on taryets in previously d€signated ateas. Artillery and machine gun fites are used to try to separatethe enemy infantry from their amor. The tank battalion commandermaintains obsefiation over the battle field from his comrnand tank thrcuehout the enemyattack. INFANTRY SUPPORTING FIRE 9, Infanhy fire support, especially against enemy APCS,is given by the BMP6 of attached moto zed rifle units. Each infantry compa.ny is also equipped with hand-held antitank weapons which, together with their ATGMS, add significantly to the combat power of companyand platoonshongpoints. COUNTERPENETRATION

10, The tank battalion commandermust use his own tesourcesto mount counter 7. After the commander's reconnaissance penehation operations against enemy eleand isslrance orders,the deputy for techniof ments that succeedirr breaking into the cal affai$: a. Positions the Technical Obsewation battalion's defensiveperimeter. The enemy penetEtion is reducedby artillery fire, and Post. the fire of tanks and attached APCs. The b. Organizesthe recovery and lepai! of damaged equipment. battalion reservemaneuve$ along pteviously

reconnoitered routes to b ng maximum direct firc to bear, COUNTER ATTACK 11. Counter attacksare operationsorganized by a higher commander dislodgean to enemy from within the pe metersof a tank position. Count€tattacks battalion defensiv€ may be supported the tank battalioneither by by fire or by assigning subunits accompany to assaulting forces. The regimenta.lcommander orders the delivery of counterattacksby subunitsof the secondechelonbattalion on routesreconnoitered belorehand. WITIIDRAWAL 12. The tan} battalioncommander orders a withdrawa.lftom the defensiveposition only on the authority of a highet commander. Chapter10 dealswith this topic in detail. SERVICESI'PPORTIN COMBAT 13. During combat, ammunition forward resupplyis caried out when requiredunde! cover of smoke or artillery fire, POL is rcsupplied during lulls in the battle.Damaged equipment is remov€d by a recovery and groupto a positionwhereit can be evacuation prep-aredto move back for repair under its own power. According to doctrine, the wounded in damaged tanks are rcmovedfor evacuation once the vehicle has been rclocated to a coveredposition. During combat, the deputy commander for technical affairs makesa daily assessment equipment of condition, tepai!, and recoverystatus,and issues the necessary orderslor l,herouline servicing. SECOND ECHELONDEFENSE 14. A tank battalionwhich is usedin a regiment'ssecond echelonof defense the has followingmissions: a. To provide depth to the regiment's defense.

folce b. To provide a counter-penehation for use inside the regiment'sdelensive perimet€r, c. To provide a counterattack force for use battalions'delensive in the fust echelon penmeterc. d. To pmvide an exploitation force to purcue enemy{thoseattack fails. an latter three taska requle considerable The time to be spent in reconnaissance.The position of a second echelon battaldefensive manner as that of a ion is laid out in the sante filst echelonunit. As a second echelonbattalion assumes the defense out of contact with the enemy, the position is cdpableof being Second developedext€nsivelyby engineerc. echelon battalion6establish communications with the regimental headquarters and filst echelon unib. Duling combat, th€ battslion commande!monitors the battle and collects and collatestactical intelligence. The second echglon commanderis ftee to maneuver his perimeter tank within his battalio! defensive to face a threat to a particular flank. If the battalion is required to counterattack, the reconnaiscomhandersendsout a combau patlol befole moving into the assaulton sance prearTanged routes. DEFENSEAT NIGHT 15a. The tank battalionmay be involvedin combatat night either as th€ continuationof normal daytine defen6iveoperationsor to repulse enemynight attack. an b. If the battalionis requiredto take up a positionat night, initial deployment defensive usually is basedon a map reconnaissance. At is dawn, a terrain reconnarssance made and missions and tasks ale adjusted as necessary. c. In planning for night operations,reference poinLs are assigned;these are marked by colored flares during the course of an enemyattack.OPsarelocatedso asto be able to obselve dead space and artillery fte support is plannedto coversuchareas. Illumination meansare usedto light up the battlefield duringenemyattacks,


CHAPTER 1O DISENGAGEI\4ENT WITHDRAWAL AND CONCEPT 1. Befole a successful withdra{r61 can be ftom contact vrith the made, disengagement enemyis requLed,The Soviets withdmw only on orders of a seniorcommande!. The purposesof a withdnwa.l by a tank batta.lionare: a. To occupy more advantageous terrain. b, To avoidenemynuclearor conventional fires. c. To adjust a position to secure an exposedflank duringa defensive battle. d. To regroup after an unsuccessful conclusion of a meeting engagementor alter stubbomenemyresistance. e. To avoidencirclement. f. To shortenlinesof communication g. To free men and €quipmentfor other operairons. The tenor of Soviet military writing on the withdmwal operation is that it is a useful but is tactic to free a force for a new mission not to be dictat€dby enemypressure. TYPE OF WITHDRAWAI 2, ff the tank battalion is not in contact with the enemya withdrawalwithout useof intermediate bounds may be made. With. drawals using int€m€diate bounds are made under enemy observation, fire, or the threat of attack.Of the two withdrawalby boundsis sloFer and requles geat€I training and skill; it is this tactic which is addre$sedin this cnaprer. MISSIONS 3, A tlnk battalion has the following missions duringthe witldnwal: a. To prevent an en€my bleakthrough (when the battalion i6 part of the main body of the regiment). b. To insure t,lle unhindered withdrawal oi the main body ol the r€giment(when fjre battalion acts as a rear or flank euad). BEAR AND FLANK GUARD ACTIONS 4. In order to tuUiU its tasks without relying on suppolt AeE the main body, a tlnk battalion employed a! a tegiment's rea!guard during a withdrawal may be rcinforced with: A motodzedrifle company. b . An ortillery battery. An engineerplatoon, d . Chemicalspecialists. The reatguard hoves on the same axis as the main body of the regiment to protect it ftom enemy gound action. A flankguard moves parallel to th€ main body on Che thrcatened flank betwe€n the enemy and the main body. (See Figue 20) A tank battalion with a flankguard mission is expected to be reinforced in the samemanneras a rearguard. The Soviets realize that such task oiented organizations must be sufliciently shong to preventan enemybreakthloughwhich might compromise the withdrawal of the main body of either the Egiment or division. Thercfore, if the situation warrants, the tank battalion may be assignedconsiderably more artillery support thaD a battery. Du.ringrear and flank guard actions wide use of tank ambushes is madeon enemyputsuit routes.


NOTE: Subunils.iithin th. r..r lnd fl.n* turid3 nrov. m rorrn r|onsap9ro9ri.t! to tha t r.i. r,iici a ot, .apid ch.nar into conb.t ionn tid





P.7t ot rithdr.$nA


body ol

A.lill.ry ,tt.ctrcd to r..r ts.rd cov.rin8 ornalv.r babaln "hrb.ct" Do.itirns


Fature R.iniorr.dT.nk &tt tion.s Rc.r;nd Flroi cu.rd Duriry, 20'

MAIN BODY MOVEMENT 5. Should the tank battalion be moving \vith the main body of the regimentduring t}le withdlawal, one tank company is employed as a rear march security detachment. Additionally each behavior in t}le main body provides its own tark prot€ction, usually a platoon.The tank battalionis responsible for its own combat security no matt€r where it moves the regimental in column. DISENGAGDMEIII 6. The critical phaseof a withdrawal is the breal ftom contact with the enemy. Soviet doct ne calls for a tank battalion to break contacteither under conditionsof low vi6ibility (fog, snow, rain, dusk o! dawn) or unde! cover of neuhalizing file or smoke. Good planning and stealth are shessed.The battalion thins otrt either by companiesor by leavingone platoon from each companyin contact with the enemy. During disengagement, the battalion commander may use the fire power of his resewe to conceal general movementsto the rear. Shouid the enemy be active during the disengagement period, counterattackmay be required imm€diately before withdmwal. lt is important that the for enemy be deceived as long as possible as to the exacttime of the withdrawa.l. ORGANIZATION FOR WITTIDRAWAI ?. The tank battalion cornmander makes an estimate the situationimmediately of upon receiving the withdrawa-l mission ftom the regimental commande!. His estimate include6 suchtacticalconsiderations a5: a. Axes of advance,strength and locaiions of enemyforces. b. Reconnaissance the enemy by regi. of ment and battalion. c. Artillery targeta requi&d to aid disengagement. d. Task olganization of the battalion and attached subunits fo! the witldrawal, e. Deploymen!linesfor the battalionmain body and resewes tog€therwith timirg6 fo! the with&awal. f. The CBR situation and its effect on enemyand ftiendly forces. 41

Having made his estimate, the battalion coErmarder and his chief of staff aEangefo! reconnaissance placetank ambushes and along the battalion's withdrawal foute. Necessary adjustEents in the batt3lion position are made to lelocate resewesand allow the early withdawal of adminisftative elements. ArIzmgemmts are made for the evacuation of wounded throughout the opention. An assembly area for attached motorized infantry is designated kilometerto a kilometerand a a half from the FEBA. The battalion is then resupplid q,ith ammunjtionand POL il this j6 necessaryand iJ tlle tactica.l situation allows. ORDERSAND COORDINATION given 8. Oral ordersfor fie withdrawala-re to the assembled tank company and attached commanders when time pelmits. Cooldination detailsfollow. A typical format is: a. An evaluation of enemy intentions and task organization, b. Artillery and nuclear file suppoft plan6 covelingthe withdnwal. c. Mision of t}le batblion and concept of operatrons. d. Missions of neighboling units and boundaliesbetweenthem and the battslion. e. Missions and task organization of the battalion's 6ubunit6to include: (1) Time up to which the present position is to be denied to the enemy. (2) Time and method of disengagement fo! each subunit in the bat. tslion. (3) Control points on withdrawal routes, and times subunits are to passthrough thetn. (4) Point! at which battalionelements a.reto passthrough the rcgimental rearguard, (5) Order of match to the battalion's new position. (6) Location of the battalion CP throughoutthe operation. (?) Reportlines. (8) Action to be taken in the event atcraft o! alrborne troops ale athched.

(9) Deployment to be used if the batta.lioD is in action against a pursuing enemy. (10) Method of crossing alees with chemicalo! Ediological contamlnation. ( 11) Antiaircraft defensive posil,ions along withdrawal route. (12) Dispositionof the battalionin the new defensivearea. CONDUC'TOF WIT'IIDRAWAL pe$on9. The tank battalion commander ally commandsthe disengagement fiom an OP. If the battalion providesits own rear guard, a commarder (usually the batta-lion chief of staff or a deputy battalion commander) is appointed for this force. He maintains communication erith, and is di rectly subordinate to, the batblion commander.The battalion movesby bounds of eithercompanies platoons. eachsubunit or As fror! of the battalion successfullydisengages the enemy and passes through the rca.rguard it fofms into first platoon and then corrpany column and takes its aasignedplace in the battalion majn body. The main body is organized into battalioncolumnby eitherthe chiefof staff or a deputy commander. As the main body oI the regiment'sr€ar guard, the battelion commander sends the signal for the company or platoons still in contactwith the enemyto breakcontactand withdraw. These subunits then passthrough the regimenial rearguardand link up with the main body of the battalion. The regiment's attached artilely ftes concentrations to prevent the enemyftom followingthe withdraw-

ing subunits. Attached artiuery then moves irto the regimental column to withdraw. CONDUCTOF A BATTALION RXAR,GUARDACTION 10. A ta-nk battalion employpdas a regimental rear luard tak$ up iLs assigneddefense line before any rehogtade movement. The rear guard masksthe enemy'sexpected rout€s of advance. Ik task is to force the pursuing enemy to deploy his main forces. The reer guald battslion holds its position until the regiment's main body has achieveda with the enemy. After receiving clean brea-k contactwith the ordersto witidraw, it breaks int€renemy by thinning out to successive is mediate positions until disengagement complete. During its yrithdrawal the rear guard uses ambushes and obstacle lines to slow enemyadvance. Opelationsby the rearguard ale Eupported by artilery tue and battalion aviation strik$ planned by the regimental commsnder. the enemyfails to carry out a If clo6e pu$uit, the lear gua.rd moves into column as soon as possible and follows the main body covering its move with a reai march security detschment and flank security detachments. MTHDRAWAL TACTICS 11. The tactics employed by th€ tank batt€lior in withdrawal opeEtions show that the Soviets,though nomally prefer ng to as maneuve! one unit, are trainedto moveby or bounds of companies evenplatoonswhen the tacticalsituationrequires,


CHAPTER 11 H S E C U R I TD U R I N G A L T S Y CONCEPIS 1. When not in contact with the enemy, Lank bart€lions tempoHrlly deploy in positions of all-round gecudty in rest areas.Deployment in a rest areawill take place: a, For rest and maintenance vehicles. of b, Before or after a road march or rail c. To concenhate before or after an operatton. d. For rcsupplyof combatsupplies. e. Prior to dver or obstacleclossing. f. while the battalion is acting as a tactical The battalion may occupy en area separate hom its parent regiment or withjn a regjmenta-l halt area, depending on the tsctical situation. LOCATIONOF RESTAREAS 2. The location of a battulion halt areais assignedby the regimental comhander based It on his map reconnaissanc€, is usua.lly8 to 10 squarekilometersin Bize. Th€ areashould good access hsve roads,water sources, be and situated away ftom inhabited areasin order to presene secu ty. Although halt areas ar€
located out of contact with the enemy, the areamust allow for quick concentration of the battalion into combat fomation. CAMOUFLAGE AND CONCEALMENT 3. The tank battalion is positioned within the halt area so that it is concealedfrom both ground obsewation, Tanks and other air a,11d vehicles arc camouflaged i{ith natural matedal, Locations for command posts and rear subunits a.Ie chosen hldden so as io give protection from nuclear attack. RECONNAISSANCE OF A REST AREA 4. Prior to a$ival in a rest area the battalion commander organizes a reconnaissance group led by an officer. Each of the tank companies and attached units in this reconnaissance group is represented by an officer o! sergeant. Engineer ar1d chemical specialists accompany the group to insure that the area is not mined or contaminated. The $oup locates subunits and marks any hazards within th€ repod is made by the ar€a. A reconnaissance senior officer to the battalion commander either in person or by mdio pdor to th€ battalion's arrival.

Figlre21. BMPsof rtt*h.d rifle!.itshay

beu*d in rocornaasnce


OBDERS FOB OCCUPATION 5. Prior to occupation of the rest alea the battalion commander gives olal orders cove!ing: a. Tactical intelligence on the enemy.
h E.hdinaar nri^rifia.

c. Location of tank companiesand attach€dsubunits. d. Compositionand missionsof secu ty unlts, plans. Antiatcraft fie and CBR defense f. Altematerest areaand routesto it. Action on contact with enemy $ound or airbome forces, plan. h . Communications i. Locations of the CP and deputy commande$. The edtirc position is s€lected to give ma.x! Illum plotection from nuclear attack. SECURITY AFIER OCCL'PATION

nications security. An obselvation post js established some 1500 met€ls from the !$t area on each possible €nemy axis. Sentdes ale posted on acce$ roads. Personal protection foxholes are dug for all men. Emblasures are dug fo! bnks and APCSif time allow6. Soviet doctrine ca.llsfor small enemy parties moving towards the rest area to be killed or captured. If the enemy advancesin force, the obselvation posts ar€ to engage it and maintain their positions until ordered to withdraw.

6. If the alea is to be occupied for more than a few hours, field telephone links are $tablished between the battalion commander and subunit comtranders to preservecommu-


T-72 in lirinq po!ition



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GENERAI 1. Significant findings of this study, a.6 they relate to the combat potential of a Soviet medium tank batblion, are summarizedbelow: a. Combatorganization. b. Command contlol. and c. Tacticalemployment. COMBAT ORGANIZATION of 2.a. The combatorganization the Sovief tank battalion is d€signed to allow it to exploit ffuepower and mobiity in a war of rapid movement. Exc€pt for carrying out secudty tasks and setting out obsenation posts, Soviet comrDanders seldom employ tanks in less t}tan compaby stiength. Tank units are thercfore able to echieve high concentrations of fire again$tpriodty taryets. whele platoonsare employed, Soviets the are ca.reful to maintain a capability to counte! any potential threat vrith at least a company6ized unit. b. Tank units normally operat€ in combined arms task forces. Motorized rifle units provide close-in protection to tanks in rreas wher€ they are especiallyvuln€rableto attack by ATGME. Tank a6saults ale usua.lly p!eceeded afiillery preparation6 objective6. by of Enginee$and chemicr.l accompany specialists tdnk unit"s when the mi$ion $quires theit skills. c. The combat r€infolcement of the Soviet tank battalion tu tailored to a particular mission and this, together with the operation ol tanks in company sizd units, makes an effective combEt organization. COMMAND AND CONTROL 3.a. Soviet tank battalion commande$ closely supewise tl|e tactical employment of their comDanies and attached unit5, The maximumof routine operational adminisand trativ€ planning is delegat€dto the Chief of StaJf and the depu8 battalion commander for technical affairs; this allows the bsttalion commander to concentrate on persona.lcontrcl of combat.Indtect fue supportusuallyis provided by the regimental commander, allowing th€ battalion commander further to concentrate the maneuver hh tanks.At on of the sa.me time this, along with a t€ndency to adhereto a timed fue plan, givesthe potpntial for a significant time lag jn engaging targetsof oppodunity. Thus when immediateffuesupport is requested,srtillery is attacheddtu€ctly to the batta.lion. b, Most battalion opentions take place v/itbin the framework of a regimental plan. However, in the me€ting engagement,with&awal, and in operations to destloy enemy nuclear delivery means, the battalion comhander has considerable opportunity to use his initiative. In combat, the battalion commande! takes up a position for enough forward to be able to 6ee the result of his companies' actions. He is therefole able to or react quickly to success a suddenthleat by reinforcing o! by enploying hi6 leserve. Out of combat, the batblion and company commanders personally lead their hoops in tactical movement,This allows rapid movement engagements. between tacticaj c, Tank units us€ well-rehearsed formations both in and out of contact with the enelny, The6e fomations are varied in keeping with the t€Ilain, the enemy threat, and the phale of operations. lndividual companies in the batt€lion may employ diflerent formation6 at any one time to suit the tactical situation. The tactical fomations allow lapid maneuve!to face a changein situation with a minimum of l8dio taffic. In the assault,the concentration of t€nk units in nanow zone of action allow6 for concentration of fte against priority target6. Once the assaultis launched, the attack is to be pressedby every ardored vehicle capableof moving.

d. W}lenpo$sible, tanksin the battalion all opemte on the same net. The Sovietshave strict standards communications of secuity. are by Commands passed use of codewords, and numbers.Radio is supplemented use by of visualand audio signalsin combat. Flags and arm signalsare usedwhen units are on the march. Attached unit commande$join the battalion net. There ale strict limitationson initiating radio traffic; line tanks arc to operatein the receiving mode.In fact, Soviet radio disciplinecan be so rigid as to inhibit the lapid flow of taqet intelligence. How well a battalion commandercan adjust deployment of his force during an assaultis not known. e. The command and control systemof the Soviet tank battalion is highly centralized. The system facilitatesBpid movementand effective communicationssecurity. Success lagely dependson the tactical skill of the battalioncommander. TACTICAL EMPLOYMENT 4.a. The Soviets, thet military jouinals, in place a $eat deal of emphasis combined on arms tactics. The tank battalion may, for a particular mission, leinforcedwith attachbe ment6from regimentor divisionas the situation warlants. The emphasis in tactical deploymentis on rapid follow-up of preparaforce of tanks tion fir€6 by a task organized and motorizedrifle units. b. The Soviet tank battalion'stactical assault dri11s rely on shock action and concentuation of tank fire to the rea.!or flanks of a Planning suchoperafor neutralized objective. tions is detailedflom the line of marchwhen possible-battalions changingformation from column to line as tenain dictates.The battalion maneuven as one unit; firc suppot is provided either by artillery or tank unit6 operating on the flarks. Smoke is used to conceal dovement and block the field of visionof ATGM operations. c. The Soviets stronglyhold to the concept that the best defense is a good offense.

Accordingly,they consider employingdefensive i€cl,ics a Lemporaryneccssityduring pausesin offensiveactivity. In the defense, tank battalions establjshplatoon and comprotectionby pany shongpoints with close-in infantry and fire supportfrom artillery. Positions arc dug in when time allows,and tanks prcparealtelnatepositions.A cove ng force attempts to break up probing attacks and ihe main attack is met by concentrated tank fire. d. The Soviet tank battalion is trainedto fight suchoperations meetingengagements, as withdrawals,and obstacle crossings formain which enhance combat securily and tions concentmtion fire. In lhese operalions. of advance rearguaJds usuallybased a and are on tank company.Maneuver by company-sized is units. e. TanL fLe at night in T-54/55 and T-62 tanks has been Iimited by target acquisition meansto a mnge of 800 mete$. This range, however, may be increased with the n€w T-72 tank-in serial production, and being deployed in increasingnumbers. f. We assess tacticalddus ofthe Soviet the tar* battalion to be effective,exploiting a soundcombatorganization. ASSESSMENT COMBATPOTENTIAL OF 5. The Soviettank batta-lion a basicunit is of maneuver. The battalionis reinforcedand given firp suppofl to fulfill a paJ|cular mission by exploiting itr mobitity, ftepower, shock action, ard nuciear protection. The maneuver tank companies a narrowzone of in of action, in echelon, allowsheaq,'casualties to be talen without endangering successful execution of the rnission.In a nuclear envuonment, tank units operate on increased (generally frontages double). On the one hand,Sovietmethodsof both taryet communications seculityand of passing information to the artillely tend to lestrict of the immediateengagement targetsof opportunity. On the other hand,highly centialby ized conhol of tacticalmaneuver the tank battalion commandermakes for the quick concentration tank fLe. of


Figure23, Th€ bottom ti.e-T-sstin rh€ attacki

"quick con@nlration oftankfire"

SCOPE 1. Appendixes A, B and C provide unclassi fied pictorial details of some of the a.rmored equip.nent used in combat with a Soviet radicaly different in design to its predeA cessors. description of this tank is included a.sAppendix B. A tank pedormance comparative table is below.

reinforced medium tank battalion. Further equipmentdetailsof armoredequipmentand tanks can be found in FOMCAT Vol 3 TB (undated) 381-5-03 MEDII'M TANKS 2. T-54 tanks are used for haining purposes. T-55 is still the most numerous medium tanks in sewicewith Soviet $ound forcesat the present time. T.62 is an improvement on the T-55 and is in se$icethroughout the Soviet Union and the Groupsof Forc€s. T-?2, the most recent tank introducedinto is s€mice, now beingdeployedinto the Group of Soviet Forces Germany. The T-?2 is

Weight cobbat loaded I€Dsth (viftout width (mn) Height (without AAMG) Ms Boad speed kbh gre) !M

T,56 36 6200 4270 2350 50 716


Estihated 36

36 6200 3270 2400 50 600 4

6630 3300 2400 60 650 4 Apploi 3600 EBtimlted 2200 Up to 80 Ptobably 600+

Main gu! (lu) Maxime effective mlge

100 1600 w/A"c-T 34 -4 to +17

100 1500 w/AI}c-T 13 -5lo +18

115 1600 I{VFSAPDS 40 -5 to +18

116 (e€timstad)

S€condaly Anneent ADtiairdaft Mlchi[e Gun (AIMG)


7.62bov 12.7


PRODUCTION AND DEPLOYMENT 1. The late$ Soviet tank to be developed, the T.?2, has been in prcduction lor the last trro yesrs. Ove! treo thousand of tlle T-?2 6t Tte weight of l,henew l,anki6 estimated 35 metric tons and mobility ha6 been imptoved over earlier Soyiet tanks botlt by ttte new suspensionsyst€m and a new type ot track. the chamct€ristic low silhouette of previous

Fiour.26. 1.72 Tha n.w Sovieltlnk

have now be€n produced and the new tank has been deployed into the Group of Soviet Forces Germany. It is expect€d that the T.54 and T-55 tsnks will be replaced as mole T -?2's come ofi the production line. DESICN 2,a. Hull and Suspension.the T'72 sho$'s in 6ome mdical changes design[o previous Soviet tanks. The chassisand hull h easily as recognized being dilferent to the previous tanks. The T-?2's glacisplate is esti' Soviet mated at ?0' and is markedly mole slop€d syst€m than that of the T-62. The suspension return lollers is bssedon six road wheelswith 59

has The T.?2 is SovietLanks bem maintained. predecesso!. slightly sEaller than its b. Armament- T-72's main annament appcais similar to T-62's and is estimat€d as being 115 mm in calibre. Its accuncy has probably been improved by a new control syst€m with a laser range finder, though it is signiiicant to note that laser beams cannot penetnte smoke or fog. There i6 therefore plobably an alt€mative systelr of tanging to the laser system. It has also been reported ihat the main gun $ystetn featule3 an automatic loader 'erhichpermitJ a reduction of the tank cJew ftom four to lhree men. A coaxial machine gun is supplemented by a cupola

mounted machine gun on th€ commander's side of the turet. The IR equipment found on earlier t€nks has possibly been improved lot'l-72. c. Dngine. The appearance of the engine compartment indicates an improved engineto that used in T-62. The drive$ position has also been moved from the left of the vehicle to the center significantly reducing the chances of multiple casualties caused by one shot.

FUEL STORAGE OTITSIDE 3. The charact€ristic auxiliary luel drums caried on earlier Soviet tarks (see Fig.) are absenton T-?2. Flat auxiliary fuel contsinels appear on either side of the n€w vehicle. Dieselfuel ha! a low flashpoint and thoughit will burn it is difficult to ignite. The Sovieta havelong acceptedthis fire haza.!d.




Effi[EIIEt EffE!!]TE

Fisut.27, f .72 D6ish t€atur€.In contart to J-62

d, Outside Stovage. There are a number of equipment it€ms stowed on the outside of T'?2, On either side and at the rear of th€ turet there are storage panni€ls, a new feature in Soviet tarks. Tanks in combat units have t}leA turret numbers painted on ttrese padnie$. A new type of snorkel is usually attached the rearpannier.An "unditching" to log is caried at the rear of the tank. Tow chainsare lashedto the top ol the T.?2'6hull as is nolrnal Soviet plactice.

COMBAT EFFECTIVENESS 4. It js not possibleto fully assess rne combat potentia.l of the T-?2 until mote infomation is availableabout the tanks armament. The introduction of the T-72 in place of T-55 does mean howeverthat the standard of tank gunnery may be expect€dto improve. The older tanks have been hampercd in bringing fire to bear by th€ necessityof the gunnerestimating range.This prcblemno the longer exists with the introduction of the laserraDgefinder.


GENERAL 1. SoDe of the tank associated equipment used in the reinforcedtank battalion during tacLical operal,ions held in the engineer i! company of the regiment. Pictules of such equipment are included for reference and Iecognitionpurposes. shouldbe notedthat It the use of tank associatedequipment creates excess wear on tle engine and haining is therelore strictly limit€d. BTU DOZER BLADES 2. the BTU dozer blade can be fitt€d in 90 minutes and requies 60 minutes to be removed, this equipment is held in the enginee$ companyof a t3nk regiment. KMT 4 MINE PLOW 3. The KMT 4 mine plow is usedto clear Einefield lanes in conjuncrjon with mine rollels, We assess nine setsol equiprnent are held in the battalion, three sets in each company.

Flslro 2S. KMI mine prows

Fig!@ 28, BTU do:.r mounld o. T55

Fisu..30, Mimplowo. T.55


4. The Mine Roller P'f-54-M is standard equipment in the Soviet Cround Forces for breaching minefields. The roller is designedin two individual sections which ale fitted to a

medium tank by a pusher alm and cable assembly. The equipment clean a lane ?.62mm wide. The ar€a between eacb track lemains uncleared. Difficulty in contrclling the roller leavesthe pusher vehicle wlnelable to da.rnagewhen operating in an antitank minefield,



- - - i + :-. -& € f :



Fiqur€31. T.62 whh mine rolleis

SNORKELLINCEQUIPMENT 5. A high proportion of Soviettanks have the capabilityto deepford waterobstacles to a depth of 5.5 meters using snorkelling €quipment.T-55 and T-62 weredesigned with a snorkelling capabilitybuiit in, somemodels of T-54 were modified in order to do so. A snorkelling tube canbe seen the rearof the on turret of the T-72 in Fig. 32. The snorkeltube

: --

- -'-jl


F i g u . s 3 2 ,T . 7 2s h o w i n g t h s s n o t k e l r ulb E h e r o t h € as d r6arof the rur€r


is mounted on the tank turret and supplies air to both the tank crew aid the engine. A narow snorkel tube is used in combat, while in haining a wide "chimney" snorkel is fitted

Fislrd 33. Sovid r..ks with thoconbrr 3no.l.r contasr with tns*idsrtnining robe in thb photogrsph

over the right ha.nd hatch.Amored recovery vehicles are fitted with the "chimney" snorkels as standardequipment.To fit the iank with the snorkeltube duringtxaining take can as Iittle as 15 minutes though to fuUy prcpar€ a tank for a river crossingoperation will tak€ up to one and a ha.lfhours.Upon leaving the water the tank requires abouttwenty minutes work before it can opente nomally. In combat the snorkel tlrbe is jettisoned if the tactical situation demandsit. Each tank in the battalion carries a snorkel tube during operations. ARMOREDRECOVEBYVEHICLES 6, The most lecent medium armored recovery vehicle used by the Soviets is the version the T-34-T.Both is T-54-T,The earlier vehicles are the basic tank chassisfitted with recovery equipment es shown in t}le chart below.

Fiqur€34. T62 inthewar.rlinsd wiih comhai.no&.|

(Model B)1 "-34'T T-54-'l


x x

x x


EachtaDl battalion hasone armoredrecove.yvehicleod it! invenrory.


Fiqure35, T34-TARV

Fisur.36. T-5zlT AFV



T3nk.G.neral symbol!$dlo shd a

0 0
Cofi,n.nd t nk Th. horimlll baB d.nol6 conm.nd level.nd n.y be u3€donanybasicsymbol, + Or b.r isfor Plaloonhvel * Tm !.6 are to. Cohprny lcvel. + Th..e barsare lor 8.ttllion revet

at 9r
Il a


r/iovina coLnnsorv.hit3 lhorins.



T.nk nding in mb.t lomrtbn.



XdiE colnn ottanr! $owirt Foi*bd dirlion otddmnt APC, slwlnr.n Arc $n.r.l rymbol

I n

T..k!! mding in db.i lom.tioir ehdin! pni|.ry.rcolfE Th..ror.d ri6 6n b. $d to shoq th. ren.nd riani [mns ot prnn.ry.rc oi tiB byulingonslins.l 6!d extremity,



tuiriilix. APc, neirr, o,rri.s


L.k rhorins prim!ry.rc oltie

**.,.0.*oo*,,"*.*o. ]





FdlaS€ dGcEr.d td Gup.rlm

4.6@Upid byt@pi Synborinskte ciEL de@t6lype .nd mmnd l6v€l

'R!da el op.r.tnEm HanRlqrad. .R.db 3.i o9.Eli'rsor \r.rt HEr

@ t

V\-( P

L.nd liE ondingi. t bphdro h.nd*t


--=ra -€ia


,/'+ --.t24_


Batrrlion DapuiyCohfian&r in post @omnd.b$Mtirh

D'dlih _r

ol tuin drort



- {-


DaGrbno!min .tt .t ph.md


.Notetnd..! iot sait rynboEhn


B.sa symbolindi6t6 6dio dmu.k d dErbn ol 6dio mnun€rbnr






KOzO K115 K300 K5O5 K658 L005 LO4O


NOOS USREDCOM OTIIER P055 CrA/CRS/ADD/SD(14) P085 STATE (5) P090 NSA (5) SOSO FRD LIB OF CONG TOTAL DtA DISTRIBUTION 268 COPIES ARMY DISTRIBUTION Active Army, ARNG, USAR: To be distributed in accordance with DA Form 12-9A requirements for Milita-ry Int€lligence- B (Qty rgr block \ o . 3 3 7 ). . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . .1 . , , 0.0 .0o p i e s . 2 . . . ., MARINE CORPS DISTRIBUTION Distribution code:TBA .......... 2.300copies DISTRIBUTIONSUMMABY: DTADISTR IBUTION.............. 268 copins D I A S T O C K . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i.5.2 . o p i e s . . . D T A T O T A L . . . . . . , . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...o p i e s | 0 . ARMY DISTRIBUTION .........12.00J copies MARINE CORPSDISTRIBU. .0 . .o T I O N. . , . . . . . . . , . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . .1.,.3 . .0.c . .p i e s P R I N T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1.4 . . . 2 0 o p i e s . .,? . c TOTAL




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