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Grenny

WP doctrin, use of artillery

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Ok, I want to pick up at the last to posts in the "wishlist" thread:

They were pretty big on pre-planned missions. In fact, they still are. If you read "One Soldier's War" (an autobiography of a Russian Army... I believe motorized recon soldier... in the Chechen wars), you'll see that their mortars still operate in company and battalion organizations, and are incapable of ad-hoc missions. They were all pre-planned missions, and took considerable time to set up.

Yes, there'd be forces in "observation" range, but that's not because they were really expected to adjust the fires- the Soviets wanted massed fires with the element of surprise- when firing a DAG mission, it's going to cover such a large area, it'd be hard to even tell where the center of the beaten zone was. The reason they would be "observed" is mostly just because it's a waste to fire suppressive fires when there's no maneuver unit there to take advantage of it!

But the recon elements are there for the same reason that their arty is pretty much just massed pre-planned fires: they wanted nothing slowing down their advance: no waiting for arty, so just fire a crap ton of it at any terrain that looks defensible on the map. They don't want their main force to get pinned down fighting, so they use recon, combat recon, and advance guards to make initial contact so the main body can be routed around strongpoints, and therefore keep moving forward with uninterrupted momentum

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The soviet ORBAT truly had an impressive amount of tubes. So far I had not the chance to study any soviet artillery field manuals. But let me explain why I disagree with some of your points (mainly plausibility reasons)

1. even with the large number of tubes available with the DAG/RAG (54 tubes + 18 BM-21 and + 24 tubes for the RAG)...it not enough to cover the whole front of a NATO brigade. You have to know where the enemy is and strike there. Otherwise they have no chance to have enough tubes...let alone rounds to: Overwatch the own approach==>strike at the enemy defences==>cover the flanks and interdict NATO reserves during the attack.

2. The male line of my family has held a commission in every German army since 1871 (hmm, we didn't win anything after 1871...maybe there's a...bah, probably just coincidence). I have to relatives who serves in the NVA, and they state that for all the Rgt-level and up exercises and training they had an Artillery-Observer attached to them. Guess he didn't do nothing ;-)

I also just guess, that as the NVA SOP's were pretty much a 1:1 copy of the Soviet ones...there is not so much difference there.

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So what did the

Recon

Forward Security Element

Advance Guard

do when they found the enemy?

Die valiantly while trying to eliminate them?

How would they deal with them?

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Well arguably as a member of SVU you should be able to tell us! :)

I'm hoping terms like Encounter Battle, Quick and Deliberate Attacks, etc aren't new to you. :)

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Well arguably as a member of SVU you should be able to tell us! :)

I'm hoping terms like Encounter Battle, Quick and Deliberate Attacks, etc aren't new to you. :)

Er, Die, mainly.

We've only really covered deliberate attacks so far.

Addendum:

Usually a cry of "fix bayonets!" can be heard from Comrade General Markovskievitche's Platoon/Company/Battalion.

(And then they Die Valiantly)

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So what did the

Recon

Forward Security Element

Advance Guard

do when they found the enemy?

Die valiantly while trying to eliminate them?

How would they deal with them?

Most likely they would report, and either picket or bypass. Forward movement was paramount, fighting was way down on the list. If I remember my OPFOR class way back when:clin:

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The soviet ORBAT truly had an impressive amount of tubes. So far I had not the chance to study any soviet artillery field manuals. But let me explain why I disagree with some of your points (mainly plausibility reasons)

1. even with the large number of tubes available with the DAG/RAG (54 tubes + 18 BM-21 and + 24 tubes for the RAG)...it not enough to cover the whole front of a NATO brigade. You have to know where the enemy is and strike there. Otherwise they have no chance to have enough tubes...let alone rounds to: Overwatch the own approach==>strike at the enemy defences==>cover the flanks and interdict NATO reserves during the attack.

2. The male line of my family has held a commission in every German army since 1871 (hmm, we didn't win anything after 1871...maybe there's a...bah, probably just coincidence). I have to relatives who serves in the NVA, and they state that for all the Rgt-level and up exercises and training they had an Artillery-Observer attached to them. Guess he didn't do nothing ;-)

I also just guess, that as the NVA SOP's were pretty much a 1:1 copy of the Soviet ones...there is not so much difference there.

Indeed. There are not enough tubes to cover every bit of terrain. So you put a pre-plot mission on the pieces of terrain that seem most suspect from your map recon, and then your recon element tells you which of the preplan missions to fire. You might plan A-F, and only fire B, D, and E. Either way, it's preplan. Not a lot of as-called missions, and not much in the way of adjusting fires.

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Yes the "flexibility" comes from being able to use which pre planned mission, because you have pre planned so many of them. :)

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From everything I've read on Soviet doctrine, almost all fires are preplanned, with on-call missions reserved for only the contact and breakthrough phases, and even then any requests are routed to the senior operational commander (typically Division) for approval. Even if the commander decides to support the unit in question, the actual mission will be processed and controlled by one of the Division's four artillery OPs, rather than the tactical unit in contact.

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AFAIK even the mortars are so controlled, but they probably would be the first to fire if an on-call mission was approved. I can see the advantages of centralizing the control of fires, allowing the commander to effectively mass his assets at the time and place of his choosing, but given the inherent lack of flexibility in such a system, it's a given that once your plan has failed upon contact - and they all do - you won't be able to adapt quickly enough.

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