Red Army task organizing of units for Recon by fire

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Duncan_M
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Red Army task organizing of units for Recon by fire

Post by Duncan_M » 13 Jul 2023 23:25

I read a paper by Lester Grau, "Reconnaissance-in-Force Russian Style," written in the late 2010s where he wrote that historically the Red Army was doing plenty of recon in force back in WW2 as policy to find the German MLR strongpoints through aggressive probing to force the Germans to fire back revealing their positions, etc.

https://www.moore.army.mil/armor/eArmor ... Grau18.pdf

Was there any indication the Red Army was task organizing specific disposable/sacrificial units to perform that role?

I know the Red Army used penal battalions as disposable troops to protect their better units, but am wondering if they tiered their rifle and tank divisions too. Like maybe certain qualitative Guards divisions were held back from such dangerous missions to preserve them, while other "lesser" rifle or tank divisions units were freely used on more dangerous missions?

Similarly, within a division or regiment would there there be different tiers of infantry or tanks battalion or company types with some more disposable than others so commanders could task organize the meat grinder missions to the low quality units to preserve the high quality units?

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Re: Red Army task organizing of units for Recon by fire

Post by gebhk » 14 Jul 2023 16:19

Hi Duncan

As I recall, David Glantz's 'August Storm' covered the organisation of some specific Soviet task teams for various types of mission. Whether it covered recce in force I can't check for you alas, as some *****! nicked my copy.

On your other theme, I would say that it happened undoubtedly, at every level from squad upwards, in every army under the sun and will continue to happen, because it is a basic social lizard-brain thing that helps survival of the species - observed in every social species that it has ever been studied in. If you can tell your cows apart, you can conveniently study this phenomenon in every herd of domestic cattle passing through a gate. However, I would strongly doubt that you would find this enunciated clearly in any army manual or regulations- say, in the squad-leaders manual: "Send your newest, greenest replacements out as scouts ahead of the squad because if they tread on a mine that will be alot less upsetting and less of a loss to your squad that if the same happens to your best mate who's been with you for years." Yet, as researchers found, this was almost sop in the real world.

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Re: Red Army task organizing of units for Recon by fire

Post by Art » 15 Jul 2023 13:04

Reconnaissance by force in a broad meaning was defined as reconnaissence obtaining information by combat against hostile forces as opposed to observation.
"Infantry conducts reconnaissance by observation and combat" - from the Battle manual of infantry of 1927
Thus defined it was a way of action as old as warfare itself.

More narrow meaning in 1941-45 stood for local probing attacks on the stabilized front, especially on the eve of the large offensives. Quite frequently such actions pursued additional goals other than pure reconnaissance such as capturing tactically important localities, taking hostile ouptosts and advance positions and getting contact with the main line of resistance, pinning down and diversion of attention to secondary parts of the front etc. Sometimes they took a form of a large operation involving tens thousand men, hundreds of AFVs, numerous artillery and aircraft such as the battle on the Oder Front on 14-15 April 1945.
The only thing different between a local attack and a large attack was the scale, on the level of small units there was no difference in tactical execution. The units trained to attack could execute a limited attack as well as it could be a part of a large offensive. Hence there was no need in special units for limited offensive actions.

The topic of Soviet penal units is strongly mythologized. To start with these were rather small elements: normally one division of several thousand men could have at best one penal company with 100-150 men attached. Of course, this company could perform only very limited tasks. The purpose of the penal units was to give a chance to criminals to yearn pardon by diligent service on the front. That implied employment for hard and dangerous tasks. For that reason in case of a prolonged lull on the stabilized front penal companies were likely chosen for some local actions - you don't give pardon to criminals for simply living in shelters and eating a daily ration. On the other hard normal rifle companies and battalions were employed for such actions as well as a mixture of penal units and "normal" infantry. Generally speaking there was no mission given to penal companies/battalions which couldn't be also given to "normal" infantry.

There was actually some specialization of infantry within division or even assingment of some divisions as "shock division" such as the 30 Guard Rifle Corps on the Leningrad Front, but not exactly in the way as you assume.

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Re: Red Army task organizing of units for Recon by fire

Post by Vasilyev » 15 Jul 2023 15:30

Art, do you know what the formal (in manuals, instructions, or other orders) origin of assault detachments is? There are many training manuals from different armies and other commands, but I didn't catch any higher regulations governing their use.

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Re: Red Army task organizing of units for Recon by fire

Post by Duncan_M » 16 Jul 2023 04:39

Art wrote:
15 Jul 2023 13:04
More narrow meaning in 1941-45 stood for local probing attacks on the stabilized front, especially on the eve of the large offensives. Quite frequently such actions pursued additional goals other than pure reconnaissance such as capturing tactically important localities, taking hostile ouptosts and advance positions and getting contact with the main line of resistance, pinning down and diversion of attention to secondary parts of the front etc.
Very interesting, thanks for the info.

The reason I asked is because of a certain recent war between former Soviet republics where one of them in particular uses a highly tiered system of task organizing at the tactical level, with higher tier tank/mech infantry units seem to be used primarily for important missions (usually involving more difficult/complex deliberate attacks) and protected from performing the missions typically given to various lesser tiered units doing recon-in-force/recon-by-blundering probing attacks on the norm, both mounted and dismounted, for all the abovementioned reasons, as well as manning front line defenses to eat fires and attacks.

There are reasons they might have created this tiered system on the spot due to the realities they face in this war, but I just wanted to check to see if there was any historical tradition dating back to the Great Patriotic War that might have given them the idea.

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Re: Red Army task organizing of units for Recon by fire

Post by Duncan_M » 16 Jul 2023 04:40

gebhk wrote:
14 Jul 2023 16:19
Whether it covered recce in force I can't check for you alas, as some *****! nicked my copy.
Enjoy! https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Portals ... tz-lp8.pdf

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Re: Red Army task organizing of units for Recon by fire

Post by gebhk » 16 Jul 2023 12:18

Cracking!

Thanks
K

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Re: Red Army task organizing of units for Recon by fire

Post by Art » 17 Jul 2023 16:18

Vasilyev wrote:
15 Jul 2023 15:30
Art, do you know what the formal (in manuals, instructions, or other orders) origin of assault detachments is? There are many training manuals from different armies and other commands, but I didn't catch any higher regulations governing their use.
during the Soviet-Finnish War at least.
Van Dyke describes the instruction issued by the Timoshenko's staff in January 1940
I1.png
I2.png
According to M.V. Zakharov there was an instruction on attack of fortified areas issued in mid-30s, which was revoked and confiscated after 1937. He personally found a surviving copy in a library and it was later used by the Timoshenko's staff for its own tactical instructions. Zakahrov doesn't describe this instruction in details, I don't know if it dealt with "assault groups" or similar things.
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Re: Red Army task organizing of units for Recon by fire

Post by Art » 18 Jul 2023 14:16

Duncan_M wrote:
16 Jul 2023 04:39
The reason I asked is because of a certain recent war between former Soviet republics where one of them in particular uses a highly tiered system of task organizing at the tactical level, with higher tier tank/mech infantry units seem to be used primarily for important missions (usually involving more difficult/complex deliberate attacks) and protected from performing the missions typically given to various lesser tiered units doing recon-in-force/recon-by-blundering probing attacks on the norm, both mounted and dismounted, for all the abovementioned reasons, as well as manning front line defenses to eat fires and attacks.
You describe something like a difference between normal infantry and armored/mechanized formations. Such a difference existed in terms of motorization, typical combat missions and quality of personnel.

As far as infantry divisions are concerned the basic doctrine was that they should be uniformly organized and equipped and equally suitable for various tasks. In reality it was frequently quite different. Anyway there was no formal rating of units quality of the type used by the German Army. If Soviet commanders and staffs had some idea that one division was more capable than the other, it was based on some intuitive understanding rather than a formal rating. Its seems that when the first Guards divisions were created in September 1941 there was an intention to employ them as a sort of "crack" or "shock" formations at the most critical points. Later in 1942 this idea was expanded by formation of Guards rifle corps and then by Guards armies. I believe this intention wasn't fully realized because these formation receive personnel replacements and officers from the same sources as "normal" division and therefore of the same quality. And then proliferation of the Guards units was so large that it was hardly possible to maintain their "elite" character. The tables of organization beginning from the year 1942 and on provided for somewhat large numbers of personnel and weapons in the Guards rifle divisions compared with "normal" rifle divisions. Considering a constant shortfall of personnel and equipment this difference in authorized strength was probably not very important.

On the intradivisional level unit specialization was apparently a normal thing. Typically several rifle battalions in the division, or one battalion in each regiment was assigned as "shock" battalions, meaning that they had better personnel, larger numbers of automatic weapons and received an intensive training in attack on fortified positions. Sometimes specialization went even further. Some after actions reports recommended to divide rifle battalions of the division into several types: shock battalions, night combat battalions, pursuit battalions or forest battalions - details varied, each receiving specialized training. It appears that this practice was deemed successful.

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Re: Red Army task organizing of units for Recon by fire

Post by Duncan_M » 19 Jul 2023 20:37

Art wrote:
18 Jul 2023 14:16
On the intradivisional level unit specialization was apparently a normal thing. Typically several rifle battalions in the division, or one battalion in each regiment was assigned as "shock" battalions, meaning that they had better personnel, larger numbers of automatic weapons and received an intensive training in attack on fortified positions. Sometimes specialization went even further. Some after actions reports recommended to divide rifle battalions of the division into several types: shock battalions, night combat battalions, pursuit battalions or forest battalions - details varied, each receiving specialized training. It appears that this practice was deemed successful.
Ahh, now that seems much more specific to what's happening now in the conflict that shall remain nameless.

One side is creating ad hoc tactical level units at the battalion equivalent or higher with a mix companies or battalion sized subunits, of a very mixed types of units of roughly the same type of job but each designed for different tasks. Sometimes multiple branches of service or even nationalities are in the same battalion sized tactical grouping.

For example, for infantry they might have higher quality mechanized infantry units, with better troops, leaders, equipment, morale, with night fighting capabilities, who are meant to be used for well planned deliberate attacks, mounted or dismounted, and counterattacks. Then those are broken up into actual storm/assault detachments, heavy weapon support, and specialized units, all with their own tasks within the larger mission.

With middling tier "conventional" motorized/mechanized infantry to hold the line defensively or do motorized probing offensively.

And using lower tier light infantry to conduct dismounted probing attacks, to include using convicts and local national militia type personnel.

The idea is to preserve the better forces for the more important missions so they don't suffer unnecessary attrition through less important duties that come with a high butcher's bill.

It's extremely callous but kinda effective. It seems reminiscent of what the Red Army might cook up during hard times to get the job done without worrying about the value of human life.

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Re: Red Army task organizing of units for Recon by fire

Post by Vasilyev » 19 Jul 2023 21:19

Here're instructions from the Leningrad Front in 1945 on the organization, training, and equipping of assault groups: https://www.teatrskazka.com/Raznoe/Sbor ... 03_13.html
Brief instruction of the command of the Leningrad Front on the organization, equipment and training of infantry
in assault operations
(April 15, 1945)

...

1. Assault operations by infantry in breaking through the enemy's positional defenses with trenches, structures and obstacles are the most complex in terms of organizing interaction and require especially deep and detailed preparation.

The experience of combat continuously improves the organization of infantry combat formations during an assault, the methodology and organization of an infantry attack and assault on developed defensive zones.

This instruction is intended to systematize some provisions on infantry assault operations in relation to the theater of operations.

2. The main organizational forms of infantry assault actions are:

a) A swift attack by selected assault battalions of divisions on the enemy's defensive line in the directions of the main attack, especially on road directions, with the task of advancing through the enemy's defenses to a depth of 6-8 km within two hours.

Assault battalions conduct an attack in the general battle order of divisions with the task of forming the top of the wedge during a breakthrough in the directions of the main attack.

To this end, assault battalions of divisions attack the forward edge of the defensive zone especially swiftly and boldly, having a battle formation deployed in a line [each man 5+ steps apart], accompanying the attack with massed fire from the move, without delaying to block individual garrisons of enemy defense strongpoints.

The pace of the advance from the starting position to the front trench of the enemy should be within 1-2 minutes. The ultimate goal of the actions of the assault battalions in the main defense zone is to break through to the artillery and mortar positions of the enemy, disorganize the artillery mortar fire system in this depth with their attack and capture their area.

In order to block and destroy the structures left after the attack, separate groups should be assigned as reinforcement units of the assault battalion on the front line in the zone of operations of the assault battalion. The actions of these blocking groups should not bind the rapid attack of the battalion, which continues to move forward.

b) Attack all other infantry battle formations in line with the assault battalions.

This attack is a combination of actions (inside battalions and companies) of rifle lines attacking and destroying the enemy in trenches, and actions of individual assault groups against various combat structures (bunkers, shelters, individual buildings)

Such a simultaneous attack with a rifle line and an attack (assault) on the garrison and the bunker in strong points is prepared in advance in the battle order of the battalion/company. The battalion commander specially forms assault groups for reconnoitered objects for this purpose. At the same time, in the course of a battle, each subunit can encounter an embrasure-type combat structure or a strong point in a trench system, in a forest, behind a slope, in the depths of the defense. In this case, an attack with a skirmish line on a separate stronghold or structure is unthinkable, and the subunit must immediately proceed to actions by assault.

This requires that, in addition to organizing, equipping and training special assault groups, all infantry, all platoons in all battalions, be educated and prepared both in a swift attack in a line, and in the assault on a bunker or buildings adapted for defense, and be educated and trained in the immediate transition from a line to a new battle formation and in the tactics of blocking a structure and a strong point and destroying the enemy in it.

3. Composition, armament, equipment of the assault battalion.

a) The assault battalions of the division should be staffed with young, physically healthy and best trained personnel in a normal organization [per the shtat].

The assault battalion does not form separate assault groups, being trained as a whole both to attack with a line and by platoon - to storm bunkers and other buildings. The battalion is reinforced by sappers [engineers] to carry out special combat missions, as well as usually by a company of tanks and a battery of self-propelled artillery to fight to the full depth of the task.

The self-propelled artillery in the assault battalion, interacting with the escort guns, ensures the continuity of the escort.

b) Armament of assault battalions - all shooters of rifle companies must have machine guns. Cold weapon - knife. Grenades: 6 pieces per fighter. Cartridges - 2 disks and an additional 200 pieces in cartridge bags and pockets.

c) Additional assault equipment of the assault battalion of the division to ensure operations in the barrier zone and against heavy structures should be evenly distributed by platoon with the task of constant readiness of each platoon.

In each platoon, the assigned fighters must have:

1. Anti-tank grenades 3
2. Smoke hand grenades 4
3. Cats with ropes undermining tension mines 3
4. Wire shears 3
5. Small axes instead of shovels 6
6. Molotov cocktails or thermite balls 3
7. rocket launcher 1
8. whistles 2

d) The sapper group of reinforcement of the assault battalion (1-2 squads) must have:

1. Explosive charges of 3 kg 2
2. Probes for reconnaissance mines 2
3. mine detectors 4
4. cats 4
5. Scissors 4
6. Smoke hand grenades 4
7. Anti-tank grenades 4

1. Assault equipment of line battalions and its assault groups

For actions against reconnoitered especially strong defensive installations, line battalions must have in each company a specially assigned trained and equipped assault group.

The permanent composition (backbone) of the assault group should be a platoon. Its complete composition, including heavy weapons, self-propelled guns, tanks and demolition personnel, should be based on the specific requirements of the assault on an object: its size, strength, number of embrasures and trench cover.

As part of the assault group should be:

a) command for smoke;
b) clearing team;
c) a team of demolition workers;
d) fire support and cover team.

Assault equipment in a group (per platoon) must have:

A) smoke hand grenades 6
b) anti-tank grenades 6
c) concentrated or elongated explosive charges of 3 kg 3
d) cats with ropes 3
e) probes 3
f) wire cutter 6
g) Molotov cocktails or thermite balls 2
h) rocket launchers 1
i) whistles 2
j) small axes 3

All other battalion platoons must have:

A) anti-tank grenades 2
b) cats with ropes 3
c) wire cutter 6
d) smoke hand grenades 3
e) small axes 3

The presence of assault groups in battalions should not reduce the density of combat formations. In the absence of objects of attack for assault groups, they act in the same battle formation.

Assault group of sappers

Assault groups of sappers are assigned to assault individual long-term reinforced concrete or armored structures in order to destroy the structure with large explosive charges. The composition and equipment of assault groups of sappers differs from infantry groups in the additional introduction of a supply team and explosives. Otherwise, the equipment and actions of assault sappers are similar to those of infantry.

4. Tactics of actions of assault divisions.

1) Attack of the assault battalions.

The main task is to break through to the artillery and mortar positions, disorganize the fire system at this depth and capture the area of ​​​​artillery positions.

This task should not be hindered by individual enemy groups and pockets remaining in the first lines of trenches. Additional forces must be allocated to eliminate them.

The commander of the assault battalion outlines in advance, throughout the depth of his task, which objects and key points he destroys with a swift attack, and which he bypasses without getting involved in a protracted battle.

For this purpose, each company, platoon and even squad in the battalion receives the task for the entire depth assigned to the battalion.
When attacking on the main road direction, especially in the forest, the commander of the assault battalion should consider it his main task to clear the road from the enemy, not allowing it to remain with the enemy as a strong point or a wedge in our offensive combat formations.

On the contrary, on low-road sections, the top of the wedge of combat formations should be on the road.

2) The actions of assault groups against semi-durable structures and structures adapted for defense.

a) The attack of the assault group must be preceded by reconnaissance of sectors of fire from embrasures and loopholes, approaches to them and to the entrances of barriers covering structures; trenches and communication passages to the bunker (to the object).

b) Organization of the attack. The commander of the assault group, having reconnoitered the nature of the structures, makes a decision and sets the task: the fire team, support team, guns, anti-tank rifles, snipers, machine guns, take the indicated positions and fire at the embrasures and the enemy infantry emerging from the structures before the signal; where to move forward at the time of the approach of the capture group close to the structure.

Art mortar group - to continuously fire on the indicated trench approaches to the object until it is captured.

The smoke command is to move forward to a favorable place of the object and, on a signal, cover the approach of the detonation or capture group with smoke.

For the capture or detonation team - the path of approach to the structure, the task of each fighter, the team when throwing to the move, to cover the embrasure or trench. General throw signal.

The commander of the assault group exercises fire control and movement of his group and communication with the rest of the battle order of the company or battalion with a rocket, a flag, a whistle.

When armed with anti-tank or hand grenades, the task is to destroy the garrison of structures. A grenade strike is assigned: to the chimney, to the door, to the windows above the embrasure. Throws of grenades are accompanied by an immediate throw into the structure itself with machine gun fire.

When acting with explosive charges, the task can be set to destroy the structure. The most advantageous charge place is at the entrance, for the action of a blast wave and on floors - above the embrasure.

A blow with a combustible mixture or a thermite ball should be done in the same way as a grenade: into a chimney, into a door, into an embrasure.

2. Features of the attack depending on the nature of the structure

Flanking structures (stone building, semi-caponier, caponier), having a blind floor wall, are attacked with a demolition group from the front and from the entrance. For fire at the embrasure to the loopholes of such a structure, it is best to move snipers and anti-tank teams to the target of the fire director of the structure.

The frontal bunker (building) is blocked by fire at the embrasure from heavy weapons and sniper fire from the front, and is attacked by a detour from the flank, to the embrasure or to the entrance.

A multi-pipe bunker (blockhouse) or an adapted building is most advantageous to attack in the forehead, simultaneously with all types of fire on the embrasure that is being attacked. An attack from the flank or an attack from the entrance must be accompanied by the actions of the team of filling the embrasures with earth bags. It is sometimes profitable and convenient to light a blockhouse in the forest with Molotov cocktails or thermite balls.

It is most advantageous to attack an armored cap at the same time as it is smoked or immediately after artillery fire on the cap, since its embrasures, due to their low landing, lose observation in battle.

The armored cap should be blown up with a charge of 2-3 anti-tank grenades, or 1-2 anti-tank mines. A heavy armored cap on a reinforced concrete structure should be blown up with a charge of 6-10 kg.

3. Actions of the assault group with a self-propelled gun or tank

If the bunker or bunker is machine gun, then the self-propelled gun or tank goes directly to the embrasure, firing at the embrasure from short stops or covers the embrasure with armor. A heavy structure may not be crushed by a tank. The capture team attacks the garrison from the entrance or undermines the structure.

If the bunker is a gun bunker, the self-propelled gun chooses a position and fires from a place in cooperation with sniper and machine gun or anti-tank fire at the embrasure. The capture group at this time approaches and attacks the structure, giving a signal for a ceasefire.

4. Organization of clearing the trench network from individual enemy groups during and after the infantry attack
An infantry attack on a developed trench position should be organized throughout the entire depth of the trench system. Setting the task - to break through the enemy defenses to the full depth with a swift throw - requires such a distribution of the battle order along the depth of the trench position so that individual enemy groups and centers remaining in the first lines of trenches do not delay and do not bind the entire battle order of the company, battalion.

To do this, the company and battalion commander, organizing an attack on a developed trench defense, appoints squads from platoons and companies, which, upon reaching a certain node of trenches during the attack, remain to eliminate the enemy in trenches, dugouts, fox holes. The trench clearing team is assigned roughly on the basis of a company-squad.

5. Formation of the combat formation of a rifle (assault) battalion, reinforced with tanks and self-propelled artillery

1. A rifle battalion, reinforced with tanks and self-propelled artillery, in an open area, when building its battle formation, must take into account the following.

a) Tanks operate ahead of the infantry, breaking away from it by 200 m and having as their tasks the destruction of enemy manpower and the suppression of his firing points by fire and caterpillars.

b) Self-propelled artillery, attached to or supporting a battalion, moves in infantry combat formations, with the task of accompanying infantry with fire, destroying enemy firing points, and fighting his tanks and SU. The fire is fired from a place or from short stops, moving from line to line, according to the principle of PA.

Self-propelled artillery accompanies both tanks and infantry with its fire and caterpillars, interacting with assault groups specially created in divisions to fight enemy tanks and self-propelled guns.

2. When reinforcing a rifle battalion with only self-propelled guns, the guns have the task of accompanying the infantry with fire, destroying the enemy’s manpower and firing points, as well as the enemy’s assault self-propelled guns that impede the advance of the infantry, moving in infantry combat formations in riffles.

3. a) When operating in the forest, tanks and self-propelled artillery operate in small groups and follow in infantry combat formations under the cover of infantry reconnaissance and security. It is necessary to allocate and attach guards from submachine gunners or snipers to the tanks to fight enemy faustpatrons.

b) When infantry detects enemy firing points that impede its advance, tanks and self-propelled guns move forward and destroy enemy firing points with their fire.

c) In some places, also in the forest, tanks can break ahead of the battle formations, namely where the terrain allows observation and firing; in most cases, glades will be such a place.
Last edited by Vasilyev on 19 Jul 2023 21:35, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Red Army task organizing of units for Recon by fire

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 19 Jul 2023 21:28

Art wrote:
18 Jul 2023 14:16
...

On the intradivisional level unit specialization was apparently a normal thing. Typically several rifle battalions in the division, or one battalion in each regiment was assigned as "shock" battalions, meaning that they had better personnel, larger numbers of automatic weapons and received an intensive training in attack on fortified positions. Sometimes specialization went even further. Some after actions reports recommended to divide rifle battalions of the division into several types: shock battalions, night combat battalions, pursuit battalions or forest battalions - details varied, each receiving specialized training. It appears that this practice was deemed successful.
This sort of specialization extended to the divisions artillery. The primary field artillery piece the 76.2mm cannon the F-22USV series, & the M1942 ZiS-3 was equally good as a direct fire AT weapon, or as a long range indirect fire field artillery weapon. Tho the division artillery was supposed to be trained and equipped as all Field Artillery the practice was to train and deploy a portion in the direct fire role covering and supplementing the lighter AT guns. In this role the ZiS-3 could either supplement the MG and mortars in killing off the German infantry accompanying the tanks, or hit the tanks. The balance of the these guns would shoot indirect fire from positions 2000 to 4000 meters behind the man battle line.

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Re: Red Army task organizing of units for Recon by fire

Post by Art » 20 Jul 2023 11:27

Theoretically it was true. Practically armor-piercing ammunition allotment in divisional artillery was limited to 8 rounds per gun, which was only sufficient for self-defense in emergency. And even these limited numbers were not available in the summer of 1941. Anti-tank ammunition was essential to make the gun really universal.
The revised ammunition tables issued in December 1943 replaced this with 20 armor-piercing rounds per gun and 60 rounds per gun in the anti-tank units:
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=451545799

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Re: Red Army task organizing of units for Recon by fire

Post by Vasilyev » 20 Jul 2023 19:28

A bunch of quotes from Soviet military journals in ‘44-45 on training battalions for assault and other specialized tasks:

https://paul-atrydes.livejournal.com/291113.html

Part of this thread also discusses echeloning divisions for attacks, which relates to specialized battalions:

viewtopic.php?f=79&t=223635&p=2454829#p2454829

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Re: Red Army task organizing of units for Recon by fire

Post by Duncan_M » 21 Jul 2023 08:58

Vasilyev wrote:
20 Jul 2023 19:28
A bunch of quotes from Soviet military journals in ‘44-45 on training battalions for assault and other specialized tasks:

https://paul-atrydes.livejournal.com/291113.html
Ding ding, we have a winner:
"Thus, in a rifle division it is advisable to train: three battalions - as assault, one - for night operations, one or two - for crossing water barriers, one or two - for fighting in the forest. The rest of the battalions are trained as second-echelon units, and their most important task is to learn how to act without breaking away from the first-echelon battalions.

Each battalion, in addition to all of the above, is recommended to be trained in combat for a settlement, the ability to maintain formations during an offensive in the field and firing from a place and on the move, as well as fighting tanks, for which it is desirable to “iron” all personnel in the process of training with their tanks."
That is exactly what is happening in the current conflict.

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