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Old 12-01-2011, 06:45 AM   #16
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During the cold war, the Soviets simply lacked the communication network abilites to orchestrate huge forces to such an individual level like NATO armies train to do. NATO ability to intefere Russian communicatiosn also were estimated to be high. Like Napoleonic armies were amassed in formations that were choreographed simultenously, the Soviets thus used an organsiation form that allowed them to give orders to huge forces with as little communication as possible. Subordinate units must not be conmtacted by HQ since they are trained to fall into their place of a formation controlled by theior superior command unit. The more indiovodually units act and decide, the more communication is needed to keep all these units in a synchronised choreography.

Also, a huge mistrust from top to bottom played a role. Responsibility they were hesitent to give to lower ranks. That'S why small unit leaders had more communication options and freedoms to demand support, than their rank-counterparts on Soviet side.

The Soviets believe in formulas. War results are to be calculated. If you throw so and so much of this and so and so much of that into the formula, the outcome has to be this. It is pretty much a scientifically attitude they had on war, seen that way.

It may not work well against unconventionally fighting enemies. In Georgia, they suffered high losses, also in Chechnya. Usually it is said that poor training was the reason. But I think using a too dogmatic scheme in situations that did not match these schemes, maybe has more to do with it. This especially with regard to their relatively high losses in tanks that were taken out by RPG-style weapons. If you send tanks into a town with threats from roofs but the tanks not able to elevate their weapons that high, than the sticking to a dogmatic plan unfitting for the situation seems to be the most liekly explanation, I believe.

On overwatch, just on a sidenote, some Western armies, the Swedes for example, started to experiment with giving up that concept. The precision of tank guns with tanks on the move allow to have the platoon advanace simuklatenously and thus bear the whole platoon'S firepower quicvker and simulatenously on the enemy, than if you split it up into two sections with half of your forces sitting still behind and the other half somewhere in front running into a fight, with half of the platoon'S guns missing. Also, if ambushed, so the idea, the enemy has to sprad his fire onto more targets, reducing his chnaces to bear overkill chance sonto one target and giving each tank of the targetted force a statistically greater chance to survive and fight back (the basic idea of "overflooding" a defence has something to do with it). - That's the idea. What has come of it so far, I do not know.
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:23 PM   #17
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newest T-90AM with welded turret is listed as having RHAe in excess of 850mm vs KE. T-90A should have similar protection.
the area around the mantle is different though. its cast steel, around 500mm thick. cast steel has a TE of about 0,92, which makes it around 450mm.
M1A2 SEP is estimated to have protection around 900-950mm,
but it has the same weakspots as on earlier abrams models, around the turret ring, and gunshield. so frontally, the M1A2 SEP has an advantage over the T-90.

side protection the T-90 is more vulnerable than the abrams. abrams has about 200-300mm RHAe on the turret sides vs KE, while the T-90 offers around 90mm.
T-90 side hull is about 80mm, behind a rubber sideskirt, and only the front 1/3 is covered with ERA. additionally, russian ERA is designed to work at a 60 degree angle, and is fairly inefficient at stopping rounds from 90 degrees to the side.
generally, T-90 is vulnerable to the latest western IFVs 25mm and 30mm rounds from the side, while the abrams is impervous to the BMP-2 30mm round. both can be penetrated by the latest missiles fitted to the IFVs.

T-90 is smaller, but has the same crippling disadvantages the T-72 has, slow reverse gear, and limited gun depression.
it has a much improved FCS however, with thermals, different levels of magnification, and dynamic lead. it also has LWR, or laser warning receiver, something the abrams lacks. the T-90 can also deploy IR-obscuring smoke. the abrams does have an edge, but in the end, it all comes down to tactics. neutralizing your opponents advantages, by using the terrain that best favours your tank.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dejawolf View Post
newest T-90AM with welded turret is listed as having RHAe in excess of 850mm vs KE. T-90A should have similar protection.
Maybe in your imagination, right? All those ridiculous Russian T-72/80/90 tanks armor estimates are false because they add ERA protection to basic armor thickness as some additional RHA armor equivalent. That is now fundamentally wrong because:

- those ERA are useless against tandem HEAT warheads
- those ERA are also useless against modern Western APFSDS rounds

So now Russian T-xx tanks have to rely on their too weak basic armor having about 550 mm RHAe thickness. Nothing can be done to improve this because their turrets reached maximum allowable weight limit and further increasings of its frontal armor weight would cause "barrel hits ground" scenario. Thus Russian T-xx tanks can be frontally massacred by today's Western APFSDS rounds and ATGMs. Those T-90A frontal armor values (850 mm vs APFSDS and 1300 mm vs HEAT) are only true for 20-30 years old anti-tank munition. Now ERA you can see on Russian tanks is pure virtual reality because it does not exist in practical terms!

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Originally Posted by dejawolf View Post
so frontally, the M1A2 SEP has an advantage over the T-90.
Not "advantage" but unconditional superiority if you take into account entire "armor+ammunition" comparison.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dejawolf View Post
it has a much improved FCS however, with thermals, different levels of magnification, and dynamic lead.
ROTFL! T-90 has 25 years old 1A45 FCS robbed from T-80U tanks. Latest T-90 incarnations also have imported/license built French I generation thermal sights - not even close in quality to latest III generation thermal stuff with electronic zoom, auto-tracker etc. present in for instance M1A2SEP v.2 and Merkava IV tanks.

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Originally Posted by dejawolf View Post
it also has LWR, or laser warning receiver, something the abrams lacks.
This old LWR is part of ancient "Shtora" EOCMDAS - now useless because LWR cannot detect today's Western lasers working on different wavelengths than 1980s vintage Western lasers. Maybe Russian should import new Ukrainian "Varta" EOCMDAS to fix this issue.

BTW Abrams can be equipped with a bit similar MCD system.

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the T-90 can also deploy IR-obscuring smoke.
Only theoretically, but in practice it cannot having blind sensors.

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Originally Posted by dejawolf View Post
the abrams does have an edge, but in the end, it all comes down to tactics. neutralizing your opponents advantages, by using the terrain that best favours your tank.
Pure BS! Russian Army has nothing like net-centric battle management environment, UAVs and similar reconnaissance stuff the US Army is full of. So old-fashioned tactics like terrain cover is now useless because US Army could detect and target Russian Army tanks from stand-off distances by aerial and artillery means. Also American tanks would have gigantic advantage fighting practically blind Russian armored formations with help of FBCB2, BFT, FTL systems. In 2012 those two armies are armies from two different technological eras...

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Old 02-05-2012, 09:24 PM   #19
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- those ERA are useless against tandem HEAT warheads
- those ERA are also useless against modern Western APFSDS rounds
IIRC, Russians were supposed counter tandem-HEAT by merely strapping on more layers of ERA.

As for modern Western APFSDS, I know the West claims that (the same guys who didn't even think that APFSDS could be broken by ERA) it is really hard to believe that they are useless. Anti-APFSDS ERA basically breaks the incoming round to rob it of its penetration, and Western APFSDS rounds are getting longer all the time, which grants them more penetrating power <i>but only if they hit at the right angle</i>. They are more fragile overall with their greater L/W ratio, and if they don't hit at the angle, they are much more likely to snap.

Their new, increased length is not purely a function of improved metallurgy, but also a desperation to achieve some penetration of modern tanks even at the price of restricting the conditions under which penetration occurs. There is a reason they did not start with 40:1 rounds.

It is probably more realistic to think that they <i>meant</i> to say that their round has enough over-penetration to defeat the remaining armor <i>after</i> getting weakened by K5 - if that is the round doesn't break first, rather than thinking the new rounds have "magical" properties that render them immune.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:24 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorshkov View Post
Maybe in your imagination, right? All those ridiculous Russian T-72/80/90 tanks armor estimates are false because they add ERA protection to basic armor thickness as some additional RHA armor equivalent. That is now fundamentally wrong because:

- those ERA are useless against tandem HEAT warheads
- those ERA are also useless against modern Western APFSDS rounds


So now Russian T-xx tanks have to rely on their too weak basic armor having about 550 mm RHAe thickness. Nothing can be done to improve this because their turrets reached maximum allowable weight limit and further increasings of its frontal armor weight would cause "barrel hits ground" scenario. Thus Russian T-xx tanks can be frontally massacred by today's Western APFSDS rounds and ATGMs. Those T-90A frontal armor values (850 mm vs APFSDS and 1300 mm vs HEAT) are only true for 20-30 years old anti-tank munition. Now ERA you can see on Russian tanks is pure virtual reality because it does not exist in practical terms!

Not "advantage" but unconditional superiority if you take into account entire "armor+ammunition" comparison.
did i ever at any point say that russian armour was vastly superior to US armour? of course Chobham is vastly superior to russian BDD+ERA, and M829A3 will likely punch straight through both K5 ERA and the main armour through sheer brute force.

in comparison the front turret faces on even the M1A1(HA) is impenetrable to any russian round. however, there's areas on the front turret of the abrams that is vulnerable, namely the turret ring and gun mantle.

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Originally Posted by Gorshkov View Post
ROTFL! T-90 has 25 years old 1A45 FCS robbed from T-80U tanks. Latest T-90 incarnations also have imported/license built French I generation thermal sights - not even close in quality to latest III generation thermal stuff with electronic zoom, auto-tracker etc. present in for instance M1A2SEP v.2 and Merkava IV tanks.
you don't consider the addition of a thermal imager an improvement over the 1A45?

it's far from as good as M1A2 SEP FLIR with 50x digital magnification, but it's a thermal. higher resolution makes the abrams able to ID targets through thermals, while low resolution of T-90 only allows it to detect a target.
but its better than trying to ID targets through a daysight.

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Originally Posted by Gorshkov View Post

This old LWR is part of ancient "Shtora" EOCMDAS - now useless because LWR cannot detect today's Western lasers working on different wavelengths than 1980s vintage Western lasers. Maybe Russian should import new Ukrainian "Varta" EOCMDAS to fix this issue.

BTW Abrams can be equipped with a bit similar MCD system.

Only theoretically, but in practice it cannot having blind sensors.
the MCD is not an LWR, its a missile jammer, and a fairly poor one at that.
to defeat a missile, you have to point the jammer directly at the missile, and track it for a few seconds.

the SHtora IR missile jammer is useless against modern western missiles, but the laser warning system should be good. LWR warns when your tank is lased, and traverses the turret towards the direction it was lased.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorshkov View Post
Pure BS! Russian Army has nothing like net-centric battle management environment, UAVs and similar reconnaissance stuff the US Army is full of. So old-fashioned tactics like terrain cover is now useless because US Army could detect and target Russian Army tanks from stand-off distances by aerial and artillery means. Also American tanks would have gigantic advantage fighting practically blind Russian armored formations with help of FBCB2, BFT, FTL systems. In 2012 those two armies are armies from two different technological eras...
UAVs are overpowering against insurgents in afghanistan, but they are sitting ducks against a battlefield saturated with SAMs like strela.

one advantage the russian tanks have over the abrams is range and fuel economy.
the abrams needs a huge fuel train behind them to operate. the turbine engine is extremely thirsty, and needs 1900 L to move 426km.
by comparison, the T-90 travels 650km on 1600 L of diesel.

if something were to happend to that fuel train, the abrams tanks become sitting ducks.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:41 PM   #21
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Whether or not their tanks are better/equal to the Abrams is a matter of opinion. The fact that the Russian Army pales in comparison to the US Armed forces is the sole deciding factor in this argument. Don't believe me? The US hasn't lost a company sized engagement or higher since Korea, when the 2nd Infantry Division was overrun in 1950.

The Russians got the **** kicked out of them in every conflict since WW2. Don't believe me? In 1995, Chechen rebel fighters halted the Russian armored advance into their capital city of Grozny. after repeated artillery bombardments, the Chechens fell back to Fallujah-style Defensive positions and ended up sending the Russian Armored and Mobile Infantry Brigades packing, inflicting over 1700 deaths.

Later, in 2000, during the 2nd Chechen conflict, the Russians took over 2500 casualties, in re-taking Grozny.
In the Aftermath, Grozny was called "The most Destroyed City in the world", littered with thousands of innocent civilian corpses.

In 2004, the Russian Army, armed with T-90's and Putin's Latest and Greatest, were halted by a ad-hoc Georgian defense outside of Tblisi. The Georgians were using M-48 and M-60 tanks to combat the Russian's top-notch armored vehicles, as well as antiquated AA systems to combat their airpower.


In 2003, the 3rd Armored Division pushed into Baghdad, losing 3 soldiers and capturing the majority of the capital city in an armored thrust with minor damage to the infrastructure.

In 2004, the 1st Marine Divisions assaulted into Fallujah twice, which had been fortified by the Grozny veterans in the Summer months, losing 95 Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers and 1000 wounded. Unlike the Russians, the Marines had been pushed back the first time not by gunfire, but by Political bull**** via Al Jazeera and the British Prime Minister.



What does this have to do with a battle between T-90's and M1A2's? Well, the Russians seem to do a whole lot of losing for them to be the best..
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:36 PM   #22
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I agree with Whukid!Whatever its flaws the US Army is a better trained and equipped army than the Russian one.

One only has to read numerous reports and articles about the situaiton of the Russian army; beatings of recruits, unbelievable amount of theft on a grand scale, corruption( officers keeping the recruits pay for themselves), the high suicide and desertion rate, the shortage of modern housing , prevailing alcoholism and drug use etc.I suspect any decent Western European army could defeat the Russian army in a matter of weeks.

Anyway, even the vaunted Soviet Army was never more than based on raw numbers of equipement and a huge pool of expendable cannon fodder to cush its opponents.the East front in 1941-1945 being one clear example.

technologically the Soviets/Russians were always oen steps behind their opponents in most areas and in every post WWII conflict in which Soviet/Russian equipement has been deployed by one side against the other equipped with Western one (US/European) on the battlefield the side equipped with the former has been defeated or driven back.

Russian equipemnt is cheap( with generous financing offered), very sturdy and simple to operate and ideal for Third World countries with low literacy and technical skills and thats why it's so popular.But the moment a more sophisticated side equipped with British, French or American hardware comes into play the Soviet/Russian equipped side takes a beating.

While the collapse of Communism has allowed Russia and the Ukraine to gain access to Western technology and narrow the technological gap in terms of computerised and high tech weaponry the sorry state of Russian society and economy have not allowed the Russians to effectively catch up with the west.their equipemnt ain't bad! But it's not on par and the rigid Soviet-inherited training doctrine still largely followed by Russian/Ukrainian armies combined with bullying and corruption has turned those armies into paper tigers.

Don't get me wrong; I believe the individual Russian soldier to be courageous, tough and a worthy soldier.it's just the perenially corrupt and brutal training and abusive system and leadership( be it under the Tsar, the Soviets of the Russian Fed).

Countries with money such as Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states never turn to Russian weapons unless like Iranm they have no other alternatives.They want American or French aircrafts or communication equipement, German tanks or submarines, British choppers or apcs.Poor countries with access to Western credits will buy Western equipement simply because battlefield experience has demonstrated that they are better.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:19 AM   #23
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I reallly like the discussion this has spawned, guys. perhaps once I get SBP PE I can try it out.
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:52 PM   #24
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the russians went up against a highly capable opponent, with intimate knowledge about their vehicles, and armed with some of the latest russian anti-tank weapons. at one point russian tanks were driving down a street in grozny into an ambush. the chechens shot the first and last tank, and then proceeded to shoot every tank inbetween. the russians were helpless.
the iraqis never managed to set up a coordinated defense during OIF, or desert storm. at best, scattered forces took pot-shots at tanks driving down the road to baghdad in columns. several times, the iraqis had the opportunity to perform the same tactical manouver as the chechens did, on the americans, but never did. they could have let the main force pass by, and then cut off the supply train, but they never did. the israelis, who have traditionally been seen as a highly capable armoured force, was beaten back by hezbollah in the 2006 libanon war.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:15 PM   #25
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This has been a really interesting discussion. And if it contributes to just one person buying Steel Beasts Pro, that's great. The sim is terrific. Although it comes with a lot of stock missions, the SBP community has produced tons more that are challenging, interesting, and for those who enjoy multiplayer, keep that aspect of the sim thriving.
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:48 AM   #26
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I agree with Whukid!Whatever its flaws the US Army is a better trained and equipped army than the Russian one.

One only has to read numerous reports and articles about the situaiton of the Russian army; beatings of recruits, unbelievable amount of theft on a grand scale, corruption( officers keeping the recruits pay for themselves), the high suicide and desertion rate, the shortage of modern housing , prevailing alcoholism and drug use etc.I suspect any decent Western European army could defeat the Russian army in a matter of weeks.

Anyway, even the vaunted Soviet Army was never more than based on raw numbers of equipement and a huge pool of expendable cannon fodder to cush its opponents.the East front in 1941-1945 being one clear example.

technologically the Soviets/Russians were always oen steps behind their opponents in most areas and in every post WWII conflict in which Soviet/Russian equipement has been deployed by one side against the other equipped with Western one (US/European) on the battlefield the side equipped with the former has been defeated or driven back.

Russian equipemnt is cheap( with generous financing offered), very sturdy and simple to operate and ideal for Third World countries with low literacy and technical skills and thats why it's so popular.But the moment a more sophisticated side equipped with British, French or American hardware comes into play the Soviet/Russian equipped side takes a beating.

While the collapse of Communism has allowed Russia and the Ukraine to gain access to Western technology and narrow the technological gap in terms of computerised and high tech weaponry the sorry state of Russian society and economy have not allowed the Russians to effectively catch up with the west.their equipemnt ain't bad! But it's not on par and the rigid Soviet-inherited training doctrine still largely followed by Russian/Ukrainian armies combined with bullying and corruption has turned those armies into paper tigers.

Don't get me wrong; I believe the individual Russian soldier to be courageous, tough and a worthy soldier.it's just the perenially corrupt and brutal training and abusive system and leadership( be it under the Tsar, the Soviets of the Russian Fed).

Countries with money such as Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states never turn to Russian weapons unless like Iranm they have no other alternatives.They want American or French aircrafts or communication equipement, German tanks or submarines, British choppers or apcs.Poor countries with access to Western credits will buy Western equipement simply because battlefield experience has demonstrated that they are better.
In the cold war, the Russians nbo doubt were aware of their deficits in individual vehicle design, on the other hand tailroed others aspects of such vehicles to fall in line with the general doctrine and from time to time prodcue some unique or classy details in platforms. The Russian pohilosphy in vehicle design must eb seen in combination with the way they planned to fight a war against NATO forces. And these plans were in return the way they are due to their vehicles. High losses and short longevity of tanks in battle were taken into account, and compensated for by wave-doctrine, numbers, and other factors. As a general result, and ignoring that I assume that nuclear weapons would have been used by the Soviets from day one on, I think that a Soviet attack full scale attack would have been driven deep in to German territory and would have been anything but certain to be stopped by NATO before reaching or even crossing the Rhine. In context with this doctrine and planned way to fight, their vehicles were good enough.

After the cold war, the expected next wars and the way they would be fought, changed, to asymmetrical confölicts, or conflicts of limited, regional, local range. The focus shifts from huge ground formations of armour, to smaller units fighting more "indioviodually" against each other. Soviet armour, by its heritage from the cold war, is much less prepared for this kind of battles, than Western counterparts. Their developements needed and still need to close a much wider gap between "then" and "now". Wetsern armies tried from earlier a transition into the new era after the cold war. The Russians started late, and now lagg behind both in doctrine and technological design of heavy and light armour.

At least so it seems to that novice that I am.

The big Soviet archilles heel of their cold land war turning into a hot one, would have been logistics and maybe also comms, imo.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:53 AM   #27
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I personally think the Achilles heel of the Soviets was their doctrine based on massed attacks - putting their faith in the steamroller tactics - and rigid command structure refusing to give or yield any autonomy to their comanders on the ground.This has been standard Russian-Soviet doctrine since at least the XVIIIth century.The Germans - until they were harmstrung by Hitler's paranoia and ground down by fighting on 3 fronts - were able to defeat superior Soviet armoured and infantry attacks through a flexible approach giving their officers on the ground the autonomy to act based on actual battlefield conditions.That's how the Germans inflicted 14 million casualties( and 23 million wounded) on the Soviets while taking only 3.5 million killed and 5 million wounded.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:51 PM   #28
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The "three wave doctrine" and the use of large, automatically rolling formations is the result of

- massive mistrust into subordinate ranks (loyalty in the face of lethal orders, competence) and the belief that micromanaging at the top level is the way to go;

- cheap equipement that lacked quality but could easily beproduced in huge quantity;

- WWII where the maximum concentration of firepower from arty and tanks proved to be the only way to defeat tactically superior German forces;

- lack of communciation capacity to coordinate more complex force setups that act individually in smaller subunits. If you cannot give all those orders needed for more agility due to lacking capacity to communicate, make more units (or larger formations) listen to the same set of order.
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:00 PM   #29
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Don't forget the WWII experience, which suggests that casualty rate is a function of speed of advance.

The West computes fights tactically and lets them build up to operational. The Soviets COMPUTE from the operational and subordinates the tactical to the operational.

The straight assault lines versus Western "flexible" overwatch tactics is an example of what is desirable tactically from what is favorable operationally. If the command and control problems can be surmounted (when they practiced their style of attacks at the NTC, not a few American formations broke down), overwatch tactics tactically suffer fewer losses. However, they also take more time, so in an operational point of view, you are:
1) Killing your traffic control system
2) The enemy has more time to bomb your rear columns (a Soviet experience much more than a Western or even German one)
3) The enemy has more time to prepare Line 2, then Line 3 (this is a experience shared by the Soviets and the Anglo-Americans, but they came away from it with different conclusions)

So the Soviets hope to bleed heavily breaking Line 1 (let's say it is "Fully" prepared) at the fastest possible speed, then introducing a fresh formation to hit Line 2 when it is only Hastily Prepared, and a 2nd fresh formation to hit Line 3 in Meeting Engagement.

The West tries and finds the best way to break Line 1, and then bashes their head at Line 2 and Line 3.

Given the Soviet's visualized main scenario, their operational art and tactics make sense. The problem is what happens when their whole array cannot be deployed? Such as in guerilla warfare. That, along with a long lack of financing to train their troops in any tactics, is why the Soviets have greater trouble than the West adjusting in modern warfare.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:42 AM   #30
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One important factor too; most Western armies are professional armies; tehn French, the British, the Americans, the Canadians and even the Bundeswehr - after much debate - joined them after Germany decided to do away with conscription.The Russian army until recently was made up of recruits with little battle experience and training besides basic training and formation drilling.The Russians want to reform their army and turn it into a much smaller but professional type army.

Professional armies made up of volunteers who agree to join for 3 to 5 years are able to give their soldier better training and, one assumes, motivation to fight.The smaller size inherent to professional armies also allows the government to allocate funds to purchase the best and most modern equipement.
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