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Author Topic: TO+E Overview Soviet Army Cold War  (Read 7587 times)
Rattler
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« on: 25 September 2009, 02:11:11 »
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SOVIET ARMY COLD WAR TO&E STRUCTURES (1988)

This article briefly describes the TO&E structures for the maneuver divisions and their subordinate brigades and battalions. These units will serve as the basis for combat formation formed by the Soviet Army.


A. Division. Divisions are the basic building blocks of operational commanders. A division's organic assets are sufficient for it to attack or defend on a secondary sector. A typical division consists of four maneuver brigades, its organic combat and service support units. When fighting on the main effort, a division requires additional combat and service support assets. Army commanders may reinforce some divisions at the expense of others. For example, second echelon divisions may detach elements to reinforce a first echelon formation.

(1) Mechanized Infantry Division (MID). A mechanized infantry division typically consists of three mechanized infantry brigades and a tank brigade, with its combat and service support. The mechanized infantry division contains either two IFV-equipped brigades (with a BMP variant) and one BTR-equipped brigade, or vice versa.

(2) Tank Division (TD). A tank division typically consists of three tank brigades and a mechanized infantry brigade. Suited for an exploitation role in the offensive, in the defense the tank division deploys in the second echelon of the army or army corps to provide a counterattack force. If a tank division has to attack prepared defenses the BMP brigade would probably be in the first echelon. The Soviet Army often uses BMP-equipped brigades and battalions for security and forward detachment missions.


B. Brigade. The brigade is the basic tactical and administrative unit in the Soviet Army. The Soviet Army does not expect brigades to operate independently of their parent unit without reinforcement, and then only for a limited time.

The deployment of brigades is determined by the echelon structure of the division, usually in either one or two echelons. Two-echelon structures are appropriate when attacking or defending in the main sector of effort, against a BLUFOR deployed in depth. Grouping three brigades in the first echelon and one in the second is the most commonly adopted variant. A "two up and two back" deployment is sometimes found in the defense, on an army's or army corps' most threatened sector.

(1) Mechanized Infantry Brigade (MIBR). A mechanized infantry brigade in a mechanized infantry division consists of three mechanized infantry battalions and one tank battalion. In a tank division, the brigade has only two mechanized infantry battalions and a tank battalion.

Because of its firepower and mobility, mechanized infantry brigades are often found on the division's main axis in the attack or its most threatened sector in the defense. They are usually in the first echelon, although in the attack a BMP-equipped brigade may be considered for an exploitation role in the second echelon.

The division often selects battalions of a BMP-equipped brigade for special missions, such as forward or raiding detachments. BTR-equipped brigades are more suited to secondary sectors or those that favor wheeled vehicles. Heliborne operations often employ infantry from BTR units because of their man-portable antitank weapons. The mechanized infantry brigade (APC) may have a battalion of 122-mm towed howitzers (D-30), instead of this SP howitzer battalion.

(2) Tank Brigade (TBR). A tank brigade in a mechanized infantry division has three tank battalions as its only maneuver elements. In a tank division, each tank brigade has three tank battalions and a BMP-equipped mechanized infantry battalion.

Due to its lack of infantry, the tank brigade is not suitable for use in the first echelon of mechanized infantry divisions when attacking strong defenses. It is better suited in the second echelon, where it can rapidly exploit success. A tank brigade might be in the first echelon against a weak defense, where its goal would be to penetrate the defensive line and strike as deeply as possible before the BLUFOR strengthens his position.

In defense, the tank brigade is likely to be in the second echelon because its equipment and organization are better for a counterattack or counter-penetration role, rather than for holding ground. In any of these roles, the tank brigade would normally be reinforced with mechanized infantry forces.


C. Separate Infantry Brigade
. The Soviet Army also has separate mechanized infantry and tank brigades that are not subordinate to divisions. Compared to a MIBR, the separate brigade has more maneuver battalions plus expanded combat support and combat service support assets. This structure makes them well suited for independent action, for example, army/army corps-lead as a combined arms reserve or forward detachment.

In situations where the Soviet Army has not had time to mobilize and deploy a division from its strategic reserve, a separate brigade might have to perform missions normally performed by a division. The combat formation would most likely use two echelons. It would have three to four MIBNs, each reinforced with a tank company, in the first echelon and a TBN or TBN (-) in the second echelon, along with any remaining MIBN(s).


D. Battalion. Tactical grouping of Soviet Army battalions never involves the exchange of units (cross attachment) with other battalions, e.g., a mechanized infantry battalion (MIBN) would not exchange a mechanized infantry company for a tank company with a tank battalion (TBN). Battalions are either reinforced with brigade assets or are themselves used as reinforcements. Within the battalion, the commander organizes his force in one or two echelons. He may use his own combat support assets, and any he receives from higher level, to reinforce subordinate companies (especially on his main axis), or he may retain these assets under his own control.

Rattler
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Mad_Russian
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« Reply #1 on: 18 March 2011, 06:21:23 »
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Where did you find this article?

I have a very specific interest in the 1988 time period of the NATO vs Warsaw Pact era.

Good Hunting.

MR
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Rattler
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« Reply #2 on: 18 March 2011, 07:39:22 »
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I have studied OPFOR several times in depth for some MBX I ran, the Canadian 1986 OPFOR book was the best (but it is off the net and I did not save a copy).

So I went to the US modern OPFOR book (too modern for my liking: 2000), that is where the article stems from (all modifications and condensation of the material by me):

ST100-7 April 2000 Prepared By: Threat Support Directorate TRADOC, DCSINT Bldg. 53, Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027 Chapter 2: Organization

http://issuu.com/carvermd/docs/st_100-7

Rattler

Where did you find this article?

I have a very specific interest in the 1988 time period of the NATO vs Warsaw Pact era.

Good Hunting.

MR

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"War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left...": The Rattler Way Of Life (thanks! to Solideo)... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9v3Vyr5o2Q
Mad_Russian
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« Reply #3 on: 18 March 2011, 15:32:54 »
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Thanks. I have that pdf. It's not bad. I'm always on the lookout for information sources I may not have at the moment.

Good Hunting.

MR
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