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"Warsaw pact organisation" Topic

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1,625 hits since 22 Jan 2013
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Ascent Inactive Member22 Jan 2013 4:12 a.m. PST

I've finally got my head round the Soviet army organisation for the late 70's and early 80's. It's not especially difficult but I can be a little hard of thinking sometimes.

Now my question is this, did he Warsaw pact armies have the same organisation forced upon them or were they free to arrange themselves as they saw fit?

I suspect that they were arranged the same but it would be nice to know.

Martin Rapier22 Jan 2013 6:04 a.m. PST

They were generally pretty similar although minor details of equipment varied and some of the more second rate units would lack the bells and whistles of Category I Soviet formations.

Basic building blocks of motor rifle regiments and tank regiments virtually identical.

BrotherSevej22 Jan 2013 7:02 a.m. PST

How's Soviet building blocks for their army?

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member22 Jan 2013 8:31 a.m. PST

I don't know if you've noticed, but there's a whole Cold War forum here, with lots of good threads on organisations, including this one:

TMP link

The Warpac nations were organised roughly along the same lines, especially at battalion and higher level. Squads, platoons and companies did sometimes vary in terms of equipment and organisation, however. For example, the Soviets had an MG Platoon in each Motor Rifle Company, while the Warpac nations did not. The Czechs used 82mm Tarasnice recoilless rifles instead of RPGs, the Romanians had their own rifle instead of the AK, the Czechs and Poles used OT-64/SKOTs instead of BTR-60, the Hungarians used PSzH-IV instead of BTR-60, the Bulgarians used BMP-23 instead of BMP-2, etc, etc.

Have a look at the bottom of this page for my Warpac and NATO orbats & TO&Es: link (each model listed represents 2-3 real vehicles/weapons or an infatry squad).

BrotherSevej22 Jan 2013 6:32 p.m. PST


Ascent Inactive Member23 Jan 2013 4:49 p.m. PST

About what I was expecting, nice to have it confirmed.

Did the organisation change towards the 90's or just the equipment?

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member23 Jan 2013 6:38 p.m. PST

Nothing major and most of them are discussed in that earlier thread. It's also the case that many units adopted non-standard organisations, making tracking all of them something of a headache. Some that spring to mind are:

1. The Soviet Motor Rifle Company's MG Platoon bacame more of a Heavy Weapons Platoon as the AT-7 'Saxhorn' ATGM came into service (initially comprising 6x PKM LMGs, divided into two sections of 3, one of the two LMG Sections was replaced by 1-2 Saxhorns).

2. At battalion level, an Automatic Grenade-Launcher Platoon of 3-6 AGS-17 30mm AGLs started to appear during the 1980s.

3. MANPADS started to disappear from MR companies in the late 1980s, to be grouped as new battalion AA Platoons.

4. Battalion Mortar Platoons expanded from six to eight tubes. In many cases these were a 50/50 split of 120mm mortars and 82mm Vasilek automatic gun-mortars, though some were 100% 120mm.

(Jake Collins of NZ 2) Inactive Member24 Jan 2013 11:57 a.m. PST

Re 4), I thought it was the other way around Mark. From 1988, battalion mortar batteries reduced in size.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member24 Jan 2013 1:12 p.m. PST

I was working from memory, so I've checked the nearest sources and they're totally contradictory – the British Army Soviet Small Unit Tactics guides say 8 possibly reducing to 6, but the US Army Soviet Army guides say 6 possibly increasing to 6… Bleeped texted if I can work it out…

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member24 Jan 2013 3:52 p.m. PST

Typo – that should read 'increasing to 8'.

Tac Error24 Jan 2013 4:21 p.m. PST

I've got the 1991 edition of the British Army Field Manual's "Soviet Tactics" volume, which lists 8 in a motorized rifle (both BTR and BMP) battalion mortar battery.

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