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"Russian squads deploying as half squads?" Topic


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450 hits since 19 Jun 2017
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Comments or corrections?

Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2017 4:59 a.m. PST

In world war two several nations functionally split their squads into teams which has evolved into the concept of fireteams. The WW II russians did not do this for several reasons.
Do they do this now? I am primarily concerned with their motorized rifle squads. If so when did they start? Afghanistan? 1986? 2015?
Want to know how to play with my forces in Estonia ( 2017) and Berlin 86.
Any good books on the subject?
Thanks
Joe

Legion 419 Jun 2017 6:38 a.m. PST

Yes, many countries like the USA has Squads with 2 or 3 Fire Tms. I believe, IIRC, the Russians may probably not do the same ? Many militaries see the Squad as the "lowest" level of unit organization. But I don't have any references off the topic of my head for the Russians. There are some former Russian military online here. Maybe they will see this and could say for sure ?

But you probably know this already :

Russian Military, general motor rifle squad organization:

Squad Commander (sergeant or junior sergeant, AK-74)
Gunner-operator (Private, BTR MG gunner or BMP gunner, AKSU-74)
Driver (Private, AKSU-74)
Senior Rifleman (Gefreiter = lance corporal, AK-74, possibly with GP-30 grenade launcher)
Machine Gunner (Private, RPK LMG or PKM/PKP GPMG)
Grenadier Rifleman (Private, AK-74 + RPG)
Assistant Grenadier Rifleman (Private, AK-74)
Designated Marksman (Private, SVD rifle)
1-2 Riflemen (Private, AK-74, possibly with GP-30 grenade launcher)

8-10 men total. BMP squad usually 8 men. BTR nine or ten,

NKL AeroTom19 Jun 2017 7:13 a.m. PST

The Soviet Army: Troops, Organization, and Equipment is the book you want:

PDF link

ScoutJock19 Jun 2017 7:46 a.m. PST

Russian squads break into two fire teams, a base of fire with the squad leader, a machine gunner, a grenadier and a rifleman, and a maneuver team composed of the assistant squad leader, a machine gunner and a rifleman.

The Russians call it by different terms but that is their doctrine when the seven man squad dismounts from their APC.

shirleylyn Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2017 1:15 p.m. PST

One Soldiers War by Arkady Babchenko.

I had a commishion for some modern Russians and the guy what hired me suggested the above book for unit org.

It is a very indepth book on the authers 2 tours fighting in Chechnya in the late 1990's.

Highly recommended.

UsmanK19 Jun 2017 3:20 p.m. PST

In 1980-s Soviet troops deployed in Europe, as far as I know, the squads were not divided. Squads were considered to be the smallest subdivision.
Based on the experience of military operations in Afghanistan and in the ex-Soviet, the squad (according to the Field Manual) is divided into two groups – a maneuvering group (2-3 shooters) and a fire group (another mans).
But, in principle, this is not a fixed division, and it has may be changed.

Legion 419 Jun 2017 4:03 p.m. PST

Good intel guys (& gal ?)!

But, in principle, this is not a fixed division, and it has may be changed.
Good point UsmanK, what the manual says and what may happen in the field can be two different things.

In 1980-s Soviet troops deployed in Europe, as far as I know, the squads were not divided.
That was the time I was in the US ARMY, '79-'90. So I didn't remember a Squad being divided into smaller elements. But that was in my youth, a long, long time ago … old fart

Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2017 8:44 p.m. PST

Thank you for all the feedback. That is why I love TMP; many smart people.
Legion, nicely laid out. I suspect they don't break into two teams as the ASL stays with the vehicle.
NKL, great link. Didn't see where it talks about how the squad functions though. Did I miss it? Still saved it as a great resource; thanks
Scoutjock, thanks for the info. When did they start doing this and what is your source? What team does the RPG go with?
SL, Read the book several years ago. Very gritty. Don't remember them describing if the squad was split or not. Do you recall?
UsmanK, I was in Berlin in 1986 and we were not briefed that the Soviets split their squads either. Of course we were told they had no leadership at all at the tactical level and we could hold out for a week!
Thanks again
Joe

Legion 420 Jun 2017 6:11 a.m. PST

I know many here are always glad to help. I know I'm more than happy to, if I may have some of the "answers". As some do have some training and experience in some of the topics here. That is a real plus here we find on TMP.

And IIRC Usmank was a Russian Tanker then Trucker. So that is a good reference IMO. thumbs up

I suspect they don't break into two teams as the ASL stays with the vehicle.
Yes, that is basically the standard for much Mech Inf, I'd think. With the Driver & TC[probably the SL or a TL in the US] staying with the Track to provide support for the dismounts. With the heavy weapon mounted on the Track. e.g. the M2 .50 cal on the M113 in my case.

But in so cases the Track has to be left behind with the Driver & a TC. As the terrain and situation does is not always applicable to using the Track. And the dismounts and the Track would link up later.

I'd think that sort of "SOP" would be almost universal for most Grunts in the field. I doubt any Infantry Leader would say they couldn't execute the mission because they'd have to leave the track behind. Generally that would not be the case, IMO. Having served as an M113 Mech Co Cdr '87-'89. Again waaay back in my distant youth. old fart

ScoutJock20 Jun 2017 8:06 a.m. PST

The grenadier carries the RPG. The other rifleman in the fire support team carries additional RPG rounds.

Link:

link

Apache 621 Jun 2017 8:59 a.m. PST

I think that Soviet squads deployed in Berlin in 1986 (though I think most of the forces tasked to secure Berlin were East German?) should only operate at the Squad level. The Soviet Army and many of their allies lacked NCO level leadership, and even their junior officers were expected to follow orders rather then exercise initiative. There are actually operational advantages to this, it keeps up the momentum of advance (maybe at the cost of high casualties) and achieves objectives quickly, the intent is to save casualties in the long run.

After the enemy has been disorganized by the fires of the Division Artillery Group. The company drives to designated dismount points and then attacks, mostly on line, under the supporting fires of the BMP/BTRs. The intent is to crack the enemies defenses, so Tank units can exploit deep into the enemy's rear. The first wave attacks will have high casualties as they go against maneuver units. The second waves will be going against rear area echelons.

Once the infantry dismounts the vehicle crews act as a "fire support group," usually under command of the assistant platoon commander. At the Squad level the 'elements' of the squad that would maneuver separately would be the BMP or BTR and the dismounted element.

Fire and maneuver would mostly be done at the company level, especially with motorized rifle units. Paras, Naval Infantry and Spetnez would be more likely to execute initiative.

The Russian Army of 2017 is more professional and has learned a lot of lessons from 'recent operations' theirs and others. I think that they would be more likely to operate with fire and maneuver inside the squad.

Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2017 2:22 p.m. PST

Thank you all again! Great stuff.
ScoutJock; great reference! perfect sir.
Apache, agree with your thoughts. Think I will go with "cold war" russians and Warsaw pact as operating as a squad ( with some exceptions dictated by exceptional leaders or situations) and my current russians as working in teams ( with some exceptions dictated by poor troops/leaders or situations.)
Thank you all again!

Joe

Legion 421 Jun 2017 2:24 p.m. PST

Once the infantry dismounts the vehicle crews act as a "fire support group," usually under command of the assistant platoon commander. At the Squad level the 'elements' of the squad that would maneuver separately would be the BMP or BTR and the dismounted element.
Yes, as I said, that probably is a "standard" for most if not all Mech/Mot. Infantry. Especially in the West and Eastern Europe.

For much of the Mid East, Africa, A'stan, etc., probably not. I could be wrong ? But based on past performances, I doubt it. Of course the IDF and South African Militaries being the exceptions in those regions.

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