Soviet Use of 4-Tank Platoons

Discussion in 'World At War 85 Series' started by Dijon, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. Dijon

    Dijon Member

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    I've seen in various references that the Soviets changed over their 3-tank platoons for 4-tank ones in the 80s but I can't find any information on whether this was ever put in place and, if so, on what scale. Does anyone have any background on this? Thanks.
     
  2. Keith Tracton

    Keith Tracton Member
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    I actually do not but would be interested in that info.
     
  3. DigitalRommel

    DigitalRommel Member

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    I don't know that the Soviet's used 4 tank platoons in terms of administrative organizations. That said, there were no such limitations on operational task organizations. Given the maintenance issues, groups were formed customized for the mission (particularly march formations) and readiness. Thinking in terms of Soviet combat formations (as opposed to org charts) I would think is more beneficial. The org chart only gives you an indication of what was available to a commander, not the disposition of their forces (i.e. the template).

    Like Kieth, I would be interested in anything you discover about 4 tank platoons. As a wild guess, I would assume tank units formed and designated to act as reserve. Soviets were big on tank reserves obv.
     
  4. Keith Tracton

    Keith Tracton Member
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    Thanks! Thats is very helpful, much appreciated.
     
  5. DigitalRommel

    DigitalRommel Member

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    There was a general misconception (outside the US military) that the Soviets were hyper-focused on centralized control. That was true at the operational level, but at the tactical level, through the binoculars, it looked like gangs and hordes. It was certainly more chaotic, and not necessarily as synchronized as the Soviets would have hoped. In terms of armored, mechanized, artillery and aviation, maintenance was a significant obstacle. I attended command and staff schools with Russian officers in early/mid 90's when that was first vogue. These men a few years earlier had been Soviet commanders. Soviet tactical commanders had a playbook (our intel guys' templates), but would readily adhoc groups as needed and available. One issue (of many) was that their enlistment and training cycles didn't support building that teamwork and cohesion into reliably repeatable and trained formations... hence the chaos.
     
  6. seneffe1

    seneffe1 Member

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    The tank battalions (in MR Regiments only I think) went to 4 tanks per platoon in the early 80s. I also think this development was limited to the GSFG and maybe Central and Northern Groups of forces. This gave a battalion 41 rather than the usual 31 tanks.
     
  7. Double Deuce

    Double Deuce Member

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    I believe the MRR had a 40-tank battalion in 3x 13-tank companies (3x 4-tank platoons plus the HQ tank) but I am not finding on when that went into effect. Then I am seeing in the late 1980s, forces in Eastern Europe (not sure outside that area) began to standardize tank battalions at 31 tanks, but no set date.
     
  8. seneffe1

    seneffe1 Member

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    Bad maths on my part- 40 tanks of course, not 41.

    So the larger battalion was well known by 1985 when this training film was produced- so I suspect the increase was early 80s or before.

     

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