Soviet (now Russian) Armor....




 
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August 16th, 2004  
Lil Hulk 1988
 

Topic: Soviet (now Russian) Armor....


Most don't know, but I am now an Engineering Director for a company and have had the pleasure of having many different people of different cultures work for me. One of my favorite and even after he left, are great friends, was a tanker in Russia from 1984 to 1989. He moved to the US in 1993 and became a citizen. We used to have many dicussions on the viability of either a NATO attack on the WARSAW Pact and visa versa. As a grunt, my armor knowledge is limited to finding the nearest Dragon or TOW to shoot at it, call a COBRA to kill it or drop as much arty on it DPICM perferably as possible, nothing more. I learned many things from him and we always talk about "what if". So, what are the opinions here... I have many of my own which are based alot on our missle and support fire technology, but nothing on directly being a tanker, I didn't even like it when I was in the NG and our unit was switched from TLAM/Scout to MechInf, riding in a tin can always made me nervous. Here are the dicussion questions that I wouldlike to put forth:

Was the early 60's, 70's and 80's armour forces comparable?

Was the Infantry Anti-armour technology comparable? I have some experience with this and thought the Swagger was useless, but the newer versions more useful.

How about antiarmour arty, comparable?

And finally, air antiarmour, Hind or Cobra?

Think of these at the height of the Cold War, so the T90, BMP3, and such are out.
August 16th, 2004  
SHERMAN
 
 
I think that the soviet tnaks were good machines, but not as good as the Patton family. as to the Sagger being useless, many dead Israeli tankers show diffrently. The Middle-East was one of the prooving grounds for both sides, and one can look at how the hardware preformed here and draw good conclusions. From the minute The USA started selling Israel weapons(late 1960'), the technological scale swaid to the Israeli side. The Pattons were more than equal to the T54/55, and up to the arrival of the T72, they were the best around.
August 16th, 2004  
yurry
 
Yes SHERMAN, true, but the Russian doctrine concentrates on numbers and not quality.

Take WW2 for example - T-34s vs. PzKfw VI - Tigers (no doubt wich was the better machine, but also no doubt who is the overall winner)
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August 16th, 2004  
Kozzy Mozzy
 
The M60 and T-64 were more or less equal, the T-64 was better in protection and mobility, while the M60 had much better firepower, while having shitty protection and mobility.

I don't know about the others though.
August 17th, 2004  
5CAV
 
Quote:
The M60 and T-64 were more or less equal
I disagree. We were supposed to defeat Soviet Armor with a ratio of 8 to 1 against us. I think those are long odds, but the M60A1 was more than a match for the T64. T72s were better, but I believe the M60A1 could beat it mano-a-mano. Unfortunately, there were about 8 of those for each M60.

Advantages for T64/T72: Lower profile (less target), mechanically robust (easy to fix in the field).

Advantages for M60: Better gun, better ammo, better armor, 4-man crew (manual loader), better fire-control system.

Armored warfare is a gunfighters game -- there's the quick and there's the dead. You need to see first, shoot first, run, hide, see first, shoot first ... you get the idea (not much different from what you grunts were taught, Lil Hulk). Believe it or not, I got pretty good at hiding a monster like an M60 (those 8 to 1 odds tend to focus your creativity).

Those 8 to 1 odds were the hard part, though. They were made a bit easier once we got the M1.
August 17th, 2004  
J.Hawk
 
[quote="5CAV"]
Quote:
Those 8 to 1 odds were the hard part, though. They were made a bit easier once we got the M1.
Fortunately the Soviets would have been very hard-pressed to actually produce these 8:1 odds except in very narrow sectors (if at all). It's questionable how many of their divisions would have ever made it to the front, in view of the burden the mobilization would have placed on their economy and the need to protect the border with China. Also, the 8:1 ratio includes really old tanks, down to tens of thousands of T-55s and even T-34s still serving in some WP countries.

It also helped that so much of W. Germany was urbanized and/or overgrown. Soviet infantry of tank and MR divisions was very poorly trained for dismounted ops (we saw this both in Afghanistan and Chechnya), and it wouldn't have done well in close fighting, even with superior numbers.
August 17th, 2004  
Kozzy Mozzy
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5CAV
Quote:
The M60 and T-64 were more or less equal
I disagree. We were supposed to defeat Soviet Armor with a ratio of 8 to 1 against us. I think those are long odds, but the M60A1 was more than a match for the T64. T72s were better, but I believe the M60A1 could beat it mano-a-mano. Unfortunately, there were about 8 of those for each M60.

Advantages for T64/T72: Lower profile (less target), mechanically robust (easy to fix in the field).

Advantages for M60: Better gun, better ammo, better armor, 4-man crew (manual loader), better fire-control system.

Armored warfare is a gunfighters game -- there's the quick and there's the dead. You need to see first, shoot first, run, hide, see first, shoot first ... you get the idea (not much different from what you grunts were taught, Lil Hulk). Believe it or not, I got pretty good at hiding a monster like an M60 (those 8 to 1 odds tend to focus your creativity).

Those 8 to 1 odds were the hard part, though. They were made a bit easier once we got the M1.
Yeah, I guess so. The M60 had the TTS, which is a huge friggin advantage.

But the T-72 was a mass production version of the expensive T-64, it wasn't better.
August 18th, 2004  
5CAV
 
Quote:
the T-72 was a mass production version of the expensive T-64, it wasn't better
You are correct. It's been awhile. I got mixed up between the T-72 and T-80 (I remembered both were newer; one an upgrade and one a downgrade). The T-80 was the improved version.

Quote:
the Soviets would have been very hard-pressed to actually produce these 8:1 odds
Could be. I just remember that number from training -- I didn't do my own checks with Janes (or the CIA) to verify. I figured the US Army was trying to MOTIVATE ME, rather than DISCOURAGE ME, so I didn't see why they would give me a inflated number. On the other hand, that number did motivate me to train REAL HARD, so I guess it worked!
August 19th, 2004  
J.Hawk
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5CAV

Could be. I just remember that number from training -- I didn't do my own checks with Janes (or the CIA) to verify. I figured the US Army was trying to MOTIVATE ME, rather than DISCOURAGE ME, so I didn't see why they would give me a inflated number. On the other hand, that number did motivate me to train REAL HARD, so I guess it worked!
Oh yeah, I remember those days too. One thing that did not come across in all those threat briefings in the '80s is just how different an institution the Soviet army was from most NATO armies. They had good equipment and lots of divisions, but the "human factor" was the weak link of their military system. Lack of NCOs, major ethnic problems, unrealistic training, near-total lack of knowledge of NATO capabilities or equipment, careerism, corruption, political protectionism, you name it.
August 22nd, 2004  
gladius
 
I think according the the US stategist that during the 60 and 70's they weren't sure if they could win against the Soviets. But there was a point during the early or mid 80's that they were very sure they would win hands down and there was no way the Soviets could beat them.
The gulf war was sort of proof of that.