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Военная историяSoviet Order of Battle WWII (1): The "Deadly Beginning". Soviet Tank, Mechanized, Motorized Divisions and Tank Brigades of 1940 - 1942

Soviet Order of Battle WWII (1): The "Deadly Beginning". Soviet Tank, Mechanized, Motorized Divisions and Tank Brigades of 1940 - 1942
Soviet Order of Battle WWII (1): The "Deadly Beginning". Soviet Tank, Mechanized, Motorized Divisions and Tank Brigades of 1940 - 1942
By Charles C. Sharp

Publisher: Nafziger Press 2005 103 Pages
ISBN: 1858183642
PDF 6 MB

The Soviet Army was one of the first in the world to experiment with large tank forces, the first (and nearly the only) army to have a coherent strategic doctrine for using large tank forces, and had the largest tank park in the world when most other armies, including the German, were just starting to acquire tanks. Despite this promising beginning, by 1941 the Red Army's tank forces were so unorganized, untrained, poorly maintained, and spottily equipped that 90% of the largest tank force in the world was massacred in less than 6 weeks.
The story of the Red Armor really starts before there were more than a handful of tanks anywhere in Russia. Unlike the rest of Europe, Russia's military doctrine was not based on her experiences in World War One, but more on the peculiar experience of the Russian Civil War. While military thinking in France, Britain, and Germany tended to be dominated by the WWI problem of breaking through an enemy line - the classic problem of the trenches and basically a tactical or operational question - the Soviets focused on how to strike deep enough to destroy the entire enemy force - the strategic question of how to end the war.
Soviet military thinkers like Frunze, Svechin, Triandafilov, and Issar-son, hammered out a doctrine which, in its simplest form, went like this:
1. Break through the enemy line, by massing enough artillery and infantry to overwhelm the defense at a decisive point
2. Widen the gap with engineers so that mobile forces can use it.
3. Send in horse cavalry and mechanized forces to strike deep into the enemy rear; ideally all the way to his capital to end the war.
Like other armies, the Red Army had a number of tasks for armor to per­form. Unlike other armies, the Russians could build enough tanks so that they could try all the various ways of using tanks - almost every type of unit in the Red Army could have its own armor, tailored to its needs. Some of the requirements were the same as those in, for example, the British and French armies: tanks to support infantry and cavalry. Others were peculiar to the Soviets: tanks to support paratroops and amphibious operations.



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