The Soviet Motorized Rifle Battalion

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Information Cutoff Date: Z) Dec€mber '197,

This oublication suDersedes Sovist Tactics: The Motorized nifle Battalion.

AP-1-22G3+04, November 1964, which should bedestroyed.

Thi. i5 a Depa.nnmr of Osl6ns6 lf,rellisene Docum6nr

Pr€oacd bv th. Sovi.Vw.r$w Pact Divbion.

Oiroctoralo for R...!rch, Defen* Intelligenco Ag6ncy author: Mdor FoblnM. Frasche,

Tacljca lnd Or$nl!8don Secrion,



This study, a follow-up to Ihe Soviet Motorized Rifle Company {DD|-1100-7/-76}, was written to familiarize the reader with the organization. training, tactics, and equipment of the Souet motorized rifle banalion (lvlRB). lt was especially written for troops, troop commanders, unit intelligence officers, seruice schools, and othercwho require det8iled knowledge of the Soviet MRB.

The study concentrates on the operations of those MRBS equipped whh the BMP (infantry combat vehicle). The organization, training, tactics, and equip-ment of the BlvlP equipped MRB are analyzed within the context of Soviet doc-trine. Soviet tactical trends since the October 1973 War are also considered. The scope of the study is restricted to those operations (nuclear and nonnuclear) rele-vant to northern and centralEurope,

Studies which address in greater detail some of the subiects covered in this


Soviet Offensive Doctine: Combined Atms Operations Veaus Antitank Deterses {U), DDI-1100'138 76, July 1976.

2. Soviet Tactical Trcnds Since the October lgn Wat (Ul, DDI-11@-160-77, Aoril 197/.

3. The Soviet Moto zed Rifle Company lul, DDl1100--n -76, October 1976. 4. Soviet Military Opeetions in Built-Up Areas (U), DDI-1100-I5S77, July 1977.

5. Soviet and Warsaw Pact niver Crcssing: Doctine and Capabilhies lul DDI-1150-7-76, September 1976.

6. Evaluation of Soviet Night Combat Capabilhies (U), DDI-1i00'173-7/, February 1978.

7. Soviet Amphibious Waiare Capabilities (Ul, DDI-I200-74-76, May 1976. 8. Soviet Tactical Level loglstlcs {U), DDI-1150-co1+n, Decetnbet 1gn. 9. Soviet Field Anilery Tactics and Techniques lul, {DDB-1130878to be p u b l i s h e d ) .

Addressees are requested to lorward information which will supplement or cor-rect this report, Ouestions 6nd comments should be refered in writing to the Defense Intelligence Agency {ATTN: DA-184), Washlngton, D.C. 20301.




lll€ Soviets stress the decisive nature of the offensive and emphasi2e the meeting engagement more than a.y other type of offensive action, High rates of advance are anticipated from the actions of combined arms unirs operating in coniunction with airborne, airmobile, and special operations forces in theenemy rear area.

Since the October 1973 War, the Soviets have placed even more emphasis on combined arms operations, and have rnade numerous organizational and tactical adjustments to increase the suruivability of their tank forces. The tank ramainsthe backbone ol combined arms doctrine.

Though relatively small, the BMP-squipped ldRA is highly maneuverable and possesses considerable organic firepower, particularly in antitank weaponry. The MRB is often augmented by motorized rifle regi, rnent and/or divisional assets to form a heavily reinforced combined arms grouping to carry out a variety of

The battalion commander's age, education, and political awareness provide the theoretical basis for effec-irve command. Frequent field training and lengthy peacetime command assignments partially offset his lack ot combat experi6nce. Though technically well trained, the IMRB commandef often fails to exploit the strong points of his men and equipment during fiold exercises. Moreover, his initiative is constricted within narrow paramete.s by institutional and operational constraints.

Eattalion-level training is highly centralized, stresses fundmentals, and results in effective battle drill. "Moral political" training, while boring for many, is probably effeclive. Training effectiveness is complicated bY the 2 vsar term ofservice,

The MRB is capableot conducting operations under special conditions, although the amount ofsuch train ing varies according to geographic location and mission,

Th€ BlrP-equipped MRB normally operates as part of the regiment and is mosr effective when so employed. Discrepancies between doctrine and practice have been noted in severaltypes of fulRB operations. These discrepancios, along with constraints on battalionlevel leadership, result in vulnerabilities which may b€ erDloked bv Western commanders,




S U M M A R Y C H A P T E R 1 . C H A P T E R 2 , Section A Secrion B Seclion C C I i A P T E R 3 . : 8 A P T E R 4 . Section A Secrion I Section D S H A P T E R 5 . Section A Section B C H A P T E R 6 . Section A Seciion C Seciion O Secdon E S H A P T E R 7 . Secrion A Section I C H A P T E R 8 . Secrion A Section B Section C Section D Section F : H A P T E R 9 . I N T F O D U C T I O N D O C T R | N E , T A C T | C S , T R E N D S . . . . - Doctrine . . . . . , . , . , .

- TacticalTrends Since The Oclober l973War

T H E M O T O R I Z E D R I F L E D I V I S i O N A N D I \ 4 O T O R I Z E O R I F L E R E G I I \ 4 E N T . T H E M O T O R I Z E D R I F L E E A T T A L I O N

- Op8rational Principl€s and lvlissions . . . . - Organization, R€sponsibilities, and Equipment

Command and Conrol Battalion Rear Services .

B A T T A L I O N L E V E L L E A D E R S H I P , . , . . . , . - Iniroduction

- T h e H i s t o r i c a l P e r s p € c t i v e . . . . - The Present

B A T T A L I O N I R A I N I N G A N D S U B U N I T T A C T I C S . . . , . , . . . . . - Trainrng Philosophy and Obiectives

- Training Schedules . . . C o m p a n y a n d S e c t i o n T r a i n i n g a n d T a c t i c s B a t t a l i o n T a c t i c a l T r a h i n s . . . . E v a l u 8 t i o n o f B a t a l i o n T r a i n i n g . . . . . T H E M O T O R I Z E D R I F L E B A T T A L I O N I N C O M B A T . . . , . , . , . . . . Offen6ive Operations - Defensive Operation6 3 3 7 12 25 25 26 36 € € € 52 57 57 57 59 @ 70 7 1 7 1 9o


S o v i e t

S y m b o l s ,

. . . , . 1 3 s

v 1 1


1 . 2 .


S o v i e t O f f e n s i v e D o c t r i n e l s B a s e d o n C o m b i n e d A r m s C o m b a t . . . 3 A i r b o r n e a n d H e l i b o r n e T r o o p s A r e S e l € c t i v e l y U s e d T o M a i n t a i n O f f e n s i v e M o m e f l t u m . . . 4 a . A i r b o r n e D r o p i n th e E n e m y R e a r A r e a . . . 4 b . H e l i b o r n e F o r c e s R u s h T o E s t a b l i s h a B r i d g e h e a d . . . .

Basic Forms of Maneuve . . . 5 a . F r o n t a l A t t a c k . . . s b . S h a l l o w E n v e l o p m e n t { S i n g l e ) . . . . . . 5 c . D e e p E n v e l o p m e n t ( D o u b l e ) . . . . . . 5 The Meeting Engagement . . . . . . 6

B a t t a l i o n A n t i t a n k R e s e r v e s R e s p o n d D i r e c t l y t o t h e B a t t a l i o n C o m m a n d e r . . . , . , . , I a . A n t i t a n k R e s e r v e s i n a B T R - E q u i p p e d U n i t . . . 8

b . A B I M P E q u i p p e d l v l o t o r i z e d R i f l e B a t t a l i o n A n t i t a n k R e s e r v e . . . 9 T f a f f i c R e g u l a t o r s A i d C o m m a n d e r s i n C o n t r o l l i n g T h e i r U n i t s . . . 9 The Regimental Chief of Artillery (on the right) Coordinates Regimental Anillery During

P h a s e O n e F i r e . , , , . , . . . . , . , , r o H i g h P e r f o r m a n c e A i r c r a { t i n S u p p o r t o f t h e M a i n A t t a c k . . . r . . . 1 1 The Motorized Rifle Division . . . . . . 13 T h e l v l o t o r i z e d R i l l e D i v i s i o n ' s P r i n c i p a l w e a p o n s . . . . . . 1 4 a . 7 6 m m D i v i s i o n a l G u n , Z I S 3 . . . . . . 1 4 b . 1 o o m m A T c u n , [ . 4 - 5 5 / 1 1 2 . . . . . . 1 4 c . 1 2 2 m m H o w i t z e r , N 4 - 1 9 3 8 / D - 3 0 . . . . . . 1 4 d . 1 2 2 m m R o c k e t L a u n c h € r B I M 2 1 . . . . . - . . . 1 5 € . 1 5 2 m m H o w i t z e r , D - 1 . . . . . 1 5 f . F R O G T E L , F R O G T . . . 1 5 s . G A I N F U L T E L , S A 6 . . . . . . . . 1 6 The Motorized Rifle Division's Principal Equipment . . . - . . . 16 a . T r u c k , M i n e D e t e c t o r , D i m . . . - . . . , . , . , . , . 1 6 b . T r a c k e d F e r r y , G S P . . . . 16 c - P o n t o o n P M P o n K R A Z . . . . . . 1 6 d . T r a c k e d A m p h i b i a n , K 6 1 . . . . . . i 7 e. lr.4ine Clearer BTR-5oPK, l\r-1972 . . . . . . 17 f . t ! 4 i n e f a y e r , S P , A r m o r e d . . . . . . 1 7 g . T r u c k , D e c o n , T M S - 6 5 . . . . . . 1 8 The l,lotorized Rifle Regiment (B[IP-Equipped) . . . 18 Prin cipal Weapons in the Motorized Rifle Regiment (BlvlP Equipped) . . . 19 a . M e d i u m T a n k , T - 6 2 1 6 4 / 7 2 . . . . . . 1 s b . l 2 2 m m S P H o w i t z e r . . . 2 0 c . 2 3 m m S P A A G u n , Z S U - 2 3 - 4 . . . . . . 2 0 d . S A I \ 4 { S A - 9 I G A S K | N . . . 2 1 e . A T G M L a u n c h e r v e h i c l e A T 3 . . . , . . . 2 1 P r i n c i p a l E q u i p m e n t i n th e M o t o r i z e d R i f l e R e g i m e n t ( B l v l P - E q u i p p e d ) . . . . . . . . . 21 a T r u c k , D e c o n , A R S 1 4 . . . . . . 2 1 5 Truck, Decon, DDA-66 . . . 21 : . B i d g e , T a n k L a u n c h e d , l \ 4 T U . . . . . . 2 1 a B r i d g e , T r u c k L a u n c h e d , T l \ r l \ r . . . . . . 2 2 e. Ditching lvlachine { 1 ) l \ 4 D K - 2 . . . . . . 2 2 ( 2 ) lvlDK 2 i n O p e r a t i o n . . . . 22 1 . D o z e r , a A T / B A l - l v l / P K - T . . . . . . . . 2 3 g . M i n e C l e a r i n g P l o w , K l \ 4 T - 4 . . . . . . 2 3 " . M i n e L a y e r , T o w e d , P M R ' 3 . . . . . . 2 3 . M i n e R o l l e r , K l v l T - s . . . . . . . . i ; . . . . . . . . . 2 3 5. 6 . 7 . 8 . 9 . 1 0 . r t _ ' 2 ' a


1 5 . T h e l v l o t o r i z e d R i f l e B a t t a l i o n { B M P - E q u i p p e d } . , . . . - . . . - . . . .

16. Principal Weapons and Equipment of The Motorized Rifle Battalion {BMP-Equippod) a. lmmm Mortar b . 8 M P . . . . c. Truck, UAZ-@ d. Truck, GM-66 e . T r u c k , Z I L 1 3 0 f . T r u c k , V a n , Z l L i M a i n t e n a n c e ) . . . . g. Truck, POL {4,000or 5,200 Liters} h. Truck, Field Kitchen, Van PAK-200 . . . i. Ambulance, UAz-450

j. Trailer-lrounrEd Field Kitchen. KP-125 1 7 . B a t t a l i o n H e a d q u a r t e r s . . . . , . . . .

1 8 . T h e l \ r o r o r i z e d R i f l e C o m p a n y ( B M P - E q u i p p e d ) . . . . 19. The Monsr Batt€ry

2 0 . T h o C o m m u n i c a l i o n s P l a t o o n . . . .

21. nepresentative Communications Net in a Motorized Ritle Battallon

2 2 . T h e U s e o f L i n e C o m m u n i c a r i o n s b y a l r o t o f i z e d R i t l e B a t t a l i o n i n th e D e t e n s € , . , . - . . . . 23. Motorized Rifle Bsttalion Rear Service Elemonts in an Ass€mbly Aret

24. Motorized Rifle Eanalion Rear Service Support Eiements During the March . - . . . . 25. Rear Service Support During the A$ack

26. Rear Seruice Support in the Defense 27. The Supply Platoon

2 8 , A m m u n i t i o n R e s u p p l y t o t h e C o m p a n i e s i n th e D e f e n s e .. . . .

2 9 . R e l u e l i n g t h e lv l o t o r i z e d R i f l e B a t t a l i o n ' s C o m b a t E l e m e n l s D u r i n g t h 6 M a r c h . . . , . . . 30. The Supply Platoon Delivering Food to Auacking Companias

3 1 . D i v i s i o n B a k e r y P e r s o n n e l . . . , 3 2 . T h e M e d i c € l A i d S t a t i o n . . . .

3. Medical Evacuation During an Attack . . . . 3 4 . T h s R e p a i r w o r k s h o p . , . . . . , . . . , . . . ,

35. Repair and Evacuation of Weapons and Equipment Ouring an Atack

3 6 . S e n i o r S o v i e t \ A / V l l C o m m a n d e r s w e r e F l e x i b l e , E n e r g e t i c a n d F u l l o f l n i l i a t i v e . . - . . . . a. Marshal Zhukov, Chiel of the Gener6l Stafl in E€rly 1941 and Deputy Supreme Commander

26 I 27 27 a 2A


B E 30 30 30 I & g cl 40 42 € a6 6 50 Thereafter . . . . . . 50 b . F r o n t C o h m a n d e r s E r e m e n k o , K o n e v . R o k o s s o v s k y , a n d T i m o s h e n k o . . . 5 0 , 5 t 3 7 . U n t i l O c t o b e r l 9 4 l , T h e U n i t P o l i t i c a l O f f i c e r H a d T o C o u n t e r s i g n T h e C o m m e n d e r ' s O r d e r s . . . 6 1 38. Batt6iion Commanders Are Young lvlen with Considerablg Peacetime Command Experience . . . 52 *). The Regimental Commander and His Staff Erercise Tight Control Over

4. 41. 42. 4ii. 4, ,15. S u b o r d i n a t e U n i t s . . - . . . , . . . . , . . . 5 4 A R e p r e s e n t a t i v e S i x - M o n t h T r a i n i n g S c h e d u l e l o r a B M P - E q u i p p e d U n i t . . . 5 8

A Typicalweek-Day Training Schedul€ . . . 69

The Mo(ar Battery Commander 6t His Forward Obs€rvation Post . . . @

Flag Signals Used by the lvlonar Battory . . . 60

The lvlortar Battery Duringthe March ..-... @

a . A s P a n o f t h e B a t t a l i o n F o r m a t i o n . . . 6 2

b. Battery March Order - . . . , . . . 62


4 6 . l v f o r t a r P o s i t i o n i n th e D e f e n s e . . . - . - . . . u 4 7 . O o e r a l i o n s o f t h e M o r t a r B a t t e r v ' s F o r w a r d O b s e r v a t i o n P o s t . . . , . , . , , 6 5

4 8 . M o r a l - P o l i t i c a l T r a i n i n g i n a C o m b i n e d A r m s U n i t P r i o r t o a n E x e r c i s e . . . 6 € 49. Combined Arms Combat . . . . . . - . - . 6s

5 0 . T a c t i c a f l M a r c h O r d e r o f a l v l o t o r i z e d R i f l e B a t t a l i o n . . . . . . - 7 2 51. Control lileasures During the March . . . - . . . . 73 5 2 . V e h i c l e s a r e D i s p e r s e d a n d C a m o u f l a g e d D u r i n g L o n g H a l t s - . . . - . . . 7 4 53. Security During the March . . . . . . - . . . 7E 54. SA-7 GunnersAre The Motorized Rifle Battalion Commander's Primary l/lsans of Air Defense . . . 78 55. NBC Reconnaissance ls Conducted by lvlotorized Rille Battalion Assets and/orby

BRDM-Equipped Specialistsfrom Regiment . . . 79 5 6 . C h e m i c a l P e r c o n n e l M a r k i n g a C o n t a m i n a t e d A r e a . . . . . . 7 9 5 7 . C o n d i t i o n s L e a d i n g t o a l , 4 e e t i n g E n g a g e m e n t . . . , . . . 8 0 58. A Reinforced Motorized Rifle Battalion Conducting a lvleeting Engagement . . . 82 5 9 . S o v i e t F i g u . e s f o r N A T O D e f e n s i v e P o s i t i o n s . . . 8 3 6 0 . A r t i l l e r y S u p p o r t f o r F i r s t E c h e l o n B a t t a l i o n s i n t h e B r e a k t h r o u g h . . . 8 4 61. A Reinforced Motorized Rifle Battalion Deploying {rom the lvlerch to Panicipate in a Division

B r e a k t h r o u g h O p e r a t i o n . . . E a U Z - 2 B a n g a l o r e T o r p e d o . . . 8 9 T a n k s C l e a r B r e a c h e s T h r o u g h M i n e F i e l d s f o r [I o t o r i z e d R i f l e T r o o p s . . . @ T h e l / l o t o r i z e d R i f l e B a t t a l i o n i n th e D e f e n s e . . . 9 4 A R e i n t o r c e d l M o t o r i z e d R i f l e B a t t a l i o n A c t i n g a s t h e F o r w a r d A r e a S e c u r i t y F o r c e . . . . . . 9 7 A Reinforced N4otorized Rifle Battalion Acting as th€ Rear Guard During a Regimental Whhdrawal . . . s9 R e l i e f i n P l a c e . . . . . . 1 0 1 T h s l J r b a n i z a t i o n F a c t o r . . . r 0 3 A R e i n f o r c e d M o t o r i z e d R i f l e B a t t a l i o n A t t a c k i n g a B u i l t - U p A r e a . . - . . . 1 0 5 C o m b a t - i n - C i t i e s E x e r c i s e s . . . . . . - . - . . . 1 0 6 F l a m e l h r o w e r P e r s o n n e l P l a y a n lm p o r t a n t R o l s i n U r b a n C o m b a t . . . 1 0 7 A R e i n f o r c e d l , 4 o t o r i z e d R i f l e B a t t a l i o n D e f e n d i n g a B u i l t ' l J p A r e a . . . 1 0 € A B T R - E q u i p p e d M o t o r i z e d R i f l e B a t t a l i o n P r e p a r i n g f o r a H e l i b o r n e O p e r a t i o n . . . l r o I n e F L U U b E H S e n e s r r o v r d e A f - G r o u n d S u o D o n , , , , . , , , . , . , . , , , . , . , , . , . , . , . , . , . , . , . , , , 1 1 0 H e l i c o p t e r c u n s h i p / T r o o p C a r r i e r s . . . . . . i 1 1 a . H I N D . . . . - . - . - . . . i 1 1 b . H t P . . . . . . l ] 1 T h e H O P L I T E P e r f o r m s T a c t i c a l R e c o n n a i s s a n c e . . . . - . - . - . - . - - . . . 1 1 2 T h e H I P C a n C o n d u c t A e r i a l l v l i n e l a y i n g . . . . . . 1 1 2 T h e H e a v y T r a n s p o r t H e l i c o p t e r , H O o K . . . r 1 3 C o m m u n i c a t i o n s i n th e A s s e m b l y A r e a . , . . . 1 1 4 A M o t o r i z e d R i f l e B a t t a l i o n i n a H e l i b o r n e A s s a u h . . . r r 5 R e c o n n a i s s a n c e o f B o t h R i v e r B a n k s lJ s u a l l y P r e c e d e s t h € M a i n A s s € u l t . . . . . . 117 T h e s e n i o r E n g i n e e r o f f i c e r c o n l r o l s t h e C r o s s i n g . . . 1 1 8 S e l f P r o p o l l e d A r t i i l e r y a n d z S U - 2 3 - 4 s S u p p o r t i n g a R i v e r C r o s s i n g . . . 1 t 9 T-62s Prepa ring for a River Crossing . . . . . . 119

S A - T G u n n e r s S u p p l e m e n t O t h e r A i r D e f e n s e W e a p o n s D u r i n g a W a t e r - c r o s s i n g o p e r a t i o n . . . r 2 0 A Reinforced lvlotorized Bifle Battalion Assauhing a Water Barrier and Establishing

a B r i d g e h e a d - . - . - . - . 1 2 1

Attached Armor Rejoins lvlotorized Bifle Troops As Soon As Possible in a RiveFcrossing

Operation . . , . . , . , . , . . . . 122 A R e i n f o r c e d M o t o r i z e d R i f l e B a t t a l i o n D e f e n d i n g a R i v e r L i n e . . . , . . . l 2 3 62. 63.


66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 7 1 . 72. 73. 14. 75. 76.


74. 79. 80. 8 1 .



85. 86. 4 1 . 88. x1


89. A Roinforced Motorized Rffl6 Battalion Conducting a Night Attack . . . , . , , .127 Sn. A Reintorced Motorized Rifle Battalion in a Night Defense . . . i29 91. Naval Infantry on Parade in Moscow . . . .130 92. Naval Intantry Oft€n Form the First Echelon in a Se€bomo Assauh . . . 13r 9 3 . E m b a r k a t i o n a n d o e b a r k a t i o n P o i n t s . . . 1 3 2 Sl4. AmDhibious Shios . . . , . , . .13' a . A L L I G A T O R C l a s s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . - 1 3 3 b , R O P U C H A C l . s s . . . . , . - . . . 1 3 3 c . P O L N O C N Y C | a S S . . . . . . - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 i r 4 9 5 . A m p h i b i o u s A $ a u l t s M a y B e C o n d u c t o d W i t h A i r C u s h i o n V e h i c l € s . . . , . . . r 3 4 96. A Roinforced Motorized Rifle Sattalion Conducting an Amphibious Assault - . - . . . , . , . . 138





Flvl lO0-5 examin6s the basic doct nal concepts of the United States Army and pres€nts the prin-ciples deemed noc$sary for winning the land bat-tle. For thos€ m6n tasked with directing and fighring th6 battle {that is, for colonels and cap-tainal, The Soviet Moton2ed Rille Eattalion is par ticularly relBvant. BMP-equipped MRBs are widely distributed throughout the ground forces, poss€ss mobility and firepowor superior to that ol BTR-equipped MRBS, and allow mol€ flaxibility in employment. The MRB is the major maneuver element of the molorized rffle r€gimont (according to the Soviets, tho most irhportant unit in rh€ ground forces) and plays 6n irnportant role in of-lensive and defensivo ooerationa. Studv oI the MRB reveals strongths to be countered and weaknesses to be exploited; and provides an in-sight into Soviet op6rational procsdures at the nsxt higher level.


A straightlorward analysis of MRB opsrations per se would b6 hisleading and dangerous, as the [/lRB normally operates as part of the MRR and, in addilion, may receive additional support frcm the motorized rifle divlsion (MRD). Accordingly, this studv analyzes the MRB within the context of regimental operations, and illustrares some of the M R D ' s e q u i p m € n t w h i c h m a y € l s o b e in s u p p o r t . 3 . D I A G R A M S

The tactical diagrams arc not templates and should not be used as such. lroreover, while illustrating Sovi€t tactical concepts, they arg not intended to portray rigidly how ths Soviets will conduct everv ooeration.






Section A - Docttine

1 . G E N E R A L

Soviet doctrine sl.esses that the offensive ts ihe decisive fofm of combat. To achieve success, the Soviets stress high average rates of advance r30 50 kilometers per day in nonnuclear situations and 50-m kilometels per day when nuclear weapons are used) by combin€d arms units l i l g u r e 1 ) .

To achieve such high rates of advance, the Soviets advocate the concentration of numerically superior lorces and firepower w;thin selected sec-:ofs; the use ot airborne, heliborne, and special 3perstions forces throughout the depth of the e n e m y r e a r area; a n d t h e a c h i e v e m e n t o f surprise

f i g u r e 2 ) . S h o u l d n u c l e a r / c h e m i c a l w e a p o n s n o t 3e used, conventional artillery would be used to schieve the desired density of firepower. Soviet {r tings stress the crilical transition from non-- ! c ear to nuclear operations, a n d f r e q u e n d y e x -:'cise going from one mode of combat to the

Detensive concepts are less frequently describ-. l a n d p r a c t i c e d describ-. A h h o u g h t h e y a c k n o w l e d g e ' - a r a parricular s i t u a l i o n m a y diclare defensive : : t o n , the Soviets s t r e s s t h a t the primary pur-::se ol the defense is to prepare for the resump-::. of offensive operations assoon as possible.

7 ' : 1 . . : :


Soviet olfensive doctrine is based upon com-bined arms operations, that is the closely coord-inated efforts of the missile, tank, motorized rifle, a t t i l l e r y , a n d c o m b a t s u p p o r t u n i t s . This doctrine does not separat€ fire and maneuverj it seeks ways to improve their integration and effec,

I n fo"ning combined arms group,ngs, the Soviets do not cross-attach units as in some Western armies. Within a Soviet motorized rifle r e g i m € n t f o r e x a m p l e , o n e t a n k c o m p a n y m a y b e a s s i g n e d 1 o a M F B , b u t t h a t I \ , ' l R B w i l l n o t , i n turn, assign one of its N4R companies to the tank battalion. In the Soviet Army, units are often at tached or placed in support of othe. units, Attachm€nts are more responsive to the com mander of the unit to which they are attached, w h i l e units placed in support are controlied t h r o u g h t h e i r p a r e n t u n i t c o m m a n d e r .

The Soviets idenrify rhree types of combat action''tl:e meeting engagement,* the offense, 6 n d t h e defense. T h e o f f e n s e i s f u n h e r s u b d i v i d ' e d i n t o the attack and its exploitation, a n d t h e p J r s u i t c u l m : n a t i a g i n encirc e . n e n t . T h e o f f e n s i v e is conducted by maximizing maneuver, firepower, and shock action. Approximately 80 percent of a

- : l


Figore 1. Sov et Olrenslve Doclrine s Based o. Combined Arms Corn bar.


rh. meeling ehgaoement is ofiensiv6 in nature, the Soviers, in order Io emphasze iG frpodance, r€cosnize it as a


battalion's tactical training is offensive in nature, a bias also r€flected in the Soviet press.


b. Ho, Forc€s Flsh 16 trtobli5l' d Brdg.h.od. Fieure 2. Anborne and Heliborne Troops Are Set€ctivety

Used to Mainiain Otlensiv€ Monentum. The Soviets define maneuver as the movement of a forco into a favorable position {in relation to the enemy), from which it can launch an effective

aftack. The frontal attack and the enveloDment

are the basic types of haneuver described by the Soviets, who clearly favor the latter (figure 3). Envelopment is often employed in the meeting engagement and generally whenever the enemy has an assailabl€ flank. Envelopment is also often conducted in conjunction wilh a frontal attack designed to pin down enemy forces.

8€'cause d rheir perceptions of the fluid nature ot modern war, the Soviets place more emphasis on the rne€ting €ngagement (combat beween op posing columns rdpidly advancing toward each oth€d than on any other form of offensive action (figure 4). Meeting engagem€nts require a high degree of;nitiativ€ because of their inherent

-- Th€ n€ed to seize and haintain the in-itiative.

-- Freedorn ol .n€neuver, often with open f l a n k s

-.- Comb€r on a wadefront. Rapid troop deploym€nt. .. tr4obile, high speed combat.

Although th€ Soviets believe th€t their numerous intelligence garhering means will help commanders ptepate tor the meeting engage-ment, they acknowledge that planning must often be conducted with incomplete data on enemy forces. Soviet comrnanders are encouraged 1o ag-gressively seek rne€ting engagements and to make rapid decisions based upon availabte in-telligence.

Nuclear and nonnucl€ar breakthrough opera-tions may be conducted against hasty, prepared, or fortified defenses. In the breakthrough, the S o v i e t s e n v i s i o n p e n e t r a t i o n , accompanied whenever possibl€ by envelopment, the relegation of pockets of resistance for destruction to second-echelon formations, meeting engsgements with advancing enemy reserves, and pursuit of withdrawing enemy forces. Against a prepared defensive position, and when nuclear weapons are not used, the soviets concentrate a reinforced battalion and the fire of m-100 artillery pieces per kilometer of breakthrough sector, while exerting pressure all along the remaining portion of the


In nuclear breakthrough op€rations, the Soviets rely primarily on nuclear weapons and penetratE enemy defenses in column. Pursuit operations, conducted on frontal, parallel, or combined axes, have the purpose of cutting off and de6troying enemy forces. Tactical hgliborne and airborne lorces occupy and hold locations in the snemy's re€r and otherwise attempt to disorganize and delay his withdrawal.

3 . D E F E N S I V E P B I N C I P L E S

For the Soviets, the purpose of the dgfense is ro inflict maximum casualties, to hold the defend-ed area, and to creat€ favorable conditions for the resumption of the offensive.

Soviet defensive concepls include:

Stabrrt-Achieved by d€fense in depth, clos6-V coordinat€d tire and obstacle plans, and strong

Secuity-Providdd by combat secuity lorces which give e€rly waming, prevent enemy recon-naissance of the main defensive position, forcg fi€ enemy to deploy prematurely, inflict max-.num casualties, and coordinate long-range fires on enemy lormations.

Use of key te'/ain-lncludes a fire and obstaclo dan which restricts the enemy's freedom of -aneuver and canalizes his lorces into prepared xilling grounds.

Dispersion-Ailows maximum protection from huclear and chemical weapons by posi1bning ttoops on a wide front dnd in grcat depth.

All-rcund detense-Ptepared alternate and sup-p€menrary positions provide 3mo defensive ..p€bilities. Battalion strongpoints, echoloned in o e p t h w i r h €xtensive b a r r i e r s E n d f i r e p b n n i n g , xovide the backbone ofthe regirhental defense.

Delense in depth-Echeloned battalion strong-tdnts absorb the momentum of the attack and tolride time for mobilE reserves to counterattack,

Antitank defense-Ptovided by the liberal a4ocatjon of antitank weapons down to all levels, and $e formation of strong antitank reserves at Sanalion level and above.

Cootdinated fircs-Planned to destroy the at. tacker approaching the defended area, in tront of




I I l

f + f

6. shcllow Env.lophenr (shg,e,

.. Deap E^velop eht (Doeble).






^ RsEisr d.mnb r dqts r 3eF.d





1 r - i

A L - J i f - 1 . ] L - J \ _ : I

B. Th. rcvai@ suard.ft.mpr 10 6id!d rhe m6ti^9.ns.Fm'ft ll) .8 ed.s @rrs r2) ,Dd su!@ds rhs hr rhe dr b6dy (3)

Figure4. The MeetinS E.gagem€nr

the forward 6dg€ oI the battle arga (FEBA), on rain, or to escap€ enemy pressure. Du€ to th6 the flanks, and in prepared killing zones within complexity and inherent danger of withdrawal the defended area. Nuclear strikss are planned by operations, panicularly under snehy pressure, the division and higher units agains! the en6my's Soviets try to achieve su.prise by conducring nucl9ar weapons, major reserves, €nd command them on multiple rout€s at night or during other and control posts. condirions of limired visibiliry.

Mobile countenftack to.ces-Requirod to The grouping of forces for a withdrawal

in-launch countetattacks, Soviet commanderc from cludes convering {orces, the rear guard, main

trattalion and up maintain reserves for this puF body, and flank security dotachments lwhen

pos€ necessary). Normally, the Soviets leave one-third

Approximatety 20 percent of th6 battation.s tac :1"il1:fi':::J:"contact to doceive the enemv tical training concerns dgf ensive operations.

4. WTTHDRAWAL simultaneously. Covering torces Aft€r the main body has passsddepart suddenly and. as a rule,

Withdrawal operations, initiated only by the through' the covering -force then withdraws

next higher commander, are conducted by rhe lhrough the rear-guard should the enemy press

sovists to regroup. occupy more favorabli ter- lhe withdrawing forces' lhe rear guard withdraws 6


in a leapfrog manner, rend€ring mutual fire sup-port. lf the rear guard is successful, withdrawal of the main body is unimpeded.

The rear guard occupies defensave positions b6hind first-echelon defense forces. Subsequent defensive positions ar€ designated for the rear guard, wh;ch conducts ambushes and erects bar rigrs as it withdraws to subsequent positaons. The rear guard moves to subsaquent positions in a leapfrog manner, rendering mutual support and defending each position.

Prior to arrivsl of the rear guard in the newly

designated area of d€fense, reconnaissance groups are formed. These groups conduct a survey oI the new ar€a, determine the area to be occupied by each unit, designat€ approach routes to them, mark off any mined or contamanated areas, and test the water, As the main body ap-proaches the area, its subordinate elements are met by guides from the reconnaissance groups and ars taken to their designated areas.

Security is organized as soon as the lead elements close on the new defensive areas, and engineering work is begun,

Section B - Tactics


l g


In spite of the superior qualities of the BMP vis-a-vis the BTR, we are not aware of any new regulations governing employment of 8MP-equipped and BTR-8MP-equipped units. Soviet com-manders still seem to be debating the tactical €mployment of the BMP in an effort to maximize n s p r i n c i p a l s r r e n g t h s v i s a v r s th e B T R : s u p e r i o r lirepower {panicularly anthank) and cross'country mobility, and better crcw protecrion. Training as also being condricted to determine the optimum use of BMPS operating in close coordinataon with t a n k s a n d a r t i l l e r y .

The BMP'S superiority over the BTR makes |t likely that the BN4P-equipped units of a motorized rifle division {MRDI wiil be assigned these key

- Reconnaissance.

-- Use in the forward detachment.

- Positioning in the first echelon during nuclea. conditions, and/or if enemy delenses have been sufficiently neutGlized; otherwise in th€ second echelon as an exploitation force {The BTR-equipped regimen(s) would {orm t h e M B D ' s f i r s t e c h e l o n ) .

- Operating on the main axis of attack. 2 . E C H E I O N S A N O R E S E R V E S

a. Geneal

In the West, there has been an overdramatiza_

tjon of the Soviet deployhent system, as well as confusion' over how the system, particularly echelonment, works. Basically, the Soviet syst€m of echelonment whh "t!vo up" and "one back" is sihilar to our own and seeks the same effects in theattac(r

- Timely buildu p of ths attack effort.

'' Beating the enemy in th€ use of corres-pondrng reserves.

- Preventing an overdensity of lroops and eqlipment {thereby denying the enerny lucrative nuclear targets).

Achieving high rates of advance by attacks i n d e p t h .

And in the defensel

- Presenting the enemy with a series of defensive posilions.

- Preventing an overdensity of lroops and equipment. The difterence beoveen the Soviet and US systems concerns exactness in terminology and preparation.

b. Definitions

The firsi echelon is the most important echelon and normally consists of up to two-thardt of the forces available. In the attack it comprises the leading assault units; in the defense, it com-prises the forward d6fense units on the FEBA. t i n

e n to

e d


The second echelon, normally consisting oI about one-third ot the available lorces, gives the commander the capability to intensify the attack, to shift rapidly the attack effort from one axis to another, to repulse counterattacks, and to replace heavily attrited f irst-echelon un;ts.

The commanders of the first and second echelons receive their missions prior to combat. First-echelon commanders are assigned immedi6te and subseouent obiectives and an axis of further advance, while second-echelon commanders receive an immediate objective and an axis for further adv6nce. Commanders must get permis-sion from the next higher commander to commit their second echelon. A second echelon as not committ€d in a piecemeal fashion.

Reserues clearly differ from echelons. Wh€n the Soviets wrile "second echelon (res€rvol," they are not equating the two; they m€an that sometimes a cohmander will have a second

echelon and at other times a reserve,

Starting at battalion level, commanders nor-mally haintain reserves, usually consisting of l6ss than one'third of the forces available. Reserves may be of several types lantitank, branch, com-bined arms) and be employed separately or to-gether, The commander ot the reserve rac€ives no specific mission prior to battle, but must be pfepared to carry out a number of contingsncies,

c. Employment of Echelons and Reserves

The commander's decision tor the emDlov-ment of his force deoends uoon lVlETT.r For ex-ample, bec€use a hasty defense does not have well-coordinated fire and obstacle plans, speed in rhe atrack, combined with maximum combat power forward, is preferred to echeloning, Ac-cordingly, a single echelon and a reservo would mostprobrbly be us€d to attack a hasty def6ns6.

Moreover, unless a commander r€ceives augmentation, he must weaken his assault elements in ordsr to have tlvo echelons and a branch or combined arms reserve. For thas reason, units at regimental level and abov€ may, when attacking in two echelons, have chemical, engineer, and antitank reserves, but no moto zed rifle, tank, or combined arms reserve. lf sullably augmented, they may have two echelons plus branch, combined arms, and/orother reserv€s,

'MBsion, 6n€hy, r6iiain €nd woarher, troops dvailabl6.

The MRB is the lowest level where echelon-meni occurs in the Soviet Army (the Soviets have experimented with echelonment within com-panies, but this practice has been discouraged by general officers who wrote that such practice dis$pates the company's combat power and in-creases the command and control problems of t h e c o m o a n v c o m m a n d e r ) ,

When two ech€lons and a reserve are employed, reserves lor BTR- and BMP-equippad battalions could consjsr of 6 designated MR unit {normally a plaroon), usually taken from the se-cond echelon, or a olatoon from an attached tank

The antitank reserve of the BTR-equipped [,4R8 is normally ils antirank platoon of manpack S A G G E R S a n d S P G 9 s , w h i l e fo r a BMP- equio-ped MRB it may be pan of an attached tank com-pany or an anached platoon of rhe MRR'S an-titank missile ban€ry (figur€ 5). Both types ol reserves ar€ usuelly under the battalion com-mander's direct control.

Depending upon METT, the banalion's second echelon {reservel operates from 1 to 3 kilometers behind the first echelon in order ro avoid un-necessary losses, while being close enough for timely commitment to banle. When a second echelon passes through a firsr €chelon. the former lights independently of the latter, and is usually supponed by fjre froh the first echelon. Reserves and the second echelon are recon-stituted as soon as possible following theh com-mitment.

d. Anriron* t6ov.! Jt o 8lR-Equtppod Uni,. Figur€ 5. &ttalion Anlitanh Reserves Respond Directly io the Battallon Commander.


: g!re 5. Battalion Antitank Reserves Respond Drrecllyto t h e B a t i a l o n C o m m a n d e r . ( C o n t n u e d )


In the Soviet Army, position and branch are ..ore important than rank, lt is not unheard of for 3 Commander to be junior to his chief of staff 3 n d / o r o n e o r m o r e s u b o r d i n a t e c o m m a n d e r s , A Soviet major commanding a regiment could have eutenant colonels as his deputies, Moreover, the : c m b i n e d a r m s c o m m a n d e r c o m m a n d s a t t a c h --ents, regardless of whether or not the com--rander of the attached unit is superior in rank. S h o u l d a n a f t i l l e r y o r t a n k b a t t a l i o n c o m m a n d e d ay a major or lieutenant colonel be attached to a r , ! R B commanded b y a c a p t a i n , t h e I V I R B c o m -3nder would command both battalions.

. Chain ofCommand

lo reconstitute a destroyed command ele--*_1. the Soviets first attenpt to util;ze the unit's ! . 3 3 b l e a s s e t s . s h o u l d th e b a t t a l i o n c o m m a n d e r :E -epacitated, he would normally be succeed-r: .v his chief of staff and the first N4R company ::--'13nder (who is normally the senior company ::Tmander), respectively. The battajion com-nander may designate his political officer to be 'ris successor, since this man is well trained .nilitaily. The regimental commander may appoint one of his staff officers to temporarily command : h e battalion,

The battalion's chief of staff, the deputy com manders for political affairs and technical affaiis, and the heads of the various rear service elements communicate with their countelparts at regiment, t h u s r e l i e v i n g t h e b a t t a l i o n c o m m a n d e r o f m a n y a d m i n i s t r a t i v e a n d s u p p l y d e t a i l s a n d a l l o w i n g h i m to concentrate on implementing regimental

tac-4 . T R A F F I C R E G U L A T O R S

Extensive use of tmffic regulators (figure 6) by the Soviet ground forces is often interpreted as i n d i c a t i n g a weakness in mapreading skills. T h o u g h m a p r e a d i n g s e e m s t o b e a p r o b l e m a t t h e lower levels due to a number of factors (see 7re Soviet Motorized Rille Conpany, DDI-1100-T|-76, O c t o b e r 1 9 7 6 , p a r a g r a p h s 5 1 . 5 3 ) , t h e e x t e n s i v e use of traffic regulators rnay aid the achievement of high rates of adv6nce- Traffic regulators move o u t w i t h t h e a d v a n c e g u a r d battalion, a n d t h e i r placement at key locations speeds up the move-m e n t o f S o v i e t c o l u m n s b y a i d i n g c o m m a n d e r s i n the control of their subordinate elements, Because the Soviets move under vinual radio s i l e n c e d u r i n g th e m a r c h ( p r e c e d i n g e n e m y c o n -tact), traffic controllers are panicularly useful. T h e y a r e a l s o v u l n e r a b l e . l v l o r e o v e r . i f ihey ate in-capacitated, advancing columns may have dif-f i c u l t y .



F i e u r e 6


Traflic Reellators Aid Commanders in Con t r o l l i r E T h e r l J n i l s .

5 . A T T A C K T I M E A N D O B J E C T I V E S

In the Soviet Army the at'rack time (H hour) is the time the first man reaches the enemy FEBA, whereas in most Western armies the attack time refers to crossing the line of departure.

A unit is given intermediate and subsequent ob jectives and a direction for fufther attack. The depths of these objectives depends upon IIETT a n d w h e t h e r o r n o t n u c l e a r w e a p o n s a r e u s e d , The unit's immediate objective includes the enemy's forward positions; the subsequent objec tive, his reserves. The battalion's subsequent









iective is included in the immediate objective of the regiment; the subsequent objective of the regiment is within the immediate objective of the d i v i s i o n , e t c .


S o v i e t e m o h a s i s o n c o m b i n e d a r m s o D e . a l i o n s has increased over the last 5 years. [Iotorized rifle r€giments and divisions and tank divisions are units with an excellent mix ol motorized rifle, aF tillery. tank, and engineer troops. Recently, motorized rifl€ comoanies have been added to tank regiments within tank divisions. These com-panies may be the p€cursors ot liR battalions becoming organic to tank regiments. Combined arms conceDts and how thev affect the [lRB are described b€lowi

a. Tanks

A tank unit(s) is usually attached to or in sup-port of a MRB, Normally, however, tanks are placed in support, thus allowing lhe rank com-rnander to maintain control over his subunits. Such an afi6ngement facilitates massing of pla toon and companytires on particular objectives,

When cenlralized control of tanks is not prac-tical {for example, in combat in built-up areas 6nd in forests), however, tank platoons may bs decentralized and rqspond to l/lR company com' manders.

b. Attilery

To achieve desired fire suooort in a breakthrough, the Soviets form regimental, divi-sional, and 6rmy anillery groupings {respectively R A G , D A G , a n d A A G ) . A n a n i l l e r y g r o u p i n g i s temoorarv in nature and consists of two or more artillery battalions. Wh6n a RAG is formed it does not includo the lrRR's organic artillery battaljon. The battalion is, howsv€r, normally placed in sup-oort of the MRR'S subordinate motoriz€d rifle talions. In some cases each of the artillery bat-talion's battsries may bs attached to a lvlRB. In such cases. coordinalion of arlillerv fire is accomplished by the aftillery battery commander {working wilh the MRB commanded under the close suosrvision oI thg artillerv battalion com-msnder (working with th€ IVIRR

commander)-Artillery support for an ofiensivs may be divid-ed into thr€€ phasesr preparatory lires {phase

one), fires in support of an attack (phase two), and fires in support o{ operations within the depths of the enemy's dafenses {phase three), The battalion commander's control over his organic monars and attached artillery varies with

The MRB commander, though responsible for rhe lraining and €mployment of his organic moF tar battery, does not always have control over this unit. The regimental chief of artillery plans and supervises the training of the mortar batterigs (as well as the regiment's antitank means) in thg regift ent s subordinate battalions and supervases execution of the fire plan by organic regimental artillery, to include mortars {figure 7}. Artillery fire planning is centrally coordanated with flexibility built in to allow lor close suD9ort ol maneuver

Figu.eT- The R€timental ChEl ol Artillery (on the rieht) C@rdinat€s Resimerial Artillery Durins Phase

During phase one, all artillery, including mor tars, and all weapons {tanks and antitank guns) firing in th€ preparation, are centrally controlled by means of a fire plan. During phas€ two, the MRB'S organic mortars are controlled by the MRB, The attached anillerv battery, while less centralized. is responsive to requests for fires from rhe IMRB, while still being controlled by higher headquaners. During phase thGe. attach-ed anillery, whh the senior commander's ap-provsl, could advance with the [lRB to provide close support, In the aftack, the mortgr battery displaces according to the tactical situation {see chapt€r 6 for details). Firing oltside a maneuver

1 0


u n i t ' s boundaries i s n o t p e r m i t t e d w i t h o u t ap-p r o v a l f r o m h i g h e r a u t h o r i t y .

D u r i n g t r a i n i n g , w h e n e m p l o y e d i n an indirect f i f e role, Soviet a n i l l e r y ( d e p e n d i n g u p o n th e t y p e o f artillery b e i n g f i r e d ) w i l l not fire within 300 r r e l e r s of friendly troops mou4teo in APCs or within 200 meters of friendly tanks. Artillery will not fire within 400 meters of dismounted troops. Artillery fired in the difect fire mode will fire much closer, Peacetime fire restrictions would be con-siderably reduced in wartime.

D u f i n g the pursuit, attached artillery w o u t d provide close support and on call fires. Owing to the speed of pursuit operations, a continuing bar rage of fire foMard of the maneuver units is not d e e m e d p r a c t i c a l .

The prol;feration, types, and quality of Soviet engineer equipment complement their doctrine stressing high rates of adv6nce. River cross;ng equipment, mineclearers, and minelayers are par ticularly impressive (see chapter 3).

There are two types of Soviet engineers: Sap-p e r , or combat engineers f o u n d a t r e g i m e n t a n d d i v i s i o n , a n d m o r e skilled e n g i n e e r s o r g a n i z e d a n d


trained for specific rnissions. The latter type of engineer is normally orga nic ro atmy and ftunt

F f o m h i s senior c o m m a n d e r s , t h e M H B com-mander receives engineer support to enable his u n i t to c r o s s n a t u r a l a n d m a n m a d e o b s t a c l e s , a n d 1 o c o l s t r u c t d e f e n s i v e p o s i t i o n s and barrierc. N 4 R B I r o o p s a r e t r a i n e d t o p e r f o r m s o n ' e e n g i n e e r t a s k s s u c h a s b u i l d i n g w e a p o n s emplacements a n d t r e n c h e s , e m p l a c i n g a n d c l e a r i n g m i n e s by h a n d , a n d c a m o u f l a g i n g w e a p o n s a n d e q u i p m e n t .

D i r e c t air support to an l,4RB commander would be a rarity, since the IMB division com-mander normally directs supporting air assets through air liaison staffs. Forward air controllers could, however, be assigned to a regiment attack, i n g o n a d i v i s i o n s m a i n a x i s ,

This is not to say that Soviet tactical air assets wouid not be used to "prep" an area prior to an i.4RB attack. For example, Soviet high peF f o r m a n c e a i r c r a f t { s u c h a s t h e F L O G G E R s e r i € s ) a n d o r h e l i c o p t e r g u n s h i p s o f t e n " p r e p " a r e a s prior to a fiver crossing, on the main axis of at-tack, €nd in other selective operations {figure 8). T h € l \ l B B commander h a s n o d i r e c t o r g a n i c c o m , m u n i c a t i o n w i t h h i g h - p e r f o r m a n c e a i r c r a f t o r a t -tack helicopters.

-- -:il::Rl:e:-'


Section C - Tactical Trcnds Sincethe October 198 War


Thg Octob6r 1973 War had considerable imDsct on the tactical doctrine of some W€stern coun-lries, but did not c€use any ladical changea in Soviet doctrine or tactics, in spite of a dgofous examination oI basic doctrinal principles. Th€se principlgs lor the most part go back to World War ll. and rcmain the primary origin of curent Soviet doctrinal thinking. Soviet offensive doctrine, built around ths tank and enMsioning high €tes of ad-vance, remains basically unchanged.


While impr€5sed with the increas€d complgxity of modern defens€s. the high exponditur€ of munitions, and the lothality of antitank weaponry, the Soviets werc equary impressed by the

snhanced otf€nsive capabilities p.osented by

mobile air defgnse svstems and wellcoordinated

combined arms operations buil! primarily around the tank. lt should be noted rhat in the 1973 w6r. tank gunnery destroyed rhree to four times as manv tanks as did antitank missiles.

3 . T R E N O S S I N C E T H E W A R

Sinc€ October 1!m, rhe Soviets have tak6n numerous steos lo incr€se the viabilitv of their tank forces and to allow for anticipated losseS oI armored vehicl€s. Th6y have incroased the numbers of ranls and anillery pieces {especially self-propelled artileryl within the MRD. and ar6 stressing the use ot combined arms units oven more than previoudy. Moreover, ther€ are clear indications that hdi:opters will be assign6d a greatsr role in ofiefldv€ op€radons.

Nowherc aa6 dEse tr€ids morc apparent lhan in the op€radroaE ot Sovbt battalion and regimen-tal comb€t groupa€6.



3 . T H E M O T O R I Z E D






1 . G E N E B A L

Although the N4RB has considerable firepower, it lacks sufficient organic combat and combat support elements for many types of operations,

For this reason it usually operates as part of the f R R . S i n c e th e M R B i s n o r m a l l y r e i n f o r c e d o r supported by regiment, and sometimes by divi-sion, the organizations and equipment of the M R D a n d t h e M R R w i l l b e c o v e r e d in t h i s c h a p t e r .

2 , T H E M O T O R I Z E D R I F L E D I V I S I O N

T h e M R D i s a w e l l . b a l a n c e d u n i t p o s s e s s i n g sufficient combat, combat suppon, and combat service suppon units to enable it to conduct a variety of offensive and defensive operations under conventional or nuclear conditions-Although it normally operates as part of corps or a r m y , th e l \ 4 R D ; s f u l l y capable o f c o n d u c t i n g i n

-dependent op€rations. The lvlRD is organiz€d as shown in fjgure L The tvlBD's principal weapons a n d e q u i p m e n t a r e s h o w n i n fi g u r e s 1 0 a n d 1 1 . 3 . T H E M O T O R I Z E D R I F L E R E G I M E N T

T h o u g h c a p a b l e o f i n d e p e n d e n t a c t i o n , t h e motorized rifle regiment normally operates as part of a division, The division commander allocates additional support to his regiments as required. Regimental attillery, for example, may be reinforc ed with units from the division's artillery and m u k ; p l e r o c k e t launcher battalions, f o r m i n g a r e g i m e n t a l a r t i h e r y g r o u p i n g ( R A G ) . T h e r e g i m e n -tal commander requests nuclear fire support from division.

T h e B M P - e q u i p p e d M R R ;s o r g a n i z e d a s s h o w n l n f i g u r e 1 2 . S o m e o f t h e r e g i m e n t ' s p r i n c i p a l weapons and equipment are shown in figures 13 a n d 1 4 .

F l g u r e 9 . T h e M o t o r 2 e d R l e D v E , o n


o. ,6hm Oivisiondl Gun, zts 3

h . I 0 0 n h A f G u n , t - 5 5 / I t 2 .

: - = -



c. I22nm Howitzer, M-I938/D-30

Figuret0.The Motori2ed Rille Divisiont Princip3l Wea poi s.


e. |52mmHowirzit,D-L

F sure I0.The MotorDed R i l l e D i v i s t o n , s p r i n c p a I W e a p o n s . ( C o i t nued)


-. s\i I i,:is+\. '

l.i--a--' .




Figure l0.Th€ Motorized Ril eOivlsion s Pr ncrpalWeapon5 (Conlrn!ed)

o. frtck, Mine Dete.tot, Dim.

f r E u r e t t . T n e M o r o r r e o R r ' l e D ' r o l s P r r c i p d l E q L i o m e n l . : . . ' . .


d. ftdckad Anphtbidn, K 6t

e. hline Cl.oter BIR-''PR, M 1972


|.k i^eloyer, SP, Atdoed

FiSure 11.Ihe Motorized Rille D vision's Principa I Equipnent. (Conrinued)


9 lruck, Decon. IMS 65

Fieure r 1 The Motorized Rifle Oivision's Principa I Equipment. (Continued)

Fipure 12 The Motorized Rille Regimeni (8M P Equ pped)


o M.diuh fonk, f-62'

o M e d t u m f . n k , 1 . 6 4 .

. Medium fohk, f 72 '


. 23nn sP AA Gun, zSU 23 1 '

Ficure 13. PrlncipalW€aponsln theMotorized Rille Regrment (BM P Equipped). (Continued)


e. AIGIA Louncher Vehi.le Af.3.

d. sAM rsA.9) 6ASKIN. '


' Alsoiound in other units ln ihe motorized rille dNision

Fi€ure 13. Pr ncipalweapons inthe Motorized Rille Regime.i (BM P.Eq u ipped). (Contin ued)

F i g u r e 1 4 . P r n c r p a l E q u p m e n t i n t h e l \ , l o t o r i z e d R i i l e R e g n r e n t ( B M P E q u p p e d ) .

5 .

o lfuck, De.or, ARS-,1.

b.Iruck, De.on, DDA 66.

Eridse, f onk Lolnched, Mf U




e. (2)MDK 2Oitchins Md.hine (inopaatran)

Figure 14. Principa I Equ ipment in the Molorzed RiileReg ment(BMP Eq!rpped). (Continued)

d Bnd\e. rru.kLounched ltuA

.. (t ) MDK-2 Ditchtng Ao.hine.


g. Lrihe Cleori^g Pl6w, KMf.l

i. Min. Rollet, KJAI.5


A l o l t h e a b o v e e q u i p m e n t s a s o l o u n d i n o t h e r u n t s n t h e m o l o r z e d r i l l e d i v i s o n . Figure 14. Principa I Equipnenl inthe Motorized Rille Recimeni (BMP'Equipped). (Cofiin!ed)






Section A - Operational

Pinciples and Missions

1 , O P E R A T I O N A L P R I N C I P L E S

Although it normally operates as paft of the regiment, the [r1RB may aiso be designated the division reserve. In the latter role, the battalion op€rates under the division commander. In addi tion to their normal operations, IMRBS may also participale in operations under special conditions (see chapter 8).

Because it is relatively "light" in combat and combat-support elements, the battalion is normal iy reinforced by regiment and/or division. This augmentation may occur when the battalion acts as a forward detachment, advance, flank, or rear guard; when it attacks or defends in the first echelon of the regiment; or when it conducts in-dependent operations. For such operations, a S o v i e t b a t t a l i o n c o m m a n d e r c o u l d be allocated, i n addition to his own assets, one tank company* a

l22mm howitzer battaiion, an antitank guided missile platoon, an antiaircraft missile and anillery p l a t o o n , a n e n g i n e e r p l a t o o n , a n d a c h e m i c a l p l a

-2 . M t S S t O N S

The mission of the MRB depends upon the role it has been assigned within the regimental combat formation, lt may attack or defend as part of the first echelon, be placed in the second echelon, be designated as pad of the division res€rve, or be assigned special missions. As part of the regi ment's first echelon in the attack, the battalion would have the mission of penetrating enemy d e f e n s e s , n e u t r a l i z i n g e n e m v t o o p s a n d e q u i p -ment, and seizing and consolidating the enemy's defensive positions. Fhstechelon battalions would also take pa.t in repelling enemy counterattacks a n d p u r s u i n g a w i t h d r a w i n g e n e m y fo r c e . ln t h e def€nse, first-echelon battalions have the m|ssron of defeating or wearing down the enemy's initial assault elements.

A second-echelon battalion may be given any o f t h e f o l l o w i n g m i s s i o n s :

- Assuming the mission of severely attrited firct-echelon units.

-- Exploiting thesuccess of the first ec helon, - Eliminating bypassed pockets of enemy resistance,

' C o u n t e r a t t a c k i n g .

-. Destroying enemy forces on the flanks and in the intervals between axes of attack and in the rear ofattacking troops,

- - Attacking i n a new direction.

As a division reserve, the l\,4R8 would be given no mission p of to combat, but would be prepared to execute a number of contingencies:

-- Flepulsing enemy counterattacks, - - Combatting a i r b o r n e l a n d i n g s .

- Beplacing weakened first-echelon units ( r a r e l y d o n e ) .

-- Intensifying the attack effort. '- Exploiting success,

T h e M R B m a y also be assigned a n u m b e r o f special missions: forward detachment or recon naissance element (the N,4RB would be the basis f o r a r e c o n n a i s s a n c e g r o u p ) f o r d i v i s i o n , a d v a n c e guard of the regiment, and flank or rear security guard for the division (see chapter 7, section A, paragraph 4 for further details). lt may also be given a variety of missions in heliborne operations and, on occasion, in ship-to-shore operations

'< panoi the regimenfsinstechelon in a bre.kihrough operation, the MBB commander may b€ sivon moro lank suppon.


Section B * Organization, Responsibilities, and Equipment


The organization and principal weapons and equipment of the BMP,equipped MRB are shown

in figures 15 and 16. For a detailed list and photos of weapons and equipment at company level, see The Soviet Motorized Rifle Company, DDt 11q0,7/,76.

1 h . . u p p | Y e h t o n | . d . l , u l u .

FiC!re 15. The Motorzed R lle Battalron (BMP.Eq!rpped)

o . l 2 0 n n M o r , a r .


. r..

''fi,; .

n Z '

. . f t u t k , U A Z . 6 9 .

Figu re 16. Principa Weapons a nd Equipment oi the Motonzed Rille Batlalion (BM P Eq u ipped). (Contin ued)


:..s-g. Irr.k, POL (1,000 ot 5,20O Litett) l. ftuck, v6^, ztL (Mointeha^.e).

! E : :


F c u r e 1 6 . P r i n c i p a i W e a p o r s a n d E q ! i p m e n t o l t h e M o i o r z e d R i f l e B a t l a l o n ( B M P E q u i p p e d ) . ( C o n t i n u e d )

2 9


for technical affairs, the battalion communications officer {who is also the communications platoon leader, and the supply platoon leader la pEpot-srch,:k .roughly equivalent to warreni otlicerl

F i E U r e 1 7 B € t l a l o n H e a d q u a r t e r s .

FitL,re 16. Principal Wea pons a nd Equipment ofthe Molorired R(le Aatta lion (BM P-Equ ipped). (Continued) 2 . SUEONDINATE E L E M E N T S

a. Th6 Battalion Headquafterc

The battalion staff consists of six officers and 6ight enlisted men (figure 17). Office. personnel includ€ the battalion commander, the battalion chief of statf, the deputy battalion commander for political affairs, the deputy battalion commander

ll) The battalion commander is resoonsible for his unit's mobilization readiness, combat and political training, €ducarion, military discipline, a n d m o r a l e . H e i s a l s o r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e units eouiDment and facilities.

(21 The battalion chief of staff is the com-m a n d e r ' s " r j g h t arm.' He has the authority t o give orders to all subordinate elements and in-sures compliance with orderc from the batlalion commander and higher commanders. The chief of stalf draws up the combat and training plans ibased upon the regimental plan and the baltalion commander's guidance) for the unit and insures that they are carried out, He also insurcs that re-quired reports are prepared and dlspatched on time to regimental headquarters. He is principal organizerof aea r service su pport for the battalion.

{3) The deoutu battalion commander for political affairs organizes and conducts political training designed to rally rhe battalion's personnel eround the Communist Pafty and th€ Soviet Government. He repons through the battalion commander to the reg imental political officer,


(4) The deputy battalion commander for technical aff6irs supervises the battalion's maintenance seruice element and reports direcdy to the botblion commander or chief of staff. The technical affahs officer is responsible for the com-bat, political, and specialized training of rear ser-vic€s personnel, and for the technical condition of rheir equipmsnt.

{5) The communications officer is a battalion staff officer and the communications platoon leader. lt is his responsibility to train banalion per' sonnel in signal procedures and to supervise corh-munications training of the battalion, to include the conduct of classes for radio operators and p e r i o d i c inspections o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n s e q u i p -rnent. In combat, the battalion signal officer receives inslfuctions from the senior regimental signal officer, as well as from the battalion com-m a n d e r a n d c h i e f o f staff.

(6) The supply platoon leader may be a prapotshchik or senior NCO. He works closely with the battalion chief of staff on all aspects of banalion supply.

(7) Enlisted personnel in the battalion head-quart€rs include a sergeant major and his driver, a c h e m i c a l i n s t r u c t o r / d o s i m e l e r o p e r a t o r , a s e n i o r nedic lthe feld'sheL who heads the medical sec-:ion, is a medical assistant whose skills fall somewhere between those of a nurse and a ! h y s i c i a n ) , t w o c l e r k s , a d r i v e r a n d g u n n e r f o r t h e aattalion comfiander's BMP, and a driver for the : h i e f o f staff's A P C .

b. The Motoized Rifle Company

The battalion's primary maneuver elements are s lhree motorized rifle (l/lR) companies. The 3 M P - e q u i p p e d i r R c o m p a n y i s o r g a n i z e d a s srown in figure 18- For detailed information on '-6 unit, the reader should .efet to The Soviet

\.otorized Ritle Company. DDl1100-77-76, : : r o b e r 1976,

c. The Battalion Mortat Battery

The mortar battery contains six l20mm moF r . s and is organized a n d e q u i p p e d a s s h o w n in . S J r e 1 9 .

The mortar battery commander is assisted by -€ headquarters batlery platoon leader, who also

functions as the head of the forward observer { F O l / r e c o n n a i s s a n c e s e c t i o n ,

F r g u r e l 8 T h e M o i o r l z e d R ll e C o m p a i y ( B M P E q u r p p e d ) .

Each mortar platoon contains wvo squads, each of which contains a crew chi€f, a gunnef, one telephone opbrator, a loader, one ammo b e a r e r , a n d a v e h i c l e d r i v e r ,

d. The Communications Platoon

The communication platoon's organization and equipment are depicted in figure 20. The com-munications platoon leader has an NCO assistant and tlvo section leadels.

e. Battalion Rear Service Support

The deputy battalion commander for technical affairs is assisted in supervising rear seruice sup-port elements by the supply platoon leader, the NCos responsible for the repair workshop, and the medical aid station.


FBufe I9 The Mortar aaltery


Section C - Command

and Control


Tho Sovlats roggrd cornmand as the exorcla€ ot conotrnt and offactive control. The battElion com-ntander lelios prlmarily upon his chief of 8taff, but b roluctant to dal€g€te authority, pref6rdng to nlake most docisiong hirns€ff. Company con-fiEnders and the command6rs of other oqanic a.d atboh€d uniE ara clogely supervis€d by th€ hgttalion commander and/or the chiel of statf.

zco tnol

In th6 offuiEiw, th€ p.irmry rneans c'f oont ol

of th6 MBB is radio, although m668engeE, p€r-aonEl contact belwe€n commsnde6, aigngl fh.e6. tlags, snd s vadety of oth6r methods 6rs a|so us6d. Prior to contacti radio silonce b Etrictlv ob3€rued, excopting reporE from loconnsissanc€ olslh€nts and th6 crossing ot phase lln63. A typs ot battalion radio net is shown in figur6 2l .

In tfi€ detense, the battalion r€lir6 primsrily on wire. although messengeGr signsl flar6, and radio6 ar6 also used ext€nsiv€ly. A battalion in th€ d€fons€ would employ a wire sryatem as shown in lburc2'


MOTOR Z'D RIFT€ BA'TALION ELEMENTS cosMNDEF r:-^r toRr^R - - : - P h r o r ) l F r' z 3 ) | E A T E R Y


---S"=-co*-ar"r. ---S..----.D"'Nd'dN"i! ----S---F,,. suoon na. --.-S--NOIES

r Radd ued mry be rh. Flotro7 Rtr37L23 -- h,v. R1z65 tor dEtu^ted @n

, if$!iiJ:T;Ti"i$i

*,, .

i iii iiiriiii pl'r'""" . 'r'" arnquop.d N'd'.d ''ir' ban'bn mu i i i i l " " i i j l " ; ; ; o *n' rrtr'*.r a - 5 @ t o '' ( ' e N B c h r l i ' 3 t

Fieure2l Representatlve Commun ical ions N€l lna Molorized Ritle Battalion KEY









Pratoon r@&r'6 Mmad o6sda o. Fs1

M.drr barery ji fin4 @iiionozonn)

Telephme non onn8 or mtor *rion


>-. l


r. $iE euld ak b€laidlrcm @n deqtrcn pbr@n b6deB lo squad

2 ououts aE rod. Mry 5c70 mdie6 abo! virc in op€n leraii to pmvidd sh;her ror wn€ t6ns .hekinc ihe iins in mb.t


Section D - Battalion Rear Setvices

1 . G E N E R A L

Pfior to the march. the lvlRB normally occupies an asssmbly area, For operational conven:ence, reliable defense, and protection of the rear service elemenls, the latter normally occupy the center of the MRB area {figure 23 }.

During offensive and delensive op€rations, the MRB'S rear seruice elements are positioned to enable them to provide rapid material, technical, and medical support, In order to maintain frsedom of mansuver during the marc

and combat service support elements have normal spacing between vehicles in the column {figure 24). During the attack (figure 25), €nd in the delense {figure 26}, the rear services are position ed closely behind the combatunits.

The battalion's administrative 6nd logistics respon$bilities are purposely minimized lo allow the battalion commander to concentrate on his primary mission 'defeating the enemy in combat. The regiment assumes most of the battalion's ad-minist€tive burden and augments the battalion, as required, logistically.



&h. m,nnunr6n appt Fnr






Fi8ure23 Molorized Rille BatialDn RearS€rviceElements in an AssembyArea




-# -# fi -# c''d c4a d&-#34;d c-tt9 -#-Jt +--H{r


n@i!- dL bdt lh, t.ido'tld |||n

"'tu btri. tnd adill..Y in dd drhi


"* ,n,


€ € " , " " " . . , " " * - , , , " "

# *,r"rion ..'uni,io" ,*.r


NOTES ., rruds,6 ons pr€d { ftrns|#:fr.;tr-f,lffi,

""€rE o5,.5o dldi du.m,!.d nffie,.id so

i Dn.^6 bk.n '8..^d €h

r.2{I) tErd dunn. tdbl('!r}fui4 |i1oM'

Figure 24. ltoto'i2ed Ritle Esftalion R€r S€ruic! Support Elements Ouring lhe March

Fdd knn.n lqn 9|d r7olnDt

t-/ \' rd *,1h fJlr rni.r























F gure 25. Rear Servrce Supporl D!rinC th€ Atlack





.- r.;i*.








@ E@ sotu.o20nm)miflisposron comtsry,hmunitbi spot @'nr

Mld mine le]d lafr'ts&im|:nd |nii'nk)

Fi8ure 26. Rear ServiceSupport in the Deiense



The regimental assistant chiel of staff for psr-6onnel is responsiblo for maintaining all personnel records. such as officers' leaves of absence {bat' talion keeps records of enlisted perconnel on l6ave), daily strength r6ports, and peBonnol awards. In combst, h6 is also responsible for ad' ministration re$rding POWS, captured m8teriel, and processing of personnel replacements.

Forms and reoorts maintained at battalion in-clude strength r6porte, training schedules, supply and maintenance requisition forms, and political reoorts. Ths battalion commande. is assisted in hiB administrative responsibilities by his principal staff officers and clerical psrsonnel.

3. SUPPLY a. Genenl

Normally the r€giment, using its organic assets, deliverc supplies to the battalions. This principle is flexible, however, and whsn

necessary, the batlalion's supply pl€toon (ligure 271 picks up supplies from regiment. Priorlty lor resupply is ammunition, POL, technical supplies {repair parts), rations, and nontechnical eupplies. Resupply normally takos place prior to battle and at the end of the day. The Soviers try to r6upply at night or during other periods of limired visibil-ity. Empty vehicles returning to battalion and regi-ment are used to evacuate personnol end

aquip-The battalion chief of staff. assisted by the battalion t€chnical officer, the supply pl6toon feader. and the hatlalion feld'sheL has the overall responsibility for coordinating the battalion's logistic requirements.

There is no forrnal re3r service element at company level, where the company commander, assisted by his technical officer and lirst sgrgeant, handle all logistics functions. Normally, the bat-talion delivers supplies to its subordanate

r l E r ' m L o t d ' U i ^ ! 8 0 [ d l d r ' n d r 6 h , f . p * l ' / : o

Fi8ur€ 27 The Supply Platoon




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