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  #11  
Old December 1st, 2020, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Historical Design Notes Thread

Here's another SECRET Soviet military paper:

MILITARY THOUGHT (USSR): The Actual Requirement for and Supplying of Troops with Conventional Ammunition in Present-Day Operations and the original PDF.

In it, the author argues that current Soviet Units of Fire (UOF) allocation for nuclear war combat may actually be significantly lower than what actually is needed.

Of note buried are a series of tables laying out the number of 122mm shells required per hectare (10,000 m2 area or something 100 x 100 m in dimensions) for target destruction:

Infantry Divisional and Brigade Command Posts (4 hectares area per CP)
150 x 122mm Shells per hectare density (600 shells)

Infantry Companies (18 hectares per company)
150 x 122mm Shells per hectare density if in trenches (2,700 shells)
20 x 122mm Shells per hectare density if in open (360 shells)

Mortar/ATGM Platoons
55 x 122mm shells per platoon

Artillery Batteries
220 x 122mm shells per battery
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  #12  
Old December 5th, 2020, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Historical Design Notes Thread

Added Recent Developments in Soviet Amphibious Forces (Sep 1985) to my webpage.

Lots of detail in the above document about ZAPAD-81:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercise_Zapad-81

Wiki details as being the largest military exercise ever done by the USSR, but left out details such as:

• Integrating motorized rifle troops into a landing force.

• Employing air-cushion vehicles (ACVs) and landing craft (LCMs).

• Using merchant ships to support landings.

They had been done before, but in ZAPAD-81, they were all combined into a single exercise.

Other things related to ZAPAD-81:

• Since 1979, Soviet ground force troops have joined naval infantry troops in the initial assault phase of amphibious exercises, rather than landing only after the beachhead was secured. The number of army troops landing in the assault waves has grown from about two platoons to a battalion——the size of the force observed during ZAPAD-81.

• According to Western naval surveillance of exercises since 1979, the naval infantry has emphasized using ACVs and LCMs in the first assault wave. ACVs are capable of moving at high speeds over mines and other obstacles, and of landing troops directly on the beach, while LCMs can-transport heavy weapons. During exercises before 1979, for example, ACVs were seen bringing in special-purpose teams before the first wave or landing troops in areas away from the main target to protect the assault force’s flanks. During ZAPAD-81, special-purpose forces were landed from helicopters before the main assault, while ACVs brought in the first assault wave. Surveillance reports of the exercise also noted that, during ZAP AD-81, LCMs were included in the first wave and probably landed tanks to provide additional fire support on the beach. During the earlier exercises, LCMs were used principally during the follow-on landing to bring combat and support equipment and troops ashore from merchant ships.

• According to our records, ZAPAD-81 was the first time a Kiev-class aircraft carrier (CVHG) or a Moskva-class helicopter cruiser (CHG) operated in support of an amphibious exercise. Their participation was unusual because, according to our understanding of Soviet naval exercises, such ship classes probably would not be available to support amphibious landings during a general war, but would instead be used in an antisubmarine warfare role.

They estimated that the following Warsaw Pact units had some level of amphibious training, and they were:

SOVIET:
131st Motorized Rifle Division (MRD)
3rd Guards Motorized Rifle Division (GMRD)
135th/140th Motorized Rifle Regiment (MRR)

POLISH:
7th Sea Landing Division

EAST GERMAN:
28th/29th Motorized Rifle Regiment (MRR)

BULGARIA:
2 to 3 battalions

POLAND
1 battalion
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  #13  
Old January 2nd, 2021, 10:10 AM
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Default Re: Historical Design Notes Thread

Soviet Airborne Organization (Early Cold War):

Following V-E Day, Soviet leadership concluded that there was no longer any rationale to maintain a large number of airborne units; and the surviving Guards Airborne Divisions' fate were:

1st Gds Abn Division → 124th Guards Rifle Division, 17 November 1945 in Mongolia. (See Note I)
2nd Gds Abn Division → Disbanded in Czechslovakia, June 1945 (See Note II Below)
3rd Gds Abn Division → 125th Guards Rifle Division, 19 Nov 1945, Southern Grp of Forces, Tulchin, Ukraine.
4th Gds Abn Division → 111th Guards Rifle Division, 29 June 1945
5th Gds Abn Division → 112th Guards Rifle Division, 28 June 1945
6th Gds Abn Division → 113th Guards Rifle Division, 19 June 1945
7th Gds Abn Division → 115th Guards Rifle Division, 9 May 1945
9th Gds Abn Division → 116th Guards Rifle Division, 19 June 1945
10th Gds Abn Division → 126th Guards Rifle Division, 19 Nov 1945, Southern Grp of Forces, Buda, Romania.

NOTE I: The 1st Guards Airborne executed an assault landing (desant) on an airfield near Tongliao (通辽), Manchukuo with 300 men on 16 August 1945, enabling the city to be taken rapidly.

NOTE II: Regarding the case of the 2nd Guards Airborne Division; it was disbanded due to the Division losing its Red Banner in May 1945 due to negligence. The men were hence transferred to the 50th Rifle Division.

By early 1946, the VDV consisted of only three Guards Airborne Brigades (5th, 8th, and 24th) and the 7th Training Airborne Regiment. However, with the transfer of the VDV from the Soviet Air Force (VVS) to the Ministry of Defense on 3 June 1946, the slow revival of the VDV began.

On 14 June 1946, the Commander of the Airborne Forces issued Order #51, which converted ten Guards Rifle Divisions into Guards Airborne Divisions. In order to maintain continuity, 9 of the divisions were from the former 9th Guards Army (which had been formed from the Separate Guards Airborne Army (ОГВДА) in February 1945), leaving only one unit – the 76th Guards Rifle Division – without airborne heritage.

[NOTE – A lot of information I have found online is contradictory, and since I'm not Russian, I can't easily access russian off-line sources such as books to find validating data.

Even Russian military historians/enthusiasts admit that this period of Soviet history is like the medieval dark ages, compared to the more later known 1960s onwards period.

So the OOB below should not be taken as definitive for anything!]


1946 Guards Airborne Division OOB (Not definite)

Division HHC
2 x Airborne Regiments (2 Parachute or 1 Parachute, 1 Air-Landing (Glider) )
-- 3 x Airborne Battalions
------Mortar Battery (9 x 82mm Mortars)
------Anti-Tank Platoon (2 x 45mm ATG)
-- Regimental Artillery
------Anti-Tank Battalion (76mm ZIS-3 Battery (6 guns) and 57mm ATG Battery (6 guns) ) (Landed via Glider)
------Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battery
-- Reconnaissance Platoon
-- Sapper Company
-- Communications Company
Artillery Regiment (18 x 76mm ZIS-3, 18 x 120mm Mortars)
Separate Self-Propelled Artillery Battalion (18 x SU-76 in three batteries)
Separate Anti-Tank Artillery Battalion (18 x 57mm ATG in three batteries)
Separate Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (12 x AA Guns in three batteries)
Separate Sapper Battalion
Separate Reconnaissance Company
Separate Signal Company
Separate Landing Support Company
Separate Medical and Sanitary Company
Separate Truck Company

NOTE: The difference between the Parachute and Air-Landing Regiment consisted of only special training on how to land in gliders.

NOTE II: Because the post-war airborne divisions were two-regiment units instead of the wartime three-regiment units, the third Guards Rifle Regiments in each of the converted divisions was disbanded or transferred out.

NOTE III: It appears that the “Self-Propelled Artillery Battalion” of SU-76 might have attached for when the Airborne Unit was being used in a ground-side “Guards Rifle Division” role, as there was no way to transport the 11.2 tonne SU-76 by air.

On 7 October 1946, the next phase of the revival of the VDV began with the transformation of the 8th, 15th, 37th, 38th and 39th Guards Rifle Corps into Airborne Corps. A few years later, due to the worsening world situation -- on 15 October 1948, five more airborne divisions were created, using the numbers of disbanded Guards Rifle Divisions and using existing Airborne Regiments as Cadre units and assigned as shown in the list above:

8th Guards Airborne Corps
-- 103rd Guards Airborne Division
-- 114th Guards Airborne Division
-- 7th Guards Airborne Division from 322nd Gds Abn Rgt of 103rd Gds Abn Div (1948)

15th Guards Airborne Corps (Pskov)
-- 76th Guards Airborne Division
-- 104th Guards Airborne Division
21st Guards Airborne Division from 346th Gds Abn Rgt of 104th Gds Abn Div (1948)

37th Guards Airborne Corps (Primorsky Krai)
-- 98th Guards Airborne Division
-- 99th Guards Airborne Division
-- 13th Guards Airborne Division from 296th Gds Abn Rgt of 106th Gds Abn Div (1948)

38th Guards Airborne Corps (Tula)
-- 105th Guards Airborne Division
-- 106th Guards Airborne Division
-- 11th Guards Airborne Division from 347th Gds Abn Rgt of 106th Gds Abn Div (1948)

39th Guards Airborne Corps (Belaya Tserkov, Ukraine)
-- 100th Guards Airborne Division
-- 107th Guards Airborne Division
-- 31st Guards Airborne Division from 298th Gds Abn Rgt of 100th Gds Abn Div (1948)

At this time, it was viewed that an Airborne Corps would be the main operational unit of the Airborne Forces in any future conflict with the West.

In addition to combat troops, the following support troops were organized directly in the Airborne Forces:

1st Transport Aviation Division (Disbanded May 1956)
--192nd Guards Transport Aviation Regiment (Li-2)
--281st Transport Aviation Regiment (Li-2) (Disbanded May 1956)
--194th Guards Transport Aviation Regiment (Li-2)

12th Air Transport Division
--374th Transport Aviation Regiment (Li-2)
--930th Transport Aviation Regiment (Li-2)

281st Air Transport Division (Disbanded December 1959)
--197th Guards Transport Aviation Regiment (Li-2) (Replaced Sep 1949 with 196th GTAR)
--334th Transport Aviation Regiment (Li-2)
--566th Transport Aviation Regiment (Li-2)

3rd Guards Transport Aviation Division
--24th Guards Transport Aviation Regiment (Li-2)
--339th Transport Aviation Regiment (Li-2)
--369th Guards Transport Aviation Regiment (Li-2)

6th Guards Transport Aviation Division
--25th Guards Transport Aviation Regiment (Li-2)
--363rd Transport Aviation Regiment (Li-2)

4th Aviation Glider Regiment
45th Separate Glider Training Regiment

Additionally, the following units were also subordinate to the Airborne Forces Directorate:

35th Air Transport Division (Disbanded May 1956)
--239th Guards Transport Aviation Regiment (Li-2) (Converted to Mi-4 HIP by 1956)
--825th Transport Aviation Regiment (Li-2) (Converted to Mi-4 HIP by 1956)

40th Air Transport Division (Disbanded May 1956)
--336th Transport Aviation Regiment (Li-2) (Disbanded May 1956)
--338th Transport Aviation Regiment (Li-2) (Disbanded May 1956)

On 31 December 1948, the Airborne Forces Directorate was redesignated the Separate Guards Airborne Army (OGVDA / ОГВДА), four years after that formation had been abolished. The OGVDA had all Soviet airborne forces, except for the 37th Guards Airborne Corps and 1st Transport Aviation Division, both being based in the Far East.

In the West, the Soviet Union could now call upon 14 Transport Aviation Regiments, with a total of 448 x Li-2, giving the Soviet Union airlift capability equivalent to about 50% (1.5 divisions) of the entire Normandy Airborne force per day. This period – October 1947 to April 1953 – was when the Soviet Union's Airborne Forces were at the peak of their existence.

Then came the dark days of Nikita Sergeyevich....
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