AUFTRAGSTAKTIK
Miniatures Rules

  Mike J.
The J-8 Shop

PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY, 1980s

Introduction
During the 1980s the People's Liberation Army adhered to the so-called "People's War" doctrine of attempting to defeat an enemy invasion through gradually dissipating its strength by a combination of resistance by regular forces (which would largely take the form of a fighting withdrawal, at least in the initial stages) and partisan warfare against enemy communications. It was essentially a defensive doctrine, consistent with the China's strategic situation and its preoccupation with internal affairs. The political upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s, including the "Great Leap Forward", "Cultural Revolution", and the post-Mao succession struggle, meant that China's rulers had neither the inclination nor the means for foreign military adventures. Moreover, the political upheavals have resulted in a high degree of politicization of the Chinese military, to the detriment of its combat effectiveness. This effectiveness was further reduced by the propensity to use Chinese soldiers for agricultural and industrial tasks. Even though by 1980s the situation stabilized, the military was still given the lowest priority in the Chinese "Four Modernizations" program that was launched in the 1970s. In part this was due to concern over the military asserting itself in politics, but also due to the more pressing internal needs facing China's economy. Whatever the reason, the relatively low level of military spending by PRC is an important reason for the success of its economic reforms in the 1980s and 1990s. It is unlikely that these reforms would have succeeded, in the face of entrenched opposition by the heavy industry, if China's economy was militarized to the same extent as that of the Soviet Union.

It is difficult to ascertain the combat effectiveness of PLA forces during this time period. The only significant military operation launched by the PLA in this timeframe, namely the punitive operation against Vietnam, revealed major weaknesses at all levels of the PLA, in terms of training, equipment, leadership, and doctrine. PLA forces also experienced extreme difficulty in projecting force even into an adjacent country. China also badly lagged in terms of military technology, with its most advanced systems being comparable to Soviet weapons of the 1960s era. Despite the transfers of Soviet military technology in the 1950s, China failed to make much progress in developing its own weapons systems in subsequent decades. Although the PLA's most likely adversary, the Soviet Army, also suffered from many of the same maladies, it seems that its level of military capablities was considerably higher. Nevertheless, the PLA would have likely proved a  tough adversary during any conflict with the Soviet Union, which felt compelled a sizable force on its border with China. The Korean War and the border clashes between Soviet Union and China during the late 1960s have shown the Chinese soldier had to be reckoned with and respected. Although the initial level of PLA performance against a Soviet attack would have likely been low, there is little doubt that the patriotic fervor such an assault would have sparked off would have enabled the Chinese leadership to organize efffective resistance. For all the flaws of the Chinese Communist Party, it was the first entity in China's modern history that proved capable of staving off foreign encroachment of China's sovereignty, and that alone earned it considerable legitimacy among the Chinese people.

Doctrine and Troop Quality:
Field armies: Regular or Recruit, High Morale
Local forces: Militia (Category III units), Average or High Morale
Aircraft: Regular, Militia, or Recruit. One company/squadron per regiment of each.
Doctrine: Centralized
HQ Rating: 3 or 4 (Regular Units), 2 or 3 (local units)
HQ Radius: 4 (Battalion and Regiment) or 8 (Division)


Cross-attachments:
Battalions do not exchange companies. Rather, the tank battalion in an MR regiment, or a MR battalion in a tank regiment, will attach one company to one of the other battalions in the regiment. That company may be further broken down into platoons to support individual companies of the battalion it is attached to. Regiments do not exchange or transfer battalions to other regiments.

Unit Organization

Size codes: s=small, m=medium, l=large; p=platoon, c=company, b=battery

Battalions:

Tank Battalion: 3 Tank Companies (sc)

Assault Gun Battalion: 3 Assault Gun Companies (sc)

Mechanized Infantry Battalion: 3 Infantry Companies, 3 APC Companies, 1 82mm Mortar Battery (mb) [truck], 1 75mm AT Platoon (sc) [truck]

Infantry Battalion and Parachute Battalion:
3 Infantry Companies, 1 82mm Mortar Battery (mb) [truck], 1 75mm AT Platoon (sc) [truck]

Artillery Battalion: 2 Batteries (mb)

Divisional Anti-Aircraft Battalion: 3 37mm or 57mm AA Gun Batteries (mb) [truck], 3 14.5mm AAMG Batteries (mp) [truck]

Regiments:

Tank Regiment:
3 Tank Battalions, 1 Reconnaissance Platoon [1 Light Tank (mp), 3 Motorcycle Platoons [sp)]

Mechanized Infantry Regiment:
3 Mechanized Infantry Battalions, 1 AAMG Platoon (lp), 1 82mm Mortar Company (mb), 1 75mm AT Company (sc)

Infantry or Airborne Regiment:
3 Infantry or Parachute Battalions, 1 AAMG Platoon (lp), 1 82mm Mortar Company (lb), 1 75mm AT Company (sc)

Divisional Artillery Regiment: 1 Field Gun Battalion, 1 120mm or 160mm Mortar Battalion, 1 122mm Howitzer Battalion

Divisions:

Armored Division: 3 Tank Regiments, 1 Mechanized Infantry Regiment, 1 Artillery Regiment, 1 AA Battalion, 1 Light Tank Reconnaisance Company (sc), 1 Guard Infantry Company (sc), 1 APC Company (sc)

Infantry Division: 3 Infantry Regiments, 1 Tank Battalion, 1 Assault Gun Battalion, 1 Artillery Regiment, 1 AA Battalion, 1 Motorcycle Reconnaisance Company (sc), 1 Guard Infantry Company (sc), 1 MRL Company [3 107mm Batteries (mb)]

Airborne Division: 3 Airborne Regiments, 1 120mm Mortar Battalion, 1 37mm AA Battery (mb), 1 Guard Company (sc), 1 Truck Company

Unit Data

Headquarters Stands

Regimental or Divisional HQ.
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mc
6t
1
CC: 1
HW: 2 [6]
SA: 1
CC: 3
--
IR


Main Battle and Light Tanks

Type 80 Tank Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
6t
7
G(g/g): 9
HE (g/b): M
HW: 2 [6]
--
IR


Type 69 Tank Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
6t
7
G(g/b): 7
HE (g/b): M
HW: 2 [6]
--
IR

Type 59 Tank Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
6t
7
G(b/b): 7
HE (b/b): M
HW: 2 [6]
--
IR

SU-100 Assault Gun Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
6t
5
G(b/b): 7
HE (b/b): M
HW: 2 [6]
--
IR; may not fire if HA, if DA use HA modifiers

Type 62 Light Tank Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
6t
4
G(b/b): 5
HE (g/b): L
HW: 2 [6]
--
IR

Type 63 Amphibious Light Tank Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
6ta
1
G(b/b): 5
HE (b/b): L
HW: 2 [6]
--
IR

APCs

 YW-531/534 APCCompany
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
6ta
1
G (b/b): 1 HW: 2 [6]
--
IR; carries infantry up to own size


Infantry

 Infantry, Mechanized Infantry, Parachute Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
2f
0
CC: 2
HW: 2 [4]
SA: 1
CC: 4
--


Artillery and Mortars

82mm or 120mm Mortar Battery, truck-towed
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mb
6lw
0 (when deployed); -2 (when moving)
--
--
HE: L (82mm) [8] or M (120mm) [12]
--

122mm Howitzer Battery, truck-towed
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mb
6lw
0 (when deployed); -2 (when moving) G (b): 10*
HE: M
HE: M [24]
--


107mm MRL Battery, truck-towed
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mb
6lw
0/-2
--
--
HE: M [18] (-1)
--

AT Weapons

75mm Recoilless Gun Company (light truck-borne)
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
8w
0
G (b): 7*
HE (b): L [1]
--
--

Reconnaissance Vehicles

Motorcycle Platoon
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sp
8w
0
--
SA: 1
--
--

Air Defense

 57mm AA Gun Battery
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mb
8t
0
G (b/b): 4 HW: 4 [6]
--
IR; AA Gun (b/b): 4 [8]

 37mm AA Gun Battery
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mb
8t
0
G (b/b): 3 HW: 4 [6]
--
IR; AA Gun (b/b): 4 [6]
 
14.5mm AAMG Battery
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mb
8lw
0/-2
G (g/g): 2 HW: 4 [6]
--
IR; AA Gun (b): 4 [4]

Aircraft

Q-5 Attack Aircraft Flight 
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mp A
0/0
2 HW: 4 [4]
HE: VH (-4)


Mike J.
=
====
The J-8 Shop
Wargame Rules, Variants, and Orders of Battle
http://www.geocities.com/pmj6/

"Our principle is that the Party commands the gun and the gun must never be allowed to command the Party."
Mao Zedong


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