AUFTRAGSTAKTIK
Miniatures Rules

  Mike J.
The J-8 Shop

SOVIET AND RUSSIAN UNIT ORGANIZATIONAL DATA


Contents
Russian Army, 1991-present
Soviet Army, 1980s
Soviet Army, 1970s
Unit Data

The Russian Army, 1990s--present

The Russian army in the 1990s was only a pale shadow of its former self.
The breakup of the Soviet Union, which left major components of the Soviet military outside of Russia's borders, was only the beginning of the slide. The economic crisis that followed, and from which Russia has yet to recover, inflicted lasting damage on combat readiness and effectiveness of the remaining forces. The sharp drop in the number and extent of training exercises, combined with the gradual retirement of older cadres, has led to a virtual "de-skilling" of the Russian military. Economic hardships of military service, combined with better opportunities outside of the military, have depleted the ranks of company- and field-grade officers. Corruption is widespread, in the form of bartering fuel and military supplies (and, in some cases, weapons), and renting out soldiers as cheap labor force. Although as a result of the mass retirement of older weapons systems, in part mandated by treaties like CFE, the Russian military is on average equipped with more modern equipment than the Soviet Army had in the 1980s, it is far less adept at using it operationally. Worse, the pace of procurement has dropped off to almost nothing, and R&D expenditures have dropped off as well. The qualitative lag between Russian and NATO militaries, already apparent in the 1980s, has widened considerably in the 1990s despite the reduced military outlays by NATO. The situation has deteriorated to the point Russia is in danger of being surpassed by China in terms of the quality of its armed forces, a process that is being facilitated by the Russian sales of advanced arms to China. While these sales are motivated chiefly by the desire to earn badly needed cash for the dying Russian arms industry (and not, as is sometimes claimed, as part of a Russo-Chinese alliance against the United States) the net result of them is a qualitative boost for the Chinese military, which is a development of considerable concern for the Russian government which views China as a potential adversary, not an ally.

Unsurprisingly, the Russian military has not fared well in operations it has conducted since 1991. The Chechen conflict has revealed the dire situation afflicting the Russian Army. The first war, which ended with a Russian withdrawal in 1996, represents one of the few cases where an irregular, insurgent force (albeit it must be noted that many, if not most, of the Chechen soldiers and commanders are Soviet Army veterans, for example Dzhokhar Dudayev was a former Soviet Air Force general who commanded a division of heavy bombers, while Aslan Maskhadov reached the rank of colonel of artillery) defeated a regular military on the field of battle. The low readiness of the ground forces forced the creation of composite regiments and even battalions, scraped together out of whatever battleworthy units still existed. Even the once-elite VDV and naval infantry units have not lived up to their reputations. While the Chechen conflict is sometimes touted as a "school of battle" for the Russian Army, in actuality it only undermines its combat effectiveness by accelerating the wastage of its AFV and, especially, helicopter fleets, and drawing funds away from badly needed modernization programs. Although the Russian military has performed better in the second Chechen war, its losses were still heavy and large parts of Chechnya remain under insurgent control.

Lack of funding has prevented large-scale re-equipment with newer types of weapons. T-90 MBT production continues but only at a rate of 1 battalion (at most) per year. Although better tanks appear to exist at least in prototype form, for example the Black Eagle that was demonstrated on a number of occasions, as well as the purportedly more advanced "T-95" (actual designation still unknown), the Russian military is either unwilling or unable to procure them. This may have to do with political factors, rather than the quality of the weapon system in question. Same applies to the Mi-28 attack helicopter, the AN-94 'Abakan' rifle, and a number of other weapon systems. Although the BMP-3 IFV entered service in the late 1980s, by 2000 not a single Russian MR unit was equipped with them. This was due to the high cost and complexity of the vehicle, which moreover proved highly vulnerable during its brief combat test in Chechnya. However, the BMD-3 airborne IFV does appear to be in production for the VDV.

No progress has also been made in creating a professional NCO corps, in no small part because of the institutional resistance within the Russian military which abhors the sort of "division of powers" that exists in most NATO armies between the officers and the NCOs. Use of "kontraktniki" has yielded, at best, mixed results, and these contract soldiers are more akin to mercenaries than to professional soldiers of Western armies. Transition to an all-volunteer force is unlikely due to lack of funding and, once again, institutional resistance. In the meantime, military service has become massively unpopular within the Russian society, and the quality of the conscripts has declined due to the mass evasion and the health care crisis that is afflicting Russia. Cases of suicide, death at the hands of one's officers, desertion, and even mutiny are frequent and on the increase.

Organizationally, the Russian military is very similar to the Soviet military of the 1980s, with the chief innovation being the increase in the number of separate brigades (a remnant of the stillborn transition from the regiment-division-army structure to brigade-corps one). Much of the older equipment (T-55, T-62 MBTs, BTR-70 and -60 APCs) is no longer in service, although some still soldier on with the MVD. 2S3 152mm howitzers have trickled down to brigade and regiment levels, with divisional artillery increasingly equipped with 2S19s.  It is unlikely that  many significant changes will take place by 2010, and possibly even 2020.

Although in the late 1980s some MR and tank divisions had one of their tank regiments replaced by a BMP MRR, by 2000 these divisions have reverted to the traditional 3+1 organization, although a number of such "2+2" divisions still remain. The earlier replacement of one tank regiment with a motor rifle regiment in each tank and motor rifle division was motivated by the need to meet arms control treaty requirements and was only temporary in nature. Far from raising the divisions' combat power, as was claimed by a number of Western analysts at the time, this restructuring in fact reduced it, to the point that many Russian officers criticized the new division TO&Es as non-battleworthy and unbalanced.

The several Motor Rifle Brigades resemble the units formed during the Afghan war, although no two are exactly alike. Their organization tends to be as follows: 1 tank battalion (40-50 tanks, in 4-5 companies), 3-4 MRBs, 1 sp arty bn (12-24 2S1s, 2S3s or even 2S19s), a couple have 12-24 BM-21s. ADA and recon assets of some are similar to old-style MRDs, since many brigades have been formed by deactivating divisions. Most brigades are equipped with BMPs, while only a couple have BTRs, though some have one or two battalions of each. The brigades' MRBs tend to be larger than their equivalents assigned to MRR. The 166th Separate MRBde in Tver' (Moscow Military District) , for example, has 82 T-80s, 190 BMP-1/-2s, and 24 2S3s. The 205th which fought in Chechnya has 44 T-72s, 117 BMP-2s, 12 2S3s and 12 BM-21s. It appears to have a full-strength recon battalion as well. The vast differences in organization from one division or brigade to the next are a reflection of the disarray of the Russian military.

The airborne units did not experience significant organizational changes since the Soviet Union's collapse. Each parachute regiment has three parachute battalions (equipped with a mix of BMD-1s and -2s, though there are now enough BMD-3s to equip a battalion in at least 2 regiments) and a self-propelled artillery battalion with 18 2S9s, in addition to usual supporting units. With large-scale airborne operations being considered a thing of the past, there has been a trend for airborne units to acquire heavier equipment and operate as conventional infantry, possibly as airlanding rather than true airborne units. The 21st Separate Airborne Brigade, for example, now has at least 80 BMP-2s and a battalion of 18 D-30 122mm towed howitzers. There has been some discussion of airborne units acquiring MBTs and self-propelled howitzers, but to date none have been allocated.

Doctrine and Troop Quality:
Motor Rifle and Tank Forces: Centralized Doctrine (MR Brigades may be treated as having Balanced Doctrine). Troop Quality: Regular (few), Recruit (majority), or Militia (some). Morale Low or Very Low. MR Brigades tend to be of higher quality than divisions.
Airborne Forces, Naval Infantry: Balanced Doctrine. Regular or Veteran, High Morale.
Helicopter and aircraft: Veteran, Regular, or Recruit. One company/squadron per regiment of each. However, the quantity of Veteran aircrews is dwindling.
HQ Rating: 5 (Elite units), 4 (Category I), 3 (Category II), or 2 (Category III)
HQ Radius: 8 (Battalion and Regiment) or 16 (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 of a Tank or MR Regiment: 3 Tank Companies (sc)

Tank Battalion of an MR Brigade: 4 Tank Companies (sc)

MR Battalion (BMP): 3 Infantry Companies (sc) 3 BMP-1 or -2 Companies (sc), 1 82mm or 120mm Mortar Battery (mb) [truck-towed],
1 AGS-17 GL Platoon [mounted on 1 BMP Platoon (mp)], 1 SA-14/-16 Platoon (sp) [mounted on 1 BMP Platoon]

MR Battalion (BTR): 3 Infantry Companies (sc), 3 BTR Companies (sc), 1 82mm or 120mm Mortar Battery (mb), 1 AT-4 ATGM Platoon (mp) [mounted on 1 BTR Platoons (mp)], 1 SPG-9 Platoon (mp) [mounted on BTR platoon], 1 AGS-17 GL Platoon [mounted on 1 BTR Platoon (mp)] 1 SA-14/-16 Platoon (sp) [mounted on 1 BTR Platoon]

Parachute Battalion (BMD):   3 Airborne Infantry Companies (lp), 3 BMD Companies (sc), 1 82mm Mortar Battery (sb) [truck-towed],
1 SA-14/-16 Platoon (sp) [mounted on 1 BMD Platoon]

Parachute Battalion (light):  3 Airborne Infantry Companies (sc), 1 82mm Mortar Battery (sb), 1 AT-4 ATGM Platoon (mp), 1 SA-14/-16 Platoon (sp)

Naval Infantry Battalion: 3-4 Naval Infantry Companies (sc), 3-4 BTR-80 Companies (sc), 1 120mm Mortar Battery (lb), 1 AGS-17 Platoon (lp) [mounted on BTR-80s (sp)], 1 AT-4 or AT-7 ATGM Platoon, 1 SPG-9 Platoon [Each mounted on BTR-80 (sp)], 1 ZU-23 Battery (mp) [truck-towed], 1 SA-16 Platoon (mp) (truck-mounted)

Naval Infantry Assault Battalion: 3-4 Naval Infantry Companies (sc), 1 82mm Mortar Battery (lb), 1 AGS-17 Platoon (lp) [mounted on BTR-80s (sp)], 1 AT-4 or AT-7 ATGM Platoon, 1 SPG-9 Platoon [Each mounted on BTR-80 (sp)], 1 SA-16 Platoon (mp) (truck-mounted)

Artillery Battalion: 3 Artillery Batteries (mb).

MR Division Anti-Tank Battalion: 2 Recon BRDM-2 Platoons (sp), 2 100mm T-12 AT Gun Batteries (lp) (MTLB-towed), 1 ATGM Company with
BRDM-2/AT-5 or Shturm-S MTLB/AT-6 (sc).

MR and Tank Division Reconnaissance Battalion: 1 Light Company [2 Recon BRDM-2 Platoons (lp)], 2 Heavy Companies [1 Tank Platoon (sp), 2 BMP/BRM platoons (sp)]

Regiments and Brigades:

Tank Regiment:
3 Tank Battalions, 1 MR Battalion (BMP), 1 SP Artillery Battalion [2S1 122mm or 2S3 152mm SP Howitzers], 1 AA Battery [2 2S6 Platoons (sp)], 1 Reconnaissance Company (1 BMP Platoon  (sp), 1  BRDM-2 Platoon (mp)]

Motor Rifle Regiment: 1 Tank Battalion, 3 MR Battalions (BMP or BTR), 1 SP Artillery Battalion [2S1 SP 122mm
or 2S3 152mmHowitzers,], 1 AT Company (sc) [AT-5 ATGM-equipped BRDM-2 or Shturm-S MTLB/AT-6] 1 AA Battery [2 2S6 Platoons (sp)], 1 Reconnaissance Company [1 BRM Platoon  (sp), 1  BRDM-2 Platoon (mp)]

Motor Rifle Brigade: 1-2 Tank Battalions, 3-4 MR Battalions (BMP or BTR), 1 SP Artillery Battalion [2S1 SP 122mm or 2S3 152mmHowitzers,], 1 AT Company (sc) [AT-5 ATGM-equipped BRDM-2 or Shturm-S MTLB/AT-6] 1 AA Battery [2 2S6 Platoons (sp)], 1 Reconnaissance Company [1 BRM Platoon  (sp), 1  BRDM-2 Platoon (mp)] or Battalion

Naval Infantry Brigade: 1-2 Tank Battalions, 3-4 Naval Infantry Battalions, 1-2 Assault Landing Battalions, 1 Reconnaissance Battalion [org. unknown, but uses BTR-80s], 1 Artillery Battalion [2 2S1 Batteries (mb), 2 2S3 Batteries (mb)], 1 2S9 Battalion [4 batteries, (mb)], 1 AT Battalion (as MRD, but only 1 AT gun battery), 1 AA Battery (as MRR)

Airborne Regiment: 3 Airborne Battalions (BMD), 1 2S9 Artillery Battalion, 1 BRDM/AT-5 ATGM Battery (sc), 1 120mm Mortar Battery (mb), 1 ZU-23 Battery (2*sp)

MRD and TD Divisional Artillery Regiment: 3 Artillery Battalions [3 2S3 or 2S19 Battalions], 1 MRL Battalion [BM-21]
 
Airborne Division Artillery Regiment: 1 Howitzer Battalion (D-30 towed 122mm), 1 Composite Battalion [2 towed D-30 batteries (mb), 1 122mm MRL battery (mb)]

MRD and TD Divisional Air Defense Regiment: 5 Missile Batteries (mb) (SA-8 or SA-15)

Divisions:

Tank Division: 3 Tank Regiments, 1 Motor Rifle Regiment (BMP), 1 Artillery Regiment, 1 Reconnaissance Battalion, 1 AA Regiment, 1 Helicopter Squadron [1 Mi-24 Platoon (mp), 1 Mi-8 Platoon (mp)] [a small number of tank divisions has 2 tank, 2 MR regiments]

Motor Rifle Division: 3 Motor Rifle Regiments (1 BMP, 2 BTR), 1 Tank Regiment, 1 Separate Tank Battalion, 1 Artillery Regiment, 1 Reconnaissance Battalion, 1 AA Regiment, 1 Helicopter Squadron [1 Mi-24 Platoon (mp), 1 Mi-8 Platoon (mp)] [a small number of MRDs has 2 tank, 2 MR regiments]

Airborne Division: 3 Airborne Regiments, 1 Airborne Artillery Regiment, 1 Airborne AA Battalion, 1 Reconnaissance Company [3 BRDM Platoons (sp)]

Artillery Division: 3-5 Artillery Regiments or Brigades [mix of towed and self-propelled regiments with 2S5 152mm guns or howitzers, or 203mm guns]

Non-Divisional Units:

Transport Helicopter Regiment: 2-3 Mi-8/17 Squadrons (lc), 1 Mi-26 Squadron (mc or lc)

Attack Helicopter Regiment: 4 Mi-24 Squadrons (lc)

Army-level Artillery Regiment: 3-5 Artillery Battalions (towed or self-propelled).

Army-level MRL Regiment: 3 MRL Battalions



The Soviet Army, 1980s
After the failure of the detente in the 1970s, the 1980s saw a brief flare-up in the intensity of the Cold War. United States responded harshly to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, boycotting the Moscow Olympics in 1980 and providing military assistance to the mujahedeen. After the trials and tribulations of the '60s and '70s, the '80s saw a reinvigorated West pouring new resources into its effort to thwart Soviet efforts to gain military supremacy. The 1980s therefore set the stage for what would have been a clash between the most powerful armed forces the world has ever seen. Each side in this conflict had its strengths and weaknesses.

If the battle went according to Soviet plans, the Warsaw Pact might have prevailed before the superior economies of the West had time to mobilize for wartime production. However, USSR was very much in the same situation Germany found itself in both world wars, facing a potentially vastly more powerful coalition of enemies. Like Germany, if it did not win early it was not going to win at all. Moreover, it is highly questionable whether USSR had the wherewithal to mobilize the vast array of its divisions in their entirety.
A full-scale mobilization has never been attempted by the Soviet Army, and partial mobilizations revealed significant shortcomings in the system. Although the 200+ Soviet combat divisions looked impressively on paper, the majority of them could take to the field only by sucking vast numbers of motor transport and reservists out of the already shaky civilian economy. What might have happened to the Soviet economy upon a full mobilization is illustrated by the example of the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, where the mobilization of the necessary divisions resulted in a disastrous summer harvest in the Ukraine. In 1968 the situation was remedied by stepped up purchases of grain from abroad, an option that would not have been available in the event of war.

Moreover, in the 1980s the Soviet military began to lag behind its NATO counterparts when it came to the quality of fielded weapon systems. Brezhnev's "era of stagnation" affected every aspect of the Soviet state, and the military was no exception. While the appearance of modern Soviet MBTs, self-propelled artillery, improved ATGMs and other weapon systems gave NATO cause for grave concern, in the 1980s the situation was reversed. Modern NATO MBTs, such as the M1 Abrams, Leopard 2, and the Challenger were superior to their Soviet counterparts in firepower, protection, and mobility. Older MBTs were made more competitive through advances in fire control systems and munitions. NATO tanks increasingly sported thermal imagers, while Soviet ones had to make do with inferior active infrared systems.

Things were also not necessarily well when it came to doctrinal issues. The Soviet Army in the 1980s represented a linear development of the Red Army of the end of World War 2. Soviet divisions in the 1980s, with their "square", 3+1 composition, closely resembled the tank and mechanized corps of 1945. The post-war decades have seen gradual increases in the quality and quantity of weapons systems assigned to Soviet maneuver divisions and regiments, but without a corresponding increase in their command and control capabilities. Soviet battalions and regiments compared particularly poorly in this regard to their NATO equivalents. Although the Soviet military sought to overcome the growing unwieldiness of their divisions by relying on simple battlefield drills (the low quality of Soviet junior officers and absence of career NCOs made more sophisticated low-level tactics unachievable in any event), the Soviet units' ability to react to rapidly changing battlefield situation was poor. As a result, a key element of the NATO strategy was attempting to disrupt the Warsaw Pact's offensive plans, in the expectation that once forced to deviate from their timetables and improvise, Soviet divisions would prove clumsy opponents.

The Soviet military theoreticians were cognizant of the lack of combat agility of Soviet divisions, and during the 1980s experimented with a new set of unit organizations that would replace the "regiment-division-army" hierarchy with a "brigade-corps" one, in the hopes of fielding forces capable of competing on a more equal footing with NATO forces. The new organization, which bore a striking similarity to the 1980s-era French Armee de Terre, consisted of relatively large battalions operating semi-autonomously as part of large, self-sufficient brigades, which in turn were loosely controlled by the new corps headquarters. However, the new organizations were still in the experimental stage when Soviet Union collapsed.

Doctrine and Troop Quality:
Motor Rifle and Tank Forces: Centralized Doctrine. Regular (Category I units), Recruit (Category II units), or Militia (Category III units), Average (Category I), Low (Category II), or Very Low (Category III) Morale.
Airborne Forces: Balanced Doctrine. Veteran, High Morale.
Helicopter and aircraft: Veteran, Regular, or Recruit. One company/squadron per regiment of each.
HQ Rating: 5 (Elite units), 4 (Category I), 3 (Category II), or 2 (Category III)
HQ Radius: 8 (Battalion and Regiment) or 16 (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 of a Tank Regiment: 3 Tank Companies (sc)

Tank Battalion of a Motor Rifle Regiment: 3 Tank Companies (mc)

Divisional Separate Tank Battalion: 4 Tank Companies (sc)

MR Battalion (BMP): 3 Infantry Companies (sc) 3 BMP-1 or -2 Companies (sc), 1 82mm or 120mm Mortar Battery (mb) [truck-towed],
1 AGS-17 GL Platoon [mounted on 1 BMP Platoon (mp)], 1 SA-7/14 Platoon (sp) [mounted on 1 BMP Platoon]

MR Battalion (BTR): 3 Infantry Companies (sc), 3 BTR Companies (sc), 1 82mm or 120mm Mortar Battery (mb), 1 AT-4 ATGM Platoon (mp) [mounted on 1 BTR Platoons (mp)], 1 SPG-9 Platoon (mp) [mounted on BTR platoon], 1 AGS-17 GL Platoon [mounted on 1 BTR Platoon (mp)] 1 SA-7/14 Platoon (sp) [mounted on 1 BTR Platoon]

Parachute Battalion (BMD):   3 Airborne Infantry Companies (lp), 3 BMD Companies (sc), 1 82mm Mortar Battery (sb) [truck-towed],
1 SA-7/14 Platoon (sp) [mounted on 1 BMD Platoon]

Parachute Battalion (light):  3 Airborne Infantry Companies (sc), 1 82mm Mortar Battery (sb), 1 AT-4 ATGM Platoon (mp), 1 SA-7/14 Platoon (sp)
Independent Airborne Battalion: 1 BMD Company (sc), 3 Airborne Infantry Companies (1 lp, 2 sc), 1 120mm Mortar battery (mb) , 2 AT-4 ATGM Platoons (sp)  (truck-borne), 1 SA-7/14 Platoon (sp)

Artillery Battalion: 3 Artillery Batteries (mb, lb in GSFG, other select units).

MR Division Anti-Tank Battalion: 2 Recon BRDM-2 Platoons (sp), 2 100mm T-12 AT Gun Batteries (lp) (MTLB-towed), 1 BRDM-2/AT-5 ATGM Company (sc).

MR and Tank Division Reconnaissance Battalion: 1 Light Company [2 Recon BRDM-2 Platoons (lp)], 2 Heavy Companies [1 Tank Platoon (sp), 2 BMP/BRM platoons (sp)]

Regiments:

Tank Regiment:
3 Tank Battalions, 1 MR Battalion (BMP), 1 SP Artillery Battalion [2S1 122mm SP Howitzers], 1 AA Battery [1 ZSU-23-4 Platoon (mp), 1 SA-13 Platoon (mp)], 1 Reconnaissance Company (1 BMP Platoon  (sp), 1  BRDM-2 Platoon (mp)]

Motor Rifle Regiment: 1 Tank Battalion, 3 MR Battalions (BMP or BTR), 1 SP or Towed Artillery Battalion [2S1 SP 122mm Howitzers, or D-30 122mm Howitzers, truck-towed],
1 AT Company (sc) [AT-5 ATGM-equipped BRDM-2] 1 AA Battery [1 ZSU-23-4 Platoon (mp), 1 SA-13 Platoon (mp)], 1 Reconnaissance Company [1 BMP Platoon  (sp), 1  BRDM-2 Platoon (mp)]

Airborne Regiment: 3 Airborne Battalions (BMD), 1 BRDM/AT-5 ATGM Battery (sc), 1 120mm Mortar Battery (mb), 1 ZU-23 Battery (2*sp), 1 towed 85mm ATG Battery (lp)

MRD and TD Divisional Artillery Regiment: 3 Artillery Battalions [1 2S3 and 2 2S1 Battalions, or 2-3 2S3 Battalions], 1 MRL Battalion [BM-21]
 
Airborne Division Artillery Regiment: 1 Howitzer Battalion (D-30 towed 122mm), 1 Composite Battalion [2 towed D-30 batteries (mb), 1 122mm MRL battery (mb)], 1 Assault Gun Battalion [3 ASU-85 Companies (sc)]

MRD and TD Divisional Air Defense Regiment: 5 Missile Batteries (mb) (SA-6 or SA-8)

Divisions:

Tank Division: 3 Tank Regiments, 1 Motor Rifle Regiment (BMP), 1 Artillery Regiment, 1 Reconnaissance Battalion, 1 AA Regiment, 1 Helicopter Squadron [1 Mi-24 Platoon (mp), 1 Mi-8 Platoon (mp)]

Motor Rifle Division: 3 Motor Rifle Regiments (1 BMP, 2 BTR), 1 Tank Regiment, 1 Separate Tank Battalion, 1 Artillery Regiment, 1 Reconnaissance Battalion, 1 AA Regiment, 1 Helicopter Squadron [1 Mi-24 Platoon (mp), 1 Mi-8 Platoon (mp)]

Airborne Division: 3 Airborne Regiments, 1 Airborne Artillery Regiment, 1 Airborne AA Battalion, 1 Reconnaissance Company [3 BRDM Platoons (sp)]

Artillery Division: 3-5 Artillery Regiments or Brigades [mix of towed and self-propelled regiments with 2S5 152mm guns or howitzers, or 203mm guns]

Non-Divisional Units:

Transport Helicopter Regiment: 2-3 Mi-8/17 Squadrons (lc), 1 Mi-26 Squadron (mc or lc)

Attack Helicopter Regiment: 4 Mi-24 Squadrons (lc)

Army-level Artillery Regiment: 3-5 Artillery Battalions (towed or self-propelled).

Army-level MRL Regiment: 3 MRL Battalions


Soviet Army, 1970s
The 1970s arguably represented the high tide mark for the power of the Soviet armed forces relative to their NATO counterparts. It was undoubtedly a difficult decade for NATO countries. The US military was struggling to recover from the devastating effects of the Vietnam War, which rendered military service extremely unpopular. Drug abuse and inter-ethnic tensions abounded within the ranks, undermining cohesion. The draft was abolished and the US military was making a painful transition to an all-volunteer force. Other NATO countries, although their militaries had not suffered the same level of deterioration, nevertheless were affected by the general crisis of confidence that affected the West. The oil crisis, the economic stagnation were accompanied by street demonstrations which often resulted in clashes with the police. Nearly every Western European country had to cope with a terrorist organization or organizations of some sort, be it in the form of the IRA, the Red Brigades, the Baader-Meinhof Gang, or a number of less well known groups.

By comparison, the Soviet Union was riding high in those days. The high oil prices that dragged down Western economic performance buoyed the Soviet economy and without a doubt prolonged the duration of the Soviet regime. In spite of detente, USSR continued to support a number of "proxy wars" in the Third World, including  insurgencies in various parts of Africa and Central America (usually through its Cuban ally). The Soviet military was fielding hardware (for example, the T-64/-72/-80 family of main battle tanks) that was at least a match for their NATO counterparts. Artillery units were beginning to receive self-propelled howitzers, closing the gap with NATO.  Another reason to bolster Soviet confidence was its attainment of parity with the United States in nuclear armaments, which led to the signing of the SALT and ABM treaties in the early 1970s.

However, in spite of these advantages the seeds of USSR's destruction were already germinating. The debilitating effects of Leonid Brezhnev's inept and crony-ridden rule were already making themselves felt. Not for nothing was Brezhnev's reign termed "era of stagnation". The military itself, while acquiring new weapons and testing new operational concepts, was suffering from growing politicization of its officer corps and increasing lawlessness among the enlisted ranks. Ethnic tensions and hazing ("dedovshchina") were spreading, with the ill-trained and overworked junior officers either unable to control it or, even worse, "outsourcing" their disciplinary responsibilities to the bullies in the ranks. The wartime generations of officers with combat experience were fading from the scene. These weaknesses of the Soviet Army would become evident when it invaded Afghanistan in 1979, beginning a war nearly a decade long that would end with a defeat.

Organizationally, Soviet ground forces units were evolving to respond to changed Soviet expectations of the nature of war with NATO. In the 1960s, the assumption was that the war would go nuclear at the outset, either because NATO, undeterred by the weak Soviet nuclear arsenal, would attempt to offset its conventional inferiority with nuclear weapons, or because USSR would resort to first use. However, once USSR attained nuclear parity, the likelihood of immediate use of nuclear weapons has decreased. Although NATO's prospects for using nuclear weapons were not discounted, Soviet experts believed the use of nuclear weapons would be delayed by the fear of Soviet retaliation. Thus, whereas in the 1960s Soviet divisions were being prepared for what amounted to exploiting the effects of nuclear strikes, in the 1970s they were reorganized with an eye toward fighting prolonged break-in battles against NATO forces. The biggest changes were experienced by tank divisions which prior to the '70s were tank-heavy formations fielding 10 tank and only 3 motorized rifle battalions. Addition of MR companies, and eventually battalions, to tank regiments changed that ratio to 10:6, making the unit less "brittle" and endowing it with greater staying power. However, the addition of additional units and subunits to the division was not accompanied by sufficient changes in doctrine and training. Soviet divisions were expected to follow a series of relatively simple battle drills in order to facilitate high tempo of operations. Although this left Soviet tactics relatively rudimentary, it was felt the higher tempo of operations would offset this weakness. The gradual growth in size of Soviet subunits at all levels, however, threatened to slow down that tempo, inasmuch it was not accompanied by a corresponding increase in command and control capabilities, nor by an increase in the abilities of officers tasked with commanding these ever-larger battalions, regiments, and divisions. As a result, the growth in size did not necessarily translate itself into a commensurate growth in capabilities.

Doctrine and Troop Quality:
Motor Rifle and Tank Forces: Centralized Doctrine. Regular (Category I units), Recruit (Category II units), or Militia (Category III units), Average (Category I), Low (Category II), or Very Low (Category III) Morale.
Airborne Forces: Balanced Doctrine. Veteran, High Morale.
Helicopter and aircraft: Veteran, Regular, or Recruit. One company/squadron per regiment of each.
HQ Rating: 5 (Elite units), 4 (Category I), 3 (Category II), or 2 (Category III)
HQ Radius: 8 (Battalion and Regiment) or 16 (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 of a Tank Regiment: 3 Tank Companies (sc)

Tank Battalion of a Motor Rifle Regiment: 3 Tank Companies (mc)

Divisional Separate Tank Battalion: 4-5 Tank Companies (sc)

MR Battalion (BMP): 3 Infantry Companies (sc) 3 BMP-1 Companies (sc), 1 82mm or 120mm Mortar Battery (mb) [truck-towed], 1 SA-7 Platoon (sp) [mounted on 1 BMP Platoon]

MR Battalion (BTR): 3 MR Companies (sc), 1 82mm or 120mm Mortar Battery (mb), 1 AT-3 Sagger ATGM Platoon (mp) [mounted on 1 BTR Platoons (mp)], 1 SPG-9 Platoon (mp) [mounted on BTR platoon],  1 SA-7 Platoon (sp) [mounted on 1 BTR Platoon]

Parachute Battalion (BMD):   3 Airborne Infantry Companies (lp), 3 BMD Companies (sc), 1 82mm Mortar Battery (sb) [truck-towed],
1 SA-7 Platoon (sp) [mounted on 1 BMD Platoon]

Parachute Battalion (light):  3 Airborne Infantry Companies (sc), 1 82mm Mortar Battery (sb), 1 AT-3 ATGM Platoon (mp), 1 SA-7 Platoon (sp)

Artillery Battalion: 3 Artillery Batteries (mb).

MR Division Anti-Tank Battalion: 3 100mm T-12 AT Gun Batteries (lp) (MTLB-towed)

MR and Tank Division Reconnaissance Battalion: 1 PT-76 Light Tank Company (sc), 1 Recon Company [3 BRDM-1 or -2 Platoons (lp), 8 Motorcycle Platoons (lp)]

Regiments:

Tank Regiment:
3 Tank Battalions, 1 MR Company (BMP) or 1 MR Battalion (BMP), 1 AA Battery [1 ZSU-23-4 Platoon (mp), 1 SA-9 Platoon (mp)], 1 Reconnaissance Company [1 PT-76 Tank Platoon (sp), 2 BRDM-1 or -2 Platoons (sp)]

Motor Rifle Regiment: 1 Tank Battalion, 3 MR Battalions (BMP or BTR), 1 SP or Towed Artillery Battalion [2S1 SP 122mm Howitzers, or D-30 122mm Howitzers, truck-towed],
1 AT Company (sc) [AT-3 ATGM-equipped BRDM-2] 1 AA Battery [1 ZSU-23-4 Platoon (mp), 1 SA-9 Platoon (mp)], 1 Reconnaissance Company [1 PT-76 Tank Platoon (sp), 2 BRDM-1 or -2 Platoons (sp)]

Airborne Regiment: 3 Airborne Battalions (BMD), or 1 BMD Battalion and 2 Parachute Battalions without BMDs, 1 ASU-57 Company, 1 BRDM/AT-3 ATGM Battery (sc), 1 85mm Towed AT Gun Battery (mb), 1 120mm Mortar Battery (mb), 1 ZU-23 Battery (2*sp), 1 towed 85mm ATG Battery (lp)

MRD and TD Divisional Artillery Regiment: 3 Artillery Battalions [1 2S3 and 2 2S1 Battalions, or 1 towed 152mm Battalion and 2 towed 122mm Battalions], 1 MRL Battalion [BM-21]
 
Airborne Division Artillery Regiment: 1 Howitzer Battalion (D-30 towed 122mm), 1 towed 140mm MRL Battalion (mb)], 1 Assault Gun Battalion [3 ASU-85 Companies (sc)]

MRD and TD Divisional Air Defense Regiment: 5 Missile Batteries (mb) (SA-6 or SA-8), or 5 towed S-60 57mm AA Gun Batteries (mb)

Divisions:

Tank Division: 3 Tank Regiments, 1 Motor Rifle Regiment (BMP), 1 Artillery Regiment, 1 Reconnaissance Battalion, 1 AA Regiment

Motor Rifle Division: 3 Motor Rifle Regiments (1 BMP, 2 BTR), 1 Tank Regiment, 1 Separate Tank Battalion, 1 Artillery Regiment, 1 Reconnaissance Battalion, 1 AA Regiment

Airborne Division: 3 Airborne Regiments [some divisions had 1 all-BMD regiment and 2 regiments each with 1 BMD battalion and 2 light battalions], 1 Airborne Artillery Regiment, 1 Airborne AA Battalion, 1 Reconnaissance Company [3 BRDM Platoons (sp)]

Artillery Division: 3-5 Artillery Regiments [mix of regiments with 122mm guns, 130mm guns, 152mm howitzers, or 180mm guns]

Non-Divisional Units:

Transport Helicopter Regiment: 2-3 Mi-8 Squadrons (lc), 1 Mi-6 Squadron (mc or lc)

Attack Helicopter Regiment: 4 Mi-24 Squadrons (lc)

Army-level Artillery Regiment: 3 Artillery Battalions (towed or self-propelled).

Army-level MRL Regiment: 3 MRL Battalions



Unit Data


Headquarters Stands

Regimental or Divisional HQ
Command Rating: 5 (Elite units), 4 (Category I), 3 (Category II), or 2 (Category III)
Command Radius 8 (Regiment), 12 (Brigade), or 16 (Division)

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


Main Battle Tanks

"Black Eagle" MBT Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
10t
13**
G(a/g): 12 or 13
M(g): 12* [10]
HE (a/a): M
HW: 2 [6]
--
TI, h/k
No ROF restriction
Prototype only

T-90 Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
8t
13**
G(a/g): 12 or 13
M(g): 12* [10]
HE (g/g): M
HW: 2 [6]
--
TI

T-80U/UD Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
10t
12**
G(a/g): 12 or 13
M(g): 12* [10]
HE (g/g): M
HW: 2 [6]
--
IR


T-80B Company (1980s)
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc or mc
10t
11*
G(g/g): 11
M(g): 12* [10]
HE (g/g): M
HW: 2 [6]
--
IR

T-80 Company (1970s)
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc or mc
10t
10*
G(g/g): 10
M(g): 12* [10]
HE (g/g): M
HW: 2 [6]
--
IR

T-64B Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc or mc
8t
11*
G(g/g): 11
M(g): 12* [10]
HE (g/g): M
HW: 2 [6]
--
IR

T-72M Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc or mc
8t
10*
G (g/b): 11
HE (g/b):M
HW: 2 [6]
--
IR

T-72G Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc or mc
8t
9
G (b/b): 10
HE (b/b):M
HW: 2 [6]
--
IR

T-62 Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc or mc
6t
7
G (b/b): 9
HE (b/b): M
HW: 2 [6]
--
IR

T-54/55 Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc or mc
6t
7
G(b/b): 7
HE (b/b): M
HW: 2 [6]
--
IR

PT-76 Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc 8ta
1
G(b/b): 4
HE (b/b): L
HW: 2 [6]
--
IR


IFVs and APCs

BMP-3 Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
10ta
2
G (b/g): 3
M (g): 10* [10]
HE (b/g):  M
HW: 4 [6]
--
IR; carries infantry up to own size

BMP-2 Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
8ta
2
G (b/g): 3
M (g): 12* [10]
HW: 4 [6]
--
IR; carries infantry up to own size

BMP-1 Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
8ta
2
G (b/b): 9*
M (b): 10* [8]
HE (b/b): L [4]
HW: 2 [4]
--
IR; carries infantry up to own size

BTR-T Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
6t
7*
G (b/g): 3
M (g): 12* [10]
HW (b/b): 4 [6]
--
IR; carries infantry up to lp size. Prototype only.

BTR-90 Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
8wa
1
G (b/g): 3
M (g): 12* [10]
HW (b/b): 4 [6]
--
IR; carries infantry up to own size. Prototype only.

BTR--80A Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
8wa
1
G (b/g): 3
HW (b/b): 4 [6]
--
IR; carries infantry up to own size. Elite units only.

BTR-60/-70/-80 Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
8wa
1
G (b/b): 2
HW (b/b): 2 [6]
--
IR; carries infantry up to own size

BMD-3 Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
8ta
3
G (b/g): 3
M (g): 12* [10]
HW: 4 [6]
--
IR; carries infantry up to lp size

BMD-1 Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
8ta
1
G (b/b): 9*
M (b): 10* [8]
HE (b/b): L [4]
HW: 2 [4]
--
IR: carries up to a large platoon of infantry

Infantry

Motor Rifle Company, Parachute Infantry Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc or lp
2f
0 (* for elite units in 1980s and 1990s)
CC: 4
(2 in 1970s)
[BTR Companies in 1990s: M (sp) (g/g): 14 [4])
HW: 2 [4]
SA: 1
CC: 4
Units with RPKs instead of PKs have no HW, but SA: 3
--
IR or II (elite units only)


AGS-17 Platoon
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mp
2f
0
--
HW: 4 [4]
HE: VL [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]
--

2S9 SP Gun-Mortar Battery
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mb
8ta
1
G (b/b): 10* HE: H HE: M [18] --

D-30 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 [28]
--

2S1 SP Howitzer Battery
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mb
8ta
2
G (b/b): 10* HE: M HE: M [28] --

2S3 SP Howitzer Battery
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mb
6t
2
 G(b/b): 11*
HE (b/b): H
HE: H [36]
--

2S5 SP 152mm Gun Battery
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mb
6t
1o
 G(b/b): 11*
HE (b/b): H
HE: H [50]
--

2S19 SP 152mm Gun Battery
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mb
6t
2
 G(b/b): 11*
HE (b/b): H
HE: Hb [50]
--


BM-21 MRL Battery
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mb
6lw
-2
--
--
HE: M [36] (0)
--

140mm Towed MRL Battery
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mb
6lw
0; (-2 when towed)
--
--
HE: M [26] (0)
--


AT Weapons


Shturm-S (MT-LB with AT-6 ATGM) Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
8ta
1
M (g/g): 14* [12]
--
--
--


BRDM-2 with AT-5 ATGM Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
8wa
1
M (g/g): 12* [10]
--
--
--

BRDM-2 with AT-3 ATGM Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
8wa
1
M (b/b): 9* [8]
--
--
--

ASU-85 Assault Gun Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
6t
3
G (b/b): 7
HE (b): L
HW: 2 (6)
--
--

ASU-57 Assault Gun Company
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sc
6t
1o
G (b/b): 5
HE (b): L
HW: 2 (6)
--
--


MT-10 100mm AT Gun Battery, MTLB-towed
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mb
8t
1
G (g): 9
HE (b): M
--
IR

SD-44 85mm AT Gun Battery, truck-towed
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mb
8lw
0/-2
G (g): 7
HE (b): L
--
IR

SPG-9 Recoilless Gun Platoon
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mp
2f
0
G (b): 9*
HE (b): L
--
--

AT-7 Saxhorn ATGM Platoon
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mp
2f
0
M (g): 14 [4]
SA: 2
--
--

AT-4 Spigot (Fagot) ATGM Platoon
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mp
2f
0
M (g): 12 [6]
SA: 2
--
--

AT-3 Sagger (Malyutka) ATGM Platoon
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mp
2f
0
M (b): 9 [8]
SA: 2
--
--


Reconnaissance Vehicles

BRDM-2 Platoon
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
lp
8wa
1
G (b/b): 2
HW: 2[6]
--
IR

BRDM-1 Platoon
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
lp
8wa
1o
--
HW: 2[4]
--
IR

BRM-1 Platoon
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
lp
8ta
3
G (b/b): 9* HE (b/b): L
HW: 2 [4]
--
IR, GSR

Motorcycle Recon Platoon
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
lp
8w
0
-- HW: 2 [4]
--
--


Air Defense


 2S6 Tunguska Platoon
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sp
8t
1
G (g/a): 2 HW: 6 [6]
--
IR; AA Gun (a/a): 6 [6]
AA Missile (a): 18

ZSU-23-4 Platoon
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mp
8t
1
G (g/g): 2 HW: 6 [6]
--
IR; AA Gun (g/g): 6 [6]

ZU-23-2 Platoon
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mp
8lw
0/-2
G (g/g): 2 HW: 4 [6]
--
IR; AA Gun (b): 4 [6]

SA-9 Gaskin Platoon
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mp
8wa
1
--
--
--
AA Missile: (b) [18]

SA-13 Gopher Platoon
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mp
8ta
1
--
--
--
AA Missile: (g) [18]


SA-7 Grail or SA-14 Gremlin Platoon
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
sp
2f
0
-- --
--
AA Missile: (b) (SA-7) or (g) (SA-14) [10]

 SA-8 Missile Platoon (each battery consists of two platoons)
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mp
8w
1
--

--

-- AA Missile: (g) [18]


Helicopters


Mi-28 Attack Helicopter Squadron
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
lc or mc
H
2/2
G (g): 3
M (g): 14* [14]
HE: L [6]
HW: 4 [6]
--
TI

Mi-24 Attack Helicopter Squadron, 1980s
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
lc or mc
H
2/1
M (g): 12* [14]
HE: L [6]
HW: 2 [6]
--
IR; may transport troop stands up to own size

Mi-24 Attack Helicopter Squadron, 1970s
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
lc or mc
H
2/0
M (b): 12* [14]
HE: L [6]
HW: 2 [6]
--
IR; may transport troop stands up to own size


Mi-8 Transport Helicopter
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
lc H
0/0
-- HE): L [6]
HW: 2 [4]
--
May transport troop stands up to 3 times its size.

Aircraft

Su-25 Frogfoot Attack Aircraft Flight 
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mp A
2/2
2 HW: 4 [4]
HE: VH (0)


Su-17 Attack Aircraft Flight 
Size
Move
Protection
AT
AP
Indirect
Special
mp A
0/0 or 1
2 HW: 4 [4]
HE: VH (-2)


Su-7 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/

"There was one nation which would not give in, would not acquire the mental habits of submission--and not just individual rebels among them, but the whole nation to a man. These were the Chechens.... And here is an extraordinary thing: everyone was afraid of them. No one could stop them from living as they did. The Soviet regime which had ruled the land for thirty years could not force them to respect its laws."
--Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archhipelago, 1973


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