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Subject: Military Doctrine
M4A3E2(76)W    6/20/2003 5:07:16 PM
I love this subject almost as much as physics. I would like to start with soviet cold war doctrine. I think it is the easiest to understand. I will go so far as to say, it’s brilliant in its simplicity. Who wants to go first?
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M4A3E2(76)W    RE:Military Doctrine   6/21/2003 8:30:13 AM
Doctrine defined (DOD) Fundamental principles by which the military forces or elements thereof guide their actions in support of national objectives. It is authoritative but requires judgment in application. (NATO) Fundamental principles by which the military forces guide their actions in support of objectives. It is authoritative but requires judgment in application. Soviet cold war doctrine was based on the Russian experience of WW2. A red army offensive has been described as; “Water pressing up against a dam and a crack forms letting a few drops through. As more water leaks through, the crack grows, until the water flowing through the hole is a torrent. Finally the weaken dam just collapses from all the pressure.” How does this analogy fit with the soviet army doctrine regarding offensive operations? Also how does soviet army doctrine fit with the western definitions of doctrine?
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M4A3E2(76)W    RE:Military Doctrine   6/22/2003 8:55:54 AM
Western doctrine is meant to be “authoritative but requires judgment in application”. I don’t think this applies to soviet doctrine. I remember reading about a Russian defector who said (I’m paraphrasing) if plan “A” fails go to plan “B”, plan “B” is – apply plan “A” more vigorously, there is no plan “C”.
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Final Historian    RE:Military Doctrine   12/3/2003 12:57:12 PM
The Soviets were incapable of using their doctrine as well as NATO could theirs. The lack of initiative on the part of Soviet troops would have been a major hindrance. Whereas the Soviets had a plan, and followed the plan to the letter, NATO had a goal, and let its individual commanders do what they felt was necessary to achieve said goal. Soviet troops had to ask permission from higher authority to deviate from the plan. This would have cost them dearly early on in any NATO-Warsaw Pact conflict.
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Thomas    RE:Military Doctrine   12/4/2003 7:50:58 AM
Deep Combat. A couple of years after the fall of the Berlin Wall I drove on the road along the railway line from Stralsund to Rostock in northern Germany. Then I understood why WAPA lost: A flight of Tornadoes going full blast under the generals hair-piece spattering mines and bombs along the column and railroad would have inflicted more than the regulatory confusion.
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Final Historian    RE:Military Doctrine   12/6/2003 5:10:25 PM
Well put. Logistics and tactics were the chief enemies of the Pact. As more and more infrastructure was bombed and destroyed, supplying Red Army troops in the front would have gotten more and more difficult. Unless they could end it quickly, the Pact would have stopped from a lack of supplies, fuel and reinforcements.
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gf0012-aus    RE:Military Doctrine   12/6/2003 5:31:39 PM
The interesting thing about comtemporary doctrines is that the so called Revolution in Military Affairs, was originally a concept developed by the Russians. It was driven by the legacy experience of their time in Afghanistan. The Russians never ran with it as a formal doctrinal foundationstone, but the west did. Interestingly enough, the absolute power displays by the US in the middle east in 1991 and 2001 have triggered RMA's with nations such as China (and indeed most western militaries) Although it isn't fundamentally an issue of doctrinal change, the initial soviet model is probably the "grandaddy" of all current military changes. The russians were trying to evolve an assymetrical warfare doctrine long before the US events of 911.
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gf0012-aus    The Evolution of Soviet Military Doctrine , 1945-84   12/8/2003 1:41:57 AM
M4A3E2(76)W, useful link for you...
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macawman    RE:Soviet Military Doctrine & Tactics   12/11/2003 1:05:29 AM
Final Historian: I think you will find from Soviet archives that the Soviet military would have gone nuclear when they saw their planned Western Europe invasion stalled. Only a Soviet regimental commander was allowed to change an 'attack' order once set in motion.
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StudentofConflict    RE:Soviet Military Doctrine & Tactics   12/11/2003 4:02:00 AM
Russian tactical doctrine was to an extent a product of its manpower base. A huge conscript force of mediocre training requires either very close control by excellent officers (as in Napoleon's Grand Armee) or reliance on a number of easily rehearsed and understood battle drills. The Soviets, unable to guarantee the quality of their officer corps, had to go with option B. However, I think the Soviet military doctrine allowed some degree of ooportunism. The emphasis was on continually reinforcing sucess. For example, a Motor-Rifle division might attack with 2 BTR regts in it's first echelon, its BMP Regt in the second echelon and the Tank Bn in the exploitation echelon. The BMP regt and Tank Bn would be comitted in the sector of the BTR regt that acheives the greatest sucess. This applies operationally and strategically as well. The Tank division Operational Maneuver Group would be comitted in the sector of the motor rifle division that acheives the greatest advance.The Ai-Land battle concept, when fully applied, could defeat this. However for some NATO armies, AirLand battle existed more on paper then in the force structure.If the Soviets had broken the Belgians or Dutch's line and got an OMG into the rear of US V Corps/GE II Korps/UK BAOR,it could of got quite sticky.
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StudentofConflict    RE:Soviet Military Doctrine & Tactics   12/11/2003 1:44:02 PM
The point about commanders initiative is well put.I know of at least one army that inflicted severe defeats on the Soviets when it allowed leeway to its commanders, then was severely defeated when it tried to control everything from the top. Who'd'ya think I mean?
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