Home Forums Modern Modern Russian snippets — fireteams, arcs, tactical intervals, nerve gas

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #157273
    Avatar photoJohn D Salt
    Participant

    Patient readers will be aware of my usual serendipity-driven research method, which essentially involves tripping over random items of information while searching for something else entirely.

    The latest puddle of gobbets I have blundered into is a copy of “The Motor Rifle Sergeant’s Handbook” (“Uchebnik Serzhanta Morostrelkovikh Voisk”, Voennoe Izdatel’stvo, Moscow, 2003) while I was looking for ammo loads for Soviet infantry weapons.

    Instead, I found these snippets:

    I had always understood that Russian squads were not organised in buddy-pairs or fireteams like everyone else’s (and maybe they weren’t in the old days), but the handbook says that the squad will normally operate in pairs. It also offers, for both attack and defence, a grouping of the dismounted element into two teams (the driver/mechanic and gunner/operator stay on the BTR or BMP). One group consists of the squad leader, machine gunner, RPG no.1 and RPG no.2. The other consists of the senior rifleman and two other riflemen.

    In defence, each soldier should have three fire positions, and fire a few bursts from a position before moving to another. Everyone should be assigned a primary and a secondary arc, which overlap by at least 15 mils. Arcs for riflemen are 40 degrees, for the machine gunner 120 degrees. Why they switch between mils and degrees in consecutive sentences I don’t know, but perhaps it’s because the rifleman’s arc would be horribly reminiscent of the number of the beast in mils (666.66…) although the LMG arc is a nice round 2000. Before anyone tells me I’ve got the wrong conversion factor, remember that there are 6000 Russian mils in a circle, as distinct from 6400 NATO mils.

    Tactical intervals should normally be 6 to 8 metres between soldiers, or 3 to 5 metres in trenches or woods, or, mysteriously, deep in the enemy defences.

    There is quite a lot on CBRN, but I quote the bits on nerve gas poisoning:

    At concentrations of about 0.0005 mg/L, the first symptoms — pinpointing of the pupils, sweating, salivation and breathlessness — are noticeable after 2 minutes, 1 minute for heavy doses. Almost simultaneously head and chest pains develop, together with general weakness and a discharge from the nose. There follow cold sweats, bronchospasm, and vomiting, muscle twitching, convulsions, involuntary urination and defecation, and death after 5 to 15 minutes.

    A respirator and protective clothing provide reliable protection. Skin contamination can be treated using an issued decontamination packet; if applied within 2 minutes, this is 80% successful, after 5 mintes, 30% successful, and after 10 minutes, practically ineffective.

    Putting numbers on stuff like that was new to me.

    All the best,

    John.

    #157274
    Avatar photovtsaogames
    Participant

    That nerve gas stuff gives me the creeps.

    It's never too late to have a happy childhood

    #157314
    Avatar photodeephorse
    Participant

    I wonder how many ‘volunteers’ died to produce those “reliable protection” stats?

    Play is what makes life bearable - Michael Rosen

    #157336
    Avatar photoJohn D Salt
    Participant

    I wonder how many ‘volunteers’ died to produce those “reliable protection” stats?

    I doubt we’ll ever know, but I also doubt that it’s a small number.

    A pal of mine stayed in my old TA battalion long enough to go on exercises in Poland. One of the things he commented on as remarkable was the attitude of the range safety officer on the Polish training area they were using. This was just after the wall fell, so the safety rules reflected Warsaw Pact practice. The Western visitors were told that they could do whatever they liked, but please not to use nerve gas on an open range without written permission.

    All the best,

    John.

    #157337
    Avatar photoJozisTinMan
    Participant

    Sweet baby thor…

    “The Western visitors were told that they could do whatever they liked, but please not to use nerve gas on an open range without written permission.”

    Hell, stateside you could not even dig a foxhole because of the endangered wood pecker.  There has to be a happy medium somewhere.

     

    http://jozistinman.blogspot.com/

    #157356
    Avatar photodeephorse
    Participant

    Regrettably, I fear that a few sheep may have been casualties on our Otterburn range days.

    Play is what makes life bearable - Michael Rosen

    #158486
    Avatar photoWhirlwind
    Participant

    Thanks very much for those snippets John, interesting and useful. I was quite taken with the “Rifle group” and “Weapons group” division.

    A pal of mine stayed in my old TA battalion long enough to go on exercises in Poland. One of the things he commented on as remarkable was the attitude of the range safety officer on the Polish training area they were using. This was just after the wall fell, so the safety rules reflected Warsaw Pact practice. The Western visitors were told that they could do whatever they liked, but please not to use nerve gas on an open range without written permission.

    I know it is very wrong, but that one has had me in stitches…

    On a much smaller scale of cultural difference, I do remember an officer of my acquaintance being asked by a Rumanian officer how many sniper rifles his military police detachment should bring (on a peace-keeping operation)…

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.