Home Forums Modern Situational Awareness Under Armor

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  • #103080
    irishserb
    Participant

    Over the last few evenings, being more spud-like than usual due to a virus, I’ve been watching (mostly) ANNA News footage of fighting in Syria.  Most of it relates to tanks clearing out very developed urban areas.  The forces often consist of Syrian Republican Guard (4th Division is often named) infantry and armor.  Force composition usually involves 1-3 T72s, in the lead with 1-2 squads of infantry supporting, sometimes.  Often the tanks are alone in these highly build-up and devastated areas.

    The footage is made up from both internal and external cameras in the T72s,  reporters/cameras with the infantry, and reporters/cameras with the HQ, which is usually within a couple hundred, and sometimes tens, of yards of the lead T72s.

    The HQs consists of Syrian officers and staff, usually with  Russian adviser(s), who are directing individual vehicles and squads via handheld radios, and using live drone footage (which is also shown) over-seeing the operation.

    The Advance is very slow, armor moving typically at 2-4 mph,  the tank advances tens of feet or meters, stops, searches around a bit, fires the occasional round at a building or pile of rubble/emplacement/trench maybe 60 feet to no more than 100 meters away.  The tanks usually look like blind giants.  You can sometimes see rebels moving/fleeing  relatively close to the tanks, who largely never seem to react to the rebels.  The tanks can be seen searching around, but the process is very slow, and seemingly, they identify very little of the enemy on their own.  Much of their fire, and awareness of the enemy comes at the immediate direction from the HQ observing via drone and transmitting instruction via the walkie-talkie type radios.  The impression I have is that the tanks still rarely identify their enemy, rather simply shooting  as directed at the first floor of building 21 of the meat packing plant on their map.  They frequently use satellite image maps with many objectives, often buildings, being numbered.  In one view, you can see that the scale of the map identified as 1:4000.

    In more open areas, such as suburbs or small farms or industrial sites on the outskirts of larger cities, a combination of 2-3 tanks and an engineering tank is often used with a dozer blade.  The engineering tanks sometimes leads the advance, dropping its blade to push barricades and walls out of the way and to fill in trenches so that the tanks can advance.  Again the advance works as above, though I would estimate that sometimes the tanks speed up to as much as 7 mph for a moment of so.  Direction is by direct radio to each vehicle by HQ with drone over-watch.

    The process is low, but effective.  The fighting shown appears to be more of final clearing exercises, and relatively low intensity combat. There are few casualties on either side, with the process mostly being a sweep and retaking of  ground, one foot at a time.

    The troops speak Arabic, with subtitles in Russia, with further subtitles in English (usually), so who knows how accurate the information conveyed might be.

    Just observing this, it is interesting that the tanks lead the way in the urban fighting, given their obvious limitations in situational awareness, and the magnitude of the limitations of awareness by a (usually) buttoned up tank is very obvious.

    My computer is blocking me from linking to the video here (problem with a setting on my new computer, I think), but I did a search for T72 on Youtube, and these news videos started at maybe the fifth search result if you are interested.

    With respect to skirmish or small unit level games in third world/modern settings, it may be of interest to see how limited the tanks are regarding situational awareness and responsiveness, and how the drone directed warfare works.

    #103082
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    This kind of thing? And this?

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Whirlwind.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #103085
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    This kind of thing?

    Amateurish.

    AFVs, buttoned, in an urban environment with no infantry support is a disaster waiting to happen. A few rebels on the roofs those buildings firing RPGs down at the tanks…

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #103086
    Thomaston
    Participant

    Can you give the name of the clip on youtube? The results I’m getting are mostly T72 getting ambushed in Syria.

    Interesting, this, not that I have anything to add, was not a tanker but more interested in the armor-infantry relationship under Russian/Syrian doctrine. I’m pretty sure though that infantry of all nation, creed and errr sexual orientation would prefer the metal clad vehicle to go before them.

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #103087
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Amateurish. AFVs, buttoned, in an urban environment with no infantry support is a disaster waiting to happen. A few rebels on the roofs those buildings firing RPGs down at the tanks…

    Yes, that is exactly what happens at c.7:20 in the second video.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #103089
    Thomaston
    Participant

    In the second video if it wasn’t for the tank blowing up at the end I would have thought it was training or shooting up some abandoned part of town. I thought it strange they got the footage of the AT team that shot them.

    Anyone else cringed when a tank points it’s muzzle at the back of another tank? I’m amazed all the way through both videos, there were no dismounted infantry.

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #103091
    irishserb
    Participant

    This is one of the videos:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vkFvqwqUxws

    The videos all started out with the ANNA news thing.

    My thinking is much the same as Not Connard’s.  I suspect that they don’t share video of t72s getting ambushed. Probably isn’t idea for the original target viewership.

    None of the videos show rebels firing RPGs or ATGMs at the Syrian tanks.  Though there are plenty of such videos available otherwise.

    My interist was more related to the behavior of the armor and conduct of the operations, in contrast to the “Borg” minded approach of many gamers to these types of conflicts when represented on the tabletop.

    #103095
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    I thought it strange they got the footage of the AT team that shot them.

    You can find the full clip from the FSA side (Al-Miqdad ‘Umroo Battalion of the Companion Brigade)  that they presumbably chopped it in from  here

    More stuff

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #103105
    Thomaston
    Participant

    @Whirlwind

    In the last video did the impact set off the round in the breech?

     

    @Irish

    I keep thinking these tanks just shoot randomly into the buildings every now and again. Might just be the videos I’ve seen. I agree these are very different from tabletop games, maybe they should make tanks that move into urban areas bog down and randomly blow up. Your video is more illuminating. Interesting they use similar RPG screens as US forces in Iraq.

     

    “Exclusive! Breakthrough of the terrorists’ defense in Yarmouk” looks like there were some infantry support at around 9:20.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Thomaston.

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #103147
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Hmmm…  There’s no doubt tanks can’t see much in close-in terrain, and there’s not doubt that low quality militaries are renowned for an overreliance on the firepower brought by tanks and thus become renowned for misusing them by pushing them unsupported into close terrain.  However, two points:

    -Looks like it just might work in this day and age, due to the increase in capabilities with regards to optics, comm gear, and unmanned ISR platforms (both air and ground).  Perhaps having C2 elements in observations posts on the edge of the battle area with real-time, augmented (think Blue Force Tracker-type visual displays), using advanced optics and UAS/UGS, has supplanted grunts in the tank-infantry team.  As an example, the US Marine Corps is now working on putting a “sensor operator” in each and every rifle squad.

    -In that urban, rubbled-up environment, I would submit the grunts in the tank-infantry team wouldn’t be visible in any case.  They wouldn’t (shouldn’t) be in the street, they should be moving through the bombed-out structures, parallel (and in advance) of the road-bound tanks.  I’m not saying that is what is happening (pretty clear in the couple videos I watched that was not the case), but it could be, and if grunts were there, that’s what they should have been doing.  That tactic is not practical in every urban situation, but no way they couldn’t use it in that environment (clearly no worries about collateral damage, in either personnel or material).

    For what it’s worth.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #103156
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    In the last video did the impact set off the round in the breech?

    Don’t know, didn’t hear any commentary to that effect.  Because it hit the rear I was thinking it must have been the fuel tanks or something.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #103159
    Patrice
    Participant

    Fascinating videos (sadly fascinating, I mean).

    From my own training experience as artillery observer in 1980 (somewhere near Paris) in an AMX-10P, I remember well that you almost can’t see anything when all hatches are closed in the damn thing.

    I had the same feeling later when running around with a 15th century sallet replica on my head in medieval re-enactments and the visor down. You can’t see a thing you just wish to open it.

    I was happy enough that in both cases it was not a real war around me.

    Anyone else cringed when a tank points it’s muzzle at the back of another tank? I’m amazed all the way through both videos, there were no dismounted infantry.

    Yes. And yes.

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    https://www.anargader.net/

    #103173
    Thomaston
    Participant

    A short moment after the tank was hit the gun fired.

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #103194
    Brian Handley
    Participant

    One of the reasons we wrote Maneouvre Group was the very pooor way tanks are portrayed in wargames.   With our rules the tanks buttoned up see only a narrow arc where the barrel is pointing and a poor view directly infront of the driver.   If the vehicle is stationary so the commander has a bit more time, he’s not directing the driver,  he can observe another narrow section.    In addition his gun elevation limits the altitude that the gun can shoot close in.     An early example is in WW2 Stalingrad where to all practical purposed the Russians were invulnerable to tanks and Morter fire if the moved on the 3rd floor.   Close in the tanks could not elevate enough and the upper stories and roofs detonated the mortars too high to be a major risk.     More devastating air powere can help to eleiminate this latter issue but you need an almost limitless arsenal.   One US manual notes that from many aspects once within about 30m in some cases its impossible to see prone infantry,  you are looking out over a shallow angle from inside the edge of the turret some 8ft or so above ground.

    #103214
    John Treadaway
    Participant

    I have nothing to add to this that hasn’t already been said. However, it is a fascinating thread.

    John Treadaway

    www.hammers-slammers.com
    http://www.hammers-slammers.com

    "They don't have to like us, snake, they just have t' make the payment schedule" Lt Cooter - Hammer's Slammers
    #103254
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    A short moment after the tank was hit the gun fired.

    Ah yes, you are quite right.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

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