In over 30 years of "cold war" large tank armies of NATO and the Warsaw Pact states were ready to reincarnate in Europe some semblance of the battlefield under Prokhorovka, unthinkable only a grand scale. Fortunately, the presence of nuclear weapons deterred the parties from unleashing carnage. Although the story and do not tolerate the subjunctive mood, many people often ask "what would have been. if ..? "
The troops of the Warsaw Contract
Tank fleet armies of the Warsaw contract was enormous. It is estimated it numbered 53,000 Russian tanks and about 12,000-15,000 Eastern tanks. But far not all of these vehicles would be used in a possible military conflict. Accounted for a huge share of an old car T-54A and T-55 were in the second-tier divisions stationed in the central part of the USSR. In the case of the outbreak of hostilities, they could be reconnected to the west, but to participate in the first battles they could not. In addition, a significant group of Russian troops stationed in the Chinese border, but the far eastern parts of the equipment was slightly better than in the central parts of Russia.
The troops of the Warsaw contracts are sufficiently contrasting picture. In general, they are divided into "northern group": the German Democratic Republic, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. — And the "southern group": Bulgaria, Hungary and Rumania. Army of the northern group were better equipped, and due to the geographical location of States were called upon to play perceptible role in the alleged conflict. Romania was an ally of confusing and weak Bulgaria could not offer any meaningful assistance. A lot of attention was paid to equipping armies of Eastern European States. Exploration of NATO decided desperately tries to find equipment Polish, German and Czechoslovak divisions, but the results were small. Russian commanders take into account the experience of stateliness Russian war, when Russian weapon was completely undeveloped Polish Army. Because Russian command did not much interest the equipment of the Allied armies as their combat readiness.
Russian tanks can be divided into three generations. The first-generation — the T-54A and T-55 — accounted for 38% of the fleet of the Russian Army, and 85% of the fleet of the Allied armies. Every decade there has been programm on alteration of old times tanks, which received new laser rangefinders, advanced fire control system, additional broneekrany. Converted an old tanks almost never met in the Russian divisions of the Western Group of Forces, but there were plenty, for example, on the border with Turkey. Second-generation tanks — T-62 — accounted for about 24% of the number of Russian Army tank fleet. In other armies of the Warsaw contract, these machines were virtually absent. The T-62 was not a radically modern machines, these were advanced T-55, armed with a more powerful gun.
The first tank was a third-generation T-64 tank, which was about 18% of the total fleet of the Russian Army. According to its features of the T-64 was at the level of contemporary Western tanks, M-60, Leopard 1 and Chieftain, but somewhat inferior to them in the power of the gun. Issue of T-64 ended in the early 80's. In the possible war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, Russian tanks T-64 might be the most vserasprostranennymi. The T-72 is a lightweight and cost-reduced version of the T-64, with all this fighting properties preserves its predecessor. T-72 was the first tank of the latest generation of Russian Union supplied the Allied armies. In addition, the licensed production of T-72 established in Poland and Czechoslovakia. T-72 tanks were colo 16% the number of Russian troops and tanks around 5-10% of the number of Eastern European armies. The last new tank, showed up to the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, was the T-80. It represented the future development of the band T-64 and T-72, but its hard to associate with his contemporary western tanks M1 Abrams, Leopard 2 or Challenger. T-80 tanks were least 10% of the Russian fleet, and were concentrated in priemuschestvenno units stationed in East Germany.
Russian tank forces were so numerous that their equipment had to be used, and an old car. In order to re-equip one hundred percent of the Soviet army with new tanks would take more than 20 years. Obviously, the old tanks were sometimes modernization, although it did not solve all the problems. Russian tanks had the highest speed, good armor protection and massive weaponry, not yielding to these characteristics, the Western swatches. But in the construction of Russian tanks clearly visible zeal to make a technological and a cheap car that is suitable for mass production. Because on a personal level Russian tanks were inferior to South American, which more than offset the numerical The advantage of.
Group of Russian Forces in the GDR
The main assault group of Russian troops in Eastern Europe was a group stationed on the territory of the GDR. The group was better armed at least some other association. In peacetime, it consisted of 8 and 11 mechanized armored divisions, united in the five armies. In addition, within each army had a separate tank regiment. Total group had 5,700 tanks, 2,000 vehicles were still in the first echelon of the reserve, training regiments and other auxiliary parts. The staffing of Russian armored division had about 330 tanks, staffing Mechanized Division — 220 tanks. Park Group is constantly updated. The most numerous tanks were machines T-64A and T-64B is about 65% of the size of the park. In 1981 he began to enter the new T-80 tanks, the number of which over time have gained 15%. An old tank top Western Group of Forces was the T-62 is about 15% of the park. These machines were priemuschestvenno in separate tank regiments, training units, etc.
The T-55A (M), the Russian Army, Kiev IN
In the late 80-ies in the Russian Army started to use multi-colored camouflage. Russian control of camouflage is always referred to the multi-colored camouflage, but in practice before it was actually used. Basic color — olive number 2. This is the green paint, the color of approximately U.S. FS 34077 respectively. Initially, parts used, and an old paint, intended for other purposes. These were the dark paint number 2 (created for coloring chassis vehicles), dark bituminous number 4 (for coloring iron surfaces except the chassis), silver-gray number 1 (for the external surfaces of the parts of stainless steel), brown N ° 2 (for the surface of carbon steel, including gun barrels), yellowish N ° 1 (for iron and duralumin parts trucks). Special paint for camouflage was used from the mid 80's. In most cases, the enamel used: greenish ZIL-508M. dark CV-714, Sand CAF-6, red-brown CAF-26, dark brown CV-113 and CV-1 pure white. Camouflage schemes were classic. On the main color (olive N ° 2) imposed a red-brown (CAF-26) and dark (CV-714) spots. Tactical number is snow-white paint. Order number 50 (1982) requires the tanks to put on a tactical issue, but the look of the room can be adapted to the type of camouflage. According to the statute numbers should be 20-40 cm in height and width of 2/3 of the height. In summer, the numbers should be marked snow-white paint, and in the winter — a reddish or dark.
Tank T-55A (M)-Kladivo; Czechoslovak Army, 1988
Czechoslovak army used multicolored camouflage in 15 years. For a short-lived camouflage used tempera
paint as camouflage applied to the summer drills. More are popular colors: ocher and red-brown. Known photos, which show that the boundary between different colors isolated d
ark border. The illustration shows a tank which is being a good example of machine Warsaw Contract. Tank equip additional armor imposed on both sides of the tower, as fire control system Kladivo Czech production and a laser range finder (all of which is located above the barrel of the gun). In the back of the tower mounted anemometer. On the expensive armor depicted small Czechoslovak flags.
The T-64B, the Central Group of the Russian troops, Czechoslovakia, 1988
Although the Russian ground forces and tanks used for camouflage coloring, camouflage had far not all machines, such as, for example, that the T-64B. The tank is fully painted olive paint number 2. For frisky identification of tanks used white strips forming a cross when viewed from above. Airborne shoulder the cross can be seen in the illustration, and longitudinal stripe runs along the centreline of the strip through the frontal armor of the tank corps, the tower (not touching the trunk with all this) and by the motor cover cruciate This emblem is quite often used by Russian Army, including in 1940 in the Baltic States, in 1945, during the Berlin operation, and in 1968 in Czechoslovakia. Its advantage is that it allows you to quickly identify the tank, not only from the ground, and from the air. In peacetime, the cross-shaped symbol is also used during exercise to indicate the imaginary enemy tanks. The tank is visible classic geometric signs. The top number represents the regiment, and the lower — the number of the tank. In the late 80s there was a rule prescribing denote the inscription board boxes and fuel tanks on tanks T-64, T-72 and T-80. Typically this is the inscription on a template ZIP (in store tools and devices) and Fuel. Both inscriptions are illustrated in the inset.
National People's Army of the GDR
National People's Army of the GDR (National Volksarmee — NVA) had a very close contact with the Russian Army. In case of war, the German division could simply be incorporated into the Russian Front. It found a reflection in the level of equipment of the Army of the GDR — NVA was equipped better to have no other army of the Warsaw contract.
NVA consisted of four mechanized divisions and 2-tank divisions. These pieces were placed along the Russian lines. The main tank of the Army of the GDR was a T-55 is about 80% of the park. The other 20% were car T-72B and T-slingshot 72g, priemuschestvenno Polish or Czech production. Shred new tanks inexorably grew.
Czechoslovak People's Army
Czechoslovak People's Army (CSLA) and was armed with a fairly well at first due to the advanced defense industry Czechoslovakia. Since Czechoslovakia had a common border with Germany, the Russian command devoted much attention to maintaining the highest readiness of the Czechoslovak army. Not all of the Czechoslovak units were completely staffed. It first came to units stationed in Slovakia. CSLA was the first Eastern European army to modernize its own T-55 tanks. The first step was to equip these tanks fire control system «Kladivo». Further, the tanks are equipped with expensive armor. As part of the Czechoslovak army was 5 and 5 mechanized armored divisions. Total Czechoslovakia possessed 2,650 tanks, 80% were in the T-55 and 20% — on the T-72 and T-slingshot 72g. CSLA has supported the Central Group of Russian Troops Army, consisting of 2-tank and 3 mechanized divisions. Russian troops in Czechoslovakia in 1550 possessed tanks: 20% — T-62, the other — the T-72 or T-64. In case of war CSLA would have to participate in the 2-different operations. Part of the force was to act against the army of NATO's area of Germany, and the other part was to be held in reserve in case of accession of Austria in the war.
T-72g, the 9th Armored Division of the GDR, 1987
The Army of the GDR did not use multi-colored camouflage in the summer. Only in the winter on top of the standard green color stains were deposited snow-white washable paint. There are no official standards for the winter camouflage was not, everything depended on the tastes of the crew. Because camouflage each tank was different. The inserts are signs of state ownership of the GDR, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria.
The People's Army of Poland
The Polish People's Army (LWP) was the second largest after the Russian Army, Army Warsaw Contract. But Poland's economic difficulties adversely affected technical Army. In the event of a possible military conflict, the Polish Army would be played only a minor role. Polish divisions to be used on minor parts of the front: in Austria and Denmark. Polish Army numbered 5 and eight armored mechanized divisions, and several independent tank regiments. Poland possessed only 3,100 tanks, of which 300 — T-72b slingshot or T-72g. On the territory of Poland were located only two Russian armored divisions, located 650 tanks, priemuschestvenno, T-62 and T-72.
Tank forces of other countries of the Warsaw Contract
Army 3 other countries of the Warsaw contract, while having a noticeable number of tanks, the vast majority of their fleet were old car. The Hungarian Army had 1,300 tanks, of which only 100 were T-72, and others were the T-54A and T-55. Hungary in the likely military conflict was to act against Austria. In Hungary, Szekesfehervar at Kecskemet and deployed Russian 35 th and 102 th Mechanized Division, and in Tatabanya and Veszprem — 2nd and 5th Panzer Division. So Makar, the grouping of Russian troops in Hungary outnumber all the Hungarian army, and possessed almost 1,400 tanks, of which almost all were machine T-72.
The Romanian army was the formation of a self-sufficient, and its possible role in the armed conflict was very problematic. Romania has eight mechanized and 2 armored divisions, the total population of the park is 1,300 tanks, armored vehicles, of which almost all were of an old T-54A (or their variations Romanian TR-580/TR-77) or unintelligible on its own battle tanks, the value of TR- 800.
Bulgaria was the furthest removed from a possible theater of operations. Yet the Bulgarian army numbered eight mechanized divisions and five armored brigades, which is located quite a huge number of tanks — 1900, of which only 100 were the T-72. In case of war, Bulgaria was to act on the southern flank against Turkey and Greece. How-or harsh forces of the Russian army in Bulgaria was not.
Russian tank forces in the European part of the USSR
The troops of the Western Military Area an umbrella reserve forces stationed in Eastern Europe. Armored and mechanized divisions of the Western VO were at too high alert. For all this they were better equipped than the divisions that were in the depths of Russian Union. Moreover, the division of the West BO were better equipped than the division of Western Group of Forces. Fact. on the ground that the USSR was provided the best secrecy than in East Germany or Poland.
Warsaw Pact forces created for the war in Europe
As mentioned above, the Warsaw contract possessed no small shock potential, but use all the forces at once did not seem likely. Russian commanders carefully concealed their plans because of hard to say exactly where and how it was planned to use armored wedges. A more feasible plan of developments in the case of armed conflict in Europe was described in the 1987 South American Committee for the study of Russian armies (SASO). The materials SASO alleged that the initial step to combat acts were carried out on 3 fronts, any of which would consist of two to four armies of the first band and a frisky Army Reserve. At this stage, in Europe there were 15 to 17 tanks and mechanized divisions, which is located 9,000 tanks. In the first days of the same were to arrive four armored and mechanized division
s 5 (3,000 tanks). So Makar, the first strike force numbered 12,000 tanks. Immediately after the war the Russian command had to jibe to Europe reserves. So Makar, the war in Europe would take the role of 56% of all Russian tanks (53350 shares), excluding cars, were in Central Asia, the Far East and in the Leningrad VO. First strike force contained the approximately 12% of the total vehicle fleet.