Know Your Weapons: Russian BMP-Terminator Tank

BMP-Terminator: Designed after the lessons of the Chechen War

 

This Tank or (Tank Support Combat Vehicle) design came in response to the DISASTER the Russian Army encountered in Grozny in 1994-95 when small elements of Guerilla Rifleman armed with RPG’s and Anti-Tank mines took out entire Russian Armored columns.

Note the Grenade Launcher tubes on both the port and starboard sides of the tank.

Grenade Launchers are extremely effective in dealing with Hunter-Killer Teams in urban terrain like those seen in the Chechen Wars.

 

The Mini-Manual for the Urban Defender

You can download the above manual at John Spencer’s Website.

Highly recommend you bookmark this site as well, LOTS of good stuff there!

I also Highly Recommend you read all of John Spencer’s Urban Warfare Case Studies over at Modern War Institute

Via WRSA:

You will see this material again.

The only real question is whether or not you will use this material against the baddies, or the baddies will use it against you.

Choose wisely.

Prepare Accordingly!

Mean Streets: The Clash of Technology and Terrain in Urban Warfare

From the Archives, 2016

Seoul

 In urban environments, the playing field is levelled between the conventional armies and insurgents

 

BE IT ALEPPO or Damascus, Mosul or Ramadi, or even Eastern Ukraine, combatants in today’s conflicts are frequently fighting in and over urban areas.

The decision to wage war in cities is driven in part by modern military technology. Frequently, lightly equipped insurgent forces simply cannot survive on open terrain against even a moderately well-equipped conventional force. Their forte is the close combat that is best found in cityscapes.

Urban areas provide an abundance of cover, like walls, basements, sewers and piles of rubble, that frequently negate the advanced sensors and smart technology of 21stCentury militaries. Such obstacles transform urban engagements into short-ranged wars of attrition, which offset the advantages conventional armies normally enjoy in more open environments. Civilian populations only add additional challenges for armies given prevailing modern international norms on non-combatant casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure. This makes cities even more desirable battlegrounds for non-state actors as fighting in such settings raises the costs for the states that are trying to dislodge them.

The Birth of Urban Warfare

Historians can trace this collision of urban terrain and modern military technology back to the mid-19th century.

In the 1800s, as industrializing cities expanded, traditional defensive walls were rendered impractical. Advances in the range and destructiveness of artillery made such fortifications obsolete. Urban warfare began the shift from the protracted siege of the Middle Ages to the street-to street fighting of the modern era. Of course sieges still occurred (e.g., Paris 1870, Leningrad 1941 to 1944) but more often, battles were being fought within the cities themselves (e.g., Stalingrad 1942, Manila 1945, Seoul 1950, Hue 1968).

Cities: The Level Playing Field

Unfortunately for conventional armies, breakthroughs in weaponry made for modern mass armies that were better suited for war on open ground. Smooth-bore muskets, rarely effective beyond 100 meters, gave way to bolt-action rifles and machine guns that could cut down masses of men out to 1,000 meters with unprecedented rates of fire. Tanks and ground attack aircraft (both fixed and rotary wing) were also made for wide open environments.

But in urban environments, the playing field is levelled between conventional armies and insurgents. This is not to say guerrilla forces can prevail against advanced militaries, but they can inflict significant (if not intolerable) losses on their conventional opponents, even while taking grievous casualties in the process. In rare cases, insurgents might even give as well as they get (e.g., Chechen rebels in Grozny in 1995). Yet sometimes even just killing a few enemy soldiers can be enough to deliver a movement a strategic victory (e.g., Mogadishu 1993).

So the next time you see a news report of insurgents fighting in urban terrain, consider both why they chose to fight there and look for how the conventional opponents are seeking to overcome the challenges of that difficult terrain.

Dr. Alec Wahlman is an analyst at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Alexandria, Virginia. His recently released book, Storming the City, assesses U.S. military performance in four major urban battles from WWII to Vietnam.

Read the Remainder at Military History Now

Book Review: Rattenkrieg: The Art of ECQ Combat Pistol

rat

 

Bob Taubert’s latest work, Rattenkrieg: The Art and Science of Close-Quarters Battle Pistol is a book that is right up there with Styer’s Cold Steel or Applegate’s Kill or Get Killed. The book reminds you of the hard fact that necessity is definitely the mother of invention when it comes to relevant and practical combat skills. And even though the skills discussed may have been developed over 60+ years ago, their tactical relevancy and potency are no less diminished.

For those of you not familiar with the author, Bill Taubert (who also writes under the pen name Bob Pilgrim) is a literal GIANT in the tactical training community, not to mention a huge influence and personal hero of mine. I could go on about Taubert and his influence on me personally, but that is for another post;  for the time being read a short bio about him HERE.

Since most of you out there probably don’t speak fluent German, “Rattenkrieg” translated means “War of the Rats”, a term of euphemistic endearment the Germans used to describe the barbaric and brutal combat experienced during the Battle of Stalingrad during World War 2. The Germans found out really fast that the Russians intended to fight to the last man and the last bullet for every square yard of the only city which bore the name of their “Boss”, Joseph Stalin. In the end, The Battle for Stalingrad would cost both sides dearly. The entire German 6th Army would be totally annihilated, a sum of approximately 300,000 men. On the Soviet side, the losses were two-fold and much, much worse. Not only did military casualties have to be calculated, but civilian casualties as well. Antony Beevor, in his Outstanding book: Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege 1942-1943  estimated that between 1.1 and 1.2 Million Soviet Soldiers were lost. And although not precise because of the combined problem of Soviet secrecy during the Cold War and destroyed census and death records, it is estimated that between 100 and 300,000 civilians were killed. All together, the total “Butchers Bill” of the Battle of Stalingrad would be approximately 1.4 Million souls.

As Taubert explains, Stalingrad was the virtual birthplace of modern CQ and ECQ Military Combat doctrine. All of what we have today on the subject (both in the LE and Civilian training world) started here. I am not one to re-hash an entire book, but I will say this book does offer several perks for the CO, mainly the drills near the end. Bear in mind also that these drills come from the realistic GLOBAL perspective of a “Been-There-Done-That” kind of guy. Taubert over the past 2 decades has helped write the accepted, modern manual of combative and ECQ pistol. Striving to reinforce his methods to Tier 1 Assets in the Military, FBI HRT and LE SWAT Teams across America that 360 degree realistic  training that is based on “street proven” methods should replace the generic and impractical square range “Competition Driven” training (and drills) that plague all tiers of the tactical training community currently.

Consequently, there is also a fair amount of information in the book that is sectioned off for LE 2-4 man entry teams, including dynamic riot shield drills. But as some of my friends have criticized that this is not an “applicable skill-set” for the individual civilian, I see it as a great opportunity for the CO to expand his tool box and apply the training to Small Unit Tactics and MOUT exercises. The CO must also never forget that just because a particular skill-set being taught may not readily apply, the CO can always take the information, turn it around and develop counter-techniques to repel and/or neutralize a 2-4 man entry team equipped with riot shields.

In closing, this is an advanced book on shooting tactics and definitely not one for the “tactical golf” crowd. For the serious CO however, this book is a gold mine. It will not only provide relative, realistic drills and tips but be an outstanding reference book for the serious warrior student.

Stay Real, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!