I am conducting some interesting operations from the Soviet side, using Armored Brigade's powerful scenario editor. My topic during the last few days was Soviet Forward Detachments, the mainstay connection between tactical combat and the conduct of deep battle at the operational level.
These combined arms formations conducted pre-emptive strikes into the ENY's tactical depth in order to secure terrain needed for the conduct of operations by bigger units. Of task-oriented composition (a Soviet kampfgruppe?) and relying on speed, they would move within ENY territory, with their commanders making tactical decisions on the spot. This flexibility in tactics was pointed out by David Glantz, from whom a superb treatise on these formations has been available for a while.
|The Soviet Conduct of Tactical Maneuver: Spearhead of the Offensive (Soviet (Russian) Military Theory and Practice Book 4) by David Glantz. Available from any major bookstore.|
For my Armored Brigade scenario, I assembled a forward detachment around a tank Bn(-), plus a company of IFVs, self-propelled air defenses and self propelled artillery (18 tubes). The use of artillery is deemed as one of the crucial factors determining the success of the forward detachment and I wanted to check how fast the Gvozdikas can save my day.
|The mighty Gvozdika (lower left informational panel) is being put to the test.|
|And massive firepower rained on the ENY. The Gvozdikas at work delivering substantial firepower to ENY positions from which we just received fire.|
It took roughly 3.5 minutes to get the shells into the ENY position, from sending the order to the actual fire mission impacting the targets. Great, flexible and timely indirect fire support.
As a side note, the computer opponent placed itself in front of a great kill zone. Kudos to Armored Brigade for that.
Overall, the fire support was timely and wholesome. I had some major trouble with ENY attack helicopters. Maybe I should deploy my air defense units way more forward that what I did. And finally, my use of recon units in such a traditional way (BMP-2 scout sections) was a pretty bad decision. As indicated by Glantz, a combination of a section of BMPs and a section of tanks would have worked best as the tip of the spear.