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Tracks vs Wheels   General Army topics

Started 26-May by graylion; 15624 views.
schnuersi

From: schnuersi

29-Jun

Red7272 said:

"17thfabn said: Neither in the Marder or Lynx can the infantry men carried inside fight. The Marder originally had firing ports and a remote controlled machine gun, but they were taken away in the upgrades. The Marder level of armor protection is not on the level of a tank, it cannot take a hit a tank can take."

When this doctrine was created the tank was the leopard 1. Firing ports were eventually realised to be pretty much useless and compromised the vehicle's protection.

Its a bit more complex.
The firing ports came from the idea to allow the passengers to fight while fully protected. Especially against splinters and shrapnell. Later NBC protection was added.
It was obvious very early that the effective range would be short and most for supression purposes. Which was not a problem as long as the effective ranges of hand held AT weapons where low.
The firing ports of the Marder did not accept rifles for example. Only SMGs. The main weapon was the MG in the overhead weapon mount. Which did work. But it had conciderable drawbacks. The operator was pretty much in the way of his mates during mounting and dismounting. Since he was part of the dismounts and not the vehicle crew the window of oportunity to use the weapon was limited. As was its arc of fire. It could only shoot to the rear and sides not to the front.
The MG mount was removed first and the firing ports retained.
This changed in version A3. Which appeared in the late '80 as the reaction to the BMP2. The protection level of the Marder was increased to protect from 30 mm AC fire. Duelling capable against its kin. Also the seating was changed and the entire ionterior reorganised. Which meant the firing ports had to go.
The Infantry squad size stayed the same since the Marder A1 which introduced the Milan ATGM. Which simply took the place of the seventh dismount. So the infantry squad size has nothing to do with protection but with arament.
The actual squad size is nine men BTW. The three vehicle crew in their IFV and the dismounts are ONE SQUAD. A Grenadier platoon has three squads. Each nine men, three crew and six dismounts and an IFV. These are seen as one combat element. They even share a callsign. The dismounts only modify it with "ab". First plattoon secon vehicle is Alpha 2. If the dismounts dismount there is Alpha 2 and Alpha 2 ab. "Ab" is an abbrevation for abgesessen wich translates to dismounted. So they are saying Alpha 2 dis.

I also have the feeling there is a missconception what mounted combat means. It does not mean the dismounts shoot trough firing ports. It means the squad fights from the vehicle. Which most of the time means the IFV is engaging somthing with its weapons. The dismounts can add to that by shooting their small arms from their hatches as well. It was found out that firing ports are less effective than the dismounts just standing in their hatches and shooting from there. This way they can use all their weapons. The number of hatches was reduced from four to three in the A3 version but they have better placement and are larger.

Red7272 said:

More to do with being air transportable and reducing wear when not being deployed, rather than the armour being particularly effective.

No that is the Puma. The Puma has two armor levels. Level A for airtransport and level C for combat.
In practice all are fitte with level C armor and it would only be taken off for air transport. So there is no reduction in wear and tear. The protection of level C is pretty good but not MBT good. Its one of the best protected IFV out there currently.
The Lynx is or better can be basically whatever the customer asks for.

Red7272 said:

This is an old doctrine now and pretty much the only adherents are the Germans

Well its not as old as the we transport infantry to the fight and let them fight like they allways did.
The mechanised infantry doctrine from the German army emerged during WW2 and was later refined.
Its directly linked to the manoeuver focus of German doctrine and the experience made during WW2.
The Soviet doctrin shared the same origin and adress similar issues and experiences but came to different solutions. For example the need for infantry to be able to quickly follow armor and not get seperated from them. This was one of the main weaknesses of the Red Army during WW2 and caused them extreme losses and often lead to counterattacs retaking the objective the armor just had taken.
Both concider foot infantry ineffective in a manoeuver centric combined arms environment. Speed is one of the key factors. Even the Grenadiers can feel like a ball and chain on your foot when you need to push past the first objective onto the next ones during an attack/counterattack or when during delay you need to evade into the next position. This is why they need to be able to fight mounted. There often simply is no time to dismount spread out and fight on foot.

17thfabn

From: 17thfabn

29-Jun

Schnuersi

"I also have the feeling there is a missconception what mounted combat means. It does not mean the dismounts shoot trough firing ports. It means the squad fights from the vehicle. Which most of the time means the IFV is engaging somthing with its weapons. The dismounts can add to that by shooting their small arms from their hatches as well. It was found out that firing ports are less effective than the dismounts just standing in their hatches and shooting from there. This way they can use all their weapons. "

How effective are they standing up shooting from hatches? It would seem their arc of fire would be very limited. As well as trying to shoot while bouncing along.

schnuersi

From: schnuersi

30-Jun

How effective they are depends on the circumstances.

Inside their hatches they have 360° arc of fire. The immediate arc of fire is more like 180°. SOP for the three men in the hatches is to one observe left, one right and one rear. The hatches are arranged to facilitate this. This creates extreme situational awareness and unmatched capability for quick reactions. Which the the whole point of bringing dismounts along.  

Most of the shooting they do would mostly be clone in defense and supression. A rifle is never really effective so there is no real change regardness if they shoot from a moving or standing IFV. The MG is supprisingly effective even without stabilisation. Throwing hand grenades from a moving vehicle and putting them there where you want them ist also easy.

stancrist

From: stancrist

30-Jun

Red7272 said:

IFVs are meant to go wherever tanks can, take the same hits...

That is incorrect.  As 17thfabn and schnuersi noted, IFVs lack the armor protection needed to take the same hits as tanks.

Red7272 said:

MICVs are vehicles like the Bradley, BMPCV 90/30 and VIBC that can operate in support of their infantry and are more capable than APCs. They do operate in the same role as IFVs but are not doctrinally IFVs because of their lack of armour.

The US Army seems to think the Bradley is an IFV.

"The Bradley Fighting Vehicle Systems (BFVS) M2A3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV)..."

Bradley Fighting Vehicle Systems (BFVS) — M2/M3 - USAASC (army.mil)

stancrist

From: stancrist

30-Jun

schnuersi said:

I also have the feeling there is a missconception what mounted combat means. It does not mean the dismounts shoot trough firing ports. It means the squad fights from the vehicle. Which most of the time means the IFV is engaging somthing with its weapons. The dismounts can add to that by shooting their small arms from their hatches as well.

I would not say that there is a misconception as to what mounted combat really means. 

I think that -- as with how mech infantry operates -- the German way is not the only way.

As I learned it, (infantry) mounted combat means the infantrymen fight from the vehicle.

It does not mean the vehicle gunner fires the autocannon while the dismounts do nothing.

stancrist

From: stancrist

30-Jun

17thfabn said:

How effective are they standing up shooting from hatches? It would seem their arc of fire would be very limited.

Yes, their arc of fire looks to be about 180 degrees for the "tail gunner" and perhaps 90-100 degrees for the man in each of the two side hatches.

Effectiveness is undoubtedly also very limited, with riflemen being effective at only very short range.  For example, 1:45-1:48 in https://youtu.be/ANOFfqqlfeQ?t=104

During the Vietnam War, the US Army learned rifle fire is inadequate for mounted combat, so a belt-fed machine gun was installed on each side of the troop hatch.

stancrist

From: stancrist

30-Jun

schnuersi said:

SOP for the three men in the hatches is to one observe left, one right and one rear. The hatches are arranged to facilitate this. This creates extreme situational awareness and unmatched capability for quick reactions. Which the the whole point of bringing dismounts along.

Nonsense.  If situational awareness were the whole point, that would more efficiently have been achieved by having a 6-man crew.  There would be no need to carry any infantrymen in the vehicle.

The whole reason for having an infantry team in the vehicle is to be able to conduct infantry operations.  It's called an Infantry Fighting Vehicle because its sole reason for being is to transport and support infantry.

https://youtu.be/ENipa4fYOSc?t=10

schnuersi

From: schnuersi

30-Jun

stancrist said:

I would not say that there is a misconception as to what mounted combat really means.

I did not explicit mention it but I was refering to the German use of the word and concept.
I think we have established now that there are differences and the devil is in the details.

schnuersi

From: schnuersi

30-Jun

stancrist said:

Effectiveness is undoubtedly also very limited, with riflemen being effective at only very short range.

Yes. The rifles are for short range defense. From a moving vehicle 100 m at best and this would be mostly supression fire.

The video you linked is nice but really old. The soldiers at this point are mostly still conscrips. The Puma shown is a early prototype.

stancrist said:

During the Vietnam War, the US Army learned rifle fire is inadequate for mounted combat, so a belt-fed machine gun was installed on each side of the troop hatch.

Intrestingly they removed them later or did never fit them. The M113 used in Europe for example where not equiped like this.

From my point of view its really obvious that a MG is a far better weapon for this use than a rifle.

schnuersi

From: schnuersi

30-Jun

stancrist said:

Nonsense. If situational awareness were the whole point, that would more efficiently have been achieved by having a 6-man crew. There would be no need to carry any infantrymen in the vehicle.

Again I am talking about the German perspective.
The main point of the Grenadiers really is situational awareness. Aditional eyes and ears. In a small, quiet inconspicuous package. What else would they add to a mechanised formation? Firepowe? Mobility?
Even when they dismount a main purpose is to recon and tell the AFVs where the enemy is at.

stancrist said:

The whole reason for having an infantry team in the vehicle is to be able to conduct infantry operations.

In German doctrine that is not the case. Its all about mechanised operations. Using them like foot infantry would be a waste of resources. What infantry operation should the six dismounts conduct? Yes they can dismount and fight on foot but this is only for short periods and to achieve specific goals. They never venture far from their IFV.

stancrist said:

It's called an Infantry Fighting Vehicle because its sole reason for being is to transport and support infantry.

The term infantry fighting vehicle nowhere has transport and support in it. Its a vehicle that can provide the combat function of infantry to a mechanised formation. For most parts the IFV replaces foot infantry. The dismounts are there to support the IFV which in turn supports the MBTs.

stancrist said:

https://youtu.be/ENipa4fYOSc?t=10

This is a prime example. The Grenadiers are only deployed because there is no other way. They conduct a limited and fast mission on foot. The Marders are allways close by and if possible the AC is used. The dismounts are mostly there to actually find the enemy. As soon as the objective is achieved they mount up and move off.
Just look how little gear the Grenadiers took with them. There are not there for a prolonged fight.
In a larger excercise with combined arms what we see in the video takes way to long. The video is of course cut and only shows parts of what went on but its still six minutes long. Thats a long time.
In the old video you posted one NCO actually says its about working with tanks and speed (2:30).

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