Soviet Motorized Rifle Platoon

Posted: July 16, 2010 in Research
Tags: , ,

Starting to tear into 1980s Cold War research for a project I am working on. I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading on the Soviet TO&Es for the 1980s, both for Europe and Afghanistan (the latter starting out like Europe and diverging quickly under battlefield conditions). The period I am most interested in is 1985-86. Here is my first attempt at a TO&E:

Soviet Motor Infantry Platoon

3 BMP’s (either BMP-1 or BMP-2)

Each BMP carries 8 dismounts and 2 crew. In practice the crew would stay with the vehicle and provide fire support to the dismounted infantry.

The 8 dismounted men are organized as:

1 section leader with AKM/AK74

1 assistant section leader with AKM/AK74

2 PKM gunners

2 assistant PKM gunners (themselves armed with AKMs or AK74s)

1 RPG gunner with RPG-7/16 and pistol

1  Rifleman with AKM/AK74 or SVD (one SVD per platoon as designated sniper)

Does anyone know how correct this may be or have any refinements they can share? Thanks!

  1. Joe says:

    yes, this is nominally correct for a BMP1 unit. by nominally, I mean that this is what the paper says it should have. the fact of the matter is that you need to go up to at least company level and then “read down” if you will. for example, it was Soviet practice to take all the company HQ attachments, like the 3 anti air shoulder launched missiles and “swap” them out for riflemen from the motor rifle squads. the end result was that each platoon has an AAGW and the command squad is now a full Rifle squad. I highly recommend “Weapons and Tactics of the Soviet Army” by David c Isby. it is of an earlier date than you are interested in but it gives you a very good idea of how they operated. there is also some differences between BMP1 and BMP2 units. If memory serves, the the BMP2 the squad leader is in the turret… anyhow, other good reading is US Army field manuals. of particular note is FM 100-60 through 62, FM 30-102, FM 100-2-1 through FM 100-2-3 type any of these codes into google and you will find free pdf’s. there are a little dry, but highly useful and informative. the isby book is golden to give you the “human” side of how they apply all the info in the FM’s though.

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