I really don't know too much about this, except that it was a disasterous attempt by the Russians to take the Chechyn capital. They lost several hundred armored vehicles and troops in the battle, mostly to Chechyn militia. IIRC the militia were equiped with a large number of AT weapons - RPG's and guided missils, which were fired downward from buildings into the thinner top armor of the Russian vehicles.
What are the lesons learned from this? Did we in the West take these lesons to heart? What is the possibility of this happening to us in a future war in Iran, Syria, N. Korea, or China?
What could be learned by those who would defend a city from an invading army?
Discuss and educate me please.
I would but I'm feeling a little fechlempt
Well, on one hand after Grozny everybody said that it proved that armor couldn't operate in a city without getting butchered. Which was what the Iraqis (and later AQ) counted on.
Then we pushed tanks and APC's into Baghdad central, and then Fallujah. Where it worked.
I found this some years ago and it was sitting in my favorites folder. Its a good read.
The Russians didn't expect that much resistance, and basically moved a BN in to secure the capital building for a base of operations. It was basically a BN long road march convoy into the city. They were ambushed and slaughtered.
Thats were a lot of the KO AFV's come from. The rest were lost in the course of the war.
Unlike Arabs, chechens believe in AIMING their fucking weapons, so they were much more effective.
Yeah, there's also that.
Also, I hear the Chechens also believe in heavy weapons, whereas Arabs just love their AK's and RPGs.
try this for starters -- http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/6453/chechnya.html
Straight outta Grozny...
Comes a Muslim who'll blow off your bosom
And make your sister shave my cousin
Dangerous general raisin' hell
I played that pussy Lebed like a bell
See I don't give a fuck, that's the problem!
I see a TV journalist -- yo, I don't dodge him
But I'm smart, I act like the victim
And when the news comes out, I sees I tricked him
To me it's kinda funny, these Russian tactics
Drive their tanks into Grozny get their ass kicked
Just rollin', lookin' for the one they call Aslan
But here's a flash, they never catch on
I’m Stylish! Never seen without my tall furry hat...
Except in a mosque
You see, I attack without hesitation
I hear the screams of the last decapitation
With my stinger, I shoot a Russian jet down
And then we hit the town, you know it's time to get down
So what about the bitch who got shot? Fuck her!
You think I care about a Russian bitch? I ain't a sucker!
This is the biography of the A
And if you ever fuck with a
Hairy ass Chechen who's got five divisions
You'll see I'm on a mission...
Straight outta Grozny
Please...no more of that!
Well, the Russians were advising Saddam before the invasion, and I'm sure they told him all about their experiences in Grozny. What the American army did once they reached Baghdad was do a "Thunder Run", basically ran their heavy tanks at top speed through Baghdad and shooting any hostiles they saw.
In Fallujah, which could have been a real Grozny-type situation, the US not only used a lot of infantry unlike the Russians, but also had incredible networked air power and surveillance overhead the Russians didn't have in Grozny.
I made a "royal mag" by binding two 45-round RPK machinegun clips
head-to-toe with an electric tape. This gave me 90 rounds always at the
ready. It's a pity though, the calibre is 5.45, not 7.62, like before. The
5.45 bullet has some ricochet and once fired is all over the place. The 7.62
round, on the other hand, goes straight as. There is a legend - during the
Vietnam War, American GIs had complained to the gunmakers that their M-16s
wounded too many while killing very few (our AK-47 and AKM suffers from the
same imperfection). Then, the gunsmakers came right to the trenches, studied
the problem and began experimenting on the spot. Here's what they did: they
drilled a hole through the bullet's tip and soldered a needle inside the
hole. These modifications resulted in shifting of the bullet's centre of
gravity and when it hit the target, it reeled on almost all of the target's
guts too. Although the rounds' stability suffered greatly and the bullet did
produce more ricochets than before, the end result was more enemy fatalities
Soviet Army didn't produce anything original but rather copied the
American idea and, during the Afghan Campaign, swapped all 7.62 calibre AKs
with the 5.45 ones. Maybe fine for some, but I am personally not ecstatic.
What most people fail to note is that whilst the first crack at taking Grozny was a practically unmitigated disaster, (I think they came back out with two tanks out of the two battalions (55 or so) that went in), they learned their lessons well, and went back in a second time a little later. The main problems with the first crack were that the tanks were used a little too far forward (elevation difficulties, and presenting flank targets), and that their infantry fell prey to the fallacy that it's safer to be in an APC than outside it. When they went back the second time, they did the job properly, using dismounted infantry, and more care. They only lost a couple of AFVs the second time around. It was an entirely different result.
They also decided that given the situation was a little more violent than they had first anticipated, they would conduct a more violent response. Thus they also brought back the old WWII theory of "If a house is causing you trouble, remove the house" using artillery pieces in a direct-fire role if necessary.
There are no 'new' lessons to be learned from Grozny. The concepts of combined arms in city fighting were learned by all parties in WWII. Like, however, pretty much all militaries, lessons from WWII are frequently forgotten today. The Russians did after this decide that it was worth the time and expense of building dedicated heavy vehicles designed uniquely for the urban fight. No other country has as yet done this, not even Israel.
The Russians did prove at Grozny, once again, that Fuel-air bombs work to great effect. However, that is not enough.
However anytime you pit underpaid and undertrained demoralized conscripts against highly motivated insurgents, you will get what you see in Chechnya. Combine that with corrupt politicians and radical Islamists and you have a recipe for disaster.
Having said that, you can be sure that if we had been fighting an all Chechen insurgent force in Iraq, it would be much worse than it has been.
As manic moran ( a tanker by vocation, IIRC) explained, the issue was improper use of infantry. They did not deploy the infantry in support of the tanks, and rocket teams were able to cut the armor to shreds. Next time they deployed the infantry alongside the tanks, and they operated in support of each other with excellent results.
tag. Always interested in this topic.
The difference in Chechnya was that A: the militants were actual military (eerr, ex-military, in the days of the USSR), and B: they had access to all the old Soviet weapons both left behind and allowed through borders by corrupt scumbag politicians.
Imagine: the US breaking up and then after only a couple of years, the remaining, now poor, central government trying to take over a state in it's entirety (which still has its NG units and equipment), by conventional means only. It wouldn't be very nice either, even given complete air superiority and CAS. I don't think the results would be very different given similar situations (edit: ie, direct confrontation, versus simply leveling entire areas thought to be a threat).
Iraq and Chechnya are apples to oranges, but we SHOULD be worries about Chechen militants going to Iraq.