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Feanor
03 Aug 07,, 06:21
I've managed to find very little reliable information on the subject manner. Does anyone know the division numbers of the Soviet troops in Afghanistan, as well as what tanks, APCs, and IFVs they were using.

i was able to find out that there was one Airborne division, the 105th Vitebsk Airborne, and between 2-4 MR divisions. The main tank appears to be the T-62 though i recall reading somewhere that initially the T-72 was used and was later withdrawn due to mechanical problems. Anyone have a reliable source?

Kansas Bear
03 Aug 07,, 06:43
This book has some information.

Afghanistan: the Soviet Union's Last War: The Soviet Union's Last War

Amazon.com: Afghanistan: the Soviet Union's Last War: The Soviet Union's Last War: Books: Mark Galeotti (http://www.amazon.com/Afghanistan-Soviet-Unions-Last-War/dp/071468242X/ref=si3_rdr_bb_product/102-2572433-4981735)


This website:
Soviet war in Afghanistan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_invasion_of_Afghanistan)

entropy
03 Aug 07,, 13:24
The BMP-1 was used, and found to be heavily underarmored. Soviet troops hung their bulletproof wests on the armor for additional protection.

omon
03 Aug 07,, 21:55
The BMP-1 was used, and found to be heavily underarmored. Soviet troops hung their bulletproof wests on the armor for additional protection.

same thing they did with trucks, and transport helis.

Feanor
05 Aug 07,, 08:26
Was the BMP-2 not employed on a notable scale?

Stan187
08 Aug 07,, 08:23
The BMP-1 was used, and found to be heavily underarmored. Soviet troops hung their bulletproof wests on the armor for additional protection.

How bulletproof were their vests?

Stan187
08 Aug 07,, 08:25
Also, elements of Lebed's Tula Airborne Guards (106th) took prominent part in the Afghan campaign. The Vitebsk Guards were the 103rd I believe.

Ucar
08 Aug 07,, 10:02
Amazon.com: The Soviet-Afghan War: How a Superpower Fought and Lost: Books: Michael A. Gress,Lester W. Grau,Russia (http://www.amazon.com/Soviet-Afghan-War-Superpower-Fought-Lost/dp/070061186X/ref=pd_sim_b_img/104-5690886-0486321?ie=UTF8&qid=1186563654&sr=1-2)

Amazon.com: Bear Went over the Mountain: Soviet Combat Tactics in Afghanistan: Books: Lester W. Grau (http://www.amazon.com/Bear-Went-over-Mountain-Afghanistan/dp/0788146653/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/104-5690886-0486321?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1186563654&sr=1-2)

You can check these two books for detailed OOBs and unit tactics of the Red Army in Afghanistan.

Speedy
19 Aug 07,, 04:57
To the best of my knowledge T-72 was never deployed to Afghanistan. Initially the Soviets deployed a heavily mechanised force but later most of the armour was withdrawn in favour of more light infantry.
When I get home from work I will post more details on actual units deployed.

Speedy
19 Aug 07,, 10:34
40th Army Order of Battle
1980-1981

Army Troops

40th Army HQ
1074 Artillery Rgt
28th Seperate MRL Rgt
1839 Seperate AD Rgt
45th Engineer (sapper) Rgt
Engineer Road Construction Bde
103rd Seperate Signal Rgt
247th Seperate Repair & Maint Bn
258th Seperate Repair & Maint Bn


Ground Troops

5th Motorized Rifle Division
101st Motorized Rifle Rgt
371st Motorized Rifle Rgt
24th Tank Rgt
1060th Artillery Rgt
1122 AD Rgt

108th Motorized Rifle Division
177th Motorized Rifle Rgt
180th Motorized Rifle Rgt
181st Motorized Rifle Rgt (-)
285th Tank Rgt (-)
479th Artillery Rgt
1049th AD Rgt

201st Motorized Rifle Division
122nd Motorized Rifle Rgt (-)
149th Motorized Rifle Rgt (-)
395th Motorized Rifle Rgt (-)
? Tank Rgt
998th Artillery Rgt
990th AD Rgt

103rd Airborne Division
317th Parachute Rgt (-)
350th Parachute Rgt (-)
357th Parachute Rgt (-)

66th Seperate Motorized Rifle Bde (-)

70th Seperate Motorized Rifle Bde

56th Air Assault Bde (-)

191st Seperate Motorized Rifle Rgt (-)

860th Seperate Motorized Rifle Rgt

345th Parachute Rgt (-)


Air Forces

115th Fighter Rgt
136th Fighter-Bomber Rgt
50th Composite Air Rgt
181st Seperate Helicopter Rgt (-)
280th Seperate Helicopter Rgt
292nd Seperate Helicopter Rgt
146th Seperate Helicopter Detachment
4th Sqn of 335th Seperate Helicopter Rgt
254th Seperate Helicopter Sqn
263rd Seperate Tactical Recon Sqn
262nd Seperate Helicopter Sqn
302nd Seperate Helicopter Sqn


Ministry of Defence Forces

59th Brigade
10003rd Seperate Bn


Many of the units did not deploy their full paper strength and this is denoted by the (-) symbol.
All information is from 'The Soviet-Afghan War' as translated by Lester W. Grau and Michael A. Gress.


Later I will copy the 40th Army OOB from early 1988 (peak strength) and from halfway through the withdrawal in late 1988, this info also from the above book which I cannot recommend enough.

Feanor
19 Aug 07,, 17:19
Thank you. This is good info.

Speedy
20 Aug 07,, 13:49
40th Army Order of Battle
Early 1988

Army Troops

40th Army HQ
15th Spetnaz Bde
22nd Spetnaz Bde
1074 Artillery Rgt
28th Seperate MRL Rgt
1839 Seperate AD Rgt
Seperate MRB (Kabul Security)
45th Engineer (sapper) Rgt
Engineer Road Construction Bde
103rd Seperate Signal Rgt
247th Seperate Repair & Maint Bn
258th Seperate Repair & Maint Bn
650th Central Military Hospital (500 beds)
Infectious Disease Hospital x4 (1350 beds total)
Field Hospital x3 (675 beds total)


Ground Troops

5th Motorized Rifle Division

12th Motorized Rifle Rgt
101st Motorized Rifle Rgt
371st Motorized Rifle Rgt
1060th Artillery Rgt


108th Motorized Rifle Division

177th Motorized Rifle Rgt
180th Motorized Rifle Rgt
181st Motorized Rifle Rgt
682nd Motorized Rifle Rgt
479th Artillery Rgt


201st Motorized Rifle Division

122nd Motorized Rifle Rgt
149th Motorized Rifle Rgt
395th Motorized Rifle Rgt
998th Artillery Rgt
Seperate MRB


103rd Airborne Division

317th Parachute Rgt (-)
350th Parachute Rgt (-)
357th Parachute Rgt (-)
Seperate MRB


66th Seperate Motorized Rifle Bde (-)

70th Seperate Motorized Rifle Bde

56th Air Assault Bde (-)

191st Seperate Motorized Rifle Rgt

860th Seperate Motorized Rifle Rgt

345th Parachute Rgt


Air Forces

120th Fighter Rgt
134th Fighter-Bomber Rgt
378th Ground Attack Rgt
50th Composite Air Rgt
339th Seperate Composite Air Sqn
181st Seperate Helicopter Rgt
280th Seperate Helicopter Rgt
292nd Seperate Helicopter Rgt
146th Seperate Helicopter Detachment
335th Attack Helicopter Rgt
263rd Sep Tactical Recon Sqn
205th Seperate Helicopter Sqn
239th Seperate Helicopter Sqn
262nd Seperate Helicopter Sqn
302nd Seperate Helicopter Sqn
320th Seperate Helicopter Sqn


Total personnel approximately 100,000.
This was the peak strength the Soviets reached in Afghanistan.

What is very interesting here is the number of hospital beds devoted to infectious disease (over 50% of total hospital beds). The Soviet Army in Afghanistan had a very poor standard of hygiene.

Speedy
20 Aug 07,, 14:04
40th Army Order of Battle
15th October 1988


Army Troops

40th Army HQ
1074 Artillery Rgt
45th Engineer (Sapper) Rgt
Engineer Road Construction Bde
103rd Seperate Signal Rgt
247th Seperate Repair & Maint Bn
258th Seperate Repair & Maint Bn


Ground Troops

5th Motorized Rifle Division

101st Motorized Rifle Rgt
371st Motorized Rifle Rgt
1060th Artillery Rgt


108th Motorized Rifle Division

177th Motorized Rifle Rgt
180th Motorized Rifle Rgt
181st Motorized Rifle Rgt
682nd Motorized Rifle Rgt
479th Artillery Rgt


201st Motorized Rifle Division

122nd Motorized Rifle Rgt
395th Motorized Rifle Rgt
998th Artillery Rgt


103rd Airborne Division

317th Parachute Rgt (-)
350th Parachute Rgt (-)
357th Parachute Rgt (-)


345th Parachute Rgt


Air Forces

120th Fighter Rgt
134th Fighter-Bomber Rgt
378th Ground Attack Rgt
263rd Sep Tactical Recon Sqn
262nd Seperate Helicopter Sqn
302nd Seperate Helicopter Sqn
254th Helicopter Sqn



This is halfway through the withdrawal, approximately 50,000 troops total.

Feanor
30 Aug 07,, 03:14
http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/land-forces/4887-m1a2-iraq-against-rpg-7-a-8.html

In this thread when they discuss the RPG-7 they get a lot into its employment in Afghanistan. The posters seem to speak as if the T-72B was the main soviet tank deployed. This contradicts what I have heard in this thread.

Also another source, the new Russian movie "9-ya Rota" (9th company in english) shows a tank that looks a lot like a T-72 variant. The movie is supposedly historically accurate with it's equipment. The BTRs and BMPs are certainly recognizable enough. I know it's not a very good source but still the fact that both match makes me wonder. Were T-72s deployed there?

Speedy
01 Sep 07,, 03:46
G'day Feanor
I have just spent the last couple of hours :eek: going through my Soviet-Afghan War documents trying to find where I had read that the T-72 did not see service in Afghanistan and have finally found it ( I'm not going senile after all :biggrin: ).
My source is a FMSO document "The Soviet War In Afghanistan: History And Harbringer Of Future War?" by General (ret) Mohammad Yahya Nawroz, Army of Afghanistan and Mr Lester W Grau.

The document can be found here Foreign Military Studies Office Publications - THE SOVIET WAR IN AFGHANISTAN: HISTORY AND HARBINGER OF FUTURE WAR? (http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents/waraf.htm).
The reference too the tanks can be found in the first paragraph of the Soviet Equipment heading and simply states that "...the newest tanks did not fight in Afghanistan and the T-64 was the most modern tank tested there."
Although the T-64 was a better tank than the T-72 it is my understanding that the T-72 did not enter production until a few years after the T-64.

There are actually quite a few very good FMSO publications regarding the Soviet-Afghan War that are well worth a read.

Feanor
01 Sep 07,, 07:42
The T-64 was superior until the T-72B appread around '85.

zraver
02 Sep 07,, 03:52
The T-64 was the best the Soviets had in 79-80 so if it was there the 72 could have been a well. The two are also easily confused visually.

Speedy
05 Sep 07,, 18:32
That is where the reference I mentioned gets murky as he is stating that the latest tank models were being deployed deployed to Eastern Europe.
For myself even though the T-64 was superior to the T-72, the T-72 did not enter production till 4-5 years after the T-64 so I personally read it as the T-72 being the more modern tank.

Further on this considering the T-80 was replacing the T-64 in Europe and the T-72 was replacing the T-55's and T-62's it seems to me logical for the Soviets to deploy the secondary tanks that are not needed in Europe to operations in Afghanistan.

Silent Hunter
10 Dec 07,, 21:38
Were any Ukrainian soldiers sent to Afghanistan?

Feanor
10 Dec 07,, 23:24
Were any Ukrainian soldiers sent to Afghanistan?

Of course. To my knowledge soldiers of practically all nationalities were deployed. Or are you asking whether units from Ukraine were deployed to Afghanistan?

Silent Hunter
11 Dec 07,, 11:33
Both, really.

omon
11 Dec 07,, 17:12
there was no such thing as ukranian solgers or russian or tajik, they all were soviets back than.

Cactus
11 Dec 07,, 17:32
there was no such thing as ukranian solgers or russian or tajik, they all were soviets back than.

Was there a serious effort to raise All-Soviet units as a matter of national intergration policy? IIRC in reality most units reflected the ethnic composition of the military regions where they were raised - in this case Central Asian ones; the Airborne and Guards units deployed there though were heavily Slavic, specifically White Russian.

omon
11 Dec 07,, 18:08
Was there a serious effort to raise All-Soviet units as a matter of national intergration policy? IIRC in reality most units reflected the ethnic composition of the military regions where they were raised - in this case Central Asian ones; the Airborne and Guards units deployed there though were heavily Slavic, specifically White Russian.

they had standarts, for guads on red square, you needed to be build right have certan hight, and yes right face, after all you represent the best of ussr in front of whole world,
airborne aka vdv, also had their standarts, at least when units representetives went to voenkomat, to get new recruts, they tryed to pick most physicly fit, and with previous sports involvment, as much as they could.
as for afgan, solgers from all over ussr were sent, with no regards for nationality, those whose parents couldn,t pay off would go to afgan.

BD1
11 Dec 07,, 20:12
Actually there was another twist in Sov.Army - they tended to send soldiers far away from their home republic , to another end of the land . So for est. soldiers ended up in asian parts , Caucasus or Siberia . I know only a very little people who served nearby areas - Kaliningrad or Kolan Peninsula . And most of Sov.troops here came from -stans .

Silent Hunter
11 Dec 07,, 22:18
Looking at the website of the Ukrainian Air Force today (for separate reasons) I saw them state that Ukrainian pilots flew in Afghanistan.

omon
11 Dec 07,, 23:24
Looking at the website of the Ukrainian Air Force today (for separate reasons) I saw them state that Ukrainian pilots flew in Afghanistan.

sure now they consider them selves ukranians, back than they were soviets.
there was no ukraine as a country in 1979-89, as a nationality yes.
? am i new yorker or american?
now ukraine has solgers in iraq, may be afgan too, not sure, but deffinatly they are in iraq.

JohnFlint1985
13 Dec 07,, 05:21
Actually there was another twist in Sov.Army - they tended to send soldiers far away from their home republic , to another end of the land . So for est. soldiers ended up in asian parts , Caucasus or Siberia . I know only a very little people who served nearby areas - Kaliningrad or Kolan Peninsula . And most of Sov.troops here came from -stans .

Exactly so - they feel no pity for any possible action against people in this place since they speak different language and have different traditions. Friend of mine was sent into Chechen regiment to serve - though he was Russian from Moscow. I served in Tadzhikstan in small villages on the border -where some people didn't even speak Russian.
you have to understand Soviet authorities always expected a rebellion against communism somewhere in the USSR - so they wanted to be prepared. Ability of troops to be ruthless because they don't feel connected to the land and people was considered crucial.

Ray
13 Dec 07,, 07:56
It is a brilliant move.

It ensured that the soldiers were not with their own and therefore could not be a source of problem wherein they could have joined the locals to foment problems or identify with ethnic divisive tendencies.

Being in areas with no common ethnicity, they could be used without worry to implement the State's policy, especially if they were not in consonance with the local sentiments.

BD1
13 Dec 07,, 16:34
it also ensured that troops were viewed as foreigners , therefore not to be trusted .

old russian saying
´Before army time I slept peacefully , I knew we were defended and protected . In army I slept less peacefully , (I) defended and protected . After army I can´t sleep at all because I know who and how is protecting and defending´

Cactus
13 Dec 07,, 18:55
they had standarts, for guads on red square, you needed to be build right have certan hight, and yes right face, after all you represent the best of ussr in front of whole world,
airborne aka vdv, also had their standarts, at least when units representetives went to voenkomat, to get new recruts, they tryed to pick most physicly fit, and with previous sports involvment, as much as they could.
as for afgan, solgers from all over ussr were sent, with no regards for nationality, those whose parents couldn,t pay off would go to afgan.

Quite interesting, because things goes against some of the information we find in the West. Of course I defer to your personal experience for validity now, but I can't help but wonder how it was that the nature of the Red Army was so mistaken?

For instance it is claimed that the most favoured recruits were from industrial backgrounds (invariably Slavic or atleast European) assigned to front-line shock units in Europe for the push into Fulda Gap, and to a lesser extent acros the Soviet-Chinese border. Such units were never pulled out to serve in Afghanistan - with Airborne and Spetnaz units being the obvious exceptions. In the hinterland, second-class units were supposedly filled with those from rural backgrounds (Central Asians and Caucasians). It was they who formed the bulk of the units sent into Afghanistan from nearby Turkestan and other CAR military regions. Is their analysis completely wrong?

omon
13 Dec 07,, 20:16
Quite interesting, because things goes against some of the information we find in the West. Of course I defer to your personal experience for validity now, but I can't help but wonder how it was that the nature of the Red Army was so mistaken?

For instance it is claimed that the most favoured recruits were from industrial backgrounds (invariably Slavic or atleast European) assigned to front-line shock units in Europe for the push into Fulda Gap, and to a lesser extent acros the Soviet-Chinese border. Such units were never pulled out to serve in Afghanistan - with Airborne and Spetnaz units being the obvious exceptions. In the hinterland, second-class units were supposedly filled with those from rural backgrounds (Central Asians and Caucasians). It was they who formed the bulk of the units sent into Afghanistan from nearby Turkestan and other CAR military regions. Is their analysis completely wrong?

it isn,t compleatly wrong, but isn,t full.
i know quite a few ppl who served there, from my city, it wasn,t a major city but it wasn,t rural area either, they had solgers from all over ussr serve there, what your western study won,t tell you is that, recruts whose parents could pay off, wouldn,t go there, so ppl from big citys had more means and connections than from rural area, thus less chanses to go to war. as it was mentioned earlyer, ussr would sent you to serve far away from your home, usually, but not if you got ppl in voencomat and money, than you serve in your hometown, some acpects of recrutment you won,t find in any documents. corruption had a lot to do with where you'll serve, or if you serve at all.
no region in ussr, or nationality would prevent you from going, anyone could be picked, the only way to be almost sure you won,t get there is if you were in the navy, on the ship, but if you were in morpex(similar to marines) than there was a great chance to see war.

omon
13 Dec 07,, 20:19
also if you were rased in orphanage, had no parents, than you would have higher chance to get there.

Ray
14 Dec 07,, 08:09
it also ensured that troops were viewed as foreigners , therefore not to be trusted .

old russian saying
´Before army time I slept peacefully , I knew we were defended and protected . In army I slept less peacefully , (I) defended and protected . After army I can´t sleep at all because I know who and how is protecting and defending´

Again a brilliant way to ensure no revolt arose either in the population or the Army. Though heartless.

Divide and Rule - the way the British did it!