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Red Army Scientific War
Soviet Army Warfighting Norms
152 pages; 13 chapters
The Red Army was the first modern army to study in great detail its
warfighting experiences, and utilize such studies to perfect its own combat
methods. In that respect, World War II was a graduate school for the Red
Army. Its generals studied hundreds of battles from that war, and analyzed every
aspect of the procedures, equipment, and processes of those battles. That
analysis resulted in Soviet Army battle or combat warfighting norms. Those
soviet warfighting norms were then used to show red army officers what a
variety of facts about every conceivable combat operation undertaken in every
conceivable condition, with every conceivable armed force available to the red
army. Thus, the Soviet Army officer would know, in dozens of situations, what
his performance should be regarding planning and operations, as well as timing
and resupply. Red Army warfighting norms were scientific and useful at the
same time. There is no doubt that the Soviet Army’s use of such warfighting
norms, right up until 1991, made the Red Army one of the best armies in the
world, if not the best. Red Army Scientific War provides the reader with material
he will find nowhere else.
Soviet Army warfighting norms “…(normy) are listed under four headings: financial, supply, exploitation, and
expenditure. The first three are essentially logistics considerations while the last is both logistics and operational. The
norms cover all material requirements for military personnel, units, and formations in both peace and war. In combat,
norms establish, for example, how many artillery rounds are needed to destroy a given target and how many guns,
planes, or tanks will be required for a kilometer of front in a conventional situation.
Soviet military norms were in use at least as early as 1929, when Marshal Tukhachevsky, included them in one of the
earliest sets of Soviet field service regulations. Since then they have become all-pervasive in Soviet military practice.
There are norms for consumption of food, temperatures of barracks, amount of sleep, the number of hours of training,
the number of hours of instruction in party doctrine, etc. Training to meet norms and the development and testing of
norms are the major activities in which soldiers and officers engage during the normal work week. Staffs calculate the
norms, and soldiers and officers then test the norms and determine the proper level at which they should be set.
Norms, then, are used to describe how much, how much, how fast, how wide, and how deep the Soviet Army is
expected to operate. The norms also dictate how much ammunition, fuel, and food will be carried by every unit. These
norms appear in the field service regulations and in military writings at all levels. Since they reveal so much about the
Soviet Army, most of the norms are classified and are revealed only on a need-to know basis. It is imperative that
every possible effort of the total US intelligence effort should be directed at obtaining comprehensive copies and
explanation of all Red Army norms.”
Excerpt from Red Army Scientific War
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