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Principles of Contemporary Employment of Artillery in Offensive Operations:


1. Mass use of artillery on the most important axis of the front:

One of the most important principles of military art is concentration of forces and means on the axis of the main attack and on the most decisive direction with the objective of attaining decisive superiority over the enemy. This will lead to his rapid destruction to attain the objective of the operation. An indicator of the massive use of forces and means is their concentration on the axis of the main attack. Designation of the location for the main strike in the operation has a very important significance. In operations without the use of nuclear weapons on the direction of the main attack, the concentration of the large mass of main forces on a relatively narrow front will create a favorable opportunity to quickly break open the defense and rapidly move into the depth of enemy territory. The narrower the strike front and greater the concentration of forces, the quicker the breakthrough and success in penetration. On the axis of main attack the most important role is played by the artillery and rocket forces. The artillery is capable of inflicting decisive destruction on the enemy personnel and firing means in a brief time. The greater the quantity of artillery the greater the capability to inflict destruction on the enemy in a short period, so that the enemy cannot reorganize and recover. Therefore on the axis of the main attack in the breakthrough sector the Soviet Army concentrates massive artillery (such as the army artillery group, divisional artillery groups, and regimental artillery groups). But it is important to know that concentration of a great mass of artillery on a narrow front is a very dangerous act in the face of possible nuclear strikes. This demands that the artillery concentrate during a minimum short time and with the accomplishing of measures for maskirovka. After accomplishing the mission, it must be quickly dispersed.

2. Interaction with the motor rifle, tank and airborne forces:

The organization of interaction is the coordination of the actions between elements of the combat operational formation by missions, targets, lines, axes, and in time. This is one of the main principles. Important elements of the operational formation of fronts and armies are the motor rifle, tank, artillery, and air forces. With the objective of obtaining success in the operation close interaction in the fulfillment of the most important missions between the motor rifle, tank, artillery, and air forces is one of the most important requirements of operational art. Interaction between motor rifle and tank forces and the artillery is organized during the breakthrough of the enemy, during the commitment of the second echelon, during repelling enemy counterattacks, during forcing water crossings, and during other important missions. In these situations the commander exactly designates the missions of each operational element at each stage in accordance with time, and location. Observance of this principal guaranties successful fulfillment of the issued mission.

3. Constant support by artillery fire of the attacking forces:

This principal is achieved by suppression and destruction of the personnel and fire means of the enemy in front of the attacking forces during the operation. It is done with the following aims:
----- preventing enemy from establishing a fire control and observation system during the offensive;
----- suppressing the enemy personnel and fire means;
----- supporting attackers constantly during the operation;
----- maintaining fire superiority over the enemy;
----- suppressing enemy maneuver of personnel or weapons;

These requirements create good conditions for rapid force movement during the operation.

4. Strong and continuous control of fire and maneuver:

This is an activity of the command and staff of the artillery for timely and effective employment of fire, which is controlled for the fulfilling fire missions . It consists of the following:
----- designating the character and coordinates of the targets;
----- clarifying the fire missions and conditions for their accomplishment;
----- issuing the missions to the artillery formations and units;
----- delivering, stopping, and coordinating fire and monitoring the results of fire ;
----- conducting fire maneuver;

Control of fire has specific characteristics in accordance with the type of weapons, and means and conditions for their use.

Maneuver of fire: This is shifting fire of sub-units, units, and formations of artillery in accordance wit the width of front and depth during the operation (battle) from one target (line, region) to another target (line, region) without changing the firing position.

They employ massive fire or concentration fire on selected targets with the objective of assured suppression or destruction in a short time period. Or they employ divided fire at one time at a number of targets with the aim of inflicting losses.

During the clarification of the mission by the commander the actions of the artillery staff include the following:
----- clarifiying the instructions from the higher artillery staff and missile forces;
----- informing officers and staff of artillery on the received missions;
----- preparing initial instructions for preparation of troops and staffs of artillery and rocket for the forthcoming operation;
----- regrouping of staff officers to fulfill their missions (tasks);
----- preparing graphics of the daily activities of the staff;
----- preparing data on the situation and status of artillery forces;
----- preparing data and calculations on the combat capabilities of the artillery;
----- preparing data and calculations on situation, status, and combat capabilities of enemy rocket forces and artillery;
----- preparing suggestions on combat employment of missile troops and artillery in the operation;
----- preparing the maps and other documents for planning;
----- distributing the preparation time to subordinates;
----- organizing artillery reconnaissance, planning, issuing combat missions to subordinates, deploying the artillery from the concentration areas to the FUP areas, engineer fortification of firing positions and command posts of artillery, recognisrovka of terrain if conducted, combat support measures, monitoring and rending assistance.
----- preparing the calendar plan for preparation, planning, and documents and preparation of artillery troops for fulfilling operations.
----- organizing artillery reconnaissance.

Actions of Artillery Staff After Commander Makes his Decision
----- preparation and writing combat orders to the missile and artillery forces;
----- preparation of combat instructions on artillery to the subordinate staffs;
----- preparation of plan for conduct of missile troops and artillery and the annexes for the plan;
----- participation in the planning for the initial nuclear strike;
----- participation in planning for air assault and other special plans;
----- participation in terrain recognisirovka if conducted;
----- participation in planning for interaction;
----- organization of political work in staffs and troops;
----- preparation of planning of combat support( resupply of nuclear, chemical and conventional warheads, resupply of ammunition, fuel, material means equipment)
----- planning repair of artillery weapons;
----- preparation of combat technical equipment and vehicles, and tractors, command post machines, equipment of artillery, fire means, meteorological and topo-geodetic equipment;
----- organization of command post of artillery and support of communication systems to subordinates;
----- control of missile troops and artillery on their preparation;
----- control of artillery as they occupy the FUP areas;
----- preparation of the duty rocket units;
----- preparation of missile forces to participate in the initial nuclear strike;
----- preparation and monitoring main and alternate fire positions;
----- organization of protection of artillery and missile against enemy use of mass destruction weapons;
----- monitoring and offering assistance;
----- some of these activities may begin during the first period depending on the situation.