ARTILLERY IN SUPPORT OF ARMY OPERATIONS
I. Some Characteristics of Combat Employment of Artillery in Army
Methods for Determining Requirements for Artillery in Army Offensive Operations
The army's requirement for artillery in the offensive operation is assessed by
the following methods:
1. In Terms of the Volume of the Artillery Missions During
----- - during breakthrough (penetration) of enemy defenses a great number of
missions are required to be accomplished by the artillery. Various and numerous
targets in a relatively small depth will have to be destroyed or suppressed in
a specific short time. To accomplish these missions a large number of artillery
will be required. In this case army requirements for artillery will be
determined by the following two methods:
-----a. In terms of the volume of missions in a specific condition of the
situation based on accurate reconnaissance information. Three groups of targets
are taken into consideration in this method:
---------- - enemy artillery and mortar batteries;
---------- - defensive strong points of platoons of enemy first-echelon
battalions, antitank weapons, command posts, and radars;
----- b. in terms of enemy organization and armament in one kilometer of front
which, depending on the operational density and enemy's nationality, may
require 90-120 guns per km of front.
2. In Terms of Organization of Artillery Groupings as Follows:
----- - regimental artillery group (RAG) each three to four artillery
----- - divisional artillery groups (DAG) each four to six artillery
----- - army artillery group (AAG) eight to ten artillery battalions including
four to five longer range artillery.
Organization of Combat Employment of Artillery and Rocket Troops in Army
The organization of the combat employment of the artillery and rocket troops in
army offensive operations includes the following measures:
----- - make decisions on employment of the artillery and rocket troops and
assignment (conveying) of combat missions;
----- - plan combat employment of artillery and rocket troops;
----- - establish groupings of artillery and rocket troops;
----- - organize coordination (interaction);
----- - prepare (FUP) areas for the attack and positions for the artillery and
rocket troops to support the deployment of main groupings of forces to repulse
enemy blows (attacks);
----- - collect and stockpile (dump) material means;
----- - organize political affairs of artillery and rocket troops;
----- - organize all types of combat support measures;
----- - prepare troops for combat actions;
----- - maintain high combat-readiness of troops for accomplishing assigned
Planning Combat Employment of Rocket Troops and Artillery in Army Offensive
The plan of employment of rocket troops and artillery is the principle document
prescribing combat actions of rocket troops and artillery in terms of missions
of the operation. The plan of combat employment of rocket troops and artillery
is a main component of army plans for the operation. It is the principle
document of the army's staff, of rocket troops, and of artillery.
While planning the combat employment of rocket troops and artillery in army
offensive operations, the chief of rocket troops and artillery accomplishes the
----- - clarify the mission;
----- - study the decision of the front commander on the employment of
rocket troops and artillery;
----- - study instructions from higher echelons on the employment of rocket
troops and artillery;
----- - conduct a full assessment (estimate) of the situation;
----- - make decisions on employment of rocket troops and artillery on the
basis of which the plan for combat employment is prepared.
The plan is prepared in graphic form on a 1/200,000 or 1/100,000 scale map with
an annex of written instructions. The plan is signed by the chief of the rocket
troops and artillery and his chief of staff. It is approved by the army
commander. The plan is considered a part of the army's plan of operation. In
the graphic part of the plan the following points are reflected:
----- - situations and actions of enemy forces, his important groupings, and
targets of rocket troops and artillery;
----- - situations and missions of army forces and divisions and boundaries
----- - missions of rocket troops in the initial and subsequent nuclear
strikes, number of targets, yields of nuclear rounds, types of bursts, subunits
and units launching the strikes, and time of delivery of strikes;
----- - employ rocket troops against enemy nuclear means;
----- - directions of movements and positions areas of rocket troops and army
technical rocket subunits in attack (FUP) positions, position areas of rocket
battalions of divisions in the attack (FUP) areas, and in the security and
----- - relocate positions of rocket troops and rocket technical subunits
during the course of conduct of operations;
----- - artillery groupings of the army, divisions and regiments in attack
(FUP) areas and in security and border areas;
----- - penetration (breakthrough) areas and density of artillery in these
----- - areas of deployment of antitank reserves of the army, divisions, and
regiments and the directions of their actions;
----- - areas of deployment of front antitank reserves and directions of
----- - maneuver of rocket troops and artillery during the course of conduct of
----- - positions of air defense artillery and areas of radar;
----- - other elements of army combat formations.
In the plan an annex of the initial nuclear strike of the army's rocket troops,
with written instructions is also prepared.
In the written instructions, the following points are covered:
----- - combat composition of rocket troops and artillery, distribution of
attached and organic artillery among the divisions and elements of combat
formations, and their regroupment during the course of conduct of operations;
----- - specific numbers of nuclear and chemical rockets allocated for
operations and their distribution in terms of their allocation to the initial
nuclear strike and army's missions and in terms of their distribution to
----- - availability and distribution of conventional rockets in terms of their
allocation to army missions and their distribution to different divisions;
----- - distribution of artillery rounds in terms of their allocation to army
missions and in terms of their distribution to different divisions;
----- - composition of antitank reserves of the army, divisions, and regiments.
In the work document the following issues are reflected:
----- - method, time of preparation, and delivery of rockets to troops;
----- - calculation of time for bringing rocket troops and artillery to full
----- - calculation of time for movement of army and divisions rocket troops;
----- - expenditure of conventional rounds in operations and for each mission
during the operation;
----- - measures for protecting troops against enemy mass-destruction weapons.
Employment of Artillery During the Commitment of Army Second-Echelon Forces
Commitment of army second-echelon forces into combat is conducted at the
----- - after accomplishment of the army's immediate mission;
----- - at the beginning of the conduct of long-range missions of the army.
The second-echelon is committed with these missions:
----- - to expand (to intensify) the strength of the striking power in areas of
----- - to support momentum of the attack (at a higher speed) or in the gaps
created between the first-echelon divisions during the attack;
----- - to shift main efforts to another direction;
----- - to reinforce first-echelon troops which have suffered heavy losses.
Commitment of the army's second-echelon division into combat is usually
conducted in the form of its movement from depth and its deployment into combat
formations from the line of march.
Commitment of army's second-echelon forces is initiated after the conduct of a
powerful artillery fire or a powerful fire strike lasting fifteen to twenty
minutes. The missions of the artillery during artillery preparatory fire are as
----- - destroy enemy nuclear delivery means;
----- - suppress enemy antitank defenses in areas of commitment of the
second-echelon into combat;
----- - suppress or destroy enemy artillery and mortar batteries;
----- - suppress enemy personnel, firing means, and tanks in strong points.
Artillery preparatory fire is conducted for twenty to thirty minutes with two
to three fire strikes each lasting ten to fifteen minutes.
The density of artillery during preparatory fire is forty to sixty guns per
kilometer of front. The expenditure of ammunition is 0.6-0.8 units of fire.
Assault Support Fire
Assault support fire is conducted by successive concentration fires (PSO) on
two to three lines or by massive fire (MO) and concentration fire (SO) on enemy
Accompanying fire is conducted by massive fires (MO) and concentration fires.
To support the commitment of the army's second-echelon into combat, artillery
maneuvers are conducted in commitment areas to establish required densities of
artillery for suppressing the enemy. Artillery groups are established in the
division to be committed and in its regiments. Artillery attachment to the
second-echelon division which is committed into combat is conducted by
reassignment of the artillery attached to the first-echelon divisions or the
The artillery of the large units and units operating in the area of the
commitment of the second-echelon into combat is also assigned to support the
commitment of the army's second-echelon into combat.
Army antitank reserves, jointly operating with army mobile obstacle
detachments, move to be prepared for deployment on the line of commitment of
the second-echelon to protect threatened flanks of the line against blows and
attacks from enemy tanks.
II. Characteristics of Combat Employment of Artillery in Army Defensive
Systems of Artillery Fire in Army Defenses
The system of artillery fire in defense is the principle part of the general
(overall) system of fires in the defense. The system of artillery fire in the
defense is the sum of different types of artillery fires from covered positions
such as the following:
----- - distant fires in defense;
----- - massive fires;
----- - concentration fires;
----- - barrage fires (fire barrages);
----- - fires from antitank means (antitank guns, antitank guided missiles, and
Artillery fire systems are fully established in divisions. In the army they are
established on important directions, generally for the conduct of
reconnaissance missions, as well as, for covering flanks and gaps between large
units and adjacents.
The fire system is continuously reconfirmed and improved as new information is
Types of Fire
----- - While Inflicting Losses on Approaching Enemy Forces, the Distant
Defensive Fires: Massive fires and concentration fires are conducted with the
help of fire adjustment aircraft and radio technical means. Massive fire of all
of the artillery or the bulk of artillery on important enemy groupings.
Concentration fire is the fire of a group of artillery batteries (battalions)
on individual enemy targets. To effectively suppress mechanized infantry
companies in assembly areas or during movements, one artillery battalion and
for the tank company three artillery battalions are required.
----- - Inflicting Losses on the Enemy During Deployment: Preparation of
massive fire (MO) on likely assembly areas or areas of enemy deployment.
----- - conduct of concentration for destroying and suppressing enemy artillery
batteries and command posts.
The losses on the enemy are better inflicted by fires conducted from temporary
----- - Fires During the Initiation of Enemy Attacks: Fires are conducted in
forms of massive fires, concentration fires, and barrage fire to inflict enemy
----- - massive fires and concentration fires are used to inflict losses on the
enemy during his movement to deployment lines;
----- - Barrage fire is used at the beginning of an enemy assault. Each
artillery battalion prepares barrage fires on two to three lines on different
directions with a width of 900 m. The final (closest) line is located 400-600 m
from the forward line of defense.
----- - During Enemy Penetration in the Defense: In this phase barrage fires,
massive fires, and concentration fires are used.
----- - Repulsing Attacks By Enemy Groupings of Tanks: Antitank reserves of the
army, divisions, and regiments are used.
----- - Prior to Initiating the Counterattack of the Division's Second-Echelons
and Prior to the Counterblows of the Army's Second-Echelon: Artillery supports
the holding (retention) of specific defensive lines and conducts artillery
preparatory fire or it conducts a fire strike for ten to fifteen minutes.
Combat Employment of Artillery While Launching Army Counterblows
The counterblow is conducted for the following reasons:
----- - to destroy the enemy who has penetrated or broken through into the
----- - to initiate a decisive attack by the troops.
To support the counterblow, rocket troops and artillery are called (assigned).
Artillery primarily conducts the struggle with enemy artillery and inflicts
losses on enemy first-echelon troops which are in direct contact with friendly
forces. The counterblow is conducted in the form of meeting engagements or in
the form of passing through unorganized and hasty enemy defenses. While passing
through the enemy's hasty defense, the density of artillery will be fifty to
sixty guns and mortars per kilometer of front.
To support the counterblow, the maximum amount of available artillery is
assigned. This may consist of the following:
----- - artillery of units and large units defending on the first-echelon;
----- - artillery of units participating in counterblows (divisional and
regimental artillery group);
----- - army's artillery group.
Moreover, during artillery preparatory fire and assault supporting fire, the
artillery of the adjacent divisions may also be called (assigned).
Artillery units participating in the counterblows, after moving to their
positions, require 1-1.5 hours. The army artillery needs two hours for
preparation, including one hour of daylight. If the distance is sixty
kilometers then, considering movement along such a distance, four hours are
required for preparing the preparatory fire.
Planning actions for artillery while initiating the counterblow is conducted
during the planning of the operation and continues during the operation. The
decision on employment of artillery is reconfirmed during the course of the
operation in accordance with decisions on the conduct of the counterblows.
On the basis of the army commander's decision, the army's staff of rocket
troops and artillery plan for the following:
----- - establish groupings of artillery and their time of arrival to fire
----- - duration and structure of artillery preparatory fire or fire strikes;
----- - methods of support for counterblows by the artillery;
----- - measures on troop control, etc.
During the conduct of artillery and air preparatory fire, losses are inflicted
on the following:
----- - newly detected enemy nuclear delivery means;
----- - artillery and mortar batteries;
----- - personnel and firing means of enemy first-echelon battalions;
----- - enemy second-echelon troops and command posts.
Duration of Preparatory Fire
The duration of preparatory fire is determined on the basis of the time
required for inflicting effective losses on the enemy or on the basis of the
time required for the movement and deployment of friendly groupings of forces
which conducts counterblows from the line of march. Accordingly, the fire
strikes may be conducted for fifteen to twenty minutes (during which
approaching attack troops cover three to four kilometers of distance).
Preparatory fire may last thirty to forty minutes. The ammunition expenditure
may amount to 0.5-0.7 units of fire.
Preparatory fire is conducted on all enemy artillery batteries and command
posts in the attack area. Preparatory fire is executed in the form of several
fire strikes. The last fire strike is launched against all targets directly
facing the friendly counterattacking forces and resisting the counterblow.
These targets may be tanks, infantry, antitank guided missiles, or enemy
artillery and mortars.
The chief of army artillery and rocket troops assigns missions to the
----- - commanders of army artillery brigades;
----- - commanders of antitank reserves;
----- - chiefs of artillery of divisions.
Employment of Antitank Reserves
The antitank reserve deploys on its designated firing line and fights enemy
tanks. It may also deploy in assembly areas in order to be prepared to move to
and deploy on firing lines. The decisions on the use of antitank reserves is
made by the army commander. On the basis of the army commander's decision the
army's chief of artillery and rocket troops assigns missions to antitank
reserves which include the following points:
----- - likely composition of enemy groupings of tanks;
----- - firing lines;
----- - methods and times of deployment on firing lines;
----- - missions on each fire line;
----- - methods of coordination (interaction) with other units.
During the preparation of army counterblows, the artillery conducts fire on the
enemy to prevent further enemy advance to the depth and flanks of the defending
forces. At this phase fire is conducted in the form of concentration fire and
barrage fire. Simultaneously, antitank artillery conducts direct fire on
When two or more divisions participate in the army's counterblow, the control
of artillery is conducted by the army. When the counterblow is conducted from
two directions, the control of artillery on each direction is conducted by the
Artillery preparatory fire ends as tank and infantry subunits reach the
security lines of friendly artillery explosions. At this point artillery begins
its assault supporting fire.
Assault Supporting Fire
Assault supporting fire is conducted in the form of successive concentration
fire or concentration fires. Or it is conducted in the form of massive fire
(MO) on call.
Accompanying fire is conducted in the form of successive concentration fires
(SO) and massive fires (MO) on targets blocking the advance of forces
conducting counterblows. The massive fires (MO) are launched on call.