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Red Thrust Star
Chechen Anti-armor Techniques
Vulnerabilities of Russian armored vehicles
The BMD-1 is a personnel carrier assigned to airborne forces. As such, it is lightly armored.
It was vulnerable to front, rear, flanking and top-down fire. The front portion of the turret is reinforced and, consequently, not vulnerable, but the rear of the turret is.
There is more armor on the BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle. However, its top armor is weak, its fuel tanks are within the rear doors and the driver's compartment is vulnerable.
The BTR-70 wheeled armored personnel carrier showed many of the same vulnerabilities as the BMD and BMP.
1. For a discussion of changing Russian urban tactics, see Lester W. Grau, "Russian Urban Tactics: Lessons from the Battle for Grozny," Strategic Forum, Number 38, July 1995.
2. N. N. Novichkov, V. Ya. Snegovskiy, A. G. Sokolov and V. Yu. Shvarev, Rossiyskie vooruzhennye sily v chechenskom konflikte: Analiz, Itogi, Vyvody (Russian armed force in the chechen conflict: Analysis, outcomes and conclusions), Moscow: Kholveg-Infoglob-Trivola, 1995, 138-139. For the same period of time, forward-support Russian maintenance personnel repaired 217 armored vehicles, while depot maintenance repaired another 404 armored vehicles according to Sergey Maev and Sergey Roshchin, "STO v Grozny" (Technical Maintenance Stations in Grozny), Armeyskiy sbornik (Army digest), December 1995, 58. These were not all combat-induced losses, but it seems to indicate that 846 of 2221 armored vehicles (38%) were out of action for some period of time during the two-month battle for Grozny.
3. Mikhail Zakharchuk, "Uroki Chechenskogo krizisa" (Lessons of the Chechen crisis), Armeyskiy sbornik, April 1995, 46.
4. "Pamyatka lichnomu sostavu chastey i podrazdeleniy po vedeniyu boevykh deistviy v Chechenskoy Respublike" (Instructions for unit and subunit personnel involved in combat in the Chechen Republic), Ameryskiy sbornik, January 1996, 37.
5. Novichkov, 145.
6. Ibid, 123.
7. Sergey Leonenko, "Ovladenie gorodom" (Capturing a city), Armeyskiy sbornik, 31-35.
8. Novichkov, 137.
9. All illustrations are taken from Novichkov, 140-144.
10. Novichkov, 145.
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