Little Bit of Research

Doing research for the Brannigan’s Blackhearts series can get interesting.  Since most of my experience has been in the Middle East, sometimes I’ve got to dig to figure stuff out for other regions.  As I point out at one point in Frozen Conflict, much of combat tactics boil down to common sense, and therefore there are certain common factors in good tactics.

But sometimes, groups and nations don’t necessarily teach good tactics.  So, trying to figure out what Transnistrian Army soldiers would do when trying to clear a structure, I had to dig for some regular Russian Army footage (not the carefully tailored, backflipping hatchet attack Spetsnaz stuff; these are regular grunts).  It’s still going to be an approximation, but I found a bit of urban warfare footage in the above video, mostly starting at about 2:20.

It’s a doozy, too.  Lets just say that we’d have had the snot bubbles thrashed out of us at Bn for the kind of fire discipline (or lack thereof) these guys show…

Sucks to be a hostage…

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3 thoughts on “Little Bit of Research

  1. I’m writing a near future SF series called The World of Drei that is set around a Russian civil war. The SF bit is the evolution of the AI that will emerge from the war. As such, I’ve done a shed ton of research on the Russian culture and military doctrine. Not one Step back- literally, “not a step backwards” means fratricide is taken for granted as the cost of war. Fascinating Army.

    Allows one to do things in a story that would break reality in any other setting.

  2. Alex Shishkin

    Speaking of Spetsnaz – the real one, instead of the one shown on TV.

    I’ve recently come across memoirs of the guy who commanded the Spetsnaz component of the first step of Soviet invasion of Afghanistan – the surprise attack on the Afghan Presidential Palace in Kabul, when Amin and most of his family were killed.

    Not having any military experience to speak of, I likely missed a lot of stuff that would have been interesting and telling to somebody like you. But one thing left me literally slack-jawed. In the part where he was describing the run-up to the invasion, he stated – very matter-of-fact-like – that in order to improve marksmanship training he had to request an increase of ammunition allotments to his unit. After much back-and-forth, he was successful in increasing this allotment to… wait for it… 3500 rounds per person per year.

    I was floored. When I moved to the US, I picked up pistol shooting as a hobby, and had been a regular at the range until my eyesight started going into the crapper with age. I was never a great shot – just better than 90+% of the cops, which is not saying much. ‘He shoots like a cop’ is not a compliment at the ranges I’ve been to, and with good reason. But even I, exercising with just a pistol, on a purely amateur level, spent a good deal more than 3500 rounds a year. And I had a chance to see the really good pros. Like a guy with FBI HRT, who was a regular at the same range for some time. They easily went through 10-15 thousand rounds a year, just with a pistol.

    How anybody can be a proficient special ops soldier, who presumably needs to have both rifle and pistol skills, and probably at least basic training with the squad machine gun, on an annual ammo allotment of 3500 rounds total – is beyond me.

    Needless to say, this kinda punctured the legend of the Spetsnaz supersoldiers, one more of the legends we Soviet kids grew up with…

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