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    Little stories of US, Soviet (and other foreign) weapons in Vietnam

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    higurashihougi

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    Re: Little stories of US, Soviet (and other foreign) weapons in Vietnam

    Post  higurashihougi on Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:10 pm

    Story 4: The modernization of "old steel man" BTR-152.

    Background

    BTR-152 is one of the oldest Soviet APC. 15,000 were produced from 1950 to 1962. It can transported 18 troops and had a 9-15mm steel armor which can withstand firearms and fragments. It uses the ZiS-123 gasoline engine and can achieve the speed of 75km/h on road.

    Several hundreds of this BTR were supplied to Hanoi during the Vietnam war.

    The BTR-152 was highly praised by the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) in the war, thanks to its high mobility and good transport capability.


    BTR-152 in a military training.



    However, after decades of service, the condition of the BTR-152 was severely decreased. Furthermore, BTR-152 also has a number of shortcomings, which make the vehicle become more and more unsuitable in the recent years. For example, the gasoline engine has a small workpower, and not very fuel-effecient in the circumstance that, the oil and gasoline price are rising. The aging gasoline engine also causes many inconveniences in maintenance and repair.

    BTR-152 also does not have power-assisted steering system, no signal-light, no rear-view mirror, which limit the mobility especially in urban environments. The cross-country capability is also limited due to poor suspension. The troop chamber also does not have top cover and therefore provides no protection from the top.

    As a result, the PAVN deemed that BTR-152 has low relability and effeciency, and this vehicle needs urgent modernization to maintain the service capability.

    Modernization

    The BTR-152 modernization project was proposed by captain Nguyễn Huy Trưởng, member of Department of Tank and Armoured Vehicles in the Institute of Military Vehicle Technology. His project was awared the Military's Youth Creativity Prize in 2011.

    The modernization program mainly focused on increasing the mobility, cross-country capability and fuel effeciency of the vehicle.


    Military officers of 2nd Military Zone were examining and testing a modernized BTR-152

    To solve the problem of fuel effeciency, the PAVN replaced the old gasoline engine with a diesel engine, with a new gear system for the engine. This solution was actually applied in many other military vehicles such as U-ran 375D, Zin 130, 131; Gaz 53, 66. Experiments showed that, the new diesel engine in BTR-152 have a slightly better workpower and much better fuel effeciency.

    A new power-assisted steering system was incorporated into the vehicle to increase the mobility. Rain-wiper, signal lights, rear mirror was also incorporated to increase the safety and visibility in urban area. Suspension, compressed air system, electricity system were fixed and improved to increase the loading capability and stability in works. Interior, ventilation, tyres, communication devices,... were also revamped.

    A top cover was installed into the troop chamber to provide protection from the top.


    A newly revamped BTR-152.

    The modernization project of BTR-152 was considered successful. The revamped vehicle has a 9.1% higher workpower, and significantly more fuel efficient (the old gasoline engine consumed 60-70 litre gasoline for 100km, while the new diesel engine consumed 30 litre of DO for 100km). The apprearance was nicer, and it is easier to use.


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    Re: Little stories of US, Soviet (and other foreign) weapons in Vietnam

    Post  GarryB on Fri Oct 17, 2014 11:40 am

    You are wrong - MTLBs are used instead of wheeled BTRs, not BMPs. BMPs are used throughout the country.

    Interesting.. I knew about the better mobility in mud, but not that it was used as a BTR.

    I suppose its lack of firepower limited its use as an IFV.

    The M113 is far more mobile over rough terrain, which is where it really counts.

    Actually it isn't that much more mobile than a BTR...

    The M113 is a APC! For crying out loud, it doesn't need a large armament. - Ever heard of the AIFV?

    But at least give your gunner some protection from a pistol or fragments let alone small arms fire...

    Lies.... That has been a rumor for years, in reality Ai doesn't burn unless powered. - At worst it will spall, but not powder.

    You might want to tell the British Navy... after they had a few ships hit by exocet missiles whose warheads did not explode but the friction of the impact and fuel burning destroyed several vessels they decided to reduce the amount of Aluminium in their vessel construction and increase the steel content.

    Aluminium has a much lower melting point than steel... which is why the MiG-25 is made of steel.


    A better comparo as in it is tracked and with a similar role.

    Better for who? Wink


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    Re: Little stories of US, Soviet (and other foreign) weapons in Vietnam

    Post  higurashihougi on Fri Oct 17, 2014 2:27 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    The M113 is a APC! For crying out loud, it doesn't need a large armament. - Ever heard of the AIFV?

    But at least give your gunner some protection from a pistol or fragments let alone small arms fire...

    Initially, the M113's machine gunner was almost completely exposed. But then the number of gunner get K.I.A was damn high, and the U.S. add an additional shield to provide a better cover.

    Sandbags were also extensively used in the war, as a cheap "modular armour".

    partizan wrote:Question for our Vietnamese frend. Some times ago I read something aobut 4 memeber spetsnaz team who eneterd Vietnam in late sixties just to test new dragunov snaiper for russian army in live battle condition. Maybe this is ot, or not, but if you have any knowledge about that, from vietnamese sources would be nice to share with us.

    So far I have not find any reliable source which mentions this event. But Vietnamese internet community also says similar things. Some opinion says that the Soviets came to test the new weapon, some said that they came to research and investigate about the experiences guerilla warfare.
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    Re: Little stories of US, Soviet (and other foreign) weapons in Vietnam

    Post  higurashihougi on Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:08 pm

    Story 5: M-18, Vietnamese version of American XM-177E2.

    On the miltary parade on 10th October 2010 during the ceremony for Millennial Anniversary of Hanoi, people witnessed a very "exotic" firearms which resembled a member of American M-16.



    This kind of firearms was equipped for the soldiers of the Vietnamese Coast Guard.



    A close look of the exotic guns. The letter "AR-15" and "Colt" can be seen.











    The gun caught great attention both from the public, and from other military units in the parade.



    Later information said that the gun is named M-18. It is the Vietnamization, domestically produced version of the U.S. XM-177E2. From the images, it is implied that some (or some parts) of the original XM-177E2 appeared in the parade as well.

    Background

    XM-177, a.k.a CAR-15 Commando, basically is one of the carbine versions of the M16 family. It was added in 1966 in response to the US military's desire for a shorter M16 and the Model 607 SMG's inadequacies. XM-177 has a cylindrical handguard, a shorter (10 inch) barrel and a 4.5 inches flash suppressor. The later version 177E2 had a longer barrel (11.5 inches) to reduce the flash which was still unacceptable in the M1 version, and a ring to incorporate the M-203 grenade launcher. However, problems with range, accuracy, barrel fouling, and usage of tracer bullets continued to plague the XM177 series.

    The XM-177 was an experimental project and did not go into further upgrade/production since its length was too short, not compatible with the .223 Reminton ammo of AR-15/M-16. Furthermore, due to the effect of Mậu Thân 1968, American ground force involvement in the Vietnam War began to wind down. Since 1970s, the project was abandoned, and only untill the 1990s its idea was revived in the name of M-4 Carbine.



    Nonetheless, the XM-177 and other members of the M-16 family were extensively equipped to the Saigon armed forces as its standard assault rifles. Therefore, after 1975, the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) managed to captured millions of M-16s and derivatives from the enemy. Much of the captured M-16s were briefly equipped to the militia and local forces of the PAVN.

    A large number of XM-177 was also captured by the PAVN. For several reasons, the PAVN developed an interest in this weapon and began to equipped it for the Coastal Guards and some of the Special Forces units. It is said that the XM-177 carbine was favoured due to the compacted size which is suitable for mobility and secrecy, the tasks of special forces and coastal guard. The gun was also made from light material and use small ammo, which reduce the weight of the weapon and are more convenience for the soldier.


    Soldiers in the 2nd Vietnamese Military Zone, armed with M-18.

    Due to the needs for maintenance and repair, the PAVN's factories have tried to produce the spare parts of the XM-177E2. After a number of attempts, Vietnam has managed to manufacture some spare parts of the gun, and finally, Vietnam has managed to manufacture the whole American firearms. The Vietnamized version of XM-177E2 received the name M-18.


    A Vietnamese Special Forces unit with XM-177 in the Millennial Anniversary of Hanoi.


    Inside a Vietnamese weapon factory. It is said that the guns are probably derivatives of M-16.


    A Vietnamese scout with XM-177

    Hey, somebody notice that the supressor in the 10 October parade is much larger compared to the original XM-177E2 ?
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    Re: Little stories of US, Soviet (and other foreign) weapons in Vietnam

    Post  Mike E on Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:54 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    The M113 is far more mobile over rough terrain, which is where it really counts.

    Actually it isn't that much more mobile than a BTR...

    The M113 is a APC! For crying out loud, it doesn't need a large armament. - Ever heard of the AIFV?

    But at least give your gunner some protection from a pistol or fragments let alone small arms fire...

    Lies.... That has been a rumor for years, in reality Ai doesn't burn unless powered. - At worst it will spall, but not powder.

    You might want to tell the British Navy... after they had a few ships hit by exocet missiles whose warheads did not explode but the friction of the impact and fuel burning destroyed several vessels they decided to reduce the amount of Aluminium in their vessel construction and increase the steel content.

    Aluminium has a much lower melting point than steel... which is why the MiG-25 is made of steel.


    A better comparo as in it is tracked and with a similar role.

    Better for who?  Wink
    Yes, it is... It has an extremely low ground-pressure which is something the BTR-60 lacks, it also has a high torque/weight ratio and a good design for going off-road in general (approach angles are relevant).

    It has a suppression kind-of weapon on-board. Plus it would be protected by other vehicles with better armaments. 

    Tons of M113's were destroyed in NAM', I never heard about one powdering...

    Anyone who believes that tracks are superior to wheels...
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    Re: Little stories of US, Soviet (and other foreign) weapons in Vietnam

    Post  GarryB on Sat Oct 18, 2014 7:38 am

    Initially, the M113's machine gunner was almost completely exposed. But then the number of gunner get K.I.A was damn high, and the U.S. add an additional shield to provide a better cover.

    Sandbags were also extensively used in the war, as a cheap "modular armour".

    If it was a Soviet vehicle the cry would be that the Soviet government just doesn't care about the lives of its soldiers so most of the time the proper armour levels are field improvised sand bags piled up on the glasis plate behind the trim vane... which one presumes would eliminate the amphibious capability.

    The BTR originally had no roof, but fairly quickly was fitted with a roof and an armoured turret for the gun... that is what the PB on the end of BTR-60PB means.

    The US on the other hand decided not to bother upgrading all its M113s with protection for the gunners...

    On the miltary parade on 10th October 2010 during the ceremony for Millennial Anniversary of Hanoi, people witnessed a very "exotic" firearms which resembled a member of American M-16.

    It is an M4 Carbine... I have one.

    I bought a suppressor, but they have sent me the wrong one so I am trying to get the right one.

    Hey, somebody notice that the supressor in the 10 October parade is much larger compared to the original XM-177E2 ?

    Original XM-177E2 didn't have a suppressor... it has a very long flash hider because of the very short barrel.

    Tons of M113's were destroyed in NAM', I never heard about one powdering...

    Who said anything about powdering?

    Look at a shot down Mi-8 that burned out and it is mostly ash and molten crap... look at a shot down burned out Hind and most of the structure will be intact unless it hit very hard.

    Anyone who believes that tracks are superior to wheels...

    Perhaps you don't have a lot of experience in that area... wheels are vastly superior to tracks on hard flat surfaces. When the ground gets softer tracks are certainly better but even a tracked vehicle can get stuck. Wheeled vehicles are lighter, faster and a fraction of the cost to operate, buy, and maintain. A small land mine will immobilise a tracked vehicle, but the BTR can trundle around with 1 or 2 wheels completely blown off.

    For light not very well armoured vehicles the choice between tracked and wheels is a serious question... most vehicles in that category are air portable and many will be tracked to enable them to drive over a wider range of terrain to surprise an enemy from a direction they would least expect.

    As a standard vehicle (APC) however you might notice a current trend of using wheeled vehicles... that is not an accident... it offers better protection than a truck plus amphibious capability.

    The only real advantage of the 113 is the ramp rear door, but then an ambush from the rear could lead to all the troops and crew getting machinegunned in one long burst.

    The BTR-60 you pretty much had to use roof hatches which left you vulnerable from all directions but only exposed those getting in or out, while later models with side doors allowed exit from the opposite side from an ambush.

    BTW the BTR-60 has a central tire pressure regulation system that allowed the driver to deflate the tires to improve performance on soft ground like sand and mud and snow.



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    Re: Little stories of US, Soviet (and other foreign) weapons in Vietnam

    Post  Mike E on Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:02 am

    GarryB wrote:
    Tons of M113's were destroyed in NAM', I never heard about one powdering...

    Who said anything about powdering?

    Look at a shot down Mi-8 that burned out and it is mostly ash and molten crap... look at a shot down burned out Hind and most of the structure will be intact unless it hit very hard.

    Anyone who believes that tracks are superior to wheels...

    Perhaps you don't have a lot of experience in that area... wheels are vastly superior to tracks on hard flat surfaces. When the ground gets softer tracks are certainly better but even a tracked vehicle can get stuck. Wheeled vehicles are lighter, faster and a fraction of the cost to operate, buy, and maintain. A small land mine will immobilise a tracked vehicle, but the BTR can trundle around with 1 or 2 wheels completely blown off.

    For light not very well armoured vehicles the choice between tracked and wheels is a serious question... most vehicles in that category are air portable and many will be tracked to enable them to drive over a wider range of terrain to surprise an enemy from a direction they would least expect.

    As a standard vehicle (APC) however you might notice a current trend of using wheeled vehicles... that is not an accident... it offers better protection than a truck plus amphibious capability.

    The only real advantage of the 113 is the ramp rear door, but then an ambush from the rear could lead to all the troops and crew getting machinegunned in one long burst.

    The BTR-60 you pretty much had to use roof hatches which left you vulnerable from all directions but only exposed those getting in or out, while later models with side doors allowed exit from the opposite side from an ambush.

    BTW the BTR-60 has a central tire pressure regulation system that allowed the driver to deflate the tires to improve performance on soft ground like sand and mud and snow.

    Common sense does... Ai burns best when it is powdered, in other forms it would be fine... If if would burn, they wouldn't of gone for it, and used it on many other vehicles as well...

    So? There is a huge difference between a heli and APC, and the heli will be much more of an explosion hazard when it crashes... 

    Not exactly... Wheels are superior on hard-ground, but the M113 is performs very well there. Plus, wheels are vulnerable to road imperfections, more so when the vehicle weighs multiple tons! Tracks designs can prevent throwing if done right, and the M113 has a good reputation of not throwing them... Plus, the shrapnel of a blast could immobilize a wheeled vehicle whereas a tracked one might be able to continue on. Ballistic protection for wheels is still in its infancy. - Never-mind that vulcanized-rubber tires (which are somewhat common) can burn hot and long.

    +1

    What do you mean by APC vs truck, MRAP?

    Yes, but like I said, it is a vehicle that would be supported bu other vehicles with better armaments. Even the (at times) wimpy armament might be good enough for suppression purposes. - Though having side-doors as well would be an advantage. The ramp of the vehicle will typically be facing away from the action anyway.

    ....

    Still won't any where near a M113. Many wheeled vehicles have had that feature, and it doesn't really do "that* much when it comes to lowering ground pressure. There is also a point where ground pressure will rise because the direct weight of the vehicle will be on the surface. Tracks have more traction as well, and are in general more suited for rough terrain.
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    Re: Little stories of US, Soviet (and other foreign) weapons in Vietnam

    Post  higurashihougi on Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:26 am

    GarryB wrote:
    On the miltary parade on 10th October 2010 during the ceremony for Millennial Anniversary of Hanoi, people witnessed a very "exotic" firearms which resembled a member of American M-16.

    It is an M4 Carbine... I have one.

    I bought a suppressor, but they have sent me the wrong one so I am trying to get the right one.

    Actually a predecessor of it... in fact the M4 Carbine is a revival of the idea of old CAR-15 family...

    GarryB wrote:
    Hey, somebody notice that the supressor in the 10 October parade is much larger compared to the original XM-177E2 ?

    Original XM-177E2 didn't have a suppressor... it has a very long flash hider because of the very short barrel.

    Thanks for the word "flash hider", untill now I have been using the word "flash supressor", but then my use of word may cause a lot of misunderstanding.

    Not long ago I even did not know how to call it in English. cry

    In Vietnamese we called the flash hider as it "loa che lửa", literally means "fire-cover megaphone". Not because it can "speak", it just the flash hider roughly resembles an acoustic megaphone.

    Honestly I do not have a solid understanding about the M4 Carbine and its predeccesors, therefore I do not really know whether its Vietnamese cousin M-18 still have problems of bullet jammer or inconveniences in maintenance like the M-16 first gen ?

    @Mike E: as far as I know, although the cross country capability is better and ground pressure is much lower, tracks are generally heavier and cost more materiel than wheels... for general kinds of APC which is not very heavy and not really use in extremely rough terrain and weak ground... wheels are a better choice.

    In Vietnam, the M113 was actually used as an ACAV, i.e. have heavier armour, armament and have some capability of a IFV. Therefore the amphibious and cross-country, and protection became more and more important in later phase of the war.

    May be that is the reason why some opinions claimed that M113 is a mistake, because in the Vietnam War it was forced to take some tasks of the IFV (for example, a mobile bunker), but the protection of it is at an APC level.

    May I ask about your opinion and advices about this issue ?
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    Re: Little stories of US, Soviet (and other foreign) weapons in Vietnam

    Post  GarryB on Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:04 am

    Ai burns best when it is powdered, in other forms it would be fine...

    To create bright white sparks in fireworks powdered aluminium is added.

    That doesn't mean that in solid form aluminium doesn't melt and burn.

    If if would burn, they wouldn't of gone for it, and used it on many other vehicles as well...

    It is not magnesium... if all tanks exploded as soon as they were hit then crews from WWII wouldn't survive getting hit and losing several tanks. the fact is that most tanks and armoured vehicles will burn when hit and after time the ammo and fuel catches fire and you have a real bonfire.

    M113s will burn but not so quickly that the crew and troops wont have time to escape.

    To make a vehicle light you need thin armour. Using aluminium means the thin armour can be thicker but not too heavy. the extra thickness gives it more structural strength.

    Air borne armour often has aluminium included as it makes the vehicle structurally stronger... AFAIK the Bradley has Aluminium armour too.


    So? There is a huge difference between a heli and APC, and the heli will be much more of an explosion hazard when it crashes...

    Mi-8s have explosion proof fuel tanks... they rarely explode... more often just impact the ground and burn.

    [quote]Not exactly... Wheels are superior on hard-ground, but the M113 is performs very well there.[/qutoe]

    Tracks are not efficient on roads... like running on the footpath with rugby boots on.

    Also tracks cause more damage to dirt roads and sealed roads than wheels do.

    Plus, wheels are vulnerable to road imperfections, more so when the vehicle weighs multiple tons!

    Any pothole that damaged a wheel would damage a tracked vehicle too.

    Plus, the shrapnel of a blast could immobilize a wheeled vehicle whereas a tracked one might be able to continue on.

    the track would be blown off and would need immediate replacement...

    Ballistic protection for wheels is still in its infancy. - Never-mind that vulcanized-rubber tires (which are somewhat common) can burn hot and long.

    Never heard of run flat tires?


    What do you mean by APC vs truck, MRAP?

    I mean when the Soviets were mass producing BTR-60s most other countries either made their soldiers walk or transported them in 1.5 ton trucks.

    The ramp of the vehicle will typically be facing away from the action anyway.

    A feature any enemy worth their salt would try to exploit.

    Tracks have more traction as well, and are in general more suited for rough terrain.

    Tell that to the makers of the Jeep and Land Rover.

    Thanks for the word "flash hider", untill now I have been using the word "flash supressor", but then my use of word may cause a lot of misunderstanding.

    Flash suppressor is just as valid as flash hider, but you can't leave out the flash because suppressor is another (more accurate word) for silencer... which is not a flash suppressor or flash hider even though it does both.... ironically.



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    Re: Little stories of US, Soviet (and other foreign) weapons in Vietnam

    Post  Mike E on Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:16 am

    GarryB wrote:
    Ai burns best when it is powdered, in other forms it would be fine...

    To create bright white sparks in fireworks powdered aluminium is added.

    That doesn't mean that in solid form aluminium doesn't melt and burn.

    If if would burn, they wouldn't of gone for it, and used it on many other vehicles as well...

    It is not magnesium... if all tanks exploded as soon as they were hit then crews from WWII wouldn't survive getting hit and losing several tanks. the fact is that most tanks and armoured vehicles will burn when hit and after time the ammo and fuel catches fire and you have a real bonfire.

    M113s will burn but not so quickly that the crew and troops wont have time to escape.

    To make a vehicle light you need thin armour. Using aluminium means the thin armour can be thicker but not too heavy. the extra thickness gives it more structural strength.

    Air borne armour often has aluminium included as it makes the vehicle structurally stronger... AFAIK the Bradley has Aluminium armour too.


    So? There is a huge difference between a heli and APC, and the heli will be much more of an explosion hazard when it crashes...

    Mi-8s have explosion proof fuel tanks... they rarely explode... more often just impact the ground and burn.

    Not exactly... Wheels are superior on hard-ground, but the M113 is performs very well there.[/qutoe]

    Tracks are not efficient on roads... like running on the footpath with rugby boots on.

    Also tracks cause more damage to dirt roads and sealed roads than wheels do.

    Plus, wheels are vulnerable to road imperfections, more so when the vehicle weighs multiple tons!

    Any pothole that damaged a wheel would damage a tracked vehicle too.

    Plus, the shrapnel of a blast could immobilize a wheeled vehicle whereas a tracked one might be able to continue on.

    the track would be blown off and would need immediate replacement...

    Ballistic protection for wheels is still in its infancy. - Never-mind that vulcanized-rubber tires (which are somewhat common) can burn hot and long.

    Never heard of run flat tires?


    What do you mean by APC vs truck, MRAP?

    I mean when the Soviets were mass producing BTR-60s most other countries either made their soldiers walk or transported them in 1.5 ton trucks.

    The ramp of the vehicle will typically be facing away from the action anyway.

    A feature any enemy worth their salt would try to exploit.

    Tracks have more traction as well, and are in general more suited for rough terrain.

    Tell that to the makers of the Jeep and Land Rover.
    True, but it isn't much more than a nonissue, which is my point!

    A heli still has a better chance of combusting, whether it be via tanks or fuel lines etc.

    Yes they are.... They aren't perfect on roads, but they work fine and are efficient enough. 

    Damage will occur, but not from a vehicle with a very low ground pressure like the M113. Plus, rubber based tracks are becoming popular or at least more so.

    Not at all, tracks are immune to cuts and other effects that a bad pothole has on tires. For obvious reasons that I hope you understand.

    They have technology that has improved the tendency to throw, and it helps a decent bit. It an explosive can throw a track, it can blow an axle or two if not more.

    Run-flats are absolute crap, and that is spoken from a hooner... They have terrible performance properties, can barely go anywhere with a puncture - more so on a heavy friggin armored vehicle, and are simply a compromise.

    Got it...

    Probably wouldn't achieve either. Might as well say that they will exploit the sides on a BTR-60, there is no substance there...

    Wow, not even worth replying to that one!
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    Re: Little stories of US, Soviet (and other foreign) weapons in Vietnam

    Post  higurashihougi on Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:07 am

    @Garry, Mike E: This is a translation from the Vietnamese Wikipedia about the M-113.

    Usually I do not use Wikipedia but in this case I think this may help.

    Rough translation from Vietnamese Wikipedia wrote:Tactics of the U.S. and Saigon goverment in Vietnam War

    According to the U.S. military doctrine, M-113 is used as a "battlefield taxi", transporting troops right to the battlefield. Although Vietnam's rough terrain is not suitable for armoured vehicles, experiences showed that uncovered troops tends to suffer heavy casualties without the support from armoured vehicles. As a result, in Vietnam the M-113 was aslo used as an IFV rather than a pure APC. Armed with a 12.7mm HMG and two 7.62mm MMG, the M-113 became a formidable mobile bunker. The transported troops still can fought inside the vehicles instead of getting out of it.

    Initially, the Saigon goverment used M-113 for training, and for testing the tactics of armoured maneuvers. At firrst, 32 M-113 was deployed in the battlefield units, amongst them, 30 pieces were organized into 2 armoured company. Each company had 3 combat group and 1 support group. Each combat group had 3 M-113, while support group had 4 M-113, 3 of which was armed with 60mm mortar and 3 rocket launchers. The remaining 2 pieces were assigned to the company commander and the repair detachment. These companies were sent into the Mekong Delta and fought under the command of 7th and 21th Rifle Divisions.

    At the early phase of the war, M-113 was a very formidable and versatile AFV which had great cross-country capability, can operated in both mountainous and riverine area. The M-113 had caused a lot of difficulties to the PAVN guerilla who at that time had very little experiences and very few weapons against tanks and AFVs.

    The M-113 in the Saigon armed forces was operating follow these rules

    1) Only unload the troops in safe area.
    2) Have to notice that in flooded rice fields, advantages of M-113 in mobility and secrecy are lost. The vehicle can only move with the speed of 20km/h in such places.
    3) Make full use of .50cal machine gun to supress the enemy's RPG troopers. To increase the effeciency, the soldiers inside the car have to carry out the task of reloading the ammo. Other soldiers look out to detect the approaching enemies approaching from blind spot, or enemies hiding under the water.
    4) Do not drive the M-113 into surgacane fields, cocconut fields, area near rivers or channels, flooded rice fields.
    5) In dry season, engineers have to use explosive to destroy the dyke to make the ways for M-113, as the sunlight makes them dryed and uncrushable. Or they can build a stepped way instead. In rainy season, water makes these dyke become soft and crushable.
    6) Experiences soliders know that, places where the water buffalo eating have shallow water and they can be crossed. However, places where the water level reach the buffalo's belly, these places cannot be crossed.

    Thanks to good mobility and cross-country capability, and the initial lack of anti-tank weapons from the PAVN, the M-113 was used more and more as an IFV. The transported troops was fighting inside the vehicle, and after supressing all enemies firepoints, they rushed out to occupied the land. In the later phase of the war, M-113 was equipeed with more arms and armours, for example shields and covers for machine gunner, M60 machine guns in the flanks, sandbags and other improvised armour around the AFV. The upgraded was standardized in 1966 (called "A" upgrade kit) with shield plates for machine gunners and commanders and other armour plates. With such configuration, the M-113 was changed from an APC to an ACAV. There was a "B" upgrade kit with armour plates for machine gunners and commanders only, it was applied mainly in M-113 with mortar.

    Compared to the standard concept of IFV, ACAV has several differences to fit with Vietnamese conditions. It has no anti-tank weapons (although some may have recoiless cannons or AT missiles), however it has heavy and combined anti-ground firepowers such as .50 machine gun, 40mm grenade launcger, 2x7.62mm machine gun, and firearms of the soliders inside. The additional cover in the top enable the soliders to fight safely from almost all directions. The vehicle's floor had an additional sandbag layer to provide anti-mine protection, in some cases the titianium plates were used instead. Some internal furnitures were removed to safe space for ammunitions.

    However, such arms and amours significantly increased the weight of the vehicle, virtually stripped off the amphibious capability. Such tradde-offs were exchaned for increased fighting capability and the ability to supressed the scattered deployment of enemy troops, a tactic which was intensively used by the PAVN to reduced the heavily concentrated firepower of the U.S.

    Rough translation from Vietnamese Wikipedia wrote:Vietnam's tactics to counter the M-113

    After a perior of being suprised, the PAVN finally managed to find a way to deal with the M-113.

    First, the PAVN heavily exploited the uncovered position of the machine gunner. The U.S. believed that armour cover was not needed as good vision and heavy firepower were more than enough. Results: 14 machine gunners were shot to dead in the Battle of Ấp Bắc. Casualties of the machine gunner rose so high that additional shield was added.

    Rivers and channels with extremely dipped banks is another shortcomings of the M-113. The vehicle has no problem moving in water, but getting 10 tons of metal onto a dipped road is not an easy task.

    The PAVN exploited the weakness of M-113 by using the tactics of very close combat and concentrated firepower. They built traps, mines, holes, obstacles, to stop and destroyed the approaching M-113 In an ambush, they concentrated all kinds of weapon to destroy the heading vehicles, and the machine gunners, in order to create chaos. A wavering, chaotic M-113 column became an easy prey for the PAVN to destroy.

    Such tactics was successfully used in the great victories of Ấp Bắc and Bình Giã.

    The PAVN discovered another weaknesses of the M-113, especially the thin aluminium armour of M-113 cannot protect it against heavier firearms and anti-tank weapons. In the later phase of the war, the PAVN guerilla received heavier weapons like B-40, B-41 (aka RPG), PGN-2, improved AK-47 bullet, 57mm and 75mm recoiless guns which were very effective against the M-113.
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    Mike E

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    Re: Little stories of US, Soviet (and other foreign) weapons in Vietnam

    Post  Mike E on Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:49 pm

    Thanks, good report on it...
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    GarryB

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    Re: Little stories of US, Soviet (and other foreign) weapons in Vietnam

    Post  GarryB on Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:01 am

    Wow, not even worth replying to that one!

    Why?

    There are plenty of designs that allow the fitting of simple rubber tracks to improve traction... for a cross country vehicle like a land rover they could easily have designed it to carry tracks that could be fitted for travelling on rough terrain.

    They didn't bother.


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    Mike E

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    Re: Little stories of US, Soviet (and other foreign) weapons in Vietnam

    Post  Mike E on Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:49 am

    GarryB wrote:
    Wow, not even worth replying to that one!

    Why?

    There are plenty of designs that allow the fitting of simple rubber tracks to improve traction... for a cross country vehicle like a land rover they could easily have designed it to carry tracks that could be fitted for travelling on rough terrain.

    They didn't bother.

    For obvious reasons that you should understand... Both manufacturers produce civil vehicles that have no chance off-road against something like a M113. They have high ground-pressure levels and little traction (against the M113). To rid of the high ground-pressure, their tires can be deflated. This introduces a few problems, first - under-inflated tires can overheat, second - they need to be adjusted depending on the surface, and third - tires need to be (somewhat) designed for deflation for it to have the largest effect possible. The main problem (in military applications) with this is that deflating systems are expensive, complicated, and vulnerable to arms fire or even small mines. Also, deflation still won't help a multiple ton vehicle go through a mud patty like a BvS-10 or even a M113 would. Tires will never have the contact area of tracks, which renders them inferior on everything off-road. At the same time, this allows them to go faster on-road, but that is a different discussion... Anyway, deflated tires would eventually sink to the bottom of a mud patty (let's assume 2 ft deep) and lose all available traction on the soft and wet mud. While the tracks with their superior traction and lower ground-pressure might sink *a little* and get through it nonetheless. Wheels are also vulnerable to the limitations of chamber and axles etc which severely limits their mobility off-road. In general, they are more complex (despite the opposite belief) and have to have not only axles, but differentials and lockers as well. More things to go wrong = a big problem in war. On the other hand, tracks really only need a basic form of suspension and they are good to go. Tracks are also better at climbing obstacles, and don't risk nearly as much damage when doing so... 

    Oh for crying out loud GarryB... Please don't get into car things, they are my speciality... Anyhow, there is one simple reason; there is no market for such a niche market! The kits wouldn't be as easy to install as you think either. The wheels would probably have to be removed, and a whole new system installed. Such systems are very complex , expensive and very unpractical as well. Civil vehicles couldn't even use it, as they have less torque in general and inferior approach angles. I'd be willing to bet that the transmission would take a hit, revving the engine so high at lower speeds like that. 

    Such an idea is ridiculous... Companies don't have an infinite budget in which they can throw money at a project that will be willing to eat it up.

    Forgot something... Wheels have their own role, and tracks have their own as well. Hence why this argument is invalid, because Russia and the US etc use both types of vehicles for each ones roles. 

    I'd love to see Russia or the US build an APC on a design like the BvS-10 (or other). The wide-tracks allow unsurpassed mobility off-road and on snow, and their rubber construction plus low gp (I'll call it) mean they don't damage roads nearly as much if at all. These kind of designs are also pretty fast and modular, which is always an added bonus. Russia currently uses the Vityaz, which is very similar. - But it isn't an APC and is maybe a little too big... 

    One could install Mattracks on their vehicle, by the way...

    The BTR-60 isn't much faster on-road than the M113 anyway... To be honest, I still wonder why no armored vehicle in service has surpassed the M18 Hellcat in speed. That thing is old and didn't even have that great of a power/weight ratio, yet it would still kill any tracked vehicle today! Makes me wonder if it had no limiter, and newer vehicles do to preserve their drivetrain.

    Wow, I'm an idiot! http://www.military-today.com/apc/dt3_pb.htm
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    higurashihougi

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    Re: Little stories of US, Soviet (and other foreign) weapons in Vietnam

    Post  higurashihougi on Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:45 am

    Vietnam's Huey chopper fell on 28 Jan morning, at Bình Chánh district, Ho Chi Minh City. 4 people were killed in the accident.

    http://vietbao.vn/Xa-hoi/Truc-thang-roi-o-TP-HCM-4-chien-si-hy-sinh/120507278/157/
    http://soha.vn/quan-su/truc-thang-quan-su-cua-viet-nam-vua-gap-nan-la-loai-gi-20150128113904842.htm
    http://tuoitre.vn/tin/chinh-tri-xa-hoi/20150128/truc-thang-quan-su-roi-tai-binh-chanh-tphcm/704565.html

    The dead people are

    - Senior Lieutenant Colonel Trần Văn Đức, flying Director of Air Corps no. 917

    - Senior Lieutenant Colonel Đỗ Văn Chính

    - Lê Hồng Quân, co-pilot

    - Nguyễn Việt Cường - pilot trainers
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    higurashihougi

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    Re: Little stories of US, Soviet (and other foreign) weapons in Vietnam

    Post  higurashihougi on Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:04 am

    http://www.armyrecognition.com/january_2014_global_defense_security_news_industry/vietnam_has_recently_unveiled_its_new_own_design_105mm_wheeled_self-propelled_howitzer_1701145.html

    Vietnam has designed and manufactured its own wheeled self-propelled gun based on a military truck chassis fitted with a 105 mm M101 towed gun. Recently, a Vietnamese army newspaper published some pictures take during first firing test with the new self-propelled howitzer.
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    George1

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    Re: Little stories of US, Soviet (and other foreign) weapons in Vietnam

    Post  George1 on Sat May 27, 2017 7:20 am

    Vietnam receives ex US Coast Guard ship WHEC-722 Morgenthau (type Hamilton)

    The transfer of the ship was made within the framework of the US program for the realization to foreign countries of surplus military property Excess Defense Articles (EDA). For the first time, the upcoming transfer of Morgenthau to Vietnam became known in mid-April.

    The transfer of this ship to Vietnam has become the most significant supply of American military equipment to this country since 1975. Ironically, in 1970-1971, Morgenthau was actively used during the American war in Vietnam, seeking to prevent the supply of naval supplies from North Vietnam (Vietnam) by Vietnamese forces in South Vietnam, as well as to shell the coast during operations against the Vietcong. According to the official history of the ship, seven sunk and three damaged boats were added to the Morgenthau account, including an armed 50-meter North Vietnamese SL-8 trawler, sunk in artillery battle on April 11, 1971. In 19 artillery shelling of coastal targets, the ship claimed 12 destroyed and three damaged "bunkers" and 32 destroyed and 37 damaged buildings, "confirmed" the destruction of 14 armed persons.

    http://bmpd.livejournal.com/2630693.html


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