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    Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

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    VladimirSahin
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    Combined arms tactics of the Russian armed forces

    Post  VladimirSahin on Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:34 pm

    I have opened this new thread so we can discuss the combined arms tactics of the Russian armed forces while we can also compare them to its rival countries' tactics. I hope this thread is not useless and gets good discussions going on.

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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  VladimirSahin on Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:48 pm

    First off how would a ground offensive in Ukraine look like for the Russian forces.  Assuming their objective would be to stop the ground offensive on the people of the Donetsk Peoples Republic.  I know that the VDV would be deployed right after the skies are clear from any Anti Air batteries,  VDVs objective would most likely be to attack enemy logistics and FOBs including attacking enemy reinforces and securing the lines for the main attack that would be pretty much made out of T-72B3s like the ones that were deployed to the border, And also mechanized troops that have BMPs lets not forget helicopters would play a big role in this delivering logistics and lets not forget firepower.  Overall I believe that this is how it would go down but lets not forget I was just at best a soldier who was not a officer so I may be wrong  Rolling Eyes  I would love to hear other scenarios or just a discussion on tactics that were already used in the past wars for example, Chechnya and Georgia.

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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  etaepsilonk on Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:23 pm

    My guess is that tactics would probably be similar to SADF at the battle of quito cuanavale:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cuito_Cuanavale
    http://www.rhodesia.nl/cuito.htm

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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  Asf on Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:36 am

    Modern russian combined arms tactics is based upon WWII experience. The Red Army used mechinazed/tanks brigades formations very similar to modern ones which combined tanks, infantry, artellery, recon and engeneer units to the great succees. After the war those concept was improved as the whole army been restructurised in the similar manner (with brigades remaned to regiments).

    Nowadays the common maneuver unit of the Russian army is a batallion tactical group (BTG) which basically is a batallion with augment support elements from the brigade (regiment). Lets look at a common motor rifle batallion as a basic example of combined arms element. It is already have grwat tactical diversity as it contains mechanized infantry with organic artillery support in form of SPG or mortar battary. It is a rule in the Russian army that all infantry is mechanized for mobility and every troop transport (with exception of specialised ones) is basically a light tank e.g. can provide fire support for dismounted infantry. In addition a motor rifle battalion is augmented with a tank platoon or company for additional hitting power. It also will be fitted with AA element, depending on a mission it can be MANPAD platoon or self-propelled AA vehicle platoon. In some cases a motor rifle battalion will be given additional firepower in form of a 152 mm SPG battery. Ona  rare occasion it can be also given an additional company from other battalion (in war-time it is probably a more common practice due to losses).
    Another typical BTG is a tank battalion group, which is formed on a tank battalion base. In this case a tank battalion will be given a motor rifle company and AA element. A tank battalion is more specialised type of unit than a motor rifle one, so the tasks of a tank BTG will be more specific - primarily a success exploitation or acting as a forward detachment of a brigade during the attack.
    There are differences of how BTG is formed in the West and in the russian army. Typically in the Russian army batallions do not exchange their units on an equal basis, but one unit serves as donor for another unit.
    If we have a basic motor rifle brigade with 3 motor rifle batallions a tank batallion, the brigade commander can form three equal BTGs with tank companies given to motor rifle batallions, or, say, form a tank BTG with two tank companies and a motor rifle company plus three motor rifle BTG with a tank platoon each (one of them has one less motor rifle company).

    There are also differences of how an artillery is employed in the Russian Aarmy and the western armies. To cut a long story short in the Russian army it is typical to use artillery in more centralized manner.

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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  Asf on Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:46 am

    First off how would a ground offensive in Ukraine look like for the Russian forces.

    Most likely, their troops would been tied up on their positions by mobile groups to prevent them do anything as forward detachments of the army would drive into the operational depth, disrupting rears and preventing new forces mobilisation and movement. Then tied up ukrainian forces would have been shelled and bombed into submission. Russian army ground attack looks like a multiple pierces of enemy defences, enemy forces splitting, rears disruption and separation of emeny strong-points which are destroyed by massed forces later on.

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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  Vladimir79 on Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:15 pm

    VladimirSahin wrote:First off how would a ground offensive in Ukraine look like for the Russian forces.  Assuming their objective would be to stop the ground offensive on the people of the Donetsk Peoples Republic.  I know that the VDV would be deployed right after the skies are clear from any Anti Air batteries,  VDVs objective would most likely be to attack enemy logistics and FOBs including attacking enemy reinforces and securing the lines for the main attack that would be pretty much made out of T-72B3s like the ones that were deployed to the border, And also mechanized troops that have BMPs lets not forget helicopters would play a big role in this delivering logistics and lets not forget firepower.  Overall I believe that this is how it would go down but lets not forget I was just at best a soldier who was not a officer so I may be wrong  Rolling Eyes  I would love to hear other scenarios or just a discussion on tactics that were already used in the past wars for example, Chechnya and Georgia.

    It would look like an expanded version of the liberation of Ossetia. If we are skipping the air campaign VDV would be dropped behind the front lines to secure waypoint objectives, most importantly bridges/tunnels, fuel depots and airfields. We are primarily used to make sure the path is clear for ground and air units can move in quickly and grab enemy infrastructure we can use for our own. Russian Army is big on recycling. Once an operational zone is secure, VDV operates much like regular army and will reinforce units that have caught up with us and scout ahead. In typical Russian fashion, when we encounter pockets of resistance we wait for artillery to pull up and pound them until they surrender, if not we charge. Rinse, repeat until victory. One of the things that infuriates me war after war is the lack of force protection. Too many armoured columns get caught on the road because lack of communication and proper scouting from Chechnya to Georgia. It is a lesson I hope we have learned. Fighting Ukraine would lead to big armour battles we have not seen since Zhukov lead a tank. Based on their timidity they have shown to date, I have no doubt we would crush them easier than I ever thought but still many would die.


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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  cracker on Thu Sep 04, 2014 5:26 pm

    would the ukrainian tanks be able to destroy the russian ones anyway? And considering the losses, notably of almost all the bulats of the 1st brigade (still to be confirmed), how many tanks would ukraine be able to bring anyway? 400 T-64BV/ T-64B/A, T-72M1/AV/B... Maybe 20 T-84BM/T-84/T-80UD ?

    We can safely assume that most of those tanks would break even before battle, and, they would carry outdated ammunition in general (3BM42 as the best round? Maybe a handful modern sabot, but I doubt it)... Basically russian army would bring in T-72B tanks (mostly modernised BA/B3), probably also a number of T-80BV/ T-80U... Doubt about T-90A. Russian tanks would have no problem penetrating T-64BV at any range, while the T-64 might be able only to penetrate the T-80BV or T-72B

    But it's so unlikely... Russia will not invade ukraine, it's impossible. None want it in russia, nor the people nor the kremlin. And the ukrainian army would not fight, but surrender. Except some fanatics here and there...

    RPG-7 , 22, 26 and artillery already was sufficient to knock out 30 to 50% of total ukraine armored forces in activity...

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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  VladimirSahin on Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:48 pm

    Thank you Asf for the detailed explanation.  Vladimir were you a officer in VDV? either way thanks for your take on it and thanks for your service.
    Would Belarus help by making another front?

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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  Vladimir79 on Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:53 am

    cracker wrote:would the ukrainian tanks be able to destroy the russian ones anyway? And considering the losses, notably of almost all the bulats of the 1st brigade (still to be confirmed), how many tanks would ukraine be able to bring anyway? 400 T-64BV/ T-64B/A, T-72M1/AV/B... Maybe 20 T-84BM/T-84/T-80UD ?

    We can safely assume that most of those tanks would break even before battle, and, they would carry outdated ammunition in general (3BM42 as the best round? Maybe a handful modern sabot, but I doubt it)... Basically russian army would bring in T-72B tanks (mostly modernised BA/B3), probably also a number of T-80BV/ T-80U... Doubt about T-90A. Russian tanks would have no problem penetrating T-64BV at any range, while the T-64 might be able only to penetrate the T-80BV or T-72B

    But it's so unlikely... Russia will not invade ukraine, it's impossible. None want it in russia, nor the people nor the kremlin. And the ukrainian army would not fight, but surrender. Except some fanatics here and there...

    RPG-7 , 22, 26 and artillery already was sufficient to knock out 30 to 50% of total ukraine armored forces in activity...

    Ukraine has several hundred upgraded Bulat which are the equal to our T-72s. T-84 are too limited a number to matter. They also have hundreds of T-72s being upgraded for export they can commandeer for their own use. They could field 700 modernised tanks at the most. The problem is their air force and navy are gone while they are demoralised. They would run at any official Russian invasion.


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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  Mike E on Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:08 am

    Ground forces are next to nothing without control of the air. Heck, look at how bad Ukraine has been fighting Novorossiya!

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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  Asf on Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:10 am

    Ground forces are next to nothing without control of the air.

    In this war air support plays no significant role, as both sides do not have air forces to talk about. Sporadic static target bombings by urkair force dosen't count

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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  Asf on Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:15 am

     Fighting Ukraine would lead to big armour battles

    Seems like Ukraine dosen't have large armoured forces already. All what is left will be destroyed by russian air forces

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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  Asf on Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:16 am

    would the ukrainian tanks be able to destroy the russian ones anyway? 

    Theoretically they can

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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  Mike E on Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:12 am

    Based off of their terrible strategy.... Obviously they will get some kills, but not many.

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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  sepheronx on Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:05 pm

    Asf wrote:
    Ground forces are next to nothing without control of the air.

    In this war air support plays no significant role, as both sides do not have air forces to talk about. Sporadic static target bombings by urkair force dosen't count

    Who, Russia? Russian airforce, even with outdated Su-24's and MiG-29's could pound the Ukrainian armour quite easily, especially if they have no support. What would pose a threat would be if they have manpads. If Russia learned their lessons from previous wars, then they would be carrying more persision guided munitions. But Russia has a significant amount of airforce along the borders. Su-27's mostly to be exact with the odd other aircraft here and there.

    Would be good training for Su-34 pilots too.

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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  Asf on Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:47 pm

    Who, Russia?

    No, I was taking about ukraine/novorussia struggle. I thought it was real-life discussion Smile

    Russian air force would bomb Ukraine into new Stone Age, it's still the strongest air force after USAF

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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  VladimirSahin on Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:22 pm

    Who would help Ukraine in this war is my question, We all know America would just bark on its chain as it would not risk anything but would Poland help? It has special forces already stationed there they know Russia will not risk a full out invasion of Poland as it can risk a war with NATO.  NATO would play a major roll in giving it (Ukraine) logistics such as ammunition, fuel, food, etc.  I feel America will send out every warship they can to the black sea but will be intercepted by Russian ships of course.  American radars will provide good coverage for Ukraine but that doesn't mean anything when Russia overpowers Ukraine in terms of everything.  America will most likely be more aggressive, Most likely attacking Syria in the first few weeks.Which brings us to another scenario how would Russia do against a NATO invasion of Syria.  Lets take in count Hezbollah and other groups that help Syria.

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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  Asf on Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:14 pm

    are you interested in making a thread for the continuation of this discussion, so we don't spam with off topic stuff here?
    I'm actually don't see the offtopic.

    I think NATO (e.g. USA) just dosen't truly get the idea of combined arms. It's more about that you've written - methodical long range fire implementation. Actually not much have changed since pre-WWII then USA and Britain thought they could win the war with their strategic bombers and heavy artillery usage. The soviet and now russian way is more subtile and more aggressive in nature, all the "arms" of combined arms operation have their job, one 'arm' supporting another. There is difference between fire for 'suppression' and fire for 'destruction' of a target, don't know excact terms in English, may be it's called 'fire for effect', anyway, they differs only in number of rounds shot needed to archive 'suppression' (then the target temporary lose it's ability to fight ) or full 'destruction' of the target (then it lose it's ability to fight permanently). So, if the russian air force would want to 'bomb Ukraine in a stone age' NATO-style archiving destruction of multiple large targets as military units and civil structures vital for armed forces mobility and logistics, it would really take weeks or even months (longer as the russian army obviously has lesser capability in this field than NATO with all those hyper-expensive laser-guided munitions on every UAV and tomahawks in every pocket). But it not the way of conducting combined arms combat russian style. The strike into the operational and strategic-operational depths will be aggressive and fast combining short-range ballistic missiles and strategic and tactical strike aviation, it's target will be to suppress vital points of the urkainian army and, may be, political power for the duration needed for the russian ground forces to conduct their part of work on operation and tactical levels with less obstacles. In reality it will look like this: before enemy would be able to reestablish communictions broken due to damaged antennas and wires, before fires on artillery storages would be extinguished, before airfields landing strips would be repaired, before soldiers would be grouped back together by their officers, the russian ground forces will group on axes of efford and pierce defences oppening an operational field for mobile reserve to exploit the success. After that the fate of the war will be already sealed as the initiative will be lost by ukraininan forces forever. Ukraine just dosen't have tools to stop this first strike inflicting unacceptable losses on the attacking ground forces - it has virtually no air force to speak of, no combat-ready AA (their training are very poor) and actually no ground force reserves to parry the presumed onslaught we speak about. There is no chance for ukrainians to do anything. In the matter of days russians mechanized columns will push deeper into the Ukraine, disrupting army logistics, taking control over military storage depots and mobilisation points, until the western border will be reached. If it isn't a stone age, then I don't know

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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  Asf on Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:18 pm

    do against a NATO invasion of Syria.
    Dosen't seem to be an option after IGIL shown up, I presume. But it's truly an off-topic

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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  eridan on Sat Sep 06, 2014 5:53 pm

    i meant the potential of chinese air forces versus potential of russian air forces, that'd be off topic here.

    as for the other subject, i can tell we have fundamentally different views on concept of air power and what it can achieve in a given period of time. Therefore i don't think there's point in discussing that.

    I'll just say that my comment wasn't disparaging russian air power, it was a comment on capability of air power in general. Even if russian air force had the number of crews and number and type of planes that US forces have - it still wouldn't be able to "send whole Ukraine in the stone age" or even "make all ukraine fight with stone axes within several days"

    As far as i can tell judging by various air campaigns throughout history, one needs A LOT more sorties to achieve something than people usually think. That applies even today, with better recce capability and precise weapons, and it was even harder decades earlier. For a target area like ukraine, that means several hundred thousand sorties just to cripple the armed forces (not even talking about sending anyone to stone age), at least half of them ground strikes (since ukrainian air force isn't much of a threat).

    Any air force could muster perhaps 70-80% of total number of planes for such an operation, which for Russia means something like 350 combat aircraft capable of precision weapon strikes. (though how many weapons would actually be PGMs, throughout the air caimpaign?) plus some 150-200 strikers and bombers that could help, but would use only dumb munitions. While in theory even su27s and such could be used for ground strikes with dumb weapons, in reality that wouldn't really be done. They'd have other things to do. Even the strike planes wouldn't always be doing strike sorties, and those that do would also include sead work. plus a sortie doesnt mean actual weapons are used, that would depend on if the target is found.

    History has also shown that sortie rate can withstand maybe 3-4 sorties in the first 24 hours (if the target is just a couple hundred km away), then that figure starts dropping to 2 within the first week or so and by the first month, if one wants to keep pounding as hard as one can, that will drop even closer to 1 sorties per day. Overall, assuming no attrition, strike sorties during the first 30 days would probably number 20ish thousand. While that number would definitely make an impact, perhaps it'd even be decisive, it's by no means enough to cripple the opponent at hand, let alone send them to the stone age. Again, even usaf manned and equipped russia wouldn't be able to pull it off, as it takes far, far more sorties.

    All my comments were for air campaign only, as that's what i wanted to comment on. Including ground forces changes things, though even with that there's simply no time within "several days" to do stone age damage to the other side, it doesn't matter if you're US army, china or russia.

    All of above is my personal opinion, i'm sure other people have different opinions. That's fine, i won't really be going into discussion here.

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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  Asf on Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:45 pm

     Even if russian air force had the number of crews and number and type of planes that US forces have - it still wouldn't be able to "send whole Ukraine in the stone age" or even "make all ukraine fight with stone axes within several days"

    It's a hyperbole. But I believe thr russian aviation is capable for ruining the most of Ukraine's armoured forces, AA systems and aircrafts in a few days, making them fight if not with literal stone axes, but primarily with small arms for sure. Your calculations seems legit, but I don't think you truly understand the ukrainian military capabilities. Even a militia force without air forces and limited amount of artillery could manage to deal crippling damage to the ukraininan armed forces. Most of the combat-capable armed forces is situated on the south-east, military production dosen't seems to be able to increase their production, mobilization (third wave already!) is at stall.
    May be you just propagate my 'stone age' sentation onto all aspects of the ukraininan state? I only spoke about military.

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    A hypothetical NATO-Russia war in Ukraine

    Post  Walther von Oldenburg on Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:01 pm

    I think of a similar scenerio to the one in Combat Mission: Black Sea (may God bless the developers Wink) It's a purely conventional war so don't talk about mutual destruction.

    The situation looks like this - As a result of a failed Ukrainian spring offensive (Cool) Novorussian army starts a counter-attack and recovers Kramatorsk and Sloviansk as well as captures Kharkov, Mariupol and Zaporozhye Ukrainian army suffers such heavy casualties that it's finished as a fighting force. US is pissed off and being afraid of losing influence in Ukraine, it decides to send US Army into Eastern Ukraine and fight together with Poland to recapture the lost lands ( as other major NATO countries refuse to deploy any forces)..Soon joint US-Polish forces deploy into Ukraine and 2-3 weeks later they start the operation. Russia subsequently deploys it's own forces.

    The forces looks as follows:
    US: 1 armored division, 3 mechanized infantry divisions, several Navy Seals platoons, several dozen fighter and bomber aircraft
    Poland: 1 armored brigade (Leo2A5), 2 mechanized brigades, various commando units, 48 F-16, some Mi-24s

    Russia: Army and VDV units, some SU-27s and Mig-29s, Su-25s, various AD forces, various commando units.

    Would Russia actually be able to repell such a force with forces no more than 50% bigger than NATO ones?

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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  Werewolf on Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:39 pm

    NATO does not even have logistics to deploy anything serious to eastern front, we had this discussion before. While Ukraine defacto is russia and the russians have no problem deploying much quicker and more forces through their own land with own AN-124 and via train. NATO forces in Europe are bound to each countries logistics, which are only concentrated in Germany in US hands only. Germany with our own logistics have been reported in 2012 that our logistics is exhausted from 6000 Soldiers in Afghanistan, Kosovo and other places while Germany relies on russian and ukrainian companies with our AN-124 to deploy german tanks, helicopters, infantry to afghanistan. Meaning the entire logistics will fall upon US and UK, while US has some capabilities for logistics they are pathetically low when facing such an opponent like Russia. IIRC the US took almost a year to deploy 100 Abrams tanks to Iraq on shore while they could have brought in same time 600 M60 tanks, which would not cut anything on eastern front. Poles and maybe some other deluded russophobes will be happily dying on eastern front while the rest of europe and NATO is cut off from Germany located NATO supply and logistics chain.

    Russia has already said, if there is a NATO war in europe against Russia, Russia will not bother to fight this war but will fire instantly nukes to Washington since it is their Puppet war.


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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  Walther von Oldenburg on Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:50 am

    How did they deploy 800,000 troops to Saudi Arabia in 1991 then? Rolling Eyes

    If they really can't deploy even such small forces to Ukraine then... let's forget about it. I am interested in strictly military discussion of a conventional confrontation between ca. 60,000 US-Polish troops and 60-90,000 Russian ones.

    I think we could make a collaborative alt history scenerio about this - like the ones written on Alternative Historu Forum. Would bring some fun here.

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    Re: Russian Armed Forces tactics in Future conflicts

    Post  Werewolf on Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:19 pm

    Walther von Oldenburg wrote:How did they deploy 800,000 troops to Saudi Arabia in 1991 then? Rolling Eyes

    If they really can't deploy even such small forces to Ukraine then... let's forget about it. I am interested in strictly military discussion of a conventional confrontation between ca. 60,000 US-Polish troops and 60-90,000 Russian ones.

    I think we could make a collaborative alt history scenerio about this - like the ones written on Alternative Historu Forum. Would bring some fun here.

    Deploying troops is not the same as deploying ultra heavy equipment in the same amount. It is obviously much easier to bring thousands of soldiers around the globe than tanks, especially when such heavy tanks outweight C-5 galaxy and can only bring two at the same time with a limited fleet and see route was not the full capacity either.

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