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Thread: How did the Russian and Georgian militaries perform?

  1. #1
    Member chuckster's Avatar
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    Default How did the Russian and Georgian militaries perform?

    It was a pretty much forgone conclusion that the Russian military would overwealm the tiny Georgian military. There is some value, however, in knowing how well the Russian military performed or did not perform in the operation. It is useful to know if the Russian military has improved since Putin began asserting more strength in 2004 or if it is still the same overrated collection of equipment as during the Cold War. Here's what I have been able to glean:

    Russia admits to the loss of four aircraft including a TU-22 I believe (?) while Georgia claims to have shot down perhaps a couple dozen. Whatever the actual count, Georgian air defences made a good account of themselves at least early in the war.

    Early in the war, Georgian forces successfully ambushed a Russian convoy in Tskhinvali. They claim to have destroyed some 40 Russian tanks. Russia admits to heavy losses in that action as well.

    The fact that Tskhinvali was left in ruins indicates to me the Georgian military was not able to capture the town quickly. My sense says that if they were able to quickly overwealm the Russian 'peacekeepers' the town may have remained largely in tact.

    The Georgian retreat from Gori to Tbilisi looks like more of a paniced route than an orgainzed retreat. Journalists report dozens of abandoned Georgian military vehicles on the road, many with ammunition still loaded. Also, lots of military supplies were left behind for the Russians to capture.

    This is some of my amature analysis. Admittedly I am rooting against the Russians here. I am very open to comments that will add to my knowledge of the conflict.

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    Ossetians claims about 4000 KIA georgian troops? And? Georgia can claim whatever they want, the fact is that they droped all their equipment and just ran away to tbilisi. 20 out of 74 of russian troops was killed during that night shelling of Tshinvalli, and that was light armed peacekeepers.
    Georgia claims to have shot down perhaps a couple dozen......... They claim to have destroyed some 40 Russian tanks
    They've claimed about ten times that "Rokskiy" tunnel was blown. And about 5 times surrounded and destroyed 58th army. VDV troops, GRU, battalion Vostok also was totally destroyed by georgian commando.

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    Member Andromeda's Avatar
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    This thread is useless. There are about 2 or 3 large threads on the subject and dozens of smaller ones. Read around you'll get the general picture.

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    Here's my analysis. Although Georgia had the advantage of a well-equipped and well (American) trained conventional force, it lost to Russia's quick troop surge and airpower. When it comes to IFVs, they are equal. Both the Georgians and the Russians used t-72s and BMPs. Altough, Georgians did have some Czech DANAs and Turkish Otokar Cobras which they recently purchased. This conflict reminds me of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. It was a Russian victory (internationally condemned) where Russians won mainly due to overwhelming force even though the Turkish forces were better equipped (I say better equipped because both Turkey and Georgia were propped up by generous western donations). Don't forget even the Russian news said that the Georgian military was "a dangerous opponent" but mainly because it was propped up by foreign assistance.

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    Early in the war, Georgian forces successfully ambushed a Russian convoy in Tskhinvali. They claim to have destroyed some 40 Russian tanks. Russia admits to heavy losses in that action as well.
    Thirst reports from Tshinvali were scratchy at best, PC batalion was pinned down and it's communications were effectively jammed, so news were coming from refugees and SO president Kokoity - who at that time was running in circles and fountaining all sorts of BS, hense 1600-2000 dead civilians. So 58-Army commander decided to "Put the pedal to the metal" with force around 2-companys, just to get there ASAP, coz screams were "It's new Stalingrad!" "Georgians bayoneting wounded peacekeepers!" and so on, so decision was to go there light footed, and save anyone who can be saved up to glorious last standin worst case, and in best case stop the madness by the sight or moderation of russian general. So there was no standart recon, and they just bumped in Georgians who were going to block Roki tunnel. So Russian columm was disperced and retreated. After that some accurate info was obtained and from here, it was all by the book. Recon with main force and heavy weapons on it's heels. Russians mopping up the hills around Tshinvali, Chechens and SO militia clearing the city itself.

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    Senior Member NicNZ's Avatar
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    Given how little is known about what took place, its almost all going to be speculation, which is not conducive to a happy thread.

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    There's an interesting article on this in a Polish newspaper Altair, basing both on Russian, Georgian and Western sources. It's too long to translate but the basics are:

    Equipment-side: both side are considered more or less equal. Russians had much more equipment, even if it was not the most modern it was still capable. Georgians had a mix of modern and old equipment. They misused some of their modern stuff though. For example they were reluctant to use their modernized tanks in combat fearing to loose them (!) Still Georgians were capable of destroying Russian tanks and armoured vehicles without much effort as proved convoy ambush on the first day.

    Training-side - the Georgian brigade participating in combat was not NATO standard, but still quite well trained and capable. A batalion of Georgian reservists was sent to combat at certain point and had devastating effect on Georgian efforts - they lacked discipline, leaving tanks unprotected by infantry, disobeying orders, panicking etc. When facing overwhelming enemy Georgians seemed to forgot their training and turned to their old habits of Caucasian welfare and soviet-style command. Russian forces consisting of mix of veterans and fresh soldiers with some very good units were overally more disciplined and effective.

    Tactics and strategy- not much is known except for Georgians committing few serious blunders - not protecting routes from Russia, leaving modern equipment in reserve, using reservists in first line combat when better soldiers were available. Russians did well profitting from their air domination to the maximum and letting the most experiencing units do the most difficult job.

    Airforce - played a crucial role. Russian airforce crushed Georgian defense, inflicting significant losses on Georgian army. Still, Russians lacked guided bombs and long range missiles and had to attack directly - from combat zone. Because of that (and good performance of Georgian AA forces) they lost 5+ planes in combat. Georgian airforce was virtually non-existant from the 2nd day on. Thanks to numerous SAMS batteries Russians had to restrict their actions over Georgina territory. Conclusion - Russian airforce is strong but comparing to the West they need to upgrade their armament and design/buy more long-range missiles and guided bombs. And obvious - modern war can not be won without domination in the air.

    Intelligence & communication - Seems like Georgians had no intelligence feed from sattelites, thus lacked info about Russian moves which crippled they capability to foresee what is going to happen and where are Russian forces concentrated. Russians had both TU-22 and sattelite info and had much better situational awareness. Also, Georgian commanders quickly lost radio communication and used cellular phones to contact each other. It was a nice gift for Russian intelligence.

    Global conclusion - it was so stiupid from Georgian leaders side to start a conflict with such a strong enemy, Georgian military held no chance of victory.
    Last edited by Wojtop; 08-20-2008 at 08:08 AM.

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    Senior Member Dominique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andarius-Militarius View Post
    Here's my analysis. Although Georgia had the advantage of a well-equipped and well (American) trained conventional force
    I'm not sure what the state their gear was in, so I won't speak on that. As I've said before the majority of the Georgian military units I saw failed to impress me (with the Commando Bn. being an exception). They lacked basic disciple, and a well trained NCO Corps. While some units have received training from the US, most have not, and that doesn't mean the ones that did, are using that training.

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    Senior Member Dominique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wojtop View Post
    There's an interesting article on this in a Polish newspaper Altair, basing both on Russian, Georgian and Western sources. It's too long to translate but the basics are:

    Equipment-side: both side are considered more or less equal. Russians had much more equipment, even if it was not the most modern it was still capable. Georgians had a mix of modern and old equipment. They misused some of their modern stuff though. For example they were reluctant to use their modernized tanks in combat fearing to loose them (!) Still Georgians were capable of destroying Russian tanks and armoured vehicles without much effort as proved convoy ambush on the first day.

    Training-side - the Georgian brigade participating in combat was not NATO standard, but still quite well trained and capable. A batalion of Georgian reservists was sent to combat at certain point and had devastating effect on Georgian efforts - they lacked discipline, leaving tanks unprotected by infantry, disobeying orders, panicking etc. When facing overwhelming enemy Georgians seemed to forgot their training and turned to their old habits of Caucasian welfare and soviet-style command. Russian forces consisting of mix of veterans and fresh soldiers with some very good units were overally more disciplined and effective.

    Tactics and strategy- not much is known except for Georgians committing few serious blunders - not protecting routes from Russia, leaving modern equipment in reserve, using reservists in first line combat when better soldiers were available. Russians did well profitting from their air domination to the maximum and letting the most experiencing units do the most difficult job.

    Airforce - played a crucial role. Russian airforce crushed Georgian defense, inflicting significant losses on Georgian army. Still, Russians lacked guided bombs and long range missiles and had to attack directly - from combat zone. Because of that (and good performance of Georgian AA forces) they lost 5+ planes in combat. Georgian airforce was virtually non-existant from the 2nd day on. Thanks to numerous SAMS batteries Russians had to restrict their actions over Georgina territory. Conclusion - Russian airforce is strong but comparing to the West they need to upgrade their armament and design/buy more long-range missiles and guided bombs. And obvious - modern war can not be won without domination in the air.

    Intelligence & communication - Seems like Georgians had no intelligence feed from sattelites, thus lacked info about Russian moves which crippled they capability to foresee what is going to happen and where are Russian forces concentrated. Russians had both TU-22 and sattelite info and had much better situational awareness. Also, Georgian commanders quickly lost radio communication and used cellular phones to contact each other. It was a nice gift for Russian intelligence.
    Seems like a well written initial summery of events, until something more detailed can be produced (and trust me EVERY country that's capable of fielding a military is watch this VERY closely to see how it plays out).

    Quote Originally Posted by Wojtop View Post
    Global conclusion - it was so stiupid from Georgian leaders side to start a conflict with such a strong enemy, Georgian military held no chance of victory.
    Up until this point, things were going good with your post, then you threw that statement in, and ruined a decent post on the subject.

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