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Author Topic: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited  (Read 12084 times)

chanman

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #420 on: 09 June 2021, 00:22:24 »
That poses a question.  Just how much boom was there in the 122mm howitzer?  They certainly got around a lot, and I could see buying a few examples from the Finns they captured and reverse-engineering them, or simply developing their own 122mm gun.  I do see one problem in that the front end of the Panzer 68 (and 61 for that matter) is a casting, while the T-54/55 series was welded.  That makes building such a weapon easier off the T-55s, I believe.



But you're clearly right about it being a kawaii tank, that's for sure.

As far as the ZSU-57-2, I suppose pulling the turrets off and swapping them over to the new tank might be impossible.  The T-54 has an 1825mm turret ring, if the hull on the Pz 68 is thinner then it's not going to fit without some extensive work.

I suppose all this debate and this-and-that with the tanks is what finally motivates the 1979 design work of the M-84 series, something to replace all the tanks and their derivatives with a standard platform.  Till then, I'm gonna stick with the mix.

If you're going full kawaii, then instead of the the armoured cars typically used by other European border guards/gendarmes, you could go with something like WW2 surplus Universal Carriers.




Also in the 70s, you start seeing the Scorpion family. Pretty durn cute, although I don't want to know about the maintenance for that Jaguar 6-cylinder


As you get into the late 70s/early 80s though, the ultimate in adorable AFVs show up: The larval panzer - the Wiesel! With a PZH2000 for scale




Around this time, the BV206 also starts to show up. For you know, general utility. Commercial off the shelf, very reasonable price. This reseller https://bv.army-uk.com/newstock.php claims as low as about 25k UKP which is... comparable to new entry level cars with a couple options...



ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #421 on: 09 June 2021, 00:59:59 »
Found a fascinating article on what could have been the Swiss followup to the Pz 68.
https://en.topwar.ru/115945-osnovnoy-boevoy-tank-panzer-68-erprobungstrager-shveycariya.html


If you're going full kawaii, then instead of the the armoured cars typically used by other European border guards/gendarmes, you could go with something like WW2 surplus Universal Carriers.
That's tempting, and especially considering the mountainous terrain having something similar would be good.  But I'll do you one better, and give the Border Guards some WWII surplus - Carro Veloce CV-35s.



Little machine gun carriers and mostly only good for recon duty more than anything else, but leftover equipment being given to the Border Guards means they get those. 

Also in the 70s, you start seeing the Scorpion family. Pretty durn cute, although I don't want to know about the maintenance for that Jaguar 6-cylinder
For some reason I feel like avoiding British hardware, probably because of their world-renown engine quality  :-X  That said...

As you get into the late 70s/early 80s though, the ultimate in adorable AFVs show up: The larval panzer - the Wiesel! With a PZH2000 for scale
Now you're talking - a replacement for those Carro Veloces in the Border Guards, though not for the BRDMs - the Wiesel's light and small, but not amphibious.  I'd want something that can float in the role for the regular army as a BRDM replacement.

Around this time, the BV206 also starts to show up. For you know, general utility. Commercial off the shelf, very reasonable price. This reseller https://bv.army-uk.com/newstock.php claims as low as about 25k UKP which is... comparable to new entry level cars with a couple options...
Maybe as something to support the alpine troops?  How well do these do in mountainous terrain?  Reading the list of who uses it, it seems to be useful in such a role; maybe this could start replacing the half-tracks and give those to the Border Guard as well.

PsihoKekec

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #422 on: 09 June 2021, 01:15:36 »
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So I might as well just go straight light infantry and skip the transports.  They can always borrow trucks from logistics units if they need to go anywhere further than walking distance, which to be fair is going to be a long ways.
You can always give them a bit higher number of trucks than normal, especially the Pinzgauers.

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Alright, so we do produce the M-60 APC, it's amphibious and built for the terrain of course.
Hopefully with better engine. The original setup left it underpowered and undercooled.

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shared a look when they got their T-72s (when did that happen, anyone know?)
1984 according to Wikipedia

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Now I just need the world's most kawaii enlistees...though I do have to ask, just what makes an armored force kawaii in that regard?!
May I propose instructional comics? With characters from the comics becoming unofficial mascots of the army.

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Cue a TV series made on the zany escapades of an all-female border-guard unit that secretly smuggles Italian recipes and sauces into the country, and have each episode focus on a particular recipe?
There is a Croatian series Šverc komerc (recently ended), which was wildly popular throughout ex-Yugoslavia. There is tradition of smuggling throughout the region (salt in the old times), so comedy series about smugglers on the Italian border, with conscript border guards being the frenemies would certainly be plausible. At least the smuggling problem probably won't be as bad as it was in the Yugoslavia, due to fewer import limitations. There is going to also be a lot of smuggling on Armatia/Yugoslavia border.

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Maybe as something to support the alpine troops?  How well do these do in mountainous terrain?
Forgot about Bv 206. It has excellent crosscountry mobility, mud and snow are no problem and neither are steep inclines. Border guards would love to have some of those, especially for supplying the more remote outposts, particullary during the winter.
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ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #423 on: 09 June 2021, 01:48:45 »
You can always give them a bit higher number of trucks than normal, especially the Pinzgauers.
Good point, I'd forgotten about the Pinzgauers.  Which is a shame, because they are well-known for a reason.  Though I suppose there'd be local manufacturers as well that could do it; there's enough mountains in Slovenia, Croatia, and Hercegovina that building trucks to handle that terrain somewhere.  Or do you think they'd be best off with Austrian ones instead?

Hopefully with better engine. The original setup left it underpowered and undercooled.
Probably original engines early on, replaced with something that is probably still underpowered but more reliable cooling - no point in making everything perfect after all.  And it IS the first armored vehicle made in-country, so minor things can be tolerated.

May I propose instructional comics? With characters from the comics becoming unofficial mascots of the army.
Someone hire this man, he's a genius!  Alright, so we have mascots...hell, let's make them official and give them comics of their own above and beyond the instructional stuff.

There is a Croatian series Šverc komerc (recently ended), which was wildly popular throughout ex-Yugoslavia. There is tradition of smuggling throughout the region (salt in the old times), so comedy series about smugglers on the Italian border, with conscript border guards being the frenemies would certainly be plausible. At least the smuggling problem probably won't be as bad as it was in the Yugoslavia, due to fewer import limitations. There is going to also be a lot of smuggling on Armatia/Yugoslavia border.
Armatia/Yugoslavia and Armatia/Hungary as well, as far as smuggling on borders goes.  For the TV show, I tend to the lighthearted and sillier ideas I suppose, but I can see that the initial idea has definitely has potential.

Forgot about Bv 206. It has excellent crosscountry mobility, mud and snow are no problem and neither are steep inclines. Border guards would love to have some of those, especially for supplying the more remote outposts, particullary during the winter.
What's your thoughts about the Border Guards getting old CV 35s and half-tracks that the army casts off on them?

As far as the M-84, well, if Finland didn't get theirs until 1984 then it'd be too late to help the Armatians.  So the M-84...I'll say it'll end up being the same general parameters and look like the T-72 by accident.  There's a thought...maybe in 1978 a defecting tank crew drove their T-72 over the Hungarian border into Armatia, surrendering the tank to the authorities who take a million and three photographs of it, get all the specs they can, then return the tank (as happened with Victor Belenko) and use that data to help plan out a modern, lethal, and well-protected tank.

Something that they can just accomplish, albeit expensively and slowly; fortunately there's only six tank battalions across the army so they won't need to produce an extensive number of tanks.
« Last Edit: 09 June 2021, 02:01:25 by ANS Kamas P81 »

chanman

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #424 on: 09 June 2021, 02:48:04 »
As far as the M-84, well, if Finland didn't get theirs until 1984 then it'd be too late to help the Armatians.  So the M-84...I'll say it'll end up being the same general parameters and look like the T-72 by accident.  There's a thought...maybe in 1978 a defecting tank crew drove their T-72 over the Hungarian border into Armatia, surrendering the tank to the authorities who take a million and three photographs of it, get all the specs they can, then return the tank (as happened with Victor Belenko) and use that data to help plan out a modern, lethal, and well-protected tank.

Something that they can just accomplish, albeit expensively and slowly; fortunately there's only six tank battalions across the army so they won't need to produce an extensive number of tanks.

You can look at how few countries design their own MBTs to see how difficult the task is - somewhat more make their own (ie licensed and unlicensed production of designs from the first group), but you find far more countries designing their own IFVs and APCs. I'd say the low production numbers are actually a hinderance - unit prices go down with longer production runs. That said, a domestic armour capability could also just be an ongoing saga of sadness and hilarity (see also: just about any indigenous equipment development program by India's military) leaving the actual troops to jury rig ever more bizarre stopgaps as their promised MBT's timeline keeps sliding.

This could actually segue into why your Mobility-Firepower-Protection iron triangle always seems a bit low on the protection side since this is also about the time when various more exotic forms of armour start to show up. Attempts to keep putting big guns on available platforms could lead to further development of tank destroyer-like vehicles in the vein of the Ikv-91 or Sprut-SD or other attempts to turn IFV chassis into light tanks (CV90120, TAM, etc.) As a bonus, the front-engine layout of IFV/SPG chassis tend to lend the resulting tanks distinctly anime-esque proportions like the Merkava.

What do you think they added as part of the IIC upgrade?  ???

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #425 on: 09 June 2021, 03:37:10 »
You can look at how few countries design their own MBTs to see how difficult the task is - somewhat more make their own (ie licensed and unlicensed production of designs from the first group), but you find far more countries designing their own IFVs and APCs. I'd say the low production numbers are actually a hinderance - unit prices go down with longer production runs. That said, a domestic armour capability could also just be an ongoing saga of sadness and hilarity (see also: just about any indigenous equipment development program by India's military) leaving the actual troops to jury rig ever more bizarre stopgaps as their promised MBT's timeline keeps sliding.
South Korea's indigenous tank program is one that springs to mind, at least in how difficult it can be - and they had the help of the US and were making something based on the already-in-production Abrams.  IFVs and APCs are definitely easier to design and build, and I do have those in local production, but Armatia wants a go at making its own tank.  Maybe all the problems with the Pz 68 came at just the right moment that the slate was cleared and one more whack was taken at the idea of building our own tank.

Your idea also has merit - what if the M-84 project wasn't the only attempt at building a tank, and the reason we keep outsourcing our armor happens to be projects that never got past prototype stage?  Nothing so bad as the Valiant, perhaps, but there'd have to be a good reason we went from Panzer IVs and M4 Shermans to T-54s to Pz 61 to Pz 68.  I'll call it Project Victorious, a tank whose design has evolved five different times and always gone into overruns and faults that just never settled on anything.  It's spun off three different prototypes that went nowhere and took fifteen years doing it.

So we asked the Swedes for help since they made their own Strv 103, which was interesting, and at the same time the Hungarians had another little tizzy with the Soviets and drove another tank onto an embassy (I had forgotten about this earlier, but it can happen twice) - in this case, ours was the closest to the stolen tank, so Armatia ended up with a close look at what makes a T-72.  One of those events where the right people and the right historical accidents all come together, and voila: the M-84, Project Invincible. 

This could actually segue into why your Mobility-Firepower-Protection iron triangle always seems a bit low on the protection side since this is also about the time when various more exotic forms of armour start to show up. Attempts to keep putting big guns on available platforms could lead to further development of tank destroyer-like vehicles in the vein of the Ikv-91 or Sprut-SD or other attempts to turn IFV chassis into light tanks (CV90120, TAM, etc.) As a bonus, the front-engine layout of IFV/SPG chassis tend to lend the resulting tanks distinctly anime-esque proportions like the Merkava.

What do you think they added as part of the IIC upgrade?  ???
As for the armor, yeah, ERA shows up right around 1975 IIRC, and the British composite armors do in a couple years.  Spaced armor has been a thing for a little while, though it didn't get a lot of use before the gaps were filled in with reactive or nonreactive materials; the air-gap thing didn't go far until you get to lighter vehicles and anti-HEAT screens.  I do go a little light on armor in some things, I won't deny that, but I'm also not trying to use those SK-105s as real tanks - just TDs for the antitank units.  If I DID copy over the Netherlands orbat which uses real tanks in those infantry brigades, I'd be at a ballpark total of 675 MBTs instead of 312.  Not great for mass production numbers, to address your prior concern re cost-per-unit, but it's all we can afford.  And the small numbers of other vehicles (PT-76 for example) do up the price, but I'm not paying for development of my own.

To be fair, I probably should start Ikv 91 as a joint project with the Swedes that pays off in both a number of those vehicles replacing my PT-76s as well as a closer rapport for developing Project Invincible.  I mean, I'm in good with Saab after all for air power.

Sharpnel

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #426 on: 09 June 2021, 05:01:50 »

What do you think they added as part of the IIC upgrade?  ???

According to wiki, the Israelis gave the TAM 2C 3-axis gyro-stabilization along with electronics upgrades, an APU and a thermal sleeve for the main gun. Additionally, it can now fire APFSDS rounds along with a new HEAT round the ability to fire the LAHAT missile.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanque_Argentino_Mediano#TAM_2C
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ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #427 on: 09 June 2021, 06:01:58 »
According to wiki, the Israelis gave the TAM 2C 3-axis gyro-stabilization along with electronics upgrades, an APU and a thermal sleeve for the main gun. Additionally, it can now fire APFSDS rounds along with a new HEAT round the ability to fire the LAHAT missile.
LAHATs are hilarious and mean, I am all for them (even if Armatia can't have them) as an alternative tank ammo.  Sounds like the 2C upgrade did a lot for its firepower viability, which segues into...

This could actually segue into why your Mobility-Firepower-Protection iron triangle always seems a bit low on the protection side
That's an interesting point to consider further and unpack, on a second read.  If I make this more into a doctrine, just where to go with it?  As far as the tanks go, it's arguable that in the face of contemporary weapons - HEAT, ATGMs, etc - there really isn't anything that can be done with armor reliably.  Maybe the T-64 is a paradigm-breaker with its composite armor, but the idea of sacrificing protection for firepower is something I can see being a thing in the Armatian military.  Knock the enemy out before he gets you.  The same mindset that went into the AMX-30; I was originally thinking of importing those way back in the day but maybe that still sticks in my head of firepower and mobility over armor.

I suppose that means we're looking at a lot of first-strike plans pushing that maneuverability leg and applying the firepower leg as quickly and as heavily as possible, if we extended that into a national planning mindset.  Perhaps that's another reason for the push for the M-84, a main battle tank with proper protection - something that brings the gun power and moves well but (for the turret at least) has plenty of armor.

I've been looking at my infantry and thinking they're a little underarmed; as it is I've got the basic armored and mechanized infantry squad with a single RPK and a Carl Gustaf, three squads and a command squad with a Swiss MG 51 on a tripod and a pair of RPG-7s rounding out the platoon.  Each company has three platoons, each battalion has a weapons company with three platoons of 120mm mortars and an antitank platoon of six SK-105s.  (On that note, I should have 216 SK-105s, not 144; I left out the battalion's antitank platoon earlier.)

The light infantry is even, well, lighter: each squad of riflemen has an RPK, and a combat support squad has an MG 51 and a single RPG-7.  The light rifle company has three platoons and a mortar platoon of three 81mm mortars.  The battalion comes with a recoilless rifle platoon of eight 106mm guns, and three platoons of eight MG 51s.  That's it.  Granted these are primarily site-security folks, so I won't be throwing armored brigades at them in a straight up fight, but it feels light to me as far as firepower goes.  Is it sufficient to do their job, do you guys think, or should I beef things up a little bit?

Also, rethinking the M3 half-tracks - I'll just have my mechanized infantry in regular trucks, Pinzgauers or whatever the appropriate model is.  Don't worry, chanman, I'll still find a home for the half-tracks - specifically in the Border Guard, which I think is starting to get a charm of its own with what's been kicked around in this thread.  I suppose I'll have to do more to fluff them out, but I'm afraid the Guard is going to end up majority female and with old equipment, because.

I need to win the lottery so I can fund an anime made in this setting.
« Last Edit: 09 June 2021, 06:11:28 by ANS Kamas P81 »

PsihoKekec

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #428 on: 09 June 2021, 14:08:29 »
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Good point, I'd forgotten about the Pinzgauers.  Which is a shame, because they are well-known for a reason.  Though I suppose there'd be local manufacturers as well that could do it; there's enough mountains in Slovenia, Croatia, and Hercegovina that building trucks to handle that terrain somewhere.
The main Yugoslav military truck of that era TAM 110 was a fine, reliable machine but Pinzgauer still filled many niche roles, that's why Yugoslavia bought thousands of them, so it could be same in this setting, with the most roles being covered by Armatian produced truck (most likely TAM) and Pinzgauers purchased to fill some niche roles.

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, let's make them official and give them comics of their own above and beyond the instructional stuff
You could use characters from Miki Muster, army could also hire him to make animated instructional videos, although I presume it would be more likely government would have him make civil defense instructional videos for children (first aid and that sort). Also due to less idiotic government policies regarding comics and cartoons he would be less likely to go abroad for animation work.

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What's your thoughts about the Border Guards getting old CV 35s and half-tracks that the army casts off on them?
It would be reasonable, but I reckon CV 35s would be too difficult to maintain by then and would be soon scrapped.

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fortunately there's only six tank battalions across the army so they won't need to produce an extensive number of tanks.
The problem is that the most expensive part of the process is the development of the vehicle and setting up the production, the more tanks you produce, the lower the cost per unit. Thus Armatia would desperately need foreign sales to break even. Like to Kuwait...

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I've been looking at my infantry and thinking they're a little underarmed
They are fairly well armed for the time frame, although I would prefer belt fed LMG at squad level. Could do with more snipers though. Also decide either on Carl Gustav or RPG-7, they cover the same niche and it's better to have only one such weapons system, so units can share ammo.
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chanman

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #429 on: 09 June 2021, 14:51:56 »
Being deficient in numbers and quality of your own heavy armour, doctrine might evolve to emphasize set-piece actions - using grinding attrition of minefields, artillery, and airstrikes (go go cluster munitions) to separate them from their infantry support, then bog them in to terrain where they can be close assaulted by infantry or where stuff like recoilless rifles can get flank shots, etc.

As an aside, firepower isn't just about raw single-shot power - there are also nasty tricks like artillery firing in a direct-fire role or using SPAAGs to soft-kill tanks. I don't know what a long burst from a ZSU-23-4 will do to a tank, but I suspect the answer is nothing good. If nothing else, it's hard to fight in a tank that's had all of its optics removed by shrapnel. And it's possible that with proper rounds, ZSU-57s can blow through the flanks of MBTs - they do have a rather spicy 3300 fps muzzle velocity. What they can do to IFVs and the like is probably devastating.

In terms of other unexpected AT weapons - direct-fire Katyushas? Or direct fire 68/70mm rocket pods. While they probably won't hard-kill any MBTs, even with penetrator warheads, I imagine a lot of busted roadwheels, jammed turrets, and fragged support vehicles will do a lot to slow an advance.

If you can fire from above (mountain troops), they might well penetrate thin top armour too.

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #430 on: 09 June 2021, 15:57:13 »
The main Yugoslav military truck of that era TAM 110 was a fine, reliable machine but Pinzgauer still filled many niche roles, that's why Yugoslavia bought thousands of them, so it could be same in this setting, with the most roles being covered by Armatian produced truck (most likely TAM) and Pinzgauers purchased to fill some niche roles.
Pinzgauers and TAMs it is, then.  The mountain infantry probably gets the most of them, then, while the other four infantry brigades get TAMs. 
You could use characters from Miki Muster, army could also hire him to make animated instructional videos, although I presume it would be more likely government would have him make civil defense instructional videos for children (first aid and that sort). Also due to less idiotic government policies regarding comics and cartoons he would be less likely to go abroad for animation work.
The fact that one of those characters is named "FLAYSKIN" terrifies me.  That said, definitely could see comics of a "be prepared" sort - like you said, first aid, basic shelter stuff, and for the military doing maintenance on your rifle or other such thing.  The comic books worked for the Americans in Vietnam dealing with the M-16's needs, once heads were removed from the cavities they were inserted in.  What's Miki Muster anyway?  Obviously never heard of it.

It would be reasonable, but I reckon CV 35s would be too difficult to maintain by then and would be soon scrapped.
I suppose they'll have to put up with M3s and the occasional M-60.  The half-tracks seem useful enough that they'd end up in licensed production.  The CV 35...yeah, a limited supply of spare parts, so by 1975 they've gone the way of the dodo in favor of regular trucks.  Shame.
The problem is that the most expensive part of the process is the development of the vehicle and setting up the production, the more tanks you produce, the lower the cost per unit. Thus Armatia would desperately need foreign sales to break even. Like to Kuwait...
I could see the Kuwait deal going through, though production might be slower than it was in the OTL.  Let's see...by 1985, the SK-105s are at most only 14 years old so I don't know about replacing them with tanks.  They've still got life left in those, so instead of scrapping they could be sold off to other countries - replacing each of them with M-84s.  That'd help amortize the cost of the tank per unit, but the total number of tanks rises to 500+ and that total package is going to be a lot bigger.  The OTL looks like some 600 tanks were built for all of Yugoslavia, 150 M-84s and 450 M-84A models.  I suppose Armatia could afford the 500 tank figure, though that'd be only achieved by 1990.
They are fairly well armed for the time frame, although I would prefer belt fed LMG at squad level. Could do with more snipers though. Also decide either on Carl Gustav or RPG-7, they cover the same niche and it's better to have only one such weapons system, so units can share ammo.
Belt fed would be nice, but the MG 51 is three and a half times heavier than the RPK.  I suppose for the armored and mechanized infantry I can make the switch, but the mountain infantry and the security troops would get RPKs.  The former to keep things lightweight, the latter because they're second-line troops - and still have 24 belt-fed GPMGs in the weapons company to back them up.

As far as the Carl Gustaf vs RPG-7, I suppose I'll go with the RPG-7.  It's half the weight, has a smaller backblast area, doesn't require multiple crew (not counting ammo carriers), and still works well against tanks of the era.  Between Valmets and RPG-7s and M-60 APCs I suppose I'm paralleling the JNA in look, but if it works, it works.

You mentioned snipers, and well, would you want one marksman per squad or per platoon?  The latter would be easy enough, taking one rifleman in the command team and issuing them...well, the SVD would be the first thing that comes to mind, but I don't want to completely Easternize.  HK G3s with a telescopic sight, perhaps.  One of those in each platoon for the light infantry, one per infantry squad in the mechanized forces (three per platoon) should do it.

Being deficient in numbers and quality of your own heavy armour, doctrine might evolve to emphasize set-piece actions - using grinding attrition of minefields, artillery, and airstrikes (go go cluster munitions) to separate them from their infantry support, then bog them in to terrain where they can be close assaulted by infantry or where stuff like recoilless rifles can get flank shots, etc.
So pretty much as things have been designed, then - heavy area bombardment and a lot of landmines scattered along the border.   Airstrikes, well, I've been looking at the attack variant of the Lansen as being a thing in the Air Force, and the Mirage IIIE is a straight fighter-bomber, so that's what I've got available.

As an aside, firepower isn't just about raw single-shot power - there are also nasty tricks like artillery firing in a direct-fire role or using SPAAGs to soft-kill tanks. I don't know what a long burst from a ZSU-23-4 will do to a tank, but I suspect the answer is nothing good. If nothing else, it's hard to fight in a tank that's had all of its optics removed by shrapnel. And it's possible that with proper rounds, ZSU-57s can blow through the flanks of MBTs - they do have a rather spicy 3300 fps muzzle velocity. What they can do to IFVs and the like is probably devastating.
I've heard a story of an M1 Abrams from Gulf War I that ran into a ZSU-23-4 at short range, the exchange was described as "BRRRRRRRT*BANG*" - the tank was pretty chewed up for its external stores and optics, but that was about it.  The ZSU of course was a smoking wreck.  The point's still taken, because as you say it's hard to fight when you can't see, and the Abrams would not have enjoyed the experience.  The idea of direct-fire artillery, well, see the SU-122-54s; as you said "crew jello" a while back.

In terms of other unexpected AT weapons - direct-fire Katyushas? Or direct fire 68/70mm rocket pods. While they probably won't hard-kill any MBTs, even with penetrator warheads, I imagine a lot of busted roadwheels, jammed turrets, and fragged support vehicles will do a lot to slow an advance.
Direct-fire Katyushas could be fun, ten pounds of HE going off is enough to kill any soft-skin out there and should ruin the day of a tanker.  And like it's been pointed out, you don't need to blow up a tank to neutralize it, there's lots of ways to do that.  Don't apply your strength to your enemy's strength, apply it to his weakness.
« Last Edit: 09 June 2021, 16:28:57 by ANS Kamas P81 »

chanman

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #431 on: 09 June 2021, 17:05:37 »
If discipline among the OPFOR is poor, you could just pelt them with lots of high-proof slivovitz in sturdy plastic canteens and the like, and let nature take its course  :D

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #432 on: 09 June 2021, 17:32:52 »
If discipline among the OPFOR is poor, you could just pelt them with lots of high-proof slivovitz in sturdy plastic canteens and the like, and let nature take its course  :D
Well, it's the Soviet Union, so I can't say it's going to be the world's most motivated and disciplined soldiery, though I'd also point out the same is going to be on this side of the border as well with the conscription.

On the topic of slivovitz, now I'm thinking of a little border crossing site where our plucky heros and heroines in the Border Guard are secretly making moonshine and running the stuff into Italy as well as the local area.  Dammit, Sora no Woto took all the good ideas...

Daryk

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #433 on: 09 June 2021, 18:20:19 »
I can only assume they're trading the moonshine for limoncello on the other side of the border...  ^-^

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #434 on: 10 June 2021, 00:30:47 »
I can only assume they're trading the moonshine for limoncello on the other side of the border...  ^-^
That actually sounds really tasty, though limoncello is mostly a southern thing. 

I wonder how bored it's possible to get at a small, off the beaten path border crossing.  Probably pretty significantly.

PsihoKekec

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #435 on: 10 June 2021, 00:56:17 »
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The fact that one of those characters is named "FLAYSKIN" terrifies me.
It's a humorously inefficient comic bad guy, a foil for the heroes.

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What's Miki Muster anyway?
He is probably the most successful comic author in ex-Yugoslavia, with recognisable (within the country) characters of his own.

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Belt fed would be nice, but the MG 51 is three and a half times heavier than the RPK.
I didn't know that the Swiss managed to make their version 5 kilos heavier than the original MG-42.

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You mentioned snipers, and well, would you want one marksman per squad or per platoon?
One per platoon and additional snipers at company and battalion level.

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issuing them...well, the SVD would be the first thing that comes to mind, but I don't want to completely Easternize.  HK G3s with a telescopic sight, perhaps.
SVD would introduce another caliber to the mix, so 7,62*51 semi-auto would be the best chance, with snipers at battalion and brigade level being issued bolt action rifle (Mauser 98 in either the original caliber or rechambered for 7,62*51 or SSG 69) 

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Direct-fire Katyushas could be fun,
Have older tanks modified into something similar to TOS-1, first with normal HE, frag and WP warheads, later the thermobaric warheads could be developed.

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secretly making moonshine and running the stuff into Italy as well as the local area

They would run into very strong competition, homemade slivovitz and schnapps have quite a tradition in the region, the idea that some wet behind the ears kids in uniform would even try to compete with them, would be downright insulting to people who have been making spirits for generations, so plenty of potential for comedic friction.

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I wonder how bored it's possible to get at a small, off the beaten path border crossing.  Probably pretty significantly.
According to those who served as border guards on Albanian border (the most ''forgotten even by god'' posting in OTL Yugoslavia) even playing cards with your buddies loses it's shine after some time.
Shoot first, laugh later.

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #436 on: 10 June 2021, 12:12:46 »
It's a humorously inefficient comic bad guy, a foil for the heroes.
Still a creepy name, but the right kind of character. 

He is probably the most successful comic author in ex-Yugoslavia, with recognisable (within the country) characters of his own.
Wonder if any of his stuff has been translated into english.  What kinds of comics does he make, genre-wise?

I didn't know that the Swiss managed to make their version 5 kilos heavier than the original MG-42.
Yeah, it's a porky beast.  Maybe I should just reverse engineer the MG-42 and build those locally instead, and save the weight.

One per platoon and additional snipers at company and battalion level.
Are we talking something like a scout/sniper or just a rifleman with a scoped 7.62x51 for the extra range?  I was thinking of the latter, myself.  Both?  The Soviets gave one in each squad of infantry, and if I'm doing the "every soldier a rifleman" thing I can justify giving the best shooters in each group a better rifle.

SVD would introduce another caliber to the mix, so 7,62*51 semi-auto would be the best chance, with snipers at battalion and brigade level being issued bolt action rifle (Mauser 98 in either the original caliber or rechambered for 7,62*51 or SSG 69) 
G3 with a four-power scope for a squad marksman, SSG 69 for the platoon sniper.  Something purpose built, though I suppose Mausers might end up still lingering around in the security forces.
Have older tanks modified into something similar to TOS-1, first with normal HE, frag and WP warheads, later the thermobaric warheads could be developed.
The T-55s we were using probably had the turrets removed and converted into ZSU-57-2s or the SU-122-54.  Maybe with the introduction of the M-84, the Pz 61s and 68s get converted into rocket artillery tanks.  Not Katyushas, something longer ranged - like you said, similar to the TOS-1, but with rockets like the American M270 MLRS.

They would run into very strong competition, homemade slivovitz and schnapps have quite a tradition in the region, the idea that some wet behind the ears kids in uniform would even try to compete with them, would be downright insulting to people who have been making spirits for generations, so plenty of potential for comedic friction.
That poses a question, is it legal to make homemade alcohol out there?
According to those who served as border guards on Albanian border (the most ''forgotten even by god'' posting in OTL Yugoslavia) even playing cards with your buddies loses it's shine after some time.
Cue shenanigans to keep from being bored, I suppose.  The biggest enemy of every soldier, boredom.

PsihoKekec

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #437 on: 10 June 2021, 13:57:24 »
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What kinds of comics does he make, genre-wise?
Mostly children comics of adventure/comedy type, although he also made other types of comics by comission, including illustrating couple of partisan stories and In Desert and Wilderness comic.

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Are we talking something like a scout/sniper or just a rifleman with a scoped 7.62x51 for the extra range?
I reckon at platoon and company level they would be designated marksmen with semi auto scoped rifle, while at battalion and brigade level they would be more like scout snipers, armed with more accurate bolt action rifle.

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That poses a question, is it legal to make homemade alcohol out there?
It depends on the route Armatia takes, pre-WWII Yugoslavia was quite harsh on home made booze (for tax reasons) while post-WWII socialist Yugoslavia was quite ok with it, as long you only made traditional kinds of booze like slivovits and schnapps, and didn't sell it on too big scale, they didn't bother. Successor states inherited this approach, but EU is increasingly twisting our arms to make us stop  >:(
Shoot first, laugh later.

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #438 on: 10 June 2021, 15:05:45 »
I reckon at platoon and company level they would be designated marksmen with semi auto scoped rifle, while at battalion and brigade level they would be more like scout snipers, armed with more accurate bolt action rifle.
Replaced an RPG carrier in the command squad in each platoon with a G3 then.  That's still one RPG per squad, for the mechanized forces.  I suppose the recon platoon for the battalion and the brigade is a good place to put a few scout-snipers, as far as anywhere to stick them that makes sense.
It depends on the route Armatia takes, pre-WWII Yugoslavia was quite harsh on home made booze (for tax reasons) while post-WWII socialist Yugoslavia was quite ok with it, as long you only made traditional kinds of booze like slivovits and schnapps, and didn't sell it on too big scale, they didn't bother. Successor states inherited this approach, but EU is increasingly twisting our arms to make us stop  >:(
Huh...then I suppose I'll go with the socialist side of things in this case, and go with "you can make it for yourself but don't try to start a business" for the rule.  The EU can take its rules and go away.

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #439 on: 10 June 2021, 16:23:51 »
Since we're going into the idea of building M-84s but not explicitly off the T-72...

You are the design board for the first Armatian indigenous tank.  What features do you argue for the tank, that it should have, and which features should be avoided at all costs?  Should we license particular design that would make a good starting point?  What changes need to be made to such a vehicle?

For the purpose of discussion, design will start in 1979 and run through to a first production year of 1984.  As a Non-Aligned Nation we're not married to either side's design work, if you want to use a particular vehicle as a starting point feel free.

Addendum: Historically, there has been a case of What Not To Do involving an indigenous tank; it's at the point where a concept has been stumbling along since 1961 and never making it off paper.  It's become a joke in the army at this point, that a new tank is five years away.  Well the joke is old and tired, the news just published the problems with the Panzer 68, and the vehicle design board has fallen on its sword and been replaced with new fresh blood, namely you guys.

Let's make a panzer.
« Last Edit: 10 June 2021, 16:38:02 by ANS Kamas P81 »

chanman

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #440 on: 10 June 2021, 16:33:03 »
Since we're going into the idea of building M-84s but not explicitly off the T-72...

You are the design board for the first Armatian indigenous tank.  What features do you argue for the tank, that it should have, and which features should be avoided at all costs?  Let's make a panzer.

Just send some observers to the Arjun development program (started early 70s) in non-aligned nation solidarity.
And do whatever is the opposite of what DRDO does.

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #441 on: 10 June 2021, 16:35:17 »
Just send some observers to the Arjun development program (started early 70s) in non-aligned nation solidarity.
And do whatever is the opposite of what DRDO does.
That program is THAT old?  Good lord.  I'll add a note.

Daryk

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #442 on: 10 June 2021, 16:36:26 »
Now you're making ME feel old...  ::)

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #443 on: 10 June 2021, 16:38:21 »
Now you're making ME feel old...  ::)
But you are old.   :D

chanman

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #444 on: 10 June 2021, 16:45:27 »
That program is THAT old?  Good lord.  I'll add a note.

If you want to be gobsmacked, check out when the initial RFI was issued for the program that became the HAL Tejas

Daryk

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #445 on: 10 June 2021, 16:51:11 »
But you are old.   :D
And I like you anyway!  8)

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #446 on: 10 June 2021, 16:57:07 »
If you want to be gobsmacked, check out when the initial RFI was issued for the program that became the HAL Tejas
Yikes, 1969 for the initial effort.  Though that was shut down by 1975, and not dug up again until 1983.

Alright, so I'll put a second edict in - the five year plan has to be held to.  The Tejas ran into trouble trying to fit too much advanced technology in; if something is too complex to build properly then dropping the technology (thermal imagers, for example) is slated.  This is a program that has to replace faulty equipment, so the sooner it's in production the better.

I'll permit Swedish help and experience with tank building and things we don't do - turbine power plants and autoloaders, to name a few.  That way we've got arguably solid support in development, so the tank board for Project Invincible (you guys) can debate what should go into the thing.
And I like you anyway!  8)
And that's your first mistake! :D

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #447 on: 10 June 2021, 17:02:26 »
I think stabilization is the most important thing.  Optics are easy enough to tack on later.

PsihoKekec

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #448 on: 11 June 2021, 00:42:51 »
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For the purpose of discussion, design will start in 1979 and run through to a first production year of 1984
That is how long it took Yugoslavia to get M-84 into production and that was with being licensed production. Five years for both research and production preparation is too optimistic.

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I'll permit Swedish help and experience with tank building and things we don't do - turbine power plants and autoloaders, to name a few.
In the original M-84, the FCS was designed by the Swedes so that as well, however since they didn't design their own tank engines, you will probably have to go to Germany for the engine, just like the original M-84.

Now the tank gun, is also something you will have to license, with basically two choices: Rhheimetal Rh-120 or 2A46 (there is also L11, but that's a blind alley). 2A46 is lighter and has two piece ammo suitable for autoloader, while Rh-120 is heavier and you would have to develop your own two piece ammo or develop autoloader for one piece ammo. And since you are not directly copying T-72, you can build M-84 with welded turret and ammo bustle with autoloader.

Shoot first, laugh later.

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Creating an army for a fictional nation, revisited
« Reply #449 on: 11 June 2021, 14:46:59 »
I think stabilization is the most important thing.  Optics are easy enough to tack on later.
Alright, I can agree with that.  Fire on the move capability as well as presighting.

That is how long it took Yugoslavia to get M-84 into production and that was with being licensed production. Five years for both research and production preparation is too optimistic.
Then I suppose we'll have to go with something licensed, instead of a completely new from the ground up tank.  That shrinks the field some, and gives us a based-on beginning.  Off the top of my head, there's M60 RISE, M1 early production, Leopard 2, T-72, Challenger 1, Korean K1 88 all starting development or coming out at that 1979-1980 time.  What should we build off of, or simply buy straight as-is?
In the original M-84, the FCS was designed by the Swedes so that as well, however since they didn't design their own tank engines, you will probably have to go to Germany for the engine, just like the original M-84.
If I'm going to Germany for major components like that, I might as well sign on the Leopard 2.  The Netherlands jumped on the buy in 1979 and had 450 tanks delivered by 1984.  If I keep the SK-105s as tank destroyers, I can buy in as well and get all 312 tanks in the same timeframe (production rate was 300 per year).
Now the tank gun, is also something you will have to license, with basically two choices: Rhheimetal Rh-120 or 2A46 (there is also L11, but that's a blind alley). 2A46 is lighter and has two piece ammo suitable for autoloader, while Rh-120 is heavier and you would have to develop your own two piece ammo or develop autoloader for one piece ammo. And since you are not directly copying T-72, you can build M-84 with welded turret and ammo bustle with autoloader.
A Leopard 2 with an autoloader perhaps?  I swear there was some testing done in that regard, maybe I'm thinking of the M1 autoloader instead.  Alternatively, just buy Leo 2s straight, the Rh-120 manually loaded worked just fine.

Admittedly I'm liking the K1 a lot for the suspension, the hydropneumatics allowing better elevation and depression, plus it has the same gun (and ammo) that we're already using, so there's commonality there.  Is the 105mm still lethal enough in the 1980s is the big question, which seems unlikely to be the case considering everyone rearmed to the 120-125mm guns pretty quickly.

T-72 is by far the lightest of the bunch, which is a consideration as far as bridges go, and still has some good protection, though justifying the design is going to take some epic negotiations to get a license to produce.

The M60 would probably be the least expensive option, buying used from the Americans as they switch over to the M1.  The M1, on the other hand, has the same 105mm gun but has a very fuel-thirsty engine with a lot of power, speed will be a thing in its favor.

Challengers would probably be easy enough to acquire, stepping in with the Shah's departure from the project.  In their favor, they've also got the bigger gun compared to the M60 and M1, and the Leopard 1 as well.

Since we're only buying/building about 300 tanks, compared to opposition forces overmatching their capability is probably going to be a requirement.  Building something new is also entirely possible, though it will take longer - as Psiho said, 5 years is too optimistic without starting from an existing design.
« Last Edit: 11 June 2021, 18:57:15 by ANS Kamas P81 »

 

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