Military Review

How Russian armor fought. CH 3. Thunder win

By the end of the war, the Russian army numbered more than 40 auto-bullet platoons. Depending on the situation, the armor was attached to various compounds and associations. For example, the 15 platoon was attached to the 16-t divisions during their stay on the South-Western Front.

As we noted earlier, by the end of the war individual platoons were reduced to armored divisions and concentrated on the most critical sectors of the front.

Given that the divisions and even the platoons were crushed, the success of the battle largely depended on the resourcefulness, decisiveness and valor of the commander of a particular armored vehicle.

The document testifies that during the battle 20. 06. 1916 y der. Trilistsy was distinguished by Lieutenant Marianadze, commander of the Thunder, an armored car of the 20-second auto-gun platoon. Acting under a real rifle, machine-gun and artillery fire of the enemy, using armor-piercing bullets, he supported the left combat sector of the 24 Infantry Division. The attacking enemy was successful - and the situation became threatening. Marianadze decisively and courageously attacked the enemy, broke into his deep rear, and, shooting his flank and rear, forced him to retreat - having a key influence in mastering the lost positions. The lieutenant was presented for the award of the Order of St. George 4 degree.

19. Pictures of war. M., 1917

Individual vehicles supported the tactical actions of the infantry and cavalry. For solving serious problems, the armored cars tried to use them en masse - as far as possible. Thus, the order of the commander of the 11-th army of the cavalry general V. V. Sakharov from 23. 08. 1916 noted that in the battle of 18 on August 9, armor squads brought great assistance to the infantry on the left flank of the army. They 8 times, supporting the 52 th Infantry Regiment of the Vilnius, drove close to the enemy and, shooting at close range, terrified the enemy. Armored cars of the 133 and 134 regiments provided the same assistance. In the battle of 19, August 2 of the armored car of the 43 platoon were hit by enemy heavy artillery - and with the blood of their crews they captured valor and selfless devotion to the Motherland and Sovereign.

The practice revealed the following tactical methods of armored vehicles: surprise, active maneuvering, rapid approach, rapid fire attack of a target without wasting time on sighting, exit to the flank and rear of the enemy, speed of change of front sectors, maximum fire from all types of airborne weapons.

Before entering the battle, the crews thoroughly familiarized themselves with the terrain, preparing for surprises. The sudden appearance of armored cars and their maneuvers (fire and wheels) produced a great moral impact - both on their own and on enemy troops. As previously noted, the lack of armored vehicles was vulnerability from artillery fire and from the state of the roads, the integrity of bridges and towers. And if machine-gun armored cars could easily bypass obstacles, the gun armored car (besides the three-inch machine guns also existed), the 2-3 weighing more than the machine-gun and went into battle backwards (the gun looked back) could bypass not all the obstacles - and then provided there were no roadside ditches near the highway, and the highway had a hard dry surface.

In 1916, Russian armored vehicles in a positional front were used to obtain intelligence on enemy defenses. Thus, on the South-Western Front of 9, on January 13, an armored car drove up to the enemy’s wire barriers in the area of ​​the town of Buchach and, opening fire on an enemy outpost, turned it into flight and then reconnoitered the defensive position of the Austrians. Armored cars were also used during the summer offensive of the Russian troops on the South-Western Front, assisting the infantry in the destruction of the retreating enemy.

20. Armored cars Austin. Niva. 1916. No. 4.

Near Lutsk on the direction of the main attack operated 3 autobunker platoon.

By the time of the 8 Army's onset, the 15 auto-rifle platoon was stationed at the site of the 102 Army Infantry Division of the 39 Army Corps. The front passed along the river Horyn through with. Klevan, crossed the highway and railway Exactly-Kovel in 20 km from Rovno and in 25 km from Lutsk. The platoon commander, Captain Syroboyarsky, was an officer of legendary courage, who was awarded the Order of St. George of the 1914 degree and the Golden Weapon by the end of 4.

During the Brusilov offensive, his armored vehicles continuously moved only forward, facilitating the advancement of infantry. The weather did not favor the offensive — it rained. The highway to Lutsk was in poor condition - shells craters, ditches and damaged bridges hampered the advancement of armored vehicles.

How Russian armor fought. CH 3. Thunder win

21. Camouflaged armored car 15 th autobunker platoon. Photos - June 1915. Armored collection. 1997. No. 1.

But progress continued — and at a heightened pace.

26 in May 1916 sent the 2 platoon armored car (the third was under repair) to the village of Kopachevka, located in 2 km outside Lutsk, at 80 in the morning hours. The platoon commander sat in a machine-gun armored vehicle commanded by Lieutenant Kolb-Seletsky. By 5 hours of the morning, both cars came to the village. Kopachevka, located deep in the rear of the enemy - and the connection with the infantry for some time was lost.

Do not be surprised at the slowness of movement. On the one hand, armored cars were afraid of the Austrians organizing various obstacles - for example, debris on the highway and the destruction of bridges, on the other hand - the darkness affected.

On both sides of the highway from Lutsk to der. Kopachevka spread out thick forest. What were the forces of the enemy in this place, it was unknown, but at times the machines were subjected to rifle shelling on both sides of the road.

At dawn, one could see in front a small bridge (20 long steps), thrown across the swamp at 3-meter height. On the other side of the swamp, on a hill on both sides of the highway, was the village of Kopachevka. Before reaching the bridge, to the right of the highway, there was a lonely structure - like a shed.

It was believed that the armored vehicles leading the battle in the forest were very vulnerable - it was enough to block the highway with a log or felled tree so that the car would stop. To overcome such an obstacle under enemy fire is impossible. If the enemy destroys the same tree from behind - the armored car is trapped. On the other hand, the gun armored vehicle, although it had serious firepower, was deprived of an armored roof — and the attack of enemy infantrymen who bombarded it with grenades from above could be crowned with success. As for light armored vehicles, completely covered with armor, it is worth recalling a case that also occurred in a forest battle near Stanislav in 1917 - a new light platoon just received by a platoon with an 37-mm gun was suddenly attacked on the highway by enemy soldiers running out of the forest . Putting their hands on the side of the car, they would have thrown it on its side - if the Russian infantry had not arrived in time.

At that moment, when the armored cars reached the bridge in front of the village. Kopachevka, and the machine-gun armored car in which the platoon commander was, even moved the bridge, the armored platoon was met with rifle, machine-gun and runaway artillery fire from the Austrians. One of the shells exploded a stone's throw from the machine-gun armored car. Instinctively the driver reversed - the car knocked down the bridge railing and fell roof down into the swamp. The side wall bolts could not stand the impact on the ground, and the wall fell off. The Austrians who were not far away killed the lieutenant Kolb-Seletsky with a rifle fire and seriously wounded (in the stomach) the commander of the platoon captain Syroboyarsky. But under the fire of a cannon armored car the Austrians withdrew.

When the commander of the cannon armored car went down to the fallen car, the unconscious commander of the platoon asked him to do everything possible to rescue the fallen car.

In the situation of the lack of shells, the commander of the cannon armored car ordered the driver to go backwards at full speed - until he met with the semi-armored truck, which had a stock of shells, cartridges and spare parts. We decided to replace the broken machine gun, replenish the ammunition and return immediately. At the same time, the second lieutenant ordered the chauffeur of the truck to collect the infantrymen along the road and drive them to the bridge.

In four raids, the truck brought up the 40 fighters, and in about an hour another infantry company approached. Having taken command of this joint detachment, the second lieutenant successfully attacked the village.

From the western part of the village, a rifle fire was opened across the Russian company - and the enemy attacked her with the forces of the battalion. The company was forced to retreat - under the protection of a gun armored car. At this time, the second lieutenant was seriously wounded in the hand and dropped out of battle.

Soon came part of the division, which restored the situation and captured prisoners and machine guns. For this battle, Lieutenant Kolb-Seletsky (posthumously) and Second Lieutenant - commander of a cannon armored car received the Order of St. George 4 degree.

In July, 1916 was one of the Russian armored cars, overtaking the German battalion that had fled, almost completely destroyed it with fire from their machine guns. In this battle, the 26 th auto-pistol platoon distinguished itself. Having repaired the destroyed bridge at Monasteržiska, in 7 hours he moved to the highway to Dobrovody and, at the village. Kovalyuvka, going to the rear of the retreating 2-th battalion of the German 3-th reserve regiment, destroyed it with machine-gun fire.

22. "Monster" is sent to repair. Chronicle of War № 129.

We see that Russian armored vehicles solved the widest range of combat missions, both tactical and operational, acting intelligently, courageously and decisively - and being the most important combat resource in the hands of all levels of command.
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  1. Cheburator
    Cheburator 4 March 2018 06: 25
    For some reason they do not pay attention to the fact that
    The Germans had only 11 armored platoons (at 47 with us). And then 4 of them were formed in 1918.
    1. Horseman without a head
      Horseman without a head 4 March 2018 06: 39
      I noticed that small-scale was common to everyone at that time.
      Compared to others, ours seems even medium-serial)
      1. Cheburator
        Cheburator 4 March 2018 08: 41
        The Germans formed their first platoon in 1916, when the 14st Auto-machine gun ROTA was already at our front since the age of 1. But the Germans didn’t come to the organizational level larger than PLANTS (by the way, they came to DIVISIONS in Russia).
        1. Cheburator
          Cheburator 4 March 2018 08: 42
          Well, the Germans contrasted only 700 (!) Domestic and 200 captured armored cars to the number of Russian armored cars of 500 units (17 made in Russia and 20 imported).
          1. Cheburator
            Cheburator 4 March 2018 08: 49

            Armored Park of Russia on Baryatnitsky-Kolomiets
            By the beginning of the 1917 campaign in the army there were 300 armored vehicles - cannon and machine gun of various modifications
            Such is the arithmetic.
            1. Horseman without a head
              Horseman without a head 4 March 2018 10: 00
              I remember in the first part of the cycle they said that in Russia they released a total of 8 Russian Russo-Balt chassis at the beginning of the war and plus 10 chassis later or more.
              So when compared with the 17th German domestic bronik, the amount of 100% of domestic cars is comparable to ours
              1. BRONEVIK
                BRONEVIK 4 March 2018 10: 13
                Since we are talking about comparison, I want to pay attention to the situation with tanks.
                We also walked nose to nose.
                In the years 1914-1916. neither we nor the Germans had tanks.
                In the years 1917-18. the Germans released 20 units of domestic A7V tanks and put in operation fifty of the captured British MK. It turns out only 70 units.
                And in Russia in 1917-18. several divisions were deployed, equipped with allied tanks and Russian Renault. The revolution and the outbreak of the Civil War put an end to the process.
                An interesting detail. If the Germans used tanks only at the tactical level (squad), we had deployed - divisions.
                1. soldier
                  soldier 4 March 2018 19: 06
                  By the way, Kegress's semi-tracked vehicles were very promising
                  Transitional option to tanks
          2. captain
            captain 4 March 2018 13: 18
            Poimn correctly said; people like ours, they will never have.
            1. Bouncer
              Bouncer 4 March 2018 18: 50
              You're right
              There are no people like us anywhere
              1. Streletskos
                Streletskos 4 March 2018 21: 42
                And will not be
  2. Cheburator
    Cheburator 4 March 2018 06: 34

    Kolomiyets, Baryatinsky. Armored cars of the Russian army.
  3. Amurets
    Amurets 4 March 2018 06: 38
    "The Beast-Gardford-Putilovets"
    Not all American cars came to the Russian army "to the court." Tests of Garford trucks soon revealed their flaws: the cars that worked well on American roads were designed without taking into account the requirements of military service. In addition, Russian highways and city pavements were significantly different from the US for the worse. The first tests of Garford trucks aroused some complaints among specialists of the UAE, and soon large batches of other American, English and French cars began to arrive in Russia. As a result, it was decided not to equip the newly formed separate automobile companies with Garford trucks, but to send them to service to units that are secondary from the point of view of military motorists, to aviation or railway troops. "Nevertheless, despite the shortcomings of these cars, they were successfully used in the Russian army, not only as a chassis for cannon armored vehicles.If someone is interested in this car, see the link:
    Moreover, the use of this car in the Russian army is quite interesting, not only as the chassis of a cannon armored car.
  4. Horseman without a head
    Horseman without a head 4 March 2018 06: 41
    Russian armored cars solved the widest range of combat missions, both tactical and operational level, acting competently, courageously and decisively - and being the most important combat resource in the hands of command of all degrees.

    Well that's for sure
    Cool loop, interesting and vivid combat examples
  5. Olgovich
    Olgovich 4 March 2018 07: 56
    In the fall of 1914, the Putilovsky plant in St. Petersburg produces gun armored car. The reservation project was developed by Major General N. M. Filatov, the head of the officer’s rifle school. The machine was intended for high-quality reinforcement of machine-gun armored car units on the battlefield
    Cannon armored car "Garford - Putilovets" (in parentheses are the data of the "marine" model.) Combat weight: 8,6 tons (11 tons). Crew: 8-9 people. Armament: three machine guns "Maxim" 7.62 mm and a gun 76,2 mm; Armor protection: 6,5 mm (7 ... 9 mm body, 8 ... 13 mm turret).

    With such armament, armor and crew, the tank turned out to be, in fact. Used by the Germans after the capture of several pieces.

    He was in service right up to 1923.

    Thanks to the author, we move into the glorious past of the Russian Army. Thank! hi
  6. Monarchist
    Monarchist 4 March 2018 08: 35
    Quote: The Headless Horseman
    to the driver

    I especially liked the "visual examples." Agree to read one thing: in such months they used 2 armored vehicles, and then 5 and quite another, when illustrative examples with illustrations
  7. Monarchist
    Monarchist 4 March 2018 08: 47
    It’s fun to read that the Austrians nearly turned the armored car over. And try to flip a modern tank
    1. Amurets
      Amurets 4 March 2018 09: 52
      Quote: Monarchist
      And try to flip a modern tank

      Or a modern armored car: BRDM or self-propelled howitzer "Dana". The whole point is not only in the mass of those armored cars and modern wheeled vehicles, but also in the track gauge of the vehicle. The wider the track, the more stable the car is on the road. But in general, many factors affect the stability of the vehicle.
  8. soldier
    soldier 4 March 2018 11: 06
    I would also like to recall the participation of Russian armored cars in the Lenin-Autumn campaign of 1917.
    Since the decomposition of the army in the revolutionary year affected the armored units, like cavalry, artillery and engineers, least of all, the command could lean on them - and they were on the cutting edge of the Summer Offensive, and then covered the retreating Russian troops.
    And they suffered losses.
    In the photo - lined "Austin", Tarnopol district, July 1917

    The Germans, as we know, launched a counterattack - and the South-Western Front's army, which lost their stamina, rushed to the state border, losing the conquests not only of the 1st (successful) stage of the 1917 Summer Offensive, but also of last year's Brusilov Offensive.
    And the fallen hero - in his car 9th armored division. Also Southwest Front, Tarnopol District, August 1917
    The car is the Austin Series 2.
  9. soldier
    soldier 4 March 2018 11: 14
    During the Summer Offensive of 1917, troops of the Southwestern Front supported 26 armored vehicles.
    14 armored vehicles were lost.

    Armored cars also operated during the Moonsund operation.
    A German source noted: “... the Russians went on the attack, and armored cars moved in the direction from the bridgehead position to Orrisar. Having driven even further ahead by car, the assistant commander of the mortar company reported that, given the participation of armored vehicles on the enemy side, it would not be possible to maintain a longer position unless artillery support was followed. The 6th battery, advanced at a gallop, took up a position in Orrisar Park and very quickly made armored vehicles move away with its fire. ”
    In total, during the Moonsund operation, Russian troops lost 2 armored cars.
  10. soldier
    soldier 4 March 2018 11: 18
    And here’s the enemy’s armored cars. Zlochev, summer 1917
    1. Bouncer
      Bouncer 4 March 2018 18: 51
      Teutons even in appearance
  11. soldier
    soldier 4 March 2018 11: 20
    Wrote about the Summer Offensive and Moonsund
    Forgot about the Riga operation.
    Russian armored cars distinguished themselves during the Riga operation.
    So, on the night of August 20, 1917, 2 armored cars covered the retreat of the Latvian units. The invincible armored car took out 2 guns abandoned by the Russian troops, and then covered the withdrawal of parts of the 77th Siberian Rifle Regiment.
  12. Rotmistr
    Rotmistr 4 March 2018 12: 08
    Here, too, by the way a cool book
    Although a review
    1. Bouncer
      Bouncer 4 March 2018 18: 53
      Great book, a kind of mini-encyclopedia
      1. Rotmistr
        Rotmistr 4 March 2018 19: 51
        Such here is still a very good little thing
        1. Rotmistr
          Rotmistr 4 March 2018 19: 54
          And she has such a funny tablet

          there is
          1. Streletskos
            Streletskos 4 March 2018 21: 40
            Was reading
            Zeichhaus publishing house
  13. Square
    Square 4 March 2018 12: 21
    And the photos are well chosen
    The traditions of our armored forces are more than 100 years old, and I hope that they now correspond
    1. Some kind of compote
      Some kind of compote 4 March 2018 18: 21
      I hope and now correspond

      You can not doubt
      1. Bouncer
        Bouncer 4 March 2018 18: 54
        As I understand it, the last more or less large-scale experience of using domestic armored vehicles in a conflict with an external (or conditionally external) enemy was the August conflict of 2008.
        1. Streletskos
          Streletskos 4 March 2018 21: 40
          Yes, if we assume that we are not participating in the Donbass conflict
  14. Some kind of compote
    Some kind of compote 4 March 2018 18: 22
    An excellent cycle on the use of Russian armored cars on the Russian front of WWI
  15. soldier
    soldier 4 March 2018 19: 10
    For the “Austins,” the machine gun defense was not an idle question
    Used such schemes

    But often there was no defense, as in the photo of the machines of the 18th machine-gun platoon
    1. Albatroz
      Albatroz 4 March 2018 19: 27
      Interesting nuances)
  16. Albatroz
    Albatroz 4 March 2018 19: 28
    Golden age of armored vehicles
    When it was not necessary to think about the threat from the sky. More precisely - it is necessary, but not to such an extent.
  17. Black joe
    Black joe 4 March 2018 21: 10
    Thank you for the interesting quality article series. hi
    1. Streletskos
      Streletskos 4 March 2018 21: 43
      Fully join drinks good
  18. Adjutant
    Adjutant 5 March 2018 07: 19
    The 15th platoon during its stay on the Southwestern Front was assigned to 16 divisions.

    It's always like that with chopsticks - lifesavers
    It’s a pity the further development of the imperial armor was stabbed
    An interesting picture turned out