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Wednesday, July 12, 2017
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George Collins

Cold War Era Anti-Tank Defences

Question

I wonder if anyone can elaborate on the alleged Cold War era underground explosives laid out across West Germany to counter expected massive Soviet tank offensive. I vaguely remember it mentioned somewhere, but never read or heard anything definitive on that. 

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I'll join you in this question, I've heard about it too but nothing solid. 

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During the Cold war the Warsaw Pakt forces followed the "Sokolovsky doctrine", which requires that success is immediately reinforced.This would have made the forces from the East somewhat predictable, and encouraged NATO to DELIBERATELY fall back into prepared "kill zone" positions, thereby sucking Russian forces (and reinforcements!) into the kill-zone (because NATO's falling back would have looked like an advance by Soviet forces) I think we might be talking about those-pre-prepared falling-back zones, Worth aso bearing in mind that most Russian post WW2 tanks were designed with so called "frying pan" low profile turrets, which left minimal amounts of room for inclination or declination of the main armament. Tank guns usually rely on high velocity projectiles, meaning that you point the gun pretty much directly at the target.Russian tanks weren't very good at shooting uphill OR downhill. Israel when fighting against Syria on the Golan Heights (Israel using by-then obsolete Centurions, Syria with T55's) were able to turn large numbers of Syrian tanks into Swiss cheese from a distance, because THEIR tanks COULD shoot downhill, and the Syrians were unable to return their fire....

 

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The bridges in West Germany did have, and still do, have pre-made demolition chambers for explosive charges so that they could quickly be blown.  There was also some discussion in US Combat Engineer journals about using Small Atomic Demolition Munitions above ground as a means of wrecking an large tank offensive. The US Corps of Engineers were responsible for the use of such weapons.

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