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> Czekhoslovakia 1968, Soviet "show of muscles"?
MMM
  Posted: October 17, 2013 06:05 pm
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I recently heard (on TVR1) about the number of tanks used by the Warsaw Pact in 1968 to "pacify" the Prague Spring. On TV there were 6.000 tanks and on wiki, at first sight, between 5 ad 7 thousands. Two to three times more than Barbarossa!
My point is: why the exaggeration? As far as I know they did NOT even need to shoot... :blink:
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JiriTintera
Posted: October 17, 2013 07:02 pm
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Sovětská vojska se na našem území rozmístila v noci z 20. na 21. srpna 1968, v souvislosti se snahou o vojenské potlačení tehdejšího procesu politických změn v Československu. Pozemní sled okupačních vojsk tvořilo 30 divizí sovětské armády (z toho pět tankových a dvě výsadkové), tři polské divize (z toho dvě tankové), jedna motostřelecká divize maďarské armády a jeden bulharský motostřelecký pluk. Náčelník generálního štábu čs. armády gen. Rusov ve svém vystoupení na schůzi předsednictva Národního shromáždění 26.08.1968 sdělil, že intervenční vojska pravděpodobně disponují 6300 tanky, 2000 děly, 550 bojovými a 250 dopravními letouny. Souhrnné počty vojsk byly odhadovány na více něž 500000 osob.

Electronic translated:

Soviet troops are deployed in our area the night of the night of 20 for 21 August 1968, in connection with efforts to suppress the then military on political changes in Czechoslovakia. Land sequence of occupation forces consisted of 30 divisions of the Soviet Army (five tank and two airborne), three Polish divisions (two tanks), one motorized division of the Hungarian army, and one Bulgarian motorized regiment. Chief of the General Staff of Czechoslovak Army gen. Rusov in his speech at the meeting of the Presidium of the National Assembly in 26th August 1968 reported that the intervention troops probably have 6300 tanks, 2000 artillery, combat 550 and 250 transport aircraft. Cumulative numbers of troops were estimated at more than 500000 people.

Source
http://armada.vojenstvi.cz/povalecna/sovet.vojska/3.htm
http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invaze_vojsk_...8Ceskoslovenska
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MMM
  Posted: October 17, 2013 08:12 pm
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Thanks, Jiri! But seven tank divisions and some motorized troops cannot gather 6.300 tanks! Or can they?
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Florin
Posted: October 18, 2013 06:24 am
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QUOTE (MMM @ October 17, 2013 01:05 pm)
I recently heard (on TVR1) about the number of tanks used by the Warsaw Pact in 1968 to "pacify" the Prague Spring. On TV there were 6.000 tanks and on wiki, at first sight, between 5 ad 7 thousands. Two to three times more than Barbarossa!
My point is: why the exaggeration? As far as I know they did NOT even need to shoot... :blink:

Regarding your " ... they did NOT even need to shoot... "
As far as I know, occasionally they had to shoot. This means that occasionally there was some fighting.
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Imperialist
Posted: October 18, 2013 08:41 am
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Czechoslovakia had a border with the Federal Republic of Germany. I believe the invasion forces had to be strong enough to crush everything quick and send a clear message to the Soviet bloc, but also to deter any involvement from the West.
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MMM
Posted: October 18, 2013 12:59 pm
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Well, of course they needed some shooting! Pacifists, but not monastery...
And yes, Federal Germany - thus NATO - were close, but how were 6.000 tanks organized into seven tank divisions and a motorized one, plus one motorized regiment? (according to wiki and Jiri, that is...)
To me it still seems exagerated. And it wasn`t even Khruschev, but Brezhnev in charge...
:o
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Florin
Posted: October 19, 2013 07:42 am
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QUOTE (MMM @ October 18, 2013 07:59 am)
Well, of course they needed some shooting! Pacifists, but not monastery...
And yes, Federal Germany - thus NATO - were close, but how were 6.000 tanks organized into seven tank divisions and a motorized one, plus one motorized regiment? (according to wiki and Jiri, that is...)
To me it still seems exagerated. And it wasn`t even Khruschev, but Brezhnev in charge...
:o

Maybe somebody made a "typo" - added a "zero" or something like that.
Where I live and in the times we live, most people do not check their writing and they just dump their text into the network. Not related to the topic, imagine that in technical documentation one different letter means something different but that "different" makes sense, and after your burn your brain for one hour you realize that actually it was typo that could have been corrected in maximum 10 seconds, but a retard just left it there.

Let me tell you a real story: one of the first serious studies about the quality of spinach was done at the beginning of the 20th century. The researchers were serious, but the secretary typed a "comma" to the right, so the spinach appeared to have ten times more iron than it actually had. The funniest thing was the 50 years that passed until another serious study discovered this.

And if you are wondering why you'll see "6000 tanks" in more than one location, that's easy: they copied after the wrong "original".
Another thing that makes sense is that all vehicles were 6000 altogether, and later all different vehicles were labeled as "tanks".
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Radub
Posted: October 19, 2013 08:33 am
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I think that the key word here is "probably". If you read the text carefully you can see that the speaker refers to the maximum size of equipment available if needed, but not necessarily the actual amount of equipment deployed.
The problem with such large number of tanks is transport. Tanks cannot travel long distances on their own - they have limited range, limited speed, they consume a great deal of fuel. They are usually transported to a nearby location, either by train or flatbed trailer, and then unloaded into the field where they do their work. When finished they are loaded back on their transports and brought back home.
Imagine the trains or trucks needed to bring that many tanks. If it takes one train carriage or one truck+trailer per tank, each carriage or trailer would have to go back and forth a number of times, both to deliver the tanks from the bases and to return them home. But tanks also need mobile workshops, "wreckers", tools, spares, ammunition, fuel, maintenance crews. Imagine the traffic, the logistics.
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Imperialist
Posted: October 19, 2013 09:31 am
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Another thing to consider is that the term "tank" may be used loosely. They probably mean armored vehicles and that includes IFVs, APCs and tanks. Regular people usually don't know the difference and they call them tanks. 6,000 armored vehicles sounds more plausible.
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MMM
  Posted: October 19, 2013 11:19 am
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QUOTE (Imperialist @ October 19, 2013 12:31 pm)
6,000 armored vehicles sounds more plausible.

Now we're talking! That's what I thought, too... And I agree with the "copy/paste" routine. It is so common, isn't it? :P
BTW, it is hard to say how much fuel would have been spent with 6.000 tanks over the mountainous Czech land!
Case (probably) closed!
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ANDREAS
Posted: October 21, 2013 10:41 pm
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QUOTE
In the night from 20 to 21 August 1968 began "Operation Danube" - the invasion led by 
the countries of the Warsaw Pact on the territory of Czechoslovakia, the preparation of which was conducted in the spring. The main role assigned to it by the Soviet armored units and mechanized units: 9th Tank Division, 11th Guards Tank Division, 13th Guards Tank Division, 15th Guards Tank Division and 31st Tank Division. Involved were about two thousand tanks (mainly T-54 and T-55), which appeared on the streets of Czech cities. In Prague, 5 hours after crossing the border the soviet forces were in control. Czechoslovak Army has not put much resistance doing so many victims have been avoided.
translated from russian in english from here: http://historic.ru/books/item/f00/s00/z0000168/st017.shtml

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MMM
Posted: October 22, 2013 12:40 pm
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QUOTE (ANDREAS @ October 22, 2013 01:41 am)
QUOTE
In the night from 20 to 21 August 1968 began "Operation Danube" - the invasion led by 
the countries of the Warsaw Pact on the territory of Czechoslovakia, the preparation of which was conducted in the spring. The main role assigned to it by the Soviet armored units and mechanized units: 9th Tank Division, 11th Guards Tank Division, 13th Guards Tank Division, 15th Guards Tank Division and 31st Tank Division. Involved were about two thousand tanks (mainly T-54 and T-55), which appeared on the streets of Czech cities. In Prague, 5 hours after crossing the border the soviet forces were in control. Czechoslovak Army has not put much resistance doing so many victims have been avoided.
translated from russian in english from here: http://historic.ru/books/item/f00/s00/z0000168/st017.shtml

...and so we go from six to two thousand tanks! Pretty impressive figure, nevertheless, especially for a country as small as the socialist friend in discussion - whose name I misspelt in the topic of the title. "Czechoslovakia" seems to be the English equivalent of the "Československo" state...
So, anyway, with five divisions of tanks (three of which Guard Divisions) only from the Red Army, the battle order gets better suited for a full-scale offensive rather than a pacifying operation or whatever it was called then.
In other words, it is no longer a monstruosity, but a huge exaggeration of the Soviet Army...
BTW, this Zaitev KGB-man is an interesting character, although his famous "Alpha Group" was created only in 1974, two years after the Munich massacre.
Thanks, ANDREAS!

This post has been edited by MMM on October 22, 2013 12:53 pm
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Agarici
Posted: October 23, 2013 09:50 am
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Two thousands is indeed a figure much more close to a plausible reality. Even so the number is rather large, the fact that the country had a border with Western Germany being the probable cause for that.
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