Hur användes strv 103 inom pansarbrigaderna i praktiken?

Diskussioner kring pansarfordon och dess utveckling genom tiderna.
Inlägg: 534
Blev medlem: 21 aug 2012 17:26

Hur användes strv 103 inom pansarbrigaderna i praktiken?

Inlägg av kblomster » 26 maj 2016 23:26

Frågan om 103:an var en "defensiv" vagn eller inte har ju varit mycket omdebatterad. Om man studerar pansarreglementena från 60- och 70-talen så är det mycket tydligt att man på högre nivå anser att 103:an är en stridsvagn och skall användas som sådan - både vad det gäller högre taktisk nivå (t.ex. hur anfall planeras och genomförs på kompaninivå och däröver) såväl som på enskild vagns nivå (skjutreglementet gör ingen skillnad mellan strv 101/102 och 103 utom när det gäller max tillåtet avstånd för eldöppnande under gång - det skiljer 600 meter, max 800m för Centurion resp 200m för 103).

Jag har skrivit ihop en kort essä på engelska (postar den i ett nytt inlägg nedan) där jag med stöd av f.d. hemlig dokumentation om utvecklingen samt ovan nämnda reglementen argumenterar för att man utvecklade en stridsvagn som man också använde som en stridsvagn, men även om argumentet som jag ser det är ganska väl underbyggt i källtexterna så saknar jag belägg för att man faktiskt följde dem i verkligheten. Någonstans nämnde Stefan Karlsson i förbifarten att han ansåg att hans eget truppslag använt vagnen på "fel" sätt.

Till och med Sven Berge själv verkar sent i livet ha övertygat sig själv om att han utvecklat ett defensivt pansarfordon, eller i alla fall verkar han ha använt detta påstående som någon slags ursäkt, men jag finner inget stöd för det i några som helst av alla de hundratals f.d. hemliga dokument jag läst 103:ans förhistoria och utveckling.

Mina frågor blir är alltså: hur gjorde man egentligen i praktiken? Jag har svårt att tänka mig att brigadcheferna vid de 103-utrustade brigaderna faktiskt hade för avsikt att söka defensiva situationer, eller har jag fel? Hur mycket skiljde det i taktiskt uppträdande (säg på plutons eller möjligen kompanis nivå) mot 101/102? Hur förändrades detta över tid i takt med att vagnen åldrades, blev man mindre offensiv under 80-talet?
Senast redigerad av 3 kblomster, redigerad totalt 26 gång.

Inlägg: 534
Blev medlem: 21 aug 2012 17:26

Re: Hur användes strv 103 inom pansarbrigaderna i praktiken?

Inlägg av kblomster » 26 maj 2016 23:27

Essän jag dillar om ovan:
In internet arguments, it is frequently claimed that the stridsvagn 103 (strv 103, "S-tank") was a defensive tank, or basically a tank destroyer. It was, claims the common wisdom (perpetrated by places like History Channel), meant to dig down in a forest, take a few shots at attacking Soviet tanks and then retreat, using its rear driver to its advantage. Even in the Swedish army, some officers (although mainly ones who had no experience on the tank) thought it was worthless for traditional tank work - that is, offensive tasks. I will show that this is simply not true: the Swedish army set out to figure out how to build a good tank, came up with the S-tank idea, developed and built that idea as a tank, which it then proceeded to use operationally as a tank.

The origins of the strv 103, or "alternative S"
In 1957, the Swedish army initiated a study of the future of warfare, in order to determine what weapons technology it should pursue during the 1960's (as well as many other things). One of the sub-committees of this study was tasked with studying direct-fire infantry support weapon systems (such as tanks, anti-tank weapons, direct-fire crew-served weapons, etc). The central question that the sub-committee was tasked with answering was: "How should our system for direct fire (both anti-tank and anti-personnel fire) work around 1970 and in the time immediately thereafter?" (1)

Additionally, the committee was asked four more specific questions, two of which had to do with tanks. First, it was asked to draw up technical requirements for a new tank to be in service around 1965, and while doing so investigate the appropriate trade-off between firepower, speed and protection - perhaps more than one type of tank would be needed? Second, it was asked to study how tanks were to be integrated into the army organization, keeping in mind the requirement to be able to quickly concentrate strong tank formations that would allow attacking strategically important locations such as a hostile beachhead, and in connection to this recommend a minimum number of tanks required in the entire army. Here, it is already becoming apparent what the army was thinking about tanks.

As a part of its work, the committee naturally kept tabs on foreign design trends. It appeared that there were two main schools of tank design thought in the West: one Anglo-American and one French-German one. The Brits and the Americans, the committee found, were intending to develop heavier tanks (around 45 tons - this trend would materialize as the Chieftain and the M60) with more armor, while the Germans and the French were aiming at lighter and faster tanks (around 30 tons, which would materialize as the Leopard I and the AMX-30) - the latter school thought that it would be impossible to combine decent mobility with enough armor to protect against the constantly improving HEAT rounds of the period. For comparison purposes, these hypothetical tanks were designated the "A-tank" and the "T-tank" respectively, where A stood for America and T for Tyskland (the Swedish word for Germany). Additionally, it also studied a newly invented Swedish concept (patented in 1956 by an engineer at the Army Ordnance Administration, Sven Berge), consistently enough named the "S-tank". The S-tank concept lacked a turret and had a two-man or possibly even one-man crew, and because of this it could be designed with extremely well sloped front armor which would protect against the kinetic armor-piercing rounds of the period. The turretless design also allowed for a standoff screen in the front of the tank for protection against HEAT rounds. In short, it could potentially offer the protection of the A-tank with the same low weight and power-to-weight ratio as the T-tank - and low weight was considered important for strategic mobility reasons (easier to find railroad cars that could transport the tank and bridges that could support its weight).

After conducting a number of sub-studies (on things like the probability of victory in hypothetical duels between the three alternatives above, the effects of nuclear radiation on tank crews, the development of IR night vision devices, and war games involving tank assaults into beachheads) the committee delivered its report in May 1958. In regards to tanks, it recommended that development should be a started on a well armored tank much like the A-tank, and that development in the UK and the US should be monitored and the possibility of buying a design from either country be kept open. However, the committee also found that "alternative S" was interesting enough to merit further study, and recommended that some feasibility trials be conducted, at a limited scale. Furthermore the committee also found that newer, better tanks should be organized into armored brigades capable of attacking an opponent in open terrain, while older tanks should be assigned to direct infantry support only, in anti-tank companies in the infantry brigades.

It is already apparent where we're heading: the army concluded it needed a tank for its armored brigades, and the role of the armored brigades was an offensive one - counterattacking a beachhead being the typical example of an operation such a brigade might carry out. The S-tank was conceived as an offensive weapon, considered equal in role and performance to the foreign tanks then in development.

The development process
As the committee recommended, so were it to be, and initial work on some S-tank test rigs was contracted to Bofors in 1958. The development at this early stage was focused on a 30-ton two-man tank with a conventionally elevating gun, fed by an autoloader using two-piece ammunition (the "A-tank" proposal that was under development at the same time was to use the same gun and ammunition). By March 1959, however, the army had changed its mind, for several reasons. Experiments with two-man crews in other armored vehicles at the Armored Forces School had found that just driving, spotting and firing was so taxing on the crew that it left no mental resources over to manage communication with the rest of the unit, especially not if the commander also had to handle a secondary weapon, such as a machine gun or an autocannon. Consulting German war veterans at the West German armor school in Munster about their experiences pointed in the same direction: two men simply weren't enough, especially not with the complex radio equipment in use in the late 50's. Autoloaders were not entirely trusted either; it seemed like it would be a good idea to have someone who could monitor it and fix potential jams. A third crew member was necessary, and finding space for him would increase the weight of the tank. However, it seemed that this could be solved by returning to Sven Berge's original gun elevation idea, more or less as envisioned in his 1956 patent. By fixing the gun in the chassis in the vertical axis too and instead elevating by moving the road wheels, the autoloader mechanism could be moved to the rear of the tank, where the would also be room for the third man. From there, the step to giving him too a set of controls was not big - reversing in a tank is ordinarily quite difficult and usually involves a guide on the outside of the vehicle since the driver has zero visibility to the rear - and thus the rear driver/radioman was in place. (2)

The various trials were mainly positive - the concept was found to be workable in practice, and the A-tank development was put on hold. A prototype series of 10 S-tanks was ordered in 1960 - the positives seemed to by far outweigh the negatives already at this point, but further studies were conducted. In 1961, the Armored Forces School investigated the possible downsides of a lack of gun stabilization and an inability to engage targets that were not directly in front of the tank. The study stated that at the time, even in tanks with stabilization, firing on the move at distances greater than 500 meters was mostly a waste of ammunition. Even at shorter ranges only big targets (i.e. tanks) were to be fired at on the move. According to the study, the main benefit of stabilization was taking 2-3 seconds off of the time between stopping and opening fire. With this in mind, as well as the fact that in the S-tank it would be possible for the commander to take over control and show the gunner/driver a spotted target, it is easy to see why the study concluded that it could not see why the S-tank would be inferior in reaction time to a turreted tank. The ability to easily and quickly retreat with the front armor towards the enemy (thanks to the rear driver) was also considered an advantage. (3)

By 1961, the army HQ was calling for at least 200 new tanks, preferably with deliveries starting in 1965. The debate regarding which tank to buy would continue into 1962 - the S-tank was compared to both other Western tanks of the time and estimates of the Soviet adversary tanks in a number of simulations and paper wargames. The conclusion was that while the Chieftain was good, the S-tank was better - it was estimated to have very similar protection but was much lighter and presented a smaller target. (4)

Stridsvagn 103 in service
As demonstrated above, the strv 103 was developed with the same kind of requirements as a turreted tank. It should hopefully not come as a surprise that when it was taken into service in the armored brigades, it filled the exact same role as a turreted tank. In the 1970's, the Swedish army's modern tanks (the strv 103 and the Centurion) were organized in seven armored brigades, plus a few independent mechanized battalions. The armored brigades was the army's spearhead - there were dozens of infantry brigades, but the few armored ones were the ones that could really conduct an offensive operation in depth against a mechanized enemy. If you take a look at a map, you might be wondering where the Swedish army imagined it was going to conduct a mechanized offensive - while most of the country was east of the Iron Curtain, it was entirely surrounded by water and friendly countries, and the army had no landing craft capable of crossing the Baltic sea. Of course, the answer is the one that was hinted at above: the armored brigades were for counter-attacking beachheads, airborne landings or even an enemy that had established a foothold in the country. The infantry brigades were well suited to defending and delaying, but were only really capable of attacking in what was termed "covered terrain" (i.e. mostly forests and urban areas). Open country was tank country, and consequently the armored brigades had their initial positions in strategically important open areas. Three of the seven armored brigades had their initial positions in the provinces of Skåne and Blekinge, at the very southern tip of the country - mostly flat and open terrain, and only a few hours from East Germany and Poland by ship. One was stationed on the island of Gotland (also flat and open terrain, and not a big island at all), two in the densely populated and strategically important Stockholm and lake Mälaren area (one in Strängnäs, south of the lake, and one in Enköping, north of the lake) and finally one in Skövde on the big plains in the southwestern part of the country where a lot of important air force bases were located, and where it could easily reach the important harbor in Gothenburg. (5)

In the 1970's, two of the brigades in Skåne and the one in Skövde were equipped with strv 103's; the rest had Centurions. Strategically, it didn't matter which tank the brigade had - it was expected to fill the same role and had almost exactly the same organization and equipment (other than the tanks themselves). Tactically, there were a few differences, but they weren't huge. The same field manuals were used for both Centurion and strv 103 formations down to platoon level (one platoon was three tanks) - only the field manual intended for individual tank crews differed. The tank gunnery field manual from 1974 (which was also the same for both Centurions and strv 103's), only a few very specific points called attention to the difference in tactical usage between the two. More specifically: the manual stated that firing on the move was to be avoided, even in a tank with gun stabilization like the Centurion. In a Centurion, firing on the move was permitted at distances up to 800 meters, and it was only to be done if there was a very good reason for doing it - one example given was to attempt to suppress an ATGM crew that had just fired before it could reload. In the strv 103, firing on the move was only permitted at distances up to 200 meters, which is basically knife fighting range in a tank. Instead, the field manual heavily emphasized the need to get the first hit in. Firing first and hitting with the first round fired was an enormous advantage, and in big bold letters the manual stated that in tank duels, the tank that got the first hit was four times more likely to win than the tank that didn't. Furthermore, the manual went on to say that the enemy was expected to have many more AFV's than the Swedish side could expect to have, and wasting ammunition was not acceptable. In other words, the gunnery doctrine was firmly centered on well-aimed fire and hitting with the first round. The strv 103's inability to fire on the move was no big disadvantage in light of this. (6)

The stridsvagn 103 was conceived as a tank, developed in response to a demand for a tank, and used as a tank. It was not a tank destroyer or a "defensive" vehicle. Repeated trials both in Sweden and abroad showed that in most cases it was insignificantly slower to react to a target appearing on its side than a turreted tank was. In fact, due to its duplicated controls (the commander could override the gunner/driver's controls and, for example, point the tank at a target that he could see through his rotating cupola but the gunner/driver hadn't spotted) it could even be faster to react than a turreted tank without similar functionality - the turreted tank's commander would have to talk the gunner into finding the target. The inability to fire on the move was not considered a significant disadvantage considering the Swedish gunnery doctrine at the time.

The strv 103 proved to be an evolutionary dead end, however. Stabilization technology improved rapidly during the 1970's, especially with the introduction of gun-follows-sight technology, and the next generation of Western MBT's that appeared around 1980 were only slightly less accurate on the move than they were at a standstill. The 103's heavily sloped - but not all that thick - front armor which offered good protection against 1960's armor-piercing rounds was completely insufficient against newer 1970's "long rod" penetrators. It was a very innovative and very Swedish think-outside-the-box solution in 1960, but it should have been replaced around 1980-1985 - the original requirements called for a technical lifetime of 15 years.

1. Rapport (maj 1958) från studiegrupp 2 för fortsatt tygmaterielplanering. (Krigsarkivet: Kungl. Armétygförvaltningen (KATF), Fordonsavdelningen, Centralsektionens hemliga arkiv, serie F III, volym 1)

2. Hemlig promemoria "Viss ändring i fodringarna på strv typ S", diarienr KATF/FB:AH 100:5, 20/3 1959. (Krigsarkivet: KATF, Fordonsavdelningen, Centralsektionens hemliga arkiv, serie F I, vol 32)

3. Hemlig skrivelse, diarienr C PS H 503, 10/10 1961. (Krigsarkivet: Pansartruppskolan, Försöksavdelningens hemliga arkiv, serie F II, volym 2)

4. Hemlig skrivelse "Anskaffning av ny huvudstridsvagn", diarienr FAH 1010:10, 28/11 1961. (Krigsarkivet: KATF, Fordonsavdelningen, Centralsektionens hemliga arkiv, serie F I, volym 53)

5. Bengt Wallerfelt: Si vis pacem - para bellum : svensk säkerhetspolitik och krigsplanering 1945-1975 (Stockholm: Probus, 1999)

6. This paragraph is based on a number of period field manuals and TO&E's, see f.ex. Arméhandbok del 1 - organisation: pansarbrigadens förband (1977), Pansarreglemente pansarbataljon (1966), Pansarreglemente stridsvagnskompani (1974), Pansarreglemente stridsvagnspluton (1974) and Skjutreglemente för armén: Stridsvagn grunder (1979). Some of them are available in scanned form.

Stefan Karlsson
Inlägg: 635
Blev medlem: 28 jul 2008 21:09

Re: Hur användes strv 103 inom pansarbrigaderna i praktiken?

Inlägg av Stefan Karlsson » 27 maj 2016 18:22

En riktigt bra beskrivning, och jag förmodar att du har tillräckligt med fakta kring utvecklingen från dina studier på KrA.
Det jag hört/läst är att Sven Berge studerade hur vagnar under VK II hade slagits ut och från dessa studier så kom han fram till att vagnen krävde ett bra frontalt skydd och en låg profil. Som jag förstått var han väldigt grundlig i dessa studier och det var det som fick styra.
Ang bakåtförarens införande har jag hört olika orsaker till detta, men om du funnit dokument som stödjer det du skriver så är det säkert så.

När vagnen kom var den bäst i världen på att skjuta prick på långa håll och det berodde dels på det längre eldröret och dels på att det inte fanns några rörliga delar mellan sikte och kanon som det gör på en tornvagn, dessutom hade vagnen 18 ggr förstoring i siktet, de flesta vagnar har aldrig haft mer än 12 ggr.
När vagnen kom var hastigheten till skott både rakt fram och rakt i sida snabbare för 103 än för en tornvagn precis som du beskriver och det gjorde att den var överlägsen de flesta andra vagnar eftersom den hade bättre optik, var snabbare till skott och dessutom bättre precision.
Så i början var den helt klart en bra stridsvagn jämfört med vad som fanns på marknaden och visst var det så den användes - som stridsvagn både för anfalls- och försvarsstrid.
Men ganska snart ändrades förutsättningarna när stabilisering av kanon blev bättre och jag vill påstå att vi som använde vagnarna (jag är själv uppfostrad i Centurion, men har ju haft kollegor som var 103) inte förstod på vilket sätt som omvärldens vagnar hade utvecklats i jämförelse med våra egna. Innan vi fick simulatorer var de dubbelsidiga övningarna i princip omöjliga att utvärdera och det var först 1984 som vi fick möjlighet att öva på ett mer verklighetstroget sätt, där motståndaren kunde skjuta tillbaka och slå ut vagnen. Dessa simulatorer utvecklades ganska snabbt och vi blev bättre på att anpassa vårt agerande tack vare simulatorerna, men problemet var att vi hade likvärdiga (dåliga) vagnar på båda sidor.
Jag vill påstå att det var först 1990 när vi körde försöken med Leopard 2 och M1A1 som vi insåg hur illa det var. I de jämförande försöken så var både Centurion och Strv 103 helt odugliga. Sikte och stabilisering i Leo 2 var helt överlägsen både 103 och 104, förvisso var 103 fortfarande bra på att skjuta prick på långa håll (stillastående).
Försöken var en alarmklocka på många sätt (jag var själv med som vagnchef i Leo 2 och vet därför hur de olika försöken förlöpte) och även om den elektronik som satt i Strv 104 var både modernare och bättre än den i Leo 2 så hjälpte inte det eftersom mekaniken var från 1955 och mycket sliten.

Användningen av Strv 103 var således som du beskriver - samma som för Centurion och om inte motståndarens vagnar hade utvecklats på snabbts om de gjorde så hade det kanske varit ok, men med facit i hand borde stridstekniken för Strv 103 (och även Centurion) ha anpassats och blivit mer defensiv under 1970-talet.
Det är detta som jag menar när jag då och då hävdar att vagnen användes på fel sätt, inte i början men efter hand som motståndarens vagnar utvecklades.
Även Centurionerna var out of date på 1970-talet och borde ha bytts ut redan då - sett till vilken nivå motståndaren hade.

Sen har vi ju en annan aspekt och det är vilken fiende som vi förväntades möta. Det var knappast troligt att vi skulle möta T 72 i första skedet, och kanske inte alls.
Det vi planerade för var luftlandsättning med fallskärm och helikopter, därefter landstigning med lätta fordon som PT 76, BTR 70 osv. De förband som fanns i närområdet och som skulle kunna avdelas för Norden var T 55 även i modern tid. Spjutspetsarna med tex T 72 och T 64 var avsedda för Centraleuropa och ser man det på det viset så var vagnarna fullt användbara mot en landsättning.

Emotser gärna debatt ;-)
Har vi några fd "osthyvelbesättningar" på forumet?

Inlägg: 534
Blev medlem: 21 aug 2012 17:26

Re: Hur användes strv 103 inom pansarbrigaderna i praktiken?

Inlägg av kblomster » 27 maj 2016 19:06

Tack för ett utförligt svar!

Ang. bakåtföraren, i all hast - har inte tid att utveckla just nu: här är det dokument jag stödjer mig på (klicka för större bilder):


Ny medlem
Inlägg: 2
Blev medlem: 14 sep 2016 17:10
Ort: Malmö

Re: Hur användes strv 103 inom pansarbrigaderna i praktiken?

Inlägg av Pansarsvinet » 04 nov 2016 17:46

Ang 103’s defensiva bruk (vad denna definition nu innebär???) i fält tror jag mycket det handlar om populärhistorisk missuppfattning. Under, och tiden precis efter 2vk verkar alla i väst, och senare Nato, vara överens om att pansarvagnar är taktiskt sett ett offensivt vapen och ska brukas så oavsett om det är i defensiva eller offensiva operationer.

Om man tittar tillbaks på Pvkvns föregångare; tyska Panzerjägers 1935-45 (ex Marder serien mfl.), så använde dessa tillsynes ”defensiva taktiker” mycket pga. bristen av adekvat bepansring. Senare stormkanonvagnar (ex StuG) och ”Jagdpanzer” som var fullt bepansrade användes som stridsvagnar även om de hade olika definitioner i infanteriet och i pansardivisionerna. Dessutom hade man redan tidigt insett att mobil krigföring var framtiden och det visade sig snabbt att stridsvagnar i försvarspositioner var taktisk katastrof. Man förlorade helt enkelt de viktiga reserverna man behövde för att slå ut FI's rörliga pansargrupper som trängt genom försvarslinjerna, och förutom att bli utmanövrerade var de lätta byten för understöd som artilleri och flyg.

Att fenomenet med en tornlös stridsvagn från början kommer av mellankrigstidens brist i mognad i den tekniska och materiella utvecklingen, samt ekonomisk brist (de är allmänt billigare att producera än stridsvagnar), blev den därför tillsynes en nödlösning.
Essäen här påvisar för mig hur man försöker brygga över det taktiska gapet mellan "utan-torn" och "torn" med hjälp av modern teknologi. Redan 1943(?) fanns det utvärderingar i Tyska armén som visade att den tornlösa StuG III (stormkanonvagn) hade 70% av stridskapaciten av en stridsvagn med torn och därför kan man anta att med rätt budget och teknologi skulle man, i.a.f. för en tid, kunna producera en Pvkv med minimal skillnad i effekt mellan de två typerna vilket Strv 103 också visar. Men eftersom det är baserat på en nödlösning var det väl också bara en tidsfråga innan den blev "omkörd".