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How to lay an armored L-Shape Ambush in Ukraine?

jhungary

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Today, I am going to talk about how to ambush and react to ambush. And today, I am going to use an actual example when Ukraine Force ambush a 3 Tanks Russian Column to illustrate on how a Typical L-Shape Ambush was laid and how you can avoid or counter them. This is a very basic tactical stuff which was taught almost to all Tank Commander. (I would think so, well, at least hope so....) So. Let's go into detail........

Today's Example


(This is not the original version, but the original version have too much padding and the music is too loud so I used this one, for the Ukrainian Released version, please go watch this one instead)


Anyway, this is a very straight forward set up, we have an urban area, a town which, judging from the destruction with the houses and what not was properly bombarded. Here we can see a road travel thru from N-S down the video and another road that cut across the centre of the town. Which form a T-shape Intersection

So the Russian tank is travelling in a column, 3 tanks, without dismounted infantry. Going down from the MSR from North to South (orientated to the video, not the true orientation)

Initial Shot - 0:06

006.jpg


Notice on the white house circled in Red, a RPG rounds (most likely a RPG-27 is firing from this house, you can see the back-blast coming out of the window and just missed the first tank to the tank's front right. The entire Column stopped. This is a very apparent miss which spring the Russian tank crew into action.

Reacting to Initial Shot 0:15

015.jpg


After the first tank being shot at, all 3 should now be in communication with each other, first thing first, they need to know where the fire came from, Apprently, the first tank or someone in the column identify 5 houses down the white house (marked in Red before) is where the fire come from, so the first tank put a round into that building. At the same time, the 3 tanks have to work together to get out of the kill zone. Now, unbeknown to the Russian, and known to us (Because we have a bird eye view in this ambush) the First tanks is already inside the kill zone, where the 2nd and 3rd, still behind the road run perpendicular to the MSR, are still outside the kill zone.

As with reaction to any ambush, the first priority is for the people (the first tank) inside the kill zone to exit the kill zone, and for the other to assist, conventionally, we will sweep back and across to envelope the ambush force using our force outside the kill zone, however, mobility in this case is limited. Which mean the best the 2nd and 3rd tanks can do is to assist the first tank.

On the other hand, the commander in this group would have to make a decision as to how they can break thru, from this situation, it is clearly presented to us there are 2 way out of the kill zone, either for the first tank to continue travel down the road and exit the kill zone from the south, or to back up and leave the kill zone via the MSR to the North or the service road to the West. And judging by the fact that they identified the house 5 house down the actual ambush point is the threat. They made a decision to back up and exit the kill zone thru the service road, which is a tactical error. And I will explain below.

Organised Retreat 0:26

026.jpg


Once the commander formulated his plan, the next step is to execute it. With the decision to retired thru the service road. The retreat is in the order of 2nd tank (Blue) will now lead the formation, while the 3rd tank (Yellow) is brought up to act as overwatch while the 1st tank (Green) reverse. All with turret pointing at different position to cover the 12, 3 and 10 (alleged Ukrainian attack position) o'clock

Well, at least this is the plan...

Mine/Second Strike 0:41

0041.jpg


What we see here is either the first tank ran into a mine or another RPG was fired by the Ukrainian, to which I cannot pin point the origin of the shot (So most likely it was a mine) what that do is that it further obscure the field and the Russian column is now confused. Originally, the ordered retreat is for the second tanks go 1st where the 3rd tank cover the 1st tank retreat. Now the first tank was hit again. It disrupted the order and the 3rd tank decided to follow the 2nd tank, leaving the 1st tank in a quite vulnerable position.

Eventually this would happened

Destroying the first tank 1:09

0069.jpg


We can see from the missile trial at 1:09 at the lower SE coroner of the screen, a projectile (Most likely NLAW) is fired and hit the first tank while the 2nd tank try to back up and help it buddy, at this point, the First tank is immobilised, it will be hit again and exploded and I will not want to be in that First Russian Tank.

Post-Race review..

What the Russian do, largely follow the dictation of the playbook for counter ambush, they try to disengage and leave the kill zone. But the problem is, now we know, this is the actual line of the Ukrainian Ambush

L Shape Ambush.jpg


I believe the Ukrainian have placed 2 AT team in the building marked in Red, and a scout/spotter team in the building in Green, thus forming an L shape ambush. I would say beside one thing, the Russian is reacting to this ambush very intelligently, however, they were failed by 2 things.

1.) They failed to identify the first launch site.
2.) They erroneously believe the the kill box is further down the road.

That is most likely contributed by the fact that there are no dismounted infantry to help screen the road and be the eyes and ears of the tank travelling in this column, thus leaving the Armor blinded to the attack. The thought the first team is further down and thus setting up a "Parallel I shape Ambush" along the main MSR, but if they have recon the city, they would know the white multi-story building (Marked in Green) is topping the area, which would be ideal
for the Ukrainian to set up a spotter in it, it basically overlook both road travelling North to South Bound and East to West Bound. While they (The Ukrainian) could have another AT team waiting on the Russian to come down that main MSR, but in effect, both the road and intersection was indeed the kill zone

This example show how an Ambush can be made dynamic to your enemy, and in effect 2 out of 3 tanks leave this ambush alive is considering a failure for the Ukrainian term, because a more effective unit would have killed at lease 2 (probably the 2nd tank as well, may even be all)

@RescueRanger @dbc @Wood @Oldman1 @Paul2
 

Metal 0-1

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Here's what I can think of on top of my head rn, First tank should be punching out of the X (if they are not disabled of course)

Trailing tanks lay base of fire. Dismounted infantry will destroy the ambush



Your resident arm chair expert
 

khansaheeb

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Here's what I can think of on top of my head rn, First tank should be punching out of the X (if they are not disabled of course)

Trailing tanks lay base of fire. Dismounted infantry will destroy the ambush



Your resident arm chair expert
First sign of resistance the tanks should have called an air strike to flatten all the buildings in that area. Learnt that of the US army.
 

jhungary

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Here's what I can think of on top of my head rn, First tank should be punching out of the X (if they are not disabled of course)

Trailing tanks lay base of fire. Dismounted infantry will destroy the ambush



Your resident arm chair expert

Would you?

Let's look at the ambush in the Russian perspective, now I am not claiming I am an expert of Soviet Armor doctrine, but I myself was a tanker, I trained with both M1 Abrams and M2 Bradley and choose the latter one. I can tell by their reaction what were they thinking.

If you are on the lead tank, you just got shot at and missed at around 10/11 o'clock, what would you think at that moment? You can see you have a road leading ahead, a road behind you (You went pass that point by the first shot) leading to your 3. You don't know where there incoming is from (Judging by the fact that they shot at a house 7 or 8 places down the street. The natural assumption is that you have an ambush ahead of you. You don't know where it was set up, or you think you do but that's a wrong place. What would you do?

In a fast vehicle (Like a Jeep or Humvee), I would most likely blow thru the street and leave on the other side, step on the gas and hope they missed me. In a tank going 30 miles an hour top in pave road? You gonna get shot up like a Swiss cheese. And since I don't know, or I think (Again, I am that Russian crew) the kill zone is ahead of me, going that way is not recommended....

Which mean 1 thing, they think they are still not in the kill zone (Which make no sense by the way because if they want to funnel you into an ambush they won't shoot the lead vehicle, they will shoot at the last, which mean if they are clear headed, they should know they are already in the Killzone. Which is something the Russian crew missed), which mean, for them it's a far/distant ambush, if this is us, the standard SOP is to back out, and go around the kill zone. Which is what they did. Problem is, we can see from the benefit of hindsight, they are actually next to the point of ambush, they are dead right in the middle of the Killzone.

So what can they do? Effectively, they need to get out of the ambush fast. And if this was me and I was in that crew, I will simply backtrack where I come from, because that was the fastest, and I know I wasn't shot at getting to this point, going ahead, it may be an ambush (Actually, we don't know, Ukrainian may have another team or 2 lying in that street waiting, they didn't show up in this ambush does not mean they are not there) What the crew did in this essentially is for them to stay in the Killzone long enough without even realising it. And when you did that, you gonna get hit.
 

Metal 0-1

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Would you?

Let's look at the ambush in the Russian perspective, now I am not claiming I am an expert of Soviet Armor doctrine, but I myself was a tanker, I trained with both M1 Abrams and M2 Bradley and choose the latter one. I can tell by their reaction what were they thinking.

If you are on the lead tank, you just got shot at and missed at around 10/11 o'clock, what would you think at that moment? You can see you have a road leading ahead, a road behind you (You went pass that point by the first shot) leading to your 3. You don't know where there incoming is from (Judging by the fact that they shot at a house 7 or 8 places down the street. The natural assumption is that you have an ambush ahead of you. You don't know where it was set up, or you think you do but that's a wrong place. What would you do?

In a fast vehicle (Like a Jeep or Humvee), I would most likely blow thru the street and leave on the other side, step on the gas and hope they missed me. In a tank going 30 miles an hour top in pave road? You gonna get shot up like a Swiss cheese. And since I don't know, or I think (Again, I am that Russian crew) the kill zone is ahead of me, going that way is not recommended....

Which mean 1 thing, they think they are still not in the kill zone (Which make no sense by the way because if they want to funnel you into an ambush they won't shoot the lead vehicle, they will shoot at the last, which mean if they are clear headed, they should know they are already in the Killzone. Which is something the Russian crew missed), which mean, for them it's a far/distant ambush, if this is us, the standard SOP is to back out, and go around the kill zone. Which is what they did. Problem is, we can see from the benefit of hindsight, they are actually next to the point of ambush, they are dead right in the middle of the Killzone.

So what can they do? Effectively, they need to get out of the ambush fast. And if this was me and I was in that crew, I will simply backtrack where I come from, because that was the fastest, and I know I wasn't shot at getting to this point, going ahead, it may be an ambush (Actually, we don't know, Ukrainian may have another team or 2 lying in that street waiting, they didn't show up in this ambush does not mean they are not there) What the crew did in this essentially is for them to stay in the Killzone long enough without even realising it. And when you did that, you gonna get hit.
First of all, I dunno bro, I just type.

I am totally lost here lol. Correct me if I am wrong.

If kill zone is is further down the road it means Ukrainians messed up by initialising the ambush early.

And if this was indented killzone and Ukrainians were employing the L shaped ambush that means they have base of fire and assaulting element. I didn't see them working together.


Russians also didn't do a good job on their part. Typical counter ambush tactic I have seen employed by Russians is, second tank mover up and provide cover trailing tanks provide fire support/suppression/counter assault


I am still working on my ambush game. I may share some stuff in future
 

jhungary

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First of all, I dunno bro, I just type.

I am totally lost here lol. Correct me if I am wrong.

If kill zone is is further down the road it means Ukrainians messed up by initialising the ambush early.

And if this was indented killzone and Ukrainians were employing the L shaped ambush that means they have base of fire and assaulting element. I didn't see them working together.


Russians also didn't do a good job on their part. Typical counter ambush tactic I have seen employed by Russians is, second tank mover up and provide cover trailing tanks provide fire support/suppression/counter assault


I am still working on my ambush game. I may share some stuff in future
The Killzone should be where the Ukrainian OP looks over, which mean it should be right around where the first tank was and where the road intersects, that's where the Killzone would be.

You only funnel people when they are not inside the Killzone, you take out the last tank, so you basically push the entire column forward and into the actual Killzone, you don't do that when they are already in it. That's why I said the Russian tank crew read the situation wrong. Because they believe the Killzone is in front of them right where they fire the shot at. But if this is the case, they should have known the Ukrainian would shoot at the last tank, not the first, they shot at the first because the Russian are already in the Killzone.

You don't need a base of fire element and assault element it depends on how you set up your ambush and whether or not you want to exploit the ambush. A L-Shape ambush is usually defensive, your unit dissolved back into the environment once you pull that out, there are no need for fire support and assault element.
 

Metal 0-1

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A L-Shape ambush is usually defensive, your unit dissolved back into the environment once you pull that out, there are no need for fire support and assault element.
A read something about it from a snippet from Ranger Handbook. It said otherwise.

I must have mixed up things
 

jhungary

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A read something about it from a snippet from Ranger Handbook. It said otherwise.

I must have mixed up things
L-Shape Ambush take times and knowledge to set up, both you don't usually have on the offensive ambush.

A very prime example of L-Shape ambush being used defensively is The Ambush of Salvatore Giunta Unit by the Taliban

Giunta_MOH_narrative_slide_3.jpg



Taliban ambush Salvatore Giunta Unit by setting up a Defensive Ambush on Salvatore Giunta Patrol. Resulting in Salvatore Giunta being awarded the Medal of Honor.


Notice that a Defensive Ambush is not referring to the Attacker/Defender relationship, an Offensive/Defensive Ambush is on Operational Level, it is used to refer to Area Ambush as your Unit Offensive/Defensive Planning.

 

Foinikas

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If you are on the lead tank, you just got shot at and missed at around 10/11 o'clock, what would you think at that moment? You can see you have a road leading ahead, a road behind you (You went pass that point by the first shot) leading to your 3. You don't know where there incoming is from (Judging by the fact that they shot at a house 7 or 8 places down the street. The natural assumption is that you have an ambush ahead of you. You don't know where it was set up, or you think you do but that's a wrong place. What would you do?
Shouldn't you fire smoke grenades first and then decide what to do?
 

jhungary

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Shouldn't you fire smoke grenades first and then decide what to do?
That would mean you are going to stay in the kill zone......

I don't know how Russian taught their troop, if it was us, you try to get out of the kill box immediately, the longer you linger the more chance you will get shot.
 

Foinikas

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That would mean you are going to stay in the kill zone......

I don't know how Russian taught their troop, if it was us, you try to get out of the kill box immediately, the longer you linger the more chance you will get shot.
Nothing? You just go forward fast through the ambush area?
 

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Taliban ambush Salvatore Giunta Unit by setting up a Defensive Ambush on Salvatore Giunta Patrol. Resulting in Salvatore Giunta being awarded the Medal of Honor.
I think I heard about this ambush.

Correct me if I am wrong. It was a close ambush and they implemented text book battle drill by pushing through that ambush.

It's called turn and burn or something like that
 

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