The Question of Motivation and Interior Forces

For one alternate half-fantastical daydream war scenario I’d created (that I may or may not be simming further), I had one fictional country’s interior ministry forces fight harder and better than their regular army did. This despite them not being really designed for conventional war at all and having nothing heavier than box-APCs and crew-served weapons. Part of it was good mountainous terrain that played to the strengths of lighter forces (like them, particularly their commando units) while weakening heavier ones (like the attackers). But then it got me thinking to other parts.

  • Being all-volunteer (even if only for pay) compared to the mostly draftee military.
  • Being a sort of counterbalance to the regular army that put them on alert. (This is why they’d have antitank weapons and training, for instance…)
  • Finally and more crucially, being tied to the regime rather than the country. This meant they had more to lose in the event of a defeat.

Weird Wargaming: T-64 APCs

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. When all you have is a bunch of T-64 tanks, everything looks like it could work with a T-64. As it stood, the independent Ukraine inherited a gargantuan number of those tanks after the breakup of the USSR. As the beginning of the Donbass War showed all too vividly, it had very little else. Since the bureau that designed and the plant that built it were also in Ukraine, then… well, the hammer was even more prominent.

So, there’s the BMP-64, essentially an eastern Bradley on a tank platform. It has similar dimensions and a similar role as the famous American IFV (although a lot more dismounts). Note on the same brochure there’s more vehicles on the T-64 chassis and other tanks fitted with infantry compartments. The latter ones I’ve always envisioned as (at least theoretically) being more suited for a western armored cavalry structure. They can do the same things a tank in armored cav units can do, but they also have a few scouts to dismount when need be.

Then there’s the BMP-K-64, using the tank chassis for a wheeled APC. I find it simultaneously weird, interesting, questionable, and somehow impressive. This would be used like any other Stryker/BTR-style wheeled troop carrier, albeit with its thick front armor taken into account.

These desperation-born oddballs are the kind of armored vehicles I have a soft spot for.