One more small fact to add to this already comprehensive node is the Soviet Union's answer to the river-crossing problem: They put a snorkel on the tank and simply drove across. This only worked on small rivers (although the snorkel-equipped T-80 was rated for rivers up to 5 meters deep), but was extremely effective. (They even kept a couple of blanks to clear the barrel of water.) The tank units involved in the crossing did suffer a small percentage of loss, even in training, whenever a snorkel became dislodged. This however was deemed a reasonable cost to gain the tremendous maneuver advantage.

This was one of the indicators we used to determine what kind of units were involved when we were eavesdropping on Soviet/East German river-crossing training; when they put up a bridge, it was for trucks or other light wheeled vehicles, if the units swam across, they were APCs, and if they just drove across, they were tanks. (BTW that last point about the listening thing used to be sort of classified 20 years ago.)