Theories Discussion > Murdered

Army Tactician - Definitely Ambush, potential events

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armyeng:
Army tactician here, this screams of classic ambush tactics used throughout most armies and offers the highest probability theory because this is how small armed tactics play out. The boiled down synopsis:

Likely sequence:

1. Hikers were under observation or pursuit by a hostile local group or had a negative interaction with them previously along their route (see motive below). Likely that hikers (college/military age males) could have gotten into mischief or had aggressive interaction between the local groups, initial scuffle and were concerned about being pursued later on. 

2. Hikers pitched tent in a tactically reasonable location with clear lines of sight all around tent to be able to observe another potential group approaching from a distance. The forest would not work, anyone looking for them would be able to follow tracks and sneak up on them easily. This is very important. hikers posted guards on shift (fully clothed) while the rest of the group remained in the tent to rest. Concern of being pursued might not have been extremely high at this point. 

3. Small group of ambushers (likely a smaller group than the hikers) captured guards, and surrounded the tent, or surrounded the tent when guards were inside at night during low visibility.

4. KEY - Ambushers used rifle butts, blunt objects to beat the hikers while they were inside the tent. The hikers would be most vulnerable at this point, and it would be very easy to inflict substantial damage similar to the evidence if all hikers were struggling inside the tent while attackers beat them. Attackers would have the advantage even if they didn't have the numbers. Intent was not to kill, but to beat them - I would suspect that this would be similar to a 'college type bar brawl' or 'crime of hatred' or 'domination to capture' versus an execution. Hikers frantically had no choice but to cut out of the tent.

5. Hostilities continued outside the tent, HOWEVER the attackers motives were clearly to "Beat/teach them a lesson and kick them out of the area" or to "Get something back/retrieve or neutralize evidence or possible reporting" and not to obviously execute/kill or steal. This makes sense because there was a relatively orderly departure from the camp by the hikers. Likely once the hikers burst out of the tent there was shouting back and forth, some fighting, the hikers grabbed or were allowed to recover their wounded before being forced off site in a hurry and under threat of being killed. Attackers likely understood hikers would perish and never be recovered. The attackers likely did not want to kill them, or they would be shot or beatings would continue in the tent until all were dead. The attackers likely were not thieves which implies they were well sustained/equipped. The attackers objectives were to beat them, flush them into the cold to die. This implies a attackers didn't want it to be obvious murder, or they couldn't bring themselves to directly murder. Could also imply they mistakenly took them for the wrong group and then flushed them out to die to cover their crime.

6. Under threat of being pursued and killed hikers recovered wounded all the way to the den area first and immediately began treating badly wounded. One collapsed from head injury and died on the way, two might have remained while being pursued (in darkness) to see if they could get back to the tent quickly to recover gear. Likely that at this point they could have been shot 'at' which would have forced them to stay low and kept them pinned down and unable to move for fear of being shot, or attackers were near and searching for them. Likely that they slipped into hypothermia at that point and lost strength to do anything. Two strong males were posted at the cedar tree to look for pursuers and keep watch/pre warning for members at the den. They would be able to see anyone coming and alert the others, while also keeping an eye out for the three pinned down near the tent. They were forced to start a fire to survive. 1.5km away is far enough to be able to return quickly and also observe the attackers.

7. Attackers likely at this point did not bother continuing pursuit or search (at night), but waited at or near the camp site for them to try and return, the group knew this, and this is why they did not move back and re-occupy the camp. Attackers knew by morning they would likely be all dead, would be forced to return due to cold. Likely in the morning attackers visited a few of the nearest bodies.

8. Attackers exited and cleared up their tracks.

Likely culprits:
1. Locals: Motives = cultural anger, encroachment on territory, mistaken identity, retaliation for potential previous conflict with hikers, response to theft?
2. Gulag guards: Motives = mistaken identify of escaped prisoners and cover up, hikers could have potentially interacted with them earlier and witnessed atrocities fears of witnessing/reporting crimes grew, retaliation for potential previous conflict with hikers. Guards could have suspected they were spies recording propaganda.
3. Military Patrols: Motives= mistaken identity and cover up, area denial, spy fear, retaliation for potential previous conflict with hikers

tenne:
One of the group was an ex-soldier. Do you think that with the visibility that that location gave them, their attackers could sneak up on them? Or do you think an ex-soldier who served in WW2 would leave guard duty when he felt he was in danger of a sneak attack. Wouldn't everyone be alert, dressed appropriately in case something happened and have their meager weapons at hand?

I have never studied military tactics so I don't know.

I do agree they were murdered, my idea is posted under "my theory" but I don't think it happened there

RMK:
Welcome to the Pass, armyeng.  Homicide theories of the Incident are certainly popular with some members of this community.  I consider homicide a credible possibility, but I have some misgivings about homicide theories myself, discussed in another thread, in which some homicide-theory proponents also make their case.

FWIW, my currently preferred theory is that the campsite that the search party found was staged...


--- Quote from: armyeng on March 18, 2021, 06:24:19 AM ---Likely that at this point they could have been shot 'at' which would have forced them to stay low and kept them pinned down and unable to move for fear of being shot, or attackers were near and searching for them. Likely that they slipped into hypothermia at that point and lost strength to do anything.

--- End quote ---
Most details of the scenario you propose have been proposed and discussed before, but I have to admit that this idea, that the hikers who froze to death were lying on the ground snow to stay out of the line of fire, is a new one to me.


--- Quote from: armyeng on March 18, 2021, 06:24:19 AM ---2. Gulag guards: Motives = mistaken identify of escaped prisoners and cover up

--- End quote ---
Just FYI, there weren't any escaped prisoners in the Ivdel region at the presumed time of the Incident.

sarapuk:

--- Quote from: armyeng on March 18, 2021, 06:24:19 AM ---Army tactician here, this screams of classic ambush tactics used throughout most armies and offers the highest probability theory because this is how small armed tactics play out. The boiled down synopsis:

Likely sequence:

1. Hikers were under observation or pursuit by a hostile local group or had a negative interaction with them previously along their route (see motive below). Likely that hikers (college/military age males) could have gotten into mischief or had aggressive interaction between the local groups, initial scuffle and were concerned about being pursued later on. 

2. Hikers pitched tent in a tactically reasonable location with clear lines of sight all around tent to be able to observe another potential group approaching from a distance. The forest would not work, anyone looking for them would be able to follow tracks and sneak up on them easily. This is very important. hikers posted guards on shift (fully clothed) while the rest of the group remained in the tent to rest. Concern of being pursued might not have been extremely high at this point. 

3. Small group of ambushers (likely a smaller group than the hikers) captured guards, and surrounded the tent, or surrounded the tent when guards were inside at night during low visibility.

4. KEY - Ambushers used rifle butts, blunt objects to beat the hikers while they were inside the tent. The hikers would be most vulnerable at this point, and it would be very easy to inflict substantial damage similar to the evidence if all hikers were struggling inside the tent while attackers beat them. Attackers would have the advantage even if they didn't have the numbers. Intent was not to kill, but to beat them - I would suspect that this would be similar to a 'college type bar brawl' or 'crime of hatred' or 'domination to capture' versus an execution. Hikers frantically had no choice but to cut out of the tent.

5. Hostilities continued outside the tent, HOWEVER the attackers motives were clearly to "Beat/teach them a lesson and kick them out of the area" or to "Get something back/retrieve or neutralize evidence or possible reporting" and not to obviously execute/kill or steal. This makes sense because there was a relatively orderly departure from the camp by the hikers. Likely once the hikers burst out of the tent there was shouting back and forth, some fighting, the hikers grabbed or were allowed to recover their wounded before being forced off site in a hurry and under threat of being killed. Attackers likely understood hikers would perish and never be recovered. The attackers likely did not want to kill them, or they would be shot or beatings would continue in the tent until all were dead. The attackers likely were not thieves which implies they were well sustained/equipped. The attackers objectives were to beat them, flush them into the cold to die. This implies a attackers didn't want it to be obvious murder, or they couldn't bring themselves to directly murder. Could also imply they mistakenly took them for the wrong group and then flushed them out to die to cover their crime.

6. Under threat of being pursued and killed hikers recovered wounded all the way to the den area first and immediately began treating badly wounded. One collapsed from head injury and died on the way, two might have remained while being pursued (in darkness) to see if they could get back to the tent quickly to recover gear. Likely that at this point they could have been shot 'at' which would have forced them to stay low and kept them pinned down and unable to move for fear of being shot, or attackers were near and searching for them. Likely that they slipped into hypothermia at that point and lost strength to do anything. Two strong males were posted at the cedar tree to look for pursuers and keep watch/pre warning for members at the den. They would be able to see anyone coming and alert the others, while also keeping an eye out for the three pinned down near the tent. They were forced to start a fire to survive. 1.5km away is far enough to be able to return quickly and also observe the attackers.

7. Attackers likely at this point did not bother continuing pursuit or search (at night), but waited at or near the camp site for them to try and return, the group knew this, and this is why they did not move back and re-occupy the camp. Attackers knew by morning they would likely be all dead, would be forced to return due to cold. Likely in the morning attackers visited a few of the nearest bodies.

8. Attackers exited and cleared up their tracks.

Likely culprits:
1. Locals: Motives = cultural anger, encroachment on territory, mistaken identity, retaliation for potential previous conflict with hikers, response to theft?
2. Gulag guards: Motives = mistaken identify of escaped prisoners and cover up, hikers could have potentially interacted with them earlier and witnessed atrocities fears of witnessing/reporting crimes grew, retaliation for potential previous conflict with hikers. Guards could have suspected they were spies recording propaganda.
3. Military Patrols: Motives= mistaken identity and cover up, area denial, spy fear, retaliation for potential previous conflict with hikers

--- End quote ---

Rubbish

armyeng:

--- Quote from: tenne on March 18, 2021, 09:41:09 AM ---One of the group was an ex-soldier. Do you think that with the visibility that that location gave them, their attackers could sneak up on them? Or do you think an ex-soldier who served in WW2 would leave guard duty when he felt he was in danger of a sneak attack. Wouldn't everyone be alert, dressed appropriately in case something happened and have their meager weapons at hand?

I have never studied military tactics so I don't know.

I do agree they were murdered, my idea is posted under "my theory" but I don't think it happened there

--- End quote ---

Thanks, I will read yours after this. It’s never 100% when it comes to tactics, but if I were the hiker I would prefer large open fields of vision to anyone trying to sneak up on us, especially if we were unarmed as we would need to escape. In the woods you are concealed, but that works both ways and the hikers camp site would be very easy to find from the tracks. At this point it may have been just a ‘hunch’ or precaution by the hikers to be vigilant and not a full blown panic of being ambushed. There could also have been no guard at all. It would be very easy to ambush the tent and beat them while inside it.

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