In view of all the comment about the German 88-mm
dual-purpose antiaircraft and antitank gun, some of us
may forget that use of this weapon is only one aspect
of German antitank methods.
In line with German Army principles, each combat
unit, from the smallest to the largest, is so organized,
armed, and equipped as to be tactically self-sufficient.
Antitank protection is vital to the successful accomplishment
of a combat mission; therefore, suitable antitank
weapons are provided for each unit. These
weapons are used in accordance with the German doctrine
of antitank defense, which may be summed up as follows:
Staffs, troops, and supply echelons must constantly
be on guard against tank attacks. Careful ground
and air reconnaissance and map study help to indicate the
avenues of approach over which hostile tanks will
attack. Certain terrain features are natural obstacles
to tanks, and must be used to full advantage. The
favorable avenues of approach must be protected by
antitank guns, artillery, mines, and tanks.
Early information regarding hostile tanks permits
timely and well-planned defensive measures. All
reconnaissance agencies are required to report tank
information to the commander immediately, as well as to
the troops specifically threatened.
The antitank units which are organic parts of infantry
regiments, battalions, or companies contribute
their fire power to the support and protection of their
own organizations. Those antitank units which are
organic parts of corps and divisions constitute a reserve
force which, because of their mobility, can be rushed to
decisive areas as determined by the general situation.
Each infantry company is protected by a section of
three antitank rifles. Each regiment, in addition to
these company antitank rifles (total 27), is protected by
an antitank company of three platoons (each with four
37-mm antitank guns), and one platoon of four 20-mm
rapid-fire antiaircraft-antitank guns.
A trend toward substitution of the 50-mm antitank
gun for the 37-mm guns is progressing rapidly.
The antitank protection given to large units, such as
the armored, motorized, and infantry divisions, need
not be discussed here. But it is worth noting that the
amount of antitank protection is steadily being
increased for both large and small units.
 In Africa, each company of one light division was reported to be equipped
with two 76.2-mm captured Russian field guns for antitank use.