1. USE OF TANKS
A captured German manual gives the following
information about the use of tanks and the support given
them by other forces:
a. Tank Objectives
Tanks set out to attack the enemy's infantry and infantry heavy
weapons, artillery, command posts, reserves, and rear communications.
But before they can get through to these targets, they
must destroy their most dangerous enemy, the antitank defenses.
For this reason the heaviest and most powerful tanks must lead
the attack, and they must be supported by the other troops, infantry
and artillery, both before and during the attack. The
heaviest tanks should be directed to attack the points that are
deepest within the enemy positions, such as artillery, reserves,
and command posts. The lighter tanks attack the infantry.
Each wave of tanks should be given a specific objective.
Tanks are also able to seize important points, such as river
crossings, and to hold them until the infantry comes up.
The tanks can go to the attack more quickly if there are several
roads leading to the front, and if crossings have been built
over railroads, highways, and rivers.
b. Support by Other Troops
(1) Infantry.—The infantry must direct its heavy machine
guns against the enemy's antitank defenses. The other heavy
weapons must fire at targets outside the area of the tank action
so that they will not disable their own tanks. Signals (such as
tracers, flags, and radio) must be arranged in advance so that
all units will work together.
(2) Artillery.—The artillery fires upon targets in front and
to the flanks of the area of the tank action. It fires both high
explosive and smoke. Adjustment can be attained through the
radio or the artillery liaison detail, which can accompany the
(3) Engineers.—Engineers assist the tanks by strengthening
bridges, building temporary crossings, and removing obstacle
(4) Antitank Units.—Antitank guns must follow the tanks
as closely as possible so as to be able to enter the fight immediately
if enemy tanks are met.
(5) Aviation.—Aviation has two duties: it should serve as
reconnaissance before and during the time the tanks are in action,
and it should attack the enemy's reserves, especially tanks and
antitank defenses, before they can come into action.
As soon as the tanks reach their objectives, they at once prepare
themselves for a new mission. They send reconnaissance
forces to the front and find out how far the infantry has
advanced. Their next movements are decided on the basis of these
After the battle the tank force is withdrawn behind the lines
and reorganized. The longer it has been in action, the longer
the rest period should be.
2. TREATMENT FOR BLISTER GAS
For the treatment of gases that cause blisters, each
German soldier carries 40 small tablets known as
"Losantin." The tablets are kept in four small plastic
boxes, each of which holds 10 tablets. Each box is
labeled Hautentgiftungsmittel, which means "skin
decontaminating agent." A chemical analysis showed
that the tablets are a dry bleach, which contains 39.8
To treat blister-gas wounds, the German soldier mixes
one or more tablets with water or saliva to form a paste,
which is applied to the affected parts of the body. The
application is washed or wiped off after 10 minutes.
A fresh supply of the tablets is issued each soldier about every 6 months.
The plastic boxes have a tendency to tighten after
being closed for some time and are hard to open. Also,
the tablets sometimes stick together or crumble into powder.
A United Nations soldier, who captured some Losantin
tablets, thought they were food tablets. He ate
several, with serious results.