[Lone Sentry: www.LoneSentry.com] [Lone Sentry: Photos, Articles, and Research on the European Theater in World War II]
Photos, Articles, & Research on the European Theater in World War II
"Miscellaneous (German)" from Intelligence Bulletin

[Intelligence Bulletin Cover]   Miscellaneous section from the December 1942 issue of the Intelligence Bulletin, covering "Use of Tanks" and "Treatment for Blister Gas."

[Editor's Note: The following article is wartime information on enemy tactics and equipment published for Allied soldiers. In most cases, more accurate data is available in postwar publications.]

Use of Tanks, Treatment for Blister Gas


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 tanks.

(3) Engineers.—Engineers assist the tanks by strengthening bridges, building temporary crossings, and removing obstacle and mines.

(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 findings.

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.


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 percent chlorine.

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.

[Back] Back to Articles by Subject | Intel Bulletin by Issue | T&TT by Issue | Home Page

Copyright 2003-2005, LoneSentry.com. All Rights Reserved. Contact: info@lonesentry.com.  

Web LoneSentry.com