[Lone Sentry: Miscellaneous, October 1943]
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"Miscellaneous" from Intelligence Bulletin, October 1943

[October 1943 Intelligence Bulletin Cover]   The following article on German antitank weapons, smoke generators on tanks, and ruses appeared in the October 1943 issue of the Intelligence Bulletin.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Intelligence Bulletin publication. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]




Toward the end of the Tunisian campaign, Major General Weber, who was in command of the 334th German Infantry Division, issued this extremely interesting order regarding the tactical employment of antitank weapons.

The opposition uses its tanks as assault guns, with the help of which it pushes its infantry forward. In general practice, the opposition does not attempt to make a breakthrough with armored vehicles, but tries to nibble forward, on a broad front, through the main defensive positions. Hostile tanks must therefore be knocked out during the initial penetration, so that the hostile infantry will lose its artillery support. To this end, all antitank weapons—such as antitank guns, antiaircraft guns, and tank guns—are to be placed under the command of the infantry sector commanders, who will site them well forward in the fire plan. In addition, all antitank weapons are to be made into strong points, to permit all-around defense against both tanks and infantry. As these strong points, cleverly sited so as to give flanking fire support, begin to knock out tanks and armored cars, the whole attack will gradually be brought to a standstill.


German field patrols often call out familiar Christian names in English, hoping to locate Allied positions. (This has also been a favorite ruse of the Japanese.) German tanks sometimes stop and open their hatches, whereupon a German soldier says in English, "It's all up—no use fighting—get up and come forward," or similar phrases. This, again, is a trick by which the Germans hope to locate positions. If, in such instances, U.S. soldiers suspect a ruse and keep well down, they are likely to be rewarded by hearing the Germans close the tank hatch and move along to try the same stunt elsewhere.


The Germans are using a new type of smoke discharger on the Pz. Kw. 6 and on the latest models of the Pz. Kw. 3. On each side of the turret, three external dischargers are mounted, one above the other, at a fixed elevation of 45 degrees. However, the dischargers on each side are not in line vertically, but from bottom to top are slightly tilted outward to insure a fanwise projection of the smoke generators and therefore a better smoke screen in front of the vehicle.

Each discharger is a cylindrical tube 3.7 inches in diameter and about 6 inches long. The base of each discharger is closed by a heavy-gauge sheet metal bracket, by which the unit of three dischargers is attached to the turret. The equipment is fired electrically from the interior of the turret....


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