[Lone Sentry: WWII Tactical and Technical Trends]
[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
Home Page | Site Map | What's New | Intel Articles by Subject

"German Rules for Tank Employment" from Tactical and Technical Trends

Ten rules of tank employment from a translated German Panzer Army general order, from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 28, July 1, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. 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.]


A translated German document issued in the form of a general order by the Panzer Army High Command lists the following 10 rules on the function and employment of tanks.

*          *          *

Panzer Army High Command 5
HQ. 10 March 1943



Ten Rules of Tank Employment

1. The tank is a deciding weapon in battle. Therefore, employment should be limited to the "main effort" in suitable terrain.

2. The tank is not an individual fighting weapon. The smallest unit is the tank platoon; for larger missions, the tank company.

3. The tank is not an infantry support weapon. It breaks into and through the enemy line, for the closely following infantry.

4. The tank can take a piece of terrain and clear it, but it cannot hold it. This is an infantry mission, supported by infantry heavy weapons, antitank guns, and artillery.

5. The tank is not to be employed as artillery, which fights the enemy for an extended period from one position. The tank fights while moving with short halts for firing.

6. The mission of the infantry is to pin down enemy defensive weapons, and to follow the tank attack closely in order to exploit completely the force and morale effect of that attack.

7. The mission of the artillery is to support the tank attack by fire, to destroy enemy artillery, and to follow closely the rapidly advancing tank attack. The main task of the artillery support is continuous flank protection.

8. The mission of the tank destroyers is to follow the tank attack closely and to get into the battle immediately when tank fights tank.

9. The mission of the combat engineers is to clear minefields and to open gaps under tank, infantry, and artillery protection, in order to enable the continuation of the tank attack.

10. The tank is blind and deaf at night. It is then the mission of the infantry to protect the tanks.


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


Web LoneSentry.com