[Lone Sentry: German Defense of Lines of Communication in Russia, WWII Tactical and Technical Trends]
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"German Defense of Lines of Communication in Russia" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following WWII intelligence report on German defense of lines of communication on the Russian Front is taken from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 29, July 15, 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.]


An eye-witness recently returned from Russia gives the following information as to how the Germans protect their lines of communication. There are three lines of defense on either side of the road or railway to be defended, viz:

The First Line--This is situated approximately 10 miles from the road or railway and consists of wire with occasional machine-gun posts, and is only intended to give warning and delay infantry.

The Second Line--The defense areas in this line, which is about 2 miles behind the wire, are dzots or timber-reenforced, dug-in earthworks, containing heavy machine guns, mortars and light artillery and antitank guns. They are invariably arranged for all-around defense. These dzots are normally sited on road forks, cross roads, or in farm yards.

The Third Line--This, too, is based on dzots and is normally found about two miles from the road or railway to be protected. Here there are two or three rows of dzots centered on a village and inter-connected by shallow trenches. They are in radio or wire communication with each other and have, within the perimeter, artillery and a mobile force of light tanks and infantry, carrying automatic rifles. Tanks that have been knocked out are also dug in to turret level to form strongpoints.

Between the second and third lines, the terrain is mined and antitank obstacles are constructed. These, where possible, are covered by antitank guns.

Comment: Defense of lines of communication assumes added importance when it is realized that there is no well-defined line in Russia, and parties from both sides operate as far as 20 miles behind each other's forward positions.


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