No particular reference to any specific engagement was made in the report which
follows, though the subject dealt with is based on information received from
the Russian front and published in the Red Army newspaper "Red Star."
Antitank tactics as practiced by the Russians are based on the essential
need to separate the tanks from their supporting infantry. The German tactics
of exploitation very often give opportunities of achieving this object. During the
earlier phases of the war, before the Russians had realized the best methods of
dealing with the enemy armored formations, the deep thrusts of the
German "Panzers" actually did cause a certain amount of disintegration, but by the time
the outer defenses of Moscow were reached these thrusts failed to achieve their
Russian infantry are trained to stop tanks if possible, but when it appears
that the infantry are going to be overrun, they get into slit trenches and lie low
until the waves of tanks have gone through. Then they come out and put up the
strongest possible resistance against the German infantry to prevent it from
maintaining contact with the tanks. The artillery is trained to operate on exactly
the same lines; if the gun position is overrun, crews go to earth and re-man their
guns as soon as the tanks have passed them.
Once the tanks, in rear of the Russian positions, have been cut off from
their supporting infantry, every effort is made to prevent their retirement and
to mop them up. Mobile antitank groups are formed to harry them, and whenever
they go into bivouac, the nearest infantry are instructed to attack them,
particularly at night. In fact, whenever tanks are known to be halted in the vicinity,
infantry tank-hunting parties are sent to engage them. The air force is always
called upon to cooperate extensively in this mopping-up phase.