[Lone Sentry: Emplacement of Antitank Guns, WWII Tactical and Technical Trends]
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"Emplacement of Antitank Guns" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following military report on the emplacement of antitank guns in the desert during WWII is taken from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 6, August 27, 1942.

[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.]


It is essential that antitank guns be carefully emplaced and effectively camouflaged. Certain antitank guns have a very strong muzzle blast. In the desert terrain of the Middle East the force of this blast throws up a cloud of dust and sand that quickly reveals the position to enemy observers and often completely obscures the field of fire. Consequently, it is necessary to provide such guns with a blast screen. To eliminate this difficulty the device shown in the accompanying sketch has been suggested. It consists simply of a net of fine wire mesh, supported on pegs extending about one inch above the surface of the ground. The wire mesh should be so painted as to blend into the surrounding terrain. Other provisions for eliminating the dust include covering the critical areas with concrete or cement, paving the areas with stone, or treating them with oil. The areas should be camouflaged whenever the guns are not firing.

[Antitank Gun Emplacement]
Antitank Gun Emplacement

It is also necessary to make the inside of the emplacement as dustproof as possible so that dust will not be sucked up in the rush of air following the discharge.

Furthermore, it has been found essential to provide alternative positions, and to construct all emplacements so as to permit easy removal of the gun. These provisions have been found absolutely indispensable, for the fire of the weapon will inevitably betray even the best constructed position.

When the terrain permits, the gun should be defiladed from the enemy by emplacement on a reverse slope, or, if the country is flat, behind a natural or artificial mound. If an artificial mound is constructed, it should be as low as possible.

The arc of fire should be large; 180° is normal.

The gun should have overhead camouflage, but covering should be constructed so that it can be easily removed when there is need to close station rapidly.

In general conception the emplacement should be an open pit of minimum dimensions.


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