The following report contains German conclusions on certain phases of
their defensive tactics as used in Russia.
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a. Tanks should be kept in reserve. They should attack the flanks of enemy
armored units as soon as the direction of the enemy attack is clear.
b. Defiladed antitank positions are highly desirable. Antitank guns should
not open fire until approaching enemy tanks are at point-blank range. However, fire
should be brought to bear under all circumstances, even though there appears
to be little chance of success. The enemy tank will be slowed down, and will
usually swing away. Antitank guns must be highly mobile so that they can
be massed at any point where the enemy tanks are attacking. An allotment of
half-track vehicles to antitank units is highly desirable to aid in obtaining
c. Concentrated artillery fire has a good harassing effect on enemy tanks.
d. Russian tank attacks are usually accompanied by infantry. German infantry
which was passed by the tanks had great success against Russian infantry
following the tanks. Therefore, all available means should be used to
combat "tank shock." Experience has shown that German infantry when Russian tanks
passed through them suffered only slight casualties when they were
in "dug-in" positions. For this reason it is essential that foxholes be
dug deep, and at once, by every means available.