[Lone Sentry: WWII Tactical and Technical Trends]
  [Lone Sentry: Photographs, Documents and Research on World War II]
Home Page | Site Map | What's New | Intel Articles by Subject

"Notes on Russian Defense Against German Tank Attacks" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following military report on Russian antitank tactics was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 9, Oct. 8, 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.]


The following notes on Russian methods of defense against a tank attack are taken from an article which appeared recently in the Soviet press.

German tank attacks generally follow the main road in the direction of the axis of the Russian communication lines. The attack opens with the shelling of the main road, thus covering the infiltration of small groups of automatic riflemen, who attempt to destroy the Soviet gun crews. Then three or four German tanks appear at a distance of a half mile or more, and open random fire to draw and locate the opposing antitank guns.

If the artillery defense is well organized, "the German tank attack invariably ends in failure." Long-range artillery has the mission of destroying the enemy tanks in assembly areas and in defiles prior to the attack. After the tanks have crossed their line of departure and broken through the forward positions, the antitank system comes into operation.

Antitank-gun crews operate on the principle of direct fire. Crews are taught not to fire at tanks at random, but to carefully pick and choose the most vulnerable spots; for example, the sides. Hits on the turret generally ricochet and even a direct hit on the turret will not necessarily destroy the tank's crew; the tank can still run and continue to fire with its remaining machine guns. Where the tracks are damaged, however, the tank is stopped and presents a very easy target.


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

Web LoneSentry.com