Soviet tactics, like German, are modern in character and show mastery of the
entire gamut of weapons in modern war.
The following report deals with various items of information received
from the Russian front, and is based mainly on articles which have appeared in
the Russian Army newspaper "Red Star." No reference is made specifically
to any particular phase of the Russian offensive.
The Russians declare that one of the main lessons of the campaign has
been that armored forces alone can never achieve a decisive result; they must
receive adequate support from other arms, and particularly from infantry, while
they can never hope even to break the crust of a really strong position
without the assistance of artillery or heavy bombing. The other arms are
essential to deal with enemy artillery, antitank guns, and minefields. Moreover, even
if tanks do penetrate a position, when unaccompanied by infantry they can
be cut off and successfully dealt with, especially by night. The morale of
seasoned troops remains entirely unaffected by the knowledge that isolated tanks
are in their rear, for they realize that, provided the enemy infantry can be
prevented from joining up with them, the tanks must either retire or be mopped up.
The Russians emphasize that armored vehicles must be concentrated
to attack where they can be most effective. If they are supporting infantry they
must be put under command of the unit supported, but the temptation to split them
up into small groups with the object of helping the infantry forward all along the
front must be avoided. Tanks should not be regarded solely as a means of direct
attack to overcome strong resistance which is holding up the infantry, but should
aim rather at breaking in where resistance is weaker, striking strongly defended
localities only in the rear, and ultimately exploiting the "break-in" into
Tank forces in the attack must be accompanied by mobile field and antitank guns, which
must be well forward to deal with surprise opposition. They will also be invaluable for
repulsing enemy tank counterattack. Russian tank forces rely largely on air
support, particularly by dive-bombers, to extend the range of artillery preparation, to
harass enemy reserves, and to break up counterattacks.