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"Tank Warfare in Streets" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following observations on the tank battles in the streets of Stalingrad was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 14, Dec. 17, 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 comments were compiled from observations of the recent tank battles in the streets of Stalingrad.

The German commander held the mass of his tanks in the rear areas, throwing only small groups of from three to five tanks down any one street.

The accompanying infantry precedes the tanks, and only when the surrounding buildings are overcome do the tanks advance. Thus, the best defense against tanks in street warfare is to place the most experienced automatic riflemen out in front.

It is necessary to deploy tanks in the defense so that they will form a dense crossfire, enfilade, and flanking fire. This can best be obtained by controlling the street intersections. Infantry and artillery must be disposed in the intervals between, and in front of, the tanks.

It is desirable that tanks held in reserve be assembled near intersections.

Tanks should be controlled by radio. Messenger service is too slow and telephone wire is too easily broken.

The infantry commander must be located near the tank commander, and the commanders of the smaller rifle units must be with the commanders of individual tanks. The rifle commanders locate targets for the tanks, and correct and change their fire from one target to another.


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