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"Vulnerability of German Tanks" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following intelligence report on vulnerability of German tanks to short-range attacks with incendiary grenades was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 11, Nov. 5, 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.]


When enemy armored force vehicles are attacked at close quarters with incendiary grenades, the air louvres are very vulnerable. It is therefore important that differentiation be made between "inlet" and "outlet "ducts, since obviously a grenade thrown against an exhaust opening will be less effective than one aimed at an inlet, which will draw the inflammable liquid into the vehicle. If the engine is not running, all openings are equally vulnerable.

In general, it may be said that in the Pz Kw II and III tanks the best targets are the flat top-plates of the rear superstructures, since the air intakes are located there. The side louvres in these tanks are invariably protected by a vertical baffle. On the Pz Kw IV, the left side ports are intake and thus more vulnerable than the right-hand exhaust ports.


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