The illustrations in this appendix should be used as a guide in learning tactical methods; they cannot be followed under many conditions. Methods that are successful in one situation might result in a disastrous failure when applied to a different situation. For instance, a flank attack against an armored force might be very successful; such an attack might fail because of strong hostile flank protection. Methods used should vary; tank destroyer commanders should use every opportunity to deliver the unexpected.
(1) WRONG. Unnecessary exposure during lateral movement across front.
(2) RIGHT. Proper use of cover and avoidance of exposed lateral movement. Applicable to units of any size.
(1) WRONG. When time permits reconnaissance for alternate and supplementary positions. Failure to reconnoiter causes delay while searching for passable routes.
(2) RIGHT. Prompt movement as the result of prior reconnaissance. Applicable to all units.
|Figure 3.—Movement to alternate or supplementary position.|
(1) WRONG. Three errors during movement in the vicinity of the enemy: (1) crossing high points of ridges; (2) failure to move by bounds; (3) lack of intervehicular distance.
(2) RIGHT. The second destroyer observes from a firing position while the first destroyer moves from X to A; the first destroyer covers the movement of the second destroyer to that point, etc.
|Figure 4.—Movement in vicinity of enemy.|
(1) WRONG. Three errors during an approach march; (1) no security; (2) antiaircraft guns not dispersed along column; (3) insufficient intervehicular distance.
(2) RIGHT. Security to front and on exposed flank; platoon leader well forward; ample intervehicular distance; antiaircraft guns dispersed along column away from obstructions to aerial fire or, if secrecy is desired, dispersed within the column prepared to rush into the open.
|Figure 5.—Movement—platoon in approach march.|
(1) WRONG. Vehicles parked facing away from routes of egress, which causes an excessive delay when leaving a park, bivouac, assembly position, or position in readiness.
(2) RIGHT. Vehicles parked facing egress; routes reconnoitered and marked for night use.
|Figure 6.—Parking (security elements not shown).|
(1) WRONG. Exposed position on top of hill, which is a prominent landmark for registration by artillery or identification by aircraft.
(2) RIGHT. A much better position, known as hull defilade.
|Figure 7.—Gun position.|
(1) WRONG. Section under sparse cover awaiting the approach of the enemy.
(2) RIGHT. Section using a cover position while awaiting the enemy's approach. Firing positions and routes thereto have been reconnoitered and selected.
|Figure 8.—Use of cover while awaiting enemy.|
(1) WRONG. Permits tanks to approach by a covered route, the ravine.
(1) RIGHT. The field of fire and the ravine are covered from one position. The exact head of the draw, a landmark, is avoided.
|Figure 9.—Section position.|
(1) WRONG. Antiaircraft guns should not be sited for area defense.
(2) RIGHT. Antiaircraft guns should accompany each tank destroyer section.
|Figure 10.—Antiaircraft positions.|
(1) SOLUTION I. Permits tanks to attack gun positions by a covered route from the rear. It is an excellent position for ambush or if a change to a new position is planned after a few rounds.
(2) SOLUTION II. This solution enables the forward guns to fire from a protected position. The rear guns prevent a flanking attack by hostile tanks.
|Figure 11.—Platoon position.|
|The security section usually takes position in two groups, each group being near a tank destroyer section. Full use should be made of the platoon sergeant's vehicle and the ammunition carrier for obtaining observation; personnel from platoon headquarters can act as observers, the vehicles being parked under nearby cover, prepared to carry a message to the platoon leader by previously selected routes. The antiaircraft guns preferably should be in rear of the tank destroyer guns. However, the necessity for a field of fire against aircraft might cause them to be in position to a flank. The two dispositions of the three guns in line is not desirable but, at times, it cannot be avoided.|
|The security group attached to or supporting a tank destroyer section usually accompanies the section when positions are changed. Short changes of tank destroyer position ordinarily will not require a movement by the security squad. The movement of the tank destroyer section and its attached security group caused the right flank to be exposed; the other security group moved to cover this flank.|
(1) WRONG. The excessive separation of the two guns of each section prevents good control; the antiaircraft section cannot effectively protect the flank destroyer guns.
(2) RIGHT. Grouping permits better control; both sections are covered by the antiaircraft guns.
|Figure 14.—Platoon position.|
(1) WRONG. Six errors of guns in a road block position: (1) failure to cover a route of approach, the intermittent stream bed; (2) guns massed; (3) guns at point where road enters woods which is likely to be bombed or interdicted by artillery; (4) guns at point easily seen by hostile patrols; (5) guns in line; (6) antiaircraft guns too distant for effective protection.
(2) RIGHT. Proper covering of the route of approach; dispersal and echeloning of guns; avoidance of landmark; and effective positioning of antiaircraft guns.
|Figure 15.—Road block position.|
(1) WRONG. Failure to post observation to rear permits unobserved approach of tanks through the sparse woods.
(2) RIGHT. Properly posted observers discover the approach of tanks from the rear in time to shift for meeting the new threat.
|Figure 16.—Platoon security.|
(1) WRONG. Frontal action when terrain permits flank attack by fire; tank destroyer and antiaircraft guns in line.
(2) RIGHT. Advantage taken of opportunity for flank attack by fire; guns echeloned.
|Figure 17.—Platoon in action.|
(1) WRONG. Section advancing in the open, causing it to engage tanks without having the advantage of cover.
(2) RIGHT. Section advancing under cover, well protected to the front and to the flanks by security elements.
(3) RIGHT. The security element warns the rest of the advancing section of the approach of hostile tanks. The two tank destroyer guns move by a covered route to a hull defilade position; the antiaircraft squad moves to their rear and takes a position from which fire can be brought against aircraft or against ground targets approaching from the section's left; the security element takes position on the flank.
(4) RIGHT. The covering section receives heavy fire. It moves by a covered route to an alternate position and continues the action. The antiaircraft guns remain in readiness; should the tanks come within effective range of the antiaircraft guns, they should join in the fire fight.
|Figure 18.—Platoon in meeting engagement.|
|An example of an excellent position for meeting a tank attack or for attacking tanks by fire from the flank. This position provides a good field of fire, cover, depth, mutual support, an obstacle between the tanks and the tank destroyer guns, covered routes for movement to alternate and supplementary positions, commanding ground for the antiaircraft section, and covered routes for its movement to positions suitable for fire against tanks.|
|Figure 19.—Platoon position.|
(1) WRONG. Guns in line; frontal fire; no depth; no reserve; destroyers on top of prominent hill.
(2) RIGHT. Guns in echelon; flanking fire; avoidance of landmark; reserve.
|Figure 20.—Interior company position.|
(1) WRONG. Direct pressure by all platoons.
(2) RIGHT. Direct pressure by a heavy platoon; enveloping or encircling pursuit by the other two platoons, the light platoon leading.
|Figure 21.—Company in pursuit (diagrammatic).|
|Figure 22.—Battalion areas (diagrammatic).|
(1) WRONG. Near main line of resistance, which would result in an exposed lateral movement if enemy attacks to right or left of anticipated point.
(2) RIGHT. A position which permits the use of covered approaches, including the road net, for lateral movements.
|Figure 23.—Position in readiness (battalion attached to infantry division).|
(1) WRONG. Delayed deployment resulting in exposed lateral movement; frontal attack in the open; no reserve.
(2) RIGHT. Prompt deployment; covered flank attacks; reserve. However, fire attacks on both flanks should not be made if they would result in separation of companies beyond effective mutual support.
|Figure 24.—Battalion in action (reconnaissance company not shown).|
(1) WRONG. Forcing tanks toward a passable area.
(2) RIGHT. Forcing tanks toward an impassable area.
|Figure 25.—Battalion or group in action (diagrammatic).|
(1) WRONG. Forcing tanks toward an area that is weakly defended with antitank guns, mines, or other obstacles.
(2) RIGHT. Forcing tanks toward an area that presents a strong antitank defense.
|Figure 26.—Battalion or group in action (diagrammatic).|
|(1) The reconnaissance company meets reconnaissance elements of the hostile armored force. Using the minimum of fire and the maximum of movement, the company locates the hostile flanks and attempts to determine the enemy's strength and composition. The pioneer platoon, in anticipation of a possible withdrawal by the reconnaissance company, prepares to demolish the bridge.|
|Figure 27.—Battalion in action (diagrammatic).|
|(2) The reconnaissance company is unable to drive back or penetrate the hostile reconnaissance elements. One reconnaissance platoon remains in observation on the high ground; two platoons maintain contact with, and offer delaying resistance against, the leading hostile elements. The pioneer platoon executes the prepared demolition and moves to a reserve position in the woods.|
|(3) One tank destroyer company, Company A, stops the hostile reconnaissance elements behind the obstacle; the two reconnaissance platoons move outward to protect its flanks. The other two tank destroyer companies, Companies B and C, preceded by the pioneer platoon, move toward firing positions.|
|(4) Company A remains in position behind the obstacle; guns, sections, and platoons frequently change firing positions. Company B moves to a covered firing position and attacks by fire. The pioneer platoon assists Company C to cross the stream. One reconnaissance section that was observing from the high ground moves to cover a flank. The battalion commander moves to high ground from which he can observe the action.|
|(5) Company C moves into a covered fire position and the fire of Companies B and C force the tanks to the east. The three platoons of Company A move successively under cover to the east and Company B extends In the same direction. The enemy starts to withdraw.|
|(6) The enemy withdraws. Two platoons of the reconnaissance company maintain contact with the flanks of the withdrawing force. Company A pursues by direct pressure, using fire and movement but avoiding being caught in the open by any tanks that might turn to face them. Preceded by a reconnaissance and the pioneer platoon, Companies C and B start pursuit by envelopment or encirclement, searching for favorable terrain that can be occupied quickly and which affords good fields of fire.|