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"Tank Tactics " Topic

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685 hits since 20 Dec 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango0120 Dec 2018 11:54 a.m. PST

"The practice of war with German fascists showed us that we still have major drawbacks in the way we apply our tank units. The drawbacks are mainly as follows:

When attacking enemy defenses, our tanks break away from the infantry, and having broken away, lose cooperation. Infantry, having been cut off from the tanks by enemy fire, does not support the tanks with artillery. The tanks, having broken away from infantry, fight one on one with enemy artillery, tanks, and infantry, taking heavy losses.

Tanks throw themselves at the enemy defenses with out proper artillery support. Artillery does not suppress enemy anti-tank defenses on the front line, and tank support guns are not always used. Tanks take heavy fire from enemy anti-tank artillery when they approach enemy lines and take heavy losses.

Tank and artillery commanders do not synchronize their actions based on landmarks, do not establish signals to open and cease fire.

Artillery commanders that support tank attacks control artillery from remote observation posts and do not use radio tanks as forward observation posts…."
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Legion 420 Dec 2018 4:04 p.m. PST

Pretty interesting !

Mark 120 Dec 2018 4:15 p.m. PST

Interesting indeed.

Among the several interesting tidbits, I notice this set of points:

"Order of the People's Commissar of Defense #325
On the combat use of tank and mechanized units and formations
October 16th, 1942

The practice of war with German fascists showed us that we still have major drawbacks in the way we apply our tank units. The drawbacks are mainly as follows:

3. Tanks do not carry out their main task of destroying enemy infantry, but get distracted by fighting enemy tanks and artillery. The practice of sending our tanks against enemy tank attacks and getting tied up in tank combat is incorrect and harmful.

I order that the following directions should be followed when using tank and mechanized units and formations in battle:
1. Use of tank regiments, brigades, and corps:

5. When enemy tanks appear on the battlefield, artillery is tasked with fighting them. Tanks fight enemy tanks only when they have clear advantage in strength and superior positions.

And yet, we so frequently see criticism of McNair for promoting a uniquely American, ridiculous, "tanks don't fight tanks" doctrine.

(aka: Mk 1)

Legion 421 Dec 2018 8:27 a.m. PST

Yes, very true … But as time went on after WWII was that the "best weapon against a tank is another tank" … I remember even back in ROTC in the late '70s being told that.

However, a number of things change technically and in turn tactically after WWII, in regards to "Armor/Mech" concepts of warfare. Albeit some lessons learned were from WWII. And justifiably so.

donlowry21 Dec 2018 10:02 a.m. PST

The trouble with the US concept that tanks were not to fight tanks was that the Germans refused to cooperate.

Tango0121 Dec 2018 11:54 a.m. PST

Glad you enjoyed it my friends!. (smile)


Blutarski21 Dec 2018 5:44 p.m. PST

+1 donlowry and Legion 4

It is interesting to read the post-WW2 report "Tank Gunnery" prepared by Army Ground Forces – which closely examined the views of the US armored divisions as an "end-user community" as to what improvements needed to be made in the armored force – tactical doctrine, training, hardware, weapons, ammunition, sights, etc. Very illuminating.



Aethelflaeda was framed22 Dec 2018 5:58 a.m. PST

I suspect that the mantra of tanks being the best defense against another tank came from a Cold War desire to design and sell more expensivetanks during peace time. Pure marketing.

Legion 422 Dec 2018 12:09 p.m. PST

I'm not totally sure about that … Look at the large tank battles in the latter Israeli-Arab Wars. Of course the IDF generally had tactical superiority over the Arabs. Regardless of the tanks being employed. E.g. the IDF Super Shermans on the Golan Heights had a 13 to 1 kill ratio. When going against the Syrian's newer Russian MBT designs.

But two things that drastically changed the equation after WWII and the Korean Wars. Improved effective man-packed AT weapons and helicopter gunships carrying very effective AT weapons. I.e. TOW, SAGGER, etc.

Aethelflaeda was framed23 Dec 2018 12:28 p.m. PST

It helps to have been fighting arabs

Legion 423 Dec 2018 3:45 p.m. PST

Let there be no doubt that made a difference. There have been books written about the topic. But save for the IDF, the other armies of the region don't appear to grasp modern mobile combined arms warfare, generally. Some learned authors believe among other things it's almost "culturally".

Regardless, history shows in the 20th Century[and 21st for that matter]. The Israelis in many and most cases, "bested" the Arabs attacking them.

Tango0123 Dec 2018 4:10 p.m. PST



Legion 424 Dec 2018 7:44 a.m. PST

It's a historical fact … again based on the historical record.

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