Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Libyan Evaluations

Great Britain and the USSR had a very healthy exchange of intelligence going on during the war. One of the documents exchanged was a captured German document on the performance of tanks in Libya.

CAMD RF 38-11355-651

"According to English documents captured in Libya, dated October 16th, 1941, the Germans give the following evaluations to their mechanized and armoured forces:
  1. PzI is a weak infantry tank, and breaks down frequently.
  2. PzIII performs adequately.
  3. PzIV performs adequately.
  4. Trucks do not survive long marches in the desert.
  5. Half-tracks are the only vehicles that are capable of working in any conditions.
Moving on to English tanks, the Germans remark that any English tank can be destroyed by 50 mm guns. The English Cruiser tank Mk. VI (Crusader) is considered to be sufficiently fast, but weakly armoured.

Remark: the aforementioned German evaluation confirms that current attention is focused on manufacturing medium tanks (PzIII and PzIV) and armoured half-tracked APCs. This is confirmed by a number of intelligence sources, and the compositions of units shipped to the front."

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