Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Anti-Tank Snipers

"Translated from German. Truncated.
November 11th, 1943

146th Motorized Regiment, 25th Tank Division
#14143 February 10th, 1943
Supreme Command of the German Army

From experience on the front lines in the past weeks
...
3. Combat of Russian infantry against tank riders

The ability of Russian infantry to fight tank riders, infantry accompanying tanks, and commanders peeking out of tank hatches (using individual snipers) is notable.

Conclusions:
Observation and communications with infantry should be done through hatches in the side of the tank. To keep tight contact between each other, tanks and SPGs used to support infantry must not drive in front of infantry, but among it, or even behind it. Infantry must not bunch up behind tanks, but sweep the terrain, moving in a wide front.

Our infantry must be taught to pick off infantry tank riders, crews that are climbing out, tank commanders peeking out, etc. (train snipers). Infantry must know that the ability to see from a tank's turret is very limited, and the danger for a single rifleman to be discovered is low.

4. Using anti-tank rifles

Offensive experience showed that Russians bring anti-tank rifles to the battlefield in large amounts (by the battalion) and create anti-tank rifle fronts in depth of their defenses. The saturation of Russian infantry with this weapon increased significantly. Russians masterfully use the anti-tank rifle to shoot at weak points of our tanks at close range.

Presently, the anti-tank rifle, used by the Russians en masse, is the main enemy of our tanks. The fewer tanks attack an anti-tank rifle front, the greater the losses, and the greater the odds that the attack will stall. 

Conclusions:
Experience once more conclusively shows that tanks should never be used in smaller amounts than one company (15-22 tanks). Tight cooperation with infantry is even more necessary than before to secure victory.

Infantry and heavy weapons units must be made to understand that, when attacking with tanks, their job is to suppress or destroy enemy anti-tank threats and advance closely with the tanks.

Military Translator of the Intelligence HQ of the 1st Ukrainian Front, Captain Alekseev."

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