Tuesday 17 September 2013

Western Anti-Tank Teams

The Soviet envoys in America didn't just learn about their tanks, they learned about their infantry, too.

CAMD RF 81-12063-19

"The figure illustrates an attack on a damaged enemy tank by a combat team.
  • Soldiers practice throwing grenades and incendiary bottles at enemy tanks.
  • Mines of all types and their uses are also included in the program.
  • In case there are no grenades, the soldiers are taught to manufacture simple explosives. For this, they take TNT (an explosive substance), and a detonator. All of this is wrapped in a fabric sack, cloth, sock, etc. So this improvised grenade does not slide off the enemy tank, and sticks to it, it is coated in thick grease or sap. 
  • AT teams do not only learn to use their equipment in theory, or only read about tactics of tank fighting, but apply their knowledge in special obstacle courses or "tank hunting" courses."
Anyone who watched Saving Private Ryan should remember the part with the "standard GI sock". It was surprisingly accurate!

This is all pretty routine. However, the British had a more creative way to fight tanks!

Yup, those are two British Home Guardsmen, with a Molotov catapult. I wonder how well those worked.


  1. Well, you simply haven't heard anything about improvised anti-tank warfare until you research the Warsaw Uprising.
    Catapults and balistas made from car leaf springs and/or piano cords.
    Mortars and minethrowers powered by sugar and potassium chlorate.
    Molotov cocktails with chemical primers.
    Cement sacks, iron rods, sharp sticks... you name it ;)

    1. Molotovs with chemical primers existed in WWII, and are mentioned in the Soviet manual. I'll translate it and post it at some point.

    2. In other words, "never fuck with Poland".

    3. @rossmum: Nope, we've lost it badly anyway. There's just high level of ingenuity in the nation that emerges in unexpected situations. Or while intoxicated, whichever comes first ;)

  2. "Molotov's Cocktails" were "consumed"
    during the Spanish civil war. This had something to do with tje switch from Petrol to Diesel engines in Soviet tanks<