Thursday 2 January 2014

Shoot on the Move

"Order from the People's Commissar of Defense #0727
September 19th, 1942

Contents: on the combat practice of shooting on the move

The experience of the Patriotic War shows that our tankers do not use their tanks' full firepower in battle, and do not vigorously fire at the enemy from machineguns and cannons on the move, limiting themselves to firing cannons from short stops. The current practice of tank attacks without sufficient volume of fire creates favourable conditions for enemy anti-tank guns. This is incorrect, and reduces the firepower and morale impact of our tanks on the enemy, and increases losses from enemy artillery fire.

I decree that:
  1. Tank units of the Acting Army must begin a tank attack with powerful fire from all armament on the tank. Firing on the move should be out primary means of affecting the enemy, especially their soldiers.
  2. Increase ammunition capacity of tanks, to 114 shells on the KV, 100 on the T-34, and 90 on the T-70.
    Tank brigades should have three ammunition racks worth of ammunition, including the ammunition loaded in tanks.
  3. In order to increase operational range, resume the practice of additional gas tanks on the KV (360 liters) and T-34 (270 liters). 
  4. The GABTU chief must instruct the chiefs of tank schools to include firing on the move into the curriculum according to this order.
  5. GAU KA and USG KA chiefs must make corrections to the supplies of shells, fuel, and lubricants issued to tank units.
People's Commissar of Defense, I. Stalin."
RGASPI 558-11-460

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