Wednesday 16 November 2016

Unacceptable Losses

"High Command of Land Forces
Chief of Staff
Chief Inspector of the Tank Forces
#2861/43, secret
General Staff, December 7th, 1943

The loss of armoured vehicles this year reached exceptionally enormous amounts. 

There were many cases where the loss was caused not by the conditions of the battle, but by insufficient decisiveness and often indifference from the commanders and crew.
Even if a loss cannot be avoided, in many cases there is a possibility to remove all valuable equipment and deliver it back to the unit.

Irresponsible and poorly prepared use of armoured vehicles in battle also caused losses often, as well as objectives that were impossible and surpassed all technical and tactical abilities of the vehicles.

This unacceptable weakness in the materiel component of our combat might cannot be allowed in the future, and all guilty parties must be held responsible.

Stereotypical reports such as "blew up on enemy territory" will no longer be accepted.

The following regulations take effect immediately:
  1. A report must be composed about any vehicle (tank, assault gun, armoured car, tank destroyer) that is captured by the enemy. The report must be composed according to an accepted standard, and will be used by the division commander or higher to make the final decision regarding fault. If fault is established or the case is ambiguous, the case must be submitted to a superior authority.
  2. A copy of each report must be sent to the inspector of the tank forces.
  3. All crews that managed to preserve their vehicles in difficult conditions must be rewarded with an award or extra leave.

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