Friday 3 February 2017

Tank Corps on the Defense

"Defense of a Tank Corps

  1. As a rule, the tank corps should not be used to defend independently, but there can be cases in which an objective is given that can achieved with a defensive strategy. These cases can happen when the enemy breaks through our lines and must be held at a certain point, when our forces are being flanked, or during fighting in operational depth where the corps must defend strategically important objects until our forces pull up or defend until fuel and ammunition arrive.

  2. A corps' strength allows it to hold an 8-10 km wide front. 
    Defenses are organized in the shape of groups of up to a battalion with 1 km spaces in between them. The spaces are filled with strongholds up to one motorized rifle platoon in strength.
    Battalion groups are reinforced with tank ambushes. A line of ambushes is built behind the battalions in directions where tanks are likely to appear. The tanks are dug into the ground.
    The second echelon consists of two positions prepared by two motorized rifle battalions. Each battalion group takes up a 1.5-2 km wide and 1-1.5 km deep position.
  3. Tank brigades are used to deliver counterattacks in directions where the enemy, especially his tank units, is likely to attack from. They are carefully hidden deep in the defenses. Tanks are dug into the ground.
    Some of the tanks are used to organize defenses.
  4. Tank brigades are not to be handed out to infantry units to reinforce them.
  5. The tank corps AA units are used to cover the attacking groups.
    Pick AA gun positions not only to deflect enemy air raids, but to attack tanks that broke through the defenses."
Collection of Combat Documents of the Great Patriotic War, Vol. 10

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