Thursday 15 June 2017

German Tank Fear

"Anti-Tank Defenses

14. The fear of massed enemy tank attacks still grips the soldiers, especially among the young and inexperienced replacements, to the point of mental breakdown. As a result, soldiers often leave anti-tank foxholes and positions, which lets enemy tanks cause significant losses and the Russian infantry to take our positions without battle.


Training, among replacements as first priority, must harden young soldiers, especially infantrymen, against the mental effect of tank attacks. Every soldier must know that when he leaves his positions or foxhole, he becomes defenseless against tank fire, but a well prepared foxhole or, even better, a deep slit trench offer reliable protection against the weight and fire of tanks. It is necessary to take every opportunity to teach soldiers to let the tank pass above their trench using our tanks, assault guns, tractors, or captured tanks. It's necessary to prove the limited amount of visibility, and therefore precise fire, on the move from a tank. Every soldier must sit in a tank at least once."


  1. What date during the war was this written?

    1. No date, unfortunately, but the document makes extensive references to other documents that are dated 1942, but no documents from any other year, so I assume that's when it was written.

    2. Thanks - this is interesting as I am currently having a discussion about the relative anti-armor effectiveness of German infantry as opppsed to infantry of other nations, particularly early in the war before ranged HEAT weapons appear. I just began playing the Spearhead rules and am a bit unconvinced in the portrayal of infantry vs armor.

  2. There's a training film available on youtube about this, called "manner gegen panzer" ("men against tanks") - well worth a watch.