Wednesday 13 March 2019

Anti-Tiger Tactics

"Directorate of Armoured and Motorized Vehicles of the 6th Army
July 21st, 1943

Only to: 212th Tank Regiment

In battle on the Voronezh Front on July 5th-6th the enemy used T-6 tanks in large amounts. Combat showed that the T-6 is vulnerable to not only 76 mm, but 45 mm guns. The following preliminary conclusions can be made from the experience:
  1. The tank can be knocked out with a 76 mm armour piercing shell when hit in the side or turret from 800 meters.
  2. With a subcaliber armour piercing shell, the tank can be knocked out with a hit to the side from 1 km. The front is not always penetrated from 800 meters.
  3. When using the 45 mm gun, best results are achieved by hitting the side, suspension, or engine group with a subcaliber shell from ranges of up to 200 meters. Maximum range is 500-600 meters.

Peculiarities of using T-6 tanks
  1. In every case, they cover light or medium tanks.
  2. When using small amounts of T-6 tanks, they drive along the flanks of the main forces. When large amounts are used, they drive at the front of the main forces.
  3. When fighting along roads, they hold to the rear, covering other tanks from anti-tank guns lining the roads, or in some cases covering the tanks with a smokescreen.
  4. T-6 tanks act very carefully and do not distance themselves from infantry or light and medium tanks, driving at a speed of 5-6 kph and stopping every 50-100 meters. The tanks fire from stops. T-6 tanks avoid depressions.
  5. The T-6 tanks are supported by fire and maneuver of SPGs from 1-1.5 km away, which take up positions on hills. AA guns follow the tanks and cover them.
When T-6 tanks encounter a powerful group of anti-tank artillery, they aim to go around it.

It is necessary to:
  1. During a tank attack, strike the flanking tanks first. As a rule, the T-6 will be here. When large groups attack, destroy the head tanks first.
  2. Destroy knocked out tanks without giving the enemy a chance to restore them.
  3. Dedicate guns (batteries) to combat enemy self propelled artillery that is covering T-6 tanks.
  4. Carefully study and report on techniques of fighting T-6 tanks.
The Commander of the Armoured and Motorized Forces of the South-Western Front, Lieutenant-General comrade Volokh, orders that:
  1. Experience in fighting T-6 tanks should be delivered to all unit and formation commanders in the Front.
  2. Report on the measures that were taken.
Acting Chief of the South Western Front Armoured and Mechanized Forces Staff, Lieutenant-Colonel Smirnov
Acting Chief of the South Western Front Armoured and Mechanized Forces Staff Operational Department, Guards Major Zhukovskiy"

CAMD RF 3199-1-7 pp.131-132