Thursday 16 May 2019

Bunker Turret

I posted about German bunkers with tank turrets before, but only the drawings. Here are some instructions to go along with them.

"Translated from German
8th Jager Division

January 5th, 1944

21 armoured 38(t) turrets were installed in the division's sector. They are a powerful foundation for a line of defense, impenetrable by a hurricane of enemy fire. 

Jager divisions and the Meklenburg regiment group must immediately provide:
  • Constant care for the turrets. This can be performed by observation post personnel, heavy infantry weapons personnel, and artillery personnel.
  • Constant occupation of the turrets or be able to immediately occupy them when an alert is raised, and be ready for it at all times.
    If the division's own strength is insufficient, soldiers from observation posts, command posts, etc. can be taught how to do it and used for this purpose.
Flooded turrets in the Meklenburg regimental group sector will be restored by the engineer battalion. Report on their use to the division by January 1st, 1944."


  1. wow, these guys must have been severely deluded in thinking 21 38(t) turrets were any sort of defense in 1944....

    1. Reminder that old R35 turrets, even worse armed, were quite a nuisance at the Normandy beaches. Any up-to-date AFV wasn't going to be impressed, obviously, but gun + coax MG + armour + 360 deg traverse sounds like a very unpleasant combination against infantry (who it should be remembered always did the bulk of the fighting *particularly* in the break-in/break-through phase) and the tiny size ought to have made them troublesome to locate and destroy.

      And hey, gotta try to find some gainful use for old turrets from light tanks that most assuredly weren't credible as AFVs anymore. Waste not want not.

    2. Killomies. To be fair America botched our end of the landings. Our DD tanks were deployed miles further out than intended. I suspect the British armor support would of walked over those turrets. But yes if properly placed and hidden these turrets can slow down enemy advances.

    3. The US landing were certainly not botched. Jeez.

      Utah went 'swimmingly', despite everyone landing in the wrong place, so really you're talking about Omaha. And the DDs on Omaha were launched exactly as planned. The only tanks that made it to the beach were those that were launched *further in*, *contrary to the plan*. And Omaha was much more heavily defended than any other beach.

    4. IIRC Omaha was the only beach the invasion planners had serious concerns about, owing to the combination of heavy defenses and particularly difficult geography. Regardless the task of shooting up invading tanks fell onto the dedicated PaK bunkers (which had 50+ mm pieces) not the emplaced turrets.
      And unlike the surplus French ones which mostly just had dinky little low-velocity 37 mm jobs more or less straight from the Great War the 38(t) turret at least had a credible light AT gun which if nothing else could menace lighter AFVs like the ubiquitous SU-76 from tactically useful distances.

  2. Maybe not against tanks, but they might be decent against infantry (inmune to small arms)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Small arms and the better part of shell fragments, protection which the crews of analogous towed light AT guns would doubtless have only too often deeply appreciated.