Monday 30 December 2019

Tanks in the 7th Guards Army

"To the Commander of the Armoured and Mechanized Forces of the 7th Guards Army

Summary of experience of using tank armament in the Patriotic War

1. Range and means of fire

A typical rate of fire for tanks firing from standstill in defense or from ambush is 600-800 meters. This range allows fire to be precise and allows for knocking out the target with several shells even if it is moving straight at the shooter.

Firing on the move when attacking a defending enemy should done done from all weapons after the tank breaks away from our infantry. The rate of fire should be maximum without regard for hitting. In this case, undershooting is better than overshooting. Keep firing like this until the platoon or even the whole formation enters enemy lines, then finish off strongholds with precise fire.

2. Rate of fire
It is hard to establish the rate of fire. In practice it is 4-6 RPM, a well trained crew can give 8-9 rounds per minute, but this costs great effort and cannot be held up for long, especially on the T-34 tank.

3. Expenditure of ammunition
It takes about 2-3 armour piercing shots to destroy an enemy tank from ambush. About the same amount of HE is spent destroying a dugout that does not have anti-tank cover.
When fighting anti-tank guns, fire on the move with HE from 2-3 tanks. All three tanks should fire off 15-20 rounds in total.

4. Firing on the move and from short stops
Firing on the move is done at 16 kph. Firing from a short stop is only done when the target has been spotted in the following order: command to the loader "AP" or "HE", wait until the response "Ready", order to the driver "Short". The driver brings the tank to a stop without switching to neutral. After a fire he resumes moving without an additional command.

5. Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance of targets on the front lines and, if possible, deeper within enemy lines is performed during observation and setting of objectives based on terrain.

6. Fire correction
Fire correction is often done based on observing the burst of the shell.

7. Expenditure of ammunition
When fighting a non-defending enemy in a medium fortified terrain, ammunition expenditure reaches 25-30%. In case of very tough defense and the infantry falling behind the tanks, the tanks can spend up to 80% of their ammunition returning to their infantry.
It is suggested that as much ammunition as possible should be carried. For instance, one T-34 can fit up to 150 rounds of ammunition. In cases where our infantry has not yet fortified its defenses our tanks have to spend several days with it without being able to obtain supplies.
Tanks usually restock in regions not observed by the enemy, where the ammunition is carried to in trucks. The crew only has to load it into the tank.

8. Misfires
Misfires are caused by:
  • Cannon: failure to extract the casing (has to be extracted by hand).
  • Machine gun: sticking or tearing of the casing.
It is impossible to answer the rest of the questions that were posed, as the commanders of our regiment have little experience in battle (95% of tank company commanders had not participated in battle).

Chief of Staff of the 167th Independent Tank Regiment, Captain Galonyuk"

1 comment:

  1. So I know this guy...who wanted to know how ranges were estimated on a T-34-76...I've looked through the archive listings a bit and I can't find anything that explicitly states the method / process. Clearly, according to the above article "6. Fire correction
    Fire correction is often done based on observing the burst of the shell.", but it is never stated how the range is initially estimated.

    Is it just a guess?


    P.s. I know that they used the TMPD-7 and PT4-7 gunsights, but just unfamiliar with how the Commander/Gunner estimated the range.