Tuesday 28 January 2020

Forward Observer

"To the Chief of Staff of the 10th Artillery Breakthrough Corps

I present to you an article by Guards Captain Cherkashenko titled "observation and fire correction from a radio tank".

Chief of Staff of the 4th Artillery Breakthrough Division, Lieutenant Colonel Zyazin
Major Vetrov
February 10th, 1945

Observation and fire correction from a radio tank

To support attacks by tank or infantry deep in enemy defenses with artillery, it is necessary to prepare observers that will travel in the tank along with its crew 1-2 days in advance.

The observers must carefully study the map of the area. Issue a 1:25000 map with markings of positions with codes on it. Continuously check the location while travelling in the tank. 

To keep communications, the artillery battalion commander must have a powerful radio. Before the breakthrough, make sure that the radio operators study the main and reserve frequencies and the callsign of each station. The neighbours to the left and right must also know the callsigns in order to help with fire if necessary. 

The tank-borne observer's task is to report enemy weapons, batteries, concentrations of personnel and vehicles.

Indication of the target can be done in relation to landmarks on the map. If there is time, give map coordinates.

The unit or battalion must be located as close to the battalion or battery to keep flawless communication.

A radio tank in the first echelon drives 400-500 meters behind the others, observing the battlefield through binoculars or a scout's periscope. When enemy forces are spotted, the observer calls for fire of one battery. After the battery dials in, the entire battalion or a part of it opens fire, depending on the target.

Likely areas where enemy tanks or infantry can be concentrated must be marked in advance on both the observer's map and the battalion's map.

The observer's radio tank must also have 1-2 trained scouts and sappers that could discover the enemy's true strength in settlements and check the roads in front of the tank.

The radio tank must have special or adapted observation devices.

The commander of the tank crew and the observer must know all signals for communicating with our forces or marking location for neighouring units and aircraft.

Commander of the 1st battery, Guards Captain Cherkashenko"

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