Monday 2 March 2020

Goliath Intel

"Intelligence Department of the Armoured and Motor Vehicles HQ of the Bryansk Front
August 2nd, 1943

The commander of Armoured and Motor Vehicles of the Bryansk front orders that all personnel must be familiarized with a new German anti-tank weapon: torpedo tankettes.

Some information about the torpedo tankette:

During the offensive in the Orel-Kursk direction on July 5th, 1943, the Germans used torpedo tankettes to demolish our tanks, pillboxes, dugouts, and minefields. 

According to incomplete information, a tank destroyer battalion consisting of three companies armed with torpedo tankettes was allegedly operational near Protasovo and Ponyri.

The tactical-technical characteristics of the torpedo tankette are as follows:
  • Mass with charge: 200 kg
  • Mass of charge: up to 70 kg
  • Length: 1.5 meters
  • Height: 0.52 meters
  • Width: 0.82 meters
  • Clearance: 0.16 meters
  • Track contact surface length: 0.8 meters
  • Track width: 0.175 meters
  • Ground pressure: up to 0.1 kg/cm² 
  • Top speed: about 20 kph
The running gear of the torpedo tankette consists of front drive sprockets, directing road wheels, and return rollers. The track links are stamped.

The torpedo tankette is propelled by two electric motors. The electric motors are driven by two 12 V batteries. The electric motors rotate the front wheels, which then turn the tracks. The speed is about 20 kph. The torpedo tankette can turn by powering only one track or more backwards if the electic motor is reveresed.

A 1.5 km long three-phase wire with four relays control the torpedo tankette. The controller is located in a tank, trench, or some other shelter from up to 1.5 km away (the distance of the wire). The wire spool is located in a rear compartment. A buffer is used to ensure that the wire does not tangle.

The explosive charge is stored in the center of the torpedo tankette. An explosion can be triggered using the wire. An electric capsule detonator triggers the 70 kg charge. The explosion is exceptionally powerful and can lead to unrecoverable losses among all types of our tanks.

The torpedo tankette moves to limit the effect of our fire, always changing direction and moving in curves, which is done by enabling or disabling electric motors in turn.

It is difficult to spot the torpedo tankette due to its small dimensions, especially in wheat or tall grass.

Combat measures against the torpedo tankette:
  1. Fire from any artillery with any type of shell
  2. Fire from anti-tank rifles
  3. Fire from machine guns, submachine guns, and rifles with any type of ammunition, preferably armour piercing incendiary
  4. Cutting the control wire
  5. Explosion via a grenade from a trench (at a range of no less than 25-30 meters)
  6. Ignition using a bottle of incendiary fluid from a trench (at a range of no less than 25-30 meters).
Do not crush the torpedo tankette with a tank in any case. The tank will be destroyed irreparably and the tank's crew will be killed.

It is necessary to involve sappers to combat torpedo tankettes.

Chief of the Intelligence Department of the Armoured and Motor Vehicles HQ of the Bryansk Front
Lieutenant Colonel Panchurin"


  1. I've always found it interesting that so many of them exist today. Considering that relatively low number were built and that they are one time use.

    1. Probably says more about how often the opportunity arose to even deploy the little buggers than anything else; ie. they presumably mostly just gathered dust in storage and were captured in due time with the rest of the materiél.