Wednesday 3 June 2020

Japanese Tank Destroyers

"Directions on tactical techniques and military misdirection used by the Japanese army and countermeasures against them
Tank destroyer groups

In all types of anti-tank defenses, the Japanese consider the most common and effective anti-tank weapon to be groups of suicide tank destroyers. Other techniques (anti-tank guns, tanks, anti-tank obstacles) are considered ineffective. In practice, tank on tank battles are rare and accidental.

In reality, this low effectiveness is explained by the insufficient amounts of tanks and artillery in the Japanese army.

Instructions and field manuals on the topic of anti-tank combat issued by the Japanese General Staff instructs every rifle and machine gun company in a battalion to have at least one tank destroyer group (squad). A suicide tank destroyer group goes through special training to combat tanks. Ambushes are placed in locations where tanks are likely to appear. Tanks are destroyed by pulling a mine or bundle of mines underneath the tank's track with a rope. There were cases when mines were dropped during enemy tank attacks. Tank destroyers are taught to jump on top of tanks to disable them. The Japanese use suicide bombers against heavy tanks that tie grenades around themselves and jump under the tanks.

As a result, when tanks are being used on cross-country terrain in the mountains or near bushes, tanks are instructed to have a squad of submachine gunners with them that are constantly on the lookout for tank destroyers. If no submachine gunners are available, tanks have to look out for themselves and support each other with machine gun fire, not allowing the Japanese to use suicide bombers. When tanks are moving through cross-country terrain, all suspicious locations and ditches must be swept with machine gun fire. Collection points must have 360 degree defenses and patrols. Do not permit tank destroyers to reach the location of tank units.
Authorized representative of the Chief of Staff of the 6th Guards Tank Army, Guards Lieutenant General Stormberg
Authorized representative of the Chief of the Operations Department of the 6th Guards Tank Army Staff, Guards Colonel Shklyaruk"

1 comment:

  1. "A suicide tank destroyer group goes through special training to combat tanks."

    It would appear that constant training would then be needed considering the turnover of the "specialists".