Sunday 27 November 2022

Anti-Tank Dog Instructions

Check the equipment of both the soldiers and the dogs.

 "Instructions on using anti-tank dogs in various types of combat 

A. Main points

  1. Anti-tank dogs are an auxiliary weapon for infantry in anti-tank defenses, but they can be used in all types of combat.
  2. Anti-tank dog units are subordinate to the Army command. Individual companies or platoons are subordinated to infantry divisions as reinforcements of anti-tank defenses.
  3. The reserve and rear line elements of the anti-tank dog unit are located in the rear of the Army. There the personnel and the dogs systematically train and prepare themselves for service.
  4. An anti-tank dog company has 81 anti-tank dogs. The company is split into three platoons of 27 dogs. The platoon is split into three squads of 9 dogs each.
  5. The main method of destroying tanks is by releasing the dog from cover at a range of up to 200 meters from the enemy tank.
  6. If correctly used at a close range of 100-150 meters, the anti-tank dog is an effective weapon for the destruction of enemy tanks.
  7. A dog will dive under the front part of the enemy tank. The lever touches the floor of the tank and the tank is destroyed by an explosion.
  8. Anti-tank dogs work precisely and flawlessly only if the dogs are systematically trained and correctly fed. To achieve this, anti-tank dog platoons and companies must be removed from forward positions every ten days and recalled to the rear for training.
  9. The infantry division commander allocates one functional tank, preferably a captured one, for training the anti-tank dog company.
  10. For additional maneuverability, the anti-tank dog company commander must be allocated two GAZ-AA (1.5 ton) trucks to move one anti-tank dog platoon rapidly.
  11. Soldiers of anti-tank dog platoons chiefly fight individually, and thus must display initiative, courage, discipline, decisiveness, and calmness.
  12. The anti-tank dog soldier is armed with an anti-tank dog, an automatic rifle, an anti-tank grenade, and two bottles of incendiary fluid
  13. Having released his dog, the anti-tank dog soldier continues to fight with his rifle, anti-tank grenade, and bottles with incendiary fluid as a part of his squad.
  14. Anti-tank dog soldiers that released their dogs return to the rear after the completion of the battle to continue service according to their speciality.
B. Use of dogs in offensive combat
  1. On the offensive, it is reasonable to split the anti-tank dog company into platoons, attaching a platoon to the second and third echelons of the division. The third platoon remains in reserve.
  2. Anti-tank dogs are only used in the case that our tanks do not accompany the infantry or fight in this direction.
  3. Attaching the dogs to the first echelon is senseless due to high and unnecessary losses among the dogs.
  4. The anti-tank dog platoon attached to rifle regiments cannot be subordinated to rifle battalions.
  5. The reserve anti-tank dog platoon follows the division's reserve and conceals itself when stopped. The anti-tank dog company commander follows the reserve platoon.
  6. The reserve anti-tank dog platoon is used according to the orders of the division commander when enemy counterattacks with the use of tanks are spotted in directions where anti-tank dogs are not deployed.
  7. After being given their objective, the anti-tank dog platoon is dispatched on trucks to the nearest line of defense in the threatened direction, dismounts, takes up positions across the direction of movement of the enemy tanks, and acts as though they were on the defense.
  8. When attacking in areas with snow deeper than 30 cm, only use dogs along country roads and highways.
C. Use of dogs in defensive combat
  1. The anti-tank dog company attached to the division can be used in battle if no tanks are attached to the division.
  2. One anti-tank dog platoon can cover 3/4 - 1 km of front line against massed tank attacks reasonably well.
  3. The anti-tank dog company is used in battle in directions threatened by tanks.
  4. The most reasonable places to use an anti-tank dog company are:
    1. On the front line of the defense where there are no anti-tank obstacles.
    2. On flanks that are weakly protected by anti-tank defenses.
    3. On approaches to artillery positions, strike groups, or headquarters.
  5. It is very reasonable to designate one anti-tank dog squad as a mobile reserve used to reinforce directions threatened by tanks and to destroy tanks that broke through the front lines.
  6. The anti-tank dog reserve is located with the division's anti-tank reserves in readiness to be deployed by trucks.
  7. When defending in the winter with snow deeper than 30 cm, the use of dogs is limited to areas where the snow is blown away by wind or on roads.
D. Use of dogs when defending a settlement
  1. When defending large settlements without attached tanks, it is reasonable to split the anti-tank dog company into platoons and attach it to regiments.
  2. When one regiment is defending a settlement on its own, it is reasonable to attach the whole anti-tank dog company to one regiment, where individual platoons will be assigned to infantry battalions.
  3. In any case, it is necessary to have one or two squads mounted on trucks in reserve to be rapidly deployed to any part of the settlement in order to block and destroy enemy tanks that broke through.
  4. The reserve can also be used to reinforce an important position threatened during the battle.
  5. The anti-tank dog reserve should be kept in a covered area in a homestead next to the regiment headquarters.
  6. In any case after the platoons are dispatched on their mission, the company commander's place is with the reserve, which he commands personally. At the same time, he must maintain reliable communication with the platoon commanders, direct, and control their actions.
  7. Anti-tank dog squads are positioned such that each squad covers one street against enemy tanks.
  8. If the front line of defense is placed outside the settlement, the anti-tank dog platoons are tasked with preventing the enemy from entering the settlement.
  9. Solid stone buildings or half-basements located on T-intersections that allow dogs to be deployed forward, to the left, and to the right are the best positions for anti-tank dog squads.
  10. Anti-tank dog squad positions are chosen such that their lines of attack intersect the most important directions where enemy tanks can move through and the ones that are least protected by anti-tank defenses.
  11. When the first line of defense passes through the city, the anti-tank dog squad positions should be moved one or two blocks into the city with a street running parallel to the front in front of them.
  12. The commander of an anti-tank dog platoon that is separated from its company must stay with a squad that is defending the most important direction.
  13. The anti-tank dog platoon commander must maintain constant communication with the commander of the battalion that is located in that region, the anti-tank company commander, and his squads, directing and controlling their actions.
  14. Depending on the conditions, anti-tank dog company soldiers may be allowed to rest from nightfall to sunrise.
E. Use of dogs in the enemy rear
  1. Tank destroyer dogs may be used in the enemy rear in areas where tanks are concentrated, particularly in the summer.
  2. To use anti-tank dogs in the rear, allocate a squad (no more than 9 dogs) to partisans.
  3. The most effective conditions for using dogs in partisan units is in the forest during the summer. Use during winter is ineffective due to problems in moving through deep snow, which partisans have to do often.
  4. Anti-tank dogs can be used against enemy tank columns in motion or when they are stopped.
  5. To meet and destroy tank columns, choose a forest road away from settlements where tanks are likely to move through.
    Anti-tank dog soldiers take positions parallel to the road with intervals of 25-50 meters between them, hiding behind the trees. The dogs should be released as soon as the front tank reaches the last soldier.
    It is reasonable to lay mines in an area where there is no possible detour ahead of time and release the dogs as soon as the front tank explodes.
  6. As soon as the partisans report the location of a stopped enemy tank column, the anti-tank dog soldiers and a part of the partisan unit secretly encircle the location of the column and release dogs from a range of 150-200 meters, after which emerging enemies should be destroyed with submachine gun fire.
    It is best to fight enemy tanks in the early morning, as the encirclement will be completely hidden from the enemy until dawn.
F. Responsibilities of company and platoon commanders

The company commander must:
  1. Know the company's objective and the unit or formation the company is attached to.
  2. Give objectives to the platoon commanders and check that they are carried out.
  3. If a reserve is allocated, command the reserve and deploy it with maximum haste in the required direction to take up positions blocking the enemy tanks as soon as possible.
  4. Constantly maintain communications with platoon commanders and the commander of the unit or formation the company is attached to. 
  5. If there is no reserve, stay with the platoon carrying out the most important mission.
  6. Upon completion of the battle, collect troops who released their dogs and direct them to the rear to receive new dogs.
  7. Organize correct feeding and protection of the dogs both in and outside of combat.
  8. Organize and provide systematic training for the dogs.
  9. Cultivate and reward initiative, courage, and decisiveness in battle among his subordinates.
  10. Check the equipment of both the soldiers and the dogs.
  11. Record each successful case of using the dogs and report it to his commander.
The platoon commander must:
  1. Know the platoon's objective and the objective of the regiment that the platoon is attached to.
  2. Give objectives to the squad commanders.
  3. Personally determine locations where the soldiers with dogs will be positioned. The positions must provide:
    1. Good observation towards the enemy's positions.
    2. Concealment from air or ground observation.
    3. Covered passages to the rear.
  4. Avoid selecting positions that can be fired upon by our anti-tank guns or machine guns.
  5. Spread out positions 25-50 meters along the front and 75-100 meters in depth.
  6. Keep his positions until instructed by the company commander or the commander of the unit the platoon is attached to.
  7. Constantly keep communications with the commander of the unit the platoon is attached to, the company commander, and squad commanders.
  8. Stay with one of the squads to observe terrain in the direction where enemy tanks are most likely to come from while observing the other squads.
  9. Be an example for his subordinates, rewarding initiative, courage, and decisiveness in battle.
  10. Ensure the correct feeding and protection of the dogs in the platoon.
  11. Check the equipment of both the soldiers and the dogs."

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