Wednesday 2 November 2022

Engagement Ranges


As a result of examination of materials covering tanks and SPGs knocked out in battle in 1942, 1943, and 1944, one can consider the following assertions to hold firmly:

  1. German tanks and anti-tank artillery currently consists almost exclusively of 75 and 88 mm guns. The enemy uses 88 mm guns predominately against our heavy tanks and SPGs and 75 mm guns against medium tanks and SPGs.
  2. The main type of shell used by German artillery against our tanks and SPGs is an armour piercing sharp tipped shell with a powerful cap and small HE effect. More than 90% of all hits in July of 1944 were delivered by these types of shells.
    The use of subcaliber shot and Faust or Ofenrohr type shells against our tanks and SPGs is negligible.
  3. German 75 mm guns typically fire at ranges from 100 to 700 meters and rarely exceed 1000-1100 meters.
  4. German 88 mm guns typically fire at ranges from 600 to 1300 meters and rarely exceed 1600-1700 meters.
  5. 75 mm guns mostly fire at T-34 tanks at ranges from 100 to 600 meters and 88 mm guns fire from 400 to 1100 meters.
  6. 88 mm guns mostly fire on IS tanks from 600 to 1300 meters.
  7. When firing at SPGs, ranges increase by about 200-300 meters compared to tanks of the same type.

Chief Engineer of the NII-48 MF A.F. Stogov
Deputy Chief of the 4th Department and Project Lead, V.V. Larchenko"

RGAE F.8752 Op.7 D.045 L.33-34


  1. I wonder if the data from 1945 showed significantly shorter ranges than the data from 1942-44 (fighting done in more built-up terrain). Also though the calibers remain the same, the potency of '75 mm' and '88 mm' German guns markedly increase from 1942 to 1945.

    That being said, these short ranges does say something about the sometimes-derided (by Wehrmacht fanboys) quality and design of Soviet armor. (Say, 'Y German gun can destroy X Soviet tank at 2500 meters'-type comments). This data suggests Germans were more in the habit of "don't plink your opponent at long ranges where the kill probability is very low, but wait until closer ranges where the chances are much better".

  2. It would also be interesting to know how the ranges were measured. Perhaps by analyzing wrecks and using reports?