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  • #76
    18. In the second and following waves as well as in areas with weak fire resistance and in pursuit infantry can be mounted on tanks as long as it is not engaged by observed fire.
    (Bei rückwärtigen Panzerwellen sowie in feuerarmen Räumen and bei Verfolgung können Panzergrenadiere auf die Panyer aufsitzen, solange letztere nicht beobachtetes Feuer bekämpft werden)
    So no riding on tanks to the assault objective.

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    • #77
      Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post
      For comparison points on the same subject from the German instruction ("Employment of combined arms in a panzer division") from the same period (the year 1944)


      Translated from:
      http://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/r...de/grid/zoom/1
      Thanks for posting this, been reading or trying too about the realities of infantry-tank tactics as of late, though mainly in the West so this is mightily interesting for me. Of course a lot still depends on how much of this was followed on the ground and what precisely constitutes c) & d) but I still find it curious this seems to recommend quite a bit of what for example the British get regularly lambasted for, tanks forward and no integration of tanks&infantry below the regimental level.

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      • #78
        You are welcome. I an interesting essay on American experience of tank-infantry actions here:
        http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a235149.pdf

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        • #79
          A sample critical feedback to the Soviet tank manual (project of 1943):
          https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=450760193

          197 Tank Brigade in October 1943 wrote that the para.431 prescribes a tank attack at maximal speed. An experience demonstrated that supporting infantry was typically hold up by hostile weapons that survived the tanks attack. According to the para.26 a tank unit detaches a part of tanks to push the infantry elements forward. The manual doesn't give any clear instructions what the rest of the tanks should do in that "typical case" (as the brigade called it). They are either become separated from infantry further than a normal supporting distance (several hundred meters) or have to stand idle suffering losses to anti-tank guns. The brigade asks for more clear instructions. Comment by pencil on the document: "It would be reasonable to withdraw the tanks behind the nearest terrain feature that produces cover by order of the battalion commander or higher commander"

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          • #80
            13 Tank Corps commented on own battle experience:
            - June 1942 (battles east of Kharkov): faulty employment of tanks&infantry combined actions. It would be me efficient to start attack by infantry while tanks stay behind and support it with fire from static positions, then tanks and infantry make a simultaneous assault on hostile position.
            - similar comments from August 1942 (battle of Stalingrad): infantry commanders ordered tanks to attack ahead of infantry. Typically tanks suffered heavy losses to anti-tank weapons, while infantry was checked in front of the hostile main line of resistance and couldn't provide any support to tanks. It would be more efficient to start a tank attack when infantry comes to distance of 200-300 meters to the MLR, so that tanks and infantry could launch a joint assault.
            From the 13 TC's war diary:
            https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=451004622

            Both comments describe a scenario when jump-off positions are chosen at a large distance from a hostile position (open gently rolling steppe in Ukraine and South Russia). Again, not a kind if scenario the Soviet manual paid much attention to.

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            • #81
              Continuing with attack technique: many units based on their experience recommended movement by bounds from one natural line to another (usually some terrain feature providing cover and suitable firing positions) (example: 1). Some expanded this recommendation to a kind of "caterpillar technique": tanks make a bound to a natural line, then wait for infantry to catch up, then a new bound is made (from proposed changes to the manual - 2, from a report on combat experience - 3). Naturally this tactics requires a suitable terrain (open with good observation) as the last document commented. Note a similarity with the paragraph 15 of the German manual:
              https://forums.armchairgeneral.com/f...41#post5089541

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              • #82
                Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post
                13 Tank Corps commented on own battle experience:
                - June 1942 (battles east of Kharkov): faulty employment of tanks&infantry combined actions. It would be me efficient to start attack by infantry while tanks stay behind and support it with fire from static positions, then tanks and infantry make a simultaneous assault on hostile position.
                I am studying the Spring 1942 German and Russian offensives now but My question is not entirely tactical in nature.

                On page 69 of the Glantz book Kharkov 1942 Anatomy of a Military Disaster he starts a chapter titled Soviet Force Structure. Basically the chapter covers the Soviets began to reforming their force structure in Autumn of 1941 while still reeling from Barbarossa, and then again in the winter of 41-42 after their successful repelling of the German Army Groups.

                Glantz states on page 70:

                Most important, perhaps, was the Stavka's decision in March 1942 to create new mechanized formations which could spearhead offensive action and challenge the German panzer divisions. First called mechanized corps, in late April, these mechanized formations were formally renamed tank corps. The new Soviet tank corps formed in late April 1942 replaced the three brigade experimental mechanized and tank corps of March and Early April with a four brigade corps.
                Glantz then states that the new tank corps had 138 tanks. Prior to this he states each tank brigade had 46 tanks.
                4 x brigades would equal 184 total in the new corps structure but Glantz' number of 138 is exactly 46 x 3. Is this a typo mistake or something that was missed in proof reading?


                Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

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                • #83
                  Three brigades means: two tank and one motor rifle. Four brigades: three tank and one motor rifle. There were about a dozen of different variants of brigade TO&E, so the numbers of types of tanks can vary actually.

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                  • #84
                    Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post
                    Three brigades means: two tank and one motor rifle. Four brigades: three tank and one motor rifle. There were about a dozen of different variants of brigade TO&E, so the numbers of types of tanks can vary actually.
                    Thanks. Glantz gives type of tanks in corps as 30 KV, 48 T-34, and 60 T-60. Troop strength at 7500 men. Of note is that there was no logistical support structure organic to the tank corps, during this period of April/May 1942. Logistical support was to be provided by a cooperating army.
                    Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

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                    • #85
                      Waiting for a rainy for a break to look at source material for desantniki (tankodesantniki) tactics, but wanted to add a reminder on the evolution of tank corps evolution through the war (and this is true for other Red Army force structure) are different almost by year. The tank corps at Kharkov in May-June 1942 were the first built after the demise of the mech corps in the early battles and the building of strong tank brigades for armored support to the armies and fronts. Then the tank brigades were streamlined for tanks corps that first arrived at Kharkov (more robust separate tank bridges would be fielded). Artyom structure is generally correct, but there will be exceptions. For example, 1 February 1943, the 19th TC had two tk bdes and one separate armored car bn (by 1 July 1943 it had three tank and one MR Bdes). Same is true of the 20th TC on 1 Feb 1943, then by 1 Jul 1943, three tank bdes, one MR bde and one MR rgt. Generally, by July 1943, tank corps had the 3-1 tk-MR structure and usually a separate tk or MR rgt as well as a more robust organic structure of antitank, anti-aircraft.*

                      Parenthetically, at Kharkov, employment was mixed. Two of the tanks were fought as a tank corps in the main attack force while the third tank corps in the support sector was allocated as bdes to the attacking rifle corps.

                      *Source Boevoi sostav Sovetskoi armii, Chast' III (Ianvar-dekabr 1943g.) [The Combat Composition of the Soviet Army, part III (January-December 1943] (Moscow, Voenizdat, 1972) pp. 31-169. Classified secret and prepared by the Military-Scientific Directorate of the General Staff
                      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                      • #86
                        Glantz' source # leads to: For more details on evolving Soviet force structure see; Losik, Babich, Iu;P Baier A.G; The development of weaponry and Soviet ground force organization during the Great Patriotic War. Akademii Moscow, 1990. Prepared by the Order of Lenin and the October Revolution, Red Banner, Order of Suvorov, Frunze Academy history department. P.A. Kurochkin, ed,; The combined arms army in the offensive. Voenizdat, Moscow, 1966,; and Radzievsky, A.I. ;ed,; Army operations,; Voenizdat,; Moscow 1977.



                        Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

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                        • #87
                          Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
                          Glantz' source # leads to: For more details on evolving Soviet force structure see; Losik, Babich, Iu;P Baier A.G; The development of weaponry and Soviet ground force organization during the Great Patriotic War. Akademii Moscow, 1990. Prepared by the Order of Lenin and the October Revolution, Red Banner, Order of Suvorov, Frunze Academy history department. P.A. Kurochkin, ed,; The combined arms army in the offensive. Voenizdat, Moscow, 1966,; and Radzievsky, A.I. ;ed,; Army operations,; Voenizdat,; Moscow 1977.


                          Glantz's sources are good. I have Losik and Radzievsky in Russian (There may be DTIC translations of these books in English)..
                          Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 18 Jan 19, 11:46.
                          Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                          • #88
                            A couple of other peculiar features of the 1943/44's manual (parts relating to attack)
                            - A formation in one line (wave) is recommended for all tank units up to brigade level (Examples: 1, 2, 3). Exception: in attacks on strong anti-tank defense the regiment/brigade forms two waves at supporting distance and reserve. The intention is apparently is to maximize the power of the first wave. One can see a similarity with contemporary infantry manual of 1942 which also recommended a simple line (one wave) formation for infantry units.
                            - Rather little attention is paid to a combination of fire and movement. (Exception: formation in two waves, the second wave supports the first wave with fire). Instead it is said that tanks should assault hostile position at maximal speed. Fire support is supposed to be given by artillery and mortars
                            - A special focus on fire delivered from moving tanks which can be traced to a Stalin's order of 16 October 1942 (which also contained many points later repeated in the tank manual). It should be explained that given a an absence of gun stabilizers this fire couldn't be even remotely accurate and would produce mostly only psychological effect.
                            Last edited by Artyom_A; 20 Jan 19, 15:08.

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                            • #89
                              Losik in his "Formation and Combat Use of Soviet Tank Troops During the Years of the Great Patriotic War" notes, "Before the issuance of NKO Order No. 306 (October 1942), Direct Infantry Support (DIS) tanks were attacked, as a rule, to all echelons of rifle formations." He gives examples prior to the October 1942 date. One example in December 1941, "of the 14 tanks that had reinforced the division, the commander of the 8th Gds Rifle Div attached 8 to rifle regiments and kept 6 in his reserve." Another example in August 1942, "the commander of the 88th Rifle Division of the 31st Army gave two battalions of the attached 212th Tank Brigade to the rifle regiments of the assault and follow-up echelons of the division, while the third tank battalion was kept in reserve."

                              "Such use of tanks, naturally, negatively affected the results of their combat operations. The splitting up of the tanks led to low densities, a weakening of the strength of their attack and a decrease in the momentum of the offensive. A great shortcoming in the use of tanks for DIS was also the deep echeloning of their individual combat formations. It frequently occurred that the battle formation of the DIS tank group was structured in three echelons, 200-300 meters between each. With the overall shortage in tanks, such a deep dispositioning of their battle formations could not provide the simultaneous massed attack of tanks together with the infantry. Besides that, such echeloning of tanks enable the enemy to destroy them in succession."

                              How the Red Army turned itself around in the face of catastrophic defeat is an interesting aspect of the war on the eastern front and the reason has to look at the evolution of force structures and operational changes from year to year. This process in a thumbnail was an emphasis on collecting war experiences, determining changes, then directing implementation for directives and orders. One should consider that the combat regulations would necessarily lag behind the directives and orders. General Staff officers, as watchdogs, would oversee the execution of the directives and orders.

                              Losik notes, "A letter directive from the HQ Supreme High Command, dated 10 January 1942, and an NKO Order, dated 8 October 1942, played a large role in improving the methods of using tanks."

                              To be continued
                              Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                              • #90
                                Does somebody has the info about organisation of units viewed from other side ? With the possible conclusions and critics.
                                There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

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