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  • Why humans don't have tails like monkeys? Because they don't. The same answer here. As I understand external telephones were improvised by US Army well after the war start, it wasn't some kind of standard design
    http://www.theshermantank.com/catego...nfantry-phone/

    Comment


    • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
      These shortcomings were noted in NKO No. 325 with the requirement, "DIS tanks have as their primary mission the destruction of enemy infantry and should not be separated from their own infantry by more than 200-400 meters. Upon the appearance of enemy tanks on the battlefield, artillery should conduct the primary fight against them. Tanks can engage the enemy tanks only in the event of a clear superiority in forces and advantageous position."
      The point about tank-infantry distance was present already in the 1940's manual. As I've noted the order and also the tank manual of 1943/44 (that repeated its principal theses) were self-contradictory somewhat: tanks couldn't attack at full speed and keep a constant distance from infantry at the same time. In general this order (No.325 from October 1942) have many reasonable points but also some more dubious parts like fire from a tank moving at full speed, which was essentially a waste of ammunition.
      As for poor tank-infantry coordination apart from lacking expertise of commanders from both arms there were some objective reasons for that. Prior training was lacking, I don't think that any Soviet division in 1941-1942 made training with tanks before it was sent to the front, and few did it on the front. There were also limited means of communications between tanks and infantry and limited observation from a tank. After all men on the battlefield did their best to not be seen out of simple instinct of self-preservation.
      Reconnaissance: Soviet command had much to blame on themselves for giving very scant means of reconnaissance and liaison to tanks/mechanized units. For example, the Soviet tanks battalion of 1943-45 was authorized to have just one motorcycle for reconnaissance/communication/liaison, and very frequently it was not actually present. So if a battalion or company commander wanted to made a personal reconnaissance on the forward line he had either to walk on foot (with corresponding loss of time), ride on a tank (disclosing the presence of tanks and possibly compromising surprise) or find a ride elsewhere. For comparison the US tank company of about the same size was authorized a command jeep with a radio, the German tank company - one car and three motorcycles for communication and liaison:
      https://www.wwiidaybyday.com/kstn/kstn11751nov41.htm
      In general, Soviet organizations tended to be extremely ascetic in things relating to command/control/communications.
      Last edited by Artyom_A; 23 Jan 19, 06:15.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post

        Infantry should be as close as possible to the tanks at all times but not grouped to tightly. at least one infantryman should be at the rear of the tank for communication with the tank crew. There should be an intercom on the back of the tank for an infantry man to direct firing on targets. When were Soviet tanks provided, eventually, with these intercoms? The Germans had tank to tank and tank to infantry coordination from the beginning as I stated above.
        A priority for the Soviets would have been to develop to tank to tank radios since they began with war with radios to platoon or company command tanks.

        Guderian who had been a signal officer in a cavalry corps during WWI brought the idea/need for radios to the German panzer force creation which did bring better coordination to tank to tank and tank to infantry--but I don't know if they did the coordination with intercoms? Do you have a reference for the intercoms in WWII?
        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post
          The point about tank-infantry distance was present already in the 1940's manual. As I've noted the order and also the tank manual of 1943/44 (that repeated its principal theses) were self-contradictory somewhat: tanks couldn't attack at full speed and keep a constant distance from infantry at the same time. In general this order (No.325 from October 1942) have many reasonable points but also some more dubious parts like fire from a tank moving at full speed, which was essentially a waste of ammunition.
          As for poor tank-infantry coordination apart from lacking expertise of commanders from both arms there were some objective reasons for that. Prior training was lacking, I don't think that any Soviet division in 1941-1942 made training with tanks before it was sent to the front, and few did it on the front. There were also limited means of communications between tanks and infantry and limited observation from a tank. After all men on the battlefield did their best to not be seen out of simple instinct of self-preservation.
          Reconnaissance: Soviet command had much to blame on themselves for giving very scant means of reconnaissance and liaison to tanks/mechanized units. For example, the Soviet tanks battalion of 1943-45 was authorized to have just one motorcycle for reconnaissance/communication/liaison, and very frequently it was not actually present. So if a battalion or company commander wanted to made a personal reconnaissance on the forward line he head either to walk on foot (with corresponding loss of time), ride on a tank (disclosing the presence of tanks and possibly compromising surprise) or find a ride elsewhere. For comparisons the US tank company of about the same size was authorized a command jeep with a radio, the German tank company - one car and three motorcycles for communication and liaision:
          https://www.wwiidaybyday.com/kstn/kstn11751nov41.htm
          In general, Soviet organizations tended to be extremely ascetic in things relating to command/control/communications.
          I was only echoing Losik's observation. He served as a tank brigade commander in WWII.

          Tank brigade, corps and army commanders went forward (foot, Willy, tank) to check the terrain and situation--they often donned overalls so their rank would not be identified.
          Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

          Comment


          • Picking up from Post 98

            The noted directives and orders first came to bear in the DIS tank units in the counteroffensive at Stalingrad.

            In general, the tank regiments and brigades attached to the rifle divisions were used in full strength as a unified DIS group, subordinate to the division commander. An arty battalion and a sapper platoon were attached to each tank battalion for supporting tank operations deeply. Losik notes, "The average number of DIS tanks on the main strike axes of the armies was not very high, 5 to 6 tanks per one kilometer of breakthrough frontage. From experience of previous operations, low densities of DIS tanks negatively affected the breakthrough momentum and made it necessary for the tank corps from the exploitation echelons to engage the enemy for the main defensive zone prematurely." Front cdrs decided to reinforce the rifle divisions with tanks from the tank and mech corps. While they improved the density of tanks in the army's main strike sectors to 10-14 per one kilometers of frontage, the improvising proved unsuccessful. The tank units attached forward to the rifle division were either completely unable to form up with the parent corps or joined them on the second or third day, but weakened due to loses in the course of the breakthrough, specifically in the 26th Tk Corps and 4th Mech Corps on the southern side of Stalingrad.

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

            Comment


            • By the Red Army's Kursk counteroffensive, self-propelled artillery units (SAU) were attached to rifle divisions along with tanks. Tank-SAU groups were a centralized resource for the div cdr. The typical battle formation of the tanks and SAU was two echelons. In the first line, tanks advanced about 200-400 meters from the infantry. Their task was to suppress enemy weapons surviving after the artillery bombardment and ensure the unimpeded advance by the infantry. In the second line, about 100-200 meters behind the tanks (or directly in the infantry battle formation), the SAU moved. The SAU provide fire support to the tanks advancing ahead of them.

              Comparing the difference between 1942 and 1943, the 1943 DIS group had a qualitative improvement and the density of tanks and SAU in the breakthrough sector increased. However, the density still proved to be insufficient for a successful breakthrough of the enemy's defenses. Losik notes, due to this, in almost all of the operations of 1943, they had to call upon mobile groups of the armies and fronts to breach the enemy's defended area.

              Soviet commanders strove to use the DIS tanks and SAU at full strength, not permitting them to be split up. The difficulty was still a shortage of tanks for the DIS and the penetration/exploitation missions as well as the inability of many of the rifle regiment and battalion commanders to use the tanks and SAU correctly.

              The other factor at play in this period is while the Red Army evolved in force structure and tactics, the Germans too changed. In 1943, the German forces switched to organizing a deep-echeloned static defense using a system of trenches and continuous positions. Breaking through such a defense required a decisive massing of men and equipment on the main attack zones, creating high densities of neutralizing weapons, deep echeloning of battle formations, and the organizing and maintaining close cooperation of all men and equipment participating in the breakthrough. This raised the bar, as Losik observes, for the Red Army (and Soviet industry) to increase tank and SAU production and raise the combat skills of command personnel.


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

              Comment


              • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post

                A priority for the Soviets would have been to develop to tank to tank radios since they began with war with radios to platoon or company command tanks.

                Guderian who had been a signal officer in a cavalry corps during WWI brought the idea/need for radios to the German panzer force creation which did bring better coordination to tank to tank and tank to infantry--but I don't know if they did the coordination with intercoms? Do you have a reference for the intercoms in WWII?
                No I do not. I just assumed. My assumption arrived after a 6 month and 10 book study I completed on the battle of Okinawa in 2017. The Marine and Army Sherman's on Okinawa all had this intercom phone at the back of the tank which saved countless lives of riflemen and tank/tank crews from Japanese anti-tank weapons hidden in the caves.

                Obviously in the midst of combat the tank crew cannot hear an infantry man and vice versa. This is just common sense. I checked the link Art provided for the Sherman tanks which said they installed the rear intercom phone in June-July 44.

                It is hard to believe, but apparently true, that the Germans, Soviets, Japanese, and not until the Americans were fighting in the Bocage in France, they started to implement these intercoms. The link Art gave said the Marines first thought of the idea. Probably because of the close quarters guerilla jungle warfare in the Pacific. Now if this is true what took them so long to share this information with their fellow Americans in Europe!?!

                IMO its just common sense to have a com in the back of the tank for fire direction and general information. All of the belligerents of WWII came up with many new tactical combat ideas during the course of the war which makes it hard to believe that a simple thing like a com for tank crew/infantry communication was overlooked. Apparently the U.S.M.C. in the Pacific followed by the U.S. Army in the Bocage of France thought of this because the enemy had more hiding places. But, IMO, this would help in urban house to house fighting as well, and come to think about it, it is a PLUS no matter what the terrain.



















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

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post

                  No I do not. I just assumed. My assumption arrived after a 6 month and 10 book study I completed on the battle of Okinawa in 2017. The Marine and Army Sherman's on Okinawa all had this intercom phone at the back of the tank which saved countless lives of riflemen and tank/tank crews from Japanese anti-tank weapons hidden in the caves.

                  Obviously in the midst of combat the tank crew cannot hear an infantry man and vice versa. This is just common sense. I checked the link Art provided for the Sherman tanks which said they installed the rear intercom phone in June-July 44.

                  It is hard to believe, but apparently true, that the Germans, Soviets, Japanese, and not until the Americans were fighting in the Bocage in France, they started to implement these intercoms. The link Art gave said the Marines first thought of the idea. Probably because of the close quarters guerilla jungle warfare in the Pacific. Now if this is true what took them so long to share this information with their fellow Americans in Europe!?!

                  IMO its just common sense to have a com in the back of the tank for fire direction and general information. All of the belligerents of WWII came up with many new tactical combat ideas during the course of the war which makes it hard to believe that a simple thing like a com for tank crew/infantry communication was overlooked. Apparently the U.S.M.C. in the Pacific followed by the U.S. Army in the Bocage of France thought of this because the enemy had more hiding places. But, IMO, this would help in urban house to house fighting as well, and come to think about it, it is a PLUS no matter what the terrai

                  You're using technological hindsight. In another 20 years or less, there will be someone who will assume that they should have had tactical cell phones.

                  A critical dimension in historical methodology is to view people, things and situations in the context of the historical period. I found it rather serendipitous that the leading figure for building the German panzer force was a signal officer, hence as mentioned previously the logic of German tanks having radios in every tank.
                  Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post

                    Glantz's sources are good. I have Losik and Radzievsky in Russian (There may be DTIC translations of these books in English)..
                    I searched for an hour for an online translation of the Losik book with no luck. While searching I found this but its too pricey for a tactical reference book.

                    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...api_tkin_p2_i5
                    Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

                    Comment


                    • OK still researching..geez.. found this and bookmarked it.

                      The Structure and Organization of the Red Army's Tank Forces:

                      http://english.battlefield.ru/analyt...orces-toe.html
                      Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
                        OK still researching..geez.. found this and bookmarked it.

                        The Structure and Organization of the Red Army's Tank Forces:

                        http://english.battlefield.ru/analyt...orces-toe.html
                        Kurt,

                        Email David Glantz at [email protected] and ask for his Cataloque and Price List of Studies on the Red Army and the German-Soviet War (1941-1945) .. He has self-published atlases that he used for his books and a number of other studies to include his Forgotten Battles Series. I think you will be impressed by what he has to offer. Tell him Rick Armstrong referred you.
                        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post

                          Kurt,

                          Email David Glantz at [email protected] and ask for his Cataloque and Price List of Studies on the Red Army and the German-Soviet War (1941-1945) .. He has self-published atlases that he used for his books and a number of other studies to include his Forgotten Battles Series. I think you will be impressed by what he has to offer. Tell him Rick Armstrong referred you.
                          Thanks Rick!
                          Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

                          Comment


                          • By 1944-45, the rifle division DIS group usually consisted of a tank brigade (65 tanks) and a self-propelled artillery regiment (21 mounts) or of 1-2 tank and self-propelled artillery regiments, reinforced with mine-clearing tanks.

                            Increasing the DIS tank groups numerical strength and reducing the rifle divisions' breakthrough sector, especially in 1945 operations, contributed to a substantial increase in the densities of tanks and SAU. One can see in comparative tables that these densities often exceeded 40-50 vehicles per 1 km of breakthrough frontage, and in some instances reached 60-70.

                            Tactical use of tanks and SAu were also changing. As noted above, before 1944 the tank and self-propelled artillery formations and units attached to the rifle divisions for DIS during breakthrough of a deliberate defense, as a rule, remained subordinated to the division commanders and were not resubordinated to the commanders of the rifle regiments and battalions. This principle for using DIS tanks was consolidated in the Combat Regulations for Armored and Mechanized Troops, implemented February 1944.


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

                            Comment


                            • As noted previously, the changing and different conditions in the German defense required new methods of using tanks and SAU.

                              Losik writes, "An analysis of the experience of the operations during the third period [1944-45] of the war that, beginning in the second half of 1944, division commanders more and more often began to attach tank and self-propelled artillery units and subunits from the DIS tank SP artillery groups to the rifle regiments. Such methods for using DIS tanks were used especially often during the breakthrough of a heavily fortified enemy defense.

                              "In such a method of using the tank brigades and regiments, the rifle regiment commanders personally assigned missions to the DIS tanks, organized their cooperation with other service arms and controlled the DIS group during the battle. Tanks were similarly used, in particularly, in the 2nd Shock Army in the Eastern Prussian Operation. [Losik, as cdr of the 4th Gds Tank Bde, fought in the E. Prussian Opn.]

                              "Instances of such use DIS tanks took place in a number of armies in the course of the Vistula-Oder operations. However, in the majority of the 1945 operations the clearly reflected trend in using DIS tanks was the striving to use the tanks to reinforce rifle subunits, down to and including platoon."

                              The use of DIS tank units after the breakthrough of the main defensive zone, most of the time, they were combined into divisional or corps advanced detachments for overrunning second defensive zone and further pursuit.


                              To be cont'd
                              Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
                                Losik writes, "An analysis of the experience of the operations during the third period [1944-45] of the war that, beginning in the second half of 1944, division commanders more and more often began to attach tank and self-propelled artillery units and subunits from the DIS tank SP artillery groups to the rifle regiments. Such methods for using DIS tanks were used especially often during the breakthrough of a heavily fortified enemy defense.
                                See the point 5 here:
                                https://forums.armchairgeneral.com/f...64#post5088464
                                So it was contrary to what the manual prescribed.

                                Comment

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