Perhaps not exactly addressing StuG tactics, it certainly outlines the state of politics in the use and issue of the StuGs. Tigers were issued to Tiger Battalions and some armored divisions.
The development of the Assault Artillery ( Sturmartillerie )
The tactical importance of the Sturmartillerie .
The Sturmartillerie is for our infantry, often faced with missions almost impossible to carry out, really the spine and where it acts, it is usually decisive in the results of the fight .
Its function cannot be overrated. The opinions of the commanders of all weapons coincide at this point.
The effectiveness of the Sturmartillerie is based on:
A technically formidable weapon, developed by artillery since 1936 as an armored vehicle for direct support of the infantry .
The fact that the Sturmartillerie represents the elite within the great artillery weapon (1.3 knight crosses per battalion).
A very thorough shooting training based on the principles of artillery.
A thorough analysis and acquisition of all tactical and technical experiences obtained in combat, a special merit of the assault cannon school ( Sturmgeschützschule ) of Burg .
The Panzeroffizier beim Chef Gen.Stab in his letter Nr.1063 / 43g.Kdos of 6.12.1943 and based on different statistical documents, has concluded that the Sturmgeschütz :
Of all the armored vehicles, it has caused the most enemy casualties,
Of all the armored vehicles it has suffered the least casualties,
Of all armored vehicles, it is the one with the highest percentage of operating vehicles.
The developed artillery Sturmgeschütz has become, based on its initial function, the most effective armored weapon in the field of infantry .
The Sturmartillerie has so far destroyed 12,000 tanks .
Probable development in the future course of the war .
The consumption of the strength of the physically and psychologically worn individual fighter, as can be seen in any long war, increasingly highlights the importance of artillery. Many high commanders certify that combat is carried out primarily with artillery. The spearhead of the artillery , based on its function of exonerating infantry in all aspects, is the Sturmartillerie .
The enemy , whose assault guns are organized in regiments belonging to the army's artillery (order of the main administration of the artillery of the Red Army of March 1943), underlines in its directives, among other points, that the regiments of assault cannons will only reach their maximum firepower when the entire regiment operates against in coordination with Infantry and tanks. The enemy values the effects of the assault cannon fire from open positions and distances of up to 1,000 m as " decisive for the success of an infantry attack ."
The directives for the operations of the Russian assault artillery provide for the use of the assault guns as follows:
As a support weapon of the infantry, tanks or cavalry against the main direction of the attack.
As a combat reserve to repel enemy counterattacks.
As artillery support for tank depths.
These directives highlight the importance of this weapon, its tactical grouping on the battlefield with the objective of creating a center of gravity ( Schwerpunktbildung ) and should be evaluated as very timely.
The way in which the Russian evaluates our Sturmartillerie is reflected in an order of the Marshal of the Woronow artillery of 2.7.43, where it is written (excerpt):
The combat of enemy assault cannons must be given maximum importance and must be use all possible means to achieve its destruction:
Officers and the troop should be informed about the assault cannons . These should be able to differentiate them from a tank .
Anti-tank guns must receive special training for combat against assault guns.
When fighting enemy tanks with artillery, whenever possible, the assault guns that accompany them must be located first and the fire must be opened first.
Cannons used to make direct fire must always, as long as they do not have to defend themselves, fire first on assault cannons .
Based on the order of the popular commissioner for defense, No. 0387 of 24.6.43, anyone who has distinguished himself by the destruction of assault cannons will receive a decoration.
The Russian has the following calibers in his assault guns:
7.62 cm on T 70 chassis
8.5 cm on T 34 chassis
12.2 cm on T 34 chassis (seems to be that inefficient)
15.2 cm on KW chassis
20.3 cm on KW chassis (information is available, has not yet appeared in combat)
Based on captured documents as well as testimonies of prisoners there are:
Light assault cannon regiments with 5 batteries (7.6 cm)
Medium assault cannon regiments with 4 batteries (8.5 cm)
Heavy assault cannon regiments with 6 batteries (15.2 cm)
Throughout the next new year and in the infantry fighting field, German and Russian assault cannons will therefore collide on many occasions. The result of these combats will decide on the fate of the infantry over the place.
Increase in the production of assault guns - already ordered by decision of the Führer
Based on the uniform organization of the Russian assault artillery, joint organization of the Sturmartillerie , as all the means are available:
Training media (Burg assault cannon school) for the analysis of experiences gained in the fighting
In reality this weapon is fragmented , as the assault cannons, as of 1.12.43, are found in:
54% inside the Sturmartillerie
25.3% inside the Panzerwaffe
5.5% with the tank destroyers Infantry
2.2% within the Luftwaffe campaign divisions
13% within the Waffen-SS
Analysis of this situation :
The most effective weapon in the field of infantry is organizationally fragmented rather than being closely grouped, so to take advantage of the experiences obtained by the Sturmartilleriein combat in a uniform way in the training centers as well as to be able to carry out the creation of new formations with officers, non-commissioned officers and experienced troops, as naturally happens within the Sturmartillerie .
In front of the Russian assault artillery , uniformly organized and in combat directed by artillery chiefs, are the German assault cannons, organizationally fragmented between artillery divisions, Panzerwaffe , Panzergrenadiere , within the tank units in infantry divisions , within the Luftwaffe campaign divisionsor of the Waffen-SS. The most effective weapon of our severely touched infantry, is tactically fragmented into different weapons and is deprived of tactical training as well as a uniform way of operating, despite the existence of all personal and material requirements for it. It cannot be expected in this way to obtain the greatest possible efficiency.
The need for Panzertruppe is recognizedto assume a part of the production of assault guns, as long as it is a small number of vehicles and these are essential for the armored divisions. On the other hand, it is questioned that the tank units that have so far been equipped with anti-tank guns on wheels, assume assault guns, because the adaptation to armored vehicles is for these units something totally new. This lack of experience will be paid on the front with more losses of personnel and material.
For this reason it must be claimed that the tank destroyer units that are to be rearmed with assault cannons are assigned to the artillery. These units would be organized in the manner that has been previously mentioned on several occasions, mixing experienced officers, non-commissioned officers and Sturmartillerie troops , thus taking full advantage to relieve the infantry.
Facing the uniformly directed technical developmentof the Russian assault cannons, the German is again faced with a dualism, because according to the ordinances of the Inspector General of the Armored Troop the "heavy assault cannons" are subordinated to him, the light ones are not. The difference between the two is not clear.
It must be claimed that for the technical development of the Sturmartillerie , as well as for its organization and tactical employment, there is only one responsible.
The enemy develops super heavy assault guns that at some point may not be able to be fought with assault guns armed with 7.5 cm and 10.5 cm. Surprises in this field can have very unpleasant consequences.
It should be noted that the Sturmartillerie is being extrangulated :
In its technical development, it is missing the differentiation with the Panzerwaffe .
In its organizational structure, because the production of vehicles is fragmented.
From the conviction that in combat against a growing number of assault cannons and Russian tanks, the Sturmartillerie during the next year will see its importance increased in the battlefields, I am obliged to propose organic development again of a Sturmartillerie with a uniform formation .
Reducing the number of assault guns produced delivered to the Panzerdivisionen and Panzer-Grenadierdivisionen (transition period).
Assigning the tank destroyer units that must be rearmed with assault guns to the Sturmartillerie .
Clearly differentiating technical development and responsibility between:
The Panzerwaffe : Tanks (turret) in Panzer and Pz.Gren. Divisionen order and tactically operational act independently.
The Sturmartillerie : Assault cannons (without turret) of all sizes within assault cannon battalions as an army troop in order to cooperate directly with the infantry.