A Question about Snipers and Tanks

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Brian Von Stauffenberg
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A Question about Snipers and Tanks

Post by Brian Von Stauffenberg » 31 Mar 2002 12:37

I have often wondered what tactics a sniper would use when/if they ever attempted to shoot at a tank, i mean could they shoot through the small slot the driver would look through, would/ could they fire into the Barrell of the Tank to set off the round within, did they attempt to shoot the commander if he was visible, are there any examples of Snipers used against armour? :?:

IAR80
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re

Post by IAR80 » 31 Mar 2002 12:53

If I am not mistaken, that's exactly what AT rifles were designed to do.

MaPen
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Post by MaPen » 31 Mar 2002 13:05

Sniper target selection - sniper key targets

from US Army field manual for snipers (FM 23 10)

1. Sniper - no. 1 target for sniper team because it's snipers natural enemy
2. Dog tracking teams - the sniper engages dog's handler first
3. Scouts - they are key observers for enemy force
4. Officers
5. NCOs
6. Vehicle commanders and drivers
7. Communication personnel
8. Weapon crews
9. Optics on vehicles
10. Communication and radar equipment
11. Weapon systems

From this I make that shooting though some small slot in the tank or even into the barrel would be foolish because the sniper would only reveal his position. One the other hand the chances of successful hit would be minimal.

MaPen

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Takao
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Post by Takao » 01 Apr 2002 06:52

I'm sure the are accounts of snipers shooting at tanks, probably most happened on the Eastern Front. I don't recall any off-hand but I remember reading about some German tank commanders getting shot while in the turret cupola.

As for tactics, common sense would tell me to shoot only the exposed crew members, as the vision ports had bullet resistant glass. A smart sniper would let the tank roll by and wait for an easier target to come along.

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David Lehmann
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german sniper

Post by David Lehmann » 01 Apr 2002 12:06

On the east front in urban fights especially like in Stalingrad many german soldiers used small caliber carbines (.22 LR) ... these guns are not noisy and russians couldn't localize the sniper ...

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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 01 Apr 2002 12:52

The tank commander, while standing in his copula, is an often taken target - without the commander, the tank is more or less blind, as the periscopes only offers limited visibility.

For instance, Erich Barkmann (i believe it was) once recieved a reserve Panther which still displayed some blood on the copula from the commander... Not a very nice thing to be reminded of...

Ovidius
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Snipers

Post by Ovidius » 01 Apr 2002 16:53

It depends of what kind of sniper we are talking about.

1. ATR sniper - in this case, the man is supposed to aim and hit those areas of the tank where the armor is thinner than 30mm( grilles over the radiators etc) to provoke a breakdown; a direct hit on a light-medium tank from a heavy ATR( like the Finnish L-39) could penetrate almost any area of the armor, but when dealing with a KV-1 or IS-2, he should do as above;

2. Conventional-rifle sniper - he is supposed to take from one bullet the commander(usually the commanders rode with the cupola opened, to have better visibility);

3. Heavy rifle sniper - a quite unconventional type; the Danish army had used between the wars sidecar-motorcycle troops armed with the 20mm Madsen machine-cannon(scaled-up version of the 8mm Madsen machine-gun). Not being possible to fire the gun while driving, the Danes were trained to camouflage their vehicle and shoot, then change their position, in a sniper-like hit-and-run tactic. During the four hours of combat between the Danish Army and the German one, the Danes lost 13 men, while knocking out 13 German armored cars and 2 PzKpfw I light tanks.

http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/denmark/denmark.html

~Ovidius

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Brian Von Stauffenberg
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Very Interesting Obvidious

Post by Brian Von Stauffenberg » 01 Apr 2002 17:18

Thanks for the good info, i wasnt aware that Denmark actually had combat with Germany allbeit four hours, can you suggest a resource to read more about this?

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David Lehmann
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Post by David Lehmann » 01 Apr 2002 17:24

Very interesting ! I had never heard before about this Nimbus !
thanks.

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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 01 Apr 2002 18:19

You might want to look at this thread:
http://pub28.ezboard.com/fbuildersparad ... =602.topic

It has some info about the Danish fighting, although not much, and the 20mm Madsen. I am not sure I agree with Ovidius that these were in fact sniper 'rifles', as they were apparent to the Germans - they just thought they were normal machine guns, though, and got themselve quite a scare...:)

I think I've written a little something on the topic here and there on the old forum, so you might wanna google around a bit. Otherwise, George Parada has a fine article on http://www.achtungpanzer.com

FP

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