21.Pz div combat experiences

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Aida1
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21.Pz div combat experiences

Post by Aida1 » 11 Oct 2022 08:35

" NARA T 315 ROLL 768
21.Pz div Abt I a Div. command post 05/08/1942
Reference: telegraphic message DAK /Ia 30.07 09.30
Concerns: combat experiences

To the DAK

I. Enemy tactic and combat method
1)The basing on fortified positions, strongholds or minefields and terrain obstacles has been aimed at much more by the enemy in the current operation than in the fall and spring fighting. In the attack the enemy infantry came forward massed. The attack was supported by strong artillery. Increasingly firing smoke was used. This smoke was used for the covered approach, to feign attack intentions as for pure deception purposes.New smoke shells-shells which leave behind a 3-400 m smoke trail are used to designate targets and registering fire.
The artillery support of enemy tank attacks, which stops immediately after the breakthrough, is conspicuously bad.
Lately an increased tendency for night attacks was recognised. In these the destruction respectively suppression of enemy artillery by use of the air force with flares and dropped incendiary bombs was observed."

to be continued
Last edited by Aida1 on 11 Oct 2022 13:24, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 21.Pz div combat experiences

Post by Aida1 » 11 Oct 2022 13:22

" 2) Defense
The backbone of the enemy defense is the artillery in which the enemy does LESS use high numbers but rather very high quantities of ammunition. Conspicious is the use of the maximum range with the obvious aim of keeping outside the range of enemy artillery. In the defense smoke is also used to disorder the enemy attack units or to disguise the own breaking away from the enemy.
The enemy fire discipline is outstanding which also proves itself in the most critical situations.

II. Own tactics and combat method

1)The experiences of the last attacks show that- particularly with the tendency of the enemy to fight in strongpoints, behind terrain obstacles and minefields- sufficient time must be given to prepare the attack. Because of the lack of sufficient artilleristic means of reconnaissance the artillery needs at least half a day of previous observation time in such cases.
The choice of the time for the attack must result from exclusively tactical viewpoints. In this must be included in the calculation whether the deployment area allows a covered deployment or a laying down in the deployment during the times that are favourable for enemy observation, repectively whether the time of day allows an exploitation of a beginning success at all .
Concerning the practicality of mounting infantry on the tanks a definitive judgment cannot be made yet in the desert.

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Re: 21.Pz div combat experiences

Post by Aida1 » 11 Oct 2022 17:30

2) Defense
In the face of the lately appeared high use of ammo by the enemy, it seems advisable to keep the defensive forces mobile if possible to avoid the shattering of personnel and material in fixed positions. In the defense behind minefields, the strength of the troops that occupy the positions must be calculated so that the enemy is prevented from making lanes in the minefield ,respectively removing the mine obstacles .

III. Enemy use of tanks
A concentrated use of strong enemy tank forces was only observed during the breakthrough attempt on 22/07. However the enemy command seems not yet able to command bigger tank units flexible and fast. Generaly, the opponent loves to divide up his armored forces.
In the defense the opponent aims at using his tanks in a defense line that if possible is widely outflanking.
In both types of combat the aim to outflank is always recognisable.
Conspicious is the far fewer appearing of types Mk IV,V and VI. This shows the aim to conduct the firefight on the higher firing ranges made possible by the 7,5 cm guns of the american tanks. The use of reverse slope positions by enemy tanks must be described as very good.

IV.Own use of tanks
The principles of the command of tanks have proven themselves."

to be continued

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Re: 21.Pz div combat experiences

Post by Aida1 » 12 Oct 2022 08:34

" V General questions of desert combat
In the desert the lack of reconnaissance means is a complication. Again and again it is to be emphasized that division and corps need in the big desert areas to dispose of an air reconnaissance that immediately reports and steers movements. The actual improvised reconnaissance means are too weak or slow compared to the superior reconnaissance forces of the enemy.

VI. Modifications and proposals for improvement

a) infantrty
It seems necessary to give the infantry means to combat tanks(molotov cocktails, adhesive charges,pole charges,..)

b)tanks

Because of the higher caliber of enemy antitank weapons, an increase of own armor is desirable.
Because in the future one needs to count with the appearance of mostly stronger american tanks, a change to Panzer IV with long barrels is desirable.
The lack of Nebelwerfer or of a sufficiently effective smoke shell has made itself very noticeable.
The reconnaissance means of the PzRgt (pz II)are not fast enough.

c)artillery

The artillery reconnaissance means are insufficient in the large areas. Particularly disturbing is the lack of artillery aircraft.

d)engineers

In the engineer btln an autonomous signals platoon has to be demanded to command the enginer btln which is deployed over a very large area.
The lack of a light engineer column is noticeable, from which the most urgent needs in engineer means and mines could be covered."

concluded

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