History 23/01/20/f How to operate the crew of the downed in battle tank
the Recent controversy between Russian politicians and journalist of the newspaper Die Welt, the “doubters” in the Russian victory in the tank battle at Prokhorovka, once again drew attention to the immortal heroism of the tankers of the red Army. For 4 years in battles with Hitler’s “Tigers” and “Panthers” was lost about 117 thousand Soviet tanks. And the crew, in accordance with the Charter, defended each of armored vehicles to the latest.
“move Off to the side of the road”
Tanks acquired crucial military importance during the years between the First and Second world wars – a time when the Red Army was preparing to fight “oppressors of the working class”. In “field manual armored forces of the red army”, published in 1929, about the tanks, shot down an enemy, not directly stated. Instead, it describes a situation when the tank due to a fault not able to continue in the marching column of the platoon. If this happened, the commander had to show an alarm (red flag) and depart to the edge of the road so as not to disturb the movement. About possible losses in the document the speech also is not, however, mentioned that in the case of the alleged “loss of the tank commander,” his duties shall pass to the driver. Not to mention the somewhat abstract nature of these instructions. Apparently, in 1929, Soviet military leaders imagined the impending war almost a pleasure to walk on the roads of Europe, during which tankers will only make the flowers from “the liberation of the proletariat.”
“to Protect the tank to the last”
the Great Patriotic war taught the Soviet generals to take into account not only the “fault”, but getting into the tanks of enemy shells. In 1944 the personnel seeded a new version of “Fighting of the Charter of the armored and mechanized troops of the red Army.” About possible losses, the document saysSya as follows:
“emergency stop organizing fire cover, to take measures to restore the tank and report this to the platoon commander”.
In the 8th Chapter, specifically dedicated to tanks, it was specified that “if the tank is wrecked or crashed, the crew is obliged to defend it to the last”. It was stipulated that “every fighter from the crew, wounded, need to stretch ourselves and continue the fight.” With the threat of capture by the enemy tank was ordered to fire to the last bullet. It is easy to imagine what drama would unfold for these dry formulations. Sometimes a tank with a good gun into a real dot (long-term fiery point).
that’s What happened, for example, when on March 22, 1943, near Leningrad, the enemy artillery knocked out 5 heavy tank company, commanded by captain Nicholas Belogub. Received under lend-lease the British “Churchill” (Infantry Tank Mk.IV) had a vulnerable caterpillar, however, to penetrate the thick frontal armor of the Nazis failed. Belogub decided to shoot at the enemy while you can. Duel “Churchill” with the German artillery and infantry lasted three days. Company Belogub destroyed 2 bunkers, 3 guns, 3 calculation of anti-tank guns and 1 mortar. In addition, shots from “Churchill” has been undermined by the ammunition depot. 26 Mar brave tank saved converted to Soviet infantry.
“to Bring into complete disrepair”
Returning to the provisions of the Charter of 1944, we can add that he still did not require tankers suicidal courage. If the “crew battle” could not take the emergency tank from the battlefield, were encouraged to resort to using infantry or colleagues from the company. However, other crews had to cover up the wrecked or broken car, if only to restore it required a little time. When the absolute inability to save the tank commander was obliged to withdraw from his crew with machine guns. After that, in accordanceWii with the Charter, should “allow the tank together with the instrument in complete disrepair”. Tank threw grenades, and then he turned into a useless pile of iron. The crew retreated to the rear, where he received command of a new car.
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