Thursday, 30 January 2014

Penetrating French Tanks

"Land forces high command
November 11th, 1939

Army Group A: 2000 copies
Army Group B: 2000 copies
Army Group C: 1000 copies
Reserve command: 1000 copies

Tests of a captured French heavy tank showed that, despite 40 mm of sturdy armour, it can be easily penetrated by our anti-tank guns. This is explained by the fact that the upper part of the hull and the turret are made of cast armour, and only the sides of the hull of rolled armour.

Tests indicate that penetration may be achieved:

  1. By shooting at the front and observation slits:
    1. Anti-tank rifle model 1938: 0-100 meters
    2. 20 mm AP shell: 0-100 meters
    3. 37 mm AP shell: 0-700 meters
  2. Side armour (40 mm rolled steel)
    1. Anti-tank rifle model 1938: 0-100 meters
    2. 20 mm AP shell: 0-100 meters
    3. 37 mm AP shell: 0-350 meters
  3. Turret side (45 mm cast steel)
    1. Anti-tank rifle model 1938: 0-100 meters
    2. 20 mm AP shell: 0-100 meters
    3. 37 mm AP shell: 0-350 meters
Fire at the observation slit covers is most effective. They were penetrated and knocked out with a 37 mm gun at 700 meters. 

The enclosed diagram shows the effectiveness of the anti-tank guns of one infantry regiment. The effects of splashing lead from mounted machineguns firing heavy sharp-tipped bullets is described.

Since penetration decreases significantly with distance, choosing your engagement distance correctly is decisive in battle. Opening fire too early leads to a gun's discovery, which decreases its combat value.

By the order of (signature illegible)

Translated by Technician-Intendant 1st grade, Rosumova

Captured in the region of the Vysokoye village, 52 km north of West Livna.
April 23rd, 1942"

By the date (the Germans were in Poland at the time) and assessment of "French heavy tank", Yuri Pasholok estimates that the tank in question is a Renault R-35. However, there is no explanation why a German unit in the USSR in 1942 needs an instruction for fighting an obsolete French tank.

1 comment:

  1. 10.6 ton R-35 is a heavy tank?

    ReplyDelete