Question about the Distribution of Heavy Equipment

German Heer 1935-1945.

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Question about the Distribution of Heavy Equipment

Post by Werner_Adler » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:51 pm

Each German regiment can operate independently, meaning it has a counter to every form of hostile action. For example, an infantry regiment has, in addition to small arms, FlaK units to counter enemy aircraft and PaK units to counter armored vehicles.

According to this document prepared by Nafziger from CGSC, a German panzergrenadier(mechanized infantry) regiment has a total of 9 AT guns and 12 AA guns at full strength. Considering a typical regiment at full strength can number more than a thousand soldiers, how would these support weapons be spaced throughout the front line that an entire regiment occupies?

Are all of these support weapons placed only at crucial locations like bridge crossings, headquarters, and etc? While small arms fire defends the rest of the line?

Regarding AT guns,
When an enemy attacks with armored vehicles, would panzerfausts and panzerschrecks be the first line of defense? Would the battalion or regimental command deploy AT units only when an enemy breakthrough occurs?

I know the terrain can nullify the risk of an enemy armored attack at some points of the line, but combat in Russia occurred often in the wide open steppe.

These are the answers I have considered, but I would like to consult some experts.

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Re: Question about the Distribution of Heavy Equipment

Post by John W. Howard » Sun Oct 16, 2016 2:05 pm

Hello Werner:
I am hardly an expert but I would imagine there was not a
set formula on how or where to place AT and AA guns. Usually the placement of support weapons is designed to cover likely areas of approach for attacking enemy forces. Even though on the plains of Russia the terrain was mostly flat, there would be gullies and a subtle rolling of the land. I would imagine that the regimental headquarters would be well protected from air attack, as would the anti-tank guns. AT guns and machine-guns would be sure to cover likely areas of approach of enemy armor and infantry. How to set up and design one's defenses and placement of support weapons was a critical art for ensuring a regiment's survival, and therefore the responsibility of every officer and NCO in the regiment. The first line of defense against enemy tanks would probably be the AT guns, any self-propelled guns assigned to the regiment, or artillery; then it would be up to the landsers and their hand-held weapons. I hope this helps!! Best wishes.
John W. Howard

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