As a rule German tanks employ smoke shells to achieve surprise, to conceal a
change of direction, and to cover their withdrawal. The shells normally are fired
to land about 100 yards in front of an Allied force. There are no reports to indicate
that smoke shells are used in range estimation.
In attacking a village, German tanks fire smoke shells to lay a screen around the
village in an effort to confuse the defenders as to the direction of the attack.
Smoke shells always are used to conceal a change of direction of the attack, the
wind permitting. When a German tank company (22 tanks) wishes to change direction, smoke
shells are fired only by one platoon. With the fire tanks of a platoon firing three
shells each, the total of 15 shells is said to provide enough smoke to cover the
movement of the entire company.
If a German tank force knows the exact location of an antitank-gun position, it uses
both smoke shells and high-explosive shells. If the force does not know the exact
location, only smoke shells are used. When a single tank runs into an antitank
position, it likewise fires only smoke shells, usually two or three rounds, to
cover its movements.
Smoke shells are fired from the 75-mm guns of the Pz. Kpfw. IV's , and also, it is
reported, from 88-mm guns on other armored vehicles. Smoke shells are not
fired by the Pz. Kpfw. II  or the Pz. Kpfw. III , both of which are equipped to
discharge "smoke pots" with a range of approximately 50 yards. These pots are released
electrically, and are employed chiefly to permit the tank to escape when caught by
1 Henceforth the Intelligence Bulletin will designate the German tank
(Panzer Kampfwagen) series by the abbreviation Pz. Kpfw. followed by a
roman numeral indicating the model. This is done to conform with German Army practice.
2 Obsolete as a combat tank.
3 Rapidly becoming obsolete as a combat tank.