An eye-witness recently returned from Russia gives the following
information as to how the Germans protect their lines of communication. There
are three lines of defense on either side of the road or railway to be defended, viz:
The First Line--This is situated approximately 10 miles from the road or railway
and consists of wire with occasional machine-gun posts, and is only intended
to give warning and delay infantry.
The Second Line--The defense areas in this line, which is about 2 miles behind
the wire, are dzots or timber-reenforced, dug-in earthworks, containing heavy
machine guns, mortars and light artillery and antitank guns. They are invariably
arranged for all-around defense. These dzots are normally sited on road forks,
cross roads, or in farm yards.
The Third Line--This, too, is based on dzots and is normally found about two
miles from the road or railway to be protected. Here there are two or three
rows of dzots centered on a village and inter-connected by shallow trenches.
They are in radio or wire communication with each other and have, within the
perimeter, artillery and a mobile force of light tanks and infantry, carrying
automatic rifles. Tanks that have been knocked out are also dug in to turret
level to form strongpoints.
Between the second and third lines, the terrain is mined and antitank obstacles
are constructed. These, where possible, are covered by antitank guns.
Comment: Defense of lines of communication assumes added importance
when it is realized that there is no well-defined line in Russia, and parties from both
sides operate as far as 20 miles behind each other's forward positions.