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The German Motorized Infantry Regiment
Military Intelligence Service, Special Series No. 4, October 17, 1942
[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from a WWII U.S. War Department Special Series publication. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]

Section IX. ATTACK


90. The main aim of the commander must always be to utilize armor and speed to deliver surprise blows against the enemy flanks and rear, and to penetrate known weak points in the enemy line.

91. The commander must be able to meet a changed situation quickly by throwing in a mobile reserve. Such a reserve can quickly restore mobility to dismounted troops held up by strong enemy resistance. The armored carriers approach as close as possible and transport the troops to another point.

92. The heavy weapons on self-propelled mounts must be handled with the same flexibility so that concentrated fire can be built up rapidly and transferred.

93. The mobility and cross-country performance of units allow the regimental commander to use the battalions for an attack delivered from the column of march, little time being lost in waiting for the rear battalions to move up.

94. When motorized infantry attack in collaboration with tank units, their tasks, the objectives,the nature of the cooperation, and, above all, the degree of mutual support will be laid down by a higher commander. He decides whether the motorized infantry will clear a way for the tanks, support them by simultaneous attack, or follow them to exploit their success.


95. The object of attacking without previous deployment is to seize quickly and by surprise terrain features of decisive importance for the attack. As armored personnel carriers are particularly suited for this work, this is essentially a task for the motorized infantry of the armored division. Rapid and determined onslaught is the basis of success.

96. Unless otherwise ordered, the attack will be carried out on vehicles. Dismounting takes place when no further advance is possible. The decision to fight on vehicles or on foot is as a rule left to the company commander. When it appears impracticable to continue fighting on vehicles, a resourceful commander will always look around for the possibility of continuing the attack on vehicles at another point.

97. In attacking on vehicles, the heavy weapons on self-propelled mounts must follow close behind so that they can quickly support the attack.

98. For protection against enemy tanks, the antitank guns in the battalions will generally be attached to the forward companies. Attached antitank units will usually be held behind the flanks, in order to exploit fully their speed and mobility in surprise thrusts against enemy tanks.

99. When battalions attack an objective from different directions, or attack separate objectives, the weapons (heavy infantry cannon, antitank guns, engineers) that they require for their separate operations will be placed at their disposal. The same principle applies to companies attacking separately.

100. In close country, motorized infantry companies will have attached to them heavy mortars and antitank guns. The two machine-gun platoons of the machine-gun company, and the gun platoon of the heavy weapons company, will cover the attack of the advancing infantry companies. It is convenient to put the machine-gun company commander in charge of the heavy weapons unless these are attached to the companies. The engineer platoon follows the attacking motorized-infantry companies on vehicles. When obstacles are likely to be encountered, engineers will be attached to the forward companies.

101. The regimental or battalion commander must issue orders sufficiently in advance, in order to insure cooperation with supporting arms. Responsibility for command must be clearly stated.

102. Commanders of weapons attached or in support (artillery, engineers, antitank units) will move well forward during the attack in armored personnel carriers—unless they have their own armored carriers—so that they will always be near the commander. The same applies to forward observers if they have no armored observation cars at their disposal.

103. The most important task of battle reconnaissance is the timely location of enemy antitank weapons and obstacles, especially mines.

104. A regiment or battalion is organized for a mounted attack according to the principles laid down for deployment. The battalion commander travels sufficiently well forward to have a good view of the battlefield and to retain an influence on the use of the heavy weapons. Any other organization is permissible if it increases the battalion fire power.

105. The frontage adopted by a dismounted motorized infantry battalion in the attack is frequently identical with that adopted in deployment.

106. Motorized infantry attacking in vehicles must take every advantage of cover afforded by the terrain and of fire positions on reverse slopes.

107. In attacks which are not preceded by deployment, fragmentary orders are the rule. These should contain:

(a) Enemy situation;

(b) Own decision;

(c) Objective;

(d) Task of formation or unit;

(e) Organization for attack.

108. In mounted attacks, it will often be necessary shortly before the enemy is engaged to regain the battle formation that has been lost in moving over difficult ground. This will be carried out behind the last available cover. Speed must be temporarily reduced, or a short halt made.

109. After a breakthrough, rapid and extensive battle reconnaissance is important, especially on the open flanks.

110. An attack on foot must be carried out according to the principles of H. Dv. 130/9 "Infantry Tactics." When to dismount and what units are to dismount must be decided according to the principles given in paragraphs 85-89.


111. If the enemy has time to make preparations for action and the ground is such as to preclude a mounted attack, the motorized infantry will be assembled for attack. The assembly order is usually given by a higher commander.

112. As far as possible the motorized infantry units should be moved up in vehicles to the assembly position. Their armor and cross-country performance make it possible to assemble close to the enemy. If the ground, or enemy fire, does not allow this, or if surprise is aimed at, a line can be laid down beyond which the vehicles may not go.

113. The armored personnel carriers remain, as a rule, in the assembly positions. If the troops are dismounted beforehand, the vehicles usually remain where the troops dismount.

Often the regimental commander must allot motor parks for the vehicles in order to prevent concentration of vehicles and interference with the movements of other units, especially tank units.

The tasks of the motor officer, and the procedure for organic transportation, are laid down in Section XV.

114. Surprise can be achieved by moving into the assembly positions at dusk or in darkness.

115. Commanders will send out, sufficiently in advance, parties under command of an officer to reconnoiter the ground and enable the troops to assemble in their allotted positions in the minimum time.

116. The order to the reconnaissance patrol must contain:

(a) Enemy situation;

(b) Intended line of action;

(c) Intended assembly positions and approaches;

(d) Definition of the line which must not be crossed by vehicles;

(e) Moment at which troops will move into the assembly position.

117. Unless protection is taken over by other forces, assembly positions must be protected against enemy reconnaissance and surprise attack by means of outposts. Above all, provision must be made for defense.

118. All the preparations required for the conduct of the attack will be made in the assembly position. These are:

(a) Detailed reconnaissance of the ground over which the attack is to be made;

(b) Removal of artificial and natural obstacles in and immediately in front of the assembly positions;

(c) Acquisition, by means of battle reconnaissance, of all data required for the conduct of the attack;

(d) Establishment of contact with the commanders of the supporting and accompanying weapons;

(e) Establishment of contact with any commanders of units who are already in contact with the enemy in the zone of attack.

Information gained from reconnaissance by all arms concerning terrain, enemy centers of resistance, and especially the position of antitank weapons and artillery, must be fully utilized.

119. Company commanders and as many subordinate commanders as possible should be personally shown over the ground, providing this does not betray the plan.

120. To prevent the enemy from getting a warning of an impending attack from radio traffic, radio silence will be observed within the regiment in the assembly position.

121. As a rule, a mobile reserve will be kept. The commanders of this reserve will reconnoiter approaches, and will hold their forces in readiness so that they can be quickly utilized. The location of the reserve depends upon the ground, the enemy's fire, and the intended tactics.

122. The launching of an attack on foot, the penetration of the enemy position, and the subsequent fighting are carried out in accordance with the principles given in H. Dv. 130/9.

123. As soon as the enemy antitank defense has been crushed, the battalion commander orders vehicles to move up. The attack is continued until the vehicles arrive. Unarmored motorized infantry will bring up their vehicles only when the enemy fire allows.

124. When motorized infantry follow tank units, they usually assemble behind the tanks, mounted on their vehicles. The motorized infantry should move out of their assembly position in the formation in which they are to follow the tank attack. If the ground does not allow this, a short halt must be made after they have left the assembly position.


125. When motorized infantry units have to clear a way for tanks through obstructed country, they attack on foot in advance of the tanks. Their object is, by constant concentration of their forces, to force a breach rapidly in the enemy main line of resistance and make lanes for the tanks. Engineers will be placed under command of the forward attacking companies.

The first objective is the far side of the tankproof ground. When this is reached, the motorized infantry must push on to keep the exits open for the following tanks.

126. If motorized infantry and tanks have to attack simultaneously, the task of the infantry is to produce the maximum fire power of all weapons at the decisive moment by adopting a broad attacking formation. The main concentration of fire will be on the antitank weapons, to allow the tanks to gain ground quickly. Before the enemy position is assaulted, natural and artificial obstacles to the front will be cleared. The assistance of engineers will usually be necessary for this task.

The attack is carried out on foot. After the enemy has been disabled by the fire of the tanks, the motorized infantry will assault the enemy position. Mobile reserves on vehicles will be held ready to follow up and exploit rapidly a successful tank attack.

If the motorized infantry units have orders to follow the tanks on foot and to break through the enemy position immediately behind the tanks, they must take advantage of the disablement of the enemy, caused by the fire from the tanks, to make a determined assault. The same applies when tanks are sent through motorized infantry to help in their advance. Infantry units utilize the time before the tank attack to prepare themselves for the common battle.

The fire of all weapons must support the tanks by concentrating on the enemy antitank weapons.

While the tanks engage the enemy's attention, commanders of all ranks must spur their men forward for the assault. Some of the heavy weapons (especially those on self-propelled mountings) and armored carriers, join the tanks and move forward rapidly to alternative positions.

When, in collaboration with the tanks, the enemy antitank weapons have been accounted for, mobile reserves of motorized infantry advance, keeping in close contact with the tanks. The vehicles of the dismounted troops are moved up. Every unit entrucks on the battlefield and follows the tanks independently.

127. If tanks are put under command of motorized infantry to prevent an enemy recovery or to destroy particularly troublesome pockets of resistance, they must only be employed en masse; their offensive power must not be split up. They will clear the way for the infantry by short advances with limited objectives and in close cooperation with the infantry.

128. If the ground favors an attack by tanks and if no tank obstacles have been detected inside the enemy main line of resistance, the task of the motorized infantry units will usually be to follow the tank attack. They will remain on vehicles behind the tanks so that they can quickly exploit the success of the tanks. Narrow and deep formations, will be the rule, in order to avoid as far as possible the effects of enemy artillery fire and to retain a mobile reserve in rear of the foremost units.

Pockets of resistance and defense areas which the tanks have not reduced will be dealt with as encountered. For this, dismounting may be necessary. The remaining infantry will continue to follow up the tank attack in their vehicles. Contact with the tanks must never be lost.

Antitank troops will, as a rule, be used for the protection of an open flank.

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