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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.]



151. An attack against a fortified position is carried out according to the principles laid down in "Infantry Training" and in the pamphlet "Attack against a fortified front."

152. Mobile elements consisting of assault detachments in armored carriers should be kept in reserve to press on quickly through gaps or lanes, and to attack the emplacements from behind.

153. Reconnaissance of artificial and natural obstacles well inside the enemy's lines is of particular importance in safeguarding against the premature use of infantry in vehicles.

154. Frequently single tanks and heavy antitank weapons are attached to motorized infantry, chiefly for use against concrete emplacements.

155. Cooperation with the supporting arms, artillery, and aircraft, must be insured by consultation with the commanders of these arms. On the basis of this consultation, the battalion commander allots tasks and informs the other arms of his requirements: the use of smoke and neutralizing fire against emplacements on the flank or further in rear, and the destruction of the enemy holding intermediate positions and of particularly troublesome pockets of resistance.


156. Attacks across rivers can often be avoided by forcing a crossing by a sudden and unexpected movement or by seizing a bridge. A sudden and unexpected movement relies upon surprise for its success.

157. Bold and resourceful action must be taken to gain possession of several crossings at the same time. Success is frequently achieved more quickly at less important crossings than at the main crossings, which are usually more strongly defended.

158. An opposed river crossing will be carried out by motorized infantry in accordance with the principles contained in "Infantry Training."

159. Immediately behind the first wave the heavy weapons, especially antitank guns, will be moved across.

160. Heavy weapons on self-propelled mounts and on armored personnel carriers, and also any single attached tanks, will support the attack by mobile fire from the near bank.

161. Crossing places will be kept clear of vehicles. Motor columns will cross when a bridge has been completed. A dispersion line will be laid down by the higher command, who will also appoint a regulating officer to control the order in which troops are to cross. The regulating officer must be given his instructions sufficiently in advance.

162. Small streams are bridged by track bridge equipment carried in the units.


163. The difficulty of keeping units together in darkness and in fog compels organization in depth and the closing up of intervals. Messengers will maintain communication between units.

Heavy weapons, particularly antitank units, will be placed well forward to guard against sudden contact with enemy antitank defense.

164. At night and in fog, the enemy will be attacked from one direction only, in order to prevent fighting between one's own troops.

165. As a rule, the attack will be conducted dismounted and along roads, water courses, and ridges which may be used as landmarks. Mounted detachments may be used in the attack to give support from their vehicles.

166. The advance in deployed order and the attack will be carried out in bounds.


167. The motorized infantry units are mainly responsible for clearing villages which lie in the path of an attack by the armored division. Engineers armed with explosives and flame throwers can give valuable support. Heavy weapons, single cannon, and attached tanks facilitate the task of the infantry.

168. While the enemy is held by a frontal attack from a weak force, or is pinned down by fire, detachments, mounted if possible, outflank the village in order to break the enemy resistance by an attack from the flank or from the rear.

169. A village may be attacked frontally only if the tactical situation or the terrain makes outflanking impossible.

170. Cooperation between the heavy weapons and artillery and the forces attacking frontally or from the flanks will be insured by the commander of the unit. Fire will be directed against the outskirts of the village, and the enemy will be blinded frontally and on the flanks by smoke and subjected to annihilating fire at the point chosen for attack. The use of incendiary ammunition against buildings frequently produces decisive results.

171. Attack from an unexpected direction, carried out with speed and supported by concentrated fire from all weapons against the point of attack, leaves the enemy no time to reorganize his defense. By these tactics enemy resistance in villages can be broken quickly.

172. When an attack is made against a town, the infantry must be organized for street fighting. As a rule, a massed company with attached heavy weapons will be employed to deal with a row of houses. For fighting in built-up areas, the battalion must be organized in depth. It may be necessary to use a battalion with attached troops along a single street.

173. Attached engineers and the engineer platoons will be used for removing obstacles and making breaches. They will be attached to the leading companies. Attached flame-thrower sections are especially suited for mopping up houses and hiding places and for setting fire to villages.

174. Enemy counterattacks from side streets will be held by fire until they can be broken up by fresh forces.

175. The battalion commander will enter the town with his leading company and will use the companies following in rear as the situation requires. After forcing their way through the town the troops will be reformed and the houses cleared of the enemy unless this task is taken over by the following forces.

176. After removing obstacles the dismounted infantry will return to their armored transport vehicles so that they may regain quickly their mobility. In the case of infantry with unarmored vehicles, this must not be done until there is no further danger from enemy fire.


177. Woods and mountains restrict movement. The advance will therefore be made in depth along roads and tracks. The practicability and width of forest tracks must be reconnoitered in advance. Study of maps alone is not enough as forest tracks change frequently.

Attacks through woods and mountains will also be carried out along the roads on narrow fronts and in depth. Mutual support by attacking groups is usually not possible. The commander must allow for this by attaching heavy weapons to units.

178. Engineers and heavy weapons will be placed well forward and will be attached early to the leading companies.

179. The motorized infantry units usually dismount for attack. Single machine guns and heavy weapons support the attack from the armored transport vehicles.

* See FM 17-20, par. 54.

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