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On Far East in 1920-30-ies creates a hefty chaos. China was a quilt, parts of which are at odds with each other. Japan sharpener teeth on the continental territory – it ended full-scale Sino-Japanese War. Gradually in the opposition tried to participate UK, which further complicates the situation. In general, the soil for the use of tanks in the Far East was fertile.

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tanks in these areas could boast mainly the USSR and Japan. The Chinese army was a miserly amount of imported equipment, has no effect on the situation.

Soviet MS-1 tanks were typical infantry support – slow, with anti booking. Appeared a little later than the T-26 with a 45-mm gun proved to be much better as a family car and BT.

On the far eastern theater of war the protagonists were the Soviet and Japanese tanks

Japanese Type 95 light tanks “Ha-Go” weighed seven and a half tons, were armed with 37-mm cannon and machine gun. Booking bulletproof. Chinese troops against their lack of combat power against the Soviet – not really. By 1937, there was a medium tank “Chi-Ha”, which was more powerful, but again, especially by local standards.

Combat use of tanks in the Far East, in most cases resembled a similar pattern “small wars “ in Africa, India and South America. The small size, the main opponents – infantry, cavalry and artillery. From this picture only larger fall of the Soviet-Japanese conflict at Lake Khasan and Khalkhin Goal.

One for all, all for one

The use of tanks in the Far East once again proved that this type of troops needed to clear smooth interaction with other participants in combat: infantry, artillery, cavalry. Without it, the effectiveness of the tanks is very limited. An example of this – the initial phase fighting for the station Chzhalaynor on the Chinese Eastern Railway, where Soviet troops thrown into battle ten MS-1. Initially, November 17, tanks fought alone, and the infantry not too sought their support. The result – the loss rates and the failure of the Soviet offensive in an attempt to break the course of Chinese fortified area.

But on November 18 MS-1 acted platoons of three machines with the active support of the infantry. And it worked: it was thanks to Soviet tanks horse batteries could go to shelters, and pillboxes at a distance of fire at close range, and the infantry – sneak up on them and throw grenades. The result of the fighting in Chzhalaynora eloquent: the Soviet side – lost seven MS-1 (all – only for technical reasons), killing at least 200 people. Chinese lost ten times more personnel and more than eight thousand soldiers and officers were taken prisoner.

An interesting tactic of using tanks in China developed by the Japanese. At the storming of Chinese cities, enclosed by thick walls, tanks were the first by suppressing external protection. While the Japanese infantry appeared on the distance attack tanks of guns fired at close range the defenders on the walls. When the infantry broke through the city, tanks again went ahead and suppressed remnants of resistance. This tactic works because the Chinese have almost nothing to fight tanks. In crossing the rivers and canals tanks played the role of static artillery batteries, firing from their seats. In some cases, they were used to cut the railroad tracks and the pursuit of the retreating enemy.

And flew down samurai …

border conflict in 1938 at Lake Khasan in Primorye and the fighting in 1939 Mongolian Khalkhin Gol was the first time the tanks by taking part in the hostilities, went to the hundreds. Hassan fought on the Soviet side 285 tanks, including the latest BT-7, and Khalkhin- – almost 600.

During the fighting in Khalkhin- 11th Tank Brigade made the throw 750 kilometers across the steppe with a minimum of damage

Fighting at Lake Khasan Japanese themselves considered “reconnaissance in force” – they wanted to test the readiness of the Soviet Union to intervene in the Sino-Japanese War and evaluate the combat capability of the Red Army. By several infantry battalions, supported by a small number of artillery they end in July 1938 took the important border height Nameless and Zaozerne. After several days of intense fighting, the hills were repulsed.

After the collision, the commanders wrote in a report on the need for a thorough exploration and reconnaissance of the area, which had to fight tanks. Hassan neglect of this has led to the fact that the Soviet T-26 and BT-7, moving on a narrow strip between the hills and getting stuck in the marshes, carrying serious casualties. Again noted the weak interaction tanks with other troops.

The conflict in Khalkhin- began with the fact that Japan controlled by the state of Manchukuo put forward territorial claims to Mongolia. Soon this tension escalated into armed clashes that lasted several months.

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Before Khalkhyn Naked in the Red Army was a year of work on the bugs. Unfortunately, experience has shown that the Russian proverb “Measure twice, cut once” has been forgotten by many commanders who sought to attack as soon as possible. Experience in conjunction action of tanks, infantry and artillery as a whole again had to comprehend in battle.

But during the conflict in Khalkhin Gol fully confirmed the theory that the tank units are perfectly adapted for mobile fighting. The Soviet 11th Tank Brigade in the BT-7 has made many kilometers throw in the wilderness, to attack the enemy on the run. In this roll loss techniques from technical faults were minimal. Tanks, especially flamethrower, were simply irreplaceable in the suppression of firing points. In the end it all ended with a victory over the Soviet Union.

The success of the Red Army in the Far East have been difficult to achieve cost. But they again gave the experience and thought-provoking. And most importantly – two victories over Japan were very strong argument for the rising sun to not get involved in a major war between Germany and the Soviet Union, which is already visible on the horizon.

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The authors of the text – Eugene Belas and Vladimir Pinaev

Sources:

  1. RSMA, f . 32113, op. 1, d. 240.
  2. TM E 30-480 Handbook On Japanese Military Forces 1944-10-01.
  3. E. Belas Tanks of the interwar period. M .: Tactical Press, 2014.

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