Cooperation of Infantry with Tanks.
Instructions Issued by German General Staff.
Military Notes on Training and Instruction, No. 1, U.S. Army, August 1918
(Translation of a German order).
I. The task of the tanks is similar to that of the artillery accompanying the infantry, and comprises :
(a) The engagement of hostile supporting points, machine guns and centres of resistance.
(b) The support of the infantry during hostile counter attacks.
II. One of the deciding factors to ensure success is a prompt exploiting on the part of the infantry of the effect produced by the tanks.
The position of the infantry, whether preceding, in line with, or in the rear of the tanks, will depend on the tactical situation.
For attacks with short objectives, the infantry and tanks will advance in close touch with one another. In the case of distant objectives, the speed of the tank prevents it from keeping pace with the infantry. This temporary delay must not cause the infantry to stop; it must continue to carry out its task with all possible rapidity, irrespective of the progress made by the tanks. Should the infantry be held up in front of a strong point, the tanks will immediately pass through the line of the infantry and will work their way forward to attack and destroy the point of resistance.
Positions which the artillery may not have been able to engage, for example, machine gun nests situated on reverse slopes or which have not been previously located (flanking emplacements which are suddenly encountered), must be put out of action by the prompt intervention of tanks. The infantry must follow immediately in rear of the latter; tanks themselves cannot maintain possession of a captured position.
For defence against counter attacks, the tanks will dash forward from the positions they occupy at the moment the counter attack is launched and will make for the parties of the enemy which may have succeeded in penetrating our lines. This is the best method of securing co-operation by the tanks in counter measures carried out by our infantry.
It is very important that infantry and tanks should maintain close touch and that their respective commanders should personally confer together during the battle.
The tank crew, if their tank is put out of action, will take part in the attack as an assault detachment, making use of their machine guns and carbines.