Tank Notes — Use of Tanks in Germany.
Military Notes on Training and Instruction, No. 1, U.S. Army, August 1918 (From French Military Advisory Mission Bulletin).
The Germans are said to have stopped the tanks at Cambrai in the following way: The rifle and artillery fire compelled the infantry waves to remain in place; the advancing tanks were easily attacked with grenades (concentrated charges) and with small arms (S. R. M. bullets), once they were cut off, batteries also took part in their destruction.
As a result of this experience the Germans are said to have drawn the following conclusions on the subject of the organization and use of their tanks:
1. Necessity of having more rapid tanks (a good many sources indicate speeds averaging 8 kilometers on hilly ground).
2. The tanks advance in quincunxes, in zig-zags.
3. The tanks are protected in the front and on the flanks by the infantry sturmtrupps marching on each side at 150 to 200 meter intervals.
4. For training purposes there is a "Tankschule" in Germany and also vast manoeuvering grounds, one of which is in the neighborhood of Montmedy.
The tank is torpedo shaped. It weighs 10 tons and measures about 8 meters in length, 3 meters in width and about 2.5 meters in height. It resembles the British tanks, except in the matter of "bandages." The tank was completely protected by armored plating. The loop holes could be closed by means of shutters which, according to the prisoners, hermetically seal the openings against gas. The tank can turn rather easily.
(a) A rapid fire 5 cm. gun, on a pivot, with a periscopic sight. The gun has an angle of elevation of 60 degrees. An illuminating shell, which lights up the terrain in front for three minutes, is said to be used for night action. The gun also fires gas shells.
(b) Four machine guns, one on each side, one in the front and one in the rear. The two last have an angle of elevation of 50 degrees.
(c) Flame projectors, to be used in place of the machine guns in case of an obstinate resistance. The flame was projected a distance of 60 meters. It was produced by a mixture of tar and an exceedingly inflammable matter called "carbolineum," expelled by oxygen under high pressure.
The 8-cylinder 250 horsepower engine was mounted in an interior compartment. A light producing dynamo was driven by the closed engine. The tank is said to be capable of 15 km. (?) per hour on flat terrain.
The personnel of a tank includes 2 drivers, 2 gunners, 4 machine gunners and 2 extra men, all under the orders of a junior engineer officer. The personnel all wear fire-proof clothing.