One of the most revolutionary aspects of WWII was the technological evolution of tank warfare. In response to the newly developing tanks, nations started to create, train, and stockpile anti-tank crews, equipped with anti-tank guns. Different anti-tank guns required different crew sizes and position preparation. Here, the 45 mm Model 1937 (53-k) is being manned by a 6-man crew. Anti tank crews adapted to respond to the Nazi blitzkrieg with a focus on breaking up the massed attacks of enemy armor. To do this they would dig several positions from which their gun could fire. This would confuse the enemy while camouflaging and defending crews more effectively. Crews also dug a gun hole and two ammunition holes, one of which would be saved for reserves. Both ammunition holes were covered with logs or poles to protect them from shell and bomb fragments. Additionally, crews were equipped with anti-tank mines which, once the enemy’s oncoming path was confirmed, were placed in advance.
The Model 1937 was the front line of defense and was often supported by heavier artillery, infantry, and occasionally aircraft. These anti-tank guns specialized in combatting light tanks and armored personnel carriers. Although they could damage and destroy heavier armored vehicles, they would have to be placed at a much closer range and were put at a much greater risk while doing so. Because of their high exposure and high mortality rate (especially at the beginning of the war), these crews were given a nickname; “Farewell (forever) Motherland” (Proshai dosvedania Rodina)
Post by Max Chervinsky