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Old June 21st, 2018, 06:21 AM
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Default Re: Swedish data on British crews and tanks

Originally Posted by Wdll View Post
First I want to ask something about Swedish tactics and the 103. It says more than once that Swedish tank tactics were of a very aggressive moves, especially to isolate smaller/weaker units, etc. Was that something that they came up with before or after the 103 entered their army? I am finding it difficult to comprehend, how that tactic would work with a tank/tank destroyer, without a turret. As far as I know the tank was created/designed to use hull down positions, shoot/ambush the incoming Soviet forces and retreat when necessary. How did they hope to use it so aggressively I can't understand.

This is my own opinion, so take it with a grain of salt.

In general, Swedes seem to emphasize combined arms at all levels (even in the game, they are one of the few armies that has integrated infantry at company level without any cross attachment) of units. That means infantry is probably well trained in fighting together with the tanks and can be used when the situation demands it. When attacking a tank platoon in a restricted area, it will be the infantry that will be more dangerous to enemy tanks, since it is hard to spot, and a well-placed LAW side hit will be sufficient to deal with them. 103s will not attack the enemy directly, but will try to find the best terrain in which they can engage the armor as it withdraws, or deal with any potential counterattacks.

In addition to that, it says in the article that Swedes emphasized getting local odds and defeating the enemy quickly. That means that probably they were routinely able to quickly mass a company against a single defending platoon (or even less), attack from unexpected directions and overwhelm them. Rinse and repeat as needed. This was made easier by the fact that the British spread their platoons far more than the terrain demanded. Also, emphasis on the quickly assemble part; if they took too long in this step, they would be spotted and get their teeth knocked off by artillery.

So the (ideal) attack would go on like this: A British tank platoon with an infantry section attached would suddenly come under mortar barrage with HE and smoke rounds. Very soon, an infantry force at least 3 times their size supported by armor from good positions would attack from unexpected directions. Due to casualties and being completely surprised, the surviving British forces would withdraw...only to get whacked by 103s that were on this ridgeline to their flank. The whole thing will be over very fast. The attackers dig in and get ready to repel any counterattacks.

Here's what the source itself claims:

"These passages (particularly 1:28) should be enough to give at least an overview of the Swedish doctrine: focusing fire (both tank gun and artillery fire) from good positions and concentrating forces in small areas were seen as crucial components of success. Contrary to what you might think, Swedish armor officers were doctrinally very aggressive and taught to attack in almost every situation to gain and retain initiative. Concentration of force and especially of fire was seen as absolutely essential on all levels, and the observers complain a lot about how the Brits don’t do this, or don’t do it enough (the wide deployments usually prevent focusing fire within the platoon)."
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