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Soviet Direct-Fire Artillery
The Red Army’s Doubled Lethality
252 pages; 22 chapters and 5 appendixes
An often-overlooked aspect of the Red Army’s exploits on the
Eastern Front in World War II is the real story about Soviet artillery
leadership. Soviet Direct-Fire Artillery is a unique e-book that
describes how the Red Army was first forced to use direct fire artillery
against German panzers, and then discovered the high rate of kills per
direct fire artillery salvo. Then it dawned on the reds that
Soviet direct-fire artillery should be an integral part of their
combined arms mix. Since the Soviets had literally thousands of
artillery battalions, they began to use a high percentage as
Soviet direct-fire artillery in breakthroughs, city fighting and the antitank role. Of course the American and British
Armies, burdened with fat, bureaucratic and bubble-brained political generals, never caught on to direct fire artillery.
They just gave it lip service like they do so many things that sound good, but Western military amateurs cannot handle.
Soviet Direct-Fire Artillery is simultaneously a historic report, a how-to book, and a distillation of cunning artillery
tactics which increase the mass of enemy dead.
“The Soviets were not prepared for the German invasion of the USSR in June 1941, because they were busy staging
and moving forward huge attack army groups. Those Soviet army groups (fronts) were moving to invade Germany
and Western Europe according to plans finalized in 1940.
Germany’s pre-emptive strike hit the commies just as their second echelon attack army groups had moved into
position. The sudden combination of the surprise of the attack and the mind-blowing power of the German panzer
formations caused the reds to reel in panic and confusion. There is no doubt that the Soviets fought in the first
months of the war at a great disadvantage when their own attack concentrations near the German border were
disrupted so grievously. In this situation the Soviet troops had to delay and defend against the German tanks by any
Soon the reds’ found that their primary antitank means was the engagement of German tanks with direct artillery fire.
The reds already realized that no tank of any kind can withstand the power of a huge artillery round. Now they
discovered that point-blank artillery fire over open sights was more lethal than vulnerable. Then the Soviet Supreme
High Command required all Red Army artillery units to be prepared to use direct fire along likely German tank
avenues of approach.”
Excerpt from Soviet Direct-Fire Artillery
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