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Tank destroyer doctrine US.pdf


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FORE WORD
In the seventy years that have passed since the tank first appeared, antitank combat has presented one of the greatest chalfenges in land warfare. Dramatic improvements
in tank technology
and doctrine over the years have precipitated equally innovative developments
in the antitank field.
One cycle in this ongoing arms race occurred during the early years of World War II when the
U.S. Army sought desperately to find an antidote to the vaunted German blitzkrieg. Against the
frenzied background of global war, a small group of professional officers devised the tank destroyer
as the Army’s answer to the tank.
This Leavenworth
Paper analyzes the origins of the tank destroyer concept, evaluates the doctrine and equipment with which tank destroyer units fought, and assesses the effectiveness of the
tank destroyer in battle. To the professional
soldier of the 198Os, the tank destroyer experience
yields some important lessons concerning the pitfalls of formulating
doctrine. The thoughtful
reader
will also gain some specific insights into the problem of antitank warfare, a consideration
that is
as vital to the U.S. Army today as it was half a century ago.

ROBERT W. RISCASSI
Lieutenant General, USA
Commandant

COL Louis
Professor

John

D. F. Frasch6

of Combined Arms
Dr. Roger J. Spiller

f. Morrison
Father

Warfare

Professor of fvfdttsry
Donald W. Smythe

-----El

History

Curriculum
Supervisor
LTC Roy R. Stephenson
Research

Committee
Dr.
Dr
Dr.
Dr.
Dr.
Dr.

LTC John A. Hixson. Chief
LTC Robert D. Ramsey 111
MAJ(PI Michael W. Dunn
MAJ Scott A. McMlchael
MAJ Andrew N. Morris
CPT Thomas P. Odcm
Teaching

Comm!ttee
SFC Robert R. Cordeli
MSG Paul E. Holt
Dr. Robert F Baumann
Dr. Jerold E. Brown
Dr. Christopher
R. Gabel

LTC George L. Tupa. Chief
LTC David R. Durr
LTC Kenneth R. Pierce
MAJ Gary I3 Griffm
MAJ Claude R. Sasso
M;fFtary

History

Education

CommBee

MAJ IJO” M, Prewitt.
Dr. Jack J. Gifford
Dr. Larry Roberts

LTC Michael E. Hall, Chief
MAJ Frederick A. Eiserman
MAJ George J. Mordica II
ffjsrorical

Robert H. Berlin
Gary J. k!JOrQ%
George W. Gawrych
Thomas M. Huber
Samuel J. Lewis
William
G Robertson

Services

Committee
Manly”
Do”a,d

Dr. Lawrence A. Yates, Chief
Ehzabeth R. Snake, Librarian

ARNG

A. Edwards. EdItor
L Gilmore. Editor

Leavenworth
Papers are published
by the Combat Studies
Institute,
U.S. Army Command and General
Staff College, Fort Leavenworth,
Kansas 66027-6900.
The views expressed
in this publication
are
those of the author and not necessarily those of the Department
of
Defense or any element thereof.
Leavenworth
Papers are avaitable
from the Superintendent
of Documents, U.S. Government
Printing
Office, Washington,
DC 20402.

Staff
MSG Danny
SSG Pafrtcia

G. CarlSOn
E Clow%rS
Sharon

Marth%
Carolyn
E Torres

A. Van Sand?
0. Conway

Leavenworth
0195 3457

Papers

US ISSN