MAIN MENU    SOLDIERS AT WAR    DOCUMENTS    BATTLES    TANKS    ARTILLERY 

ORDER OF THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE FORCES OF WEST FRONT No.065
Concerning the employment of artillery shrapnel for the defeat of exposed enemy troops

Secret

12 November 1941
Active Army

Combat experience has shown that our artillerymen are completely inadequately employing shrapnel for defeat of exposed enemy troops, instead employing for this purpose projectiles with the fuse set for fragmentation action.

The under appreciation of shrapnel can be explained only by the fact that young artillerymen do not know, and old artillery commanders have forgotten, that the shrapnel of 76mm regiment and division cannons when fired at exposed personnel at average ranges of 4-5 kilometers will cause twice the damage to a target as compared projectiles set for fragmentation action.

The People's Commissar of Defense Comrade STALIN has pointed out this gross error in the combat activity of artillery in a special order and has demanded that it be immediately corrected.

For the adoption of the broad and skillful use of shrapnel rounds in artillery units, I ORDER:

1. Explain to the command component and soldiers of artillery the valuable combat capabilities of shrapnel as a projectile intended for defeat of exposed enemy personnel, especially withering when fired for the destruction of attacking infantry and for self-defense against infantry.

2. Division artillery chiefs, commanders of artillery regiments and separate battalions are to confirm the knowledge of commanders of batteries that are equipped with the 76mm gun in the regulations for firing shrapnel and, when necessary, conduct practical exercises directly at observation posts in the techniques of conducting fire with shrapnel.

3. Require that 76mm gun batteries employ shrapnel in all cases of firing at exposed enemy troops, especially for the destruction of attacking infantry, self-defense against attacking infantry, for destruction of enemy observation posts sited in woods, and for clearing out of forested sectors.

4. Select commanders more capable and qualified in gunnery skills for the position of commander of 76mm batteries.

5. Maintain not less than 20 percent shrapnel munitions in the basic load of regiment and division artillery 76mm batteries. Report by telegraph to army military councils concerning the measures that are taken in compliance with this order.

COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF FORCES OF WEST FRONT, ARMY GENERAL
ZHUKOV

MEMBER OF WEST FRONT MILITARY COUNCIL
BULGANIN



Translated by:
James F. Gebhardt
Sources:
TsAMO, collection 208, index 2524, item 10, sheets 176-78. Original.

This page belongs to The Russian Battlefield

@Mail.ru