"March 16th, 1942
Directions on using T-60 small tanks
- The main combat ability of the T-60 is its speed and mobility on the battlefield. The density of its autocannon and machine gun fire, the small dimensions of its tank, and sufficient thickness of armour make it a first class tank.
Its speed, maneuverability, and small dimensions are the best protection against enemy machine gun and artillery fire.
- Design flaws of the T-60 include low clearance and high ground pressure due to its narrow track. On difficult terrain (swamp, snow) the tracks cut into the mud and the tank bottoms out.
It is also necessary to always remember the tank's relatively poor ability to negotiate certain artificial and natural obstacles: deep snow, rivers, swamps, trenches, walls, etc.
In those cases, refer to the following data:
- Maximum snow depth: 35 cm (the tank's speed is halved)
- Fording depth: up to 50 cm
- Trench: up to 100 cm
- Vertical wall: up to 35 cm
- Summer: 40%
- Winter: 20%
- Tilts: up to 15%
- Swamp: only with a solid ground and a silt contents, up to 20 cm deep
- The commander who organizes the T-60 tanks for battle must consider these positive and negative qualities.Without their consideration, any method or use of these tanks will be doomed to failure and excess losses. The personnel will develop mistrust of their own vehicles and that will reduce the quality of the crews.
- It is necessary to take all measures to train T-60 crews and inspire them to use the tanks' best qualities in battle: speed, maneuverability, fire. When attacking, plan the course in a zig-zag instead of a straight line.
- When choosing how to attack with T-60 tanks, in addition to studying the enemy's anti-tank defenses, do the following.
- Carefully study the terrain in the attack sector (using a map, reconnaissance, or observation from a forward observation point), determine the tanks' ability to move through it at full speed and their ability to cross obstacles in the way. Choose the direction where the highest speed can be developed.
- Determine the formation of the tanks not just based on the location and type of attack, but the convenience of maneuver, fire, and speed of the tanks. The best formation is the one that allows you to move the whole formation towards the target without stopping or pausing without reforming and maintaining fire with as much of the tank's firepower as possible.
- It is permitted to fire both from short stops, using terrain features to hide, as well as on the move. Do not permit crews to waste AP-I ammunition on targets that are not meant for this type of ammunition. At the same time, teach the crews the effectiveness of the shell against armour.
- It is necessary to instill the knowledge that the T-60 cannot be left under enemy artillery or mortar fire into cres and commanders. Even medium type splinters 5-10 meters away can harm the tank.
- In case of a failed attack, the T-60 must immediately be moved back to initial positions or to cover from artillery and mortar fire.
- Ramming cannons and vehicles of any type is categorically forbidden.
- In case T-60 tanks have to be used on difficult terrain or terrain with ample artificial hazards, reserve one or two light or medium tanks with a special task to extract stuck T-60s and aid them over obstacles.
- During an offensive, use the T-60 only in the second and third echelon. The first echelon must consist of medium or heavy tanks.If the enemy's defenses are deep, keep tanks from the second echelon 300-400 meters away from the first during the approach of the first line of defense in order to build up strength in depth.In this case, the medium and heavy tanks that destroyed the anti-tank defenses on the first line will allow the second echelon tanks (the T-60) to deal with enemy personnel and themselves will move up to destroy anti-tank defenses in the second line.If the enemy is defending with open flank or flanks, order the T-60 tanks to attack near the flank with the goal of flanking the enemy or coming in from the rear.The use of T-60 tanks to assault fortified regions is only permissible after the first line of defense is broken.When pursuing the retreating enemy, boldly move T-60 tanks forward, use their speed reserve, fire from standstill when necessary. Heavy and medium tanks can be used in the second echelon if they do not have a separate task.The commander that organizes the T-60's attack must take into account the possibility of a prepared defensive line. In that case, the T-60 tanks must stop at a prearranged point, after which the medium or heavy tanks once again enter the first echelon.
- In encounters, use the T-60 tank in the same way as during pursuit. Boldly move them out to the first echelon, or in a flanking maneuver, supporting them with fire of medium and heavy tanks attacking in the second echelon or from the front.
- On the defense, use T-60 tanks as a reserve for counterattacks against enemy personnel and machine guns. Destroy enemy tanks with fire from standstill or from ambushes.The use of T-60 tanks to counterattack beyond the first line of defense against an enemy prepared to attack can only be done with support from heavy and medium tanks.
- Pay special attention to cooperation with infantry and cavalry when pursuing the enemy.
Special technical features of the T-60:
- Pay close attention to the temperature of the engine. Do not permit even slight overheating. Starting up the engine without coolant in the system even for a short time is forbidden.
- When it is warm, the use of the oil radiator is mandatory. Disable the oil radiator in cold weather.
- Regularly tighten the engine block bolts.
- When switching gears, double-clutch when switching up, add gas when switching down.
- After the tank passed through obstacles where the suspension suffered shocks, it is necessary to inspect the condition of the drive wheel, idler, and tracks.
Acting Chief of the Operational Department of the Armoured and Motorized Vehicle Directorate of the Southern Front, Major Beloozerov"