February 23, 2020

Tactically Correct Driving with the Armored Personnel Carrier (Shützenpanzerwagen (SPW) - TRANSLATION

Translation: Holger Hendel
Commentary: Bil Hardenberger

The following is a translation from the original German by my friend Holger Hendel, with a few minor edits to smooth out the language a bit from yours truly.

The original is quite interesting, and the text was supposed to rhyme, that of course is lost in translation, but the lessons are not. Many are not as valid in CM as others. I will add some comments if I think its warranted, but mainly I wanted to contribute this work to the community as I don't think it has ever been translated before.

All original text will be black, my comments will be in blue.


Tactically Correct Driving with the Armored Personnel Carrier (Shützenpanzerwagen (SPW)

Inspector General of the Panzer Force                                                                      February 1, 1944

I approve the leaflet Tactically Correct Driving with the Armored Personnel Carrier March 15, 1944.



NOTE:  Guderian's photo was not in the original document.

Light armored walls on the outside,
Fast and agile in the field.
Inside you can hardly believe it,
There is enough space for a whole group;
And it has also succeeded,
So it can be strongly equipped;
Always present in mud or snow,
Here comes our SPW!
That is why the title is due to him,
It is our principal weapon!
But the best will be dull,
If you make a mess with violence.
If you command or drive it stupidly,
Any attack will fail.
Officers, drivers, gunners,
Who use it properly,
The laurel leaf will wave at them
And their breast will become highly decorated.
That’s why this phrase is important to you;
Drive with intelligence and with the correct tactics!

NOTE:  As with all of the following pages, the above passage was a rhyming poem in the original document.  The numbering for the following pairs of images refer to the page in the original document.

3.
As we are the enemy's greatest fear, he is constantly trying to discover us.

So if you want to fool him, drive the car in the shade.

4.

It is shorter to cross country, but the vehicle tracks remain.


Better keep to the roads, then nobody can guess your route.

5.  
 If you drive too close to the car ahead, you run the risk of being hit by aircraft.

So our slogan should be: The distance between vehicles in motion also applies at the halt.
BH:  This is excellent advice for many reasons.  In CM, for protection maintain a good healthy distance between vehicles.  Not only aircraft, but armor and anti-tank guns love a bunched up target.  

This lesson is also taught in the next pair:

6.
Crossing an obstacle, could cause a huge pile up. 

Don't waste time reorganizing, split to the left and right and spread out.
BH:  Overwatch with part of your force, move with another.  Regardless, don't allow your vehicles to bunch up at a bottleneck (ford, bridge, narrow street, etc.)

7.
If you drive stupidly when in point position, you are of no use to your boss. 

Driving as the point position advance aggressively, but ensure to scout as you crest each rise.
BH:  When crossing a ridge it is always good advice to move into a hull-down position and ensure the way is clear before rushing over the top.

8.
Driving carelessly through the landscape, you can easily be blown up!

Scout out narrow defiles, streets or bridges, to discover mines or similar dangers.

9.
The bright car sticks out, the enemy spotting it will cost you your head. 

Sacrificing yourself senselessly is a sin, pay attention to the proper background.
BH:  It is always a good idea to not silhouette your vehicles against a skyline.  Though CM does not factor in the background behind a vehicle, ensuring you are properly masked from enemy sight is always smart.

10.
Driving blindly out into a field, suddenly with a flash and a crack its over.

Pushing forward pay attention and build up defensive fire.
BH:  This lesson is teaching overwatch.  Definitely have units in overwatch positions when advancing into unknown ground.

11.
If you wish to make an anti-tank gun happy, drive over ridges.

If you wish to live, stick to the folds of the ground.
BH:  If there is one lesson I have been teaching over and over again on this blog and elsewhere it is to mask your movement.  This will also be a common them throughout this pamphlet.  

12.
 If you encounter hostile convoys and halt, the enemy will gain the upper hand.

But with dash and maximum speed, the prey will be yours indeed.

13.
At a river it is absolutely foolish, to drive up to the reed bed. 

Make sure to stop at final cover: the enemy cannot see you but you can spy him.
BH:  Again the lesson discusses properly scouting unknown terrain prior to rushing it.  Must have been a real problem for them to repeat the same lesson in various situations throughout.

14.
 Aircraft will be amused every time you move through clear terrain.

Adapting to the terrain the aircraft will search in vain.

15.
Driving in a dense pack means suffering heavy losses. 

Leave wide gaps, the enemy's fire will fall with little effect.
BH:  The above obviously is referring to enemy artillery, however this is a good lesson for all situations, don't give the enemy simple fire solutions.

16.
When under artillery fire never stop for any reason. 

If an area is under artillery fire dash on, then you'll hardly notice it.

17.
Driving stupidly through an open field will lead you straight to St. Peter. 

Use every cover you can find, bushes, trees, fences, or houses.

18.
Making wide curves when turning means death for men and vehicles. 

Throw smoke to block the view, then retreat immediately.


19.
Firing while driving will suppress and pin but you can only wipe them out when you come to a stop. 

It has proven itself:  One shoots and one drives.
BH:  This lesson teaches Fire and Movement.  Suppress with part of your force and maneuver to assault with the remainder.

20.
Staying in an exposed position will certainly go wrong. 

Choosing a defilade position means not becoming a target for the enemy.
BH:  Hull down positions are life savers.

21.
Choose a position in the open and you will definitely be hit hard. 

Choose your position with cleverness, neatly masked and concealed.

 22.



Driving the vehicle in the position shown above will drive you mad.

The wise man chooses that cover which allows him to fire fastest.
BH:  Basically if you can't be spotted easily, you have an advantage.

23.
Attacking tanks from the front is suicide. 

Take cover from a flanking position to attack the tank with the 7.5cm is a good idea.

24.
 When driving amidst tanks you might hit a mine, idiot.

Be clever  follow in the tracks made by the tanks.

25.
If you drive slowly when attacking, bulls-eye and its over. 

Stay on the gas and don't fall behind!

26.
Crossing trenches diagonally ignores a main principle.

Cross trenches at a right angle then you'll make it.  Remember that! 

27.
The group is waiting and you are swearing because you've lost your way.

Make sure to remember to hit your landmarks, your route, and the time.

28.
Driving forward into cover will mean pulling back out could be difficult.

Backing into cover, saves time and work when departing.
BH:  Seems simple, but this is a really good lesson.  Works at the grocery store too.  :)

29.
Turning leaves your tracks bright and obvious that even mooncalves can spot in the darkness. 

So dear driver do not be stubborn, cover your tracks.
BH:  Mooncalves?


30.
With the commander snoring deeply and loud the vehicle gets stuck in marshy ground. 

So commander, drum it into your head:  Better get off the car and guide your mates.
BH:  I would like to see the accident report that inspired this one.

31.
 A lone scout is in danger of getting blown out.

But two together, that for sure will give you a feeling of security.
BH:  When scouting it is always best to do it in pairs.  This allows overwatch and the additional firepower can help get you out of a jam.

32.
A radio operator moving his equipment to a place where wires and walls become his grave. 

So put your vehicle in a good position where radio waves can emit at full strength.

Again, huge thanks to Holger on this post... couldn't have put it up without him.  Bil