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Employment is primarily defensive in nature. b. The mobility of Ontos permits it to engage enemy armor forward of the main battle position and, subsequently, to move rapidly from position to position. c. The firepower of the Ontos enables it to engage successfully any known armored vehicle. d. The vulnerability of the Ontos and requirement for exposure of the loader favor targets being engaged from well concealed, covered positions. Preselected alternate positions, accessible over covered and concealed routes should be available. When an Ontos fires, it must be ready to execute a rapid displacement to new firing positions. Alternate positions, previously prepared and supplied, afford the Ontos an excellent opportunity to rearm and refuel from pre-positioned supplies. e. Thorough reconnaissance is one of the most important factors in employment. f. When practicable, Ontos should be employed by sections in order to provide mutual support. g. The employment of the Ontos should be integrated with other anti-mechanized means such as tanks, antitank barriers, naval gunfire support, air, and artillery, as well as with the organic antitank means of infantry elements. 602. RECONNAISSANCE a. Purpose. The success of antitank tactics depends largely on preparation for action. Time permitting, extensive and detailed reconnaissance, including reconnaissance by air, is carried out by the antitank battalion, company, and platoon commanders. b. Actions during reconnaissance. (1) The AT commander studies and evaluates the ground, noting possible avenues of hostile mechanized approach and potential firing positions. Bridges are noted; fords are selected, if possible, to be used in the event bridges are demolished later. He contacts friendly troops adjacent to, or within, the area to learn their disposition and plans coordinate fires, and to exploit terrain. (2) Time and other conditions permitting, the commander reconnoiters the ground over which enemy tanks might advance, looking for possible tank and infantry approach routes and studying the area from the enemy point of view. (3) Sites suitable for friendly observation are sought.
disable. The position should afford a backblast area free of troops and obstructions. Depth of position and mutual support are particularly important during displacement to alternate positions when it is essential that one vehicle cover another. Their frontal armor is strong while the side armor and exposed suspension system are weaker and more vulnerable. e. h. Accordingly. Local security Battalion or company sized AT units are capable of maintaining their own local security. d. A properly covered and concealed unit can. or may contain the enemy and make them vulnerable to attack by friendly forces before their own attack is launched. through timely attack by fire. f. it is necessary that they be met with massed fires. consideration is given to the overall organization of the terrain and plan for supporting fires when selecting positions.603. The effects of cover and concealment are greatly enhanced when positions afford the opportunity of flanking fire. Positions should be chosen prior to contemplated action so that they may be properly prepared. c. Concealed flanking guns are also difficult to locate and maneuver against. b. Unit positions should provide defense laterally and in depth along all possible avenues of armored approach. This need for mutual support can be met on many occasions by echeloning vehicles in depth. a. Positions are established to provide mutual support. Tanks are vulnerable—and present a larger--target when attacked from the side. In a defensive situation. which may cause enemy forces to withdraw. SECURITY a. g. Individual vehicle and unit positions must afford maximum cover and concealment. supplementary. However individual Ontos crews are incapable of providing the required degree of local security against infiltrating enemy infantry. This ambush tactic may create unacceptable losses or a shock effect. and disorganize the attackers. Ontos should be employed in a manner which will permit the weight of the defensive effort to be placed in the path of the approaching attacks. POSITIONS Reconnaissance results in the selection of primary. Other units in the area . This ability to achieve mass is influenced largely by the quality and timeliness of intelligence upon which a decision can be made to move sufficient Ontos units to positions of advantage. As in the selection of positions for any weapons. Positions selected for Ontos emplacement must complement the plan for supporting fires and reinforce natural and man-made obstacles MASS Since tanks may attack in mass. kill. consideration must be given to fields of fire and observation. and alternate positions.
Buttoned up. When so deployed. Salvo firing of more than two rounds will not materially increase the hit probability. Ontos must at all times be prepared to take evasive action and passive defense measures if attacked by air. tanks can be dealt with at any time by a wide choice of weapons. . or rolled along the ground by severe blast effects from a nuclear explosion. Protection against nuclear weapons An Ontos provides some protection to its crew against the effects of a nuclear explosion. The Ontos also affords a small degree of protection against prompt nuclear radiation. not to demolish a few. This gain in first round hit probability must be considered against rapid expenditure of loaded rounds and the more frequent requirement for reloading. and observation of hostile ground and air attack.should assist in maintaining local security. but it may be dismantled. b. The primary objective is to stop a large number of tanks. use of obstacles. There should be no loose material or equipment in the vehicle which might fly around and cause injuries. the order set forth in subparagraph 301a(2) is recommended to maintain turret balance. c. destroying or immobilizing as many as possible. single round firing is used against stationary targets. Once stopped. General security measures An AT unit must exercise the same security measures. SALVO FIRE The probability of achieving a first round hit is slightly greater when firing a two-round salvo as compared to firing a single round. the Ontos gives protection against thermal radiation. combustible material should be removed from the outside of the vehicle to prevent external fires. ATTACKING ARMOR a. Assistance is critical when AT units occupy positions on the flanks or forward of the advancing troops or forward of the battle position of defending troops when they are in a defensive position. thrown. extensive illumination and preplanned protective fires may be required. The Ontos is a relatively hard target. and the elements of surprise and mass. This factor emphasizes the importance of taking maximum advantage of cover. However. b. In two-round firing. Ontos distribute their fire among the attacking tank units. As a general rule. Ontos are positioned and employed to stop tanks as far forward of friendly positions as possible. as other tactical units. concealment. such as camouflage. The disparity between the armor and armament of a tank and that of an Ontos is an important factor influencing Ontos tactics in attacking armor. Exchange of fire with tanks from exposed positions should be avoided when practicable. Two-round salvos are desirable at the longer ranges against moving targets. alternate firing positions.
ENGAGEMENT OF POINT TARGETS When engaging point targets such as bunkers and pillboxes. local security. b. Concurrently. other capabilities of the weapon may be exploited. The Ontos should not accompany the infantry in closing with the enemy.c. 2) Every effort is made to obtain flanking fire. However. maximum advantage should be taken of concealment. Immobilization of a tank is usually easier to accomplish than total destruction. Section 7 COMBAT EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT OF OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS During offensive operations Ontos are employed primarily as antitank weapons. It delivers supporting fires on vital targets from positions to the rear or flanks of the infantry. a. and ensure optimum defense. When Ontos are so employed. hull-defiladed positions when possible. and alternate positions. 1) Positions should by improved and camouflaged immediately upon being occupied. 3) Selection and occupation of these defenses is carefully coordinated with the infantry to provide mutual support. hull defilade. Antitank missions Attacking infantry are followed by antitank units prepared to counter enemy armored attacks. . Routes of advance and firing positions are selected prior to the attack and are reconnoitered and occupied as soon as possible after they are uncovered by the infantry. Ontos should fire from concealed. Fire support The Ontos can be used in the assault gun role and is capable of rendering fire support against pillboxes and bunkers. Total destruction frequently depends on penetration of heavy armor while immobilization can be achieved by attacking the highly vulnerable suspension system. provide depth to antitank defenses and facilitate mutual support.
ready to move into prepared positions to fire on enemy armored penetrations. antitank units are assigned to the security forces. If enemy armor appears while Ontos are engaged in fire support. B. SUPPORT OF DEFENSIVE OPERATIONS When employed in support of defensive operations. the battle position. b. as necessary. while the bulk of the units are held to the flanks and rear. Normally. for the antitank mission. Ontos employment is the same as with security forces in position defense. the optimum employment of antitank units is in the forward defensive area or with the striking force. lends itself ideally to use with the mobile defense. with its firepower and great mobility. In this case. 2) Battle position Positions cover avenues of tank approach into.Ontos must be available. the antitank units are disposed in width and depth. Position defense 1) Security forces When the enemy possesses armor. deployed laterally and in depth. 2) Forward defensive area . and the situation permits. Ontos employed from ambush can effectively delay enemy armor and assist the disengagement of other security forces. it may be necessary for an Ontos to displace to alternate positions after firing. and within. a. they are released immediately for their primary mission. Because of its light armor and backblast. 3) General support Antitank units may be assigned in general support to provide antitank protection for the division as a whole and increase the flexibility of employment of antitank means. The Ontos. Positions extend from locations well forward to those in the rear. From these positions Ontos may move into any area to oppose enemy armor. Ontos are centrally controlled. Mobile defense 1) Security echelon If used with the security echelon. and prepared to occupy previously organized positions. They may be held in assembly areas. Some antitank units may be initially assigned forward positions. Antitank units supplement the tanks in the antitank role.
Antitank units provide antitank protection of the striking force elements while in assembly areas and while moving to contact. surprise must be complete. He must be able to determine the most appropriate time to issue orders such as. The first element is radio discipline that permits clear transmission of fire commands and orders to withdraw. a. 3) Striking force The employment of antitank units in support of the striking force is similar to that of other offensive operations. E. Vehicle ambushes are most effective when set in defiles where the surrounding ground affords cover and concealment. coupled with the proper use of barriers. Naval gunfire. F. Prearranged signals. 703. There the enemy is attacked by the striking force. must be utilized to prohibit enemy entry into the ambush site at any point other than those leading into the killing zone. f. artillery. The sides of the defile should be sufficiently impassable to prevent the enemy from escaping the killing zone or mounting an attack against the ambush site. The commander of the ambush unit must have excellent observation of the killing zone and the approaches to it. b. AMBUSH The Ontos is an effective ambush weapon to attack and decisively defeat tanks from covered and concealed positions.Antitank units supporting forces in the forward defensive positions assist in canalizing the movement of enemy armor into predetermined killing zones. e. cease fire or withdraw. D. c. and particularly during displacement. In an ambush the requirement to hold a position or a piece of terrain is not present. During displacement. This is done by leapfrogging vehicles. and the fire and maneuver of infantry units. Security is maintained throughout the entire ambush operation. and units. such as pyrotechnics and hand and arm signals must be planned for use in the event of radio failure. from one covering position to another. units will provide their own route security. d. and close air support employed in conjunction with antitank weapons enhance the effectiveness of the ambush. Preplanned and reconnoitered routes of egress to rendezvous points and alternate positions further aid control during displacement from primary ambush positions. Security. Supported infantry may have to provide local security for ambushes established beyond the battle area of the supported unit. This is accomplished by normal defensive employment of antitank units in coordination with other supporting arms. The most suitable defiles are those easily blocked at both ends.For an ambush to be successful. The need for fire discipline demands firm control measures. Support . C . commence fire. This demands strict camouflage and fire discipline.
RETROGRADE a. or similar devices. creating maximum delay. antitank units may be deployed to cover tank approaches that threaten lines of communication to the rear. During marches. b. 707 MECHANIZED PATROLS . This barrier should be covered by both small arms and antitank fire. The main difference is the determination to hold the position. a. This tactic demands maximum fire power in support of units in contact with the enemy. artillery. The roadblock should include mines. Ontos are deployed to add depth and breadth to the antitank defense. b. tetrahedrons. and air in conjunction with other available antitank means. Ontos are best employed in forward elements maintaining contact with the enemy where they will cause the enemy to deploy early. C. Some Ontos may be integrated with tank or infantry elements and used in the security forces. enemy situation and units available. c. Roadblocks are in many ways similar to ambushes. or rear guard. terrain.air has the best capability of intercepting enemy reinforcements and preventing their interference. MECHANIZED TASK FORCE Composition of mechanized task forces varies with specific operations according to mission. units of the antitank battalion may be assigned to the task force. When the task force deploys. 704 Roadblocks Ontos are effective against enemy tanks attacking roadblocks. The roadblock is a position which is to be held for the purpose of denying ground or routes to the enemy for brief or extended periods. B A delaying action seeks to trade space for time and inflict maximum damage on the enemy without becoming so heavily engaged that freedom of action is lost. detachments left in contact. 705. abitis. antitank units seek positions from which they can protect against enemy armor envelopments. Supporting arms may also provide fires covering the withdrawal from the ambush. 704. When the task force is static. When considerations favor employment of Ontos. The critical area immediately in front of the roadblock should be covered by available naval gunfire. During withdrawals and retirements. Ontos move with the main body. It also dictates that units in contact be highly mobile so that they may disengage. g. In the ambush there is seldom an intention to hold the ground.
since they will be exposed to many meeting engagements. at night the problem of control and coordination is greater. 708. If no illumination is available the Ontos should attack only those known or suspected point targets on which the weapons have been previously registered or laid. If an armored threat exists.a. infantry and other units are positioned closer together. and movement is slower. illumination should be available on-call for Ontos units covering the most likely avenues of tank approach. They are not normally used within built-up areas without close covering support by the infantry unit with which they are operating. Units assigned to active reconnaissance or counterreconnaissance missions should be mobile and strong in fire power. Following the crossing of friendly armor. By use of ambush tactics it can engage enemy forces infiltrating the friendly battle area. Ontos may be moved through town to support the attack. and—where possible—tanks. antitank units occupy positions outside of the city to assist in isolating the area. All of these difficulties can be overcome –to a degree – by skillful employment of illumination. or used in direct support of. Ontos should not normally be used in offensive patrolling if tanks are available. there may be instances when a reconnaissance in force is carried out by a mechanized task force. Priority of fire is given to enemy armor and crew-served weapons. They occupy positions to fire overhead or through gaps in friendly lines. RIVER CROSSINGS In attack of a river line. Target acquisition and hit probability are drastically diminished. When performing counterreconnaissance and screening missions it is necessary to integrate the Ontos with infantry. The battlefield of the future will be porous. However. high priority is given to the crossing of antitank . engineers. the Ontos may be assigned to toe patrol to lend additional antimechanized strength. creating extensive need for reconnaissance and counterreconnaissance. They prevent enemy armored vehicles from entering or leaving the city. Specific target areas are assigned each weapon. If the far edge of the town cannot be covered by fire from positions outside the town. NIGHT OPERATIONS The basic fundamentals involved in offense and defense at night are the same as those that prevail for daylight. assault battalions. Platoons may be further attached. During fighting within builtup areas. elements of the division antitank battalion are usually attached to. regiments making the crossing. b. Antitank weapons support an assault crossing by firing on enemy targets on the opposite bank. However. COMBAT IN BUILT-UP AREAS Antitank units may assist the entry of rifle elements into built-up areas. or in direct support of. 710. 709. If the patrolling unit is sufficiently large and strong in tanks. The Ontos is well suited to the counterreconnaissance mission. This integrated force should have on-call air support—for both destruction and observation missions—and artillery and naval gunfire when available.
b. Authorization. 3) Extensive areas of operation require more widely deployed antitank protection than can be attained by employment of Ontos. Once antitank units are on the far shore and the initial objective is seized. when such employment is contemplated. 10 An Ontos is immobilized. Where obvious sally ports exist through which the enemy may mount armored counterattacks. Employment of ground-mounted rifles results in reduced effectiveness and has he following disadvantages: 1) Reduction of Ontos firepower. The situation may permit employment of Ontos in the attack of a fortified position. 2 to carry the mount. Approval for such requests rests with the division commander. h. Consequently. The number of men the antitank battalion can furnish for each crew will vary with the situation. ATTACK OF A FORTIFIED POSITION a. . in this respect.units. the training of personnel from other units for this purpose is necessary. When the possibility of enemy armored activity is present. The antitank battalion is not provided with sufficient personnel for complete gun crews when all ground-mounted weapons are employed. these units are employed the same as for any other attack. D. but inaccessible to the Ontos. DISMOUNTED EMPLOYMENT a. with no ground-mounted rifles involved. are possible in combat: 1) The Ontos are employed. 711. f. They may also be used to seal off exposed flanks of attacking units. with the supported unit if the antitank unit is attached. and 2 ammunition carriers. Concurrence in the recommendation for such employment by the antitank unit commander is therefore a desirable prior to c. Three situations. Either the antitank unit commander or the supported unit commander may recommend or request the employment of ground-mounted rifles. or. A crew of 7 men is desirable for a ground-mounted 106mm rifle – 3 men to carry the weapon. Antitank positions are available. antitank units are deployed so as to react readily to enemy tank attack. d. g. 2) The Ontos are employed concurrently with grounde-mounted rifles. Employment of Ontos rifles as ground-mounted weapons should be authorized only when: e. 3) Ground-mounted rifles only are employed b. A 3-man crew is adequate when the ¼ -ton truck or similar vehicle is available to transport the rifle and its ammunition. Ontos should be employed from covered and concealed positions as the base of fore element to support tactical maneuvers. 712. Ontos should be positioned astride the most likely route of enemy advance.
the Ontos could not be expected to carry out offensive missions against direct fire. to a limited degree. a. the landing force’s requirement for mobile firepower and shock action. 3) Inability of the antitank battalion to provide all personnel required for ground-mounted weapons’ creqs.2) 2) Reduced mobility of weapons. B. however must be adopted only after careful consideration of the situation. . However. b. In exceptional circumstances. Likewise. is undesirable. This capability may be exploited in support of isolated units operating at some distance from a larger parent unit. the enemy may consist of poorly trained and equipped troops. wherein surprise is utilized to the maximum. This emergency use. the Ontos may be used as a psychological weapon in a tank-like role. Ontos could be effective against such weapons if employed from covered and concealed positions. 713. EMERGENCY EMPLOYMENT In emergency situations when tank support for friendly troops is not available. particularly from the flanks. c. Ontos may fulfill. /The Ontos has the capability of being air-dropped or air-landed. in other than from hull defilade position. In this event. In the face of enemy armor the employment of Ontos.4) Reduced target acquisition ability and hit probability. major caliber weapons.
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