Historical HEAT Ban

Lots of people that play WoT started crying out about HEAT needing to be removed as soon as it became available for credits. Turns out, use of HEAT shells was forbidden in the early stages of the war on the Eastern Front.

“After meeting with the general staff and divisional commanders of the 4th Panzer Group, Feldmarshal von Kluge once again asked to allow the use of “red-tipped” shells, giving the following as the reason:

“Holding back Russian tanks in an attack, particularly T-34s and heavy tanks, demands great effort on the part of our exhausted and battle-worn infantry. The existing methods of fighting T-34s and heavy tanks are insufficient. If the infantry’s load is lightened, they can resume completion of their objectives, despite their smaller numbers. ”

I can only support this request.

General von Bock”

German HEAT shells were indicated by red tips. Some sources refer to them as “PzGr rot” (Tank Grenade Red). Let’s take a look at Franz Halder’s diary, again mentioning HEAT shells.

“December 22nd, 1941. 184th day of the war.

Forces of the south flank of the 4th army, south-east of Kaluga, are encircled by the enemy, who is also advancing on Tarusy. The condition on this section of the front is grave. It is not known when this crisis can be resolved. Regardless, the order to retreat was not given. The only order given was on the use of HEAT shells. {349}

{349} Hitler still disallowed use of these new shells”

“January 11th, 1942 (Sunday). 204th day of the war.

Hitler: hold Merdyn and cover the breach in the north. Attempt to do so before the front at Merdyn wavers. Move forces from the rear. Advance with the 9th army to cover the breach at Rzhev. There is no time for preparations of defensive positions. Any time we manage to win is to be used to cover breaches in our lines. Holding Suhinichi takes priority. Should we use shells with the red tip? {407} A counterattack from the south still remains our goal.

{407} Those were the markings of a HEAT artillery shell.”

Shirokograd, in his book “Russia and Germany: a history of military cooperation” reveals the reason for this was that Hitler was protective of his shiny new shells: “In late 1941, the 7.5 cm and 10.5 cm le.G.40 received new HEAT shells, which enabled them to penetrate Soviet T-34 tanks. I must point out that the Germans had HEAT shells since 1940, but Hitler forbade their use so they did not fall into enemy hands.”

Hitler’s fears weren’t entirely unjustified. Captured APCR shells for French and German guns were a great boon to Soviet APCR development. 

28 thoughts on “Historical HEAT Ban

  1. Hitler was a military moron, the worst conservative tactician in the german army.

    Stuck in a WWI mindset, he never trusted anything he didn’t experience as a soldier.

        • this war was fought on a too many battlefields in too less time. hitler was like other leaders and nations in the past.

        • Come on, Germany was doomed as early as autumn ’41 when it became obvious that Blitzkrieg in the East has failed. Since then it was only a matter of time for Allies to win an attrition war.

          • That is true. But a different leader would have occupied Britain first (Dunkirk anyone?) and maybe never started a war against Russia.

            The HEAT-ban is only of of hundrets of bad decisions Hitler made. Of course that is easy to say from todays perspective, but even back then most Wehrmacht leaders knew how stupid Hitlers decisions were.

          • @PzKpfwV no one knows what really happened with Russia. Some historians say there were secret reports, that Stalin was preparing an army to take over Hitler’s, after much of Europe was conquered. Thus fulfilling his sick dream of EU being under Soviet Union power.

            So that’s why Hitler striked first, but only delayed the inevitable.

          • @PzKpfwV

            War with the Soviet Union was inevitable, you uneducated prole. For Christ’s sake, read a book sometimes instead of talking about shit you know nothing about.

            • Funny, you call him an uneducated prole, yet go tell him to read books? Yeah, because books are totally unbiased.

    • Hitler was moron? He was one of the most talented and genious people of all ages, similar to Napoleon. It is only very sad that he used his political, strategic and military genious in such a bad way. If Hitler had been moron you would have to learn in school about him and II WW which he started.

      • He said that the Me-262 should be primarily a bomber. Stupid. He started a multiple front war, diverting soldiers and etc. Stupid. He was so focused on wonder weapons that drew materials away from the perfectly good equipment. Still stupid. I honestly don’t see any situation in which he could’ve been a genius. If he had been killed in Operation Valkyrie, the war would’ve likely taken at least another year.

        I still don’t get why he’d ban HEAT ammo. Oh well. Be glad he did.

      • Of course Hitler was a moron. The German Army was just so well organized and trained that even the biggest moron could not do very much damage. But in the end he managed to destroy this fine war machinery and lost the war. A miracle that he managed to achieve this lol

        • I love reading comments of retarded armchair generals. If Hitler was a moron and still managed to change the world so much, then what that makes of you? If you think you would be a better leader than Hitler was, then go on and prove it instead of talking, you dumb cunt.
          Hitler was a genius – a political, not a military one. He lost the war because of serious personality flaws, but he was an intelligent man nonetheless. Many great leaders made great mistakes, for example Stalin, who was paranoid and kept murdering his best generals on regular basis.

          • That’s why I specify military moron.
            His strengths were on the political side and personal charming, however his lucidity on the military situation became lower and lower as the war situation progressed far away from his own wishes.

            Guderian speaks at length about his military approach and he always remarks his incapacity of having faith on anything that was above his own WWI soldier experience.

        • In my opinion calling Hitler moron is quite naive. Hitler was evil becouse he was responsible for war and millions of casualties, but if you look at Hitler as a leader – there is not much people to compare with. In time of unemployment and financial depression he gave people work, stabilized the III Reich economy, built new highways (some of them still exist nowadays) and many facilities. He was extremly charismatic and passionate leader with a vision, remember that the whole Reich voted for him (before war started). About development of new war technology – it was Germany who at that time had the best planes, tanks, U-boots and the whole new concept of war. At the end of the war all german scientists were captured either to USA or to Russia becouse of their advanced rocket technology (Allies were far behind Germans with rocket tech). It also took the Allies 3 years to catch up with German militarty power. Of course, Hitler made some mistakes and the further war went the bigger they were. But in my opinion Hitler was not idiot or moron, if he were he wouldnt had been able to couquer the whole Europe.

          • You know why whole germany voted for Hitler? Because his party murdered every other party, and everyone, who didn’t vote for the NSDAP was killed. So everyone voted because they FEARED. Sure, some of them voted because of the hope of getting work and thus money, but, the majority of them voted because of the fear of being killed.

          • You know that these builts and workplaces were financed by loans that were from the start planned not to be paid? Or rather, paid from what he grabbed abroad, so the war was to break out sooner or later – he planned later and he got a nasty surprise in 1939, which is the time, since when he was doomed (or you can even say that he was doomed since the start).
            He wasn’t any economic genious.

          • even with all the threats, many people did not vote FOR hitler. even massive pressure, his party did not get more then 43% (which still is a lot more then the 33% during the last free eclections), so do get his power he then had to additionally prevent opposing partys from showing up in parliament.

            regarding his oh-so-impressive economical genius: its fairly easy to fight unemployment if you confiscate about 6-10% of the belongings of your people and even force the former owners to work nothing (not even sufficient meals). unemployment is not lack of work, but lack of companys who could pay work – and hitler did jack shit about this and used the most inhuman trick to get around it.

            regarding the military supperiority: germany did not have the better ships/planes/tanks/etc. or only by a slight margin. most of the supperior weapons of the 3rd reich where still on the drawing board when the war started. the bf109 was brand new in the spanish civil war – several years earlier. by the time of ww2 it was medicore (though other nations newest planes werent available in numbers either) and couldn’t even participate in battle for britain due to range limitations. the type VII submarines were still more like “diveables” and the panzerII/III/IV were only successful against the completely surprised french forces (btw: just as surprised where the germans. “blitzkrieg” was not a german strategy, but a term coined in britain after seeing the surprisingly fast advance. hitler had anticipated a WW1 style war, building the siegfried line for defense and the dora-railway-gun and giant mortars for attack against the marginot line)
            all the famous german military vehicles (panther, tiger, XXI, fw190, me262,….) were rushed into production and most still only arrived in service at the very end of the war. and thats still not in numbers. famous mechanized german army? used more horses then in WW1. some of the propaganda movies of approaching tanks show a half of all vehicles available at the whole front they are from.
            the only up to date object on service in the german army in 1939 where the heavy battlecruisers. but even their number where far from “war ready”. according to the z plan, the german navy would have opperated at least 12 (instead of 3) of them, 4-6 “bismarck” (or post bismarck) class battleships (instead of 1.5), 2 air craft carriers (never got completed – because someone started a war) and a fair 100 XXI submarines (which where so superior when they arrived in 44/45, that one was operated until 1982 and closely derived designs up to the 1990s). but that was the plan – for 1950…

            conclusion: hitler was moron. not in the total-retard, but more in the asberger sense. he was brilliant at flaming speaches (and at finding people who would write them for him) – and thats it. he failed at people, failed at poltiics, at diplomacy, at history (s1 mentioned napoleon? well: hitler tried again to fight russian winter), at economy and most certainly at military.
            which probably is our luck. if someone had killed him earlier, europe would most likely be governed by nazis today.

          • Sure, the first vote was only 43%, but after a re-election, made by hitler, they had around 70%, and at the majority of votes made by the government, nearly all party’s were discouraged and never joined the vote.

        • hitler wasn’t a genius he was insane (schizophrenic). yes he changed the world but he made it more worse then it was bevore in a way no one ever done before (you know holocaust and somethig like that). surely he was talentet but only in a manipulative way. read his book “mein kampf” and you will see how a genius he was. he was one of the greatest retards in history

  2. … Weird, considering that Guderian recalls Hitler saying that enemy armor would become mincemeat for artillery because of the HEAT shells!

    • It’s hard to tell from the bits and pieces, could we simply be looking at a case of “Don’t use that stuff until we have enough of it going around to matter”?

  3. Hitler is complicated.His personal dabbling in things related to politics, policy and weapons of war shortened the war easily. It even sped up the start of the war. Political infighting, which was more or less encouraged, between the services and branches only helped to cause problems. We should all be glad that Hitler was still in charge and nobody offed him and let some smart guy take over…

  4. Hitler that moron, if only the Communists won the elections and not the Nazis.
    They would surely have spammed shitload of heat against French and British panzers when the revolution would spill over the world.

  5. Better hide this stuff, I can already see WG removing HEAT in german vehicles for “historical accuracy ” :D

  6. This gives me a hilarious idea on how to balance HEAT and APCR rounds from being over-used in World of Tanks.

    Taking Hitler’s fear and putting it in game-form: What if any gold rounds you carried were lost to the enemy upon death. This could be taken literally (the enemy who kills you gets them) or simply destroy them upon death.

    This would keep people from crying about nerfing gold round’s power (in World of Tank’s fantasy caliber + velocity = damage mindset, you’d think APCR would do less ‘damage’) while also discouraging people from bringing a load-out of half gold. Currently, the only thing stopping people from using a lot of gold ammo is money. This drastically amplifies that (potential) cost for anyone who wanders into the battlefield with more than one or two gold rounds.

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