New weapons brought with them new tactics, most notably the Panzerglocke [tank bell], "with (super-)heavy tanks in the center, medium tanks to the right and left in a widening arch, light tanks behind the center and held ready for pursuit." The Germans felt that this was the best formation to confront a wide front.
The Panzerglocke replaced the Panzerkeil [tank wedge] as the standard armor formation. The Panzerkeil used a spearhead assault made up of medium and heavy tanks to break through enemy defenses.
The author of the article quoted above got the information from:
F. W. von Mellenthin, Panzer Battles: A Study of the Employment of Armor in the Second World War, trans. H. Betzler (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1956)
If I were to guess why the change was made: a wedge is not effective when breaking through a wide front, as a breakthrough doesn't automatically threaten the enemy position if the rest of the line holds. All it will do is cause the spearhead to more or less automatically isolate themselves as the follow-up troops are harassed from the flanks of the breakthrough point.
< Message edited by ComradeP -- 5/30/2011 9:42:29 PM >
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