Schmart is right with what he is saying, mobile formations are for maneuver, that is where they are most force-economic: driving deep into the enemy rear, cutting lines of communications, isolating enemy front line units, creating disorder in the C&C etc. such that the following infantry can exploit the situation.
There is a mix-up here, though: Combined arms versus the German Blitz Krieg concept. Combined arms applies to many situations, even to assault fortifications, but could be applied there too: a tank plt at the right moment could help to suppress while the engineers do their job, but arty can do so as much better if available. And ultimately it is the infantry that bear the load.
That is opposed to German Blitz Krieg concept, which is closely linked to combined arms in the sense that combined use of force, especially close air support and assistance from artillery and infantry was to enable the mobile formations to quickly get free of the main battle line and ultimately start their job. And depth of the battle field combined with rashness was the core of Blitz Krieg, and that is were the German offensive doctrine suggested the armor to be employed. Not in taking over the job of infantry or assault engineers:
Infantry and artillery was to create the gaps through which the Panzers and Genadiers were to go forward. Look at the initial stages of Barbarossa, already the force setup shows that. Same for the setup at Kursk, or the drive into Belgium, and probably many more examples also on the allied side. Germans bypassed Brest-Litovsk and left it to infantry, had similar orders in place for Riga, or other places well defended by the enemy. They did not leave tanks behind (nor had the assault guns yet been made integral to the infantry formations) to deal with fortified infantry or dug-in armor. Sevastopol, infantry, massive artillery commitment, and funny games like employing the "rasante 88" ("rapid 88", the 88mm/L long barreled, high muzzle velocity flaks) as close support and highly accurate bunker buster. Attacking heavily fortified places like Brest-Litovsk, Tobruk, Svebastopol, Leningrad or deep, mine and artillery supported entrenchments frontally with tanks... not a sensible idea.
As for deliberate attacks, I also use AFVs rules of thumb. If time is of essence, i.e. MP crucial, I may bent them to risk more hasty attacks, but especially after summer 1942, I prefer to go with deliberate attacks. Also, during the "Axis offensive months" of the 1st winter, i.e. late February and March, if I can mount attacks (e.g. against brigades, to regain morale or attempt small envelopments with my refitted armor), I only do deliberate attacks since a "held" costs you moral badly.
< Message edited by janh -- 3/18/2012 2:32:32 PM >