View Full Version : night time armor doctrine WWII

07-18-2011, 12:44 AM
It's my understanding that the Soviets developed their own night armored doctrine because they couldn't handle the German Panzers in a straight up day battle. By the end of WWII, did the allies have a confortable handle on night fighting or were the Soviets ahead on this doctrine at that time?

Also, I have looked online for info about the timeline of night fighting for armored units but found almost nothing. If you could point me to a good source, I'd appreciate it.

07-18-2011, 12:52 AM
Have you tried contacting military museums? The (best?) UK one is:


07-18-2011, 01:37 AM
What's a night armour doctrine?

07-18-2011, 03:52 AM
The Canadian Army states:

"Military doctrine is a formal expression of military knowledge and thought, that the army accepts as being relevant at a given time, which covers the nature of conflict, the preparation of the army for conflict, and the method of engaging in conflict to achieve success... it is descriptive rather than prescriptive, requiring judgement in application. It does not establish dogma or provide a checklist of procedures, but is rather an authoritative guide, describing how the army thinks about fighting, not how to fight. As such it attempts to be definitive enough to guide military activity, yet versatile enough to accommodate a wide variety of situations."

So my question relates to the development of these concepts as relating to armored units such as tanks and armored cavalry in night time conditions.

07-18-2011, 03:59 AM
Patton's armored troops fought lots of night battles in Africa...

Drachen Jager
07-18-2011, 09:23 AM
Sorry, couldn't find anything about doctrine. Several articles about specific battles that happened at night with various forces. I don't have the time to go through it but maybe this will be of some help (if not, it's still pretty cool just to look at)


I was with the Canadian armoured (Strats) for a number of years, but I never went that deep into the history to have learned anything so specific.

07-19-2011, 03:22 AM
It was my impression that many soviet actions were initiated at night because of German air superiority, especially in the first few years of the war. Soviet tanks were at all times comparable to German ones, though their crews tended to be inferior.

Soviet doctrine evolved rapidly during the war. What they did in the first, desperate years were quite different to what they did in 1943, when they became dominant.

I believe that it was the Japanese who placed a heavy emphasis on night actions, and trained both their soldiers and sailors specifically for it.

07-19-2011, 10:12 AM
Good comment, Sarpedon. It's true that Germany had air superiority until the winter when they had more aircraft losses due to weather and cold than from combat. However, the Soviet T-34 was a medium tank and the Panzer and Tigers were heavy tanks. The Soviet advantage was numerical superiority.
The question remains: Did the Allied forces have equal footing in night time armored combat at the end of WWII or were the Soviets better?