Tank Hunting Platoons

The Tank Hunting and Destruction Military Training Pamphlet

12th October 2018

Titled ‘The Tank Hunting and Destruction Military Training Pamphlet No. 42’ and dated 29th August 1940, this War Office pamphlet was drafted “as a guide and help to troop who have the determination and nerve to destroy tanks at close quarters”. As a charity, the Tank Museum usually relies on kind donations to add to our collections, although there are occasions when items are simply too good to miss. This Military Training Pamphlet from 1940, was recently bought through an online auction.

Produced during a time when the threat of German invasion hung over Britain and resources were scarce, the methods for tank hunting appear to be in the spirit of ‘make do’ methods relying on “quick-witted, bold, confident and swift moving teams of high morale.” 

Tank hunting pamphletOptions in the pamphlet range of Molotov cocktails and sticky grenades to crowbars or wooden spars rammed between the drive sprocket and the track during ambushes. As such it includes instructions on how to mix petrol and gas oil, which has “no value for the propulsion of motor vehicles”, for an effective ‘Petrol Ambush’ and how to treat glass bottles (with a readily available diamond) to be used for Molotov cocktails to make them more likely to break on contact.

The pages (right) are example diagrams from the pamphlet on how to set up an effective ambush in a wooded or urban area.

The main tone of the pamphlet is to encourage confidence within tank hunting platoons, soldiers and Home Guard with the lines “Tank hunting must be regarded as a sport – big game hunting at its best. A thrilling, albeit dangerous sport, which if skilfully played is about as hazardous as shooting tiger on foot, and in which the same principles of stalk and ambush are followed.”