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.*

More...