Using in the Red Army captured German tanks (as, indeed, in the Wehrmacht Soviet tanks) began with the first days of the Great Patriotic War. As early June 27, 1941, at the very beginning the tank battle in the area Rovno - Lutsk - Brody, mobile group of the 8th Mechanized Corps had captured 13 tanks Pz.Kpfw.III and Pz.Kpfw.IV. Their decided to use with maximum efficiency - under the cover of night to strike at the is concentrated for morning attack by German units.
As a rule, any permanent units of the captured military equipment is not formed. Create temporary detachments, companies and battalions to accomplish specific missions. Captured tanks were operated for as long as enough fuel, ammunition, spare parts. In the same limits used and single captured tanks. Peak use of captured armored vehicles accounts for 1941 - 1943 years. At this time, a number of companies was focused on its repair and restoration.
Apparently, beginning in the fall 1941, in spite of the retreat, in the army had been constantly used a significant amount of captured military vehicles. We can assume that in the period of 1942-1943 they reached two - three hundred. In any case, in the spring of 1942 was published "Notes on using captured German combat and support vehicles," in which the short form provides a description of the design - and control mechanisms all the tanks of the Wehrmacht, some types of armored vehicles, trucks, cars and motorcycles. Were given recommendations for using a tank weapons.