Paragraphs SECTION I. Approach march 11-14 II. Reconnaissance, plans, and orders 15-19 III. The attack 20-26 IV. Reserve rifle company in attack 27-30 V. Night attack 31-36 VI. Attack in woods 37-40 VII. Attack of villages 41 VIII. Attack of river line 42-53 IX. Attack of fortified locality 54 X. Raids 55-57
- The approach march is conducted to bring the company close to the enemy in readiness for action and with minimum losses. It begins when the company leaves the route column to deploy as ordered by the battalion commander; or in event of sudden emergency it begins when the company commander deploys on his own initiative to avoid undue losses. It ends when the company reaches a point from which it must engage in a fire fight to advance farther without excessive casualties.
- Approach march formations vary according to the nature of the terrain and the strength of friendly covering forces.
- The battalion commander's development order prescribes the company's position in the battalion formation. It usually leaves the company dispositions to the company commander's direction. Usually the battalion order assigns a zone of advance, a direction of advance with a definite frontage, or directs regulation of the march on a base company. Successive march objectives may be assigned.
- Having received the battalion development order, the company commander issues his own order, usually in fragmentary form. This should include--
- Necessary information of the enemy and friendly troops.
- Mission, and initial march objective of the company.
- Distribution of rifle platoons and command group to leading and support echelons; distribution of and missions for elements of weapons platoon; distances between units or echelons; and designation of base unit.
- Direction (compass bearing or distant landmark) or route to be followed.
- March objectives and frontage for leading platoon(s) (usually in daylight march only).
- Reconnaissance and security measures, including air-antitank guards.
- Action to be taken in case of ground, air, or mechanized attack (usually covered in battalion standing operating procedure).
- Disposition of weapon carriers, if under company control.
- Position and prospective future movement of the company commander.
- The company commander is responsible for the close-in protection of his company from the instant it leaves the battalion column. When his advance is not covered by other troops, within view, he sends out scouts or patrols to precede the company in order to deal with hostile patrols and give warning of hostile occupied localities. Exposed flanks are protected by flank security patrols, and contact is maintained with adjacent units by connecting groups, taken from the rear rifle platoon(s). (See pars. 17i and 157f.)
- The company commander is with or in advance of his leading platoon(s). If another company is the base company, he has his base platoon guide on that company; otherwise he insures that it maintains the proper direction and rate of march. He assigns additional march objectives, whenever necessary, and makes such changes in direction, formation, or security and reconnaissance measures as variations in the terrain, visibility, or tactical situation may require.
- Platoon messengers report to the company command post as soon as platoons have gained their positions in the company formation. (See par. 8b (8).)
- APPROACH MARCH BY DAY.--
- In daylight the approach march must be made in formations which provide protection
against artillery fire, attack by ground forces, and air attack; which permit maximum utilization of the terrain for concealment and cover and for protection against attack by armored forces; and which enable the company commander to maintain control of his company. Consequently, platoons will be separated laterally, or in depth, or both. On open terrain, platoons may be separated by as much as 300 yards. In woods, distances and intervals must be decreased until adjacent units are visible, or, if the woods are dense, connecting files or groups must be used between platoons. The company commander does not usually prescribe the formation to be taken within platoons but promptly corrects any erroneous formation taken by them. For platoon dispositions, see paragraphs 106a and 170b.
- The company commander, assisted by members of the command group, conducts continuous personal reconnaissance to locate the best covered routes of advance. Shelled and gassed areas, those exposed to hostile small-arms fire, and points (such as villages, defiles, road junctions, and small woods) likely to have been registered upon by hostile artillery are avoided, if practicable. If areas swept by fire cannot be avoided, they are crossed by rushes of individuals or small groups under control of subordinate leaders. The company commander may decide to cross dangerous areas (such as roads, crests, or embankments) which are not actually under fire by a rush of the entire company. Otherwise he signals platoon leaders to have their platoons proceed individually.
- Irrespective of the company's position in the battalion formation, guards are necessary to give warning of air or mechanized attack. The company commander's initial order assigns sectors of observation to platoons to provide continuous all-around observation. See paragraph 9c for action against hostile aircraft and mechanized vehicles.
- Regardless of whether or not other forces are in front of the battalion during its approach march, the battalion and the company are responsible for protecting themselves and conducting reconnaissance to the front and flanks. The approach march of the battalion may be conducted with one or more companies in the leading echelon. A leading
company will ordinarily be assigned a zone of advance and be given specific reconnaissance and security missions. Figure 2(1) and (2) shows schematically two formations which may be used by a leading company.
- The company commander assigns a frontage and one or more objectives to each leading platoon. These objectives include the initial company march objective assigned by the
(1) Schematic formation, leading company, approach march.
(2) Schematic formation, leading company, approach march.
battalion, and other intermediate terrain features (preferably 500 to 600 yards apart) essential for protecting the remainder of the battalion and covering any preparations for attack.
- Leading platoons are frequently reinforced by mortar squads. The weapons platoon, less mortar squads attached to leading rifle platoons, should be moved by routes and to areas where it can most effectively support the leading elements. Rifle platoon(s) in the support echelon are moved by bounds so as to take maximum advantage of concealment and cover and be favorably disposed to protect the more vulnerable flank of the company.
- The advance is executed by bounds; each successive objective should be in the possession of both leading platoons before the rear echelon of the company leaves the cover of the preceding objective. A brief halt may be made at each march objective to check directions and make any necessary changes in formations or security measures.
- A rifle company in the rear echelon of the battalion maintains contact with the leading company by double connecting files. If there is little threat of a hostile attack from a flank, column of platoons (with at least 50 yards between platoons) facilitates control and enables the entire company to use a route which provides maximum concealment and protection.
- If a hostile attack from one or both flanks is reasonably possible, the rifle platoons should be echeloned toward the exposed flank or flanks and the weapons platoon should follow the leading rifle platoon, moving approximately abreast of the rear rifle platoon. (See fig. 2 (3).)
- If there is no threat of a hostile attack from a flank but dangerous areas must be crossed, line of platoons (with platoons separated by such intervals that they can deploy as skirmishers without overlapping) will enable these dangerous localities to be crossed in the minimum time. (See fig. 2 (4).)
- The company commander selects successive march objectives, advances his company by bounds, and limits halts on objectives to a minimum, in the same manner as does the commander of the leading company.
- BY NIGHT.--
- At night, maintenance of direction, control, and contact between units are more difficult than
in marches by day. Whenever practicable, a night march is made along routes which have been reconnoitered by day. If the march is across country, the route should be plotted and the march directed by compass. A circuitous route which follows easily distinguishable terrain features is often preferable to one more direct but less clearly marked.
(3) Rear echelon--contact maintained with leading company by connecting files.
(4) Rear echelon crossing dangerous areas.
- The battalion commander prescribes the route or the direction (by compass bearing) to be followed by the leading company. The company commander is responsible that where practicable his route is thoroughly reconnoitered and marked prior to dark. Other company commanders must similarly reconnoiter and mark the route from the point where their companies will leave the battalion column to go to their final assembly area or attack position.
- The leading company is charged with so regulating the rate of march as to insure that contact and control can be maintained within the battalion. Companies in rear maintain contact with the unit preceding them by means of connecting files.
- COMPANY IN ASSEMBLY AREA.--
- The company may be ordered to occupy a portion of a battalion assembly area. The battalion commander may direct that one officer from the battalion and one noncommissioned officer guide from each company precede the battalion to the assembly area, in transportation furnished by the battalion. Each guide becomes familiar with his company's assigned area and rejoins his company commander just prior to the arrival of the company at the entrance to the assembly area. (Usually these details are covered in standing operating procedure.)
- In order to insure the uninterrupted forward movement of units in rear, the company moves into its assigned area without halting. The company commander can facilitate this movement by one of the following methods:
- Direct the company guide to divide the company area into platoon areas. As the company nears the area, send one guide forward on foot from each platoon to join the company guide and locate his platoon area, then to rejoin his platoon in time to conduct it promptly into that area.
- Upon nearing the area, precede his company by a few hundred yards with the company guide and members of his command group and spot members of the command group as guides along the route to the company's area. Upon arrival, rapidly reconnoiter the area and divide it into platoon areas; then meet each platoon at the entrance to the company area and point out the area it is to occupy.
- Weapon carriers, if under battalion control during the approach march, revert to company control in the assembly area. Upon reaching the company area two guides should be sent back to the entrance to the battalion assembly area to guide the battalion ammunition truck and the company weapon carriers to their location in the assembly area.
- Platoons should be disposed within the company area in accordance with their contemplated future employment.
- The company commander is responsible that--
- Immediately upon arrival in the assembly area, troops and vehicles are as widely dispersed as the size of the area will permit.
- Advantage is taken of all natural concealment, and of every accident of the terrain, to conceal troops and vehicles from hostile aerial or ground observation and to minimize the effect of artillery or aerial bombardment.
- Advantage is taken of all obstacles to tank movement, such as streams, closely spaced stumps, boulders, or large trees.
- Each individual not adequately protected by natural cover digs an individual prone shelter. (See fig. 30.)
- A disciplinary guard is promptly established to prevent exposure to aerial or ground observation and to maintain dispersion of all personnel.
- Local security is promptly established to prevent surprise attack by hostile patrols.
- Antitank rifle grenadiers are located so as to protect the company against hostile armored vehicles.
- Air-antitank guards are posted in accordance with battalion standing operating procedure.
- Pack rolls, if not previously disposed of, are stacked and concealed in an accessible location as directed by the battalion commander.
- If time permits, the physical condition and equipment of each individual is checked by his immediate superior.
- Men are given all possible rest.
- Extra ammunition is issued when ordered by the battalion commander. When the battalion truck carrying this ammunition arrives, it is placed in the best available cover. The issuance of this ammunition is so conducted that not
more than a few men are congregated at the point or points of issuance at any time. (See par. 201.)
- If the company is to remain in the area after dark, an emergency assembly point should be designated. (See par. 10.)
- In case of air or mechanized attack, action is taken as prescribed for bivouacs. (See par. 10.)
- On occasion, particularly when in battalion reserve, the rifle company occupies an assembly area selected by the battalion or company commander and entirely separated from other units. In this situation the company commander, in addition to the matters covered in the preceding paragraphs, establishes his own air-antitank guards.
- If the movement from the battalion assembly area is to be made in daylight and there is little cover or concealment, the company should be moved directly to the line of departure.
- Otherwise, the company is moved from the battalion assembly area to a company assembly area where it can be concealed and protected from small-arms fire. The occupation of a company assembly area greatly assists platoon leaders in orienting their noncommissioned officers and issuing attack orders. It also facilitates the issuance of orders by squad leaders to their squads. To minimize the risk of casualties from hostile fire, this final assembly area should ordinarily be occupied for the minimum period prior to the time of attack. When the movement to it is made in daylight, maximum use must be made of available cover to conceal the movement from hostile aerial and ground observation.
- Properly instructed air-antitank guards are posted. See paragraph 9c for action against hostile aircraft and mechanized vehicles.
RECONNAISSANCE, PLANS, AND ORDERS
- RECEIPT OF BATTALION ORDER.--
- The battalion attack order, written or oral, may be delivered to the company commander at the company location by the battalion commander or his representative.
- The company commander may be directed to join the battalion commander at a forward location to receive the
order. In this situation, the company commander should take with him an additional leader to insure that the order is received by the company even though the company commander becomes an early casualty. This additional leader may be the second-in-command, a platoon leader, or a senior noncommissioned officer.
- When the battalion order is received, shortage of time will often require that the company commander delegate to others the accomplishment of certain preparatory tasks. Therefore, appropriate personnel should be available in a concealed position near the place where the order is issued. This party may include the communication sergeant (to select an observation post and prepare sketches), the orderly, the bugler (to act as observer at the observation post), messengers, and, if available, platoon leaders.
- However, at least one officer must remain with the company at all times.
- During the issuance of an order, all company representatives present with the battalion commander make the necessary notes or entries on their sketches (maps).
- ACTIONS OF COMPANY COMMANDER FOLLOWING RECEIPT OF ORDER.--
- Initial actions.--Upon receipt of the battalion order, the company commander rapidly sizes up the situation, determines how and in what sequence the essential preparatory steps are to be accomplished, and decides what he will do personally and what he will delegate to others. Among the essential preparatory steps are to--
- Decide on the manner of issuing the company attack order. If subordinates can be assembled to receive it, this involves early designation of time and place of issuance, decision as to who are to be present, and issuance of instructions to insure their presence.
- Issue instructions for movement of the company to the company assembly area or area of departure; or, if time permits, lead it personally. In any case it should be led over a reconnoitered route.
- Select an off-carrier position (subject to restrictions imposed by the battalion commander), select the most advanced location to which ammunition can be brought by
carrier, and arrange for reconnaissance of routes to these points if necessary. (See fig. 3.)
- Arrange for securing additional information of the enemy from the covering force commander and for the prompt establishment of the company observation post.
- Confer, if practicable, with commanders of covering forces, adjacent units, and with commanders of units furnishing supporting fires.
- Have simple sketches prepared for the platoon leaders and other selected personnel, unless maps are available.
- Plan and carry out a personal reconnaissance.
- Plan the attack.
- Issue the company attack order in time to allow subordinates adequate opportunity for their reconnaissance, the issuance of their orders, and the disposition of their units for the attack. (If possible, at least one-half hour should be allowed for these purposes.)
- Check and supervise the execution of his orders, to insure readiness of the company to attack at the specified time.
- Conferences.--Brief conferences should be held with commanders of adjacent units and supporting weapons before they leave the locality where the battalion order was issued. Frequently all that can be accomplished at this time is to make definite arrangements for a later interchange of information, either through conferences or messages. Information desired from commanders not present must be secured by contacting them while on reconnaissance or by dispatching agents to confer with them. The information ordinarily desired is:
- From the local covering force commander:
- Exact locations of elements through which the company is to pass.
- Detailed information of hostile activities and dispositions, such as exact locations of automatic weapons, observation posts, antitank guns, and entrenched groups of riflemen, and recent patrol actions.
- From adjacent commanders:
- Their plan of attack (to facilitate cooperation).
- Method of maintaining contact between the two units.
- From supporting weapon commanders: Exact position areas and target areas of their weapons (to avoid premature masking of their fire and to determine where company weapons can be located).
- Sketches.--Simple sketches of the company zone of action and adjacent terrain, drawn on the back of a message blank, can be quickly reproduced by using additional message blanks and the carbon paper in the back of the message book.
If possible, these sketches should be in the hands of the subordinate leaders when the company attack order is issued. Certain details of the plan of attack may be drawn on them and the order thereby shortened. Their chief value, however, is to facilitate mutual understanding of orders and reports exchanged after the attack starts.
- Maps or photo maps do not show the little variations of the terrain which small units must utilize to fight their way forward successfully. Unless the lack of time prohibits anything other than a map reconnaissance, the company commander makes a terrain reconnaissance before he decides on his plan of attack. The thoroughness of this reconnaissance will depend on the time available; it may consist of only a brief observation from one point. Careful planning is essential to utilize the time available to the maximum. Before starting, the company commander should make a brief map study, get the available information of the enemy and of what adjacent and supporting units are to do clearly fixed in his mind, determine what to look for, and decide where he can go in the time available to secure the greatest knowledge of his zone of action.
- His reconnaissance, or that made by others at his direction, should also include--
- Selection of routes forward from the battalion assembly area, for the company, including routes for weapon carriers.
- Determination of the most forward point to which weapons can safely be brought on carriers (off-carrier position). The battalion commander may prohibit the movement of weapon carriers forward of the battalion assembly area until later in the attack. In this case, the off-carrier position is in the assembly area. (See fig. 3.)
- Determination of the most forward point to which ammunition can safely be delivered by carrier and, if necessary, the best route thereto.
- Selection of position areas for the weapon sections and of locations for the company observation post and command post.
- PLAN OF ATTACK.--
- The mission of an attacking rifle company initially is to capture a locality, or
localities, held by the enemy. To do this it must close with the enemy by a combination of fire and movement. It must take advantage of every accident of the terrain to conceal and protect the company, or any part of it, while in movement. Every movement must be covered (a) by fire delivered by part of the company, by company supporting weapons, or both, and so placed that it neutralizes that part of the enemy's infantry which could otherwise effectively fire on the individuals or elements that are moving; or (b) by battalion supporting weapons prepared to deliver such fire.
- During his reconnaissance the company commander seeks to determine where enemy guns and men are, and where others might be located, since the enemy will rarely disclose his entire strength or exact dispositions until forced to do so by our attack. He notes the routes or areas where the enemy's observation or fire is most hampered by the nature of the terrain and which, therefore, are most favorable as avenues of approach to the hostile position. He considers the assistance he can expect from smoke and from the fire of supporting weapons, and notes the available localities where his own weapons could be placed to support the movement of his rifle units. He also considers whether adjacent units will initially be ahead, behind, or abreast of his company, determines from this whether his flanks initially are protected or exposed, and notes whether the terrain affords the enemy concealment from which to launch surprise counterattacks as the attack progresses. With these factors in mind, he decides how best to employ the elements of his company in order to accomplish his mission promptly and with the fewest casualties. He thus determines his plan of attack. The plan must provide for coordination to insure maximum teamwork between the attacking platoon(s) and supporting weapons.
- A formation, for the initial attack, with all three rifle platoons (less a small fraction of one in support) abreast is exceptional; it is usually appropriate only when the company is assigned an extremely broad zone of action and the initial use of all available weapons is essential to establish fire superiority. Figure 4 (1) shows schematically such a company attack formation.
- Employing a formation with two rifle platoons in the attacking echelon and one in support, the company can deliver a strong initial attack while retaining a strong support to influence future action; this formation is the one most frequently used. (See fig. 4 (2))
(1) Formation for attack on broad front.
(2) Formation for strong initial attack.
- A formation with one rifle platoon in the attacking echelon and two in support is frequently used when the company has a very narrow zone of action, when it is operating on an exposed flank, or when the enemy situation is obscure. In this formation the platoons in the rear echelon may be disposed in column behind the leading platoon; echeloned behind the leading platoon toward an exposed flank; or, if both flanks are exposed, they may be echeloned one to each flank of the leading platoon. (See fig. 2 (3) and (4).)
- Time of attack.--The time of attack is normally prescribed in the battalion order. Exceptionally, when it must be determined by the company commander, he allows time for the movement of the company to its attack positions, and also for the necessary reconnaissance, preparation of plans, and issuance of orders by himself and his subordinate leaders when these activities cannot be carried on concurrently with the movement. The start of the attack may be coordinated by directing subordinate elements to initiate their forward movement at a definite hour, or by requiring them to be ready at that hour, but to commence their operations on a prescribed signal.
- Attack positions.--The battalion order may designate a line of departure or direct the company to launch its attack from a given area or locality. If a prescribed line of departure is difficult to locate on the ground, or not approximately perpendicular to the direction of attack, or cannot be reached without exposing the attacking echelon to hostile observation and fire, the company commander should direct that each platoon in his attacking echelon start its attack from a more suitable line of departure, or from an area or point slightly in rear of the line designated by the battalion. Whatever method is used, the time of attack announced for each platoon should be such that its leading personnel will clear the line, area, or locality prescribed by the battalion commander at the time set in the battalion order.
- Scheme of maneuver.--
- An interior company will ordinarily be assigned a zone of action from 200 to 500 yards in width. The cover and concealment from hostile observation and fire afforded by accidents of the terrain will seldom
be uniform in all parts of this zone. Also, the available supporting fires will seldom be sufficient to neutralize all hostile elements opposing the advance. Reconnaissance often discloses that the hostile position is occupied irregularly, open areas forming salients to the front being lightly occupied, while broken terrain and covered approaches forming reentrants into the position are more strongly occupied. Any attack which disregards the terrain and the actual or likely hostile dispositions by attempting to advance in equal strength all along the front has little chance of success. Therefore, the company commander must plan to concentrate his efforts on advancing a portion of his attacking echelon through that part of the company zone which offers the best cover and concealment and which strikes the enemy position at a weak spot. (See fig. 4 (3) and (4).)
- The remainder of the attacking echelon should be directed to attack by fire and movement through that portion of the company zone offering the best remaining concealment and cover, in order to force the enemy to disperse his efforts so that he cannot use his full defensive strength against one portion of the attacking echelon.
- Zones of action and objectives.--
- Each rifle platoon in the attacking echelon should be assigned a definite zone of action. The zone of action is defined by assigning the platoon a particular section of the line of departure or an area or point from which to start its attack, a direction of attack, and a definite terrain objective, or series of objectives, to be captured. If desired, the width of the zone may be indicated by directing that the platoon attack on a frontage prescribed in yards. This is its "zone of responsibility" from which it is responsible for driving forward and gaining the objectives assigned. (See Par. 108d.) Normally, the frontage assigned the platoon should not be less than 100 yards or more than 200 yards; under exceptional circumstances, these limits may be varied. The platoon often can take advantage of covered routes in adjacent platoon zones of action to maneuver against hostile resistance within it. For this reason, boundaries between platoons are seldom prescribed.
- One of the most effective means of coordinating the efforts of the company is by the assignment of successive
objectives to attacking platoons. Each platoon should be assigned, as its initial objective, the nearest terrain feature or hostile position within its zone of action whose capture is essential to the further advance of the company as a whole. It should be directed to continue its attack, after the initial objective has been captured, either in a given direction or against another definite objective. When the company commander desires to control the action more closely, the platoon may be directed to be prepared to continue the attack. If
the platoon has been directed only to be prepared to continue its attack, the company commander must later give the order to resume the attack and assign the next objective. Depending on the terrain, there may be several of these successive platoon objectives to be captured, in turn, before the attacking echelon reaches the initial objective assigned the company by the battalion commander.
- Support.--At the start of the attack the company commander should hold out a support for later use in repelling counterattacks, replacing an exhausted part of the attacking echelon, or striking the final blow necessary to capture an objective. It must be adequate in strength to accomplish its probable missions; with an exposed flank, a rifle platoon is usually the minimum. Since its missions require that the support be able to maneuver, advance by fire and movement, and close with the bayonet, it cannot be taken only from the weapons platoon. In the attack order it may be assigned an initial concealed location and directed to await orders there. Usually, however, because of the company's limited communication facilities, it is directed to follow by bounds in rear of that part of the attacking echelon nearest to the area of its most probable employment. Whenever a definite employment of the support can be foreseen it should be directed to be prepared to accomplish this mission; this will enable its leader to conduct reconnaissance and make plans in advance.
- Use of supporting weapons.--
- The 60-mm mortars should be put in position early--prior to the start of the attack--for use in neutralizing any hostile weapons or massed groups which may impede the advance of the attacking echelon. Because of their small radius of burst and the difficulties of ammunition supply, the mortars should not be used for searching large areas, for prolonged concentrations, or for fire on indefinite targets. Prompt employment depends on having an observer so located that he can adjust fire on the target; therefore, the company commander should clearly state in his attack order the area or areas into which the mortars are to be prepared to fire. If suitable targets have been located, they should be assigned as initial fire missions. When an attacking rifle platoon cannot be effectively supported by mortar fire under company control,
a mortar squad may be attached to that platoon; otherwise, mortars are retained under company control. (See FM 23-85.)
- If possible, light machine guns should be employed to place flanking or oblique fire on hostile defensive positions opposing their own company or adjacent units. Such fire places the greater part of the beaten zone on the target and is more effective than frontal fire. (See fig. 5.) They may also be employed to protect an exposed flank where a suitable field of fire is available. They should be employed for frontal fire only when the terrain and other factors of
Classes of fire with respect to target.
the situation do not permit their employment for flanking or oblique fire, and their fire is essential to establish fire superiority or to repel a hostile counterattack. Being air-cooled, they must fire in short bursts and their greatest effect is secured by placing the fire of both guns on a small area. Wherever practicable, they should operate from positions in rear of and close to the flanks of the most advanced rifle units. It is seldom desirable to attach light machine guns to a rifle platoon, since this places additional burdens of control and of supervising ammunition supply on the rifle platoon leader. The attack order should either assign them a definite position area and definite targets or a sector of fire; or, if
suitable positions initially are not available, the order should direct that they follow some element of the attacking echelon. In the latter case, the mission(s) they are to accomplish, after suitable firing positions are reached, should be definitely stated in the order.
- Irrespective of any flank protective measures that may be taken by higher commanders, the company commander is responsible for the close-in protection of his flanks throughout the attack. Usually there will be gaps between the company and the units on its right and left. If at the start of the attack an adjacent unit is abreast or
Figure 6 (1)
ahead of the company, and the gap can be covered by the fire of both companies, the company commander employs a connecting group to maintain contact with the adjacent unit and to report periodically the location of its nearest flank. (See fig. 6 (1) and (2).) If, however, these conditions do not apply, the company commander should detail a larger flank security patrol to provide close-in flank protection. (See fig. 6 (3).)
- Ordinarily security groups should be detailed from the support. These groups may operate directly under the company
commander or he may delegate control by directing that platoon leaders provide for contact on or protection of a given flank. Under the last-named condition, he frequently prescribes the maximum size of the group. (See pars. 108b (4) and 157f and g.)
- Timely warning is a vital factor in reducing losses from air and mechanized attack. Rifle platoons provide their own air-antitank guards. The antitank rifle grenadiers are not removed from their platoons to provide protection for other elements of the company; they are employed under their platoon leaders to protect the platoon areas. Protection of the company as a whole is accomplished by assigning specific directions or areas of possible tank attack to each rifle platoon. The company commander is responsible for the coordination of the defense measures. The battalion commander, with weapons at his disposal, provides protection in depth or augments the defense provided by the antitank rifles.
- COMPANY ATTACK ORDER.--
- The company commander issues orders for the attack to his platoon leaders and the second-in-command. In addition, when conditions permit, the first sergeant, the communication sergeant, the supply sergeant, platoon sergeants, and the two weapons section leaders may be assembled to hear the issuance of the order.
- The company order must clearly convey the plan of attack by including--
- Such information of the enemy and our own troops, not already known by subordinates, as they should know in order that they may accomplish their assigned tasks. Information of our own troops should include only the location and actions of supporting and adjacent units which have a direct bearing on the company's attack.
- The company mission.
- The time of attack.
- The line, point, or area of departure; direction of attack and initial objective for each attacking rifle platoon, and the action to be taken by each platoon following capture of its initial objective.
- Specific instructions for the weapons platoon. These include definite position areas and targets, or definite missions, for the light machine-gun and mortar sections.
- The location of the support and, wherever practicable, an indication of its probable employment.
- Instructions for maintaining contact and for flank protection.
- Location of the battalion ammunition distributing point and the battalion aid station; the initial location of the weapon carriers retained in the company area; and such other administrative instructions as are desirable.
- The location of the company command post, and the initial, and probable future, location of the company commander.
- COMMAND POST IN ATTACK.-- The command post of an attacking rifle company seldom should be located over 400 yards behind the front line. It is moved forward as the company advances. The new locations are reported to the battalion command post. All locations selected should provide concealment from hostile ground observation, defilade against hostile fire, and, if possible, concealment from aerial observation.
- MOVEMENT TO LINE OF DEPARTURE.-- The movement to the line of departure is a continuation of the approach march. Security during the movement is provided by scouts, patrols, and observers.
- CONDUCT OF ATTACK.--
- Fire and movement.--
- The approach march formation is maintained by the leading platoons until they are compelled to fire in order to advance. These platoons then complete their deployment. Ordinarily fire is opened on orders of the platoon leader; the company commander may, however, reserve to himself the authority for opening fire in order to gain surprise.
- At the first firing position each attacking platoon seeks to gain fire superiority over the enemy to its front by subjecting him to fire of such accuracy and intensity that the hostile fire becomes inaccurate or diminished in volume. Battalion supporting weapons and artillery assist by fires on the hostile forward positions (unless masked by the attacking platoons) and by neutralizing rearward hostile elements which could fire on the attacking echelon. For the employment of combat aviation and tanks in the support of infantry attacks, see FM 7-5, 7-40, and 100-5. The company
commander employs his weapons platoon to neutralize hostile elements which are not being neutralized by other fires.
- Further advances are made by infiltration, by successive rushes of fractions of the leading squads and platoons, or by maneuver of rear echelons. The movement of advancing elements is covered by the fire of those remaining in position and by the fire of company and battalion supporting weapons and of artillery. Every lull in hostile fire is utilized to push groups forward and occupy the natural strong points of terrain from which fire, particularly that of automatic weapons, can be delivered. This combination of fire and movement enables attacking rifle elements to reach positions from which they can overcome the enemy in hand-to-hand combat.
- Because of unequal resistance by the enemy, differences in terrain, and variations in the assistance received from supporting fires, some units will be able to advance while others are held up. A platoon or company not stopped by fire pushes on to capture the final objective, even though adjacent units have been stopped. This advance outflanks resistances holding up adjacent units, frequently enables light machine guns to be placed in positions from which they can deliver flanking or oblique fire on the hostile resistance, and may permit company supports to be moved into the gap to envelop the enemy or gain his rear. Islands of resistance are thus overcome by combined frontal and flanking action.
- Reconnaissance and control.--
- Once the fire fight has commenced the company commander's influence on the fight is largely confined to the employment of supporting fires and of his support echelon. To plan ahead and act effectively at the proper time, he must keep constantly informed of the situation on his front and flanks.
- The company commander posts himself where he can best direct and control the action. Whenever practicable he occupies an observation post from which he can see all, or at least the vital part, of the company zone of action; observers are posted to watch the remainder of the front and flanks. His position must permit messengers free movement. He must be able to communicate readily with the company command post, with the support, and with supporting weapons
under his control. Whenever conditions make effective control of the entire company impracticable from such an observation post, he goes wherever he can best observe and control the action of that part of the company whose operations are most vital to success.
- Ordinarily the communication sergeant, orderly, bugler, a company messenger, an agent corporal from the heavy weapons company, a messenger from each platoon, and a messenger from any weapons section operating directly under control of the company commander are dispersed under cover in the company commander's immediate vicinity. Other personnel of the command group operate from the company command post. The company commander usually sends written or oral messages direct to platoon or weapons section leaders. He sends messages to the battalion commander or to commanders of other companies through the company command post. He uses sound-powered telephone equipment to communicate with that element of the company with which rapid communication is most vital or with an element with which communication by messenger or visual signals would be impracticable. He often delegates supervision of the operation of weapon carriers to the second-in-command, first sergeant, or supply sergeant; but requires that he be kept informed of the location(s) of the most advanced weapon carrier(s).
- To maintain control the company commander must know the location of his platoons and weapons sections and what they are doing. In addition to personal observation and that of members of his command group, he requires periodic reports from his subordinate leaders as to positions, effect of supporting fires, and important developments. Messengers reporting to the company commander are retained, and messengers from the same units who have been with the company commander are then sent to rejoin their unit, usually with a brief message informing the subordinate leader of important developments. This periodic interchange of messengers is one of the most effective means of retaining constant control of the company action.
- Coordination.--Throughout the attack the company commander seeks to bring about the closest possible coordination
between the movements of his rifle platoons and the fire of all supporting weapons. He must not permit rifle units to do slowly that which supporting weapons can do promptly, or to attack without supporting fires when assistance by supporting weapons will save both time and casualties. However, the location of attacking elements must be known before supporting fires can be employed safely. Whenever the support of his own weapons platoon is insufficient, he should call on the battalion commander for artillery fire, and on the heavy weapons company (usually through the agent corporal) for heavy machine-gun or mortar fire. (See par. 7c (3).)
- Employment of weapons platoon.--
- The weapons platoon should be pushed forward aggressively whenever effective fire is no longer possible from the position occupied, or whenever captured terrain offers positions from which more effective support is possible.
- The company commander must keep in mind that the light machine guns are not capable of sustained fire and that resupply of ammunition usually presents a serious problem. Therefore, he should concentrate the fire of both guns, if possible, on targets of limited extent, when and where this fire will best assist the advance of his own or adjacent units or provide flank protection. (See a (4) above.) Advantage may thus be taken of an open field of fire on a flank of the company to bring fire on hostile resistance in front of adjacent rearward companies, to protect against hostile counterattack, or to neutralize cross fires from hostile elements on the flanks. It is particularly desirable to get these guns into positions on the flank of hostile resistance just prior to an assault, so that they can maintain flanking fire on the enemy after all other supporting fires have been forced to lift.
- The advance of the mortars must be so regulated as to enable them to respond promptly to the needs of rifle platoons. However, since the mortar squad can carry by hand only sufficient ammunition to permit firing continuously for two minutes, care must be exercised in the selection of targets and the expenditure of ammunition. Hence, mortars are used against the following types of targets:
- Hostile machine guns or mortars in position defilade, or personnel either defiladed or entrenched, which are definitely
impeding the advance and are known to be located in a small area (about 50 yards square).
- Hostile forward positions, to maintain fire superiority during the final advance of rifle units to within assaulting distance, when other supporting fires are masked.
- Hostile counterattacks, when mortar fire is essential either to stop the attacks or to slow them down to gain time for other measures to be taken.
- The company commander is responsible that weapon carriers located in the company area are kept concealed in defilade. Because it is slow and sometimes difficult to carry ammunition considerable distances by hand, he moves the carriers forward whenever practicable.
- Employment of support.--
- The support must be close enough to the attacking echelon to permit prompt employment against hostile counterattack. If the support has been directed to follow the attacking echelon by bounds from one covered position to another, the company commander must insure that it remains within supporting distance but does not merge with the attacking echelon. If the company commander initially directed the support to await orders in a certain location, he must issue timely orders for its forward movement.
- Variations in terrain or in the situation may require a change in the manner of controlling the movement of the support or a change in the distance at which it is to follow the attacking echelon. It is the company commander's responsibility to judge the conditions and direct these changes whenever necessary.
- The support should not be used piecemeal. Except to take advantage of an opportunity to strike a decisive blow or to repel hostile counterattack, the company support should not be employed when the attacking platoons still have supports not committed to action, or when supporting fires alone will permit a resumption of the attack. However, when the opportunity occurs to strike a decisive blow or its use is necessary to renew the impetus of a stalled attack, the company support should be committed without hesitation. In either case, it should be employed, preferably for flank attack or envelopment, where the attack has progressed against enemy
weakness rather than against strong resistance. If necessary, it may be employed through an adjacent zone. It must not, however, interfere with the action of the adjacent troops and the adjacent commander is informed of the action taken.
- Whenever the support is committed, the company commander seeks to reconstitute another support. However, troops actually under hostile fire cannot be withdrawn for this purpose without suffering excessive casualties. In order to provide himself with a small support for use in case of emergency, the company commander may forbid the employment, without his prior approval, of the uncommitted support of a rifle platoon, or may gather such individuals (messengers or men separated from their unit) as can be safely assembled.
- Security.--The company commander cannot assume that the original measures taken for flank security will remain effective throughout the entire attack. He requires connecting groups and his observers to report frequently the location of the nearest flank of each adjacent unit. If reports fail to arrive, he takes definite steps to secure this information. He adjusts his flank protective measures to fit changes in the situation as they occur. As long as existing gaps can be covered by fire from his own and the adjacent unit, a connecting group to maintain contact is sufficient; otherwise, he sends out one or more flank security patrols, depending upon the size of the gaps. (See pars. 17i and 157f and fig. 6 (1), (2), and (3))
- Assistance to adjacent units.--
- The company assists adjacent units--
- When such assistance will facilitate its own advance.
- When directed to do so by the battalion commander.
- When, without orders, the company commander estimates that such assistance will best assist in the accomplishment of the battalion mission.
- Assistance which enables a rearward adjacent unit to advance abreast is generally an effective means of insuring the security of the company's own flank. (See fig. 7.)
- Assistance by fire and movement is usually more effective than assistance by fire only. Such movement, however, must be strongly supported by the fire of all available weapons, including those of the unit being assisted. Also the movement
must not result in depriving the company, for an extended period, of the services of elements essential to its own further progress.
Schematic diagram showing assistance rendered to adjacent units.
- Co A, having captured Hill T, has been directed to assist Co B in capturing Hill U. Assistance by fire is impracticable on account of intervening heavy woods. Co A therefore employs its support platoon to attack hostile position on Hill U in flank. Capt Co A arranges in advance for fire support from artillery, Co D, and Co B.
- Co B, taking advantage of the woods on its right, captures Hill V. Co A is held up in front of Hill W. Co B employs its light machine guns to assist Co A and thereby assist its own advance by removing a possible threat to its own right flank.
- Co E has captured its final objective, Hill Z. Cos A and B are held up by machine-gun fire from the east nose of Hill Z. Co E employs the fire of its light machine guns and of part of its support platoon in order to assist the advance of Cos A and B.
- When the attacking echelon has progressed as close to the hostile position as it can get without masking its supporting fires, these fires lift and the assault is launched. If necessary, the company commander causes the lifting of supporting fires by giving a prearranged signal, or estimates when the attacking units will be ready to assault and arranges with the battalion commander for these fires to lift at that time. When supporting fires are lifted, assault fire may be employed to prevent the enemy from manning his defenses. Supporting weapons cover the assault by directing their fire at those adjacent and rearward hostile elements which are able to fire on the assaulting troops either during the assault or after the position is captured. For the rifle platoon and squad in assault, see paragraphs 108c and 145.
- The company commander is responsible that the assault is delivered at the proper time. When the attacking echelon has reached assaulting distance, the assault usually is launched by subordinate leaders; otherwise, the company commander orders it by a signal or command, which is repeated by all officers and noncommissioned officers.
- Following a successful assault, the company commander moves his support platoon and weapons sections forward to secure advantageous positions from which to support the continuation of the attack and, if necessary, to protect reorganization. (See par. 24.)
- ADVANCE THROUGH HOSTILE POSITION.--
- The attack must be pushed through the depth of the hostile position to the company final objective without allowing the enemy any opportunity to reconstitute his defense. The company commander employs every means at his disposal to maintain continuity of the attack and exploits without delay every advantage gained.
- If not already committed, the support platoon may be used to relieve a badly disorganized attacking platoon or to launch a flanking or enveloping attack to assist in the capture of successive company objectives.
- If the distance between company objectives is so great that leading platoons are not justified in immediately opening fire, approach march formations may be used initially.
Otherwise, the attack on each company objective is made in a manner similar to the attack on the first objective.
- Whenever a leader or key man becomes a casualty during fighting, he is promptly replaced. If possible, complete reorganization is postponed until the final objective of the company is reached. However, the company must be reorganized whenever disorganization prevents its further effective employment as a fighting team. If hostile fires permit, the rifle platoons move to defiladed positions for complete reorganization; if not, they must make a partial reorganization in place. Time consumed in reorganization must be reduced to a minimum.
- The company commander must protect the reorganization of the company by--
- Prompt and simultaneous movement of the entire weapons platoon to cover the front and exposed flank(s).
- Sending patrols from the attacking platoons, or from the support, to cover the front and maintain contact with the enemy. If the platoon leader of the weapons platoon is given the mission of protecting the reorganization of the company, the patrols should operate under his orders.
- Employing any available support to furnish protection, preferably by holding at least the bulk of it available for prompt action against hostile counterattack.
- The company commander directs platoon leaders to reorganize their platoons and to report promptly their remaining effective strength and the state of their ammunition supply.
- Based upon the reports of the platoon leaders, he causes ammunition to be redistributed. If short of ammunition, he secures more by bringing forward a loaded weapon carrier, by using carrying parties, or by calling upon the battalion.
- He promptly dispatches a message to the battalion commander, giving the situation. the approximate strength of the company, and any hostile identifications secured. Recently captured prisoners, documents, or material may be sent in with the messenger to save manpower.
- Completion of the reorganization should find the company regrouped into an effective team, with control reestablished and with sufficient ammunition to continue the attack.
- After the company captures its final objective, pursuit, except by fire, is not commenced until ordered by the battalion commander. Once begun, it must be characterized by boldness and rapidity and must be pushed to the limit of human endurance.
- When the company has been ordered to pursue, its formations and actions are very similar to those of the support of an advance guard when contact is imminent, as described in paragraph 92e. Usually one rifle platoon is directed to reconnoiter the entire company zone of action and push forward rapidly to gain contact with hostile detachments attempting to delay the pursuit. If unable to overcome rapidly any hostile detachments encountered, it attempts to fix them in position and promptly locate their flanks. This platoon is usually reinforced with a 60-mm mortar and frequently with one or both light machine guns. When the company zone is over 600 yards wide, it may be necessary to employ two rifle platoons in the leading echelon. (See fig. 4 (1).)
- The remainder of the company follows closely in support of the leading echelon. It must be prepared to repel promptly a counterattack directed against either flank or to maneuver rapidly to outflank or envelop any resistance fixed by the leading echelon. With one platoon in the leading echelon, a formation with the weapons platoon (less detachments) moving in the center of the company zone and a rifle platoon echeloned toward each flank is frequently suitable.
- If the company support is still intact when the pursuit begins, it may be employed to commence the pursuit at once, passing through the attacking echelon and moving forward without delay. The platoons of the attacking echelon are directed to complete any necessary reorganization and follow in support without delay. On the other hand, if the company support is not intact, it may be necessary to complete the reorganization of one or more platoons before taking up the pursuit.
- For the pursuit the battalion commander frequently attaches units of the heavy weapons company to a rifle company. The rifle company commander controls their movement and action, and becomes responsible for their
ammunition supply. He seldom attaches these units to his platoons but employs them under his control to give close support and protection to his leading platoons.
- ACTION WHEN ADVANCE IS HALTED.--
- When the advance of the battalion is definitely halted by hostile resistance, the leading rifle companies pass immediately to the defensive on the ground held. Individual entrenchments are dug immediately. The company commander issues instructions for such organization of the area as is possible. Organization of the ground is usually difficult because of disorganization of units and intensity of enemy fires. It may be necessary for the platoons and squads to dig in as best they can and wait for darkness to complete the organization of the position. The supporting weapons must be promptly sited for defense and all other practicable preparations made so that the company will be prepared either to defend its position or to resume the offensive when ordered to do so. For the organization of a company defensive area, see paragraphs 70 and 74.
- During a temporary halt not forced by enemy resistance, such as a halt ordered by the battalion commander to permit supporting weapons to be brought forward to support a continuation of the attack, the company commander issues necessary instructions to provide security for the company and reduce losses. The measures taken are similar to those of reorganization discussed in paragraph 24. Maximum advantage will be taken of such halts to reorganize the platoons, replenish ammunition supply, and make preparations for the continuation of the attack. Men will be required to construct foxholes or slit trenches to protect them from enemy small-arms or artillery fire and from aerial bombardment.
RESERVE RIFLE COMPANY IN ATTACK
- MOVEMENT TO INITIAL POSITION.--
- The battalion order designating a rifle company as battalion reserve prescribes the initial location of the company, and may include instructions as to subsequent movements, flank protection, preparations of plans to meet various contingencies, and maintenance of contact with adjacent units.
- Upon receipt of the battalion order, the company commander considers possible covered routes from the assembly position to the initial reserve position. The selection of the route is made only after reconnaissance, preferably by the company commander. Every effort is made to avoid disclosing to the enemy the location or movement of the reserve. The company commander sends a representative to the battalion commander and establishes liaison with the attacking rifle companies and heavy weapons company, and with battalion or attached antitank units.
- Having made his reconnaissance of the initial reserve position and the route thereto, the company commander issues his orders. He gives subordinates all necessary information of the enemy and our supporting troops; the battalion plan of attack; and instructions for the movement to the initial position, including security en route, its occupation and protection, and connecting groups.
- If practicable, the company commander personally leads his company to the initial reserve position, arranging the movement to avoid interference with other units moving to their attack positions. In moving to and while occupying reserve positions, the company takes advantage of all cover and concealment in order to avoid disclosing the battalion scheme of maneuver and to avoid losses. He places platoons so as to facilitate their planned employment. Local security is provided against attack by hostile ground forces and maximum advantage of the terrain is taken to provide passive antimechanized and antiaircraft protection. See paragraphs 9c and 10.
- The company is ordinarily moved by bounds on orders of the battalion commander. Should the company at any time be located so far in rear of the attacking rifle companies that it cannot effectively support them in case of hostile counterattack, the company commander promptly reports the situation to the battalion commander and requests instructions. He recommends a suitable new position.
- PLANNING POSSIBLE MISSIONS.--
- The reserve company commander should attempt to visualize how and approximately when conditions requiring employment of his company may occur, and prepare plans to meet all possible contingencies.
Plans should be as detailed as practicable and should be completed prior to the time the situation they are designed to meet can reasonably occur. If time permits, he submits his plans to the battalion commander for approval. He informs subordinate leaders of the details of these plans. Estimates are made as to the time necessary to put each plan into effect.
- The reserve company may be assigned one or more of the following missions:
- To envelop points of resistance located by the attacking echelon, frequently by movement through the zone of adjacent battalions.
- To protect the flanks of leading companies.
- To repel counterattacks, especially against the flanks.
- To assist the progress of adjacent units.
- To take over the role of all, or a part, of the attacking echelon.
- To provide contact with adjacent units.
- When the company is given a mission of maintaining contact on the flanks, the company commander should take the connecting groups from the platoons on the flanks of the reserve position. Their strength should be appropriate to the terrain in which they must work. Connecting groups should be sent out promptly so that they can gain contact before the attack starts. (See pars. 17i and 21f and fig. 6 (1), (2), and (3).) They may be used for route reconnaissance on their respective flanks for movements of the reserve company beyond its initial position if this duty will not interfere with their contact missions. They should be instructed to send their reports directly to the battalion command post and each member of the groups should be informed as to its initial and proposed locations.
- RECONNAISSANCE AND LIAISON.--In order to be prepared to execute promptly any of the missions outlined above, the company commander keeps himself constantly informed of the situation--
- By personal reconnaissance and observation from advantageous points of the terrain.
- By means of observation posts manned by personnel of the company.
- By observers accompanying leading companies.
- By remaining with the battalion commander, or at the battalion command post, or detailing another officer to do so.
- By means of messenger communication with the battalion commander and with the battalion command post.
- ACTION WHEN COMMITTED.--When the reserve company is committed to action by the battalion commander, it operates as a rifle company in the attack.
- GENERAL.--The rifle company may be employed in a night attack as part of a battalion or as the principal attacking force. For the general characteristics of night operations, see FM 7-5 and 100-5. For the rifle battalion in night attack, see FM 7-20.
- COMPANY ORDER.--
- The company order for a night attack goes into much greater detail than a similar order for an attack by day. Provision is made for every eventuality that can reasonably occur.
- The following outline indicates the matter to be included in the company order:
RIFLE COMPANY ORDER FOR NIGHT ATTACK
- Information of the enemy.
- Information of friendly troops, including supporting fires, if any.
Time of attack.
Rear assembly area.
Forward assembly area.
Line of departure.
- Movement from rear assembly area to forward assembly area.
Time of departure from rear assembly area.
Rate of advance (unless the company is moving in one column led by company commander).
- Advance from forward assembly area.
*Rifle platoons. (For use of asterisk see par. 32c.)
Rate of advance (if necessary).
When to deploy as skirmishers.
Limit of advance on objective.
- Action after capture of objective.
*Mission of rifle platoons.
*Mission of weapons platoon.
*Designation of support and mission of same.
- Means of identification.
Measures to assist in maintaining secrecy.
- Use or disposition of weapon carriers.
Amount of ammunition to be carried.
Arrangements, if any, for feeding troops.
Location of battalion aid station.
Location of battalion ammunition distributing point.
- Location of battalion command post.
Location of company command post.
(in rear assembly area and on objective).
*Location of company commander.
(During move from rear assembly area to forward assembly area, in forward assembly area. and during advance from forward assembly area.)
NOTE.--Paragraph 3 of this order is arranged in sequence of logical time-phases of the operation, with miscellaneous details applicable to the whole command, included in x.
- When the rifle company is part of a battalion which is making a night attack, the battalion commander will usually prescribe all details except those marked * in the preceding outline. He will also direct and restrict the reconnaissance of subordinate leaders and give specific orders for night patrolling prior to the attack and after the capture of the objective.
- When a rifle company constitutes the principal attacking element of a night attacking force, the battalion commander may prescribe all of the details listed in c above. In any situation, he states the objective, the mission of the company after capturing the objective, and the time of attack. He also prescribes the protective fires to be provided by the heavy weapons company and arranges for supporting artillery fires--usually after considering the recommendations of the heavy weapons company commander and the rifle company commander.
- RECONNAISSANCE AND OTHER PREPARATORY ACTIONS.--
- Irrespective of the details prescribed by the battalion commander, daylight reconnaissance by the company commander and his subordinates is essential and is supplemented by additional reconnaissance at dusk and during the hours of darkness. During daylight, reconnaissance of terrain not held by friendly troops is usually impracticable except by observation from points in rear of our front lines. The company commander places such restrictions on reconnaissance as are necessary to preserve secrecy.
- The daylight preparation of the company commander includes the following:
- Prompt issuance of a warning order giving all available information.
- Location of exact limits of the company objective.
- Selection of forward assembly area and line of departure.
- Reconnaissance and marking of the route from the rear assembly area to the forward assembly area by company and platoon guides.
- Reconnaissance and marking of the route(s) from the advanced edge of the forward assembly area to the line of departure (if these are not the same).
- Reconnaissance and marking of exact points at which platoons are to cross the line of departure.
- Designation and reconnaissance of the route of advance for each platoon beyond the line of departure--reconnaissance to be performed by platoon leaders. (See a above.)
- Determination of compass bearings for the advance of the platoons beyond the line of departure. (When the battalion commander prescribes the direction of attack, such direction is usually that from the center of the area of departure to the center of the objective, and will not necessarily be the same as that for individual companies or platoons.)
- Selection by observation, if practicable, of points where platoon columns will deploy into squad columns (if such formations are to be used), and into skirmish lines.
- Location of ridges, roads, hedges, telephone lines, or any other landmarks that may be used at night to assist in maintaining direction and control.
- The issuance of a warning order in time to permit subordinate leaders to make their reconnaissances before dark. Platoon leaders cannot make satisfactory daylight reconnaissances unless they know the general plan of the company commander. Final details of the attack order are usually issued after reconnaissances are completed.
- PLAN OF ATTACK.--
- General.--The plan for a night attack is characterized by simplicity and minuteness of detail. Careful preparation is essential. No set method can be followed. The difficulties of maintaining direction, control, and cohesion vary directly with the degree of visibility existing at the time of the attack and the methods used must be varied accordingly. To plan the attack the company commander's information of hostile forces (size, composition, and night dispositions), the contemplated action of friendly troops, and the terrain to be traversed, must be as complete and detailed as possible.
- The company commander obtains information of hostile forces--
- From the battalion commander.
- By contact with front-line elements.
- By establishment of observation posts, when sufficient daylight remains to justify it.
- By personal reconnaissance of the company commander and his subordinates.
- By study of available aerial photographs.
- By night patrolling. (See par. 158f.) (This is frequently the only means of obtaining detailed information of hostile outguards and listening posts.)
- Information of friendly troops is obtained from the battalion commander and by contact of the company commander or his representative with the units involved.
- Detailed information of the terrain can often be augmented by night patrolling.
- Direction and control.--The company commander takes advantage of every possible means of maintaining direction and control. Such means are:
- The use of guides for movements in rear of, and forward of, the line of departure. Competent guides frequently can be selected from patrols who have been over the area.
- Designation of boundaries along unmistakable terrain features, if such exist.
- Designation of compass directions for each element of the company.
- The use of connecting files or groups, both laterally and in depth. The need for such elements will be determined by the visibility. (See (7) and e (2) below.)
- Designation as base platoon of the platoon having the most easily identified route to follow.
- Regulation of the rate of advance. (See d below.)
- Prescription that the advance be made by bounds. Bounds are made from one recognizable terrain feature to another, if possible. Where no such terrain features exist, columns may be directed to halt after moving a given distance, after moving a prescribed number of steps, or at stated time intervals. (See par. 35a (3).)
- Retention of the company formation in platoon columns as long as practicable. If practicable, deployment as skirmishers should be delayed until within 100-200 yards of the objective. However, deployment should be completed before coming within view of sentries located on or in close proximity to the objective. (See g (6) below.)
- Prescription in the attack order of the detailed mission to be accomplished by each platoon after capturing the objective.
- Time of attack.--The time of attack is usually prescribed by the battalion commander in order to secure necessary coordination, particularly when displacement of heavy weapons to the captured objective is contemplated. However, the company commander may be called upon to submit recommendations for the time of attack when the rifle company constitutes the principal attacking force.
- An attack launched during the first hours of darkness frequently strikes the enemy before he has had time to organize his position or his artillery support. It may also anticipate possible night operations on the part of the enemy. It may be delivered after victorious combat in order to frustrate the enemy's attempts to organize a withdrawal at nightfall or to consolidate a position for defense.
- An attack during the last hours of darkness may be advantageous as a preliminary operation to a general attack at daybreak because it gives the defender no time to reorganize.
- Rate of advance.--Normally, the rate of advance to the forward assembly area, if made across country, will be about 1 mile per hour. Beyond this area, usually the rate will be limited to 100 yards in from 6 to 10 minutes, depending upon the visibility. If prescribed by the battalion commander, a rate should be included in the company order. When advancing by bounds, a rate is not prescribed. If practicable, the company commander should regulate the rate himself and not leave it to the base platoon leader.
- Line of platoon columns is the usual formation for crossing the line of departure. If the ground in front of the objective is level or slopes evenly for some distance and if visibility is sufficient to permit control to be maintained, it may be desirable to cross the line of departure in line of squad columns. Whether in line of platoon columns or line of squad columns, squads may be formed in column of twos. This facilitates deployment as skirmishers. Intervals between columns are such that skirmish lines may be formed with not over 2-yard intervals between men. Since ordinarily only men armed with the rifle and bayonet are useful in the assault, a deployed rifle squad can cover about 20 yards at a maximum. All men not armed with the bayonet are placed at the rear of their squads or columns. They do not deploy as skirmishers, but follow closely during the assault.
- The weapons platoon, less transportation, must be available shortly after the capture of the objective, but should not be so close to the rifle platoons during the advance that it can become involved in the assault. It may follow the attacking echelon by bounds as directed from time to time by the company commander; in this case, a liaison detail from the weapons platoon should be with the company commander to act as guides. When visibility is good (moonlight), the platoon may be directed to follow an element of the attacking echelon, with a connecting group following the prescribed
element at the limit of visibility and the platoon following the connecting group at the same distance.
- The supporting weapons of the attacking force may be placed in position for flank protection of the initial assault. When the terrain is favorable for overhead fire, they may be emplaced in a rearward position to support the attack on signal or to cover a withdrawal.
- When a support is held out, it ordinarily moves with the weapons platoon if this platoon follows the attacking echelons. Otherwise, it follows closely the attacking echelon but at such distance as to prevent intermingling of the two elements. At daylight, a support is essential to meet an expected counterattack; if none has been held out, one is constituted from the most easily available personnel after the objective has been captured.
- Flank security.--Usually a small patrol moving at the limit of visibility abreast of each flank platoon provides adequate flank protection during the advance.
- Secrecy.--In a night attack surprise is essential and is obtained chiefly through secrecy. Measures to secure secrecy include:
- Keeping the exact hour of attack secret until the last possible moment.
- Restricting the size and activities of parties engaged in reconnaissances and other preparations for the attack.
- Prohibiting loading of weapons until after the capture of the objective.
- Prohibiting smoking, use of lights, talking (except on official business and then in a whisper), and shiny or noisy equipment.
- Instructing all personnel that only the bayonet will be used during the advance and attack; and insuring that bayonets are fixed before leaving the line of departure.
- Darkening faces and hands with dirt or other available substance.
- Holding down the rate of advance from the line of departure to that at which the entire company can move in silence. This rate will depend upon the terrain and visibility.
- Employing patrols to knock out enemy listening posts and outguards just before the attacking force will reach their location.
- Means of identification for all personnel must be prescribed. These may be in the battalion commander's instructions. If not prescribed in the battalion order, all identifying measures must be communicated to the battalion commander, so that any personnel moving to the objective before daylight can be properly identified. Unless special identifying means are issued, the means prescribed must be readily available to all men. They should not be conspicuous and easily observed at night. Identifying noises or words, such as a challenge and answer in very low voice without hissing sound, are also valuable. (See par. 158.)
- Distinctive marks for officers also must be prescribed. When practicable, special distinctive marks for noncommissioned officers are desirable.
- Maneuver.--Platoons advance and attack straight to the front, although detours of a few yards to avoid obstacles are permitted. Any attempt to combine a frontal attack with an envelopment usually results only in an uncoordinated assault and brings conflict between the two friendly forces.
- Signal communication.--The company commander must insure that he knows the method or methods of calling for supporting fires to be put down and lifted. If possible, duplicate means such as pyrotechnics and radiotelephones are provided. The following signals, in particular, should be well understood: objective taken; put down protective fires around objective; lift protective fires.
- CONDUCT OF NIGHT ATTACK.--
- The advance is made in compact columns until close to the enemy. A silent, stealthy advance is essential to secrecy.
- The leader of each column marches at its head. The company commander marches where he can best control and regulate the advance. A noncommissioned officer marches at the rear of each column to prevent straggling and enforce instructions for maintaining secrecy. Column leaders and the company commander constantly check on maintenance of direction and contact.
- Each column leader is preceded at the limit of visibility by scouts or a small patrol. It is desirable that men who speak the enemy language march with the leading scouts or patrols or with the column leader. At the end of each bound, the scouts or patrols reconnoiter for the next advance, while leaders verify or reestablish contact, intervals, and direction. Contact is made by designated personnel moving from flank columns to the center column or vice versa. The advance is resumed on the company commander's order, transmitted by messengers or by sound signals. If a hostile sentinel challenges, answer is made in the enemy language (if possible); the scouts or members of the leading patrol close in with the bayonet. Designated men at the head of the column may assist the scouts or patrols; and the rest of the troops lie down. The company commander must prevent firing by the enemy from bringing on a premature assault.
- Action of hostile patrols or outguards may force all or part of the company to deploy as skirmishers prior to the time planned. Elements forced to deploy reform in column after the resistance has been reduced. Remaining elements of the company are halted during such periods or continue movement to the next planned halt and await orders.
- Units which lose contact with adjacent units seek to regain contact while continuing to press forward to their own objectives.
- Assault.--Deployment may be forced by the enemy opening fire at close range; it may be executed on arrival at a prescribed terrain position or on the order of the company commander. Platoon leaders acknowledge receipt of such orders. The deployment must be completed rapidly; any prolonged halt at this stage of the attack increases the chances of detection. The advance is then continued at a walk unless unusual visibility enables a more rapid pace to be assumed. Every effort must be made to maintain the skirmish line and prevent breaking up into isolated groups. When resistance is encountered, the attacking personnel launch the final assault. Aggressive leadership by officers and noncommissioned officers is essential.
- Action after capture of objective.--Reorganization begins as soon as the objective is captured. Security measures
must be taken. An adequate support must be available by daylight to repel counterattacks. Supporting weapons are brought up, men dig in, and all other possible preparations are made to defend the position against hostile counterattacks at daylight. When the attack is to be continued after daylight, preparations are made to continue the attack. During darkness, the weapons platoon elements can determine only approximate positions and observation posts; they select and occupy their firing positions at dawn.
- NIGHT INFILTRATION.--
- Prior to a daylight attack by a larger force--or during a pursuit--the rifle company, or any of its elements, may be directed to infiltrate through the hostile forward elements at night in order to reach an assembly area within the hostile area before daylight. The mission will usually be to launch an attack at daylight against the rear of the hostile defensive position or to attack and disrupt his command, communication, and supply facilities. During defensive operations similar missions may be assigned for the purpose of hampering the hostile attack or pursuit.
- The reconnaissance and other preparations to be made in daylight are similar to those for a night attack. When extensive gaps exist between hostile forward elements it may be possible for the entire unit to move together; the movement is then conducted in a manner similar to the advance in a night attack except that the formation is frequently a single column. Every effort is made to avoid contact with hostile patrols or security elements. When only small gaps exist, the movement must be made by small groups advancing over separate routes. The assembly area (or rallying point) selected must be easily recognizable in darkness and all members of each group should be thoroughly acquainted with its appearance and location, preferably from visual observation and a study of aerial photographs. After a study of the ground, maps, and aerial photographs, the route or routes to be followed should be carefully selected to take advantage of landmarks recognizable at night. Compass directions between landmarks should be determined in advance. Successful accomplishment of such a mission by small groups requires thorough training in night patrolling, use of the compass, and interpretation of maps and aerial photographs.
ATTACK IN WOODS
- GENERAL.--For the general characteristics of infantry combat in woods, see FM 7-5, 7-40, and 100-5. This section discusses the rifle company in attack against the near edge of woods, the advance through woods, and the debouchment from woods.
- AGAINST NEAR EDGE.--
- During an advance over open ground to the edge of woods, attacking rifle companies may be under the observation and fire of a concealed enemy. Consequently they frequently attack at night (see sec. V) or under cover of smoke.
- When the attack gains the edge of woods, it may be necessary for the company to halt and reorganize. Since the edge of the woods is a favorable target for hostile artillery and aviation, only a minimum time is allowed for reorganization. In planning his attack against the near edge of the woods the company commander must also plan his reorganization and advance through the woods. By so doing, he can reduce the time needed for subordinate leaders to redispose their units.
- In his initial attack order, the company commander gives platoons instructions for their reorganization and includes provisions for patrols to establish and maintain contact with the enemy. He also makes provision for flank protection and the maintenance of contact with adjacent units. He gives platoons tentative instructions regarding formations, frontages, and maintenance of contact during the advance through the woods.
- ADVANCE THROUGH WOODS.--
- As soon as the necessary reorganization has been effected, the company commander promptly confirms or modifies his tentative instructions, prescribes objectives, and starts the advance. A magnetic azimuth is assigned each platoon and special precautions are taken to prevent loss of direction. The company commander and his command group generally follow close behind the center of the leading echelon. The rate of advance depends upon the degree of visibility within the woods; it must permit
contact with adjacent units. Periodic halts to restore contact and cohesion may be made at specified times, or on selected lines, as directed by the battalion commander.
- Dispositions depend upon the difficulty of movement and the visibility within the woods. In sparse woods, leading elements may be deployed in line of skirmishers. In dense woods, a line of squad columns often is the best formation for the leading elements of the company. Scouts precede each leading unit, reconnoitering to the front and flanks. Rear units of the company ordinarily follow in platoon column. Connecting files or groups are employed whenever visual contact between units, or between units and scouts or patrols, is impracticable. Unless adjacent units are in close contact, constant flank security is imperative on account of the possibility of hostile surprise attack. Unless other elements of the battalion are following closely, protection to the rear is also essential.
- Light machine guns can take advantage of clearings and gaps in the line of riflemen to deliver a large volume of fire at short range. They are retained under company control and follow closely behind the attacking echelon. The mortars are used whenever openings in the woods permit observed fire. A mortar is frequently attached to each leading rifle platoon because there is seldom suitable observation for effective employment of mortars from a central location.
- When scouts or patrols encounter resistance which they cannot overcome, leading platoons immediately deploy and close with the enemy, employing enveloping maneuver whenever possible. Success depends largely on intelligent and aggressive leadership by platoon and squad leaders. The company commander directs such fire support by his weapons platoon as is practicable, and calls for heavy machine-gun fire when terrain and other conditions permit. He employs his support element as the situation requires. Assistance from 81-mm mortars and artillery is frequently limited by lack of observation and the difficulty of defining targets. The company commander, however, calls for their support when necessary and practicable.
- DEBOUCHMENT FROM WOODS.--The leading platoons halt short of the far edge of the woods. The company commander
sends reconnaissance patrols (see par. 158) forward to determine the location and strength of hostile resistance to the front, and directs that supporting weapons of the company be brought up. Reorganization of the platoons is conducted at sufficient distance within the woods to avoid hostile fires on the edge of the woods. The company commander promptly plans his advance to the next objective and issues orders to platoon leaders. He disposes the weapons platoon to protect the debouchment from the edge of the woods and makes arrangements for support by heavy weapons, or the artillery, or both. Terrain and volume and kind of enemy fire will greatly influence the debouchment--whether it is made by unit rushes or by infiltration.
ATTACK OF VILLAGES
- GENERAL.--Attack through villages and towns, particularly those in which the houses are close together, is generally similar to attack in woods, and the phases of the action are the same. Chief differences are:
- Increased opportunity for detailed prior reconnaissance and planning, due to probable availability of aerial photographs and accurate maps.
- Greater use of pyrotechnic signals.
- Greater probability that targets upon which supporting fires are desired can be described with exactness, and consequently a greater probability of securing effective fire support from artillery and 81-mm mortars.
- Maintenance of direction is easier; maintenance of contact and control is frequently more difficult.
- Definite zones of action can be prescribed by assigning leading platoons one or more streets. Cross streets provide definite objectives near which halts can be made to restore contact and control.
- Increased necessity for prompt mopping-up behind the leading echelon. The battalion may provide details for this purpose. If not, the company commander directs that his support mop-up such hostile elements as endanger his advance and report to his battalion commander the location of other hostile groups.
ATTACK OF RIVER LINE
- GENERAL.--For the general doctrines governing operations at river lines, see FM 7-5, 7-40, and 100-5. The company will usually cross as part of its battalion. It may be assigned as a leading rifle unit to cross in assault boats or as a reserve to cross on bridges or by ferry. This discussion deals with leading units. After receipt of warning orders the company commander reconnoiters the areas in which his units will operate. Upon receipt of the battalion order, he makes such additional reconnaissance as time and concealment permit. When practicable, his reconnaissance includes routes from the rear assembly area to the final assembly area, and from the final assembly area to the river bank.
- ASSEMBLY AREA.--
- Rear.--The company moves to and occupies a position in the rear assembly area as directed by the battalion commander. This area is usually beyond hostile light artillery range and within easy night marching distance of the river.
- Final.--Final assembly areas are selected for each battalion crossing in the leading echelon. Frequently, final assembly areas are assigned to each leading rifle company, the companies of each battalion marching directly from the battalion rear assembly area to the company final assembly areas. Here the engineer crews assigned to individual boats join the infantry. The final assembly area is the point where assault boats are placed in readiness by engineers along the foot routes to the river for the final carry by hand to the launching area at the river bank.
- PLANS AND ORDERS.--The company commander completes his plan in the rear assembly area. He issues orders to subordinates in time for their detailed planning. If practicable, he takes them forward to the river bank to issue his order and permit their detailed reconnaissance on the ground. He plans the movement so as to provide as little delay as practicable in the final assembly area and no delay at the river bank. In addition to the data usually furnished in
combat orders the river crossing order will cover the following:
- Location of the final assembly area, routes thereto, and hour of arrival in that area.
- Method of march control to the final assembly area (guides, control points, etc.).
- Allotment of assault boats to platoons or groups.
- Formation for the crossing.
- Objectives and missions for the respective platoons.
- Time of crossing for each platoon.
- Instructions for division into boat groups.
- Instructions regarding supply, evacuation, control, location of company commander, and communication.
- MOVEMENT TO RIVER.--
- The movement of a company to the final assembly area may be made under battalion control or it may be under the company commander. Prior to leaving the rear assembly area, the company commander divides the company into boat groups. Tactical unity is maintained as far as practicable. Upon arrival of the company at its final assembly area, engineer guides meet the company and conduct groups to the boats. All subsequent movement to the river is under control of engineer troops. Groups march in column of twos in order to pick up boats without change of formation. The engineer guides lead groups to the boats, the boats are picked up, and the groups move on in silence. Each boat is carried by the infantrymen who will cross in it.
- An assault boat will safely transport any one of the loads listed below:
9 men with individual weapons and equipment.
8 men with one light machine gun and 20 boxes of ammunition (5,000 rounds).
7 men and one 60-mm mortar with 150 rounds of ammunition.
- The capacity loads listed are exclusive of two engineer soldiers, who assist in paddling the loaded boat, and who remain with the boat to bring it back across the stream for additional loads. For detailed loading tables, see FM 7-55.
- Two engineer soldiers are habitually assigned to each assault boat as its crew; they guide and supervise the approach
to the river, the launching and loading of the boat, and all movement on the water.
- CROSSING THE WATER.--Departures from the final assembly areas are timed to permit leading units to cross simultaneously on a broad front, but once these units leave the final assembly areas they do not halt and no attempt is made to maintain alinement between boats. Normally, there is no firing from the boats when the crossing is made under cover of darkness. No effort should be made to paddle upstream in order to counteract drift, unless the relative positions of landing and embarkation points and the nature of the current have led to prior orders to such effect. Alternate crossing points are designated for use by succeeding waves if required.
- FORMATION.--The rifle company usually crosses with the three rifle platoons abreast. The weapons platoon and command group of the company normally follow as soon as the rifle platoons have reached the far bank. The company aid men are attached to one of the rifle platoons in the first wave.
- ACTION AFTER LANDING.--Platoon leaders select prominent features of the terrain on which to rally the boatloads of their men as they land. The river bank is cleared promptly. When landing in darkness, all men hold their fire, and as enemy groups near the bank disclose themselves by firing, they close with the bayonet. Rifle company commanders usually proceed with or follow immediately behind the leading elements. The weapons platoon follows the rifle platoons to the company objective, and emplaces its weapons to repel a counterattack and to support the further advance. As soon as the company commander has regained control of his company, he orders the resumption of the advance to seize the company's portion of the battalion objective.
- ANTIMECHANIZED DEFENSE.--Troops must be prepared to meet a counterattack, particularly by tanks, soon after their crossing. Antitank rifle grenadiers cover the most probable avenues of tank approach, particularly against the flanks of the company.
- ANTIAIRCRAFT SECURITY.--Higher commanders provide both aviation and antiaircraft artillery protection against hostile planes. Antiaircraft weapons remain silent until the crossing is discovered by the enemy.
- COMPANY WEAPON CARRIERS.--The battalion order prescribes the location of company transportation. Company vehicles may be transported across the river by float, by ferry, or may be driven over a ponton bridge after its completion. They should be crossed early in the operation. The rifle company takes a limited supply of ammunition in the assault boats.
- COMMUNICATION AND CONTROL.--Control during the crossing and advance to the company objective is mainly a responsibility of squad and platoon leaders. The company commander resumes control as early as possible. The company will reestablish communication with the battalion command post as soon as possible after the crossing is effected. The usual means of signal communication are messengers, radio, and prearranged visual signals.
- IMPROVISED CROSSING.--
- Rifle companies as a part of advance guards and pursuing detachments frequently cross a stream or river by surprise, making use of the means at hand. This operation is usually executed under the direction of the battalion commander. The rifle company commander may order a crossing on his own initiative under similar circumstances. The doctrines and technique of crossing with improvised means are similar to those described for a crossing with standard equipment.
- Crossing is accomplished by use of boats found in the neighborhood, or imperfectly destroyed bridges. Where no better means are available, the rifle company crosses by swimming and with rafts or floats made from its own equipment. All the combat equipment of a rifle company can be crossed with swimmers as follows:
- The two-man rifle float can be prepared by two men in 7 minutes. The two shelter halves (one on top of the other) are placed on the ground, and the remainder of the two packs and the clothing of the two men is placed in the center. The rifles (crossed to give rigidity) are placed on top of the
packs and clothing. The float is completed by binding the four corners of the outside shelter half to the four extremities of the rifles by means of the shelter tent ropes. In a similar manner, using two 3-foot sticks or two shelter tent poles instead of rifles, a light machine gun, a 60-mm mortar, or two automatic rifles can be floated in a shelter tent. (See fig. 8 (1) and (2).)
- Ammunition and other supplies vital to the initial stage of the operation on the enemy side are apportioned to the two-man teams and ferried across.
(1) Rifle squad equipment prepared for river crossing.
(2) Rifle squad equipment floating.
ATTACK OF FORTIFIED LOCALITY
- ATTACK OF FORTIFIED LOCALITY.--The attack of a fortified locality is a special operation involving special equipment, powerful means, and detailed preparations. The procedure is covered in FM 7-5 and 100-5. After a break-through has been made, subsequent infantry operations are conducted generally as in other offensive action.
- BY RIFLE COMPANY.--
- The rifle company as a unit will usually be employed only in a supported raid. (See FM 7-5.) The battalion commander will prescribe the mission, objective, and time. He may secure the recommendations of the company commander in prescribing the routes of advance and withdrawal and in arranging and coordinating the fire support. He will make the necessary arrangements for rehearsals. Other details may be prescribed by him or left to the discretion of the company commander.
- After preliminary reconnaissance, the company commander must decide all details concerning organization, equipment, training, and conduct of the raid which have not been prescribed by the battalion commander. He organizes assault and support parties and designates leaders and missions for each party. The weapons platoon may be employed to protect the flanks; to assist in covering the withdrawal; to reinforce supporting fires; or to furnish carrying parties for captured material or guards for prisoners. In addition to the support parties for the usual missions, the company commander should plan to have one support party directly under his control in order that he can employ it against unexpected enemy resistance or counterattack. During the night, enemy reserve elements may occupy positions which were not occupied during daylight. These positions may not have been located. Consequently, the company commander must be prepared to deal promptly with unexpected resistance which may endanger the success of the raid.
- When there are to be no preparation fires by supporting weapons, the company commander must carefully plan the time when he is to give the signal for protective fires which "box-in" the objective. This will involve determining just where his assault parties should be when the signal is given. If the protective fires come down too soon, the hostile garrison may be aroused, and if fires are delayed too long hostile supporting weapons from adjacent areas can bring effective fires on the raiding force.
- Prior to the raid the rifle company commander and the leaders of his parties conduct secret daylight reconnaissance and at least one night reconnaissance. Orders for the raid must be detailed and complete, and must be thoroughly understood by all participants. All must be able to distinguish between pyrotechnics used as signals for withdrawal and those for supporting fires.
- The raid is conducted as a night attack (sec. V) followed by withdrawal as soon as the mission is accomplished. The company commander, with his command group, places himself in the formation where he can best control the action and determine when to order the withdrawal.
- RAID BY ELEMENT OF RIFLE COMPANY.--The rifle company commander may be directed to stage a raid with a platoon or smaller element of the company. Such a raid may be supported or unsupported. (See FM 7-5.) The company commander will detail the leader of the raid and designate the unit to make it. Subject to his instructions from the battalion commander he will order the mission, time, objective, and routes of advance and withdrawal. When the raid is to be supported, he will arrange with the battalion commander for fire support. When time permits, he will arrange for rehearsals on ground as similar to the scene of the raid as can be located.
- DAYLIGHT RAIDS.--Daylight raids will usually be supported. There will usually be preparation fires by supporting weapons and smoke will ordinarily be used to protect the raiding force. In other respects the preparation and conduct of the raid are similar to those for the night raid.