Section Page I. Organization and command 29 II. Beach and shore parties 34 III. Station and maneuver areas 36 IV. Coordination of operations 38
Organization and Command
Par. 201. The attack force 29 202. Tasks of naval task groups and landing force 29 203. Organization of naval task groups 30 204. The attack group 30 205. The landing force 31 206. The transport group 31 207. Organization of boats 32 208. The control group 32 209. The reconnaissance group 33 210. The mine group 33 211. The support force 33
- The attack force.--
- The attack force is a task organization of the fleet especially constituted for the conduct of landing operations. It consists of--
The naval task groups.
The landing force.
- If separate operations are contemplated in localities at such distances from each other that direct command and coordination by one commander would be difficult or impracticable, two or more attack forces may be organized.
- Each attack force is designated by a suitable name, such as "Dewey Attack Force." For reasons of secrecy and to prevent confusion in case the attack force operates in more than one area, it is inadvisable to designate an attack force by the name of its objective or the locality in which it is to operate.
- The commander and the units of each attack force should be designated at the earliest practicable date. The attack force commander will usually be the senior naval commander of the units of the fleet comprising the attack force. It may be impracticable, however, to determine the complete organization of the attack force until the situation in the proposed theater of operations has been ascertained. Under such conditions, in order to provide continuity of planning and execution, it will be desirable to designate as attack force commander an officer, not necessarily commanding a fleet unit, especially selected for the conduct of the operation, and provided with an adequate staff and a suitable flagship. He should be senior to commanders of fleet units which may be assigned to the attack force. Provision must be made in advance for continuity of command within the landing area during the course of the operation.
- In order that the attack force commander may better control the operation of all task groups, it is desirable that his flagship operate independently of these groups. If the fire of the flagship is required it is desirable that it be utilized in general support of the operation as a whole rather than to support a specific organization of the landing force.
- When an advance force (ch. I, sec. III) has been operating in the theater of operations prior to the arrival of the attack force, it is desirable that vessels of the advance force be assigned to the attack force upon its arrival in the theater, so that the operations of the two forces may be closely coordinated.
- Tasks of naval task groups and landing force.--The normal tasks of the naval task groups and the landing forces are:
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- Naval task groups.--
To provide adequate reconnaissance.
To provide protection against enemy naval forces during the landing operation.
To provide, man, equip and operate the small craft required for the operation, and to land personnel and matériel of the landing force in accordance with the approved plan for the landing.
To support the operation by gunfire, aircraft, and screening operations, fire from boat guns, mine sweeping, and removing underwater obstacles.
To provide signal communication between ships and shore.
- The landing force.--
To provide troops for reconnaissance of the beach.
To deliver fire from its own weapons while embarked in boats for landing and to assist in manning designated boat guns.
To conduct operations on shore necessary for the accomplishment of the mission.
- Organization of the naval task groups.--
- The vessels assigned the attack force are organized into task groups appropriate for the various operations involved and the scheme of maneuver decided upon. These task groups will include some or all of the following:
- The reconnaissance group, or groups, consisting of vessels assigned the task of reconnoitering the landing area selected for the operation, and such other areas as may be considered desirable in order to confuse the enemy as to the point of landing. The reconnaissance group is generally composed of suitable vessels from the other task groups listed below.
- The fire support group, or groups, consisting of vessels assigned gunfire missions in support of the landing and subsequent operations.
- The air group, consisting of aircraft assigned to support the operations. Aircraft of the landing force may be attached to the air group during such periods as may be desirable.
- The transport group, or groups, consisting of the transports and supply vessels used in carrying troops, equipment, and supplies.
- The control group, consisting of vessels designated to guide and assist the movement from ship to shore, provide communication facilities with the boats and troops while en route to the beach, and to assist in controlling the supporting naval gunfire. Certain vessels of this group may be utilized at convenient times to lay smoke screens, assist in furnishing fire support, etc.
- The antisubmarine group, consisting of the vessels designated to protect the units of the attack force from enemy submarines. This group may be given the task of laying destroyer smoke screens to protect vessels and boats from observation. As a rule, this is not a separate task group. Suitable vessels for antisubmarine screen are usually assigned the principal task groups of the attack force.
- The mine group, consisting of the vessels assigned the task of conducting sweeping and mine-laying operations. This group may be given the task of removing underwater obstacles.
- The screening group, consisting of that part of the force assigned the task of providing security from enemy forces afloat.
- The salvage group, consisting of such light craft as may be available for rescuing personnel of distressed boats, hauling off grounded boats, and the recovery of sunken equipment. (See ch. IV, sec. VIII.)
- The demonstration group, or groups, consisting of the vessels assigned the task of making demonstrations outside of the designated landing area.
- It may be necessary to organize a special task group to protect small boats from enemy light surface craft. If a separate group is not organized, this task should be assigned other groups operating in the vicinity of the beaches and routes of approach thereto.
- Supply vessels carrying boats, crated or knocked-down aircraft, or other equipment essential for the conduct of the landing and hospital ships, may be assigned to the transport group or they may be organized into separate task groups of the attack force. Vessels carrying troops, equipment, or supplies not needed immediately may be organized into a separate task group and kept out of the landing area until required.
- It may be desirable to assign the tasks specified for two or more of the groups listed in this paragraph to a single task organization. As the operations progress, the composition of the task groups may be changed, certain vessels being transferred from one group to another.
- The attack group.--
- When the attack force is to conduct operations on a broad front under conditions which would make direct control by one commander difficult or when the
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operation naturally divides itself into distinct tasks, it may be advisable to organize the attack force into two or more attack groups.
- The attack group consists of a detachment of the landing force and some or all of the naval task groups listed in paragraph 203. Certain of the task groups, such as the air group, reconnaissance group, and the screening group, may be retained under the direct control of the attack force commander and support the operations of all attack groups.
Each attack group is given an appropriate name such as "Right Flank Attack group, Dupont Attack Force."
- The landing force.--
- The provisions of this publication contemplate that the major part of the landing force will be composed of units of the Fleet Marine Force.
- The Fleet Marine Force is composed of three main elements, namely:
Lightly equipped units suitable for offensive landing operations.
Base defense artillery.
- In order to reduce the number of transports in the initial movement it may be advisable to organize a separate transport group for base defense artillery, or certain portions thereof not required until the base is taken. More economical loading of transports will result, however, if base defense artillery is distributed among the vessels transporting the entire force.
- The employment of the aircraft of the landing force will depend upon the availability of landing fields in the vicinity of the contemplated landing area, and the number and type of vessels available for its transportation to the theater of operations. (See ch. VI, Aviation.)
- Organization of the landing force.--
- For operations on shore, the task organizations of the landing force are its regularly organized tactical units such as battalions, regiments, and brigades. Special task organizations are required for--
The movement from ship to shore.
- For embarkation the landing force is subdivided into "embarkation groups," each group usually composed of a proportional part of all arms and capable of independent action. Each embarkation group should be embarked in a transport division of the transport group. (See par. 920.)
- For the movement from ship to shore the landing force is subdivided into "landing groups," each composed of a reinforced infantry battalion, or other unit of approximately the same size. The boats which transport the landing group to the beach are organized into a "boat group." (See pars. 403 to 405.)
- Embarkation of commanders.--
- During the preparation of all plans the commander of the landing force, or at least appropriate members of his staff, should be available to the commander of the attack force.
- For the voyage overseas the commander of the landing force shall, if practicable, be embarked on the flagship of the attack force commander. Provision must be made for the landing of the commander of the landing force and his staff at the proper time.
- When operating as part of a larger force, commanders of lesser units such as regiments, brigades, or divisions should be embarked on the flagship of the transport division or squadron transporting the units of their commands. During the movement from ship to shore it may be desirable for regimental, brigade, or division commanders or such members of their respective staffs as they may designate, to transfer temporarily to vessels of the control group.
- The transport group.--
- The transport group commander is responsible for--
Preparation and assembly of transports, boats, and special equipment for the landing, and the assembly and training of the necessary naval personnel for the operation of these vessels, boats, and equipment.
Assignment of boats to transports, and if necessary, the organization of boats into boat groups.
Embarkation of troops and matériel in accordance with approved plans.
Conduct of the transport group in the movement overseas.
Debarkation of troops and matériel in accordance with the approved plans for the operation.
Designation of boat rendezvous area, or areas.
- In an operation involving a large number of transports, effective control of the embarkation, movement overseas, and the landing requires that the transport group be organized into
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appropriate transport divisions, each embarking a self-sustaining unit of the landing force known as the "embarkation group."
- The transport group commander operates through his transport division commanders and they, in turn, operate through the transport commanders. The landing force has a corresponding chain of command, namely: (1) The commander of the landing force, (2) a commanding officer of each embarkation group embarked on a transport division, and (3) the commanding officer of troops on each transports parallel chain of command decentralizes and simplifies the planning and execution of the various operations involved. It also permits the closest liaison between corresponding troop and transport commanders.
- The transport group, the transport division, and the transport commanders should be designated at the earliest possible date and should be free to supervise the preparation of their vessels, training of personnel, assembly of the necessary boats and matériel, and preparation of detailed plans for the various operations. The transport group commander, in particular, should be provided with an adequate staff. Frequent conferences between transport commanders and appropriate commanding officers of units to be embarked are essential during the period of preparations.
- The detailed organization of transport divisions and corresponding embarkation groups of the landing force is covered in paragraph 920.
- The transport group commander keeps the commander attack force informed of the progress of the debarkation and advises him when the leading waves are embarked in boats. (See par. 405e, for control of debarkations by transport commanders.)
- The detailed planning of the movement from ship to shore, see chapter IV.
- Organization of boats.--In order to control effectively the movement from ship to shore the landing boats are organized into boat divisions, groups, and, if necessary, flotillas, and appropriate commanders designated. (See par. 405.)
- The control group.--
- Tasks.--The following are the normal tasks of the control group:
Mark control points necessary for regulating the movement from ship to shore, and other points designated by the attack force commander. (See ch. II, sec. III, Station and Maneuver Areas.)
Keep attack force commander, and such other commanders as may be designated, informed of the progress of the movement from ship to shore, the landing of various waves, and the subsequent operations on shore visible from seaward.
Assist in control of naval gunfire supporting the landing.
Relay messages from and to the landing beaches.
- If available, the control group should consist of sufficient vessels or small craft to permit one vessel to be assigned to each leading boat group. It may be practicable to utilize as control vessels the fire support ships accompanying the boats, and vessels of the mine group. If sufficient vessels are not available to permit the assignment of one control; vessel to each leading boat group, motorboats may be utilized.
- As the control group must be familiar with the landing area it is desirable that vessels and personnel taking part in the preliminary reconnaissances be assigned to it.
- Each control vessel should be prepared to communicate direct with the landing boats, as well as the flagship of the attack force, fire support groups, control group, and other designated vessels. This will usually require additional communication facilities on each control vessel. (See pars. 711 and 712, Communications.)
- It is particularly important that control vessels communicate to higher commanders and fire support groups when leading waves pass control points and the line of departure.
- Visual and messenger boat communication should be established with the beach party as soon as it has landed. Special observers should be detailed to watch for pyrotechnic signals from the boats, aircraft, and landing force.
- Control of movement from ships to shore.--
- After marking or identifying the line of departure and control points (see 221 and 222) the designated vessels of the control group rendezvous with the boat groups at the designated time and place, guide them in to the line of departure, and regulate the speed of the movement so that the successive waves will cross the line at the scheduled times. This will permit orders modifying the plan to be transmitted to the boat groups through the proper control vessels. These scheduled times may be previously prescribed by the attack force commander; if not, an approach schedule computed by
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the commander of the transport which carried the troops to be guided should be delivered to the control vessel in the boat rendezvous area. As it is extremely important that the boats move on the prescribed approach schedule, it is desirable that control vessels be equipped with long-base range finders with which they can take frequent ranges on the line of departure and beach.
- If vessels of the control group have the additional task of furnishing gunfire support, they proceed to their prescribed firing stations as soon as the necessity of controlling the boat movement ceases.
- It is desirable, whenever practicable, that the approach from the boat rendezvous areas to the line of departure be planned as a simultaneous guided movement of all control vessels, each acting as guide to a boat group. See 431 and 432.)
- After leading boat groups have landed, certain designated control vessels may be utilized as a rendezvous for boats transporting field artillery and reserves. This will permit final orders as to time and place of landing of artillery and reserves to be transmitted through a control vessel.
- If the transport group is compelled to put to sea for any reason, control vessels may be designated as mother ships for the boat groups until the boats and transports are reassembled.
- Control of naval gunfire.--
- The vessels of the control group signal the fire support groups when the leading boats are in the positions prescribed by the attack force commander for opening, lifting, or ceasing fire. (See par. 228f.)
- In order to assist in the control of fire, spotters from the firing ships may be put aboard control vessels.
- When two or more boat groups land simultaneously on contiguous beaches, one of the control vessels should be designated to signal all of the necessary information to the attack force commander and appropriate fire support vessels.
- The reconnaissance group.--
- In the operation of the reconnaissance group particular attention should be paid to the following:
Identifying "fixes" on the beach and establishing such other aids to navigation as may be necessary. Photographs and panoramic sketches executed by surface craft or submarines, and oblique aerial photographs from seaward will be of great assistance to boat group commanders in locating their beaches, to troop commanders in planning their operations on shore, and to fire support groups in planning and executing the supporting fires.
Ascertaining enemy naval dispositions within and in the vicinity of the landing area.
Determining the suitability of beaches and sea areas required for the conduct of the operation.
Locating underwater obstacles and other obstructions such as booms and nets installed by the enemy, particularly in the vicinity of the selected landing beaches, or approaches thereto.
Ascertaining if beaches have been gassed. This is particularly important on small islands or in other restricted areas.
Locating mined areas.
Ascertaining enemy dispositions on shore and selecting suitable targets, landmarks, and aiming points for fire support ships.
Securing information regarding the enemy air force.
- For conducting reconnaissance patrols, see chapter IV, section VI.
- The mine group.--
- Sweeping operations may be conducted in connection with the preliminary reconnaissance of the landing area, and part or all of the mine group may be assigned the reconnaissance group for this purpose.
- In the conduct of mine-sweeping operations particular attention should be paid to the transport and fire-support areas, and approaches thereto.
- Booms, nets, and other obstructions installed by the enemy may be removed by dragging the obstacles into deeper water, wire-cutting parties, explosives, or utilizing boats or small craft to cut breaches.
- The fire support group.--For detailed tasks and organization of the fire support groups, see chapter V, Naval Gunfire.
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Par. 212. Shore party 34 213. Landing the shore party 35 214. Medical service 35 215. Personnel for shore parties 35 216. Reconstruction and relief of shore parties 35 217. . . . 35 218. . . . 35
- Shore Party.--
- The shore party is a special task organization formed for the purpose of facilitating the landing and movement off the beach of troops and material. It comprises elements of both the naval forces and the landing force, and is commanded by an officer of the landing force known as the shore party commander. Each shore party commander is responsible to the senior troop commander operating in the zone which his shore party serves. He exercises control of all activities in the immediate beach area delimited by the senior troop commander in that zone. The beachmaster is the naval officer in charge of the naval section of the shore party. He will act as assistant to the shore party commander and will be his advisor on naval matters.
The tasks of the shore party are as follows:
- Mark hazards to navigation in the vicinity of the beach and determine most suitable landing points.
- Effect emergency boat repairs.
- Evacuate casualties to ships in accordance with Naval Attack Force and Landing Force Medical Plans.
- Control boat traffic in the vicinity of the beach.
- Direct landing, retraction, and salvage of boats.
- Mark landing beach limits.
- Establish and mark unloading points on landing beaches.
- Unload the material of the Landing Force from small craft.
- Remove underwater and beach obstructions.
- Evacuate prisoners of war to ships in accordance with Landing Force Instructions.
- Construct landing facilities when required.
- Maintain liaison with senior troop commander within the zone served by that particular shore party; and in the case of the Senior Shore Party Commander, with the senior command of the landing force ashore.
- Maintain order and direct traffic on and in the vicinity of the beach.
- Provide bivouac, parking, and storage areas on and in the vicinity of the beach for various elements using that beach.
- Insure rapid movement of equipment and supplies landed on the beach, in accordance with requirements of the units which the Shore Party is serving.
- Maintain a record showing organizations, matériel, and supplies by appropriate categories, which have been landed on the beach.
- Construct and maintain beach exit routes.
- Provide for decontamination of gassed areas on the beach.
- Maintain a situation map for information of landing units.
- Operate emergency motor maintenance service to assist vehicles damaged in landing.
- Provide local security for beach area.
- Perform such other functions as are assigned.
- Establish communication with adjacent shore parties.
- Maintain communications with naval vessels and forces ashore as necessary.
The execution of tasks (1) through (5) are functions of the naval component of the shore party for which the beachmaster is directly responsible to the senior naval officer afloat and will deal directly with him in regard to these tasks. Tasks (6) through (22) will be performed by the military component of the shore party. Tasks (23) and (24) will be performed jointly by the military and naval sections.
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- Composition.--The size and composition of the shore party will of necessity vary with the tactical situation. It should embody personnel qualified for discharge of the following functions:
- Military Police.
- Boat repair.
- Local defense.
- Landing the Shore Party.--It is essential that the several shore party commanders, along with the shore party, hydrographic reconnaissance, and beach marking personnel, land in the leading boat group, and that the remainder of the shore party be transported ashore as soon thereafter as practicable in order that the full utility of the organization may be developed early in the operation.
- Medical Service.--
- Medical units of the landing force are responsible for the treatment, care and evacuation of casualties ashore and for designation of casualties to be evacuated to hospital ships or transports. Landing force medical units are also responsible for movement of evacuable casualties to the beach.
- The shore party is responsible for placing evacuable casualties in ambulance boats and for regulating the flow of casualties to transports and hospital ships. Ambulance boats along with attendant medical personnel will be furnished by hospital ships or transports as directed in the Naval Attack Force Medical Plan. Upon reporting to the shore party commander initially, these boats are under his control until dispatched with casualties.
- Details of the medical service afloat and ashore are covered in Chapter IX, Section VIII.
- Personnel for Shore Parties.--
- Shore parties should be organized operating units in the same sense as are tactical units of the landing force. They should be composed to fit the specific tactical situation in hand, and should be exercised prior to active operations.
- The military components of the shore party should be of such composition as to permit the effective discharge of their tasks as listed in 212a above.
- The naval section of the shore party should be provided from vessels of the transport division in which the military elements of that shore party are embarked. It should include personnel and equipment for discharge of tasks in accordance with paragraph 212a above.
- The number of shore parties required and their precise composition will vary with the size of the landing force, and the character and number of beaches utilized. As a general principle, one shore party should be organized for each reinforced regiment and this shore party should be susceptible to division in to three parts, each for the support of a reinforced battalion.
- Reconstruction and relief of Shore Parties.--
- Following the initial assault phases of an operation, it will frequently be found that only certain beaches are maintained for continued use. In those cases, individual shore parties so released may be used for reinforcement of details on active beaches.
- Upon completion of the initial transport unloading task and seizure or construction of landing facilities, shore parties should be supplanted by base logistical agencies as the situation dictates.
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Station and Maneuver Areas
Par. 219. Assignment of areas 36 220. Transport and gunfire support areas 36 221. Line of departure 37 222. Reference and control points 37 223. Illustrative diagram 38
- Assignment of areas.--The various naval task groups must be assigned appropriate station and maneuver areas within the landing area to permit them to carry out their assigned tasks. These will include the following:
One or more transport areas in which transports or other vessels disembark troops and matériel.
One or more fire support areas in which the fire support groups will operate.
Such other stations, or cruising directions, as may be necessary to coordinate the naval operations within the landing area.
Transport and gunfire support areas.--
- Movement of boats.--The transport areas and gunfire support areas must be so located in relation to each other that boats transporting troops and matériel from ship to shore will not be interfered with by the movement of the firing ships, and vice versa.
- Fire support areas.--There may be several fire support areas, according to the number of supporting ships, the fire missions, and the hydrography and topography of the landing area.
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The location of fire support areas, as regards the most effective delivery of the various classes of fire, is covered in detail in Chapter V, Naval Gunfire.
- Transport areas.--
- The transport areas should be conveniently located in respect to the landing beaches, and as close inshore as enemy artillery fire and depth of water will permit.
- The areas selected should, insofar as the hydrography of the landing area permits, afford smooth water for debarkation of troops and matériel, and protection against attack by enemy surface craft and submarines.
- Where beaches are separated by considerable distances it may be desirable to designate two or more transport areas.
- The location of the transport areas and the initial movement of boats should not disclose to the enemy early information as to the exact point of landing.
- Ships within transport areas should not be crowded, as space must be provided for the assembly and movement of boats. In the assignment of berths to transports the intermingling or crossing of boat units should be avoided.
- Provision should be made for maneuvering the transport group after the debarkation of troops is completed. This will reduce the effectiveness of enemy submarines and aircraft attacks.
- As soon as the situation permits, transports should move as close to the landing beaches as possible, in order to speed up the landing of equipment and supplies. Smooth water is extremely desirable.
- Mines.--In locating transport and fire support areas consideration should be given to the probable location of enemy mine fields. Where selected areas are found to be mined they should be swept, or other areas designated.
- Line of departure.--
- The line of departure is a coordinating line suitably marked to assist the various waves to land on designated beaches at the proper time, and to coordinate naval gunfire and aircraft operations with the movement of the boats.
- During daylight, unless prevented by reefs or other navigational hazards inshore of the line of departure, boats deploy into their attack formations on or before crossing the line of departure. In order to insure that this deployment will take place prior to the boats coming under effective small arms or light artillery fire, the line of departure should be from 2,500 to 5,000 yards from the beach. The line should be so oriented in relation to the landing beach that boats will, if possible, have straight run for the beach and the waves will be on proper line of bearing.
- In order that boats may land on schedule it is essential that the line of departure be accurately located at the prescribed distance from the beach.
- A separate line of departure should be designated for each beach except where beaches are continuous, then one line of departure may suffice for two or more beaches.
- Reference and control points.--
- Reference points.--For reasons of secrecy and to simplify the preparation of plans and orders, it will be found convenient to designate reference points for prescribing the limits of transport areas, fire support areas, lines of departure, etc. Each reference point is designated by a letter and is fixed by giving its bearing and distance from a known point, grid coordinates, or the latitude and longitude.
- Control points.--
- Control points are those reference points which are marked by buoys, boats, or small craft for use as aids to navigation for the vessels and boats of the attack force. Control points should be established as follows:
To indicate lines of departure.
To indicate where boats change direction, pass through lanes between fire support groups, and at other points which will aid the control group in regulating the movement of the boats. It is desirable that a control point be located in the vicinity of the point where leading boats should be when the final bombardment of the immediate beach defenses starts.
To aid the various supporting groups to move into the landing area, take accurate station therein, and conduct the necessary operations in the area on the prescribed time schedule.
- A control point may be established as the initial point for regulating and coordinating the movement of the various naval task groups into the landing area. As an aid to navigation, and to insure effective control, it may be desirable to establish the initial point at a considerable distance to sea.
- Marking vessels must take accurate station on the designated control points. If the depth of the water permits, it will be advisable, as a preliminary measure, to anchor at certain
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control points buoys which are not visible from shore. Small craft, or boats with mast stepped, may be stationed at the buoys at the proper time to insure their being picked up by boats or vessels not familiar with the landing area. This procedure is particularly important in the case of the line of departure, in order that the enemy will not be forewarned as to the exact point of landing. Where the line of departure is close inshore it may be undesirable to put down buoys. In this case, the control vessel may signal the leading boat group when the line of departure is reached.
- Marking vessels should fly identifying flags by day and show a light to seaward by night. Provision should be made for marking vessels at the initial point and at certain control points within the landing area to dispatch radio signals which may be readily identified when picked up by homing loops.
- Table of reference and control points.--A table of reference and control points is usually issued as an annex to operation plans and orders. The table may be typed on a diagram showing the various station and maneuver areas, and indicated in figure 1.
- Illustrative diagram.--
- Figure 1 shows how transport and fire support areas might be located for landings by echelon on beaches C, B, and A. The initial landing is made at beaches C and B, and then at A. The boats from transport area No. 2 proceed toward beach D and turn near control point EASY for a straight run for beaches C and B. In order to still further confuse the enemy the leading boats may constitute a demonstration and continue on toward beach D. As the landing is by echelon the transports in transport area No. 1 arrive later than those in area No. 2 and the boats from transport area No. 1 have a straight run for beach A.
- Ships in fire support area No. 3 support the landing at beach C. Ships in fire support area No. 2 support the landing at beach B, and later at A. Fire support groups 4 and 1 are assigned counterbattery, interdiction, and fires on targets of opportunity north and south, respectively, of the line SS', but may reinforce the fires on the beaches with guns not engaged in their primary tasks.
- Control points
HYPOHOW, JIG, PREPPETER, and QUEEN mark the lines of departure. Control points EASY and MIKE provide additional coordinating points for the movement of the boats and, at the same time, are so located as to aid the transport and fire support groups to take accurate station. Control point TARE is the initial point for regulating the movement into the landing area.
Coordination of Operations
Par. 224. H-hour and D-day 38 225. Occupation of the landing area 40 226. Determination of time factors 40 227. Operations schedule 40 228. Definite decision as to H-hour 40 229. Other coordinating measures 41
- H-hour and D-day.--
- When plans or orders are prepared for an operation that is to take place at an hour and on a date as yet undetermined, or concerning which secrecy is essential, the expressions H-hour and D-day are used to indicate that the hour and date of the operations are to be announced in subsequent orders.
- There is but one H-hour and D-day for all units participating in a given operation. It is usually the time of the initial landing in the main operation. The time of all other landings, movements, debarkation schedules, fire schedules, etc., are indicated as occurring a definite number of hours, minutes, or days before or after H-hour D-day, as explained in detail below.
- An attack force may plan two or more consecutive operations when the situation is so uncertain as to make it impracticable to base all operations on the same H-hour and D-day. Under these conditions, each operation, or the force conducting it, should be so designated that there will be no chance of a misunderstanding when H-hour and D-day are designated for a particular operation.
- Hours prior to and after H-hour are indicted thus: "H minus 15 minutes," indicating 15 minutes before H-hour; "H plus 2 hours and 10 minutes," indicating 2 hours and 10 minutes after H-hour.
- Dates prior to and after D-day are indicated thus: "D minus-1 day," indicating the calendar day prior to D-day; "D plus 3 days," indicating the third calendar day after D-day. Each day comprises the 24 hours from midnight to midnight.
- Nights are indicated thus: "The night D-minus w days--D minus 1 day," indicating, if D-day were 14 September, the night 12-13 September.
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Figure 1.--Station and maneuver areas.
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- When designating an hour that is referred to H-hour as a basis, the time indicated may not be included in D-day. Thus assuming H-hour to be 0800, H minus 14 hours is 1800 the preceding day. When it is not necessary to refer to H-hour as a basis times may be indicated as "0600 D minus 1 day," or "on D minus 4 days at a time to be indicated later."
- Occupation of the landing area.--The time of arrival of the naval task groups in the landing area should be so regulated as to insure that vessels and aircraft will not be required to arrive within the area until needed. This will minimize the danger of attack by enemy submarines and aircraft, increases the chance of surprise, permits a greater utilization of vessels and planes on missions outside the landing area, and provides the maximum use of the cruising radius of planes.
- Determination of time factors.--In order to meet the foregoing conditions it is essential that the initial point and other control points be accurately located and adequately marked, and that the time required for executing the various operations be known within close limits. It is particularly important that the time required for lowering and loading boats and the speed of the boats under various conditions of weather and sea should be determined by actual experience.
- Operations schedule.--
- An operations schedule, as shown in Figure 2, provides a convenient form for prescribing the sequence of the various phases of the operations and the hour of their execution. The operation schedule provides for a high degree of flexibility to meet unforeseen contingencies. It will be noted that certain important phases are executed only on order to the attack force commander, and that H-hour may be changed to meet existing conditions.
- The interval between H-hour and the time to start lowering boats should be obtained from the transport group commander. This time interval should be based on the normal weather conditions in the contemplated landing area at the hours under consideration. Modification may be necessary when the state of the weather and sea on D-day has been ascertained.
- Where boats are to be furnished by ships other than the transport group the schedules must provide that such ships arrive in sufficient time to furnish boats as required.
- The position of the convoy at dawn and nightfall on D minus 1 day should be fixed at the greatest practicable distance form the landing area, in order to reduce the risk of discovery by enemy aerial patrols during D minus 1 day.
- Decision as to H-hour.--
- In order to plan the preliminary movements of the various task groups it will be necessary to decide upon a tentative D-day and H-hour some time in advance. It is desirable to postpone making a final decision as to the exact H-hour until the attack force commander has had opportunity to ascertain the progress of the various operations and movements and evaluate the influence of the weather and other factors.
- Care must be taken to announce the definite H-hour sufficiently in advance to insure its dissemination to all concerned in time for the various task groups to issue final instructions and take proper station.
- By the time the transport group arrives in the transport area, and probably before, the attack force commander should have sufficient information on the weather and operations of the various task groups to decide definitely upon H-hour. It should be based on (1) the hour transports can actually start lowering boats, and (2) the data furnished by the transport group commander as to the debarkation interval and the running time of boats under existing weather conditions.
- When H-hour is definitely fixed all time schedules based on H-hour are transcribed into actual times.
- All task groups must make every effort to maintain the prescribed schedule and should report their progress periodically or at prescribed hours. They must be prepared to make the necessary adjustments in their operations in case of a change of H-hour at any time. It is extremely undesirable, however, to change H-hour after boats are in the water, and it should only be done in case weather conditions or enemy action makes it impossible to carry out the prescribed schedule within reasonable limits.
- Short delays occurring during the ship-to-shore movement may be compensated for by making minor adjustments in the hour of landing of certain boat groups, and in the corresponding gunfire schedule. These minor adjustments may be made during the boat movement without announcing a change in H-hour. This method is desirable when boat groups other than the one affected by the change ore proceeding on schedule, and the beaches are sufficiently separated to obviate the danger of delayed bombardment on certain beaches falling on friendly troops which have already landed at other beaches.
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Figure 2--Sample operations schedule.
- The following example will illustrate how this adjustment may be effected: Assuming a heavy bombardment is to be placed on a beach from H minus 25 minutes to H minus 3 minutes. Running time from line of departure to beach, 10 minutes. H-hour is set for 0800. On passing a control point at 0730 the control vessel estimates the leading wave will land at 0820, 20 minutes late, and immediately transmits this information to the attack force commander and fire support vessels. The control vessel would then regulate the movement so that the leading wave would cross the line of departure at 0810 and land at 0820. The fire support group should be directed to open fire at 0755 and should plan to life the fire 7 minutes after the control vessel signals the line of departure is actually crossed. The time of lifting the fire should be further checked by direct observation from the control vessel and fire support group.
- Timepieces throughout the attack force must be synchronized.
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- Coordination by event.--
- The inability of boats, aircraft or of troops on shore to maintain an exact time schedule will be the usual case, and deviation from estimated times must be regarded as normal. It is often desirable that troops push forward as rapidly as possible and not be restrained by previous calculations. Coordination by time is more likely to fail than to succeed. Wherever practicable, coordination should be effected by event which may be done by indicating the arrival of units at a certain point by pyrotechnic or other signal. The signal may be given by the supported unit or by an observer who is in a position to view the movement.
- The following is an example of such coordination. A landing team approached a beach while gunfire from ships bombarded the beach defenses. When the boats reached the proper distance from the beach, the embarked troop commander fired a red pyrotechnic signal to indicate that ships' gunfire should cease. This signal was repeated by the flagship of the firing group in acknowledgement and also as a signal of execution for planes to drop smoke bombs on the beach. This actual operation succeeded.
- For coordination of naval gunfire, aviation, and movement of boats see chapter V, section IV, and chapter VI, paragraph 624.
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