Section Page I. General 151 II. Aerial missions 153 III. Aerial operations preliminary to landing 154 IV. Aerial operations during debarkation 155 V. Aerial operations during approach to the beach 155 VI. Aerial operations during the advance inland 157 VII. Air bases 158 VIII. Communications 158 IX. Requirements in bombs 159
Par. 601. Air superiority 151 602. Air support 151 603. Composition of the air force 152 604. Air reconnaissance versus surprise 152 605. Transportation of aircraft 152
- Air superiority.--
- Air superiority is essential to the success of a landing operation; it constitutes the best defense against possible disastrous results at the hands of enemy aircraft. Troop transports and troops in small boats offer concentrated targets for hostile aircraft and are extremely vulnerable to strafing, bombing, and gas attacks. Even a small opposing air force, skillfully handled at the crucial moment and not effectively neutralized, may so disrupt the landing as to force withdrawal. It is extremely important, therefore, that supporting aviation be prepared to furnish adequate protection against hostile air attacks during the critical phase of debarkation from the transports and the subsequent passage ashore in small boats. This protection against hostile aircraft is also of invaluable assistance to the conduct of own aircraft offensive missions against shore targets.
- To accomplish the above mission, it will be necessary to gain and maintain local control of the air within the area of and during the time required for the landing operations. The dependence which a landing force must place upon its floating bases in launching an attack is so great, and the protection of the ship to shore movement is so vital to success as to magnify greatly the value of aircraft as a supporting arm. To offset the advantages accruing to the defender by reason of being able to operate from land bases, and to compensate for the attacker's disadvantages due to distance of floating or land aircraft bases, preponderance of aircraft within the landing area is essential. The degree of such preponderance cannot be generally determined but must in each case depend upon a careful weighing of the factors involved. A ratio of 4 to 1 is indicated for initial planning.
- Air support.--
- Responsibility for air support and for gaining control of the air within the zone of the proposed operation rests initially with the naval aviation of the attack force. Such air units of the landing force as can be made available will participate.
- In the event conditions require that the landing force planes be shipped partially knocked down or crated, and no land base is available for their assembly and operation, Naval aviation must be prepared to continue conduct of all air operations until the air units of the landing force are established on shore. Naval aviation will be progressively relieved by aircraft of the landing force as soon as facilities for their operation can be provided.
- Marine pilots and observers may be utilized in naval planes engaged in land reconnaissance, attack in support of ground operations, and other air missions for which they may be specially trained.
- Careful planning is essential to insure proper air support. Not only must the closest cooperation exist between the various air units themselves but also between the air units, the supported troops, and fire support groups.
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- Composition of the air force.--
- An air force charged with the responsibility of supporting a landing should be comprised largely of those classes of aviation which are peculiarly adapted to gaining, maintaining, and exploiting air superiority.
- A preponderance of fighting and ground strafing units (VF and VSB) is the prime consideration from the standpoint of neutralizing the hostile air menace and reducing the enemy's effectiveness on the beach.
- Next in importance is a sufficient number of scouting and observation planes (including photographic) for reconnaissance and spotting missions, guide planes, and smokers (VS and VO).
- Heavy bombers (VT's capable of 2,000-pound bomb-load), while extremely desirable for use against fortified bases, may necessarily be limited if air operations be confined to carriers. Light or dive bombing (VB) squadrons, however, should be provided for destroying overhead cover and other objectives offering considerable resistance to explosives. If supporting land bases are available, heavy bombing units of all types should be provided as required, or in such strength as transportation facilities permit.
- Patrol bombing planes (VPB) are highly essential in any overseas advance, and particularly in those operations prior to and during the seizure of an advance base.
- Utility planes (VJ) will prove particularly useful to transportation purposes and other special missions required by this type of operation.
- In planning the operation consideration should be given to the employment of parachute and air troops landed from patrol or utility planes.
- Air reconnaissance versus surprise.--
- Adequate and timely information regarding the hostile defenses, and the number and suitability of landing beaches and approaches thereto may prove far more essential to the success of the landing than would any benefits derived from attempted surprise without such knowledge. Strategical surprise against an alert enemy will be exceedingly difficult to accomplish. Air and surface scouting carried long distances to sea by enemy air forces will, in all probability, result in the early discovery of the approaching expedition. Therefore, the question of possible strategical surprise must be weighed against the marked advantages accruing to the attacker through the early employment of a part of his air forces on distant reconnaissance.
- While it will seldom be possible to conduct distant aerial reconnaissance without sacrifice of strategical surprise, no such difficulty should attend tactical operations. It is entirely feasible to disguise aerial reconnaissance missions among the general air operations incident to the landing so that the enemy will be unable to derive any definite conclusions therefrom. Prior to the landing, tactical reconnaissance of beaches and contiguous areas inland should be conducted over a broad front, and concentration of aerial activities over any particular sector where a landing may be planned carefully avoided. Aerial reconnaissance may, in fact, be made to aid in tactical surprise. Marked aerial activity over certain beaches where no landing is intended may lead to a partial redistribution of enemy defense forces and therefore to a weakening of the defense at the selected landing sites. In this way tactical surprise against specific beaches may be effected without foregoing any of the advantages of aerial reconnaissance.
- Transportation of aircraft.--
- Since a landing ordinarily will require maximum employment of all the aviation that can be made available, every effort should be made to provide for the participation of the Fleet Marine Force aircraft, which is specially trained to operate with ground troops, in the initial operations. Where aircraft can fly the entire distance from their home base to the scene of the landing, few serious problems are involved. Where a long overseas movement is required, however, the question of transportation of planes presents a serious problem.
- The ideal arrangement involves the assignment of carriers to support the seizure and establishment of an advanced air base from which the main landing operation will be supported. The next alternative is the assignment of carriers for the aircraft supporting the landing operation. If carrier space does not permit of either of these plans, the planes might be stowed aboard carriers for initial launching only. Another plan would be to carry planes fully set up on auxiliary vessels of the train, launching to be effected by catapulting or by lowering planes into the water (seaplanes or amphibians). Another alternative, less desirable, is the selection of transports which permit planes to be stowed above and below decks almost completely set up. These planes might then be transferred to carriers for final assembly and launching. Least desirable is the method of transporting planes knocked down and crated; such aircraft are cumbersome, difficult to put into operation, and will not serve any useful purpose until a considerable beachhead has been gained.
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Par. 606. General aerial missions 153 607. Strategical reconnaissance 153 608. Tactical reconnaissance 153 609. Battle missions 153 610. Smoke and chemicals 153 611. Ground attacks 153 612. Parachute troops 153 613. Air troops 153
- General aerial missions.--Missions assigned will in general conform to those which the various types of aircraft are normally expected to perform. Situations will arise, however, in which it will be necessary to employ aircraft on other than the normal duties of the type. Aircraft supporting a landing operation may, subject to type limitations, be required to perform additional duties as set forth in this section.
- Strategical reconnaissance.--Secures general information by visual observation and by photography of enemy land and sea areas before the main forces are in contact. The information thus secured influences the selection of the area and the allocation of forces for the operations which follow. These reconnaissance flights are carried out by single high-flying planes or by small formations of observation or scouting planes, at times amply escorted by fighters.
- Tactical reconnaissance.--Secures, in the area selected for the operations, detailed information which will influence the tactical dispositions of the attacking force. Tactical reconnaissance usually begins when the landing is imminent and continues throughout the operation. The methods used are similar to those prescribed for strategical reconnaissance.
- Battle missions.--Battle missions are special missions conducted during the actual landing and are normally performed by scout or observation type airplanes. These missions are of the following types;
- Command missions are special flights executed under the direct orders of higher commanders of the landing force for the purpose of securing specific information or the verification of questionable information.
- Liaison missions keep commanders informed of the location and needs of friendly troops.
- Contact missions are special forms of visual reconnaissance limited to the period of actual ground combat and are concerned only with observing and reporting on advanced hostile elements.
- Guide planes in landing operations may be assigned to direct the approach of assault units from the debarkation area to their respective beaches.
- Artillery missions are those conducted in connection with the control of fire of field batteries or naval guns. This includes location of targets of opportunity, spotting, and reports of damage. Spotting formations employed will depend on the number of planes available, the character of the terrain, weather conditions, and enemy opposition encountered, and will be prescribed by the flight commander.
- Smoke and chemicals.--Airplanes may be fitted with tanks for laying smoke or spraying chemicals as the tactical necessities of the situation may dictate.
- Ground attack.--In the absence of specially trained and equipped units to function as ground strafing airplanes, fighters and light bombers may be employed in attacks against personnel and light material objectives by means of machine-gun fire, light bombs, and chemicals.
- Parachute troops.--Special planes of suitable type, usually transport, may be required to drop groups of parachute troops behind enemy defenses for the purpose of seizing airdromes, vital communication centers, enemy headquarters, and for executing demolitions, sabotage, intelligence missions, or delaying actions.
- Air troops.--Companies or battalions of air troops may be landed on enemy air fields to consolidate capture of important airdromes or to seize nearby strategic points. Air troops equipped with rubber boats may be used in a similar manner to effect surprise landings from seaplanes.
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Aerial Operations Preliminary to Landing
Par. 614. Reconnaissance 154 615. Photographic reconnaissance 154 616. Reduction of hostile defenses 154
- Loss of a certain degree of strategical surprise will usually result from a thorough preliminary reconnaissance. When the enemy situation, however, is obscure and the necessity for information of the terrain, hydrographic conditions, enemy defensive measures, and suitability of beaches outweighs considerations of the element of complete surprise, aerial reconnaissance will be highly advisable, of not mandatory. Troop commanders should when practicable, be given every opportunity to make personal aerial reconnaissances.
- Orders to air units performing reconnaissance missions should clearly designate the type of reconnaissance desired, areas to be reconnoitered, information desired, areas to be photographed, type and number of photographs required, and time and place where reports of the missions should be made.
- Photographic reconnaissance.--
- Any suitably equipped airplane, including VP and VCS types, may be employed for photographic reconnaissance. Employment of specially trained personnel is particularly desirable in operations of this nature.
- Photographs and mosaic maps, together with a careful analysis of the information, will serve as a basis in drawing up final plans for the operation or in revising those already made. Airplanes flying at high altitudes may be able, under favorable conditions, to obtain the required data without revealing their presence or identity. In low-altitude work, every means should be adopted to complete the mission without sacrifice of secrecy. It will frequently be necessary to provide mosaic maps showing specified areas and objectives in detail. (See par. 522.)
- Aerial photographs will be useful in checking information regarding the best channels of approach to beaches, location and character of defensive works, presence of obstacles, configuration of the ground at the beaches, and possibly, by comparison with photographs of known surf conditions, the amount of surf to be encountered. Some indication of depth of water and of underwater obstructions may also be gained by comparing views taken at low and high tides.
- Oblique photographs, particularly those taken from seaward, will be valuable to boat group officers in identifying beaches, to troop commanders in planning operations on shore, and to gunnery officers in selecting targets and aiming points and planning the gunfire support.
- Reduction of hostile defenses.--
- The hostile air force, whenever found, will be the first priority objective for all preliminary air offensives. This force represents the greatest potential threat to the attack, and its neutralization must be accomplished whatever the cost. The initial air superiority of the attacker must be exploited to the limit during this phase. Particular care must be taken to seek out and destroy air units on concealed airdromes; air base facilities of a permanent nature must be made untenable; and aircraft in flight must be intercepted and constantly harassed by a superior fighter force.
- After the hostile air force has been neutralized, consideration can be given to the elimination of the next most important threats to the success of the landing. These are listed below in the usual order of priority:
- Heavy gun emplacements.
- Fortifications of a permanent nature.
- Critical points in the line of communications inland.
- Troop concentrations in the rear areas.
- Logistical establishments.
- Submarines and floating mines will be targets of opportunity, or secondary objectives, for all missions. Heavy gun emplacements, if located, will be primary objectives for dive bombing units until neutralized. The attack of beach defenses during the preliminary period will be unusual, as such practice would forfeit tactical surprise on that beach, and would accomplish little unless the defenses were fully manned. Rear area targets should be attacked during this phase, reserving the beach strafing until necessary to cover actual boat landings. Antiaircraft installations which menace the operation of reconnaissance airplanes should be neutralized during this period.
- Air units engaged in attack missions in this phase of the operations should be particularly alert to observe enemy installations and activities and report them immediately upon return to
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base or carrier. It is of primary importance that any additional information thus gained be forwarded at once to the Commander Naval Attack Force and the Commander Landing Force.
Aerial Operations During Debarkation
Par. 617. Protection of the transport area 155 618. Reconnaissance 155 619. Offensive 155
- Protection of the transport area.--
- To afford adequate protection to the vessels of the attack force during embarkation into small boats, access to the landing area must be denied the hostile air force; at least, all enemy aircraft entering the area must be effectively neutralized. This will not only entail control of the air in the vicinity of the transports and other vessels, through the use of a preponderance of fighting aviation and the coordinated support of the antiaircraft defenses, but will include attacking hostile aircraft on the ground to prevent their entry into action.
- An additional menace during debarkation is the submarine. Search by scouting planes equipped with bombs for attacking submarines will minimize this hazard to a considerable extent. Battleship and cruiser aircraft, not required for gunnery observation, may be employed to establish an inner air patrol.
- In planning the time of arrival in the transport area, consideration should be given to the disadvantages accruing to the attacker during darkness due to the greater difficulty of operating aircraft from ships as opposed to shore bases.
- Intensive and continuous reconnaissance of hostile defenses and shore establishments should be initiated prior to, or simultaneously with, the debarkation, or as soon thereafter as visibility permits. Particular attention should be paid to beach defenses, artillery positions, airdromes, and the location of the enemy general reserve. Definite knowledge of the enemy dispositions gained at this time is vitally important to all units and will exercise a material effect on the later employment of aviation, especially those units to be used for the purpose of (1) covering the landing when ships' gunfire fires, and (2) employment against the enemy general reserve.
- During this phase, adequate dissemination of new enemy information is vital. The communication channels to reach key commands must be adequate and carefully organized, and the location of their commanders must be known. The commander of the landing force, the fire support units, the air support units, and the combat teams are primarily interested.
- Air attacks on shore objectives during debarkation of leading landing groups will normally be limited to destruction of hostile aviation at its airdromes, to supplementing ships gunfire in the neutralization of long-range guns, and to the destruction of defenses of a permanent or semipermanent nature. In night operations, searchlight batteries will be sought out and neutralized.
- This is an advantageous period in which to land parachute troops and air infantry for seizing airdromes, communication centers, headquarters installations, and for executing delaying actions or demolitions.
Aerial Operations During Approach to the Beach
Par. 620. General support 155 621. Use of smoke 156 622. Laying of smoke screens 156 623. Guide planes 156 624. Support when ships' gunfire lifts 156 625. Reconnaissance 157 626. Air spot 157
- General support.--General support furnished by fighting squadrons during the period when the small boats are en route from transport to beach is of utmost importance. The vulnerability of troops and supplies makes it imperative that protection against aerial attack during this period be positive and continuous. Fighting planes should operate to destroy or neutralize all enemy aircraft encountered and to furnish protection to friendly aviation operating in the general area. Fighting units assigned this mission patrol the transport and beach areas to protect the boat groups and friendly air operations from air attacks.
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- Use of smoke.--
- Smoke laid and maintained by airplanes may be employed to advantage in concealing the approach of the landing boats and in reducing the effectiveness of hostile fire. If employed, it should be maintained in sufficient quantities to blind the beach defenses and observation posts until the leading units have disembarked from the small boats and gained the beach.
- It should be realized that smoke is extremely difficult to lay properly, usually requires fire from ships and boats to cease while being laid, deprives the attacker of observation of the shore, increases the difficulties of controlling boats, interferes with visual and pyrotechnic signals, and takes a number of planes from other tasks. Smoke should not be used on or near the beach, therefore, where an adequate number of naval vessels employing direct fire are available, as the observed fire of these vessels will usually constitute a better protection from enemy fire than smoke.
- Laying of smoke screens.--
- In general, smoke should be laid near the shore, the ideal being reached when a continuous blanket is maintained at the beach line. This scheme is more effective than laying screens successively ahead of the advancing boats, but has the disadvantage of exposing the smoke planes to antiaircraft fire at close range, and, with an onshore breeze, requires a larger number of smokers. The danger from antiaircraft guns may be partially offset by continuous slight changes in altitude of the plane and by strafing the beach while the smoker is operating.
- In laying smoke, the wind direction and velocity must be carefully considered and the point of initiation of the screen, as well as the course of the plane, must be carefully calculated. The duration of the screen, its drift during its period of usefulness, the frequency of repetition and its density during varying weather conditions, are all factors requiring consideration and analysis prior to take-off.
- Smoke may be laid by means of chemical tanks or by bombs. Duration is dependent upon meteorological conditions; with high humidity and no wind, duration may be for a considerable period. (For technique and screen effects, see par. 839.)
- The exact time for initiating a smoke screen should be left to the pilots charged with doing the work. The pilot should know the hour boats are scheduled to land so that he can be on station, but a schedule prescribing the exact hour and minute of laying the first screen is not advisable. The initial screen should be laid the instant boats are observed to be in their prescribed positions.
- See also chapter VIII, section IV, Smoke.
- Guide planes.--
- When, for a daylight landing, accurate surface navigation of the boat group is likely to become impossible due to a difficult approach course, poor observation of the shore line because of smoke, or other reasons, guide planes should be assigned to direct assault battalions to their designated beaches. When the beaches are not contiguous, one plane should be furnished for each beach. (See also par. 433b.) Identification of the plane may be established by any convenient means, usually by streamers, the position and number of which may be varied. Position and number of streamers afford more positive identification than color.
- Several methods of operating a guide plane are feasible. One method involves flying continuously just in rear of the boat unit being guided. When it becomes evident that the course must be changed in order to land on the assigned beach, the plane should fly close to the guide boat and signal the necessary change by dipping the right or left wing, each dip indicating a change of direction of five degrees to right or left. Another method is to fly at low altitude from the center of the boat group toward the designated beach, and return, thus showing to boat officers the proper course to follow. Since this latter method requires the guide plane to fly in the area between the boats and the beach, it involves considerable danger to the aircraft from naval gunfire, fire from beach defenses, and fire from the boats. In any event, care must be taken by the plane to avoid the trajectory of naval gunfire.
- It is highly desirable that unrestricted two-way communication be established between the guide plane and the battalion and boat group commanders. This would permit the detailed transmission of much vital information as to the progress of the leading troops at the beach and thus allow a prompt decision as to the landing of reserves and artillery, the guide plane continuing on contact, liaison, or strafing missions as directed. (For battle missions see par. 625 below.)
- Support when ships' gunfire lifts.--
- A critical stage in the ship to shore movement occurs when ships' gunfire lifts; this may take place when the leading boats are 1,000 yards or more offshore. Commencing at this time, the advancing boats must receive intensive support from the aviation units. Planes employing machine guns and bombs must neutralize beach
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defenses, antiboat guns, artillery, reserves, and possibly searchlights. It is highly important, when planning aircraft missions, to provide for a strong striking force for employment at this time, as aviation may be practically the only supporting arm during the period.
- This mission, like laying of smoke screens, should not be previously laid out on an exact time schedule but should be left to the judgment of squadron commanders. Unless ships' gunfire ceases during the aircraft attacks, bombing and machine-gun firing must be done at such altitudes as will avoid the trajectories of gunfire from supporting vessels.
- Further details for coordinating aircraft combat operations with ship's gunfire, especially counter-battery and close support of advancing infantry, are given in chapter V, section IV.
- Tactical reconnaissance of the enemy positions should be continuous throughout the various phases of the actual landing, paying particular attention to enemy troop movements and the location of his reserves. Planes assigned liaison, artillery, and contact missions will establish and maintain communication with the units they are supporting and furnish the commanders thereof with pertinent information.
- The necessity for prompt and adequate dissemination of reconnaissance information is vital. (See par. 618b.)
- Pilots and observers of planes assigned to command, liaison, and contact missions should be specially trained for these missions and must be thoroughly instructed in the detailed orders covering the operations of the landing force units. Furthermore, every effort should be made to keep intact the pilot-observer teams which existed during preparatory training.
- Air spot.--When naval gunfire lifts from the beach to targets in the rear areas, the necessity for more spotting planes increases. Scattered targets in the rear areas place an increased burden upon spotting personnel. Reserve planes for this duty are normally available aboard the firing vessels of the attack force. Due to the inadvisability of breaking up the naval spotting team and also to the increased demand at this time for all available landing force air support, the aircraft of the Fleet Marine Force, if operating, should not ordinarily by employed for naval air spot.
Aerial Operations During the Advance Inland
Par. 627. Support near the shore line 157 628. Support during advance from the beach 157
- Support near the shore line.--
- Field artillery cannot be landed until some ground in the vicinity of the beach has been gained. Meanwhile the fire from ships will be falling several hundred yards in advance of the troops. Aircraft must, therefore, continue to supplement the naval gunfire by providing intense close support of the troops during this phase. The missions assigned to aircraft in paragraph 624 above should continue in effect, particular attention being paid to the protection of the flanks of advancing troops.
- Fighting planes (VF) continue to play an important role in clearing the air of hostile planes, but if not required for this purpose may be diverted to other missions. During the early stages of the advance inland, a large part of the air strength, in reality, assumes the fire missions usually assigned field artillery.
- Support during advance from the beach.--
- As the seizure of the terrain progresses and field artillery comes into action, the employment of aviation reverts to the normal practices of land warfare, except that the ships of the attack force and the ship to shore lines of communication should continue to receive adequate protection.
- During these operations certain specific duties are assigned to the various classes of the air component as follows:
- Observation units (VO or VS) will furnish gunnery observation and other tactical and strategical reconnaissance, and provide planes for battle missions. (See par. 625 above.) Particular attention will be paid to the enemy general reserve.
- Strafing units (VSB or attack) will destroy, immobilize, or delay hostile reserves, attack aircraft on the ground, neutralize antiaircraft defenses, and assist the advance of the infantry.
- Fighting units (VF) will furnish general and special support over the sea and land area occupied by the landing force, transports, and supporting vessels, and will provide protective escorts when needed.
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- Bombing units (VT, VSB, or VB) will destroy hostile airdromes and aircraft on the ground, heavy artillery, lines of communication, transportation and supply centers, and other key points.
Par. 629. Seaplanes 158 630. Landplanes 158
- Seaplanes.--Due to the many handicaps under which the seaplane operates, its employment in active operations involving aerial combat is undesirable. Where landing fields, however, are not available, and where it appears that runways cannot be constructed, it may become necessary to resort to the use of this type of plane. In selecting sea areas for seaplane operations, due consideration must be given to the size of the area, water conditions, protection, character of beaches, suitability of beaches for seaplane ramps, and anchorages.
- For the operation of landplanes, large level areas must be made available. In order to operate airplanes efficiently from such fields, there should be available thereat stores of gasoline, aviation and ordnance material, sufficient for more or less protracted operations. Landing fields so equipped are referred to as airdromes.
- Temporary airdromes should be established ashore as soon as the landing force has gained possession of the necessary terrain. A preliminary study of maps and aerial photographs, combined with later visual reconnaissance, will prove advantageous in the selection of possible locations. Preparation of selected fields should be accomplished without delay. As the advance inland progresses, temporary airdromes may be expanded into a more permanent status and facilities gradually increased.
- Auxiliary airdromes, intended primarily for the greater dispersion and more effective concealment of aircraft while on the ground, are important from the standpoint of preventing undue losses, as well as for providing facilities for the operation of additional units. They should be near enough to the main airdrome to permit centralized tactical control and yet sufficiently distant to avoid congestion.
- A judicious use of alternate airdromes, in connection with the skillful use of camouflage and dispersion, together with the shuttling of units from one airdrome to another, will tend to deceive the enemy and greatly lessen the hazard of aerial attack and artillery fire. The early provision of alternate airdromes is advisable, and especially so prior to the time that adequate antiaircraft defenses are established ashore.
- As the landing force progresses inland, advanced landing fields, when suitable sites are available, will permit command planes to be held in constant readiness for the use of higher commanders. If conveniently located with respect to command posts, advanced landing fields will greatly facilitate communication between observation planes and ground units and between the various command posts when other means of communication break down.
Par. 631. Radio 158 632. Searchlights 158 633. Panels 159 634. Message pick-ups and drops 159 635. Pyrotechnics 159 636. Air-ground code 159
- Radio.--Every airplane should be equipped with [a] radio capable of being used in two-way telephonic and telegraphic air-ground and interplane communication; each plane should also be fitted with a direction finder. Aircraft, particularly those engaged in reconnaissance and spotting missions, should be able to communicate direct with radio stations of ground units concerned, and also with transport and supporting ships. Necessary frequencies will be assigned by the commander attack force. (See ch. VII, Communications.)
- Searchlights.--Signals by searchlight code are standard naval practice. The use of this system, however, is more or less limited and is recommended only in case of radio silence or emergency. (See ch. VII.)
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- Panels.--Ground panels are extremely useful for identifying ground units, for marking front-line positions, and for transmitting messages to planes. Coupled with message drops, the panel system is a very efficient means of two-way air-ground communication. See ch. VII.)
- Message pick-ups and drops.--This method of communication will be most useful in connection with command posts that are not equipped with radio. When lengthy or involved messages must be exchanged, this system offers many advantages. See ch. VII.)
- Pyrotechnics.--Signals by pyrotechnics are limited in number and use. They are employed principally for simple prearranged messages, acknowledgments, and distress warnings. See ch. VII.)
- Air-ground code.--The current air-ground code (U.S. Marine Corps) which covers general and detailed instructions relative to air-ground communication, should be furnished not only to units of the Fleet Marine Force, but to naval pilots as well. See ch. VII.)
Requirements in Bombs
Par. 637. Fragmentation bombs 159 638. Chemical bombs 159 639. Demolition bombs 159
- Fragmentation bombs.--
- In determining the number of fragmentation bombs required for missions against personnel, the 100-yard square is used as a basis and the effect desired is computed in terms of 75 mm shells. A consideration of the relative characteristics of the 75 mm shell (weight 15 pounds) and the 30-pound fragmentation bomb indicates that the effect against exposed personnel of a pound of bomb is roughly equivalent to the same weight in a 75 mm shell. This may be expressed by the formula
1 30-pound fragmentation bomb=2 75-mm shells
- This is not a mathematically exact formula, but is an estimate which may be used as a basis for planning. Due allowance must of course be made for the percentage of bombs which fall outside the desired area and the total number dropped should be increased accordingly.
- Chemical bombs.--Requirements in chemical bombs are covered in paragraph 832.
- Demolition bombs.--Demolition bombs should be employed solely against material objectives. Aside from the possible moral effect due to noise and concussion, the use of such bombs against personnel may be expected to produce less result than a corresponding weight of fragmentation bombs.
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[B L A N K]
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