Chapter VI
Joint Overseas Expeditions

See HyperWar for additional doctrine publications regarding Amphibious Operations.


Subject Page
  Section I--Introduction and Definitions  
43 Purpose of publication 73
44 Purpose of an overseas expedition 73
45 Advantages inherent in landing operations 74
46 Disadvantages inherent in landing operations 74
47 Superiority of force essential 74
48 Definitions:  
        A joint overseas expedition 75
        Phases (embarkation, movement overseas, landing) 75
        A naval attack force 75
        A landing force 76
        A joint attack force 76
        A landing area 76
        A transport area 76
        A naval support area 76
        A beach 76
        A beachhead 76
        A beachmaster 76
        A shore party commander 76
        A combat team 76
        An artillery concentration 76
        Counterbattery 76
        A boat group 76
        A wave 77
        A subwave 77
        Commercial loading 77
        Unit loading (combat, organizational, convoy) 77, 78


Subject Page
  Section II--Command  
49 Method of coordination 78
50 Commanders to embark on same ship 78
51 Liaison agents and staffs 78
52 Communication with subordinate units 78
  Section III--Plans  
53 The joint basic decision and directive:  
        The decision 79
        A directive 79
54 Expeditionary force joint estimate and joint plan 80
55 Cooperation in planning 80
56 Development of plans by Army and Navy commanders 81
57 Plans of subordinate units 81
58 Flexibility of the plans 81
59 Details to be perfected before sailing 81
  Section IV--Embarkation and Measures Preparatory Thereto  
60 Plans and orders:  
        For the Army forces 82
        For the naval forces 82
61 Procurement of sea transportation 83
62 Ports of embarkation 83
63 Special organization 83
64 Special equipment 84
65 Special equipment to be assembled before departure 84
66 Joint training 85
67 Embarkation plans 85
68 Joint planning 85
69 Loading 86
70 Loading aviation units 86
  Section V--The Movement Overseas  
71 Plans and orders:  
        For the Army forces 87
        For the Naval forces 87
72 Time of departure 87


Subject Page
  Section V--The Movement Overseas--Continued  
73 Convoy and escort 87
74 Navigation and defense 88
75 Protection of the lines of supply (lines of communication) 88
  Section VI--The Landing (Including Preparations Therefor)  
76 Joint plans 88
77 Joint plan of the Army and Navy commanders 88
78 Orders 89
79 Surprise 89
80 Reconnaissance 90
81 Employment of the Army forces 91
82 Employment of the Naval forces 91
83 Organization of the Army forces 92
84 Naval organization for landing:  
        Attack forces 92
              Fire support group 92
              Air group 93
              Mine group 93
              Antisubmarine group 93
              Transport group 93
              Screening group 93
              Salvage group 93
85 The landing area 94
86 Characteristics of a landing area:  
        From and Army viewpoint 94
        From a Navy viewpoint 94
87 Selection of beaches:  
     From an Army viewpoint 95
        From a Navy viewpoint 96
88 Final selection of landing areas and beaches 96
89 Hour of landing:  
        Advantages of landing during darkness 97
        Advantages of landing during daylight 97
        Smoke 97
        Daylight essential for exploitation 98
        Other considerations 98
        Final decision 98


Subject Page
  Section VI--The Landing (Including Preparations Therefor)--Continued  
90 Approach to and occupation of landing area 98
91 Transport and naval support areas:  
        The transport area 99
        The naval support area 99
92 Employment of air forces 99
93 Naval gunfire support 100
94 Cooperation in gunfire support 102
95 Debarkation of troops 103
96 Debarkation of supplies and light equipment 104
97 Debarkation of artillery and other heavy equipment 104
98 Debarkation of animals 105
99 Debarkation of air forces 105
100 Supply of water to the troops 106
101 Organization of the beach:  
        The beachmaster 106
        The shore party commander 107
        Military police 107
        An engineer party 107
        Boat repair party 107
        Medical service 108
  Marking routes inland 108
102 Subsidiary landings:  
        Demonstrations or feints 108
        Secondary landings 109
  Section VII--Withdrawal and Reembarkation  
103 Plans for withdrawal 109
104 Secrecy 110
105 Air superiority 110
106 Weather conditions 110
107 Naval support 111
  Section VIII--Communications  
108 Plans 111
109 Communications between ship and shore 112
110 General 112


Chapter VI
Joint Overseas Expeditions

Section I
Introduction and Definitions

  1. Purpose of publication.--The purpose of this publication is to present a set of general principles for the planning and conduct of joint overseas expeditions in order to insure the most effective cooperation and coordination between Army and Navy forces participation therein. This publication will form the basis for any training instructions or regulations issued by the War or the Navy Department for the guidance of the forces which may be engaged in such operations. The subject matter is designed to apply to joint operations of considerable forces of both the Army and the Navy, involving landings against opposition, but also to lesser efforts, which as a rule are simpler of execution.

  2. Purpose of an overseas expedition.--A joint overseas expedition should be undertaken only as a part of a campaign designed as a phase of operations having in view the accomplishment of the purpose of the war. Hence, its success should weaken the enemy and gain for us an advantage in the next step to be undertaken. The land operations to be undertaken in a joint expedition may involve all or any of the following: (a) The securing of a beachhead form which to project major land operations; (b) the seizure and securing of an area for use in connection with other military operations; (c) the seizure and securing of an area for use as a naval base from


    which naval forces will carry out further operations of the campaign; (d) the seizure and securing of an area in order to deny the use of that area to the enemy; (e) a raid to destroy enemy military or industrial installations and facilities or to draw enemy forces away from another area.

  1. Advantages inherent in landing operations.--A joint overseas expedition has many of the advantages inherent in offensive warfare. In particular, it has the initiative with a wide choice of objectives and lines of approach toward them. Its extreme mobility, combined with the use of feints,frequently will conceal the objectives selected until the coast is approached. Through the mobility of its reserves retained afloat, it has an excellent opportunity to exploit initial successes ashore.

  2. Disadvantages inherent in landing operations.--On the other hand, there are certain disadvantages. In particular, it requires a longer time to launch an attack by troops from transports than from a position already established on shoe. While the troops are being brought ashore in boats they are unable to take any effective part in the combat, but offer a particularly vulnerable target to all enemy weapons. Usually, troops must land on and fight over comparatively unfamiliar ground where information of hostile dispositions will be more difficult to obtain than in other types of operations. difficulties of supply are greatly increased. The artillery support in the initial stages of the attack must be furnished by naval guns; and, finally, success depends to a great degree upon the proper coordination and intimate cooperation of two distinct services.

  3. Superiority of force essential.

    1. An overseas expedition presupposes marked superiority on the sea and in the air within the area of, and during the time required for, the operations. Such superiority does not necessarily preclude all possible damage to vessels of the expedition by enemy action, but it must be sufficient to ensure a reasonable degree of protection for all transports accompanying the expedition while in passage and during the progress of the landing operations. Large ships stopping in the open ocean and troops disembarking in small boats are extremely vulnerable to attack by submarines and aircraft. Careful consideration therefore must be given to the removal of the submarine


      and air menace prior to the actual landing of the expeditionary forces. The possibility of enemy air and naval reinforcements arriving during the operation and the further possibility of enemy use of chemical agents to oppose a landing should be given due weight in the estimate of relative strength.

    1. Unless the landing forces available for the expedition are unquestionably superior to the enemy forces that may be expected to oppose the landings and operations on shore subsequent thereto, the initiation of such operations is not justified. Numbers alone cannot afford this superiority. There must also be that effectiveness which is obtained by proper organization, equipment, and training of the forces for the special type of operations to be undertaken.

  1. Definitions.

    1. A joint overseas expedition is a combined Army and Navy force dispatched to a theater of operations by sea for the purpose of undertaking military operations on shore.

    2. Phases--The execution of a joint overseas expedition divides itself naturally into the three following phases, and plans are made accordingly:

      1. The embarkation phase consists of all preparatory measures taken to assemble the troops and their equipment, the supplies, and the transportation at or near the port of embarkation; it also includes the actual loading of the troops and supplies on the transports.

      2. The movement overseas phase is the period from the time the expedition sorties from the port of embarkation until the joint attack forces rendezvous within their landing areas.

      3. The landing phase begins with the movement of the expedition from the rendezvous within the landing area, and continues until the landing forces are securely established on shore.

    3. A naval attack force is the naval unit in landing operations, consisting of transports, cargo ships, and supporting naval vessels, operating against a continuous shore line, usually designated by the geographical name of the locality, or by the terms "right", "left", "center", etc.


    1. A landing force consists of the Army organizations which are to carry out landing operations from the transports of a naval attack force.

    2. A joint attack force includes a naval attack force and the landing force associated therewith.

    3. A landing area is the area within which are included the operations of a joint attack force and comprises the shore and sea area involved in the landing operations. A large joint overseas expedition may require the use of more than one landing area.

    4. A transport area is the water area assigned for debarking troops from the transports.

    5. A naval support area is the sea area assigned to naval vessels detailed to support a landing.

    6. A beach is that portion of the shore line of a landing area normally required for the landing of a force approximating a combat team. A combat team is defined in subparagraph m below.

    7. A beachhead is a position organized in depth, with a view to offensive or defensive operations, which protects the beach initially from enemy light artillery fire (range about 10,000 yards) and eventually from medium artillery (range about 15,000 yards).

    8. A beachmaster is a naval officer detailed to control the beach from the high-water mark seaward.

    9. A shore party commander is an Army officer detailed to control Army administrative activities at the beach.

    10. A combat team is the basic Army unit in landing operations, consisting normally of an infantry battalion and supporting troops including any or all of the following, depending on the requirements of the situation and the availability of transportation: A platoon of the howitzer company; the battalion medical detachment; a battery of field artillery; a company of engineers; necessary liaison and communication agencies.

    11. An artillery concentration is artillery fire placed on an area.

    12. Counterbattery is fire delivered by naval vessels or the Army's artillery, on enemy artillery, for the purpose of neutralizing or destroying it.

    13. A boat group is a group of boats organized for transporting a combat team or some other similar tactical unit.


    1. A wave is one boat group, or two or more boat groups landing abreast, when operating in a tactical formation for landing.

    2. A subwave is each line of boats in a wave.

    3. Commercial loading utilizes to the maximum the ship space and does not contemplate tactical employment of the troops on landing until their equipment, other than personal equipment, has been issued to them. This method of loading is applicable to movements from an established port, to an established and well-secured port. Troops moved by this method are not available for tactical employment in landing operations against hostile forces.

    4. Unit loading gives primary consideration to the availability of the troops for combat purposes on landing, rather than utilization of ship space.

      The degree of readiness for employment depends upon the degree to which organizations are unit loaded as follows:

      1. Combat unit loading, in which certain units, selected because of their probable destination and employment in landing on hostile shores, are completely loaded on one ship with at least their essential combat equipment and supplies immediately available for debarkation with the troops, together with the animals for the organization, when this is practicable. This method of unit loading is particularly applicable to units which probably will be required for an assault on hostile shores by a landing from small boats. Such an operation against any one beach will require an army combat team. This, of course, is subject to modification to meet special requirements. Combat teams will be loaded in such manner as to permit simultaneous debarkation.

      2. Organizational unit loading, in which organizations with their equipment and supplies are loaded on the same transport, but not so loaded as to allow debarkation of troops and their equipment simultaneously. This is somewhat more economical in ship capacity than is combat unit loading. It permits debarkation of complete units available for employment as soon as the troops and their equipment have been assembled on land. Like combat unit loading, this method permits diversion en route by complete ship loads, from the destination originally intended.


      1. Convoy unit loading, in which the troops with their equipment and supplies are loaded on transports of the same convoy, but not necessarily on the same transport. This allows a considerable utilization of ship space, particularly by using this method of loading to fill in space on transports carrying combat unit loaded organizations. Troops which are convoy unit loaded are available for tactical employment only when landed at established beachheads, and after the lapse of time necessary to assemble them on land, with their equipment and supplies.

Section II

  1. Method of coordination.--The joint Army and Navy basic war plans, or the authority directing the undertaking of a joint overseas expedition, will prescribe whether coordination will be by the exercise of unity of command or by the exercise of limited unity of command. (See ch. II, Joint Action of the Army and the Navy.)

  2. Commanders to embark on same ship.--The Army and the Navy commanders of a joint overseas expedition, with their respective staffs, should be embarked on the same ship, as should also the respective Army and Navy commanders of a joint attack force. This method should be applied, where practicable, through all echelons of command.

  3. Liaison agents and staff.--The mutual exchange of liaison agents assures a degree of cooperation between the Army and the Navy not otherwise readily obtainable. Wherever joint operations are undertaken the commander of one service should have on his staff members of the other service.

  4. Communication with subordinate units.--It is highly important that all landing force commanders should land with their units or as soon thereafter as possible, establish communication with subordinates who have already landed, and issue orders for subsequent operations based on personal knowledge of the situation and the terrain. The senior commander ashore must act with vigor and initiative.


Section III

  1. The joint basic decision and directive.

    1. The decision to undertake a joint overseas expedition will be derived from a joint Army and Navy estimate. Such a decision may be contained in a joint Army and Navy basic war plan, or it may be reached at any time during the progress of the war.

    2. A directive will be issued by the authority arriving at the decision to undertake a joint overseas expedition, to the commander designated to command the combined forces, or to the commander designated to command the combined forces, or to the commanders of the Army and the Navy forces which constitute the joint overseas expedition. This directive will generally include:

      1. Digest of available information of the enemy.

      2. Information of any prior operations undertaken that might have an influence upon the proposed operations.

      3. Information of any supporting operations contemplated.

      4. The joint mission and, if required, the separate missions for the Army and the Navy.

      5. The outline of the operations that probably will be required to accomplish the mission or missions, with designation of the initial theater of operations.

      6. The forces assigned to carry out the operations with times and places of concentration and availability for embarkation.

      7. The type of special equipment and supplies that may be needed.

      8. The availability of sea transportation and the responsibility for its procurement and operation.

      9. The method of coordination. The designation of the commander in chief under the method of unity of command; or the designation of the service in which paramount interest will be vested during each phase, with the designation of the respective commanders of the Navy and the Navy forces.

      10. Any further information or instructions that may be considered of importance in order to give the commander in


        chief or the respective commanders of the Army forces and the Navy forces the benefit of all studies made which might have a bearing on the success of the expedition.

  1. Expeditionary force joint estimate and joint plan.

    1. Upon receipt of the above directive, the commander in chief, or the commander of the service in which paramount interest is initially vested, will prepare such an estimate as may be desirable and, after full discussion with the respective Army and Navy commanders, or the commander of the other services, will issue instructions based on the directive and in amplification thereof; these instructions, particularly when prepared prior to the war, will ordinarily be in the form of a joint plan. Such instructions will generally include:

      1. Decision.

      2. Such additional assignments of Army and Navy missions as appear to be necessary.

      3. Operations to be undertaken, including both joint operations and such separate Army and Navy operations as are considered to be necessary to insure the success of the expedition, together with the designation of the respective task forces required and their commanders.

      4. Announcement of selected landing areas.

      5. Times and places of embarkation, departure, and rendezvous.

      6. Provision for joint training.

      7. Provision for logistic support of the expedition.

      8. Provision for communications (signal) between forces.

      9. Announcement of the hour of landing. Often this may not be announced until shortly before the landing forces are ready to debark.

      10. Alternative plans.

    2. It should be emphasized that the plans for embarkation and movement overseas should be based upon the requirements of the plan covering the actual landing operations.

  2. Cooperation in planning.--In the preparation of these plans and of the subordinate plans it is essential that there be the closest cooperation between all Army and Navy commanders who are to be associated in the projected operations. Officers of each service


    should have a clear understanding of the problems confronting the other service and the limitations incident to the employment of the facilities of both services.The staffs of both services should study the problem together. This applies not only to the staffs of the higher commanders, but also to the staffs of the subordinate commanders who are to be associated in each operation. Technical details relating to each service are to be worked out by the service concerned.

  1. Development of plans by Army and Navy commanders.--On receipt of the instructions set forth in paragraphs 53 and 54, the respective commanders of the Army forces and of the Navy forces will proceed to develop the detailed plans to carry out the projected operations and will issue the necessary orders to their respective forces.

  2. Plans of subordinate units.--Based on the orders of the commanders, Army and Navy, there will be prepared detailed plans covering the employment of subordinate units which, in the case of operations that are unfamiliar to the forces involved, will go into great detail. Orders of subordinate units, like those of higher units, will be prepared in close cooperation between commanders of the two service who are to be associated in the operations.

  3. Flexibility of the plans.--In the preparation of all plans and orders, it must be borne in mind that one which fails to provide for flexibility has little chance of success. Therefore, provision will be made for necessary modifications due to weather conditions, enemy action, the strength of enemy resistance encountered at any of the departure and arrival at destination. Alternative landing areas will be selected and alternative plans providing for landing at these areas will be prepared before embarkation. However, as the plan of embarkation cannot be changed in case an alternative plan is used, the plan of embarkation must be the same for, and should support, both the preferred and alternative plans. The alternative plans must be drawn so as to make this possible.

  4. Details to be perfected before sailing.--It is necessary that all possible details of each plan of landing and orders for subordinate units be determined upon as far as may be practicable before the joint expedition sails, or at the latest before it departs from the


    last port which it will touch before arrival in the landing area. All commanders should familiarize themselves as far as possession of information will permit with the nature of the beaches and the terrain over which operations are to be projected. A draft of the order initiating the landing contemplated must also be prepared and distributed for study during the voyage.

Section IV
Embarkation and Measures Preparatory Thereto

  1. Plans and orders.--The plans and orders of the Army and the Navy commanders under his heading should in general include--

    1. For the Army forces:

      1. Organization and equipment of the Army forces for the operation.

      2. Special training of troops for the proposed operations.

      3. Date on which loading of troops will commence.

      4. Movement of troops from the concentration centers to ports of embarkation, in accordance with loading priority.

      5. Directions covering requisition for supplies for delivery at ports as requested by the Navy.

      6. Subdivision of the Army forces for assignment to transports in accordance with the tactical plan.

      7. Embarkation tables for troops, and the necessary loading tables for general cargo to accompany troops.

      8. Loading of troops and equipment on board ship in accordance with the tactical plans and the Navy assignment of ships.

    2. For the naval forces:

      1. Organization of the naval forces for the operation.

      2. Arrangements for procurement of boats, lighters, and other special equipment required to land the Army forces, their equipment, and supplies.

      3. Allocation of available transport and ship space and tonnage as required to meet Army grouping of troops and unloading requirements.

      4. Special training of naval personnel for the proposed operations.


  1. Procurement of sea transportation.--The joint basic plan or directive (see par. 53b(8)) will state which service is responsible for procurement and assembly of the sea transportation required for the Army forces. Transportation required by the Navy will be procured by that service. Unless stated in the plan or directive, the commander in chief or the commander of the force having paramount interest will decide when and where the necessary sea transportation is required and will request the War or Navy Department, as the case may be, to have it so assembled.

  2. Ports of embarkation.--Regardless of whether the transportation employed for the movement of the Army forces overseas is under the control of the Army or Navy, the necessary ports required for embarking the Army forces are selected, organized,and operated by agencies of the War Department not included in the forces to be employed overseas. The Army embarkation service includes the employment of experienced riggers, longshoremen, and stevedores; harbor floating equipment, etc., for loading ships.

  3. Special organization.

    1. Army forces are restricted by the necessarily limited facilities available for transportation, not only in the transports, but in the boats and small craft available to transfer them to the shore, and the facilities, or lack of them, for debarkation from the boats. For support in the first stage of attack the landing of tanks is difficult and the landing of heavy artillery is impracticable. It is ordinarily impracticable to employ Army air units before and during the early stages of the landing. Special organization is, therefore, required to facilitate debarkation of intact combat units, reduce ship cargo requirements, provide increased small arms and machine-gun fire in lieu of normal artillery support, and insure mobility of the first units ashore.

    2. Special naval organization is required to embark, escort, debark, and land the Army forces, including provision for the most effective possible artillery, communications, and air support until the Army can establish its own artillery and air units on shore. This involves the organization and provision of boat officers and crews for the landing boats and lighters; organization for covering landing operations by gunfire on land targets; organization to provide aircraft


      support and observation to serve the needs of group troops, including observation of the fire of the Army's artillery; and organization to provide ship-to-shore communications.

  1. Special equipment.

    1. In general, in order to meet the requirements and limitations mentioned, the Army must reduce equipment to absolute essentials. Wherever practicable, motor transport will replace animal transport, and the motor transport provided will be of the types (light tractors and light trucks) which can be most easily handled, especially into and out of small boats. However, combat efficiency should not be sacrificed to facilitate sea transportation. The amount and kind of transportation is dependent on the terrain and the distance of the advance.

    2. Because of the special nature of the operations required in the transfer of troops, equipment, and supplies from ship to shore against enemy opposition and under supporting fire from friendly ships, special equipment must be provided by the Navy. This includes machine guns therein, and the provision of protection so far as practicable against small arms fire from shore; special boats, barges, and motor lighters for landing all other troops and their equipment, including artillery, tanks, airplanes, and motor and animal transport, and supplies; provision of special ammunition required for the artillery support; and special communications equipment.

    3. The maximum number of landing boats which can be transported efficiently should be provided. The number of boats should be at least sufficient to land simultaneously the number of assault battalions to cover the frontage required in the proposed scheme of maneuver, and local reserves sufficient to hold the ground gained until reenforcements are land in later waves.

    4. All boats possible should be carried on the transports. The standard Navy boats on combat vessels are to be used only as necessary to supplement transport equipment and for towing.

  2. Special equipment to be assembled before departure.--Estimates of the special equipment required will be made well in advance of the date of departure of the expedition in order that it may be procured and some training in its use may be carried out before loading.


  1. Joint training.--The difficulties of landing on a hostile shore from small boats, heavily encumbered troops most of whom have had little or no experience with the sea, and the unfamiliarity of the Navy with attack of land objectives, and with firing over friendly troops, make it necessary that as much preliminary joint training be carried out as time permits. It is particularly necessary that all operations projected be rehearsed in as realistic a manner as the facilities permit prior to the actual landing.

  2. Embarkation plans.

    1. The plans required for the subdivision of the Army forces for assignment to transports constitute the embarkation plans. Embarkation is so intimately related to and dependent upon debarkation that the details of embarkation plans cannot be completed until decision has been reached as to the method of debarkation. The debarkation plan itself is dependent upon the tactical plan of employment of the Army forces.

    2. The orders directing embarkation will be based upon the debarkation plan for the preferred tactical plan and the details of embarkation will be contained in embarkation tables and special equipment tables prepared by the Army as part of the embarkation order.

    3. The data to be contained in the embarkation and special equipment tables will be as follows:

      1. Whether or not the organization is to be unit loaded and if so the degree of unit loading desired. (See par. 48 t.)

      2. The number of officers, warrant officers, and enlisted men; total personnel; total number of animals; the number and kind of each article, and space required in cubic feet to store, and the weight in long tons; the dimensions, length, breadth and height of each separate package of equipment; the total space required to store and the total tonnage in long tons of the supplies and equipment pertaining to the unit.

    4. When the sea transportation is under the control of the Navy, this information will be furnished to the Navy as far in advance of the embarkation as possible.

  3. Joint planning.--Embarkation tables cannot, of course, be finally prepared until the transports which will be available are


    definitely known. Joint study and planning for embarkation of expeditionary forces are absolutely necessary.

  1. Loading.

    1. For the movement overseas of joint expeditionary forces, two general methods of loading troops and their equipment on transports are applicable. These two methods are termed commercial loading and unit loading. (See subpars. 48 s and 48 t.)

    2. The determination of the method of loading for embarkation is primarily dependent upon an estimate as to the probable employment of the organizations upon debarkation. While economy of ship's space will be a highly important factor in planning for a joint overseas expedition, and combat unit loading is somewhat less economical in this respect, yet the all important factor of combat efficiency can not be sacrificed. Minimum requirements to secure combat efficiency may be stated as:

      1. Each combat team, combat unit loaded, will be complete on one ship.

      2. There will be at least as many such teams, one or more per ship, as there are beaches to be assaulted.

      3. Infantry battalions required as local reserves for assault echelons will be combat unit loaded.

    3. TO secure the best use of ship's space and at the same time provide the combat unit loading required by the situation, combinations of the different methods of unit loading on the same transport may often be made. Thus, the same transport may contain a combat team, combat unit loaded; the infantry regimental headquarters, and possibly other elements, organizational unit loaded; and freight, equipment, and supplies, together with other units designated to debark early in the operations, convoy unit loaded.

  2. Loading aviation units.

    1. The most desirable unit loading for Army aviation units is to have them loaded on carriers so that the planes can take off therefrom to operate in support of the landing; and to have sufficient airdrome personnel and equipment on the carrier to permit the early establishment of facilities for the operation of the units on shore. This is the ideal condition to be attained, but it is probable that lack of available carriers for this purpose will necessitate the acceptance


    of a lesser degree of readiness, which will preclude the use of Army aviation units in support of the landing.

  1. If Army aviation units cannot be unit-loaded on carriers, transports should be selected which will permit the planes to be stowed between decks, almost completely set up, and the loading on the same ship of the airdrome personnel and equipment necessary to permit prompt establishment on shore of the facilities required for the operation of the units.

  2. IT may be necessary to employ transports of such restricted space between decks as to require that the planes be shipped knocked-down and crated. This is the least desirable method of loading, due to the docking facilities necessary for unloading and the time element involved in getting the planes ashore and ready for flying.

Section V
The Movement Overseas

  1. Plans and orders.--The plans and orders of the Army and the Navy commanders under this heading should in general include--

    1. For the Army forces:
        Designation of such landing areas as may have been concurred in by the Navy, and announcement of the plan for establishment of the Army forces on shore.

    2. For the Navy forces:

      1. Information of time of departure, in accordance with paragraph 72, following.

      2. Concurrence with the Army in selection of the landing areas and plan for the establishment of the Army forces on shore.

      3. Safe escort of the expedition to the landing areas and organization therefor.

  2. Time of departure.--The time of departure from the ports of embarkation of the expedition and assembly at the designated rendezvous will be decided by the commander in chief or the commander of the services having paramount interest.

  3. Convoy and escort.

    1. Prior to departure of the overseas expedition, the naval commander will organize all noncombatant vessels, such as troop and


      animal transports and cargo ships, into such convoy groups as may be advisable, the basis for organization being the retention in one group of the ships carrying the troops and equipment to be landed at any one beach. Each convoy group will be commanded by an officer of the Navy of suitable rank, designated by the naval commander. The naval commander will furthermore organize and station the escort for the convoy groups, whether these convoy groups are proceeding in one, or more than one formation.

    1. In the event that the expedition has for its major objective the establishment of the fleet in a base in a theater of operations normally controlled by the enemy, it is probable that all transports and cargo ships will be incorporated in the fleet train which includes the auxiliary vessels necessary for the logistic support of the fleet.

  1. Navigation and Defense.

    1. Whatever the type of landing operations to be undertaken, the navigation and defense of the convoys of troop transports in joint overseas expeditions at sea are entirely under the direction of the Navy, and the Navy is responsible for the safe conduct of all the forces afloat included in the operations.

    2. The Army personnel are passengers and do not interfere with the formation, route, or conduct of the expedition. The troops on board may be assigned certain duties such as that of lookouts, as may be directed by the commander of the transport through the commanding officer of troops on board.

  2. Protection of the lines of supply (lines of communications).--The Navy is always responsible for the protection of the oversea lines of supply.

Section VI
The Landing (Including Preparations Therefor)

  1. Joint plans.--Based upon the expeditionary force joint plan, all Army and navy commanders of larger units operating together will prepare joint plans covering their operations in the landing phase.

  2. Joint plan of the Army and Navy commanders.--The joint plan of the Army and Navy commanders should, in general, include the necessary details concerning:


    1. Mission (assigned in the expeditionary force joint plan).

    2. Such additional assignments of Army and Navy missions as appear to be necessary.

    3. Decision as to the joint operation to be undertaken and such separate Army and Navy tasks as are considered to be necessary.

    4. Designation of respective task forces required and their commanders.

    5. Selection, number, and locations of the beaches within the landing area.

    6. The hour of landing.

    7. Gunfire and air support, both naval and Army.

    8. Maintaining control of the necessary sea areas during the operations.

    9. Clearing enemy naval forces and obstacles from the landing area.

    10. Army debarkation tables for troops, equipment, and supply.

    11. Navy transport of troops from ship to shore in accordance with Army debarkation tables.

    12. Seizure and organization of designated objectives on shore and exploitation of initial success after landing.

    13. Relief of naval forces furnishing gunfire and air support and communication (signal) service.

    14. Detail of liaison agents.

    15. Communication (signal) service.

    16. Establishment of ports of debarkation and supply bases on shore and other logistic details necessary for the landing operations.

    17. Protection and maintenance of oversea lines of supply (communication).

  1. Orders.--The orders of the Army and the Navy commanders will include such details of the "Joint plan of the Army and Navy commanders" as are pertinent to their respective commands.

  2. Surprise.

    1. The chances of success in an opposed landing are much improved when surprise is effected.

    2. Strategical surprise is difficult to accomplish, as air and surface scouting can be carried a long distance to seaward, and may result in the early discovery of the approaching expedition. Tactical surprise,


      as regards the commencement of operations against a particular beach at a particular time, is often possible, and every effort should be made to effect it.

    1. The effectiveness of tactical surprise is dependent upon the number of landing places available, the size of the landing force, the secrecy and rapidity of approach, the character of the enemy dispositions and ability to throw the Army reserve rapidly into an area where enemy weakness has been determined by the initial attack. Tactical surprise may also be effected by the use of darkness or smoke to conceal movements, and by means of demonstrations and feints.

  1. Reconnaissance.

    1. In cases where overseas expeditions are under consideration, steps should be taken, before initiating debarkation plans to make such preliminary reconnaissance of the proposed landing areas as may be possible to determine the enemy's preparation for defense, character of the terrain, and hydrographic conditions adjacent to the tentatively selected beaches. After completion of the plan, a further reconnaissance should be made, if practicable, to check the details and soundness of the plans.

    2. During the landing phase, continuous reconnaissance should be conducted by all echelons of command. Air forces, submarines, and patrols landed from small boats, as well as the troops when landed, should carry out this reconnaissance.

    3. Air reconnaissance of the terrain inland from the beach preliminary to landing is of value in determining the enemy strength in numbers and positions, which must be overcome; but to avoid arousing the enemy's suspicions, air reconnaissance should be on a very broad front, or it may be necessary to suspend aerial reconnaissance in such areas for a time preliminary to the attack, unless such reconnaissance can be concealed by including it in other air operations. However, where organized resistance is expected, information obtained by air reconnaissance of enemy positions, with photographs, may prove of far more value to the landing forces than any benefits derived from attempted surprise landings without this information.


    Employment of the Army forces.

    1. AS landing against opposition is in effect the assault of an organized defensive position modified by substituting naval gunfire support for divisional, corps, and Army artillery, and generally Navy aircraft support for Army aircraft support. However, every effort will be made to utilize all possible aircraft support, both Army and Navy.

    2. Three successive phases in the operations are to be expected, each being marked by an attack or attacks with limited objectives:

      1. First phase.--Seizure of the necessary terrain immediately in rear of the beach, followed when sufficient strength has been landed by an advance to secure the beach from enemy light artillery fire. This requires as the objective for this phase the establishment of a line about 10,000 yards inland.

        Second phase.--Operations to insure further advance inland to a position which denies enemy medium artillery fire on the beach. This requires as the objective for this phase the establishment of a line at least 15,000 yards inland.

    3. Simultaneous landings will be made by as many combat teams on as broad a front as the boat facilities will permit, but not to the extent of causing undue dispersion.

    4. The formation of the waves approximates as closely that of an assault on land as the facilities permit.

    5. It is imperative that the landing be made on the beach by tactical units, even down to the squad, in order that tactical team unity may be preserved and the fighting power of the team be at the maximum at the moment of physical contact with the enemy.

    6. In the day attack, assault platoons endeavor to develop all fire power practicable, making free use of machine guns while in the boats. In the night assaults, fire of the assaulting troops before reaching the beach will be used only as a last resort.

  1. Employment of the Naval forces.

    1. The commander of the naval attack force is responsible for the preparation of plans for and the actual operation of landing on


      the beach of all personnel and material pertaining to the Army forces with which he is associated in accordance with Army debarkation tables; the support of the landing by gunfire; the employment of the Navy air forces in support of the Army; the maintenance of signal communications between the Army and Navy forces both afloat and in the air; all this in addition to the normal functions involved in protecting the forces against hostile naval attack.

    1. If the distance from the transports to the beach is considerable, consideration should be given to towing the boats by mine sweepers or light surface craft as close to the beach as the depth of the water permits, in order to minimize confusion due to breakdown and failure to keep to the designated courses. However, every care should be exercised in the methods of handling boats and in boat formations to minimize excessive losses from hostile fire.

  1. Organization of the Army forces.

    1. The Army forces designated to land at each beach or group of beaches and the necessary reserves are organized into subordinate commands adhering to normal formations. In order to effect the closest possible cooperation, Army commanders of the various echelons should be embarked initially on the ships of the commanders of the corresponding naval echelons, as far as practicable.

    2. As the beach or group of beaches at which the landing will prove successful cannot be foreseen, the appropriate echelons or command should provide for adequate, highly mobile reserves afloat which may be promptly moved to exploit the situations developing on shore.

  2. Naval organization for landing.

    1. Preparatory to landing, the transports, cargo ships, and supporting naval vessels engaged in a joint overseas expedition will, if not already so organized, be organized into one or more naval attack forces and the forces so formed designated by the geographical name of the locality or by the terms "right", "left", "center", etc. A naval officer will be designated to command each attack force. (See par. 48 c.)

    2. Such naval attack force is further subdivided into task groups, which will generally include the following:

      1. The fire support group, consisting of combatant naval vessels which are assigned the following fire missions:


        Against enemy troops opposing the landing or against their probable positions; against reserves; against hostile machine guns and hostile artillery; and on hostile routes of advance or retreat. Effective results may further be obtained by close-in support of light vessels, such as destroyers, delivering direct fire.

      1. The air group, consisting of naval aircraft, for observations of gunfire of the fire support group and the Army's artillery, for protection of the attack force against enemy air operations, for reconnaissance of enemy positions, for bombing enemy objectives, and for liaison with the Army forces. Where practicable, observation units should support each division landings. It should be noted, however, that the fleet air forces, ion the theater of operations, other than planes carried on battleships and cruisers, are normally organized into a single task force, with the mission of supporting the landing of the expeditionary force and the operations of the attack forces.

      2. The mine group, consisting of the mine-laying vessels and mine sweepers for the purpose of sweeping the landing area clear of enemy mines and of laying defensive mines to protect the vessels of the attack force from enemy submarines and night torpedo attack.

      3. The antisubmarine group, consisting of the vessels designated to protect the vessels of the attack force form attack by enemy submarines.

      4. The transport group, consisting of the transports and all noncombatant vessels carrying troops, equipment, and supplies.

      5. The screening group, consisting of those vessels designated to locate and give warning of the approach of enemy vessels attacking same if possible. This group usually includes the submarines accompanying the expedition.

      6. 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.

    1. The above organization is repeated for each separate landing area at which landing operations are to be carried on.


    1. The commander of the naval attack force should, so far as possible, take such station that he may control and coordinate most effectively the naval operations in his area and be kept informed of the progress of the operations on shore.

  1. The landing area.--The selection of the landing area or areas (defined in 48 d) depends primarily upon tactical considerations as to the objective and the enemy opposition likely to be encountered.

  2. Characteristics of a landing area.

    1. The area selected, from an Army viewpoint, should offer a maximum of the following advantages:

      1. Permit both approach and landings on a broad front, commensurate with the size of the landing force.

      2. Afford a sufficient number of favorable beaches that are preferably mutually supporting.

      3. Contain no natural obstacles which would prevent or hinder greatly an advance.

      4. Have natural terrain features on which one or both flanks may rest.

      5. Afford sufficient area for the establishment of a beach head.

      6. Afford sufficient area inland for maneuvering the forces employed.

      7. Provide sufficient suitable road running inland to insure movement of troops toward their objectives and the movement of artillery and supplies.

      8. Afford sites permitting the landing of heavy equipment, artillery, and supplies.

      9. Afford suitable ground for the operation of Army aircraft, unless areas outside the landing area are to be used for this purpose.

    2. The area selected, front an Navy viewpoint, should offer the maximum of the following advantages:

      1. Afford suitable approach, free from obstruction, to the area in which the transports are to debark troops and equipment.

      2. Afford some shelter for the transports, so that ships may complete debarkation with the least possible interference by weather conditions, and in a depth of approximately 10


        fathoms, where practicable, as a protection against submarines.

      1. Afford maneuvering space for the naval supporting forces, including hydrographic conditions favorable for the maneuver of accompanying ships, close in to shore.

      2. Provide a few sheltered landing points where temporary or improvised floats or wharves can be employed for unloading that part of army equipment required ashore in the early phases.

      3. Provide suitable waters for anchorages and protection of the convoy as soon as the coast line has been freed from enemy artillery.

        Afford ultimately a harbor suitable for the maintenance of the military forces ashore and of the naval forces.

  1. Selection of beaches.

    1. Within any given landing area, the number and locations of the beaches are decided by the Army commander after a careful joint estimate of the situation by Army and Navy commanders, and after a reconnaissance, where practicable.

    2. From the viewpoint of the Army, the number and location of the beaches to be employed will be based upon--

      1. Freedom from hostile opposition, as that is the most serious obstacle to a successful landing.

      2. Inability of the defenders to concentrate troops opposite each possible beach as compared with the attacker's ability to do so.

      3. Absence of permanent means of defense or obstacles installed by the enemy.

      4. Access to the terrain over which the troops are to operate.

      5. Extent and existence of adjoining beaches permitting landings and approach on a broad front. The shore line need not be suitable throughout its whole extent for landing, provided the various beaches permit the units landing thereon to be mutually supporting.

      6. The character of the terrain inland from the beach. The establishment of a beachhead requires that the landing forces be able to clear rapidly the area inland adjacent to


        the beach to a depth of at least 10,000 yards, so as to allow the continued landing of troops without interference by light artillery fire. It further requires that, as a next step, the forces ashore be able to establish themselves preparatory to a further advance on a line at least 15,000 yards inland, so as to allow the continued landing of heavy material without interruption by medium=range artillery fire.

    1. From the viewpoint of the Navy, the water area adjacent to the beaches selected should:

      1. Be free from serious obstructions to navigation.

      2. Be of a slope permitting beaching of boats close to the shore line.

      3. Be firm, particularly where guns and heavy army equipment are to be landed.

      4. Contain some area sheltered from wind and sea so that the troops and equipment may be landed from boats without undue interruption or interference by surf.

      5. Have satisfactory tidal and current conditions. Local currents, particularly those close inshore, rough water, surf, usual weather conditions, and tidal range, must be considered by the Navy in determining which beaches are practicable for landing.

      6. Have satisfactory approaches from seaward, without narrow passages, thus permitting the movement of boats on a broad front.

    2. Unfavorable beaches may have to be selected for varying reasons. Use of such beaches may be obligatory even at the risk of losses, because better beaches do not exist, or in order to take the overbalancing advantage of surprise, or to gain a flanking fire which will assist the larger landings on more favorable beaches. Successful landings have been made on shore lines thought to be inaccessible.

  1. Final selection of landing areas and beaches.

    1. Final selection of the landing areas and beaches must be based on a reasonable probability of attaining the major objective. The decision must assure the landing of sufficient troops at a place from which they can reach their objective and accomplish the mission for which the operation was undertaken. Landing areas and beaches


      should be selected with a view of determining the enemy's weakest point.

    1. Since tactical considerations governing the employment of the troops on shore are paramount, final decision as to the landing area of Army forces, its breadth, beaches to be used, and order of landing of troops will be made by the Army commander from among those areas and beaches that the Navy commander from among those areas and beaches that the Navy commander states are practicable so far as naval considerations are concerned.

  1. Hour of landing.

    1. Decision as to the hour of landing involves several factors which will be considered jointly by the Army and Navy commanders in charge of the operations.

    2. Advantages of landing during darkness.--A landing before or just at daybreak greatly increases the chance of securing some measure of tactical surprise, materially lessens the efficacy of any fire the defense may employ except prearranged fires or defensive barrages, reduces the losses to be anticipated while the troops are in small boats, and prevents the enemy from gaining the necessary information on which to dispose his forces, particularly the reserves. Advantage may be taken of fog or smoke as a protection against searchlights and flares. However, fog and smoke may increase the difficulty of landing at the desired beaches.

    3. Advantages of landing during daylight.--In a daylight landing the movements of both ships and small boats are made under favorable circumstances, as positions and courses can be accurately fixed and as troops can be loaded into small boats more easily than during darkness. Likewise, the attack is assured of better gunfire and air support, and better defense against mines, submarines, light naval forces, and hostile aviation. The attackers, by means of naval gunfire and aviation, are better able to pin the enemy to the ground and interdict movements of his reserves, thus preventing his exploitation of the fuller and more accurate information which daylight permits him to obtain.

    4. Smoke.--In case the landing is not made under cover of darkness, the resulting disadvantage may, to some extent, be overcome by the use of smoke. A smoke screen laid by destroyers or aircraft may be utilized to conceal the movements and dispositions


      of the transport groups, while an airplane smoke screen laid on hostile positions when known or at the shore line may serve to protect the small boats from hostile fire and at the same time keep the enemy in doubt as to the exact strength and point of attack. In planning for the use of smoke the direction and velocity of the wind must be carefully considered.

    1. Daylight essential for exploitation.--The landing must be made early enough to allow sufficient daylight for the Army forces to reach their first objectives.

    2. Other considerations.--In addition to the above considerations, a particular combination of tide, wind, fog, or moon may be desirable in selecting the hour as well as the day for the landing.

    3. Final decision as to the hour of landing rests with the commander in chief, in the case of unity of command, or the commander of the service having paramount interest.

  1. Approach to and occupation of landing area.

    1. The approach to the landing area and the occupation of the sea area included therein are conducted under orders of the commander of the naval attack force or forces. Careful calculation must be made as to the time required to embark the first wave in the boats and the length of time it will require it to reach the beach. This result is applied to the previously determined hour for the landing and the approach so conducted that the transports will be in position at the time required. In order to minimize risk of detection as well as torpedo attack by enemy submarines, vessels should not be required to arrive within the landing area until they are needed. Where hydrography allows, transports may be anchored in water of such depth as to afford protection against hostile submarines. It is highly desirable that the submarine danger be eliminated prior to making landings. Submarine nets may be used to protect transport groups.

    2. When the waters of the proposed landing area are known or suspected of being mined, breaches must be made before the landings begin. The necessary minesweeping is performed by the Navy.

    3. The Navy is responsible for the demolition or removal, when possible, of underwater obstacles near the beach. Consideration will be given to the possibility of destroying such underwater obstacles as barbed-wire entanglements by cutting devices rigged on the small boats of the assault wave.


    1. Enemy submarines and mines may influence the conduct of the convoy, the approach to the landing area and the beaches, naval gunfire support, or the method of debarkation, thus requiring changes in the details of the plan.

  1. Transport and naval support areas.

    1. The transport area is defined in paragraph 48g. The commander of the Navy forces is responsible for the selection of the transport area.

    2. The area assigned to each transport group should be as close to the beach as possible without coming under effective enemy artillery fire. The desirability of utilizing smooth water for the purpose of debarking the troops into the small boats is an important consideration. The transport area should not be crowded.

    3. The naval support area, defined in paragraph 48h, should be sufficient in depth and breadth to permit free maneuvering of the supporting ships, with deep water close enough in to permit them to cover effectively with gunfire the land objectives step by step up to the extreme ranges. If practicable, it will be separate and distinct from the transport area.

  2. Employment of air forces.

    1. The plan for employment of the air forces, Army and Navy, depends upon the time during the operations at which the Army air forces can be made available for service. Factors which affect early employment of Army air units are:

      1. The selection of landing fields for use by the Army air forces; their location with reference to the landing area.

      2. The time required for preparation of necessary landing fields and the amount of labor available for this purpose.

      3. Whether land bases for Army aviation are to be seized prior to main landing.

      4. Whether land bases for Army aviation are to be seized at the same time of the main landing.

      5. The difficulty of transporting airplanes uncreated, the amount of ship's space available for this purpose, and the difficulty of transporting airplanes from ship to shore and to place where they can take off.

      6. The time to assemble airplanes that are transported in crates.


      1. The practicability of flying a portion of the Army air forces to temporary landing fields within operating distance of the landing area.

    1. When the enemy is provided with an air force, the hostile observation is almost certain to learn of the approach of the expedition, and the hostile air force, unless neutralized, may prevent the convoy from approaching the coast or the successful debarkation and landing of the troops without serious losses. The convoy must be assisted by an air force strong enough to protect the convoy and the landing area from effective air attack. This is the function of the naval air forces, with such assistance from the Army air forces as may be practicable.

    2. While the Army air units will enter into the action as early as possible, Army air activities will be restricted until suitable land bases are secured.Hence, in addition to reconnaissance and air spotting of naval gunfire during the early phases of the landing operations, the Navy air forces will be prepared to take over, or at least to assist in other missions usually assigned to the Army air units. Naval assistance in such missions, which include infantry liaison, artillery adjustment, reconnaissance, and attack in support of ground operations, will continue until the various classes of Army air units are available. Army observers will be utilized, if practicable, in naval planes in such operations prior to the arrival of Army planes.

  1. Naval gunfire support.

    1. As artillery support, at least in the initial stages, must be given by naval gunfire exclusively, the maximum effectiveness of its use must be assured by very careful prearrangement. Liaison and communications between advancing troops and their supporting artillery should be provided.

    2. Naval artillery being of the high velocity, flat trajectory type, the objectives selected for it to fire upon must be large, well defined, and farther ahead of our infantry for safety reasons, than is usually the case. Due to the limited supply of ammunition available for all types of naval guns, barrages and firing on minor or suspected targets will not be feasible. Instead of this the best method of support will be by short intense concentrations fired according to a


      prearranged schedule on targets visible from the firing ships, from observation points on land, or from spotting aircraft. Concentrations should be placed on other targets as they disclose themselves by groups specially designated beforehand. Although possible, map firing should be employed only as a last resort; observed firing is always to be preferred. However, liberal use should be made of maps in the designation of artillery objectives in the plan of fire support.

    1. Reduced charges may be used to advantage in cases where the design of the gun permits this. High angle fire may be obtained by the design, manufacture, and supply of artillery for the particular purpose of supporting a landing force in joint operations. Naval antiaircraft guns will be used throughout against enemy air operations, but if not needed for this purpose they may be used advantageously against shore objectives.

    2. The gunfire support furnished by the naval forces should be continuous. It will usually start with a preparation fire and continue throughout the successive stages of the landing until the limit of range of guns is reached or until the Army's own artillery is in a position to furnish adequate support. During the time the first wave is embarking in small boats from the transports and until the first of these boats reach the beach, the fire will be placed on known hostile artillery positions, organized strong points, machine-gun nests, defiles on routes over which supports and reserves must pass and, generally, on such other objectives the neutralization of which will lessen the enemy's defense. Artillery support plans will provide for effective fire on the beach to cover the movement of the first wave ashore. Just before our troops reach the shore the fire will lift to targets farther inland. The terrain beyond the beach will influence the amount of lifting of the fire. In any event it must be kept far enough in advance of our infantry to assure against losses from our own fire.

    3. There are two general methods which may be employed by naval forces in affording artillery support in a forced landing where two or more Army divisions land simultaneously. One is to keep all firing units centralized under the highest commander; the other is to decentralize naval support groups to support subordinate Army


      units. The following are examples of the second method: When two infantry divisions land simultaneously and the naval units have been divided into two naval attack forces, it might be desirable to have the naval vessels of one naval attack force support one division, and the naval vessels of the other naval attack force support the other division, or to divide the naval force into three supporting groups--one being assigned each division and one to support the operation as a whole; or a division might be made by calibers, the large caliber main batteries of large ships being assigned for general support while the smaller caliber secondary batteries are assigned to support subordinate units to include divisions, and sometimes brigades.

  1. Cooperation in gunfire support.

    1. Complete plans for gunfire support should be worked out prior to embarkation between the commanders of the naval groups which are to give the support and of the respective Army units they are to support. Army commanders will indicate the objectives upon which they desire fire, the purpose of the fire, and the times they are to be fired upon. The naval commander concerned will indicate exactly how much of the desired support he can give. In case the Navy has not sufficient guns to cover the desired objectives, every effort will be made to secure additional ships rather than defeat the Army plan by reducing below the minimum the artillery support required by it.

    2. Since the effectiveness with which naval gunfire support plans and orders are carried out is largely dependent upon the maintenance of adequate liaison and communications between shore and ship, such plans and orders should include adequate provisions for the installation and maintenance of all means necessary to assure this. To assist in securing effective support, liaison officers will be interchanged between Army and Navy nits. Advantageous use may be made of Army officers of artillery organizations which do not debark initially. All liaison officers should report to the headquarters to which assigned in plenty of time--probably prior to embarkation--to become thoroughly familiar with their duties. They should be sufficiently familiar with the other service as to be able to interpret the desires and needs of the commanders of the units whom


      they represent in the case of Army liaison officers and the capabilities of naval firing groups in the case of naval liaison officers.

    1. In addition to normal communication through the beach master as provided in paragraph 101a, each naval liaison officer should have direct communication with his commander whom he represents. For this purpose each should be accompanied by a signal party with facilities for maintaining radio and visual communications with his commanders.

  1. Debarkation of troops.

    1. A wave is defined in paragraph 48q. The organization of the troops of each wave, with the time of arrival at the beach, is determined by the debarkation tables which are prepared by the Army officer commanding the unit. Such organization is based on best information on hand and upon information received from the naval attack force commander as to availability and capacity of boats.

    2. The tactical requirement of deployment in depth will cause the debarkation to be made in successive waves.

    3. The number of waves to be under way at the same time will depend upon the tactical plan and the number and kind of boats available. After the initial tactical force has been carried ashore by successive waves, the remaining Army units will be sent ashore in as orderly and expeditious a manner as is feasible by the use of such boats and lighters as remain available, unless the necessity for tactical formations demands continuation of movement by waves.

    4. The Navy is responsible that the waves are so spaced that they will arrive at the beach in the order and at the time intervals requested by the Army.

    5. In order to reduce the time that the troops may be under fire in the boats, it is desirable that the first waves, at least, be debarked in fast motorboats, the larger and slower boats being reserved for succeeding waves in which larger groupings are not objectionable. The provision of special boats for the purpose of landing the troops is highly desirable and is a duty of the Navy.

    6. All boats of an assault weave should mount machine guns to be manned by either the Army or Navy, and should be provided with as much protection as possible against the effects of small-arms and machine-gun fire directed at them from the beaches and form aircraft.


    1. All boats used for landing troops, equipment, or supplies will be manned by Navy crews and commanded by Navy personnel.

  1. Debarkation of supplies and light equipment.

    1. The plan covering the landing phase will provide for the supply of the troops on shore. Their needs must be foreseen and transports loaded in accordance with the plan of supply. The first administrative orders to be issued after landing will be prepared, at least in tentative draft form, before the expedition sails.

    2. Troops usually carry only enough rations and ammunition upon landing to last 1 or 2 days. However, a beach reserve of rations and ammunition for at least 10 days should be built up as soon as possible, preferably from supplies carried in the transports for this purpose. Ordinarily, few stores other than ammunition and water ca be unloaded and landed on the first day.

    3. The troops of each wave should carry the signal communication equipment appropriate to the units involved.

    4. Debarkation of supplies and equipment and the priorities therefor should be provided in the Army debarkation tables.

  2. Debarkation of artillery and other heavy equipment.

    1. The plan of debarkation should avoid encumbering early waves with nonessential equipment. Field artillery, though difficult to land, is essential. The landing of field artillery heavier in weight than light artillery upon open beaches is difficult, and the terrain may be such as to make the prompt movement or employment of such artillery, after landing, impracticable. In favorable situations, on a good beach, a small amount of light artillery and tanks may be landed early. Such artillery will usually have to be moved into position by hand. Light tractors suitable for moving field guns into position can be debarked more easily than animals.

    2. There are no suitable boats at present carried by vessels of war or merchant ships for transporting a large amount of army supplies or the heavier army equipment, such as medium field artillery pieces, tanks, motor trucks, airplanes. Special barges or lighters, preferably self-propelled, should be provided by the Navy for this purpose prior to embarkation.[*]

    3. All equipment and supplies which cannot be handled easily from boats to shore require improvised ramps and piers and some special naval equipment for handling. For landing a limited

[* Remember that the date of this publication is 1935--well before the development of the specialized amphibious craft developed for World War II. --HyperWar]


      amount of light equipment and supplies to accompany troops, the Navy will require small sheltered bights or inlets along the coast, and for handling the bulk of supplies and heavier Army equipment, fairly well protected harbors with temporary piers and wharves and appliances for unloading.

  1. Debarkation of animals.--The number of animals that can be debarked or handled on an open beach is limited, yet provision will have to be made for transportation, debarkation, and landing of some animals, probably early in the operations. The Army will provide for the supply of proper slings, transportation stalls, and such other equipment as will facilitate the handling of the animals to be ashore. Animals may be debarked as follows: From the transport to small boats by using flying stalls; from the boats into the water by ducking ramps; from the transports into mine sweepers or similar light craft, by flying stalls or slings; from mine sweepers or similar light craft into the water by slings or a ducking ramp; from the transport into the water by slings.

  2. Debarkation of air forces.

    1. The method for debarking Army air units will depend upon the plans for their initial employment and the manner in which transported.

    2. When the situation is such that it has been planned to transport Army aircraft crated, and not to use them until a suitable landing field has been secured as a result of the seizure of a beach head, the aircraft will not be debarked until suitable means for transferring them from ship to shore are available.Such a situation would exist when the operation was directed against an enemy known to be unable to offer effective air opposition to the landing operation.

    3. However, the normal situation will require a maximum employment of all available air force, Army and Navy. Every effort should be made to transport Arm,y aircraft so that they can participate in the initial operations. Navy aircraft carriers are taxed to capacity to care for their own planes and usually would not be available for handling Army aircraft; but if available should be used.


    1. Often it will be possible to debark aircraft at some distance from the landing area of the main operation, but within flight reach. The seizure and protection of a suitable area may constitute a secondary landing operation. Such an operation might be carried out in advance of the main operation, in order to make additional aircraft available to participate in the latter, but at the possible sacrifice of secrecy.

    2. A favorable situation is one in which the area selected for the operation is within flight distance of friendly territory, thus permitting Army air units, flying form such territory, to participate in the initial phase of the operation.

  1. Supply of water to the troops.--If the landing is made during hot weather or in a tropical climate, the amount of water than can be carried may be considerably less than the landing troops require. When there are no facilities for supply of water ashore in the landing area, arrangements must be made by the Navy to furnish water for the troops ashore. The Army's estimate and the Navy's arrangements for the water supply must be liberal. Allowance will be made for loss of water and containers, including damage by hostile fire. Until the tactical situation ashore permits water being delivered by water boats to be provided by the Navy, at least one cask of water will be placed in each boat going ashore. Plans will provide for the continuous supply of water by the Navy until the Army has developed its supply ashore.

  2. Organization of the beach.

    1. The beachmaster is a naval officer. One will be appointed or each beach where a landing is to be made. He will be provided with amply assistance. The beachmaster has complete control of the beach from the high-water mark seaward; of all naval operations thereat, together with all landing facilities. He causes the beach to be promptly marked to facilitate its recognition by approaching waves; organizes, maintains, and controls all communication with the Navy; transmits all Army messages from shore to ship, and receives and transmits to the shore party commander all messages from ship to shore which apply to the Army except as provided in paragraph 94c; and cooperates with the shore party commander. The beachmaster and a few of his principal assistants land with the first wave.


      The beachmaster's headquarters should be provided with such protection from enemy fire as may be practicable. Previously trained Army artillery and Army air corps liaison personnel, in addition to competent naval communication personnel, will be established at the beachmaster's communication center, so that messages may be transmitted in terms and manner to which each service is accustomed.

    1. The shore party commander is an Army officer. One will be appointed for each beach where a landing is to be made. He will be provided with ample assistance. The shore party commander takes charge of all engineer and labor troops, equipment, and supplies on arrival at the beach; organizes the beach facilities, such as the establishment of dumps,. collecting stations,and prisoners' inclosures; establishes information and message centers; facilities the movement of all troops inland; and cooperates with the beachmaster. The shore party commander lands with the first wave.

    2. Military police.--Confusion is likely to occur at the beaches, due to the irregular arrival of troops and supplies, hostile fire, movement of wounded and stragglers to the rear, and to the arrival of runners with messages. It is necessary, therefore, to have the beach well policed, and a sufficient number of military police should be detailed to assist the shore party commander.

    3. An engineer party will be landed with or soon after the first troops. The shore party commander will detail necessary engineers to assist the beachmaster in establishing at once improved landing places for boats and in removing obstructions. A wharf of some kind is usually the next work,m and it must be completed with the least possible delay. Army ponton equipment may be valuable for this purpose, and such equipment should be loaded with a view to its early use. The shore party commander will arrange for the construction of routes of communication to the interior. The location of these routes of communication may be determined by a study of maps beforehand, and this will be done wherever practicable.

    4. Boat repair party.--Casualties to the hulls of boats and to the machinery of power boats due to enemy fire, sea conditions, and the hazards of landing on open beaches will likely occur at a high rate. It is desirable, therefore, to land as soon as practicable a repair party, including carpenters' mates, machinists' mates, and electricians'


      mates, under competent leadership, to assist the beachmaster in salvaging and repairing damaged boats.

    1. Medical service.

      1. The Army evacuates to the shore line; the Navy is responsible from the shore line to the shore line at the base port, where the Army again becomes responsible.

      2. Attached medical troops will accompany combat units, taking with them the necessary supplies to meet initial requirements. Such mobile medical installations as are established at the beachhead do not carry out definitive treatment. This will be carried out on shore after fixed hospital units have been landed and established. As soon as sufficient terrain has been secured to afford protection, additional medical facilities, such as collecting stations, ambulances, hospital stations, and evacuation hospitals, in the order named, will be landed. Until a systematic service is provided, such evacuation as is practicable will be handled by the beachmaster from shore to ship in such manner as will not interfere with landing of essential troops and supplies. Systematic evacuation of all cases to hospital ships or transports will be established as early as practicable. A plan of evacuation will be prepared prior to debarkation of the expeditionary forces.

    2. Marking routes inland.--It is highly important that all Army units thoroughly understand and have identified routes inland. Each unit will mark promptly and plainly its routes inland, together with location of message and information centers. This marking will be displayed so as to be visible from seaward only.

  1. Subsidiary landings.

    1. In addition to the main landing, certain subsidiary landings may be advantageous, namely, those pertaining to demonstrations or feints, and those which may be termed secondary landings.

    2. Demonstrations or feints have as their missions the diversion of enemy reserves from the area of the main effort, or the retarding of the movement of enemy reserves thereto. To be effective they must be directed against objectives of importance to the enemy. They also should be so coordinated as to time and directed against points at such a distance from the area of the main landing that they will insure, to a reasonable degree, the containing of the forces


      stationed at or drawn to such points, and prevent them from participating in the opposition to the main landing. Unless they are conducted on the scale of a landing in force, so as to be convincing to the enemy, they probably will fail of their purpose.

    1. Secondary landings are operations which only indirectly support the main landing; they may be for the purpose of seizing and holding areas, such as sites for air bases, which are desirable for operations in connection with the main landing.

    2. It must be borne in mind that in some situations the further developments of the operations may result in that which was initially planned as a subsidiary landing becoming a main landing and therefore, plans should provide for the necessary flexibility to meet such a contingency. In any event, sufficient force must be employed to accomplish the object sought; failure of such an operation wastes strength and has an adverse effect on morale.

Section VII
Withdrawal and Reembarkation

  1. Plans for Withdrawal.

    1. Withdrawal of troops engaged in landing operations, with consequent evacuation of positions on shore which have been occupied, may be required by strategical considerations or may be necessary by reason of unsuccessful tactical operations.

    2. The withdrawal and reembarkation of the forces in close contact with an enemy in relatively greater strength is an exceedingly difficult and hazardous operation.

    3. Decision to withdraw having been approved by the authority having responsibility for the expedition as a whole, the necessary plans in as great detail as possible are drawn up by the commander of the Army forces in consultation with the commander of the Navy forces.

    4. The means available to the Navy for clearing the reembarkation points will determine the stages of the withdrawal. The direction of withdrawal is closely limited by the location of the embarkation points, and such withdrawal involves the passing of troops, material, and supplies through the embarkation points, which are defiles of the most constricted nature.


    1. When the situation permits an orderly withdrawal, the plan will usually provide for evacuation in the following sequence: Animals, supplies, artillery matériel, troops. However, when in close contact with a superior enemy, it may be necessary to establish the following priorities for evacuation: Troops, artillery, supplies, animals, in which case provision will be made for the destruction of such artillery, equipment, supplies, and animals as cannot be evacuated.

  1. Secrecy.--The importance of secrecy in the final stages, at least of the withdrawal, cannot be overemphasized. An attack delivered on the covering force at its last adequate covering position by the enemy during the withdrawal of the main body, would probably produce consequences of the most serious nature. For this reason, this stage of the withdrawal should be conducted under the cover of darkness or a smoke screen, and every possible precaution must be indicative of a withdrawal. When the force has been in contact with the enemy for an appreciable time, and conditions will be avoided with scrupulous care.Ruses to convey to the enemy impressions of such normal conditions are desirable, but such ruses must be carefully planned and executed in order not to arouse the curiosity or suspicions of the hostile force.

  2. Air superiority.--As long as the enemy is able to maintain air reconnaissance, concealment of the operations involved in withdrawal is difficult, and therefore necessitates a maximum use of darkness, smoke screens, and camouflage. For this reason is it desirable that at least a temporary local air superiority be obtained prior to the last stages of the withdrawal. Plans to obtain such superiority include coordinated effort by both the Army and Navy air forces. Every effort will be made to retain such temporary air control until the forces have been reembarked.

  3. Weather conditions.--Favorable weather conditions, at least during the last stages of the withdrawal and reembarkation, are requisite to the success of the operations. The Navy will,through its aerological service, furnish the Army with weather predictions. The utmost effort must be made by the Navy to take advantage of favorable weather conditions during the reembarkation.


  1. Naval support.

    1. The operations of the Navy forces during a withdrawal of the Army forces from the shore are similar to those during a landing operation, the phases occurring in reverse order.

    2. In addition to providing the sea transportation and the small boats to reembark the Army forces, including crews to man the boats, the Navy will be prepared to furnish gunfire and air support during the withdrawal. The Navy will, as in the case of the initial stages of the landing operation, provide for signal communications between ship and shore until the last unit is evacuated.

Section VIII

  1. Plans.

    1. In accordance with paragraph 54a(8), the commander in chief, or the commander of the service in which paramount interest is initially vested, is required to provide joint plans for communication between forces. While the particular situation and the designated directive will greatly influence the preparation of specific instructions, the following general directive should apply to all such plans, in order that advance preparations, including training, may be accomplished and any obstacles to the successful culmination of the plans may be avoided.

    2. The joint communication plan and the communication plans of subordinate commanders of both the Army and the Navy shall cover the following phases:

      1. Movement overseas.

      2. Landing.

      3. Operations subsequent to landing.

    3. All communication plans shall include:

      1. Frequency plans.

      2. Provisions for communication security.

      3. Provisions for radio intelligence.

      4. Designation of procedure to be followed.

      5. Requirement that portable radio sets and other communication material be tested prior to embarkation.



  1. [»‡«:] Communications between ship and shore.--Efficient signal communications between ship and shore are of primary importance. It is the duty of the Navy to establish and maintain,through the beachmaster, necessary signal communications facilities for both Navy and Army requirements. The Army communication net ashore will be connected up with the Navy's communication center at the beachmaster's headquarters. The Army prolongs its axis of signal communications inland as the attack progresses.In this connection see paragraph 94c.

  2. General.--In drawing up communications plans reference should be made to paragraphs 63b; 77o; 82a; 93a; 94c; 98c; 101a,b,c,d, and g; 104; 107b; 108; and 109.


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