Infantry Fire: Its Use in Battle

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Geo. A. Spooner, 1892 - Infantry drill and tactics - 254 pages
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Page 138 - ... Enough has been said to indicate the great importance of knowledge of the ground and of its employment, both defensively and offensively. " Knowledge of the ground is no less indispensable to the attack than to the defense — here to profit by strong points, there to avoid them. The ground dictates to the defense the points of resistance and the tactical dispositions; it indicates to the attack the direction in which an assault has no chance of success, and that where it may succeed. Tactical...
Page 139 - Troops in the rear of the crest must not think themselves out of reach of the enemy's fire because they are out of his sight. If there is no shelter, they should take formations with a narrow front. They remain at a distance when the enemy fires at long ranges, and as he advances they approach the crest to avoid the effects of his fire, which falls farther to the rear as the ranges decrease. This forward movement suits the tactical necessities of the fight. "Observation of the points where the enemy's...
Page 140 - In point of fact the whole question of the best method of occupying ground is not to be settled in the study on theoretical grounds. Each case must be worked out on the ground to which it is to be applied, and the skill of the commander is shown by the manner in which his dispositions are adapted to the ground. CHAPTER V. DEDUCTIONS. EMPLOYMENT OF FIRE IN ACTION. 434. L.IMIT OF INDIVIDUAL FIRE. — The different kinds of fire most appropriate for the various stages of an action depend upon the size...
Page 158 - Fire at will: That class of fire in which, within the restrictions of the command for firing, the individuals deliver their fire independently of the commander and of each other. Fire discipline: The unhesitating habit, developed in the men by instruction and training, of commencing, or ceasing, or relaxing the fire, or of concentrating it upon a defined object, all in obedience to the will of the commander. First-class man: See " Classification,
Page 140 - Troops in rear of the firing line will, as a rule, suffer only from fire especially directed on them. " They ought, therefore, to use every accident of the ground to cover themselves; if there are no shelters, they will find that, in joining the firing line, their best protection is an uninterrupted forward movement, rapidly crossing the diminished dangerous zones. This also enables them, by a single forward movement, to get away from any regulated fire of the' enemy. " Finally, it should be pointed...
Page 138 - Ground falling with respect to the enemy's line of sight: " The most favorable ground for defense is one which presents, in front of the firers, a clear glacis, forming a free field of fire of great extent, inclining gently toward the enemy. " The greater the fall of the ground in the rear of the crest, the better are troops on this reverse slope sheltered from the fire of the attack. To cover steep slopes with fire, it must be delivered at long ranges, which lessens its efficacy. ' ' Slight undulations...
Page 136 - ... can be obtained, and the artillery brought into action on the crest. In order to hit any one of these, the fire of the attack must be specially directed on it, from the small depth of the dangerous zones on such (rising) ground. In this case the advanced position of the firing line may be said to arise from the necessity for a clear view of the foot of the slope ; but cases may arise where the slope of the ground is such that this disposition is deliberately chosen in order to use two tiers of...
Page 137 - ... line may be said to arise from the necessity for a clear view of the foot of the slope ; but cases may arise where the slope of the ground is such that this disposition is deliberately chosen in order to use two tiers of fire and to utilize the crest to cover reserves and artillery. The infantry lines being well down the slope, the enemy would have no reason to fire on the crest ; hence the reserves of the defense could safely be kept close in rear of this cover, and from their elevated position...
Page 136 - Placing troops in this manner, two or more lines of infantry fire from shelter trenches can be obtained, and the artillery brought into action on the crest. In order to hit any one of these, the fire of the attack must be specially directed on it, from the small depth of the dangerous zones on such (rising) ground. In this case the advanced position of the firing line may be said to arise from the necessity for a clear view of the foot of the slope; but cases may arise where the slope of the ground...

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