September 29, 2013

Battle Drill 003 – Fire & Movement

Fire & Movement

HISTORICAL NOTE: Fire & Movement was the standard US tactic from squad to platoon level and for both infantry and armor.  Though I'm sure the German army used this tactic as well, they would be more likely to use a tactic more similar to the Squad Attack Drill (or Platoon Attack Drill).  We will get into tactics that will be more specific to each army as this blog develops.

SITUATIONThe squad/section/platoon (referred to as unit hereafter) is attacking an enemy unit and needs to close on the enemy position in order to assault it more effectively.  This battle drill can be performed by either infantry, armor, or reconnaissance type units.
  • Broken into two elements, they will take turns either providing support or moving forward
    • Support element – the element in position providing fire support to suppress the enemy unit
    • Maneuver element – moving unit progresses forward towards the enemy position (maneuver element)  
    • This type of maneuver can be accomplished by any size unit that can be broken down into at least two elements and is the basic tactic for advancing on and assaulting an enemy unit.
  • Made up of three elements, Suppression, Advance, and Assault:
    • Suppression – the support element provides fire on the enemy unit or position to suppress the enemy unit, hopefully from a position that provides some cover (or hull down for armored fighting vehicles)
    • Advance – the maneuver element maneuvers forward until it is in a position from which to provide suppressive fire
      • Uses the terrain to best mask movement.  Ensure that as you order your maneuver element forward that there is some terrain element between the route of advance and the enemy unit so their movement is not spotted (or is at least covered from enemy fire)
        • Keep the crest of a ridge between you and the enemy
        • Use a covered approach, such as that offered by thick woods
      • Movement is conducted in short rushes (fast or quick in CM)
      • Once in a good support by fire position this element stops, and opens fire on the enemy unit or position
      • Maneuver element, now becomes the support element taking over the support role when in a good position from which it can fire on the enemy position
      • Support element becomes the maneuver element and moves to the next position closer to the enemy where it can again provide effective support fire
        • Follows the movement guidelines outlined above
      • This process is continued until the unit is in a good position to assault the enemy unit
    • Assault -  the unit assaults through the enemy position
      • Option 1.  The maneuver element assaults the enemy position with the support element providing suppressive fire
      • Option 2.  The maneuver and support elements assault the enemy position together - note: this is the option I chose for the example
      • This should not be conducted as one continuous movement, plot the advance in bounds, especially when getting close to grenade range (sub 30m)
        • The assault element should have a target order placed on the enemy team’s location as soon as it is possible (gray target line is okay)
        • If the enemy team is not fully suppressed DO NOT advance within 30 meters as the maneuver element will be within grenade range and casualties will be taken
        • 30 meters out (or closer), stop the maneuver element and plot a target order, this should have them start to throw grenades
  • Consolidate and Reorganize
    • Maneuver element takes up a defensive posture on the objective
    • Support element advances to the objective (if Option 1 was used)
    • Unit sets up in hasty defensive positions in order to reorganize and reorient to next objective
  • Continue the missionnote: this type of attack, as effective as it is, can be costly in terms of ammo, be prepared to have another unit pass through this unit to continue the mission while this one resupplies.

1 comment:

    I came upon this movie this nicely illustrates Fire and Movement for the Wehrmacht