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Advancing The Attack

Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual Advanced Training

It is now necessary to advance the attack to a point where the rifle is

effective, so the attacking line can gain fire superiority. The attack

which halts to open fire at extreme range (over 1200 yards) is not

likely to ever reach its destination (the enemy). Effort should be made

to arrive within 800 yards of the enemy before opening fire. How can

this be done? How can we pass over a mile or more of ground, swept or

kely to be swept, first by the enemy's artillery fire and finally by

rifle fire? Answer.--By using all the cover the terrain offers (escape

the enemy's view), by using inconspicuous formations, by using such

formations as to minimize the effect of the enemy's fire. Discipline at

this stage of the attack is essential. Each company in the firing line

will probably start its advance upon its objective in column of squads,

but taking advantage of all cover. If thick underbrush is found, squad

columns would probably be used. If the enemy's artillery fire becomes

too effective platoon columns or thin lines are used, dependent upon

terrain, cover and the time element. Every opportunity is taken to

assemble the companies and continue the advance in column of squads when

cover is available. The supports, following the firing line, adopt the

same methods to advance as the firing line. In this stage of the attack

your own artillery will he assisting you by replying to the enemy's

artillery and infantry fire that is directed at you.