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Different Kinds Of Attack

Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual Advanced Training

The most usual kinds of attack are:

Frontal Attack. This attack is delivered directly against the front of

the enemy. It offers little opportunity to bring more rifles against the

enemy than he can bring against you. Decisive results can only be

expected when your force is larger than your opponent's or when his is

unduly extended. It is a dangerous and costly method of attacking.

Attack. Cover the front of the enemy with sufficient force

to hold his attention and, with the rest of your command, strike a flank

more or less obliquely. Since your line is now longer than his, and you

have more rifles in action your fire is converging while that of your

enemy is diverging. Never attempt the envelopment of both flanks unless

you greatly outnumber your enemy. Cooeperation between the frontal and

enveloping attack is essential to success. The fraction of the command

that envelops the enemy is generally larger than that part in his front.

A wide turning movement is not an enveloping movement. It is dangerous

because your troops are separated and can be defeated in detail. In an

enveloping movement your line will usually be continuous; it simply

overlaps and envelops the enemy. An enveloping attack will nearly always

result locally in a frontal attack, for it will meet the enemy's

reserve. Let us repeat: do not attempt a wide turning movement. Your

forces will be separated, they may not be able to assist each other, and

can be defeated in detail. The tendency of a beginner is to attempt a

wide turning movement. The error of dispersion is then committed.