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Requisites Of A Good Defensive Position

Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual Advanced Training

If you were looking for a good defensive position, what points would you

have in mind and of these points, which would be the most important? The

requisites to be sought in a good defensive position are:

(1) A clear field of fire up to the effective range of the


(2) Flanks that are naturally secure or that can be made so by the

use of the reserves.

(3) Extent of ground suitable to the strength of the force to

occupy it.

(4) Effective cover and concealment for the troops, especially


(5) Good communications throughout the position.

(6) Good lines of retreat.

--Field Service Regulations.

All of these advantages will seldom if ever be found in the position

selected. The one should be taken which conforms closest to the

description, but you should bear in mind that a good field of fire and

effective cover, in the order named, are the most important requisites.

In tracing the lines for the trenches, avoid salients (a hill, spur,

woods, etc., that juts out from the general line in the direction of the

enemy). Avoid placing the fire trench on the skyline. Locate it on or

below the military crest. [The crest from which you can see all the

ground to the front.]