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Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual Advanced Training

A patrol can never be certain that the enemy's patrols are not operating

in its rear. Hence in returning, it is necessary to observe the usual

precautions. If the patrol has eluded the enemy, it is best to return

over a route other than that over which the start was made. If a patrol,

after having accomplished its mission, is being pursued, it is well,

especially when near its own lines, to engage the pursuing troops so as

to give warning of its approach to the outpost line. Under the

conditions just mentioned, except the patrol is a great distance from

its outpost line, it may be necessary as a last resort to have the

patrol scatter and each man return individually.