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The Charge

Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual Advanced Training

There can be no rule to tell you when to charge. It may be from 25 to

400 yards. The common sense (tactical instinct) of the senior ranking

officer on the firing line must tell him the psychological moment to

order the charge. That moment will be when your fire has broken down the

enemy's fire, broken his resistance, and destroyed his morale. The

artillery increases its range. The firing line and remaining supports

bayonets. The former increases the rate of fire, the latter rush

forward under the protection of this fire, join the firing line and give

it the necessary impetus. Together they rush at the enemy's position. No

restraint is placed upon their ardor. Confidence in their ability to use

the bayonet gives the charging troops the promise of success. If the

charge is successful, the nearest formed bodies are sent instantly in

pursuit and under cover of them the commands are reorganized, order

restored, and arrangements made to resist a counter attack. If the

charge is unsuccessful the artillery or any formed troops in rear cover

the withdrawal.