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The Fire Attack

Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual

The principles governing the advance of the firing line in attack are

considered in the chapters on Attack and Defense.

When it becomes impracticable for the company to advance as a whole by

ordinary means, it advances by rushes.

Being in skirmish line: 1. By platoon (two platoons, squad, four men,

etc.) from the right (left), 2. RUSH.

The platoon leader on the indicated flank
arefully arranges the details

for a prompt and vigorous execution of the rush and puts it into effect

as soon as practicable. If necessary, he designates the leader for the

indicated fraction. When about to rush, he causes the men of the

fraction to cease firing and to hold themselves flat, but in readiness

to spring forward instantly. The leader of the rush (at the signal of

the platoon leader, if the latter be not the leader of the rush)

commands: Follow me, and running at top speed, leads the fraction to the

new line, where he halts it and causes it to open fire. The leader of

the rush selects the new line if it has not been previously designated.

The first fraction having established itself on the new line, the next

like fraction is sent forward by its platoon leader, without further

command of the captain, and so on, successively, until the entire

company is on the line established by the first rush.

If two or more platoons are ordered to rush, the senior platoon leader

takes charge of them, and the junior (or juniors) carries out the wishes

of the senior.

A part of the line having advanced, the captain may increase or decrease

the size of the fractions to complete the movement.

When the company forms a part of the firing line, the rush of the

company as a whole is conducted by the captain, as described for a

platoon in the preceding paragraph. The captain leads the rush; platoon

leaders lead their respective platoons, platoon guides follow the line

to insure prompt and orderly execution of the advance.

When the foregoing method of rushing, by running, becomes impracticable,

any method of advance that brings the attack closer to the enemy, such

as crawling, should be employed.

Quibbling over minor details shows a failure to grasp the big ideas.