By United States. Army. American Expedition

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Instructions for the defensive combat of small units : infantry: platoon to regiment

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Defense of a position 'involves the following principles: (a) Disposition in depth is the fundamental principle of every defensive plan. It enables the enemy to be stopped at suecessive points selected in advance, where resistance has been prepared. ), must have a leader responsible for its defense and maintenance. Instructions for Defensive Combat of Small Units. 84 (c) Troops intrusted with the defense of an area of ground mtua under no circumstances abandon it. It is important to leave no doubt about this matter in the minds of the troops.

Liaison under shell fire from first line platoons to the captain and battalion commander. The telephone must not be relied upon, for the wires will usually be cut Instructions for Defensive Combat of Small Units. b Visual communication is unreliable, due to the wrecking of the first line trench and to the huge dust clouds floating about it. Liaison may be renewed after the assault, with the aid of searchlights kept till then in bombproof shelters; but reliance must not be placed on this kind of communication for announcing the assault.

Habitually, only "active portions" of the firing line are occupied, but the platoon leader should arrange for the possibility of manning the whole line and to fire either through the loopholes or above the parapet. A few traverses are loopholed for the interior flanking of the trench. Means for blocking it are prepared, and points at which communication trenches join are to be especially defended. A loophole should always be examined to determine the following conditions; that it is not obstructed; that its direction is well chosen; that it readily permiis the ground to be swept by fire, and that it is suited to the size of the man.

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