CO Small Unit Tactics: Fire and Movement

Came across this old OSS WW2 era German infantry tactics training film. Although dated, it shows the universal basics of fire and maneuver warfare.

It goes without saying how integral small unit tactics are for the CO. Of course, there is much more to learn on the subject, but this is a good “jumping off point” and  teaching primer so a new squad can start getting cohesive in their movements and with their fire discipline. Learning how to “leapfrog” and “center peel” safely during a firefight is integral to squad survival. Also, understanding the importance of the unit giving a “base of fire” for the advancing elements (which in layman’s terms is “covering fire”). The civilian CO will have to translate the military equivalent of a fixed MG position to most likely a 2-3 man element with high-capacity semi-auto weapons laying down constant and accurate fire on the enemy position.

Note how the film touches on the importance of proper camouflage in the field. Noise, Light and Shine discipline are fundamentals the CO needs to master to be effective in the field. Noise and light are self-explanatory, but shine discipline deals with anything that may “shine” or reflect light in the field, such as glass, metal or even your exposed hands and face. Properly dealing with these things before the assault could mean the difference of bullets coming your way or not.

Another fundamental key to the survival of any soldier during combat is learning how always to use “mother earth” as a shield.To start with, staying as low as possible during a firefight gives the enemy less to spot and shoot at; this is why most infantry training is done low to the ground or in the mud…the lesson being that it is the best place to be if bullets are flying! For this reason, it pays to practice crawling with your weapon cradled cover to cover..just remember to keep your ass down! Secondly, learning how to build “field expedient” cover positions with an entrenching tool, this could range from a simple dirt berm to a fully functional foxhole. More to come on that in the next installment of CO S.U.T.

Stay Aware, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!