Fortunate Son Lyrics John C, Fogerty

The very motivating song ‘Fortunate Son’ was written in the year 1969 during the US involvement in the Vietnam war by John C Fogerty and has been reproduced by various popular and mainstream artists in the following years. John Fogerty is a member, lead songwriter, guitarist and performer of the American rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival or CCR which was active in the 1960s and 1970s. The band was particularly noted for their lyrics related to social and political issues of the era. The song has been playing a prominent role in various protests against war and military actions.

Licensed versions of the song are featured in many video games like the Battlefield, Mafia III, Playstation etc, in various films from the 1980s to the current releases and even as the background themes in some trading software according to a Qprofit System review.

Although the song was written in the colonial era, it is still performed and has been listed in the ‘500 Greatest Songs of All Time’ by Rolling Stone. The lyrics of the song are included in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress. Below are the lyrics of this song, deeply rooted with a very strong message and hence became an anti-war anthem. The theme of the song, as mentioned by the writer is that the rich men create war and the poor men fight this war.

Some folks are born made to wave the flag,
ooh, they’re red, white and blue.
And when the band plays “Hail To The Chief”,
oh, they point the cannon at you, Lord,

It ain’t me, it ain’t me,
I ain’t no senator’s son,
It ain’t me, it ain’t me,
I ain’t no fortunate one, no,

Some folks are born silver spoon in hand,
Lord, why don’t they help themselves? oh.
But when the taxman come to the door,
Lord, the house look a like a rummage sale, yes,

It ain’t me, it ain’t me,
I ain’t no millionaire’s son.
It ain’t me, it ain’t me,
I ain’t no fortunate one, no.

Yeh, some folks inherit star spangled eyes,
ooh, they send you down to war, Lord,
And when you ask them, how much should we give,
oh, they only answer, more, more, more, yoh,

It ain’t me, it ain’t me,
I ain’t no military son,
It ain’t me, it ain’t me,
I ain’t no fortunate one,

It ain’t me, it ain’t me,
I ain’t no fortunate one, no no no,
It ain’t me, it ain’t me,
I ain’t no fortunate son, no no no,

German Shu Mine

German Shu Mine

Fragmenting AP Mine German Schu Shu-Mine

An important hand-held weapon extensively used by the Germans primarily during the Second World War was the Schu-mine 42,  known as the Schützenmine 42 in Germany.  It was an anti-personnel mine used to injure humans and sometimes, parts of vehicles such as tires, similar to the anti-tank mines used to destroy vehicles. The increase in injuries causes the enemy group to make more logistical and medical facilities available.  These mines explode when crossed or contacted by humans. The equipment was simple and consisted of a wooden box fitted with a hinged lid. The box housed 200 grams of explosive Trinitrotoluene or TNT  and had a ZZ-42 type detonator. A pin was positioned by a striker on a slit made on the lid with such a pressure that when the striker was released, the detonator was triggered. A change in the pressure on the lid causes the pin to move leading to the release of the striker.

Anti-personnel mines are of two types, the blast mines, and the fragmentation mines. The Schu-mine 42 was very cheap and easily made in large numbers and hence was lavishly used by the Germans.

The earliest mines were the minimum metal mines with almost no metal content except for the fuze mechanism in the detonator. As a result, these mines were difficult to be recognized by metal detectors and during Operation Overlord of 1944, the Allied forces used explosive detection dogs to detect them. Operation Overlord or the Normandy Campaign is the name given to the invasion of Western Europe by the Allied forces which were originally occupied by the Germans.

Mines are still in use all over the world and technology has changed them into various forms. Still, what originated in Nazi Germany became a part of the Second World War history and has influenced the war mechanism after that. Mines were built with less than even a gram of metal and remained undetectable, waiting for their victims. They may be cheap and anyone could make it, but should never be underestimated. Just because a software is available for trading with no deposit charges, does it become useless? When cheap, you do not bother to try it before really becoming serious. Top 10 Binary Demo robots will always have the cheaper ones more and not just the fastest robots.

Tank Destroyer Tips”

TD Finesse

M10 tank destroyer td italy From the Commanding Officer of a Tank Destroyer Battalion, FRANCE: “Tank destroyer crews should not respond to enemy small-arms fire at night. One night, a TD platoon ignored considerable enemy machine pistol fine. At dawn, seven enemy tanks were observed in the area from which the firings had been coming. They were only 200 yards away, ready to engage any answering weapons, and unaware of the presence of our TD’s. All seven of the tanks were destroyed.”

Air Reconnaissance by TD Leaders

“When preparing for an operation, we try to give our platoon commanders and platoon sergeants a short flight in a cub plane over the area in which the TD’s are to operate. This is in addition to ground, map, and table reconnaissance.”

Locating Enemy Tanks at Night

Suggested by the Assistant G-2, 101st Airborne Division, FRANCE: “At night, we placed a machine gun on both sides of a tank destroyer. When hostile tanks were heard approaching, the machine ‘guns fired tracers until ricochets indicated that a tank was being hit. Both guns would then fire at the tank and the tank destroyer would fire at the point of the “V” formed by the converging machine-gun tracers.”

Sneak Approach

Report from an Intelligence Officer, Tank Destroyer Battalion, FRANCE: “Artillery fire placed on three enemy. tanks caused them to button up and fail to hear our TD’s moving up. The TD’s knocked out all three tanks without loss.”

TD’s Lend Helping Hand

Says the Executive Officer, Tank Destroyer Battalion, ITALY: “We have saved our wire crews much work by carrying on each TD two poles with hooks on the ends so that we can quickly lift field-wire lines and run under them.”
niederbronn td m10 tank destroyer 1945 ww2
Camouflaging an M10 TD

First Armored Division, ITALY: “A different type of camouflage has proved very effective on several occasions. We attached supports to the M10 and chicken wire to the supports, then interlaced natural vegetation through the chicken wire so that the whole vehicle except the space necessary for firing is covered.  From a distance it is almost impossible to detect a vehicle so camouflaged even when moving, provided that speed is kept slow.  Wire screening is preferable to camouflage netting because it will not burn readily. Camouflage hooks and rods, if available, are helpful in applying the vegetation.”

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More Traction for Tank Destroyers

The Commanding Officer of the 773d Tank Destroyer Battalion, FRANCE, suggests an effective method of enabling M10 Tank Destroyers to negotiate winter roads, icy hills, and slippery slopes: “We cut seven V-shaped notches in the standard-type grousers. and then mounted five such grousers on each track. This expedient was of great value to us in combat at Luxembourg.”

Volume Six: “Leadership”

“Know your men, and be constantly on the alert for potential leaders – you never know how soon you may need them.   During my two years in command of the 82nd Airborne Division in World War II, I was in close and daily touch with every regimental and most battalion commanders.   Before acceding to command of the division, and while I was General Omar Bradley’s assistant division commander, I had learned to call by name every infantry officer in the division.

Later, by frequent exchange of views with the infantry regimental commanders and the divisional artillery commander, I knew in advance whom they had earmarked for Battalion command.   I do not recall any instance where I thought the regimental commander had not picked the right man.   The payoff came in Normandy.   I went in with 12 battalion commanders – four regiments – and I had 14 new ones when we came out, for some battalions lost as many as three commanders during the 33 days we were in that fight.”

General Matthew B. Ridgeway, ‘Leadership’, Military Review, October 1966

There is no typical military leader. Patterns of traits and behaviors exhibited by successful leaders vary infinitely. However, among men of proven leadership ability, certain characteristics seem to be consistently observable; these characteristics, some of which are reviewed in the paragraphs to follow, are worthy of study and cultivation by every soldier who leads or may be called upon to lead men in combat.

What the GI Wants in His Leaders

The men and officers of an infantry battalion on combat duty with the Twelfth Army Group in France were asked this question: “What qualities, in your opinion, make a man a good leader?”   Here are the most frequently mentioned leadership qualities as worded in the men’s replies:

general william f. dean luneville greets 44th infantry division“A leader must have a thorough knowledge of his job and must see that his men know that he knows it.

“He must rotate duties and missions without partiality, exercising judgment and fairness in all decisions and never allowing personal feelings to affect the performance of his duties.

“He must think clearly and he able to make quick, sound decisions. He must give orders with an air of confidence even when the going gets rough.

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“He should show a cheerful front under even the most trying circumstances and never appear excited.

“He must make the men feel that he is interested in them and doing his best to help them. The men should know that he will stick up for them if need arises.

“The leader should have something called ‘personality.’ If the men do not feel free to come to him, he is not their leader.  He should know each man personally and understand the job of each man under him.

“He must earn the confidence and respect of his men by sharing their common lot; they should be able to think of him as one of them.

“He must comply with his own rules and regulations and should never ask his men to undertake a mission that he would be unable or unwilling to attempt himself.

“He must be in the fight with his men, but even when setting an example of courage should not expose him-self foolishly nor allow or expect his men to do so.

“The good leader encourages; he does not nag.

“The leader should keep his men oriented as to their mission and situation.”

Leadership Rises to Emergencies

cartoon stick up for your men officer yellingSays a Marine Corps officer after action in the GILBERT Islands: “Leaders of all ranks must be prepared to meet emergencies and sudden changes in situations and to furnish the spark of inspiration when their units have become discouraged. The true leader is the one who takes the men and materials at hand and gets the job done in spite of complications.”

The value of a leader of this emergency tackling variety is well proved in this story of Staff Sergeant H. L. Schmidt, Combat Infantryman, during an action in FRANCE:

“When his platoon leader and platoon sergeant had become casualties and the platoon bad been disorganized by heavy enemy fire, Sergeant Schmidt took command and reorganized the platoon.  Then he advanced alone for 100 yards and with hand grenades knocked out two enemy machine-gun nests. This feat transpired the members of the platoon, and under Schmidt’s leadership they pushed forward and captured a strongly defended enemy position.  The leadership and initiative of this one soldier not only saved his platoon but also opened the way for the entire battalion to advance to its objective.”

Leadership Exploits Surprise

From the Battalion Commander, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry, FRANCE, comes a striking example of the value of good planning in this case based upon the element of surprise.
cartoon suprise saves lives army
“While going through the Siegfried Line, a platoon was given the mission of knocking out a bunker situated in a clearing on a steep and heavily wooded hill.  The platoon worked its way up the hill slowly and stealthily, moving through the woods in line of squad columns on a 50-yd. front.   Scouts were out about 20 yards ahead.  To facilitate control, the platoon leader and platoon sergeant acted as center scouts.

“The platoon halted at the edge of the clearing only about 75 yards from the bunker. Though they saw three enemy walking along nearby, the platoon leader and his men held their fire until they were discovered.  At that moment, they shot the three Germans and rushed the bunker.  Two Germans outside the pillbox surrendered immediately and a couple of grenades thrown into the entrance of the bunker brought about the prompt surrender of the remaining garrison which numbered 22 men.  This surprise attack gained the bunker without a single shot from its defenders.”

Leadership Means Quick Planning

An intelligence report mentions this instance of quick planning resulting in “Mission Accomplished”: “Staff Sergeant Robert G. Rhodes, Company 13, 315th, Regiment, 79th Division, was in charge of the platoon that had just captured a certain hill position on the Seine River, north of Paris.  The inevitable counter-attack was expected at any minute and the sergeant lost no time in preparing for it.  He placed one squad close to the crest of the elevation; this group was to serve as a base of fire.  The other two squads he distributed, one on the right front and one on the left front, both well forward.  The two flank squads were given German machine pistols and German machine guns and were given orders not to fire until the enemy had advanced beyond their position.

“As expected, a German battalion attacked in strength, advancing steadily toward the center squad, which kept firing away as per plan.  The enemy had almost reached the center squad’s position when the two flank squads opened up with the German weapons.  The Germans were instantly confused, convinced that they were being shot by their own troops.  As a result, this one platoon defeated and pushed back a whole enemy battalion—a feat that would have been impossible except for the ready resourcefulness and ingenious planning of the platoon leader.”

Leadership Is Aggressive

The value of aggressive action even against superior enemy forces is again illustrated by this story of a small group of men from the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, FRANCE, as recounted by Private First Class William Rubendael:

“At daylight on Christmas morning, one group of 20 men encountered a German company of about 150 men supported by 4 Mark IV tanks. The Americans had 4 light machine guns, 2 bazookas, and their rifles and carbines.

“The Germans were already digging in when discovered.  Their tanks soon opened fire on the farm-house around which the Americans had taken positions and forced our men back about 200 yards to the edge of a patch of woods.  At that point the hard-pressed platoon leader decided that his best defense was bold attack.  He borrowed several riflemen from a nearby company and then had his machine guns keep the enemy infantry down and their tanks but-toned up while the two bazooka teams and the rifle-men moved around to the German company’s flank. This small but aggressive maneuvering force inflicted heavy casualties upon the enemy infantry, knocked out three tanks, and forced the other tank to withdraw to a point where it was destroyed by an adjacent American unit.

“Not content with this accomplishment, the paratroopers moved on to attack a nearby enemy held farmhouse.  The German occupants surrendered, turning over their weapons to some American prisoners they had been holding in the same building.”

Leadership Means Assuming Responsibility

The ability of enlisted men to step forward and take charge in the absence of appointed leaders has in many reported instances saved the lives of comrades, made possible the accomplishment of difficult missions, and prevented the serious disruption of important plans.  The following account by the. Chief of Staff, (3rd) Third Infantry Division, FRANCE, describes how one emergency was met through the efforts of an enlisted leader who assumed responsibility for getting the mission accomplished:

“One evening, a platoon leader from one company of the 7th Infantry was wounded while returning to his command post with orders for a scheduled night attack.  His platoon sergeant, knowing that an attack had been planned and realizing from the platoon leader’s absence that something had gone wrong, proceeded to the company command post, obtained the plan of attack, and took charge of the. situation.   He led the platoon through a booby-trapped minefield to the assigned objective, directed dispersion of the men in spite of heavy enemy artillery harassment, reconnoitered to within 50 yards of the enemy positions, and organized the area of defense.   His platoon had already begun to dig in when first detected by the enemy.   The sergeant then organized and directed offensive fire so effectively that the enemy withdrew from buildings in the area.  This timely execution of pre-attack plans. In spite of the platoon leader’s absence, enabled the attack on the town to proceed according to plan.”

Leaders Must Maintain Control

The value of a leader is measured by his ability to keep his men working as a team.  While it must be recognized that some situations can be met only by heroic action on the part of individual leaders, the most important function of a leader is to direct and coordinate the efforts of a group.  The following remarks by the Commanding Officer, 6th Armored Infantry Battalion, ITALY, serve as an excellent commentary on this problem.

“The average platoon leader and NCO are brought up with the idea that leadership means ‘leadership from the front.’  The fact that casualties of platoon leaders and sergeants are disproportionately high proves that this fallacy is too generally accepted.  Actually, the platoon leader’s position is a roving one; it is impossible to stipulate any definite position from which he shall operate.  At times, he will be as far forward as the scouts, but his normal position should be wherever he can best control his platoon.  Casualties among veteran leaders would be fewer if we properly instructed each platoon leader as to what his job is and what is expected from him.

Make Intelligent Use of Junior Leaders

“The shortage of junior officers makes it necessary to exercise judgment in employment of commissioned officers.  Leadership of routine missions should be assigned to sergeants whenever possible.  Platoon officers should be used only for missions which actually call for commissioned leadership. This policy insures a reserve of capable leaders for. the more urgent assignments and serves to develop NCO leaders.”

Leadership Involves Personal Contact
cartoon leadership involves personal contact
Personal contact between a leader and his men is still an important factor, as is reiterated by a Battalion Commander, 36th Armored Regiment, FRANCE:

The presence of high-ranking officers-battalion, regimental, and division commanders well forward, gives men confidence.”

Briefing—A “Must” in Practical Leadership

A Battalion Commander, 6th Armored Division, FRANCE, emphasizes briefing: “Unless each man knows not only his own but also his unit’s mission, there can be no intelligent continuity of effort when casualties occur.  The individual learns his job during training; confidence in command is developed daring maneuvers and combat; but knowledge of the mission can be gained only through careful briefing on the ground.  Results obtained, by careful briefing were shown during a recent operation in which 800 Germans were captured and 200 killed at a cost to us of 16 casualties.”

The Regimental Surgeon, 115th Infantry, FRANCE, makes this statement:  “Battalion and regimental surgeons will manage evacuation problems more intelligently and alertly if they are kept acquainted with the situation. The indulgent doling out of necessary information in response to repeated requests by the surgeon discourages him and causes him to lose incentive and initiative.”

COMMENT: In all operations, large or small, not only the medics but all attached units should be kept fully informed as to the mission and situation so that their supporting roles can be efficiently accomplished.

Don’t Overdo Example Leadership

The Divisional and Regimental Staffs of the 2d, 28th, and 83rd Infantry Divisions in FRANCE and GERMANY agree that:

“The constant emphasis on `example’  leadership in our training and teaching has resulted in our losing many valuable leaders-from generals to corporals.  Experienced leaders are difficult to replace; the loss is seriously affecting the efficiency of some of our units.  Emergencies sometimes arise which require leaders to expose themselves and by personal example get an attack moving or calm down men who are about to break.  Some leaders, however, carry their job to the point that their presence is almost standard operating procedure; as a result, their subordinates do not move unless the leader is there.   Each officer and NCO and enlisted man should be trained to do his job and then be given the chance and responsibility of doing it.”


United States War Department
Field Manual: FM 5-20A
Army Corps of Engineers


In Part I and Part II, we have been concerned with the simpler things that make individual concealment possible.  We have stressed the basic points of background and silhouette and shadow.  You will find yourself foxhole skyline armyin numerous positions not covered specifically in this book, but if you remember the principles we have covered, you can meet every situation successfully.

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One rule must be before you at all times.  Don’t relax, as long as there is a chance of your being observed.  Practice concealment every moment of your life as a soldier.  It will be a longer life and a safer one, and there will be more dead enemy soldiers behind you.
Foxhole camouflage one-man single fortified position digram
Foxholes are the individual soldier’s own fortified position. Such a position deserves every bit of attention to concealment you can give it. You are going to live in it for a time—a time during which it will be your main protection in a battlefield. Do everything you can to make it inconspicuous.

As always, after the demands of the military situation, background is the first consideration. Choose a place within the assigned area where the foxhole will not change the look of the terrain. Natural concealment is best. Keep both ground and aerial observation in mind. Against ground observation, site your foxhole so that you are not silhouetted against the sky or against a background of a contrasting color (fig. 46). Against air observation, site your foxhole under trees or bushes or in a dark area of the terrain.  Make sure that your bush or tree is not isolated. A lone clump of vegetation is a conspicuous hiding place and will draw enemy fire whether he can see you or not. From the air, or from higher ground, spoil around a foxhole betrays the position.


Dispose of your spoil from the foxhole. Carry it away in sandbags or shelter halves, if you have time. Dispose of it under low. bushes, or dump it on dirt roads or paths, or in streams or ponds. This foxhole is concealed from the vertical air view by overhanging branches from a nearby tree.

If time or circumstances make it possible to dispose of spoil, cover it with natural materials.   Soldiers have covered the spoil around their two-man foxhole with pine needles.  A foxhole is sited under trees is concealed from both air and ground views.  Lines are always important in any terrain. Trenches sited along natural ground lines such as edges of fields, intersections of hedgerows, fences, and cultivation patterns are difficult to distinguish.
foxhole cover camouflage simulate grass terrain
Covers for foxholes can be made to simulate tall grass (fig. 49), bushes, and rocks, whichever the terrain calls for. They are valuable principally against aerial observation. They are light in weight and may be easily pushed out of the way.

The foundation of a foxhole cover is a frame (fig. 51) either flat or rounded—shaped from short branches bound together with wire, twine, strips of cloth, strips of woven reeds or dried grass. This frame may be garnished with grass or natural foliage to match the surroundings. Natural garnishing materials must be replaced before they wilt and change color. If this is not done the position will be in contrast to its background. Slits are left for firing.
machine gun position 30 cal. browning m1919a camouflage

The machine gun is the vital weapon in both attack and defense. It receives the closest attention of enemy troops and its concealment must be as perfect as possible. It engages troops at comparatively close range, it fires frequently, and the enemy will continuously try to find and destroy the gun. Usually, machine-gun positions are hasty, in which case camouflage means sighting to best advantage and then using natural materials at hand. The Figure 52 photograph shows a machine gun well sited among natural materials. In the following pages are some of the methods used to camouflage machine guns. As before in this book, the essential factors are background and silhouette. No position can be regarded as completely concealed, however, unless shine, spoil, and tracks have been eliminated.

In Figure 54, the crew has forgotten its background; the gun and gunners are silhouetted. Below in Figure 55, the crew has taken proper action to distort their silhouette, to blend the outline of the gun and its crew with the background. Foliage common to the area is used, and is placed in its natural position.

Debris offers excellent positions for machine guns. The confused area makes it difficult to pick up the silhouette of a gun and its crew, especially if the position has been chosen with a good background. Figure 53 shows a well-sited, well-concealed position in debris.

Several factors must be taken into account in such an area, however. When the gun is fired, dust may be kicked up and betray the position to the enemy. If possible, take care to eliminate such a possibility by wetting it down is effective camouflage, but it should be sturdy enough to resist shock and fire. Otherwise it may collapse upon the position.

Also, an isolated patch of debris in a street is conspicuous. It is an obvious place for concealment and is sure to draw enemy fire whether he sees a gun in the position or not. Stay away from isolated positions of concealment. Always have an alternate concealed position chosen in case you are required to move.
concealed position machine gun debris urban position
The best position in the terrain is not good enough and natural materials are insufficient for concealment, artificial materials are used. A simple, quickly erected camouflage device is the drape, made of shrimp net or of garnished twine net. Propped over the machine gun to distort its shape, it is erected near natural vegetation of some sort, with which it is “tied in and blended. At close range the nature of the camouflaged object is concealed, and from a distance the drape itself melts into the surroundings. Figure 56 illustrates a quickly prepared surface emplacement. The drape is thrown over the gun and blended with surrounding vegetation. This takes only a few seconds, but it does an effective job. The front of the drape has been lifted for firing the piece.


drape camouflage device shrimp net garnished twine The flat-top is an answer to the problem of concealing dug-in machine-gun positions. The simple flat-top illustrated above requires no framework. Its materials are four posts about 2 feet long, some No. 10 wire and a garnished 15- by 15-foot twine net. Corner posts are not driven; they rest on the ground and are held in place by double strands of No. 10 wire, tightened by racking. When wire is not available for guys, tent-guy ropes will do the trick. Corners of the net are slipped over the posts before racking. To dismantle the flat-top, the corner posts are knocked out and the net collapses. The figure below shows the completed job, with natural foliage used to break up the shadow of the gun embrasure.
drape flat-top machine-gun drape
Figure 57 and 58 show the detail of the flat-top machine-gun drape.  Note the garnishing is thinned out at the edges.  The whole structure is as low to the ground as possible. Figure 57 shows the corner posts and the manner in which they are guyed to the ground.
This small flat-top may be made out of improvised materials as well.   Figure 58is the flat-top garnished with natural materials — tall grass from the surrounding area. This is especially effective in areas where wilted and dried vegetation form the background.  If background is formed of growing vegetation, the garnishing must be changed regularly to prevent wilted materials from revealing the installation.  Such an improvised flat-top may be made, in the absence of issue twine net, by using tent ropes or vines to form framework.


For a deliberate position, especially in terrain with natural foliage, the folding buggy-top  (see Figure 61) drape buggy-top camouflageconceals the machine gun which has an antiaircraft or all-around fire mission. It can be folded back quickly, allowing the gunners to engage aerial targets  (see Figure 62).   When it is folded back, the whole structure lies flat on the ground.

Construction details are shown in Figure 63. The frame can be made of pipe, saplings, or lumber.  Hinges are made either of No. 10 wire, stakes pivoted on a pin made of wire or a drift pin, pieces of scrap leather, or stock door hinges.  The net is a 15-foot by 15-foot garnished twine net.

Take care that the vegetation around the position is not compressed by the buggy-top when it is open.   If the vegetation does become damaged, steps must be taken to restore its natural appearance.  To complete camouflage small bushes must be placed irregularly around edges of net.


In a deliberate position, the swinging flat-top (Figure 63) is a slightly more elaborate flat-top for anti-aircraft machine guns. It is a cantilever structure hinged on a post at one corner. It is easily pushed to one side, giving the gun an unobstructed view of the sky.
It, too, uses the 15 by 15 foot garnished twine net. This flat-top pivots on a simply constructed hinge, as illustrated in figure 64. Although the cantilever construction demands a slight upward slope from hinge to outer edge, to equalize tension and pressure on the post, the whole structure should be as low to the ground as possible.

Swinging flat-top anti-aircraft machine gun cantilever structure

Street (Urban) Fighting”

‘These comments are taken from reports of units that have successfully and extensively engaged in village and town fighting.

Boundaries Between Units

From an VIII Corps report describing techniques and methods employed by three infantry divisions during action at BREST:

“Streets formed the boundaries between units. In some cases the entire street was included within the zone of a unit; in other cases the boundaries were drawn down the middle of the street. There was not just separation of boundaries, but also the separation of responsibilities on both sides of the streets. Sometimes, if the street was a part of the boundary line, troops were shouldered duties along the demarcated line. Houses, other buildings, boundary walls etc also fell on the boundaries, and then, in the same way, responsibilities were divided. Any resort was seriously dealt with. Get more information on this boundary duties and fighting in the below sections. Many felt that responsibility for the street itself was immaterial since no one dared use it anyway.”

urban fighting port Cherbourg German Kampf Group von Schlieben surrender 314th Regiment france COMMENT: In village and town fighting, boundaries between units should not be drawn down the middle of the street. A street is a natural avenue for approach or for retrograde movement even though not used for either purpose. It is also a natural line of demarcation and as such must be considered a critical area.  Our tactical doctrine teaches that in assigning boundaries all natural avenues and lines of demarcation should be made all inclusive to one unit or the other so that there will be no division of responsibility for a critical area.

In cities and villages it is feasible to place boundaries along the face of the buildings on one side of a street so that the street itself, together with the buildings along the side opposite the boundary, becomes the responsibility of a single unit. Stream lines, valleys, ravines, etc., are also classed as critical areas; assignment of any one of these should be all inclusive to one unit.

Zones of Unit Action

“Each platoon or squad should be assigned a definite zone or group of buildings within the city block under attack. The city block may be thought of as a hollow square outlined by buildings. When the buildings on the near side of such a square are already held, one unit (squad or platoon) should be assigned to clear the buildings on each of the two sides (right and left) while a third unit remains on the friendly side to give support by firing across the center of the square into the rear windows and back entrances of enemy-held buildings. Such support is very necessary. Bazookas, BAR’s, Tommy guns, and the SMG M3 are effective for such support.

Routes of Advance

“Routes of advance for platoons and squads varied. Hallways, stairways, rooftops, and basements were used. Sometimes it was necessary to blow only two or three walls in an entire block of buildings.  “It was found best to cross streets near the center of blocks. To make sure that the doors of buildings across the street were open, the locks were shot away or the doors blasted open with bazookas or AT grenades. The street would then be screened with smoke from WP hand grenades so that the men could dash across under cover.

Enemy Firing Positions
street fighting kohisched germany machine gunning enemy positions wwii ww2
“Sometimes the enemy removed a single brick to provide a loophole for firing from a basement.”

“Hostile SIG’s located in the upper stories of buildings often were able to get effective fire from ricochets on the stone streets.

Entry of Buildings

“One of our front-line leaders felt that it was better to enter the lower floors of buildings so that, if necessary, the building could be burned from the bottom; he was doubtless bearing in mind that the enemy could do the same if our troops were above. This platoon leader found also that after the ground floor was captured, a few AP shots (from an M1 Garand or BAR) upward through the floors would usually bring remaining enemy down with hands in the air.”

“When the enemy held out in a basement, a well. tamped charge of TNT on the floor above usually proved effective.”

Demolition Practices

“Pole and satchel charges were generally used; they were prepared by the engineers in almost all cases. Care was required in determining the amount of the charge, for it was difficult to estimate the thickness of the walls. The average thickness was about 18 inches.  In a few instances, a too heavy charge brought the entire building down into the basement, leaving an unnecessary obstacle. One solution to this problem was to set the charges in fireplaces where the heavier side walls of the fireplace would prevent collapse of the walls.

“Our men were pulled back two or three buildings before charges were set off; this safety measure was always observed.”

Demolition Teams

“Ammunition and pioneer teams were at a premium because the rate of advance depended upon the number of demolition teams available. Sometimes front-line troops joined with the A and P men to form demolition teams. One unit reported that when the A and P platoon sent down a 4-man team, four 3-man teams were formed, using one A and P man in each.”

Burning Buildings

“Some buildings were set afire with 81-mm WP shells; however, this method was used only as a last resort because it left difficult obstacles. Such fires were set at night to avoid interference with daylight combat.”

Relief of Units

“One company commander recommended that the relief of forward companies be accomplished during daylight. He pointed out that routes forward led through basements, around buildings, through holes in walls, and over half-demolished walls. If men were brought to their stations during darkness, they lacked proper orientation and could not intelligently anticipate enemy action nor their own method of attack.”

Use of 60-mm Mortar Shell

“The 60-mm mortar shell was extensively used for direct fire through windows. The shells were launched from rifles by wiring them to the grenade projector adapter, M1.”

Aerial Photographs

“Aerial photographs were in great demand. It was pointed out that aerial photographs should be taken almost daily during city fighting if they are to furnish exact information concerning the buildings yet to be taken.”

Rifle-Platoon Employment

combat enginners snipers street fighting germany From the Commanding Officer, 329th Infantry, ETO: “For street fighting, we organize each rifle platoon into two sections-one to assault and the other to cover. Each section has two automatic-rifle teams and a bazooka team. All the men carry several hand and WP grenades.”

“We attack rapidly and aggressively, clearing each building in this order: first floor, second floor, cellar. Each succeeding building is covered by fire from the top floor of the building just cleared”

Principles of Street Fighting

The Commanding Officer of a regiment with the Twelfth Army Group attributes his unit’s success at AACHEN to the following factors: “We employed common sense, normal tactical principles, and maximum fire power.  We forced the enemy to fight on our terms by attacking at every opportunity from a direction least expected and by isolating small sections which could then be left to small holding groups while other troops worked around to the rear.

“We proceeded without undue hurry, realizing that street fighting requires great physical exertion and considerable time if buildings are to be thoroughly searched and cleared. Our policy of searching every room and closet in every building, blowing every sewer, and thoroughly mopping up each sector paid dividends in later security. Not once did the enemy fire a shot from behind our lines; fighting troops didn’t have to worry about snipers in rear, nor were command and supply personnel hindered in their work by remnants of enemy resistance groups.”

“We placed tanks, TD’s, and SP guns in position just before daylight or at dusk. We would have the engineers and pioneer-platoon men blow holes in the near walls of buildings; then we would run the vehicles into the buildings and provide apertures for the gun barrels by blowing smaller holes in the far walls.”

Tanks in Village Fighting

sherman tank herscheid germany 2d infantry division 2nd second Officers and enlisted men of a tank battalion that had fought its way from the beaches into GERMANY made the following comments concerning tank participation in village fighting:

– During the Approach:  “Main roads and cross roads near small villages should be avoided; they are often mined and generally have one or more road blocks.  The enemy’s first defenses, which are usually on the outskirts of the village, must not be permitted to separate the tanks and infantry. Tanks that bypass these defenses too far ahead of the infantry become subject to antitank fire and cannot fire at the bypassed enemy without endangering friendly troops.  Some tanks and other direct-fire weapons should act as the base of fire while other tanks circle the village and attack from the flanks.  Infantry carried on tanks should dismount before entering a village. (However, in one night attack, infantrymen remained on the tanks and fired effectively at enemy on rooftops or in upper stories of buildings.)

-Within the Village:  “It is not necessary for infantry to precede the tanks into small villages, but infantry should remain abreast of or close behind the tanks in order to provide protection against enemy infantry.  If more than one street is accessible, parallel attacks should be made. Narrow streets, on which only the leading tank can be employed, should be avoided.”

“Hand grenades were found to be of great value; without leaving the tank, the tank commander can throw them through windows to force enemy evacuation of buildings. Use of grenades also conserves tank ammunition and is less dangerous to our infantry than use of tank weapons.”

“WP can be of great value in village fighting, but its use must be definitely planned and explained to all elements before the attack. WP rounds should hit inside or behind ‘buildings; if they bit in front, the enemy can escape through the smoke undetected. A round of WP will sometimes force surrender or evacuation of a building.”

“Where resistance is stubborn, all buildings should be fired upon and either burned or destroyed. Enemy soldiers who have taken cover in buildings can be brought out by use of a few rounds of HE.

-After the Attack:  “To avoid mortar and artillery fire, both infantry and tanks should move out of the village as soon as it has been taken.”

Ricochet Fire

Comment from the Commanding Officer, 746th Tank Battalion, ETO: “An effective use of HE in villages is to fire with delay fuse, `skipping’ the rounds 50 to 75 yards in front of tank and infantry.  This method was particularly effective at crossings of streets and alleys.”

Observation Posts (OP) and Forward Observers (FO)

“OP Security-It’s Gotta Be Good

decoy fake dummy spotter plane piper cub wwii The old observation-post rule is restated in adage form by Major Allison A. Conrad, 135th Infantry, ITALY:

Fighting, strategy, war plan, invasion and relieving are some of the important activities taking place inside a war zone and strong enough to change the course of the war. Two other critical elements here, which almost precede each progression are observation and communication. Observation post is continuously monitored for suspicious movements and every preventive step is taken here to stop the attack from these points. In other words, they are tirelessly guarded, much like what a trading robot does.

Less movement at the OP means less work for the Graves Registration Officer.  Control of movement in and around an OP must be continuous.  It is fatal to relax on this point for one moment.  Even in a unit as battle-schooled as this one,  I have seen excessive movement around OP’s bring down immediate enemy fire.  (In one instance, the same thing happened at a Command Post).    Each time the result was the same: A tragic number of unnecessary casualties.

‘Visiting firemen’ who insist upon driving up to your front door, instead of parking at a reasonable distance and advancing on foot under cover, are the worst offenders.  Vehicle-dismounting points must be clearly marked, and guarded 24 hours a day.

COMMENT: A guard placed at a suitable point on the route to the OP with instructions to discourage unnecessary visitors and to point out the location and a covered route to authorized visitors, will help a lot to control movement at the OP.

Packboard for FO Radios

A Field Artillery Battery Commander, FRANCE: “Our forward observers usually required 10 or 15 minutes to remove their SCR-609  (or SCR-610)  radios from the jeeps and set them up.  We eliminated that cause of delay by mounting the radios and batteries on pack-boards. The only modification necessary was the changing of the antenna to extend upwards.

Phone for FO Radio Operator

Commanding Officer, 339th Infantry, 100th Division, FRANCE: “We have found it profitable to supply each forward-observer radio operator with two sound-powered phones and a small reel of W-130 wire. This equipment enables the observer to remain at his vantage point while the radio operator transmits from the position most suitable for his radio.

British Comment on OP Security

cartoon unsafe fo forward observer army war military dangerous combatThe Commanding Officer of a British Field Artillery Regiment, ITALY, forcefully voices the same observation-post ‘do’s and don’ts’  that are constantly being stressed by American officers and closes his exhortation with:  ‘More care in occupation and use of OP’s must he exercised.  Undue exposure and carelessness do not show bravery – they show that you are just a bloody fool.  You may get away with it for days and then find that just when observation is vital, the Boche will neutralize your OP.’

Control of Forward Observers

Field orientation and supervision of FO’s are stressed by Captain Woodrow M. Smith, 34th Division Artillery, ITALY:

The artillery observers must be centrally controlled. We found it advisable for the battalion S-2’s (Officers from the Intelligence Section) to coordinate observation within their own combat-team sectors in order to eliminate the possibility of duplication of effort.

wire layers field artillery communications wwii fo forward observerThe S-2’s should instruct the new observers carefully to obviate their common tendency to over-enthusiasm. Inexperienced observers should also be warned against the danger of wandering off on patrol missions and otherwise getting separated from their supported infantry.  FO’s must keep in touch with the situation.

An ETO observer similarly emphasized centralized control: ‘The battalion liaison officer should control the zones of observation.  Don’t let the forward observer become an assistant infantry platoon leader.’

COMMENT: Whether the battalion S-2 or battalion liaison officer is to coordinate the FO’s is a matter for the battalion commander to decide.  The point is that one individual must be responsible for the coordination of all observers so that complete coverage of the zone of operations is insured.

Use NCO’s as Observers

‘Count on having a minimum of 12 forward-observer parties per battalion,’ advocates the above mentioned ETO observer.   ‘Trained sergeants and corporals can do this work as well as officers.’

Don’t Pin Down the FO’s
cartoon artillery new green forward observer fo radio
‘Forward observers should be permitted to leap-frog from one point of observation to another when operating with assaulting echelons.  They should not be required to stay with the foremost elements of the rifle companies, where the observer is frequently pinned down and not able to perform his function of adjusting artillery fire,’ recommends Lieutenant Colonel Charles J. Payne, Commanding Officer, 19th Field Artillery Battalion, FRANCE.   ‘Another disadvantage to keeping the observer with the foremost elements is the fact that the observer’s radio antenna often draws additional enemy fire which hinders the advance of the infantry.’

FO Security

Supported infantry units should provide local security for the forward observer when he is occupying points of observation not included within the perimeter of infantry defense.  COMMENT: FM 6-135, which has been issued to all theaters, discusses in detail the proper use of FO’s.

cartoon war combat exposure fire FO Responsibility

A Captain of a Field Artillery Battalion, FRANCE, points out: ‘One of the FO’s most important jobs is to get across to infantrymen the types of targets on which he can give them maximum support.  After a little combat experience, the infantryman learns the true value of artillery and doesn’t call for support unless the target merits it.  He learns not to waste valuable ammunition that he may need later on a more urgent mission.’

Warning to OP Kibitzers

Says a Captain of a Field Artillery Battalion, FRANCE:  ‘Well-meaning infantrymen who crowd about the OP to observe the results of the firing or to steal a look through the BC telescope should be warned that they are inviting fire from the enemy.  OP’s are high on the priority list of enemy targets. The importance of OP camouflage discipline cannot be over-emphasized.’

Combat Lessons Volume Six: Infantry and Tanks

Current operations point to the increasing employment of the small infantry-tank team in a role requiring the closest cooperation and the ultimate in mutual support.  Recent reports stress the need for the sound training of each individual in his own and his unit’s share of the job and for better understanding of the cooperating unit’s responsibilities, capabilities, and limitations.  Joint training which will develop team unity must supplement technical training if missions are to be efficiently accomplished at minimum cost in lives and time.

Building Team Unity

Acquaintance Aids Teamwork- From the 752d Tank Battalion: “The tank-infantry team must work together from 48 to 72 hours at a minimum before it can hope to operate smoothly. It takes time to learn how the other unit does things and expects you to do them.

“When the tank-infantry commanders (including company commanders and staffs) know each other, they can work together much more efficiently than they can as strangers.”

sherman tank infantry squadAn Okinawa report advocates personal contact between the members of the infantry-tank team: “In addition to technical training before embarking upon this mission, one regiment had tankers bivouac in the infantry area while some of its own men were sent to bivouac with the tankers. This helped to promote closer teamwork through discussions, understanding, and friendship.”

A Tank Ride Helps Doughboy Morale – Says the Battalion Commander of the 175th Infantry: “To make him realize the limited vision and field of fire and the closed-off feeling of the tankers, every infantry man should be given a ride in a buttoned-up tank. One such ride does a lot to counteract the infantryman’s dread of a tank attack and to increase his faith in his own ability to resist tanks.”

Tank-Infantry Team Plays – States a report from the 752d Tank Battalion.: “At certain times the burden of carrying the attack must, because of the terrain and the situation, fall on the infantry. At other times, the tanks are best qualified to bear the brunt of the attack. Both units must know this and learn to recognize the situations in which one or the other unit should lead.”

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The following extracts from field reports describe team plays used by some tank-infantry units in specific situations.

-In General  From a 36th Infantry Division training memorandum: “When infantry and tanks are used together, the tanks’ primary targets are enemy machine guns and riflemen. Tanks will also make paths through wire and anti-personnel mines and break up any counter-attack .

“If infantry does not come up with tanks within a reasonable time, a section or more of tanks should be sent back to investigate. The delay will usually have been caused by enemy MG’s previously overlooked by the tanks.”

From the XXIV Corps On LEYTE: “Infantrymen must protect the tanks by fire to prevent the enemy from am-bushing the tanks. Ground distance between tanks and infantry is dependent upon the ability of the infantry to cover the tanks by effective fire.”

-At Night  From the 191st Tank Battalion: “When working with infantry at night, the tanks should follow the infantry. The tank platoon leader or the tank platoon sergeant, however, should advance on foot with the leading elements of the infantry. Then, knowing the location of our own infantry, he can quickly bring up the tanks when tank targets are located.”

cartoon sherman tank random fire-In Woods   From the 774th Tank Battalion: “We gained surprise in using our light tanks with infantry in woods by having the tanks follow the infantry from phase line to phase line. When resistance was met, the tanks would go up quickly (with guides) and spray enemy positions with canister and .30-caliber machine-gun fire. One section of tanks was assigned to each assault rifle company. Mine re-movers moved just behind the infantry and cleared routes for the tanks. The infantrymen checked all clearings for antitank positions.

“When possible, the tanks moved off the trails and covered one another. On each tank the bow gunner covered the area to the left, and the coaxial gunner covered the area to the right.

“Two infantrymen rode each tank; one was an automatic rifleman and the other manned the tank anti-aircraft gun. Both carried grenades and used the turret for protection. It was found best to assign a definite field of fire to each.  Four mines and fuses to be used by the infantry for local protection were carried in each tank.”

-In Heavy Undergrowth – A report from Headquarters XIV Corps includes these comments on target designation: “Jap pillboxes are usually extremely well hidden and tanks are almost blind in thick vegetation or undergrowth. For these reasons, prime consideration should be given to target designation. Tank obstacles as well as targets should be designated to the tank commander by the infantry squad leader whenever possible.

“Tracer fire proved unsatisfactory for designating targets to the tanks. The best method was the use of red or violet smoke grenades. The full-charge grenade produces too much smoke and obscures the target. How-ever, if the fuse is unscrewed from the grenade and half the charge removed, an adequate amount of smoke will he produced. Rifle projection of the grenade is desirable for longer ranges. Best results are obtained by arming the grenade before firing as this will then give a trail of smoke to the target.”

-Against Tank Stalkers  A G-2 on Okinawa comments as follows: “Infantry must he trained to work with the tank so that the Jap is killed before he reaches the tank. The Jap has a nasty habit of running up to tanks with satchel charges, Bangalore torpedoes, or antitank mines and attempting to stay with the tank until both tank and Jap are destroyed. If he is not killed before he gets to a halted tank, the damage to the tank is usually assured. This is especially true when tanks are employed in villages and towns.”

-When a Tank Is Disabled  Says Colonel C. B. DeVore, 1st Armored Division: “In the event a tank becomes a casualty, the infantry should protect it until it can be evacuated. The crew of a disabled tank should continue to render fire support as long as its armament functions and its ammunition lasts.”

Common Errors That Impair Teamwork

From the 36th Infantry Division: “Platoon and squad leaders frequently forget during attacks that tanks are supporting them. “Infantry leaders frequently go to a tank commander and tell him an enemy machine gun is holding them up but can give no idea of its location. Even giving four or five possible locations helps the tanks to reduce such a target.

“Lack of communication between tanks and front-line infantry often makes real coordination impossible.
“Time for tank reconnaissance and orders is often not provided.
“Failure to use enough tanks sometimes reduces the effectiveness of the combined assault.
“Tank timidity is frequently encouraged. Tanks must expect losses as do the riflemen.
“Failure to give tanks the complete plan of maneuver reduces the effectiveness of tank support.
“Failure to give tanks the plan of maneuver …”

Technique of Transporting Infantry on Tanks Load Allocation

sherman tank mounted infantrySays Lieutenant Colonel Kinne, 781st Tank Battalion, after working with six infantry divisions during European campaigns: “In an infantry mission, a maximum of 10 men may be carried.

“It is imperative that before mounting the infantry,  thorough plans are made by the infantry commanders and tank commanders who are to ride together. It is the duty of the infantry commander to mount infantry personnel in such manner as to preserve unit tactical integrity.  This insures that no time is lost in organizing for combat after dismounting.

“Heavy-weapons units as well as riflemen may be transported. A complete machine-gun or mortar crew with weapon can be carried on a tank.

What Tanks May Expect From the Infantry

“On the march, tanks provide their own security by pointing some of their turret weapons in each direction.

“The infantry riding these tanks can greatly aid the security of the column by maintaining watch over the same terrain covered by the tank gun. This is very important since the tankers’ visibility is generally poor.

“At a halt, the infantry dismounts and takes up security positions. Two infantrymen from each tank patrol at a distance, and the others provide close-in security.

“On arrival in the vicinity of the objective, the tanks will halt and take up all-round defense positions. The infantry will dismount and leave a small number of men for tank protection; the remainder proceed with reconnaissance. When contact is made, the. tanks prepare to support the infantry on call.

Discipline on March

“Mounting and dismounting are on tank commander’s order only; upon coming under fire, tanks will take up prearranged road-march positions and the infantry will dismount and form local security.

“All men must hold on to the rope or the tank. They must not hang on to another rider for support.

“Men must not smoke on tanks. Fire hazard is very great.

“When going through wooded trails or roads, keep eyes to the front to avoid being brushed off by branches.

Organization of the Captured Ground

From the XIV Corps in the Pacific: “When the final objective is reached, the tanks should halt and fire with all available weapons at definite targets or places of likely enemy approach or concealment. The infantry squads of the two forward platoons as well as the company support platoon, should immediately push forward to the rear and flanks of the tank line and construct a defensive position.

If the attack formation has employed a company of tanks with a company of infantry (i. e., three infantry-tank teams in line or in echeloned line), a reserve reinforced company of infantry must be moved forward to construct the defensive positions.  This position should follow standard infantry procedure. of emplacing automatic weapons and mortars, of organizing the ground, digging in, and putting out protective wires. Prepared concertinas may be carried into action on the rear decks of support tanks because time is too short for apron fences to be constructed. No guns should be emplaced nor wire laid in the lanes made by the tanks as they advanced in the attack.

“After the defensive position is organized, the tanks and their protecting squads should withdraw via the original routes of advance. In turning to withdraw, all tank should turn to the right about if possible.  A standard procedure like this enables the protecting squads to clear the danger space without confusion and subsequent loss of time.  Tanks on withdrawing must reverse their turrets and keep them trained in the direction of the enemy because enemy AT guns silenced during the action may he re-manned in time to fire on the withdrawing tanks.

“After the tanks have withdrawn, the lanes should be closed by concertina wire, and further preparations made to repel enemy counterattack. Special attention must be given to strengthening the flanks of the salient. Infantry must investigate all ground within the salient and search all positions for enemy personnel. Heaps of enemy dead should be investigated to insure that none are feigning death.

Infantry-Tank Communications

Between the Leaders  “Because the infantry squad leader furnishes information which directs the fire and movement of his support tank, communication between him and the tank commanders must he continuous and reliable,” states a XIV Corps training memorandum.

“Many means of communication were tried, but the one which worked best under fire was the EE8A telephone adapted for infantry-tank employment. An EE8A telephone is placed inside the tank turret. Also in the turret. at a place easily visible to the tank commander, is strapped a regulation flashlight. A 20-foot length of four-strand electric cable is laid from the telephone box inside the turret and extended down in rear of the tank. An EE8A telephone handset is connected to the end of the cable. The butterfly switch on the handset is modified so that when pressed it completes a circuit through one channel of the cable, lights the flashlight, and attracts the attention of the tank commander. Telephone conversation is then held over another channel of the cable, the telephones being wired for that effect. With this telephone setup, the squad leader has only to carry the handset to be able to communicate readily with the tank commander. The telephone must not he strapped to the rear of the tank, for enemy fire will destroy it.”

By Modified Radio   Reported by the Executive Officer, 330th Infantry, 3d Battalion: “Satisfactory infantry-tank communication was achieved by modifying and installing SCR-536’s in the tanks. Removal of a bolt from the top of the turret provided a hole for the antenna. A short piece of rubber hose was placed around the aerial to keep it from grounding out. The radio sets were modified so that the tank commander could use a throat microphone and could operate the switch with an improvised extension.”

-Prearranged Signal  From a British Infantry source: “When cooperating with tanks, we devise visual signals easily understood by the tankers. Tin hats raised on rifles indicate our positions when tanks are approaching from the rear to join us. A single soldier approaching a tank with his headgear or other distinctive item on a weapon indicates: “Stop, I want to talk to you.” A red Very light indicates the presence of antitank guns, and the direction in which it is fired indicates their location. A green Very light fired in the direction of an enemy machine gun indicates its location, and also serves as a request to the tank to knock it out. A white Very light fired at the tank signals: “Cease Fire.”

Mountain Combat

Infantry Notes

Villages in Mountains From Fifth Army Training Notes, ITALY: “An outstanding feature of the mountainous terrain in ITALY is the invariable location of villages on dominating terrain or on ground which is vital to the attacker in order that he may secure his line of communication. These villages consist of closely packed buildings with narrow, winding streets. The buildings are thick walled and are immune to shell fire except a direct hit; even these cause little damage. There are also a considerable number of scattered houses located on dominating features usually of the same strong stone construction. This is one of those unfortunate incidences where a village, originally built for inhabitation for humans to co-exist peacefully become an ideal location for a strategic warzone. Both from the side of the hidden front and from the side of the attacking front, the houses in these villages are target points. If you click for info on an article on this subject, the picture becomes stronger.

military cartoon chow mountain troops italy wwii“The Germans make full use of these buildings as strong points and machine-gun installations. They endeavor to build up a system of mutually supporting positions which, because of their location, are extremely difficult to maneuver against.   On many occasions the defenders have allowed the advance scouts to penetrate these villages or scattered strong points, then destroyed the following troops.

Attacking a Village “Daylight attacks against these hilltop villages are almost out of the question as casualties are invariably high.   Extensive use of a limited night attack has proven to be the best method of handling this situation.  The attack is made on as dark a night as possible.  Silence is necessary and is relatively easy to obtain since the ground over which the approach is made is mostly cultivated.  The process of infiltration must be systematic and every building gained should be immediately turned into a strong point for the attacker.

“It is advisable, where possible, to have the forward attacking elements allotted a high proportion of submachine guns.   Each man should carry at least two to four hand grenades.  They are invaluable in clearing buildings.

“The enemy’s mortars are habitually emplaced behind villages on the reverse slopes, dug down to a depth of 10 feet.  These are almost impossible to knock out by artillery fire even if we can actually locate them. One unit has reported that they have successfully engaged targets of this type by pooling all its 131-mm mortars and ‘firing them as a battery under unit control.

“Of course, if at is at all possible, it is better to avoid these villages entirely, flank them, and cut the enemy’s line of communication.

“The absolute necessity of keeping a reserve for counter-attacks on the reverse slope is stressed.  If there are any houses on the forward slopes they should be occupied or the enemy will use them to assist his counterattacks.”

general mud vosges mountains mts wwii digging shovels gis ‘Infantry Heavy Weapons In The Mountains Heavy Weapons Company Commander, 3d Division, ITALY: “Our heavy weapons companies have carried just about half of their weapons in Italy.  In that way they could keep up both the guns and the mortars together with enough ammunition to make them useful.  Every machine gun squad in the heavy weapons company has a light machine gun as well as a heavy.  They carry the light machine gun up these mountains and later substitute the heavy gun if it is practicable to bring it up.

“In this type of terrain we use only two 81mm mortars.  With them we can fire all the ammunition we can get up.  It is much better to have two mortars firing when you need them than to have six mortars without ammunition.”

Rifle and Stove Mayor Kermit Hansen, 34th Infantry Division, ITALY :  “In this division we have been able to give a fairly liberal allowance of the small Coleman stoves to the front-line infantry by taking them away from truck drivers, etc.  Most units have one stove per squad.  I am convinced that men will hang on to their rifles to the last, and to their stoves till next to the last.  They utilize the German metal gas-mask container to carry the stove in. Being able to heat `G’ rations is a great morale and efficiency factor in cold, rainy weather, particularly up in the mountain tops where our men are now.  Also a secondary but vital use of these stoves is to dry out wet socks; it is the only possible way that it can he done.”

Hot Food for the Front Line Assistant Division G-4, ITALY: “Front line units get into many places where you cannot get even a mule up to them.  We heat ‘C’-ration cans in boiling water, then put them in 155-mm shell containers, and strap three containers on a packboard.  The reports we get back indicate that the food stays hot for 4 hours-which is long enough to get it to the front line troops by dismounted pack methods.  We have also sent up, by packboard, hot water in 5-gallon water cans, with each can wrapped in two blankets.  Reports also show that the water on the front line is hot enough for the men to make cocoa or coffee.””

Colt M1911/M1911A1 Automatic Pistol

 M1911 M1911A1 Automatic Pistol Colt

The M1911 is one of the most successful pistol designs in military history. Manufactured in the millions, the weapon was the standard personal defense weapon carried by officers and team leaders of all services during World War I, World War II, Korea and during the Vietnam conflict. It was very reliable and sturdy, the stopping power legendary. The stout mechanism is one of the strongest ever made. Mass production of the M1911A1 ended in 1945. The M1911 was the standard issue service pistol until 1984, when it began to be replaced by the M9 9mm pistol.  Modified ‘fine tuned’ variants continue to serve with the Marine Corps and with Special Forces to this day.

1911 M1911M1 Colt General Alexander Patch III Stephan Gregg Medal of HonorJohn M. Browning designed the M1911 in response to the Army’s need for a pistol with greater stopping-power following the Army’s experience with close-in combat during the Philippine Insurrection of 1899-1901. Accounts abounded of the adversary, the dedicated and resourceful Moros, hacking to death multiple American soldiers or civilians before being killed themselves.  Reputedly, the U.S. standard service small arms, the .30-caliber Krag-Jorgensen rifle—M1892 and M1896 models and .the 38 revolver was incapable of stopping brave yet suicide like Morro attackers.  A public outcry tarnished the Army’s reputation.  An indignant public and the U.S. Congress and wanted some answers. The slow moving gears at the Army quickened.  The search for a replacement pistol began.   Col. John T. Thompson (inventor of the Thompson sub-machine-gun) and a Col. Louis A. La Garde reached the conclusion that the army needed a .45″ caliber cartridge, to provide adequate stopping power. In the mean time, the genius Browning, inventor of the BAR and the Thompson submachine gun, then employed at Colt, had already designed a successful automatic pistol capable of handling a large .45 cal cartridge.  Browning re-engineered this handgun to accommodate a .45 caliber cartridge and submitted the pistol to the Army for evaluation. The weapon failed to pass the acceptance tests.  Lessons learned, an improved prototype Browning pistol was re-submitted.  The second time around, another Browning design impressively passed a grueling set of tests in 1911.  The Colt M1911 became the standard issue pistol for all branches of the U.S. military.  Production was at first slow.  Enough were manufactured to equip in part the US Army of WW1. A s a result of battle experience an enhanced version, the 1911A1 model was adopted in 1926. The changes were not extensive and were confined to items involving the safety and mainspring housing.

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