In several areas of the South Pacific, the Japanese
have made reference to the "superior fire power" of
the United States and Australian forces. At least one
large enemy unit has devised a written plan "to counter
hostile forces equipped with superior fire power." The
salient points of this plan are presented below.
2. THE PLAN
When faced with superior fire power, it is essential that we
[the Japanese] select the terrain for combat, as well as the
time for launching the attack, and take the hostile forces by
surprise. We should select terrain that provides good concealment, such
as wooded areas.
We must make a thorough reconnaissance of the dispositions
and intentions of the hostile forces, and we must thoroughly
familiarize ourselves with the terrain selected for combat. Furthermore,
we should study the habitual strategy of the hostile
forces, and prepare ourselves to take advantage of their weak
Our plans must be kept secret, including our reconnaissances,
and we must attack at an unexpected time and at unexpected
places. We seldom will be able to gain surprise by attacking
the opposing forces on terrain which permits a fairly easy
approach. Stormy or foggy nights afford good opportunities to
attack with surprise. The attack must be made with as much
mobility as possible.
To minimize damage from superior fire power, we must use
camouflage effectively and prevent our forces from bunching.
And when the fighting becomes static, we must utilize well-constructed
positions, the natural protection afforded by the
terrain, and dummy positions. We can deceive the hostile forces
by using dummy soldiers, dummy observation towers, and so
forth. The positions for automatic weapons must be changed
frequently, and positions for heavy weapons must be well
b. Use of Weapons
In the employment of our weapons, we must carefully select
targets, and then concentrate on them to gain local fire superiority.
For example, three riflemen should constitute a group
to concentrate on one particular target. Likewise, two light machine
guns may profitably be concentrated on one target. Be
sure to take every advantage of the mobility of these weapons.
As for grenade dischargers, we should attack suddenly with
them toward the most important target. Do not deliver
ranging fire, but fire for effect immediately after going into position.
When on the defensive under normal conditions, the company
commander and, if possible, the platoon or squad leaders will
concentrate their fire power on the main objective. After annihilating
the latter, they should move on to a new objective.
Before launching an assault, the commander of a rifle
company should organize an assault platoon. He should coach his
men on the need for concentrating fire power, and the necessity
for carefully utilizing it during the assault.
With regard to the machine-gun company and the infantry
battalion gun company, each commander should order individual
squads to fire rapidly in short bursts. Forward movements
should be made by advancing in echelon or by moving from
position to position in line or abreast.