Based on experiences in Russia, the following are some German notes on
* * *
Attacks on a wide front were less frequent than strong thrusts at selected
points. Small operations with selected personnel were often carried out.
Special features of Russian methods are skillful use of darkness, surprise
at dawn, silent raids on positions, clever digging at night, opening fire at short
range with the use of flares, and eagerness to get to close quarters. When the
ground is lit by the defenders with flares the enemy seldom attacks.
For night fighting, it is recommended that a cap be worn, as it permits
better hearing than does a helmet. Belt and shoulder straps should be removed.
The collar should be open, and shoes and leggings laced. Ammunition can be
carried in pockets and grenades in a sandbag. A pistol, dagger, and sharp spade
should be carried. The first-aid kit should also be taken along.
Certain individuals will carry Very pistols, wire cutters, explosives and
incendiary material, and matches which can be used in wind ("wind matches").
Machine guns, automatic rifles, submachine guns, and rifles will be ordered
according to circumstances.
c. Approaching the Enemy
If possible, try to approach against the wind.* Move in twos. If a single
enemy is encountered, get under cover, let him pass, and then spring on him from
Wire should be cut where dark background, craters, small hollows or
bushes make crawling forward easier. To deceive the enemy, sacks and similar
material can be hung up at other points, or fire opened at one point to allow silent
forward movement from an entirely different direction.
Simple signals should be arranged beforehand, such as bird-calls, etc.
d. Assault Troop Operations
Suitable composition and order of march are as follows: Riflemen;
section leader; long-distance hand grenade throwers; short-distance hand grenade
throwers; hand grenade carriers; light machine-gun section. Flank protection,
using machine guns and additional riflemen, is advisable.
In order to insure that riflemen do not mistake direction, rifles can be
fixed in position with pegs while it is still light, so that when a position is occupied
in the dark there is no difficulty in fixing the direction of fire.
*Men who have not bathed for a long time can be smelled downwind at some
distance. Sound carries better downwind.