Infantry: August 18, 2002


: Principles Of American Infantry Training in 1914. The following excerpt is from the "Manual for Noncommissioned Officers and Privates of Infantry of the Organized Militia and Volunteers of the United States -- 1914", page 262.

Inaction gives every advantage to the enemy.

The offensive alone gives decisive results.

A quick and energetic offensive minimizes losses.

An advance against the enemy's position once entered upon must be continued. To go back under fire is to die.

The best way to hold down the fire of the enemy and to diminish his power to inflict losses is to bring the position he occupies under well conducted and continued fire.

Present as small a target as possible to the enemy by utilizing every bit of cover the ground affords.

Individual skill in marksmanship is an advantage in battle only when united with fire discipline and control.

Constant movement to the front lessens the effect of the enemy's fire. The battles of the Russo-Japanese War show that the heaviest losses are in the mid and long ranges. When close range is reached the losses diminish rapidly.

The best protection against artillery fire is a constant but irregular movement to the front. When close to the enemy's position his fire is least effective.

A knowledge of how to use the bayonet and the will to use it must often be the deciding factors in battle.

Finally: In infantry training we can not go far wrong or fail to accomplish the best results if we keep before our minds the spirit as well as the wording of paragraph 352 of the Infantry Drill Regulations: "The duties of infantry are many and difficult. All infantry must be fit to cope with all conditions that may arise. Modern war requires but one kind of infantry: Good Infantry."


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