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Battle Experiences #5

Battle Experiences #5

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Published by bawb-2
WWII ETO combat lessons learned
WWII ETO combat lessons learned

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Published by: bawb-2 on Jul 12, 2010
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02/11/2013

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TWELFTH
ARMY CROUP
BATTLE EXPERIENCES
No.
3131
AUC
1944
Nmttle
mperiencesm are guL11 she6 regul&rljr by
this
heedq~wrters o enableunits in trainink- to profit from the latest
oc~mb~t
xperiences
r,f
cur
trc~?s owfighting the Germns in France. ~lthough he nxperiences of certain
1xi:-ts
et
a
prticul~rocation
are
not necessarily hpplicable
tc
all
units in
hll
situations,
the item rlutlished will be those based cn practiccl experiecce
an3
tre recwxendedfor ceref ul consideration
by
wits
wh
k-
my
eacounter siz.ii1e.r arcblens.Reportsof corroborative or contrary experiences
are
perticuhrly desired
in
order
th~~
he
validit?
of
the indicated b~ttleess011 may
be
determined.
By
commnd
of the
=my
woup Conlmnder
a
Brigadier Genertll,
USA
Ad
jutont GeneralThe following ob%ervations
are
extracted fron a recer,t report
of
the war Depert-ment Observer
Board
to the Comrmnding Gsnetr~~l,
rmy
ound prces.
1.
Location of Direct support Artill erxoUCGirect sup~ort rtillery battaJ.lons
should
not be closer than 3000 or 4000
yards
to the front lines.
If
they
are
up
es
close
as
1500 or
2000
yards,
a
strong counterattack with
ta~ks
nd
armor
will
overrunthe position, and the
heart
of your comunicet~oc
s
lost, as
is
liaison with supportedregiments. ~ttached attalions
may
and
often ~hould
e
closer thhn 3000 cr
4500
yardsto the
front
without this risk, as all cmunication
is
cleared through the directsupport. Direct support
ba
tte
lions mat know
r~hex~e
ur infantry
is
at
all
times.gafety of fires ia cleared through therne@--Wippdier General Reese
M.
Howell, ArtilleryOfficer, 9th Division.
2e
Conduct of mrward Observers. wutil!.ery forwerd observers
b.ve
been eoing toofar forward in
many
ceses.
'They
cannot
tag
along with the company comncier. ~f theydo, they are pinned to the ground
and
cannot see whet
is
going
on
except in
a
very
sml
sector. Often they can
Bee
nothing at
all
acd
are unable
to
perforni their missio~s.
I
know of one forward observer who went along with the point of the advance, where heshould never
heve
been.The liaison officer
and
not
t,he
assault commander must handlethe
forward
observeraw--Rrigadj.er General Reese
M.
Howell, artillery Officer,
9th
Divi-sion.
3.
Cub
Planes on
Air
~lert.
nwe
always
keep
a
Cub
plene
up
on patrol
even
during
quiet periods when no missions are heing fired. yesterday
(7
~uguzt) ur patrol ob-eerved
a
Germn
tank
parked on the edge of
a
-11
patch of woods.
He
called for
a
battery
(6
guns)
and
fired on the lone tank.
When
the first rounda landed, the ob-server spotted six more
tanks
bunched
up
in
the
same
area.
He
then called for the
 
battalion,
we
got five of the seven tanks,
~t
the conclusion of
this
mission, whichdidn* last long,the
came
observer spotted
a
German
motor
column on a nearby road,which'was inmediately taken under fire.
By
actual count
we
st
25
vehicles.
In
all
we
got five tanke and
25
motor vehicles very quickly, which shows what an elwt
ob-
server can do in a cub planes'--Captain
James
B.
Gregory,
Air
Officer, 4th DivisionArtillery.
I1
TECHNIQUE
OF
blOTOR
MOVEMENT
WlTH
AIR
SUPPQ(T.
NOTE*bservers
from
thie headquarters have been directed to transmit infor-mation regarding coordination of air, armored and other ground forces in fastmoving operatione in
as
much detail &nd ae rapidly a3 possiblee The informa-tion
given
below
is
contained
in
the first report onthis subject.other
re-
ports
will
be
disseminated
as promptly as possible after receipt.
1.
Situationo In
a
recent mtorized advance, the 79th ~nfantryDivision used thefollowing methods
far
maintaining control and close air support.
A
cavalry group
was
protectin& the
division*^
front and right flank, and an ar&red division was-marchingon the left flank.
2,
Communication. The 79th ~ivision oved in two columns with sections of thedivision reconnaissance group attacbed to the heads of each column and to the &loreddivision, so that contect could
be
maintained through the'sm
506.
~hf2
(=R
508 in the
hE-8
armorea
cars
of
the
sections
were
set to the
frequency
of the artillery liaisonplanes which covered the columns. In some instances these planes determined the methodof advance to the columne.
3.
control. The
CL)
comnanders were in direct contact
wih
the division com-manders through the
sCR
193.
Combat teams mved
from
point to point on order ofhieher authority, usually the division ccmmntler with one col~unn
and
the assistantdivision comnder with the other.
4,
Infantry Movement. Truck co~znies
gd
trucks from the divislon and attachedartillery were utilized to mve the infactry. In some inatences the motorized infantrymoved so rapidly that there was an intermingling of columns with theerroored divisionon the flank, and at other
times
they had to halt and wait for the cavalry to regain
its
distance ahead.
The
&vision chief of staff recomraends that the covalry in sucha situation be given an awle head start,
e.g.
cavalry sterting at daylight, infantry
at
1300.
5.
Air
Support. The
ajr
support party usually remi-md
wj.
h division headqurters,althou&
it
occaelonally mved
to
the
unit wh=e the greatest difficulty
was
expected*
CL)
commanders or the recclnnaissat~ce roop
could
get air sup2ort almost irmedietely byradio request to the armed reconneissance flights which
were
covering the edvancicgcolumns. Requests often went from
the
cavalry grcup
to
oin reconneiseance troop to thedivision air support party to the planes. The armed reconnaissar.ce flights also cov-
ered
areas as requested by corps and &vision air support perties.
The
missio~lsusuallywere flown by four or eightaircraft carrying 500 pound general purpose
bombs
and
.5O
caliber mck~ine
Wse
,kcproduce&
the
ing/neer
Re~ro,
ief
/2tb
Amy,
&t?;;a
 
TWELFTH
ARMY CROUP
BATTLE EXPERIENCES
No,
32
31
AUC
1944
'Battle ESperiences*
are
published regularly
by this
headquarters to enableunits in training to profit from the latestcombat erperienoea of our troops nowfighting the Cennans in
France.
Although the experiences of certain units at
a
particularlocation are not necessarily applicable to all units in all
situations,
the items published
will
be those baaed on practical experience
and
are recommendedfor careful consideration by units which
may
encounter similar problems. Reportsof corroborative
or
contrary experiencesare particularly desired in order that thevalidity of the indicated battle lesson
may
be determined.
Ey
conmiand of theGroup Commander:
L
H.
B.
LGIIISL
Brigadier General,
USA
Ad
jut
a~t
ener a1
--_--.-----.------------
I
USE
OF
CUB
PLANE3
FOR
PHOTO
WSSIONS:
1.
.We
improvised a photo laboratory and dark roam by making ply-wood aides
and
topfor
a
1-ton trailer.In
this
laboratory re do the entire proceesing including enlarge-ments and
can
normally deliver about
20
photos two hours after request for a photo mie-sion.
All
photos are oblique and are taken from liaison planes with the regular K-20camera.2.
Win
addition to the usual uae of these facilities for artillery purposes
it
is
poasible to reproduoe sufficient copies for delivery to and use of infantry battalionsar a qeans of supplementing maps or in the absence of maps.Concentrations
uan
befigured, plotted,end numbered on regular
arepa,
transposed to the photoa, and uaed by
any
infantry officer to call for specific fire when required. They
may
also
be
used forgeneral orientation. Ofcourse more time
is
required to turn out such large quantities,the facilities of the improvised laboratory being quite limited,but the supply neaessaryfor a division can be produced in lees than 24 hours.Such photoa were supplied for the29th Division for their attack on Hill 192 at St.
Lo.
3.
*An
enlarged (10
x
14)photo waich shows the locations or
any
suspected
wmtm
hoatile artillery
is
uaed by Cub Observer while in the
air.
Should the enemy open fire,upon radio call of observer, our fire
is
delivered on the suspected location nearest tothe point indicated
by
the observer. This point
is
usually within a few hundred yardsof a suspected location. Often the fire so delivered has been right on the hostileartillery.
4.
WSorne information as to the effect of our fire
is
also obtained from obliquephotos taken by
our
cub planes thereby supplementing datalater obtained from
Air
Force
reconnaissance
s~rtiea.~
-
Major
W.
M..
Smith, Counterbattery OTfioer and Lt.
D.J.
Gray,Bsst.
5-2,
XIX
Corpa Artillery.

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