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Encyclopedia > Infiltration tactics

In warfare, infiltration tactics involve small, lightly-equipped infantry forces attacking enemy rear areas while bypassing enemy front-line strongpoints, isolating them for attack by follow-on friendly troops with heavier weapons. These tactics were first used by the stormtroopers of the German Army in 1917 during the First World War, where they were also called Hutier tactics, after General Oskar von Hutier, who used these tactics to great effect during Operation Michael in March 1918. For other uses of War, see War (disambiguation). ... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. An infantry is a body of soldiers who fight primarily on foot with small arms in organized military units, though they may be transported to the battlefield by horses, ships, automobiles, skis, or other... Military tactics is the collective name for methods of engaging and defeating an enemy in battle. ... The term Stormtrooper refers to special military troops which were formed in the last year of World War I as the German army developed new methods of attacking enemy trenches, called infiltration tactics. Men trained in these methods were known as in German as Sturmmann (meaning assault soldier, but usually... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ... Combatants Allies: Serbia, Russia, France, Romania, Belgium, British Empire, United States, Italy, and others Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire Casualties Military dead: 5 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total of dead: 8 million Military dead: 4 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total dead: 7 million The First... A General is an officer of high military rank. ... Oskar von Hutier (August 27, 1857-December 5, 1934) was one of Germanys most successful and innovative generals of World War I. Hutier spent the first year of the war as a divisional commander in France, performing well but not distinguishing himself until the spring of 1915, when he... The 1918 Spring Offensive or Kaiserschlacht was a series of German attacks along the Western Front during the First World War, which marked the deepest advance by either side since 1914. ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ...


The first use of German infiltration tactics occurred September 3, 1917 when the German eighth army decisively ended the long siege before the Russian city of Riga. The same tactics were then employed to create a break through of the allied lines during the Battle of Caporetto in October, 1917, in which the future General Erwin Rommel was involved and decorated as a battalion commander. The Battle of Caporetto (or Battle of Karfreit as it was known by the Central Powers), took place from 24 October to 9 November 1917, near Kobarid (now Slovenia) on the Austro-Italian front of World War I. Austro-Hungarian forces, reinforced by German units, were able to break into... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ... Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel ( ) (November 15, 1891 – October 14, 1944) was one of the most distinguished German Field Marshals of World War II and one of the greatest military leaders of his time. ...


Ironically the idea for infiltration tactics was first proposed by French Army captain Andre Laffargue [1]. Laffargue published a pamphlet "The attack in trench warfare" in 1915, based upon his experiences in combat in 1915. He advocated that the first wave of an attack identify hard to defeat defences, but not try to attack them. subsequent waves would accomplish this.


His pamphlet was published "for information" by the French, but not implemented and was not even translated by the English. Germany captured copies of the pamphlet in 1916 and put it into practice.


Hutier tactics

Infiltration attacks began with brief and violent bombardments of the enemy front lines, to suppress and demoralize the soldiers stationed there. Unlike regular trench warfare, the bombardment was also directed at the enemy rear areas, to destroy or disrupt roads, enemy artillery, and enemy command units. This was done to confuse the enemy and reduce their capability to launch effective counterattacks from secondary defense lines. The exact points of attack were concealed until the last possible moment for maximum effect. A bombardment is an attack by artillery fire directed against fortifications, troops or towns and buildings. ... Suppressive fire is a military term for firing weapons at the enemy with the goals of forcing them to take cover and reduce his ability to return fire, such as when attacking an enemy position. ... Historically, artillery refers to any engine used for the discharge of projectiles during war. ...


These attacks were led by light infantry, who would attempt to penetrate at enemy weak points, bypassing heavily-defended enemy positions in the front line. The attacks would be followed by other infantrymen with heavier weapons, who would then have a great advantage in attacking these isolated enemy strongpoints. Other reinforcements would enter these points and the entire enemy line would shortly collapse.


These tactics worked well in the early stages of its conception, and were used heavily. However, because of the overuse in the early stages of its creation, effective defences were quickly found. Also, as in the case of the more traditional mass attack, any gain had to be consolidated with reserves against an enemy counter-attack. One of the problems of World War I was that even when a breakthrough was made, the ground was so devastated that moving up reserves and materiel was difficult, allowing the enemy time to regroup. Thus even with the new tactics and their relatively light use of artillery, attacks would tend to bog down sooner or later and no massive breakthrough was possible. However the new tactics, applied consistently over time, were much more effective than the old ones. It is interesting to note, that the Russian General Brusilov and his staff anticipated several of these tactics during the successful Brusilov Offensive. General Brusilov at 64 (1917) Aleksei Alekseevich Brusilov (Russian: Алексей Алексеевич Брусилов) (August 19, 1853 - March 17, 1926) was a Russian cavalry general most noted for the development of a military offensive tactic used in the Brusilov offensive of 1916. ... Combatants Russian Empire Austria-Hungary Imperial Germany Commanders Aleksei Brusilov Conrad von Hötzendorf Alexander von Linsingen Strength 40+ infantry divisions (573,000 men) 15 cavalry divisions (60,000 men) 39 infantry divisions (437,000 men) 10 Cavalry divisions (30,000 men) Casualties ~500,000 men killed and wounded 1...


Infiltration tactics led to the creation of the modern military formation of the fire team, a small group of soldiers with a certain degree of autonomy, capable of penetrating enemy territory on missions of sabotage and misdirection. Similar methods were used by other armies in the Second World War where they became standard infantry tactics. A fire team is the smallest recognized military unit. ... Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8 million Civilian dead: 4 million Total dead: 12 million World War II...


References

  • House, Jonathan M. Toward Combined Arms Warfare: A Survey of 20th-Century Tactics, Doctrine, and Organization. U.S. Army Command General Staff College, 1984. Available online (5 February 2005) or through University Press of the Pacific (2002).
  • Pope, Stephen and Wheal, Elizabeth-Anne, eds.The Macmillian Dictionary of the First World War. Macmillian Reference Books, 1995.

Notes

  1. ^ TACTICAL RESPONSES TO CONCENTRATED ARTILLERY

TACTICAL RESPONSES TO CONCENTRATED ARTILLERY (Combat Studies Institute, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth)


  Results from FactBites:
 
Infiltration tactics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (564 words)
The same tactics were then employed to create a break through of the allied lines during the Battle of Caporetto in October, 1917, in which the future General Erwin Rommel was involved and decorated as a battalion commander.
Infiltration attacks began with brief and violent bombardments of the enemy front lines, to suppress and demoralize the soldiers stationed there.
Infiltration tactics led to the creation of the modern military formation of the fire team, a small group of soldiers with a certain degree of autonomy, capable of penetrating enemy territory on missions of sabotage and misdirection.
Human wave attack - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1027 words)
What we today call 'human-wave' tactics were in fact the main tactic used by infantry in the attack prior to the development of skirmisher tactics during the Napoleonic Wars.
It is a tactic that developed out of trench warfare, where artillery or aerial attack often proved ineffective at dislodging the enemy from a firmly held defensive position.
It is widely believed that such tactics were employed widely and successfully by the North Korean and Chinese armies during the Korean War, because to the UN troops, the enemy seemed to be everywhere.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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