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Encyclopedia > Suppressive fire

Suppressive fire (also known as covering fire) is a term used in military science for firing weapons at or in the direction of enemy forces with the primary goal of reducing their ability to defend themselves or return fire, by forcing them to remain under cover. Image File history File links Please see the file description page for further information. ... Spray and Pray is a military doctrine that states that automatic gunfire can often not hit a single target in the desired area. ... Military science concerns itself with the study of the diverse technical, psychological, and practical phenomena that encompass the events that make up warfare, especially armed combat. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

Contents

Usage

Suppressive fire differs from lethal fire (i.e. shoot-to-kill) in that its primary objective is to get the enemy to "keep their heads down" and thus reduce their ability to move, shoot, or observe their surroundings. While soldiers may be injured or killed by suppressive fire, this is not its main purpose.


To be effective, suppressive fire must be continuous enough to keep the enemy suppressed - that is, always thinking of staying safe behind cover. As long as the enemy can be kept fearful of the next round coming in, they will not be thinking of moving or shooting back. If there is so much incoming fire that the enemy can not move or shoot, the enemy is pinned. Pinned down is a common military term for a unit that is currently being suppressed by enemy fire. ...


Suppressive fire may be either aimed specifically (at an individual enemy soldier, group of soldiers, or vehicle) or generally (for example, at a building or treeline where enemy soldiers are suspected to be hiding.)


Suppression of enemy fire is vital during troop movement especially in tactical situations such as an attack on an enemy position. Military tactics (Greek: Taktikē, the art of organizing an army) are the collective name for methods for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle. ...


The use of suppressive fire is not limited to the use of infantry weapons. During an amphibious assault on a beachhead, as often occurred during World War II, naval warships would fire their cannons at known or suspected enemy artillery, mortar, or machine gun positions, on or behind the landing beaches. This was intended to suppress enemy fire from these positions which could be directed against the landing troops. A beachhead is a military term used to describe the line created when a unit (by sea) reaches a beach, and begins to defend that area of beach, while other reinforcements (hopefully) help out, until a unit large enough to begin advancing has arrived. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Not to be confused with Canon. ... Artillery with Gabion fortification Cannons on display at Fort Point Continental Artillery crew from the American Revolution Firing of an 18-pound gun, Louis-Philippe Crepin, (1772 – 1851) A forge-welded Iron Cannon in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. ... US soldier loading a M224 60-mm mortar. ... A machine gun is a fully-automatic firearm that is capable of firing bullets in rapid succession. ... Landing is a military operation aimed at a bringing the landing force (landing troops) to a shore or to land with the purpose of power projection ashore/landside by forces coming from ships/aircraft and able to fight. ...


Example of suppressive fire

Situation: The enemy holds a position, such as a building or trench line, perhaps reinforced with sandbags, landmines, barbed wire or other obstacles. Building a sandbag dike along the Skagit River in anticipation of a flood, October 2003. ... “Minefield” redirects here. ... A selection of forms of barbed wire. ...

  • The enemy has a clear field of fire, so any force attacking them has very few places to take cover.
  • To take the enemy's position, an attacker must be able to approach without getting shot and injured or killed. The enemy's ability to shoot at attackers must be reduced.
  • To stop the enemy from shooting at attackers, the attacking force divides in two.
  • The first group of attackers fires on the enemy. This will cause the enemy to take cover, thus minimizing their ability to return fire.
  • While the first attacking group is firing at the enemy - keeping them suppressed - the second group of attackers advances toward the enemy position.
  • This second group now stops, and begins laying down their own suppressive fire. The first group can now advance under cover of the second group's suppressive fire.
  • The process repeats as needed, with each attacking group alternating roles (either advancing or laying down suppressive fire) until they can attack the defenders at close quarters.

History

Suppressive fire became possible with the advent of firearms capable of rapid fire, particularly of automatic weapons. Note that the use of large groups of archers or musketeers firing multiple arrows or projectiles at enemy troop concentrations is defined as massed, rather than suppressive, fire. A Glock 22 hand-held firearm with internal laser sight and mounted flashlight, surrounded by hollowpoint ammunition. ... M2 machine gun An automatic firearm is a firearm that will continue to load and fire rounds of ammunition as long as the trigger (or equivalent) is activated or until it runs out of ammunition. ... It has been suggested that Primitive Archery be merged into this article or section. ...


In popular culture, examples of suppressive fire can be seen in television shows involving firefights, Western movies, and War movies, where the phrases "Cover me!" or "I'll cover you!" can be often heard. The phrase "spray and pray" is used for unaimed, sometimes desperate, suppressive fire. Broncho Billy Anderson, from The Great Train Robbery The Western movie is one of the classic American film genres. ... Look up war in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Spray and Pray is a military doctrine that states that automatic gunfire can often not hit a single target in the desired area. ...


Weapons used

Basically, any ranged weapon could be used. But suppressive fire is usually delivered by specialized weapons, such as machine guns. Within an infantry squad, this role is usually filled by squad automatic weapons like the M249, the RPK and the RPD, especially when attacking, as these weapons can be quickly deployed. Suppressive fire can also be delivered using other weapons such as assault rifles, but the volume and intensity of fire generated is less than that of machine guns, as the rifles overheat more rapidly and require reloading more often. A machine gun is a fully-automatic firearm that is capable of firing bullets in rapid succession. ... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. Infantry are 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, bicycles, or other means. ... In the fire service a Squad is a Engine Company with a compliment of rescue tools. ... A squad automatic weapon, (abbrev. ... The M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (M249 SAW) is the United States military designation for a sub-family of the FN Minimi squad automatic weapon (from Mini-mitrailleuse French: mini-machine gun. Both are 5. ... The RPK (Ruchnoy pulemyot Kalashnikova, Russian: Ручной пулемёт Калашникова) is the light machine gun that replaced the RPD in the role as squad automatic weapon for Soviet infantry. ... The RPD is a belt-fed machine gun formerly manufactured in the Soviet Union and in China. ... The AK-47 is the worlds most common assault rifle. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Suppressive fire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (667 words)
Suppressive fire is a term used in military science for firing weapons at or in the direction of an enemy with the primary goal of reducing their ability to defend themselves or return fire, by forcing them to remain under cover.
Suppression of enemy fire is vital during troop movement especially in tactical situations such as an attack on an enemy position.
Suppressive fire can also be delivered using other weapons such as assault rifles, but the volume and intensity of fire generated is less than that of machine guns, as the rifles overheat more rapidly and require reloading more often.
Rate of fire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (950 words)
For manually-operated weapons such as bolt-action rifles or artillery pieces, the rate of fire is governed primarily by the training of the operator or crew, within some mechanical limitations.
Good past examples of growth in rates of fire would be the enormous advantage of the Maxim MG, which provided accurate and steady, offensive or suppressive fire.
Machine guns are typically fired in short bursts rather than in long continuous streams of fire, although there are times when they must be fired in very long bursts.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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