Topic: Drill and Training
Assault Training (1917)
British Tactical Notes, Edited and Prepared at the War College, Washington, December, 1917
Principles of Training
To teach the soldier to apply on the battle field the lessons he has learned on the training ground is the essence and aim of all training.
It is by continued concentration only that any form of train ing can be so impressed as to become second nature.
If such training has been adequate, the soldier in moments of excitement and tension will automatically apply what he has learned.
Vitality of mind and body is essential to prevent staleness and monotony. Without vitality training is of little value.
All work should be done in short, sharp bursts and be as intense as possible.
3. The Offensive Spirit.
Every form of battle training must be founded on the offensive spirit.
The chief duty and thought of all should be to kill as many of the enemy as possible, and during periods of training the aggressive spirit and the desire to kill should be impressed on all ranks.
No pains should be spared by instructors to cultivate this spirit and to emphasize its importance in a vivid manner.
All training devices, such as dummy figures or targets for bullets, bomb, or bayonet, should be regarded as representing a real enemy whom it is the soldier's duty to kill in as expeditious a manner as possible with the weapon most suited to the purpose.
4. Bullet and Bayonet.
The bullet and the bayonet belong to the same parent, the rifle, which is still the deciding factor on the battle field. One must work with the other.
It is the spirit of the bayonet that captures the position, and of the bullet that holds it.
The bullet also shatters the counter attack and kills outside bayonet distance.
Bayonet training and musketry training are therefore complementary to one another and must be taught as one subject.
The bomb is valuable for clearing small lengths of trench and for close fighting after a trench has been stormed. It is, however, a weapon quite secondary to the rifle and the bayonet.
5. Fire and Movement.
Fire and movement are inseparable in the attack. Ground is gained by a body of troops advancing while supported by the fire of another body of troops.
This principle of fire and movement should be known to all ranks, and the one object of every advance, namely, to close with the enemy, shoujd be emphasized on all occasions.
6. Assault Training.
Assault training may be divided into three stages:
First stage.— The training of the individual soldier in the combination of rifle fire and bayonet work-in the assault and countercharge.
Second stage.— The training of the individual soldier in bullet, bayonet, and bomb with the idea of teaching him to use the weapon appropriate to the situation in which he may find him self.
Third stage.— The collective training of the platoon or company in the employment of all infantry weapons by means of a tactical exercise.