Topic: Drill and Training
Characteristics of Light Infantry Fighting
The Operations of War; Gen. Sir Edward Bruce Hamley, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., 1922
The characteristics of Light Infantry fighting may be briefly described.
1. The men must be accustomed to work at any interval and in any formation that may be ordered.
2. Accuracy and regularity, except in maintaining the direction and a rough general line, are not demanded.
3. The section will be the unit of command, but it will work in due co-operation with the remainder of the company, and the company will keep touch with the battalion.
4. The section will be divided into two sub-sections or groups, and every group will endeavour to render support to those on either hand.
5. The section will move in such fashion as circumstances dictate, either by rushes, by creeping up, in quick time, or at the double. It is often desirable that a few men should creep up at a time.
6. In moving either to front or rear every man will endeavour, without crowding his comrades, to expose himself as little as possible to the enemy's fire.
7. Every man, when ordered to halt, must make the best use of cover that he finds before him.
8. Whenever independent fire is ordered every man, as a rule, will choose his own target.
9. The men must be accustomed to the intermixture of sections, companies, battalions.
10. They must be trained to observe and report on the movements of the enemy, thus using their intelligence to assist their section leader.
11. The men should be trained to concentrate rapidly at any point the section leader may indicate. If there is some spot to the front whence the section, while sheltered itself, can bring an effective fire to bear upon the enemy's lines, a rush will be made for it.
12. They should be trained to extend as they leave cover, even when rushing from one shelter to another.
13. They must be taught that when their leaders are down, or when the tactical unity of their companies and sections has become dissolved, that they are to go on fighting, maintaining their ground or pushing forward as the case may be, but always seeking to combine with others, and to use their rifles to the best effect.