How to Clear a House (Vietnam, 1968)

h.  The assault party is divided into 2 groups, the searching party and the covering party. The covering party protects and aids the advance of the searching party. The searching party provides covering fires and protection for the covering party as it displaces. The searching party enters and clears all buildings that the unit is responsible for clearing. i.  Prior to entering buildings or rooms of buildings, which are believed to contain enemy, a grenade is thrown in a window or door or some other opening in the building. j.  A searching team is normally composed of at least two…
Continue Reading »

“Attack!” (the Soviet way) (1943)

From a radio talk to Red Army men at Stalingrad by Lieutenant General V. I. Chuikov, Commander, 62nd Soviet Army: LET YOUR attack be a headlong one.  Get to the enemy in one leap.  In open spaces where the enemy is target-firing, you must make short runs singly, jump up in a trice and forward like an arrow.  It is important to give the Germans no time to take aim; run for two or three seconds and then drop like a stone to the ground.  Crawl unnoticed from the spot where you dropped, to the side, and when you get…
Continue Reading »
Op-Ed

World War II Ended Again Today

Just had a message from Germany saying an old friend died today, aged 85. His death marks another ending to the world’s greatest and most terrible war. He used to tell a terrific story about the comic horror of his own brief wartime experience. His story says a lot about the terrifying question that war asks each of us. I want to tell it to you. Nearly at the war’s end, his entire school class of fourteen-year old boys was hauled before a visiting Wehrmacht recruiting officer to be drafted into the Hitler Youth. They were to be armed and…
Continue Reading »

Today is June 6 and So What?

It’s June 6 and no one’s noticed. I see nothing about the date in newspapers or on TV or the net. Seventy-one years ago this day marked the beginning of the end of the colossal world war against fascism and imperialism, the Second World War. We Americans fought in that war beside Allies who, like us, knew that to lose the war was to lose everything we had and maybe everything we hoped for ourselves. We fought for our lives against two gigantic evils, fascism in Europe and imperialism in the Pacific. Against enemies who were better prepared for war,…
Continue Reading »
WW2

Getting Artillery Right (1944)

It is unnecessary to tell an experienced foot-slogging dog-face how important artillery support is to him when he needs it.  When he runs up against a Jerry strongpoint that is too tough to crack with infantry weapons the proper thing to do is yell for artillery.  He's got to be sure, however, that the target he sees is worth tossing a lot of cannonballs at because cannonballs are the only reserve the artillery has and they cost sweat and blood.  A single Heinie sunning himself on an Eyetie mule and cart is not worth an artillery concentration.  There will most…
Continue Reading »
VN

Moving Out!

Here’s one of those great photos some of us were too chicken to snap when the RPGs came whizzing over the foxhole, and forget about being up there running around with cans of ammo: "MOVING OUT—Lance Cpl T. J. Gledhill dashes from position to position, passing out ammunition to his men during an enemy attack at Fire Support Base Russell. Gledhill is a squad leader in the 1st Bn., Fourth Marines. (Official USMC Photo by Cpl. J. G. McCullough)." Source:  Force Information Office, III Marine Amphibious Force, Military Assistance Command Vietnam (undated, probably 1968).
Continue Reading »
WW1

De-gassing the Trenches (1918)

METHOD OF USING CANVAS TRENCH FANS 86. (a) CLEARING fan blade is placed on the ground with the brace side downwards, the man using it being in a slightly crouching position with the left foot advanced, the right hand grasping the handle at the neck and the left hand near the butt end.  The fan is brought up quickly over the right shoulder, and then smartly flicked to the ground.  This drives a current of air along the earth and, on the top strokes, throws the gas out of the trench.  The part of the fan blade nearest the handle…
Continue Reading »
VN

The Tet Surprise (1968)

The year 1968 began with a stream of intelligence reports on the enemy's imminent Winter-Spring campaign which bore all the signs of a major offensive. Despite the telltale signs, both the and RVN commands were still speculating on the probability of the enemy campaign, and neither was certain when it would take place or if it would even be conducted. No evidence obtained so far had ever pointed clearly toward the inevitability. As early as 19 October 1967, the enemy had announced he would observe a 7-day truce on the Tet occasion. This was the longest truce ever proposed by…
Continue Reading »
WW1

Attack by Moonlight (1918)

COMPANY “L,” SIXTEENTH INFANTRY IN THE AISNE-MARNE OFFENSIVE JULY 18-25, 1918 (Personal Experience)   MAJOR FRED M. LOGAN, INFANTRY First Division                Again the silent, determined columns moved forward—but, now, with an animated resolution of purpose which could not be denied—even by all Germanic resources which had held the upper hand against the world for four years. Down into the ravine of Coeuvres midst an intensive artillery counterpreparation methodically and instantly placed by the thorough opponent; past high-walled gardens, whose walls were crumbling under the intensity of the heavy shelling; over the little stream, so full of…
Continue Reading »
VN

Ambush on the Dak Po (1969)

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY Headquarters I Field Force Vietnam APO San Francisco 96350 19 November 1969 After Action Interview Report Ambush at the Dak Po 21-22 January 1969 Binh Dinh Province, RVN, grid coordinates BR 337461. Company A, 1st Battalion (Mech), 50th Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade. 8…. a. Route 19, which runs from Pleiku City in the Central Highlands to Qui Nhon on the South China Sea, is one of the most important supply routes in II Corps Tactical Zone. Its location has seen the defeats of the French Mobile Group 100 in 1954 and the successes of the 1st…
Continue Reading »
WW2

The Chaos of Victory

Clip:  "In the week following the Emperor's order to cease hostilities, planes on photo-reconnaissance missions over Japan were twice attacked by enemy interceptors.  On 17 August, four B-32s were attacked over Tokyo by an estimated 10 Japanese fighters, of which two were probably destroyed and a third damaged. The same day, three other photo planes over Yokosuka and Miyakonojo were met by antiaircraft fire. On the 18th, two unescorted reconnoitering B-32s over Tokyo were attacked by 14 enemy fighters. An aerial photographer in one plane was killed, two of the crew were wounded, and both planes were heavily damaged. Our…
Continue Reading »

Tank Raid for Corned-Beef

OPERATIONS OF THE WESTERN DETACHMENT 1ST BRIGADE, TANK CORPS (US) SEPTEMBER 26 - OCTOBER 11, 1918. (PERSONAL EXPERIENCE) By Captain Thomas C. Brown ...As we left the forest and started east we seemed to be passing through all of the machine guns and anti-tank guns that had been kicked out of Montblainville.  They peppered us from all sides with their small stuff, adding a big "wham" every so often from their wicked 16mm anti-tank gun.  This gun was very effective and would penetrate tank armor very easily with a normal impact.  The fact that the gun was about as dangerous…
Continue Reading »
WW1

1928

Source:  A Comparative Study of World War Casualties from Gas and Other Weapons, Col. H. L. Gilchrist, Medical Corps, Army, USGPO
Continue Reading »