From The Japanese
by C. Burnett
Night Movements is essential for the study
of counter-insurgency and clandestine activities. Truly
a collector's item, this rare translation of the original
(1913) Japanese military text is generally regarded as the
finest study of night fighting ever written. The following
topics are thoroughly covered:
The Psychology of fighting at night
Achieving silence in night movements
How to dress and develop your night
Training in hearing at night
Training in techniques for night fighting
Secret techniques for night patrols
Use of weapons at night
Night fighting and battles
And much, much more.
The original manual was used to train snipers,
scouts, and saboteurs in World War II. After the war, it
became one of the many classic manuals used by insurgents
in many parts of the world.
The importance of night movements and night
attacks in the military operations of the present day is
so generally recognized, that any discussion on that point
would be more than superfluous. That the Japanese army,
from the standpoint of practical experience, is best qualified
to discuss such operations, would seem to follow as a matter
also beyond discussion. For this reason it occurred to me
that the translation of this work of a Japanese officer
who was a company commander during the Japanese-Russian
War, might, and I venture to say, does contain much that
will be of interest and profit to our own service.
Night movements are admittedly among the most
difficult operations of war; the margin between victory
and defeat is so small that it is a difficult matter to
say to just what comparatively trivial reason success or
failure may be due. Such being the case, it naturally follows
that minute and painstaking training is absolutely necessary
if success can be even hoped for. Military writers on this
subject have usually recognized that fact, but their treatment
of the matter has consisted so largely of vague generalities
that they are not of much assistance to Captain Jones in
the training of his company and are absolutely useless to
Sergeant Smith in leading his squad. This work is not an
academic discussion of night movements in general, but is
full of valuable practical hints on the training of the
small units that go to make up the great military machine;
hints not evolved from the inner consciousness, but ideas
stamped in the mind by actual experiences of nights on Manchurian
Due perhaps to national characteristics, Japanese
army training of all kinds proceeds along more exact and
minute lines than is usual in our own service. While many
may consider that this work errs in that direction, it would
be well to consider carefully the necessity for such careful
training in the most delicate of all military movements.
If Private Brown has not been thoroughly trained and accustomed
to night movements, he is sure to make mistakes; multiply
him by a hundred or a thousand, and the margin of safety
for success will become rather slim, to say the least.
This work has been translated at odd times
in the press of much other work of the same general character.
For this reason there has been no time to spend on niceties
of expression or in polishing up the English; and indeed
I am not sure but that following the author's words rather
closely does not more than compensate for faulty diction.
If the meaning can be comprehended I shall be satisfied
and beg indulgence for all the things lacking.
Tokyo, Japan. October, 1913.
I. PSYCHOLOGICAL ACTION AT NIGHTTIME
Night and morbid watchfulness, night and illusions at
night, suggestion is easy; night brings out the weak points
of the individual.
II. IMPORTANT MEASURES WHICH CORRECT UNFAVORABLE PSYCHOLOGICAL
ACTION AT NIGHT
At night, especially, strict discipline is necessary;
a high morale and a firm defensive spirit; silence in
night movements; night and massed formations; night movements
and self-confidence,; night movements and self-possession.
III. HOW TO DRESS
The requirements of dress; order of dressing; peace
IV. TRAINING IN DRESSING
Occasions; orderly methods: number of times practiced.
V. NIGHT AND VISION
Importance of cultivating the vision at night; vision
at night can be improved by training; night vision-detecting
and losing sight of; night vision and objects and color
of surrounding objects; night vision and relation of light
and shadow,; relation of the seasons to night vision;
night vision and our own posture; night vision and field
VI. METHOD OF TRAINING NIGHT VISION
General principles; important points of training;
methods of training; experiments.
VII. HEARING AT NIGHT
Character of the ground and sound; kinds of covering
substances; the size of the detachment and the relative
weight of materials; weather.
VIII. TRAINING IN HEARING AT NIGHT
Important points to be considered; the march of infantry;
the march of cavalry; the march of artillery; the noise
of entrenching; methods; inferences to be drawn from sounds.
IX. QUIET MARCH AT NIGHT
Importance; important cautions in a night march.
X. TRAINING IN QUIET MARCHES AT NIGHT
Dress; order of training; method of carrying out the
above training; cautions.
XI. THE CROSSING OF ROUGH GROUND AT NIGHT
Importance of practice; summary.
XII. TRAINING IN CROSSING ROUGH GROUND AT NIGHT
Clothing; order of training.
XIII. DETERMINATION OF DIRECTION AT NIGHT
Importance; methods of determining direction; by fixed
stars: by the moon,; by the map; by compass; other methods.
XIV. TRAINING IN DETERMINING DIRECTION
How to find the north star and how to use it.
XV. METHOD OF MAKING A LIGHT AT NIGHT
Importance; manner of making a light; individual training.
XVI. CONNECTION AND CONNECTING FILES AT NIGHT
Methods; by sound; by signals; connecting files; messengers;
XVII. NIGHT FIRING
Cautions for individuals.
XVIII. TRAINING IN NIGHT FIRING
Horizontal firing and posture; method and order of
training; formation; opportunities for training; methods.
XIX. NIGHT BAYONET EXERCISES
Importance of such drill; cautions in the use of the
bayonet at night.
XX. TRAINING IN NIGHT BAYONET FENCING
Scope of training; method of training; against dummy
figures; fundamental training.
XXI. NIGHT ENTRENCHING
Importance; important points in training.
XXII. TRAINING IN NIGHT ENTRENCHING
XXIII. METHODS OF RECOGNIZING FRIENDLY TROOPS AT NIGHT
Importance; methods of recognition; disadvantages
of speech; suitable methods of recognition.
XXIV. NIGHT DEMOLITION WORK
Training; requisites for demolition work,; important
principles of demolition work; methods of training.
XXV. METHODS OF USING HAND GRENADES AT NIGHT
XXVI. NIGHT SENTINEL Training; position of sentinels; posture;
reconnaissance; challenging ; firing; reports; connection;
friendly patrols; reliefs,.
XXVII TRAINING OF NIGHT SENTINELS
Amount of light; terrain; sentinels and squads; example
of such training; character of such training.
XXVIII. NIGHT PATROLS
Methods of connection; methods of maintaining direction;
methods of passing and reconnaissance of various terrain
and physical objects,; indications; reconnaissance of
the enemy's line of sentinels; night patrols and quiet;
night patrols and their roads; reconnaissance and recollection
XXIX. NIGHT HIDDEN PATROLS
Suitable characteristics; distribution; position.
XXX. TRAINING OF NIGHT PATROLS
Training and terrain; methods of training.
XXXI. MOVEMENTS OF A DETACHMENT AT NIGHT
Leadership at night; to accustom troops to change
of formation at night; individual cautions in movements
XXXII. TRAINING IN SQUAD MOVEMENTS AT NIGHT
Orders; night movements and strictness.
XXXIII. A SQUAD's NIGHT FIRING
When carried out; important points in the preparation
for night firing; method of firing; collective and individual
XXXIV. METHOD OF TRAINING IN SQUAD FIRING AT NIGHT
Orders and methods of training.
XXXV. SQUAD NIGHT ENTRENCHMENTS
Method of tracing; methods relative to the line of
trace; cautions for individual soldiers and execution
of work,; method of filling sandbags and entrenchments
in which used.
XXXVI. METHOD OF TRAINING IN NIGHT ENTRENCHING
XXXVII. TRAINING AND METHOD OF PASSING OBSTACLES AT NIGHT
Importance of passing obstacles by detachment; cautions
for the Commanding Officer with respect to obstacles;
cautions for soldiers when crossing obstacles.
XXXVIII. NIGHT MARCHES AND TRAINING
Occasions when night marches are essential,; cautions
for staff officers, cautions for individual soldiers;
articles carried by officers.
XXXIX. NIGHT BATTLES-
(A) THE OFFENSIVECause of success in night attacks; cause
of non-success in night attacks, cautions in night movements
(General regulations ); the Commanding Officers and
soldiers in night attacks; characteristics of night
attacks; method of night attacks night attacks and arms
of the service; the point of attack at night; reconnaissance
and plans; hour for night attack; position when beginning
a night attack; night orders or instructions; distribution
and formation for night attacks; the advance to the
attack; night attacks and firing; preparations against
the enemy's changes of disposition; the night charge;
movements after a successful charge; pursuit after a
(B) THE DEFENSIVE Psychological disadvantages; action
of the defense at night; steps taken when anticipating
the enemy's night attack; the defender's night battle
steps when the defender has driven off the enemy,
TRAINING IN NIGHT MOVEMENTS
ACTUAL EXPERIENCES IN WAR
I. PSYCHOLOGICAL ACTION AT
From an educational standpoint, a thorough
knowledge of psychological processes at night is a most
important matter, because the weightiest considerations
in night movements are mental ones. Therefore, I will explain
this matter at the very beginning.
Having seen a thing with my own eyes, I can
form my judgment concerning it; by knowing that there is
no danger to my own body, I will becalm. On account of my
being calm, there will be no uncertainty; on account of
there being no uncertainty, all things, necessarily, will
be clear. In order that there may be that clearness, a broad
field of view and a clear understanding of facts are necessary.
However, at nighttime, a person is not able to see his surroundings;
accordingly it is only natural that there should be uncertainty.
One cannot know when there will be danger in the darkness
just a little ways ahead. In such cases there is a feeling
of apprehension, of doubt and uncertainty, and finally there
is extremely cautious watchfulness and fear. In short, at
nighttime, the mind is agitated and excited.
Night and Morbid Watchfulness. Attention
is the term applied to a condition of affairs when the consciousness
is concentrated on certain substances or certain ideas.
At night, as the field of view is very limited, great attention
must be paid to the multitude of surrounding objects; if
this is not done, one will quickly fall into danger. In
the presence of the enemy, how much more must the amount
of watchfulness, on account of its relation to life and
death, give rise to the greatest of care-and one becomes
unable to distinguish between fact and fancy. As a result
of too much care and concentration, what has hitherto been
imagination almost ceases to be such, and approaches reality.
The imagination is so vivid that unreal things seem real.
Night and Illusions. At night, illusion
is easy; there are various kinds of such illusions, as:
Confusion which arises from an error
of the senses.
An illusion which forms a mistaken impression
through not having made a proper impression on the senses.
An illusion arising entirely from confusion
At nighttime, illusions very often arise.
For example, white clothes hanging on willow trees, or white
flags in a cemetery, become ghosts; an old rope in the grass
seems a snake; tall pillars, or bundles of Manchurian millet,
an enemy, etc.
In the presence of the enemy, such illusions
At Night, Suggestion is Easy. Whenever
the mind is agitated, the nerves also become keen. Insignificant
causes, also, have the power to suggest things quickly.
These suggestions are of various kinds-imitative, inductive,
synchronic, etc. On account of such suggestions, confusion,
mistakes, false reports, etc., in one detachment, will extend
quickly to the entire body. On this account there are not
a few examples where a single soldier at nighttime, who
fancied that he saw an enemy, quickly gave the whole force
the impression that there was, in reality, an enemy present.
Again, if one person unexpectedly lays down, or halts, those
accompanying him, not understanding the reason for his action,
in their uncertainty, do the same. Did not such a thing
cause the rout of the Heishi clan at Fushigawa?
At first, probably hearing the noise of a
flying bird and thinking it was the enemy, the movement
or cry of a single man extended to the whole army. During
the Japanese-Russian War, a detachment of the Russian army
in a seacoast fortification was thrown into disorder on
account of one or two men in front crying out that there
was a night attack, thereby causing the whole force to fall
Night Brings out the Weak Points of the
Individual. A state of uncertainty at night gives rise
to the idea of danger; from this there develops a state
of fear. Mankind, in crowds, has an excessive mental action.
That is, a crowd is conscious of vast power; hence, certain
movements, though difficult for the individual, will be
bravely carried out by several men together. While one man
is fearful and uncertain, a number of men together, will
enter into the movement almost without consideration. Therefore,
at night, although one man, alone, will be afraid, several
together will show no indecision whatever. This fact should
be borne in mind in all night movements.
In the matter of mental phenomena, the man
who has weak points in the daytime will be spurred on by
vanity, love of fame, or perhaps by a self-denying spirit;
but when night comes, on account of the lack or the slackness
of supervision of his officers and comrades, the individual
weakness will quickly show. It is not a good thing to leave
the individual without supervision at night, neither is
it a good thing to place him in such circumstances as will
bring out these weaknesses.
II. IMPORTANT MEASURES WHICH
CORRECT UNFAVORABLE PSYCHOLOGICAL ACTION AT NIGHT.
Although nighttime has the disadvantages mentioned
above, there will be times when it will be absolutely necessary
to employ soldiers individually. It is, therefore, necessary
to train them so that the evils due to fits of characteristic
weaknesses will never arise.
At Night, Especially, Strict Discipline
is Necessary. Nighttime is the touchstone which determines
the value of an army. As supervision is difficult, strict
discipline is necessary. The greatest influence of discipline
is to repress the weaknesses which grow out of individuality,
and to prevent the expression of those weaknesses. An army
which does not have good discipline at night, will completely
fall to pieces. If the individual is allowed to follow his
own desires, an army is ruined. Therefore, successful night
operations demand the strictest discipline; it is such discipline
that spurs night operations to success.
A High Morale and a Firm Offensive Spirit.
Mental agitation depends upon the state of morale. If
the morale be high, there will be no such agitation; therefore,
the evils, i. e., the mental phenomena previously described,
will not arise. In general, a negative mind always acts
unfavorably; therefore, in the case of individuals whose
morale is low and who are negative in principle, the following
psychological action will arise:
A morbid watchfulness.
Weak points of individual character.
Therefore, a high morale is necessarily required
to successfully overcome such weaknesses. As a matter of
fact, a high morale is the foundation of successful night
operations. A person with a high morale does not stand by
passively, but acts, perhaps unconsciously, in a positive
Silence in Night Movements. Silence
causes an agitated mind to become cool; on the contrary,
disorder causes more confusion. Although, at times, it is
both a material and abstract advantage to powerfully excite
a man in order to drive him toward a certain objective,
the importance of maintaining silence at night, must not
be lost sight of. There are, naturally, two reasons for
In order not to be discovered by the
In order to avoid falling into confusion,
At night, as it is impossible to discriminate
by sight, judgment must be formed from the sounds heard.
However, in what way will an ordinary sound which arises
in one detachment, be transmitted to others, especially
in the case of those detachments who hear this disquieting
sound and already believe themselves in danger?
Therefore, at night, in order not to be discovered
by the enemy, as well as to prevent falling into disorder,
yourself, it is absolutely necessary to remain quiet.
Night and Massed Formation. On account
of its large numbers, great things can be accomplished with
a massed force; for the self-consciousness of great strength
causes great energy. At night, a large massed force destroys
those individual characteristics, the various evils of which
I have already clearly explained. On account of the difficulty
of leadership, communication and contact, confusion and
separation are easy. From a psychological standpoint, as
well, it is advantageous to avoid the distribution of columns,
and to use the close columns instead. A brave, determined
advance is of special importance in night movements.
Night Movements and Self-confidence. Self
-confidence is the foundation of bravery; it is the requisite
of a high morale. If one wishes to obtain self-confidence,
there must be no indecision; in order that there may be
no indecision, there must be no obscurity. Therefore it
follows that conditions should be clearly understood, and
that we become rich in experience. That is the reason why
thoroughness of reconnaissance, observation, and training
are particularly necessary for night movements. If the state
of the enemy as well as the terrain be well known, and if
the troops be well trained in night movements, there will
be no indecision, and the movement can be carried out by
methods and means which may be deemed best. A thing carried
out in the belief that success is certain, will be carried
out in a recklessly brave manner; that is the reason for
the necessity of self confidence at night.
Night Movements and Self-possession. At
night, one cannot tell at what distance or at what time
there will be personal danger. If the enemy be heard, the
danger seems the same whether he be a hundred, or only ten
paces away. Therefore, a person of negative spirit feels
the enemy pressing upon him, even though in reality, he
is far away; and an imaginary enemy becomes the same as
a real one. Therefore, in order not to make rash and disorderly
movements, causes must be judged cooly.
III. HOW TO DRESS.
The Requirements of Dress.-Dress must
conform to the following requirements:
To carry out these requirements, training
is necessary. It is a bad thing to attach too great weight
to speed at first, and make light of propriety and reliability.
Therefore, at first, the following requirements must be
- Do not demand useless rapidity, but rather coolness.
- Proper arrangement.
- As far as possible, quietness should be preserved. The
necessary things should be taken from their fixed places
only when about to be put on, so as to avoid confusion.
Coolness - More haste, less speed.
If one be confused, he will mistake the proper order or
forget important things, and sometimes it will be necessary
to change what has already been put on.
Order - Order is the shortest road,
and if followed, there will be nothing forgotten. However
hurried one may be, it is important not to curtail or change
the order; therefore, it is necessary to plan carefully,
the most suitable order of procedure-a practical impossibility
for one without experience. For these reasons, it is a good
thing to fix a suitable order of procedure, and carry it
Quietness - At night, quietness is
very necessary, especially in the proximity of the enemy.
Therefore, it is important, in time of peace, to demand
quietness, and to carry out such a training that there will
be no talking or noise. If the soldier has had this training,
it is an easy thing to remain quiet. If he has not, it is
a very difficult matter. While a sudden demand for quiet
is no hardship upon persons accustomed to it, it is most
irksome to those who are not so accustomed to it.
Order of Dressing - In order that dressing
may progress smoothly, a proper order is necessary. In this
order, it is important that mind and hand follow natural
movements. The following example of correct procedure is
from my own experience:
Clothing, shoes and leggings will be
worn and put on in the following order: socks, trousers,
leggings, blouse, cap.
Hang haversack and water bottle over
Place the required articles in the knapsack,
roll the overcoat; attach tools, spare shoes, and mess
tin to the knapsack, and put it on.
Take the rifle in the hand (at this time,
take off the muzzle cover and place it in its prescribed
Although there are times when this order will
not be adhered to, and it will be necessary to arrange the
clothing so as to take rifle and ammunition first, the habit
of handling these articles in their proper order in time
of peace is most necessary.
Peace Time Preparations-Preparedness
- During peace time, weapons, clothing and equipment are
naturally arranged in a prescribed place in barracks. Each
article should be so arranged that the soldier will put
his hand on it naturally, even in the darkness, or in emergencies.
On account of the articles being in a fixed place, the soldier
often does not realize the advantage of being able to grasp
them readily. If the difficulty of searching for obscure
articles in the dark be considered, one must realize the
great advantage of being able to reach them naturally and
easily. Accordingly, while resting on the march, in camp,
billet, or bivouac, articles will always be arranged in
an orderly manner, so that they may be seized quickly and
IV. TRAINING IN DRESSING.
Occasions -This training should be
carried out at the same time as the ordinary day training.
There are two opportunities for this:
At the time of changing the daytime course
It can be carried out especially as a
drill in dressing.
In the first instance, have the men dress
in a fixed place, with each article in a special place.
It is important to employ the time so as not to encroach
upon time allotted to other drills.
Orderly Methods - In the second instance,
the following points are important:
A comprehension of the method of dressing.
While explaining this in barracks, or in a fixed position,
give a signal by a whistle, and say: "Now put on such
and such a thing." While assistants instruct and inspect
the men, teach them the basic principles of what they
Make them dress, unexpectedly, in daytime.
Explain the method of dressing at night.
Make them dress, unexpectedly, at night.
By such a method of training, the objective
may be attained. At this time, without fail, coolness, order
and quiet must be maintained. At first, pay no attention
to the time consumed; after a little while, demand more
speed, and finally have the movement executed at the rate
Number of Times Practiced - Whenever
an army is accustomed to a certain manner of dressing in
its daily life, the dressing is not a difficult matter.
On that account, time is not specially allotted for such
training but practice will be had whenever there is a good
opportunity. However, the following important principles
must not be forgotten:
To guard against negligence.
To review the methods of dressing.
For this reason, it should be practiced every
month or so, and whenever the men become careless about
V. NIGHT AND VISION.
Importance of Cultivating the Vision at
Night - At night, one is able to see according to the
degree of darkness. The amount of vision also differs naturally
and it is important to know the amount under various circumstances.
Especially is this true under circumstances where the judgment
cannot be formed by hearing, i. e., in rainy weather, or
under other noisy conditions, where vision, though insufficient,
is superior to hearing. Therefore, the training of the eye
at night is a most important matter, as, to a certain degree,
it can be strengthened by experience and practice. In the
JapaneseRussian War, the judgment by sight of soldiers accustomed
to the terrain and to night movements, was surprisingly
good, and was entirely due to experience.
Vision at Night Can Be Improved by Training
- One accustomed to night movements, compared to one not
so accustomed, is much more able to form correct judgments
by sight; for experience sharpens the nerves and increases
the faculty of attention. From indications, from methods
of comparison, together with other assisting factors, one's
judgment soon becomes accurate.
Night Vision-Detecting and Losing Sight
of -Vision at night differs in degree, also, according
to the concentration of attention; in this connection, the
following principles are from my own experience:
When you follow with your eyes a thing
once discovered, you will be able to see it for a long
The distance at which you first discover
an object, is less than the distance where you loose sight
of it. Therefore, at night, when you lose sight of an
object you have once discovered, it is difficult to find
it a second time. When you follow it with your eye vision
is easy, and the distance at which the object is visible
becomes much greater, especially if there are supplementary
indications. In such a case a thing liable to be unnoticed,
will be seen by the observer.
Night Vision and Objects, and the Color
of Surrounding Objects - The color of the dress has
great bearing on vision; and I have learned the following
facts from my own observation:
On a-dark night a white coat can be seen
farther than a black one.
When there is moonlight, often a black
coat can be seen farther than a white one.
In any case, a light brown or mouse color
can be seen a long distance.
A black color against a black background
is more difficult to see than white; the latter against
white surroundings is more difficult than black.
From these facts, the importance of bearing
in mind the color of surrounding objects when fixing the
kind of dress, or determining one's movements, is apparent.
Night Vision and Relations of Light and
Shadow - Night vision differs greatly according to one's
position relative to a luminous body and. shadow:
When a luminous body, such as the moon,
is faced, vision is decreased.
When the light is behind, vision is increased.
When a luminous body is overhead, the
mean of increase and decrease is the same.
Even though facing the light, if it does
not strike the eyes directly, it injures vision but little.
One can see when looking from darkness
into light, but not when looking from light into darkness.
While holding the light yourself, only
your own surroundings can be seen.
When a light is behind an object, the
latter's outlines are clearly visible.
A black object or a moving object covered
by shadow, is difficult to see.
Small objects seem far away, and large
ones seem near.
Bright objects appear near, and obscure
ones far away.
The above facts teach one that, when covered
by dark objects, or when moving in the shadow, to look at
the bright side from the dark as much as possible, and not
have the light directly in front.
Relation of the Seasons to Night Vision.
In level, open country, the field of
view is extensive.
In close country, the opposite is true.
Accordingly, from late in the autumn until
the beginning of spring, on account of the grass having
withered and the leaves fallen the field of view is extensive.
From late in the spring until early autumn on account of
the luxuriant grass and trees, the field of view is restricted.
During the Manchurian winter (in level country), the field
of view is greater than in Japan. In mountainous localities,
trees are few, compared to Japan, and the field of view
is correspondingly greater.
Night Vision and our own Posture.-In
looking at objects which have ground objects in their rear,
a standing posture is advisable; without such objects in
rear, a low posture is best. Therefore, to avoid being seen,
take a low posture; if moving, keep physical objects in
your rear. Even though such objects be distant, they will
be of great assistance.
Night Vision and Field Glasses.-Whenever
there is light at night from moon or stars, and at twilight
and dawn, field glasses will double the power of vision.
However, as the glasses narrow the field of view, it is
dangerous to depend upon them, except to confirm a thing
already seen, or when the locality in which the object to
be seen, will appear and move, is fixed.
VI. METHOD OF TRAINING NIGHT
General Principles.-In this training,
have the men learn thoroughly the preceding principles.
After they have become somewhat experienced, teach them
the subject of relative vision under all kinds of circumstances.
This will give them a suitable standard of judgment; and
it is most necessary that the soldier have various kinds
of experiences, so that he may learn how to act when alone.
Important Points of Training --
The execution of movements at night,
without reference to the amount of light. In this case,
the following training is suggested for the vision:
(a) A single soldier moving quietly,
first toward the soldier under instruction, and second
away from him. The reason for the quiet movement is
to prevent any assistance from sound, thus training
the soldier in relative vision.
(b) A single moving soldier allowing
some noise, such as the noise of the bayonet scabbard,
water in the canteen, footsteps, etc., first toward
the man under instruction, and second a-way from him.
(c) A single soldier in different
colored clothing, both toward and away from the
man under instruction.
(d) After a little while, increase
the number of soldiers and have them move under
the following conditions: 1. Quietly; 2. Under
ordinary conditions; 3. With different colored
clothing; Toward the one under instruction (discovery),
and away from him (losing sight of).
(e) With a squad under
the same conditions as paragraph (d).
Taking the light into consideration.
(a) With the light (moon, lantern, etc.),
above and in the rear.
(b) With the light at a high place
in the front.
(c) With the light in rear of the
object to be seen.
(d) When the object to be
seen bears the light.
(e) When the man under
instruction bears the light.
(f) When the object
to be seen is on the sky-line, and when
(g) Movements in the
(h) The relation
between one hidden by an object
and one covered by a shadow.
The above practice should be carried out,
first, quietly; second, under ordinary conditions; third,
with different colored uniforms.
Methods of Training - When the number
of soldiers under instruction is small, one instructor supervises
the instruction in one squad; if the number be large, there
will be assistant instructors in charge of each squad. The
instruction of all squads will be carried out at the same
time, taking care that they be so placed so as not to interfere
with each other.
For example, place a squad at A. From this
squad send one man (later several men) in the direction
B. When he is about to disappear from view, halt him and
estimate the distance. Again, based on these principles,
send one man (later, several) outside the field of view,
in the direction B. with instructions to advance toward
A. When he enters the field of view, halt him and estimate
Try these experiments just mentioned in the
following cases and make each man judge distance, etc.,
for himself, first, quietly; second, under ordinary conditions
(singly, several men, squad); third, with different colored
Experiments - When this kind of training
is finished cultivate the understanding and power of judgment
by movements at will over various kinds of terrain and under
varying conditions of weather, darkness, etc. Teach them
to utilize trees, light, terrain, etc., the instructors
correcting and criticizing the movements. For example, form
the men into a squad, and have other soldiers, from a considerable
distance outside the limit of vision, move toward the squad,
making use of light, terrain, shadows, etc., as already
explained. The squad will watch and criticize the movements,
the instructor also adding his criticism. Suitable occasions
for teaching the relations of terrain, natural objects,
weather, luminous bodies, etc.
VII. HEARING AT NIGHT.
At night, on account of the difficulty of
vision, the ears must be trained to listen attentively,
and with judgment; the military objective must be attained
by a combination of sight and hearing. Even when you cannot
approach an -object close enough to see it. In many cases,
the terrain and the state of the enemy will enable you to
accomplish your object by hearing. Again, in many cases,
hearing enables one to judge of the proximity of the enemy,
and of his movements. Therefore the scope of practical use
of hearing at night is very extensive; and it is important
that the hearing be well trained so that one may be able
to guess all indications coming from sounds, and at the
same time so plan his own movements so as not to furnish
the enemy with such indications. On that account, it is
necessary to have a criterion by which indications may be
judged, and a self-consciousness by which one can regulate
his own movements.
The Character of the Ground and Sounds.
If the ground be hard, the echo is loud.
If the ground be soft, there is but little
That is, if the ground be hard, the noise
is sharp; if soft, it is dull.
Kinds of Covering Substances and Sound
- Noise varies according to the kind of covering substance;
therefore it is very necessary to know the relative amount
of sound when walking over various kinds of ground.
The Size of a Detachment and the Relative
Weight of Materials - If a detachment be large, it causes
a corresponding amount of noise; and can be heard at a distance;
if it be small, the noise is small. If the materials be
heavy, the noise carries a great distance, and if they be
light, the contrary is true. These relations are coexistent
with those of the character of the ground.
Rain and snow
(a) When rain is falling there are great
differences in hearing, depending upon the degree of
(b) When snow is falling, the amount
of obstruction to noise, compared to rain, is small.
When passing over snow, it varies according to the
degree of freezing.
(a) When there is no wind, conditions
are excellent for hearing, as sound is not at all obstructed.
(b) When the wind is blowing, conditions
are favorable for hearing sounds which occur in the
direction from which the wind is blowing, and noises
can be heard at a long distance. Opposite conditions
produce exactly opposite results.
(c) Wind blowing in one's ears is
disadvantageous, as the noise interferes with hearing.
Time of night
At dead of night, surrounding noises
can be heard better than at twilight or dawn.
Relation of physical object
In level open country, which has no
trees, buildings, etc., to interfere with the transmission
of sound, noises travel far.
Relation of seasons
In the winter, not only is the ground
frozen, but the leaves of plants, trees, etc., are fallen,
the grass is withered and dead, and the crops cut and
gathered; therefore, sounds travel especially far.
VIII TRAINING IN HEARING
Important Points to be Considered -
In the following training, have the men understand clearly
the relations of the manner of walking, numbers and. clothing,
to the sound produced; then extend the training as follows:
The march of infantry.
(a) A quiet advance.
(b) Quick time not in steps (single
soldier, several men, squad with and without arms,
in different kinds of weather and over different kinds
(c) Quick time in step, under same
conditions as (b).
(d) Double time.
March of cavalry.
This should be carried out whenever
there is a good opportunity, conformable to the above
March of artillery.
To be carried out as in (1).
The noise of entrenching.
(a) The noise of digging with a pick.
(b) The noise of driving a shovel
strongly into the ground.
(c) The noise of pushing a spade
into various kinds of ground.
(d) The noise of a squad carrying
on the work freely
Methods - The apportionment of squads
according to the number of men, is the same as previously
For example, have the necessary number of
men advance from the squad at A, in the direction of B.
Having faced the squad at A to the rear, have them listen
to the noise of entrenching at B; when they can no longer
hear it, halt the squad at B, and estimate the distance.
Again, have a squad at B, approach the squad at A; when
the latter can hear the noise, have them estimate the distance.
This training should be carried out with a varying number
of men, and under varying conditions of ground and weather.
By such means, each man, individually, will learn the proper
pace and manner of advance; the noise of working, also,
will teach them how to use their tools with a minimum of
noise. The following exercises, also, are important: The
entrenching of a squad (of so many men) at what distance
can it be heard, (a) in quiet weather, (b) when the wind
is favorable, (c) when wind is unfavorable, etc.
Inferences to be drawn from Sound -
To state it briefly, one who is accustomed to noticing sounds
at night, is able to form his judgment of the causes by
using the various inferences that may be drawn from such
sounds. For this reason, such basic instruction is very
necessary for soldiers; this instruction, also, will give
them a basis for the guidance of their own movements. For
this purpose, it is important to take advantage of every
opportunity for instruction in comparing the causes which
give rise to the sounds, to the sounds themselves, as for
example, the march of a detachment, cavalry, wagons, etc.
When well trained in this, the soldier will be able to guess
the direction of march, the approximate position with reference
to himself, distance, etc. If no good opportunities for
such training present themselves, while moving on the many
roads, or in their vicinity, listen to all the sounds which
arise on the road and practice estimating their causes,
direction, distance, etc.
It is very necessary to be able to judge by
hearing, the noise of the enemy's artillery entering a position,
and the entrenching of infantry. The Japanese-Russian War
taught us the necessity of often changing our positions
to conform to those of the enemy made during the night;
and our only way of determining those movements was from
the noise of batteries going into position, entrenching,
IX. QUIET MARCH AT NIGHT.
Importance - A quiet march is not only
important for the purpose of taking the enemy unawares,
but, at the same time, it prevents confusion in our own
ranks. A quiet night march demands absolute silence and
a' suitable pace. In the Japanese-Russian War, although
it was difficult for large bodies to move without the noise
of marching, the advantage of quiet movements was indisputably
shown. There are many cases in which an absolutely quiet
march is demanded of individuals, such as patrols, outposts,
etc.; such training should be borne in mind when these men
become units of a larger force.
Important Cautions in a Night March.
1. Care as to clothing.
It is important that there be no noise from
the clothing and equipments; this should be true at double
time as well as at quick time. To carry this into effect,
the following points must be especially borne in mind:
(a) That there shall be no noise from the ammunition
in the ammunition boxes.
(b) That no noise arises from the movements of the bayonet
(c) The belt must be kept tight without fail.
(d) That the contents of the haversack make no noise.
(e) When the overcoat is worn, the skirt must be fastened
2. Individual precautions.
(a) When coughing cannot be prevented,
cover the mouth with the coat sleeve.
(b) Be careful to hold the rifle so that it will not
strike the ground.
(c) See that no noise arises from the rifle sling and
3. A detachment.
(a) Each soldier will take care not
to bump into his neighbor.
(b) There will be no talking between adjacent files.
(c) Each soldier will take care not to make it necessary
to leave ranks (for lost clothing, equipment, etc.).
4. Manner of walking.
(a) In short grass, raise the feet high.
(b) In long grass, keep the feet low.
(c) In climbing a hill, plant the toe first.
(d) In descending a hill, plant the heel first. (e)
Don't stumble or fall down.
(a) In-line, conform to the movements
of the soldier on the right or left; in column, on the
soldier in front.
(b) Don't hang the head; if this is done, connection
will surely be lost.
(c) Don't leave ranks, or halt unnecessarily.
(d) At a halt, close up, but do not bump against the
man in front.
(e) Listen to signals, commands, etc., and be sure not
to mistake them.
X. TRAINING IN QUIET MARCHES
Dress - At first, the training should
be without arms, proceeding step by step until fully armed
and equipped. During this time, the men must study how to
prevent any noise arising from any part of their dress or
Order of Training - General explanations
will be made to the men on the ground where the quiet night
march is to be made. After indicating the manner of walking,
each soldier will be made to practice it under the supervision
of an officer, who will explain the principles involved.
When these principles have been understood, the number of
men will be gradually increased, and the principles of the
quiet march, individually, and by squad, will be taught.
Method of Carrying Out the Above Training
- This training will be carried out at the same time and
with the same formations as the training for hearing.
Cautions - Although a quiet night march
is very important, it must not be allowed to injure the
offensive spirit. A quiet movement never means a spiritless
one, and it must be made clearly evident that minute care
never means hesitation. In a quiet night march all noise
will be prohibited, and each man must take care not to cause
confusion to the entire command by his individual mistakes
XI. THE CROSSING OF ROUGH
GROUND AT NIGHT.
Importance of Practice - At night,
the different ground objects differ in aspect from the daytime.
Objects, which in the day are no great obstacle, become
formidable at night. Open level country which can be easily
crossed at night, cannot be expected in practice; accordingly,
the crossing of rough ground, orderly, quickly and exactly,
without confusion and without delay, is a very important
thing for an army. If proper training be had, such a movement
is not very difficult; training insures a minimum of fatigue
As falling down often follows a stumble,
care must be taken not to stumble. Even after stumbling,
one is not liable to fall down unless leaning forward;
therefore, that tendency must be avoided.
As falling down is sometimes unavoidable,
the following precautions must not be neglected:
(a) Arrange clothing, equipment, etc.,
so that there will be nothing lost or broken; special
care must be taken not to lose the hat.
(b) Not to drop or break the rifle.
(c) Not to talk or make any noise.
The method of carrying the rifle varies
with the ground and ground objects; in a forest, etc.,
it is a good thing to carry it in the hand, taking proper
care not to cause any danger to the rank in front.
If, while in a squad, the soldier only
pays attention to what is underneath his feet, the following
disadvantages must occur:
(a) The march will be delayed.
(b) Collision in front and rear.
(c) Loss of connection.
When obstacles are encountered, they
will be passed in accordance with the principles laid
down under that subject.
XII. TRAINING IN CROSSING
ROUGH GROUND AT NIGHT.
Clothing - In these movements, care
in the matter of dress is especially important. If untrained
men are made to carry arms from the very first, not only
will the rifles get broken, but the men will sustain personal
injuries as well. Therefore, if practicable, dummy guns
should be substituted for the service rifles in the early
stages of the training; this training should be carried
out in the following order:
(a) Without arms.
(b) With dummy rifles.
(c) With service rifles.
(d) With full equipment.
At the very first, the training should
be individual, allowing an abundance of time for the execution
of the movement; at this time the principles should be
Proceed, in a short time, by squad; at
first, from column of fours in single rank extending to
double and quadruple ranks, and in line as well. At times,
have a simple change of direction or formation executed.
The change of direction by squad to the right or left
is simple, and will be of practical use; it is important,
also, to teach, practically, such important movements
as the change of formation from column to line, line to
column, company column to line, etc.
When well trained in these movements,
require them to be made silently. Even though the passage
of uneven ground is a difficult matter, repeated practice
makes it comparatively easy. During the JapaneseRussian
War, the greater part of those who fell down during such
movements were newly arrived reservists.
XIII. DETERMINATION OF
DIRECTION AT NIGHT.
Its Importance - That the determination
of direction, day or night, is important, is clearly evident.
Especially at night, it is easy to mistake directions, and
it is difficult to discover the mistake quickly. If the
direction is once mistaken, the execution of one's mission
is practically impossible; therefore, the quick determination
of direction, at any time, is a most important matter.
Methods of Determining Direction -
By fixed Stars:
Direction can be determined by the position
of the greater number of fixed stars, especially by the
north star. Accordingly, on a clear night, the direction
can be accurately fixed by this star. The north star is
a fixed star in the tail of the Little Bear constellation.
It is on the prolongation of the line b-a, which connects
two stars of the Great Bear constellation, and at about
five times the distance between these
two stars. On one flank of the Little Bear constellation,
which is opposite the Great Bear, is a collection
of stars in the shape of a cross, called Anteus.*
Anteus always moves, maintaining this relation with
the north star at the center. Therefore, when these
stars are seen, the recognition of the north star
is easy, and the north can be fixed.
*The constellation shown in the cut
and noted in the text as "Anteus" is the well known
one of "Cassiopeia." It is in the form of an irregular
letter "W" instead of being in the shape of a cross
as stated above.-Translator.
Method by the moon. Although it is difficult
to determine direction by the position of the moon, the
latter has the advantage of being recognizable even on
nights when all the stars cannot be seen. The moon crosses
the meridian about noon on the first lunar day, and it
moves about fifty minutes behind the sun every day. Therefore,
if the age of the moon be known, the approximate passing
of the meridian can be easily computed. Its approximate
age can be computed from the shape of its bright portion.
Method by a map. A map indicates directions
in a general way, by its outlines. Either the upper portion
is north, or the direction is indicated. Therefore, if
the map can be oriented upon the actual ground, direction
can be easily determined. Even though such an orientation
is difficult at night, the general directions can be fixed
from memory, or from the direction of roads, mountains
or rivers. If there be a compass it can be done simply
Method by compass. The blue end of the
needle generally indicates the north. In a dense fog,
snow storm, or in the darkness within a forest, in all
cases when a mark is difficult to see, there is no way
as certain as the compass.
Other methods. The condition of trees,
the position of the windows in houses in cold countries,
the direction of prevailing winds of a locality, the position
of wind shelters, wind mills, etc., all aid in determining
XIV. TRAINING IN DETERMINING
How to Find the North Star and How to Use
it - In locating the north star, the instructor first
points it out to each soldier. Next, he explains its relations
to the previously described constellations. At another time,
he will take the same men away from barracks, and have them
individually, locate the star. Practice will soon enable them
to look up and discover it quickly. When once discovered,
it fixes the north, and the other directions easily follow.
Next, using this star as a guide, order the men to move in
any required direction, by such commands, as: "Move southeast;
northwest; etc. " When they can do this accurately, they have
learned how to use the star.
Method by Looking at the Compass - When
examining a compass, except on a moonlight night, a light
must be made, and each soldier requires practice on that point.
XV. METHOD OF MAKING
A LIGHT AT NIGHT.
Its Importance - In any case, it is important that the
light should not be visible to the enemy, either directly or
from its reflection on trees, etc.; therefore, the following
principles must be observed:
(a) That the light does not leak out directly.
(b) That it is not reflected by any object.
Manner of Making a Light - From the
preceding principles, we see that the proper way to make
a light, is to take advantage of the configuration of the
ground, the various physical objects, etc. The following
If there are any trees in the vicinity,
make the light behind them using the body also to shelter
Use embankments, houses, stone walls,
etc., in the same way.
When there are no such covering objects,
proceed as follows:
(a) Two men clasp arms together, their
backs toward the enemy; using their bodies as a shelter,
hold the cap near the ground, and make a light in the
(b) Use the cape of the overcoat as
a shelter for the light.
(c) One man alone, will squat down
on the ground, and make a light between his legs,
the ground, and the upper part of his body.
(d) Light the tobacco (Japanese),
in the pipe quickly; blow it, and examine the
object (watch compass, etc.)
Individual Training - After the above
basic methods are understood, each man will be made to carry
matches, and lights will be made singly or in groups, and
then inspected. For example, have the men under instruction
advance the necessary distance in front of the squad A;
at that place, have them make a light so that it will not
be visible from A. If a light be seen, have the one who
made it do it over and instruct him carefully.
This Method is a Common Sense One -
As this method is a common sense one, much instruction will
not be necessary. It will be sufficient, to test the memory
at times. Thoughtful soldiers will do this, properly, even
XVI. CONNECTION AND CONNECTING
FILES AT NIGHT.
I. Method by sound.
On a dark night, a luminous medium is necessary
in maintaining connection by sight. Accordingly, when conditions
forbid the use of a light, sound must be depended upon and
preconcerted signals are required. For example:
(a) Sound made by striking the rifle butt.
(b) Use of the whistle.
(c) In addition, various methods suitable to the conditions.
When such signals become complicated, their
usefulness is destroyed; they must therefore, be very simple.
(a) Signal for attention.
(b) Signal for announcing one's position.
(c) Signal when the enemy, or something suspicious is
(d) Signals for advance, retreat, summoning, etc.
These signals may be fixed by the tone of
the whistle, or by the number of blows struck on the rifle
butt. In this instruction, have the assistant instructors,
at first, give these signals to the recruits; and then have
the signals agreed upon carried out within the squad of
recruits under the supervision of the instructors.
2. Method of connection by signals.
Methods of communication on a large scale
by revolving or flashing lights, etc., are very important,
but we shall only discuss the simpler methods here.
(a) Beacon lights.
(d) Bull's-eye lantern.
(e) White cloth.
During the Japanese-Russian War, beacon
lights were frequently used, especially by the Russians.
Lanterns, straw, or some combustible material was tied on
the end of poles, which were erected at necessary places
(oil was used if there was any on hand). On account of the
nature of the work, it was usually performed by officers,
as it was found dangerous to entrust it to enlisted men.
Matches cannot be used for connection, except
in the very simplest cases. For example, they can only be
used for the advance or retreat of patrols, or for the transmission
of very important single signals.
By a rope match, comparatively many signals
can be transmitted, as for example:
(a) The round one has a certain meaning.
(b) The flat one has a certain meaning.
(c) The vertical one has a certain meaning.
In addition, by various complicated vibrations,
many different signals can be transmitted. The distances
at which this rope match is visible are fixed by experiments,
and each soldier must be taught the effective distance.
Dark lanterns can be used at short distances
in flashing messages. Though the distance of transmission
varies with the strength of the flame, it can, under many
conditions, reach a comparatively great distance. When accustomed
to this method of transmission, it will be found very convenient
for outpost duty, and it has the further advantage of being
concealed from the enemy. During the Japanese-Russian War,
the author made one Out of an empty vegetable can. Each
squad was supplied with one of these cans, and they proved
of great value.
3. Connecting files.
Even though the movement of connecting files
at night are similar to those in the day time, the amount
of difficulty varies greatly. Accordingly, training under
varying conditions is necessary. The terrain, state of the
roads, conditions of the hour, etc., have a great influence.
This work must be carried out accurately in the following
(a) In a longitudinal direction, at a halt
and when connecting moving bodies.
(b) In a horizontal direction under similar conditions.
The proper performance of the duties of night
messengers is very difficult, because at night time, on
account of losing directions, mistaking roads, together
with the mental state of doubt and fear of the messenger,
there are many times when their movement is stopped, or
their objective not carried out. The progress in the use
of the telephone, telegraph, and other methods of transmission,
has not rendered the training of messengers useless.
5. Methods by which messengers may advance.
(b) By rushes, from object to object.
(c) Moving along a prominent extended physical object
(as river, mountain, forest, etc.).
(d) In a certain fixed direction (by compass, etc.).
(e) By a mark, light, etc.,
The method by roads is very safe if the
roads are prominent, and there is no danger of losing the
way. Such roads as those of China which connect village
with village, are very uncertain and it was very easy to
get lost. When traveling on a road, the following precautions
Care and discrimination in the forks of
Marks or signs at important places.
Pay attention to physical objects on the
road, or at the side of the road.
Other unusual relations.
The relation between the gradual change
in the direction of a road and the forks of a road.
The manner in which a road enters or leaves
For example, in sending an orderly from B to A, give him
directions about the road he is to follow, in this manner:
"Move from B toward A; at the three forks in the road
near an umbrella shaped pine tree, take the right road;
after crossing a bridge, you will hear the noise of a
water-wheel; continuing on this road, you will see a village
on the left, -which you will be able to pick out from
its fire-tower, and A is but about five minutes walk beyond,
etc." (See sketch p. 50).
The method of advancing by rushes from object to object,
was used in crossing the Manchurian rice fields in. winter,
and in crossing ground where there were no roads. Such
conditions forced us to adopt the above method.
Cautions respecting the above method:
(a) After entering the physical object (woods, etc.),
do not mistake the direction on exit. (b) If possible
to pass around the flank of the object, it is preferable
to going through it. (c) The interior of villages and
woods are important, but it is best not to enter them,
except when clearly advantageous to do so; roads in the
interior of a village are complicated, and it is often
easy to lose direction.
When there is no map, memorize beforehand the names of
the villages in order, as it will facilitate communication
with the inhabitants of those villages. When advancing
in an unknown country, you will be able to take proper
road to the next village even though the natives could
not tell you the road to the destination of the day's
march. Whenever there are no natives, or you cannot communicate
with them, it is difficult to advance without a map. In
such cases, objects or marks previously noted in the daytime
must be depended upon, but it is a most difficult matter,
Method by moving along a prominent extended
object (river, woods, etc.).
For example, in going from A to B, when the road is indistinct
and cannot be used, follow along the stream which flows
in the direction A-B. In important cases, the messenger
will go down to the stream to verify the road. (See sketch
By this method, or by the direction of mountain ranges,
rice-fields, ravines, etc., the general direction can
be kept, but great obstacles will frequently be encountered,
which only determination and boldness will conquer.
A messenger's looking forward and backward,
and memory. A messenger must always pay attention to the
following things with reference to the road traversed,
or physical objects passed on the way:
(a) Look back at the physical objects
which he passes and at other things which will serve
as marks, committing them all to memory.
(b) Memorize physical objects which
are at important points (so that he will be able to
recognize those points upon arrival there).
(c) In the daytime, think of the
night; memorize the marks, and at the same time,
judge how the shadows will appear at night. (Remember
that projecting trees will not be visible at night,
as they will be covered by objects in rear.).
(d) Establish special recognizing
1. White cloth., white paper,
etc., in branches of trees.
2. Special guiding trees.
3. Scatter paper, white
powder, or other easily recognizable substances
along the road.
Cautions for all Connecting Files.
(a) Avoid the double time for connecting
purposes. It is not only noisy, but there is the danger
of falling down as well.
(b) The amount of sound required when reporting and
for connection purposes will vary according to the conditions
which obtain at the time.
(c) Connecting files of a column, upon arriving at a
fork in the road, must not lose touch with the column~in
rear or lose sight of the detachment in front. At such
times, paper or white powder will be scattered (See
chapter relating to night marches).
(d) The position of connecting files should be such
that they can see our own forces, and be seen by them.
(e) They must make the transmission of messages quick
10. Method by relays.
(a) Long distance relays-written and
(b) Short relays-written and verbal messages.
The method by relays is frequently carried
out in war time, and it is therefore necessary that all
soldiers be well trained in this work. In the training for
long distance relays, it is very important to begin with
very simple methods, gradually working up to difficult conditions.
For example, place soldiers as indicated above;
from the position of the instructor at A, give verbal orders
and messages to No. 1 in the vicinity of the instructor,
and cause the message to be transmitted to Nos. 2, 3, etc.,
to the last post, who transmits it to the instructor. This
exercise can be carried out during other drills, or while
on the march.
In short relays, also, it will be found profitable
to begin the training as described above. Whenever necessary,
the message will be transmitted in a low tone from one soldier
to another. Practice may be carried out during night maneuvers,
or on the march.
XVII. NIGHT FIRING.
Night firing must not be carried out unnecessarily;
however, if conditions are such that it can be carried out
accurately and without danger, it is permissible. Night
firing by squad is most effective in volley firing by command;
but it is important that training in individual fire, also,
be carried out, as that kind of firing must be used at point
Cautions for Individuals when Firing.
At night, keep cool and obey the commands
of your leader.
Night firing is usually too high; therefore,
take care not to incline the upper part of the body to
the rear, or raise the muzzle of the rifle above the horizontal.
In firing at night, it is a good thing
to release the trigger by one pressure of the finger,
instead of the usual method.
- Never get excited after firing; keep cool.
When firing is stopped, turn the safety
XVIII. TRAINING IN NIGHT
Horizontal Firing and Posture.-The
kneeling position is most suitable for horizontal firing;
when aiming, raise the buttock from the right heel and hold
the rifle as in the standing position. This method of aiming
is suitable to all kinds of terrain, and can be done in
double rank as well as in single rank.
Method and Order of Training - This
training may carried out as follows:
(a) Train each soldier to hold his rifle
(b) By such training he will soon be able to hold it so,
The following points are essential:
(a) One soldier must not interfere with another.
(b) It must be convenient for supervision by an officer.
In line with one pace interval fulfills both these requirements.
This drill trains the muscles to work involuntarily; and
daytime will be found most convenient for training and supervision.
- Opportunity for training.
Daytime is best for this training, on account of its convenience
for observation and instruction.
Have each soldier close his eyes and level his rifle, according
to the principles that have been explained to him. After
the rifle has been brought against the cheek, the soldier
will open his eyes and examine it. Next have this movement
executed by squad by command, just as in pointing and aiming
drill. When this movement is well understood, order the
men to close their eyes, and, while in that condition, put
up a target and have them carry out horizontal fire against
XIX. NIGHT BAYONET EXERCISES.
Importance of Such Drill - A night
battle is a hand to hand fight in which the bayonet must
be used; therefore, the bayonet is the one cause of success
in night attacks. When well trained in such fighting, it
raises self-confidence, increases bravery, and drives away
Cautions in the Use of the Bayonet at Night.
At night, on account of an excessive
watchfulness there is a tendency to misjudge the proximity
of the enemy, and to dash upon him with the determination
to overthrow him with the body alone, without making use
of the bayonet.
Make the men understand that they can
overthrow the enemy only after they have first put away
all thought of their own lives.
At the time of the attack and charge,
it is important not to stumble and fall; in order to avoid
this, care must be exercised in placing the feet on the
Care will be exercised in the dress, and
in the handling of dummy guns, etc.
An accurate and rigid posture is necessary
in executing this movement in the prescribed manner
During training, the following points
will be observed:
(a) Be cool, and do not make any sound
(b) High morale and overflowing spirits
(c) Cultivate an aggressive spirit.
XX. TRAINING IN NIGHT BAYONET
Scope of Training
- In night training in bayonet fencing,
it will not be necessary to carry out all the movements given
in the Fencing Manual, because at nighttime, it is important
to overthrow the enemy in the first charge by a vigorous and
violent offensive, in which skillful dexterity is no great
necessity. Therefore, the following training will be found
(a) Direct thrust against temporary targets.
(b) Fundamental drill.
When these two things are taught sufficiently,
the requirements of a night bayonet attack can be fulfilled.
Method of Training.
Against dummy figures.
Each soldier will be made to charge
against a hypothetical enemy (as used in Russia), or
against a white cloth, or figure of a man carried by
the instructor. At first the figure will be in a fixed
position, but later, the soldier will charge seeking
the target and not knowing its position beforehand.
As the training progresses, make surprise targets of
white cloth, dummy figures, targets, etc., and at suitable
times, have them appear suddenly before the soldier.
In this training, the instructor-Non-commissioned
officer, or First Class Private-wears defensive armor,
and if necessary, face armor as well. The soldiers under
instruction wear fencing gloves only, or the regulation
clothing. The instructor calls out a name, and the soldier
charges several times, being relieved in turn. At this
time the soldier must be taught not to fear the instructor's
bayonet, but he must be made to approach very close
to the instructor. Try to make the exercise as realistic
as possible. On moonlight nights, this exercise will
conform to that of the daytime, but the best way to
take advantage of the light can be studied.
XXI. NIGHT ENTRENCHING.
Importance - The construction of fortifications,
on the offensive or defensive, in the day or night, is a
most important matter. Even though prevented in daytime
by the pressure of battle, the night will bring an opportunity
for entrenching. Accordingly it follows, that, in many cases
in actual warfare, entrenchments are constructed in front
of the enemy at night. For this reason training in night
entrenching is most necessary. While such work is comparatively
easy on a moonlight night, it is a very difficult thing
on a dark night.
Night entrenching and Important Point in
Each man marks out his own section, and
begins digging from close by his feet.
Care will be taken to connect the individual
It is easy to make the trench to narrow;
therefore caution is enjoined in this respect.
Be careful that the excavated earth is
not thrown too far or too near; each man will watch the
way he throws the dirt and apply his strength accordingly.
In using the shovel and the spade, much
noise is caused if the dirt be allowed to fall from an
unnecessary height; therefore the strength should be applied
when the shovel is near the ground.
Each man's section should be large enough
to prevent his being struck by his neighbor's tools.
If discovered by the enemy's search lights,
do not become confused; simply lie down.
If attacked by the enemy, do not throw
the tools away; either put them in the place where the
rifles were left, or in some other fixed position.
Do not use the pick unless necessary,
as this too] requires a wide frontage.
Do not scrape tools together in order
to clean off the dirt; use a chip of wood or the toe of
Cautions regarding reliefs:
(a) At the time of relief, entrenching
tools will be handed to the relief without any talking.
(b) Care will be taken that no vacant
spaces are left between the workmen.
(c) The working place should not
be left, except upon arrival of the relief. Each
man will carry his rifle.
(d) Whenever unavoidable, leave
the tools sticking up in the ground where they
can be easily found.
In order to prevent losing them, it is a
good thing to tie a piece of cloth on the handle.
XXII. TRAINING IN NIGHT
Methods.- To carry out this training,
march the squad on a dark night, to the training ground.
First, have the men dig individually, and explain to them
how it differs from the work in the daytime. Next, place
two or more men side by side, indicate each one's sector,
and have each one execute his prescribed portion. If possible
to do so, it will be found advantageous for the men to see,
in the day, the result of their night labors. At this time,
too, they must be taught the differences in sound resulting
from the differences in the character of ground and the
Cautions.- In this training, the following
points should be especially noted:
At nighttime, do not have idle soldiers
looking on at the work.
Take only a small squad at a time, as
it is impossible to oversee, properly, the work of a large
In addition to their own work, have the
men listen to the noise of others working, thus cultivating
their judgment as to distance, number of men working,
Don't limit the work to nighttime only.
Make the men understand what is required by work in rainy
and snowy weather, when such work is difficult.
Carry out this work as often as possible,
so that they will become accustomed to it.
Method by Using Sand Bags.-(See detachment
XXIII. METHODS OF RECOGNIZING
FRIENDLY TROOPS AT NIGHT.
Importance.- At night time there is
danger of attacking and fighting our own forces; accordingly
the quick recognition of our own troops is most important.
If that recognition be delayed, there will be the great
danger of losing the initiative.
Methods of Recognition:
(a) Different words from those in daily
(a) Different from that in daily use.
(b) Special distinguishing marks.
Words and clothing in daily use are not
sufficient to rely upon in war time. During the JapaneseRussian
War, the Russians frequently wore our uniform, or Chinese
clothing, and used our speech.
Disadvantages of Speech.- At night,
the one who speaks first, is at a disadvantage. In the old
days of sword and spear fighting, there was no particular
danger in speech, unless very close together; but today,
one who is believed to be an enemy, is quickly killed by
Suitable Methods of Recognition.- As
stated above when there is a difference of language and
uniform, that is a suitable method for quick recognition;
but it is most important to gain the initiative. In order
to prevent the enemy from gaining the initiative, such methods
as striking the rifle stock, signals by whistle, etc., may
be used, these methods being applicable to any country.
However, on a very dark night, especially in a confused
bayonet fight, such methods are not sufficient; accordingly,
the men must wear some special distinguishing* mark, which
can be readily identified. In this case the distinguishing
marks must be recognizable along the whole front, and, if
possible, should be worn so as not to be visible to the
XXIV. NIGHT DEMOLITION
Training.- When a position for assaulting
is taken, the position of the enemy must be reconnoitered.
Having made certain of the presence of obstacles in front
of the enemy and their position and character, they must
be destroyed before the charge. Engineer troops are most
suitable for this work, but infantry, as well, must be able
to open their own road. This demolition is a very difficult
matter, especially in the case of independent infantry,
not supplied with explosives. Therefore thorough training
in peace time is most necessary.
Requisites for Demolition Work.
(a) Brave men who do not fear death.
(b) Quick, clever men.
(c) Cool men.
Even though possessed of the above characteristics,
if they do not take advantage of a good opportunity, success
is uncertain. It is the duty of officers to watch for good
Important Principles of Demolition Work.-
Of course the point to be demolished must conform to
the tactical requirements, and must be such a place that,
having been broken, troops can enter instantly. The space
demolished should be wide enough for a column of fours to
pass through. Sufficient preparation should be made for
this demolition, and its execution must be rapid. The obstacle
should be approached, as far as possible, without the knowledge
of the enemy; when this is impossible, it must be demolished
under the protection of friendly troops. Several places
should be selected for demolition so that there will be
a good prospect of success somewhere.
Methods of Training.- This work is
engineering work, and the men should be trained in it first
in the daytime. After they thoroughly understand its requirements,
the work will be carried on at night. While of course it
is desirable that all men should have this training, on
account of its difficult nature, it will be found sufficient
to train only a selected number.
XXV. METHODS OF USING HAND
GRENADES AT NIGHT.
Hand grenades have become more important than
ever on account of their practical use in the JapaneseRussian
War; in future wars, their use will become more and more
general. Even though there will be but few instances where
great training will be required in their use, if they are
not used properly success is impossible and they will only
serve to alarm the enemy. Therefore each soldier will be
trained in their use, at least to the extent of becoming
brave enough to carry them without hesitation. On account
of their danger, soldiers will first be accustomed to them
in the daytime; then later, at nighttime, they will throw
them at targets made of lanterns or lights. Whenever there
are but few hand grenades, small packages of the same weight
will be constructed; to these will be attached the same
weight of throwing rope, and thus the effort necessary for
throwing the grenades can be ascertained. Soldiers will
thus learn the amount of effort necessary for various distances.
The hurling of hand grenades is the prelude of the charge;
if the charge comes too long after the shock of the grenades,
success is most uncertain; the enemy's works must be penetrated
immediately after the hand grenades are thrown.
XXVI. NIGHT SENTINELS.
Training. - Sentinels will be trained
in the daytime as well as at night. At night, he must be
able to move under any condition that may arise during that
time.This training should be begun only after the soldier
understands clearly the essential points of the relations
between sound and vision, the determination of direction,
silent night marches etc.
Night, and Position of Sentinels.- (See
chapter on sight and hearing).
Even though possessed of the above characteristics,
if they do not take advantage of a good opportunity, success
is uncertain. It is the duty of officers to watch for good
A position with a broad field of view.
A position with no obstruction to the
field of view.
A position where hearing is not interfered
A position not visible to the enemy,
but convenient for our own view. For example:
(a) To keep open ground in front.
(b) To avoid a windy locality, or
one where there are water-wheels, etc.
(c) At night, to be in the shadow
of a tree with the moonlight behind.
(d) A position from which the
sky-line is visible is advantageous, even on a
(e) A position where you can
be seen a long distance against the sky-line,
(f) A position which is known
to the natives is disadvantageous.
(g) To be always in a fixed
position is disadvantageous.
(h) Terrain which prevents
the enemy from attacking suddenly is advantageous.
Along the Shaho river in Manchuria, a sentinel
in a fixed position was frequently surprised by the enemy,
and there were many instances of such surprise caused by
the fact that the natives knew the sentinel's position.
When in the daytime position at A, the sentinel
can see well in the enemy's direction, but at night, such
a position can be easily seen by the enemy; therefore the
sentinel's post should be changed to B, from which place
an enemy appearing at A can be easily discovered. The sentinel's
position should be chosen from the most suitable ones in
the vicinity, and the sentinel, himself, should improve
his post in accordance with previously mentioned requirements.
To stand carelessly with the rifle in the
hand, naturally invites danger. This caution is especially
important to men on such duties as sentinel on outpost,
etc., which is the first line of defense of an army at the
Night Sentinels and Posture.- The posture
of sentinels will be laid down in instructions. In fixing
the posture, the relation of the ground and physical objects
must be borne in mind. At night, the following points will
be especially noted:
(a) The posture should be lower than
objects which are in rear.
(b) Avoid a posture visible on the sky-line.
(c) Other points are the same as in daytime.
Night Sentinels and Reconnaissance.-
The principles of night reconnaissance depend upon the
(a) Follow along physical objects as
much as possible, keeping the body low, and holding
the breath; you will thus be able to hear any noise.
(b) Try to see objects on the sky-line.
(c) Bear in mind the relation between physical objects
(trees, etc.) and the moon; take care that there is
no enemy concealed in the shadow.
(d) Form your judgment of conditions from the sounds
(e) Don't move unnecessarily.
A Sentinel's Challenge at Night.- Our
preparation at night must be in accordance with the movements
of the enemy. Signals, countersigns, etc., will not be used
unnecessarily. It is important that we should know, first,
something about the enemy. At this time, the sentinel's
posture will be in accordance with the following requirements:
(a) When able to fire make preparations
for so doing; if fired at by the enemy, take such a posture
that you will not be hit, i. e., lie down.
(b) When there is no other course than the use of the bayonet,
try to overthrow the enemy by one blow; care should be taken
not to be surprised.
In short, challenge quickly, and do not allow
the enemy to obtain the initiative.
Night Sentinels and Firing.- Sentinels
should be careful about firing, even in the daytime; how
much more is this true at night! Such firing must conform
to the following conditions:
(a) When danger is pressing, and there is
no time to return with a report.
(b) Whenever necessary for the sentinel's own safety.
(c) Whenever certain of hitting the enemy's patrols, etc.
(d) Whenever the enemy's returning patrol already knows
the sentinel's position, and the latter is able to fire
We have already explained why sentinels should
not fire unnecessarily at night. From experiences in actual
warfare, it has been found that when a sentinel remains
silent at his post, he gradually becomes excited, and fear
and illusions fill his mind. Trees seem enemies, and naturally,
firing soon follows.
During the Japanese-Russian War, when in contact
with the enemy, the latter frequently attacked our sentinels
in the following manner:
For example, some of the enemy's patrols about
dusk, persistently operated in the direction B. Even at
night they did not leave, but gradually approached closer
in the darkness, just as if they were going to charge our
post, and finally opened fire. Our sentinels, being diverted
by this, returned the fire. The enemy's detachment at C,
locating the post by the flash and noise of firing, charged
suddenly from C.
Sentinels confronting the enemy are in practically
the same situation as in fortress warfare. Vigilance, of
course, should be stricter than on the march; but there
are many examples which show that the sentinel's firing
guides the enemy and enables him to approach closely.
Night Sentinels and Reports.- Night
sentinels, when making reports, will pay special attention
to the following points:
(a) At the time of moving not to make
any noise or cast any shadows.
(b) Not to move at the double time unless absolutely necessary,
nor make any noise.
(c) The report will be made in a low voice, just mutually
(d) At the time of the report (made to visiting patrols
or others), not to let the enemy take advantage of it,
or, if the enemy knows that one man has gone back to the
rear to report, not to allow that fact to be taken advantage
(e) Not to mistake direction (when moving).
Night Sentinels and Connection.- A sentinel should
be well acquainted with the neighboring posts, as there
must be mutual connection in the line of sentinels. Therefore
a sentinel should know the following things with reference
to neighboring sentinels:
(a) The position and number of neighboring
posts, both day and night.
(b) The shortest route to those posts.
(c) The difference in day and night methods of communication
whether by movement or by sight.
(d) Movements and actions of a post when there is an emergency
at a neighboring post.
A clear knowledge of conditions at neighboring
posts is essential for the accurate execution of a post's
own duties. During the Japanese-Russian War, many sentinels
fell into the hands of the enemy while trying to connect
with neighboring posts, not knowing that the
latter had changed their positions. Again,
often the enemy would appear in front of one post and open
a violent fire, just as if they were about to attack it;
while a hidden detachment attacked a neighboring post and
took the sentinels prisoners. The following are the results
of our experiences during the late war, concerning the communication
Visual signaling; observation.
Flags and other signals.
At night, lanterns. (When behind high
ground, simple signals can be sent by disappearing
Movements made by a moving sentinel.
(a) From one point to another.
(b) Advancing from both sides and
meeting at a certain point.
(c) By a third person (visiting
During connection by a moving sentinel,
there is a likelihood that the sentinel will be taken prisoner
by the secret approach of the enemy, or that he-will fall
into some danger; therefore, sufficient quiet and caution
Even though there is danger in always taking
the same road, that danger must be disregarded if there
is a good road within the line of sentinels. If the sentinel
passes by way of the picket, quick communication can be
made, but the space intervening cannot be patrolled while
connection is being made.
Night Sentinels and Friendly Patrols.-
When friendly patrols are about to cross the line of
sentinels, the latter should be well trained in the proper
procedure. The principal points are as follows:
(a) There must be a spirit of cooperation
between patrol and sentinel.
(b) The sentinel must not be lazy or careless in his duties.
On this point, the following precautions
(a) The sentinel will inform the patrol
concerning what he has seen or heard about the enemy,
and all things that the patrol ought to know
(b) The sentinel must understand the configuration of
ground, physical objects, and names of localities in front,
so that he can explain them to the patrol.
(c) It is important that the sentinel know the patrol's
duties, its road, objective of reconnaissance, the time
and place of return, etc.
When a patrol is about to cross the line of sentinels
and advance toward the enemy, the sentinel must not inform
the patrol concerning the above mentioned points in a
careless or perfunctory manner. The sentinel should regard
the patrol as his partner, who is moving out to obtain
information, and should do all in his power to assist
the patrol in the proper performance of its duties. On
this account, a sentinel, knowing that a patrol is out
in front, will be able to judge the importance of rifle
shots and other indications that he may hear. When the
patrol returns to the line of sentinels, the latter will
be informed concerning the following points:
(a) What the patrol has learned about
(b) Whether or not any unusual signs were observed by
the patrol, and, if so, what they were.
(c) Sentinels will question the patrol regarding designation
of terrain, and any other points not clearly understood.
When a patrol leaves the line of sentinels,
and advances to the front, neighboring sentinels will be
notified by moving sentinels or other means.
A patrol is able to carry out its own duty
well, by using what it has learned from the sentinel as
a basis. That is why it is important that sentinels and
patrols should work harmoniously together.
Night Sentinels and Reliefs. - Frequently
the noise made by the relief, discovers the sentinel's position
to the enemy, and this fact will be taken advantage of by
a skillful enemy. Again, if the time of relief is known,
the sentinel's position will be easily discovered.
Points which will be taught regarding reliefs:
(a) The amount of noise in transmitting
general orders (if the sentinel knows them at the picket,
or assembly place in rear, it is not necessary to repeat
them every time).
(b) Cautions at time of transmission-matters relative
to watchfulness, etc.
(c) Movements of new guard to sentinel's post.
(d) Their posture after arrival.
(e) Return of old guard and their subsequent movements.
At the time of transmission of orders, as
few men as possible will appear at the post. Again, it will
be found that some sentinels of the old guard will become
in attentive, due to the relaxation of their previous mental
strain-such men must be warned. New sentinels, also, on
account of the presence of old sentinels at the time of
relief, are liable to be neglectful in watching. On this
account special care must be exercised, and training is
XXVII. TRAINING OF NIGHT
Training of Sentinels and Amount of Light.-
The training of sentinels should be carried out at times
in which the amount of light varies. That is, on moon light,
starry and dark nights, with and without wind, in rainy
and snowy weather, etc.
Training of Sentinels and Terrain.- It
is important that the training of night sentinels should
be carried out in all kinds of terrain. In such varying
terrain, the power of sight and hearing can be learned,
both of which are most important for a sentinel to know.
Sentinels and Squads. - Although for
the purpose of training, the number of men in a squad should
be as few as possible, the time will be wasted if the incompetent
Non-commissioned Officers and First Class Privates are placed
in charge of the instruction. Trained men who understand
thoroughly the ideas of the instructor, should be used for
assistant instructors. Each assistant instructor will be
shown the following:
(a) The squad's sector of ground, direction
of operation, and kind of training to be carried out.
(b) Means and methods of training.
(c) Time to be employed for this purpose.
(d) Position and direction of indicated enemy.
(e) Signals for assembly, etc.
An Example of Such Training.-First have
an old soldier or an assistant instructor execute the movement,
while the men under instruction observe it (for this purpose
a moonlight night, or just at dusk, is the best time); -next,
two or three men will carry out a similar movement, then
proceed as follows:
The instructor distributes the sentinels as
in the upper sketch, and indicates the sector which they
will watch. The remainder of the men are formed in a squad
near the instructor and will form reliefs. An assistant
instructor will be stationed in the vicinity of each sentinel.
The instructor will direct his assistants to oversee the
movements of the men while engaged on a certain duty, and
to correct their mistakes. The necessary number of men will
be sent out to represent the enemy; these men, having been
given detailed instructions, will be guided by previously
arranged signals (disappearing lights, bull's-eye lanterns,
etc.). When all arrangements are completed, the instructor
will direct the represented enemy to move, and the sentinels
will oppose them. The instructor and his assistants criticize
and instruct the men in their duties; or an assistant instructor
will form a patrol of two or three men, and, when this patrol
has arrived within the vicinity of a sentinel, will instruct
the latter how to proceed. When these patrols have already
gone out in front of the line of sentinels, they approach
the sentinels as an indicated enemy. When the instruction
on this point is finished, they change to friendly patrols,
and instruct the sentinels upon that point.
Character of the Training.- The subjects
in which the men will be trained do not differ from those
in the daytime, i. e., the principal points are as follows:
(a) Selection of sentinel's position.
(b) Sentinel's memory of physical objects.
(c) Sentinel's method of watching.
(d) Action with respect to patrols which cross line of
(e) Action to be taken with respect to indications heard.
(f) Action with respect to the enemy.
(g) Method of connection.
(h) Method of reporting.
Night Patrols and Methods of Connection.-
Night patrols must be more careful than day patrols
in keeping in touch; for in the daytime, even at long distances,
connection can be maintained by sight, which, of course,
is impossible at night. Special caution is required in the
presence of the enemy, as it is then dangerous to use sound
for the purpose of connection. Accordingly, the methods
which can be used are as follows:
(a) Diminish distances so that different
subdivisions can see each other.
(b) Use of the whistle.
(c) Sounds made by striking the butt of the gun, or ammunition
The limit of communication by such methods
is very restricted; therefore, it is often convenient that
there be but one group executing a certain movement, but
care must be taken that they are not all captured by the
enemy at the same time.
Night Patrols and Methods of Maintaining
Direction. - The difficulty of maintaining direction
at night has already been mentioned; the patrol must strive
by every means to maintain direction accurately. In order
to do this, see those chapters where we have explained how
to determine direction, and the chapter treating of the
movements of connecting files.
Special cautions in various terrain are as
1. Broad plains.
Movements in such a terrain must be in accordance
with the following principles, as great errors in direction
arise from small differences in angles:
(a) Make reliable roads, or a prolonged
physical object, the standard.
(b) Reliance on prominent objects.
(c) Reliance on the stars.
(d) Use of the compass.
(e) Use of maps.
(f ) Reliance on the judgment of a well trained mind.
It is as easy to mistake directions in woods
as in open plains; often it will be so dark that no stars
will be visible. The principles laid down under "Broad Plains,"
are equally applicable to "Woods."
After entering a depression, a mistake is
often made in direction when going up again on high ground.
The following precautions are therefore important.
(a) Before entering a depression, establish
guiding points on high ground both front and rear.
(b) At the bottom of the depression, especially, make
certain of the direction in which you will ascend.
(c) If necessary, establish other directions, also.
When crossing obstacles, it is very easy to
mistake directions even though advancing straight to the
front. This is especially true when making a detour; the
following cautions will be found important:
(a) Select guiding points in front and
rear before crossing.
(b) Observe the direction of the obstacle, and calculate
its angle with your previous road.
(c) If necessary, determine the direction anew after
passing the obstacle.
Night Patrols and Method of Reconnaissance
and Passing of Various Terrain and Physical Objects.
More minute care must be exercised with respect
to woods at night than in day time. The following things,
especially, must be borne in mind:
(a) Don't enter a woods unless unavoidable;
on account of its darkness the field of view is restricted,
there is sure to be noise, and it is unfavorable for
hearing, so pass around the edge if possible.
(b) When about to enter a woods, first reconnoiter the
interior; if possible one man will advance to the edge.
(c) While in the woods, stop from time to time and listen.
(d) When the passage is difficult, even though you force
your way through, it will usually do more harm than
(e) It is important that one should always expect to
run into the enemy.
(f ) The principles already stated in previous articles
concerning direction, connection, etc., should be followed.
Villages are similar to woods, but the following
special cautions are important:
(a) It is a good thing to avoid villages,
as a patrol is liable to be molested by dogs, natives,
or hidden enemies.
(b) When about to enter a village, first
reconnoiter the interior from the outside; if nothing
unusual is seen then it may be entered.
(c) One man should advance along the edge of the village.
(d) Seize a native and question him concerning conditions;
his attitude should afford some clue to conditions. (e)
While, at times, it is advantageous to seize hostages,
it is disadvantageous to arouse hostility.
(f ) The patrol should pass along the side of the street
With respect to the maintenance of direction,
connection, etc., see those chapters devoted to those subjects.
If a defile is encountered in the neighborhood
of the enemy, act in accordance with the following principles:
(a) As there is usually a hostile sentinel
at the mouth of the defile, verify it.
(b) When about to enter, one man will be placed some distance
in rear, and will follow only when the I man preceding him
has entered safely. At this time, the patrol leader will
be in front, with one man somewhat in his rear, and the
third man still further in rear.
4. Open country.
In open country, the following principles
(a) Move with as low a posture as possible.
(b) Take as much interval as possible; in
this case, the patrol leader is in the center, and guides
both flanks of the patrol.
(c) Watch the enemy's direction, and put the ear to the
ground and listen for noises.
In order to avoid being seen by the enemy,
march on the side of the road in shadow; if you travel in
the center of the road, discovery is easy. The character
of the road surface, and its relation to the amount of noise
produced, must also be borne in mind. Therefore the patrol,
itself, should move quietly, and listen for sounds made
by the enemy.
6. Gravelly ground.
As much noise is produced while traveling
over gravelly ground, special caution is necessary. It will
be found disadvantageous for the whole patrol to move at
the same time, and halt at the same time; therefore one
man will halt, and the other two continue the advance, or
they will advance in turn, etc.
7. High ground and depression.
High ground is advantageous for vision, but
there is danger of being seen by the enemy when descending.
When the descending slope is very precipitous, quiet movement
becomes difficult; therefore, the patrol should proceed
as on gravelly ground. When climbing to high ground, the
patrol should halt at the crest line and watch and listen.
It is a good thing, too, to stop quietly and listen, before
crossing the crest line.
Night Patrols and Indications. - When
there are suspicious indications, the patrol will lie down
at once and listen. Its duty can best be performed if it
is always prepared, and discovers the enemy first; accordingly
it must avoid moving or firing rashly. As a patrol's movements
differ more or less with the nature of their duty, we will
discuss each duty separately.
(a) When entrusted with the duty of reconnoitering
the enemy's outpost line. When on such duty, if a hostile
patrol is discovered, the patrol will lie down at once and
allow it to pass. Even though there are opportunities for
taking prisoners, the patrol must not allow such side issues
to divert it from its true mission. Its action upon discovery
of the enemy's sentinels will be discussed in another place.
(b) When reconnoitering the enemy's outpost line, or the
position of detachments in rear. The patrol advances as
in the preceding case. If a hostile patrol is encountered
while on the return journey, or after the weak points of
the sentinels have been discovered, it is very important
not to make any movement which will discover its presence
and thus cause the enemy to change his dispositions. (c)
After the patrol has performed its mission, there are times
when it is advantageous to try to capture or kill the enemy.
However the patrol's prompt report must not be sacrificed
for this purpose, neither must the proper opportunity be
mistaken. A plan evolved from the prompting of curiosity
or the desire for fame, is not to be commended. No movement
should be decided upon without due consideration.
A Night Patrol's Reconnaissance of the
Enemy's Line of Sentinels.
1. Time for reconnaissance.
The most advantageous times for such reconnaissance
are as follows:
(a) At the time of the sentinel's relief.
(b) When a visiting patrol passes.
(c) When a patrol returns
(d) At the time of the arrival of connecting moving sentinels.
Such times are convenient on account of
the noise arising from the movement, and from talking. Therefore,
the reconnoitering patrol previous to this time, should
have approached the line of sentinels, and have hidden in
2. Movements going and returning.
These movements do not differ from those previously
made by the patrol against the enemy.
3. Methods of reconnaissance.
The patrol being hidden, as we have already
described, it should strive to discover the position of
one sentinel; this being used as a base will assist in the
discovery of the other posts and noncommissioned officer
posts. Having reconnoitered the intervening open ground,
the enemy's method of security can be verified, and it can
be judged whether or not it would be a good thing to enter
the line of sentinels. To accomplish this, it is a good
thing to follow directly after a passing moving sentinel
or a visiting patrol.
Night Patrols and Quiet.- Patrols will
not fire at night. If they do so, their mission will become
difficult of accomplishment, and it will be harmful to succeeding
hidden movements as well. Again, patrols will not talk from
this comes danger of discovery by the enemy. A patrol's
halting, lying down, and hiding, will be without word or
sound. There must be no double-timing, or confusion arising
from lack of coolness or fear. Only in sudden danger, when
there is no other means of escape, or as a substitute for
a quick report, may firing be employed.
Night Patrols and Their Roads.- Night
patrols will vary their roads in coming and going. If this
is not done, there is danger of encountering a hidden enemy.
If, on account of being on the return road, the service
of security be neglected or noise be made, the enemy is
liable to take advantage of it. During the late war, a patrol
opposite the Shaho river, was in the habit of resting in
a certain locality where the men would make a fire. The
enemy discovered it, and planted a bomb there. For such
reasons, it is especially important to return by a different
Night Patrols and Reconnaissance and Recollection
of Terrain.- As members of patrols will sometimes be
used as guides, they will reconnoiter the terrain with that
object in view, and their memory must be trained at the
same time. While this training is being carried out, the
following points will be borne in mind:
(a) A base for fixing direction.
(b) The aligning and recollection of places.
(c) How to pass obstacles, and points to be careful of
in so doing.
(d) The extent of the use of roads and neighboring ground.
(e) Special marks-such may be made as follows:
1. Scattering white paper.
2. Scattering white powder.
3. Breaking limbs of trees, or trees themselves.
4. Tying on white paper or white rags.
5. Establishing road marks or signs.
The principles governing the recollection
of physical objects are similar to those under the section
"Duties of Messengers."
XXIX. NIGHT HIDDEN PATROLS.
Such patrols hide in important places and
discover and report important matters; their movements,
of course, depend upon the special purpose for which they
are employed. However, under no circumstances, must they
make their appearance rashly. The duties of hidden patrols
although apparently simple, are not so in reality; success
is more and more difficult, according to the importance
of the mission. To simply order a patrol to hide at a certain
place and only vaguely indicate their other movements, is
useless. Whether it is to capture a hostile patrol, or to
simply report the approach of the enemy, or to report other
conditions (the enemy's movements, etc.), all must be indicated.
clearly and accurately. In many instances, hidden patrols
will not be called upon to perform duties which other patrols
can execute. On the other hand, there will be things difficult
for ordinary patrols-such as the recognition of the enemy's
night attack, maintenance of close contact, etc.-which must
be entrusted to hidden patrols. In such cases, if the patrol
tries to capture a hostile patrol, or if they go to the
rear to report, their position will be discovered. A hidden
patrol, accordingly almost never receives communication
or visiting patrols from other bodies.
Suitable Characteristics for Hidden Patrols.-
A hidden patrol, compared to an ordinary patrol, remains
a long time in proximity to the enemy; its members must,
therefore, possess the following qualities: Fearlessness,
coolness, patience, intelligence and quickness.
Impetuous men quickly become confused and
are not suitable for this duty. During the JapaneseRussian
War, our hidden patrols on the Shaho river, though they
did their work well, were sometimes taken prisoners by the
enemy; but they did not capture any of the enemy's patrols.
Distribution of Hidden Patrols.- No
one should know the position of the hidden patrol but the
patrol itself, and the one who posts it. In this connection,
the following points will be borne in mind:
(a) It is disadvantageous for the natives
or enemy to know the position.
(b) Do not loiter about the position unnecessarily before
(c) Remain in another position until dusk, and when it becomes
dark enter the true position secretly.
(d) Other patrols or visiting patrols will not approach
or halt at this patrol's position.
(e) When discovered by the enemy, or by natives, the patrol
will quickly withdraw; it will strive to create the impression
that it has entirely withdrawn, but later it will assume
a new position.
Position of Hidden Patrols.- Although
the position of a hidden patrol will be in accordance with
its objective, the following points will be borne in mind:
(a) It should be a place from which important
things can be discovered. For example, in order to learn
of the enemy's advance, it must be in the vicinity of important
(b) A place convenient for observation, but difficult of
(c) A place not easy for the enemy to surprise.
(d) A place where the patrol can send a messenger or signal
to its friends without being discovered by the enemy.
(e) A place not on a road used by the natives.
XXX. TRAINING OF NIGHT
Training and Terrain.- We have already
mentioned the necessity of training patrols on varying terrain.
Both sentinels and patrols require such training.
Methods of Training.-
1. Instruction in the relations between sentinels
Having assembled the men to be instructed, the importance
of this training will be explained. Distribute instructors
and sentinels as in the sketch. The opposing sentinels will
be at such a distance that they cannot see each other; in
this interval there is space for patrols to move. Time will
be wasted, however, if they move too far.
2. Orders for instructors. Each instructor
will be informed as to the points in which he will instruct
his men. He will be placed in a particular position, and
given the approximate time which he can use for one period
of instruction. Such training will follow this general method:
(a) The instructor at B oversees and corrects
the patrol's movements against the sentinel, and vice
(b) The instructor at C acts in a similar
manner to d to the one at B.
This distribution having been made, a patrol
will be sent out from the squad, first, encountering the
sentinel's post A; after this movements has been corrected,
the patrol will proceed toward C and B. The officer in charge
will send out other patrols at proper intervals, and when
the exercise is concluded, will assemble the squad at A;
then from the reports of his assistant instructors and his
own observations, will comment upon the men's movements.
3. Secretly entering and leaving enemy's line
(a) Post sentinels as in the sketch; give
them simple orders, such as, to keep on the lookout for
the enemy, etc.
(b) Next, send out a patrol to act as a
hostile patrol (they should attach a white cloth, or some
other distinguishing mark); this patrol will try to enter
the line of sentinels without being discovered.
(c) The instructors oversee the movements of both sentinels
and patrol, and judge of the success of the movement.
4. Search for the enemy's line of sentinels.
Having posted the sentinels and attached an
assistant instructor to each post, have them carry out the
usual duties of sentinels. Their position in unknown to
the squad from which the patrols are sent out to search
for the enemy's line of sentinels. At this period of instruction,
two methods may be employed:
(a) Make an assistant instructor chief of the patrol,
the remainder being recruits.
(b) Place an assistant instructor in the vicinity of the sentinels
and have them criticize the movement, and furnish material
for the officer's criticisms. It is important to limit the
patrol's sphere of movement, and thus avoid unprofitable dispersion.
5. Training when meeting hostile patrols.
The instructor, having divided the squad into
two parts, attaches an assistant instructor to each squad,
and places himself midway between the squads. He carries
a disappearing light, with which he signals to both squad's
concerning the sending out of patrols. The non-commissioned
officer in charge of the squads divide them into patrols,
and sends out these patrols in the direction of the instructor.
Each patrol will be ordered to return to its squad after
they have reconnoitered the locality indicated by the assistant
instructor. From his position, the instructor watches the
movements of both patrols, and corrects them if necessary.
When the men have had some training in this movement, one
squad operates directly against another.
6. Methods of training in how to pass and
reconnoiter terrain and physical objects do not differ in
principle from the methods employed in day time, which have
already been explained.
XXXI. MOVEMENTS OF A DETACHMENT
Leadership at Night.- We have examined,
roughly, the natural qualities required of the men at nighttime,
the next thing is the manner of leadership. The difficulty
of such leadership at night, is, beyond description. In
turning our- attention to this kind of training, one point
stands out most prominently-quietness of leadership. At
night, as it is important to avoid discovery by the enemy,
the men under one's command must be a mass without sound-and
this mass must move by silent leadership.
The value of night movements depends upon
the amount of skill displayed in silent leadership. Such
leadership is attained by the following means:
1. By signals.
These signals will be briefly explained to
the men, .and may be made by a saber, flag or light; in
any case, the following requirements must be fulfilled:
(a) The signal must be clearly understood
by the men.
(b) It must not be visible to the enemy.
There is no necessity for a great amount of drill in
this kind of signaling, because night movements are seldom
complicated. Such movements are the causes of failure,
and simple movements and consequently simple signals only
will be employed. For example.
(a) Advance-raise the object with which
the signal is made, vertically.
(b) Halt-raise and lower the object, keeping
(c) Lie down-Move the object toward the ground.
(d) To form parallel columns and advance-a circular motion,
or several times to the right and left.
(e) To form column of companies and advance-A ,circular
There are several other important signals
in which commanding officers will instruct their men in
2. Method by relays.
The success of this method of silent leadership
depends greatly upon the amount of training in peace time.
When the voice is used, it is important that it be just
loud enough to be heard by the neighboring soldier, and
that the rate of speech be as rapid as possible. Although
these methods can be accurately executed when the enemy
is at some distance, there is always the danger of messengers
making mistakes, and delay is directly proportional to the
distance from the sender. However, in many cases, the formation
at night being the normal formation in column of companies,
neither the front or depth will be very great, and, if well
trained in this method, success can be expected.
3. Method by example.
Soldiers move in accordance with the movements
of their leaders; in order that this may be done, the leader
must be in such a position that he can be clearly seen by
his men. Then when the leader moves, the men move; when
he halts, they halt; and when he lies down, they lie down
also. Troops can be led comparatively easily by this method;
and even though men cannot see the leader directly, they
will be able to conform to his movements. The weak point
of this method is, that timid soldiers unconsciously affect
the movements of others. Therefore in time of peace, the
characteristics of each man must be known, and the training
must be done with minute care.
To Accustom Troops to Change of Formation
at Night.- A change of formation at night is attended
with various kinds of confusion. Even if this is not the
case, it is difficult to carry it out quietly, and slackness
is unavoidable. Therefore training in carrying out simple
changes of formation quietly and without confusion, is most
important. Special training should be given in executing
the following movements:
(a) Column of fours to parallel columns-circular
(b) Parallel columns to company columns--circular
(c) Column of fours to company column-circular, right and
(d) Column of companies and parallel columns to column of
fours-front to rear signal.
In these signals, as a general principle,
a circular signal means changing to a broader front; a signal
from front to rear means contracting the front and increasing
depth of column.
Individual Cautions in Movement by Squad.-
(See Night Movements of Squad).
(a) Not to talk.
(b) Not to hang the head during the march.
(c) To be careful about connection in the squad; each
man will keep his place accurately.
(d) Each man will see that his clothing and equipments
make no noise.
XXXII. TRAINING IN
SQUAD MOVEMENT AT NIGHT.
Order.- First, without arms, proceeding
by gradual steps until fully armed and equipped. Very simple
movements, as the advance, retreat, etc., will be carried
out at first, gradually leading up to complicated ones.
The signals should be learned thoroughly in daytime, and,
later, executed at night.
Night Movements and Strictness.- Night
movements, especially, demand the strictest discipline;
because, when it is a question of life and death, the influence
of darkness brings into being the animal love of life, and
there is the fear that supervision may be avoided with consequent
loss of power. At nighttime, therefore, slackness must not
be permitted. Speed, silence, and strict discipline are
essential, and the amount of training will be directly proportional
to the degree in which the troops possess those qualities.
XXXIII. A SQUAD'S NIGHT
When Carried Out.-It is a very rare
occasion when firing can be executed at night. Conditions
must be such that the squad is already quietly halted and
have made sufficient preparations, and, while in an aiming
position, await the appearance of the enemy. During the
Japanese-Russian War, night operations were frequent, but
instances when the charge was executed with the bayonet,
alone, were few. At the very shortest ranges, a fierce fire
was poured in, and then the charge was attempted. However
from the standpoint of the offensive, it is a great mistake
to prepare for the charge by fire action; as a fundamental
principle, the assault of the enemy's position must be made
directly by the bayonet. Under really unavoidable circumstances
only will an instant's violent fire be executed, and then,
under cover of the confusion caused by that fire, dash in
with the bayonet. However, if such fire action delays the
offensive movement, it will do more harm than good.
From the standpoint of the offensive, however,
it is a different matter. Knowing of the enemy's attack,
preparations for night firing are completed, a violent fire
carried out after the enemy has approached within very short
range is most effective; and if this be followed by a counter
attack, success often follows. For such reasons training
in night firing is very important, especially in the case
of small detachments, such as sentinels, non-commissioned
officer's posts, etc. When they understand such night firing
and make good use of it, they will be able to obtain very
Important Points in the Preparation for
Night Firing. -In night firing, the men must be prepared
in all the following points. The angle and direction of
fire should be simple, and the enemy should not be able
to avoid it. The methods are as follows:
(a) Prepare a rest for the rifle, and
in the daytime from this rest, fix exactly the angle of
fire, direction, and position of aiming.
(b) Use horizontal firing.
(c) Aim by a light from a lantern, bonfire, or other luminous
object, or fire by reflected light.
(d) Fix an aiming object near the muzzle of the gun (auxiliary
First Method.-In many cases, prepare
a wooden support; that is, in order to preserve the angle
of the rifle, fix a fulcrum at front and rear, and from
this obtain the angle of fire according to the range. (This
is easily fixed by practicing in the daytime.) In short,
provide for the two important points-maintenance of direction,
and of the angle of fire. (See sketch.)
Second Method.-This method employs
horizontal fire trained individually during peace time.
The training will be by squad, and the following cautious
are especially necessary:
(a) Each man to fire exactly to his front.
(b) Each man's firing to be exact.
(c) The feet must not be moved unnecessarily.
Third Method.--In a small squad, the
following expedient may be adopted: Change the day and night
positions so that the enemy will appear on the skyline.
When the enemy is outlined against the sky, firing can be
carried out. However, in large detachments, this method
gives the advantage of position to the enemy, which they
can utilize to our disadvantage when it becomes light. However,
in the case of noncommissioned officer's posts and pickets,
good results have been obtained in practice during campaigns.
There are other methods; there is the firing
carried out after having caused the enemy to appear in front
of a bright light which outlines him clearly. Small bodies
can use this method effectively, if they are composed of
men who do not fear death. This plan, naturally, requires
the fire to be lighted in rear of the enemy, and, of course,
great danger cannot be avoided. Flaming shells may be fired,
and direct aiming carried out by their light; at short ranges
there will be a comparatively large number of hits.
Fourth Method.-An auxiliary target
is placed in front of the firer at which he aims. Commanding
officers must examine the sights strictly in this method.
Method of Firing.-Loading the piece
after the enemy has approached closely, is the foundation
of unsuccessful firing. Therefore officers and men must
know the following things:
(a) To load so as not to be discovered
by the enemy.
(b) Not to forget orders to load, or other orders.
(c) Not to discover their position to the enemy.
In order to accomplish this, the firer, of course, will
load before the enemy's charge. The command for firing
will be by signal, or in a low tone of voice. It the enemy
hear the command "Aim," they will quickly lie down and
thus avoid the flying bullets which come at the next command
"Fire." Actual experience in campaign proves this. In
small bodies, the following mode of action is advantageous,
because I have used it successfully in actual practice:
(a) Have the commands for aiming transmitted
from the commander by soldiers nearest him to neighboring
soldiers, and so on down the line (in a low tone.)
(b) The commanding officer gives the command for firing
according to the size of the detachment and the rapidity
of transmission; at this time, those who have not loaded,
or those behind time, will not fire.
(c) After firing at the command, the men will load without
any special order.
The above is simply an example, and must not
be adhered to, blindly.
Night Firing, and Collective and Individual
Fire.-- Long continued individual fire is not advisable,
for it discloses the position and range to the enemy. In many
cases, therefore, it is a good thing to employ collective
fire, thereby keeping the men well in hand. Such fire has
the advantage of dazzling the enemy's sight by a temporary
flash, and then relapsing into darkness, and is thus especially
valuable at night. In any case, firing discloses our position
more or less to the enemy; therefore, during firing, strict
watchfulness is necessary to prevent the enemy from going
around our fire and appearing on our flank or rear.
XXXIV. METHOD OF TRAINING
IN SQUAD FIRING AT NIGHT.
Order and Methods of Training.-Train
the squad in horizontal firing in daytime; then execute it
at night against various kinds of targets. After practice
with blank cartridges, train them in battle firing with real
ammunition. It is often convenient to carry-out this and other
necessary training at the time of entrenching.
XXXV. SQUAD NIGHT ENTRENCHMENTS.
Method of Tracing.-In tracing entrenchments
at night, the following methods may be employed:
(a) Advance as skirmishers, halt, and dig in that
(b) Establish soldiers or trees as markers.
(c) Use a tracing line.
(d) Scatter white powder or white paper.
In whatever method that may be adopted, the
commanding officer will exercise strict watchfulness, and
when he has fixed the position, he will fix the trace according
to one of the above plans. It is very important not to mistake
the direction in night tracing, as there are many examples
of ridiculous mistakes on the battlefield.
Methods Relative to the Line of Trace.--
(a) Method in which the ground is occupied in
column of fours.
(b) Method by extension or deployment (in position).
(c) Method by advancing after deployment.
Although the conditions of the hour will largely
govern, on a dark night it is an exact way, to form column
of fours to the right or left extending to the markers (see
Night Entrenchments, Cautions for Individual
Soldiers and Execution of the Work.-The above subjects
have already been discussed at other places.
Method of Filling Sandbags, and Entrenchments
in which Used.-In this matter, also, much experience is
required. When sandbags are to be used, the following three
squads are necessary:
(a) A squad to fill the bags.
(b) A squad to transport them.
(c) A squad to construct the works with them.
Of course it is advantageous to fill the sacks
as near as possible to the place where they will be used,
but conditions often prevent this. There are various ways
of transporting the full sacks. Progress is most rapid
when each man works steadily in transporting
the sacks from the various places where they are filled, but
if the distance be great, an intermediate station must be
established, and each man will put down his burden there.
Although the method of laying the sandbags will conform to
the actual conditions, they will not be laid so as to form
pillars, but will be laid generally level like a skirmish
trench by gradually progressing construction. In short, in
this work, order, connection, quietness and coolness are required,
just as in complicated engineering works.
XXXVI. METHOD OF TRAINING
IN NIGHT ENTRENCHING.
When the men are well trained in this work,
the remainder is a question of leadership of the commanding
officer. The order of training is as follows:
(a) When the enemy is distant, training in the
construction is the principal objective.
(b) Training in the case of the gradual approach of the
(c) Training when there is fear of the enemy's attack.
When the above methods of training have been
carried out in order, practice will be had in opposing an
attack during the construction of the work; or connect this
training with some drill in which they will use the works
they have just constructed.
XXXVII. TRAINING AND METHOD
OF PASSING OBSTACLES AT NIGHT
Importance of Passing Obstacles by Detachments
at Night.-My experience has been that often small obstacles
delay the march at night; and these obstacles are all the
more troublesome from the inability to judge their extent,
etc., by the eye. On this account, training in crossing obstacles
at night is most important.
Cautions for the Commanding Officer with
respect to Obstacles.--
(a) He will inform all men who are to cross of
the nature and extent of the obstacle, the preparations
to be made, points where lights will be made, guiding marks,
(b) Orders concerning method of crossing, formation, rate
(pace), distribution, etc.
(c) Steps that will be taken to regain the connection that
will be lost during the passage of the obstacles.
The above course of procedure will vary greatly
according to the state of the enemy, the weather, and amount
of light. Frequently, in crossing obstacles, the column of
fours must change to column of files. If great distance is
taken, much time will be consumed and connection will be lost.
Cautions for Soldiers when Crossing Obstacles.--If
the men who have already crossed the obstacles try to regain
the lost distance by double-timing, they will lose touch with
these in rear. Therefore they should be trained in the following
(a) After they have been told what the formation
is, they will maintain that formation while crossing the
(b) When obstacles are encountered, if the state of the
enemy and other conditions permit, word will be sent back
to the rear concerning this obstacle, and a report made
of safe crossing.
(c) The obstacle will be passed without sudden halts or
In the grand maneuvers of 1910, a certain
brigade of the Northern Army had to make a night march over
entirely unknown country, and the road was only wide enough
for a column of twos. On this road was a long bridge-, when
the head of the column reached it, they began crossing in
single file. The troops in rear did not know the reason of
the halt, and, although there were officers at the head of
the column, the facts of the case were not learned, and the
brigade fruitlessly waited the movements of the head of the
column. Now as a matter of fact, the water was very shallow
and easy to ford. On account of the darkness, however the
men in front did not think of fording. Even though some soldiers
who fell in forded it, they did not transmit the news, and
conditions remained as dark as before. On this account the
march was greatly delayed, and it was after midnight when
they arrived at their destination.
XXXVIII. NIGHT MARCHES
Occasions When Night Marches are Carried
(a) When executing rapid marches or forced marches.
(b) When a beaten army is trying to avoid pursuit.
(c) When attempting to avoid the attack of a superior enemy.
(d) In order to decrease the effect of the enemy's artillery;
to use the darkness of the preceding night to advance to
a point convenient for preparing for the attack.
(e) When about to carry out a sudden attack by taking advantage
of the darkness.
(f) Occasionally used as a substitute for a day march on
account of the heat.
Night Marches and Cautions for Staff Officers.--
1. Consideration as to roads.
(a) Complete reconnaissance, especially guiding
marks, and repairs.
(b) Determination of methods of passing, going around, and
removal of obstacles.
(c) Steps to be taken to prevent taking wrong roads, etc.
2. Consideration as to troops.
(a) With reference to connection.
(b) With reference to the avoidance of sudden halts
(c) With reference to the clear designation of detachments.
(d) With reference to the selection and alteration of
3. Consideration as to security.
(a) If lights are permitted, the number of electric
lights and bull's eye lanterns allowed.
(b) The manner in which the troops will be led whether
by trumpet, command, or signals.
(c) Whether or not smoking and talking are prohibited.
4. Considerations when halting or resting.
(a) Too great intervals must not be allowed
(b) Troops will not be allowed to choose their own places
(c) The men will not throw down their weapons, or other
articles which they carry, unnecessarily. (d) At the time
of moving on, a rigid inspection will be held so that
no men or articles will be left behind. (e) The time allotted
for sleep, no more and no less, will be used for that
Individual Cautions for Soldiers on a
1. Cautions before starting.
(a) Clothing and equipments will be properly
arranged and adjusted firmly.
(b) Care will be taken not to make any noise.
(c) Sleep during the time allotted for that purpose.
(d) Do not forget or neglect the calls of nature; do not
leave anything behind.
2. Cautions during the march.
(a) Be quiet, and do not talk or smoke.
(b) Remain in the position prescribed.
(c) Maintain a uniform pace.
(d) Do not start or stop abruptly.
(e) Be careful about connection.
(f) Do not open out in ranks.
3. Cautions during a rest.
(a) Be quiet, and do not talk or smoke.
(b) Attend to the calls of nature, without fail.
(c) Readjust equipments and do not leave anything behind.
(d) Do not rest away from the vicinity of the stacks
or the place ordered.
(e) Keep the haversack near the person.
(f) Do not sleep except when ordered.
(g) Do not drink an excessive amount of water.
(h) Do not enter any house unnecessarily.
(i) Stay with your comrades and mutually warn each other.
Night Marches, and Articles Carried by
Officers.-- When about to execute a night march, the
commanding officer will exercise the greatest care, and
will only move after complete preparations have been made.
Companies, without fail, will carry the following articles:
(a) Portable lights (electric lights, or
some kind of disappearing light).
(b) Whistle (officers carry these).
(c) Compasses (carried by sergeants or intendance non-commissioned
(d) Matches (carried as in (c).
(e) In the haversack of each non-commissioned officer, some
white paper will be placed, for use in connection duty.
(f) A small white flag or white cloth (officers carry this).
(g) Officers will carry, or there will be placed in the
sergeants' haversacks, twenty to thirty meters of string.
(h) In the belt of each soldier, about one meter of string
will be tied; it will be convenient in leading them from
(i) Usually soldiers will carry a cap cover.
(j) All watches will be set at time of departure.
(k) Those who carry a sword will be careful to prevent any
noise arising from it.
(l) In a night march, especially when an encounter with
the enemy is anticipated, drum and fife will not be used,
and preparations will be made to use the trumpet alone.
(m) All officers will carry field glasses.
XXXIX. NIGHT BATTLES.
(A) THE OFFENSIVE.
The Cause of Success in Night Attacks.--
(a) All plans and distributions must be simple,
and complete preparations must be made.
(b) The ground, the state of the enemy, and the weak points
of his distributions must be known.
(c) Our plans and intentions must be concealed.
(d) Each detachment must be given an independent objective,
and absolute uniformity will not be blindly adhered to.
(e) Our movement must begin near the enemy.
(f) Make use of the weather, move unexpectedly, take advantage
of the enemy's inattention, and utilize any interval he
may have left vacant.
(g) High morale, strict discipline, and excellent training
are necessary factors. Also, firm resolution, quietness
(h) The attacker must not allow himself to be hindered
by any emergency, or by any action of the natives.
Causes of Non-success in Night Attacks.--
(a) Lack of the different causes stated
(b) When the defender moves on interior lines, and displays
(c) When the defender changes his position before the
(d) The occurrence of unforeseen contingencies.
Cautions in Night Movements (General
(a) Things forbidden, and measures adopted
for maintaining silence. Soldiers will not load or fire
without orders. Except when necessary, information, messages,
speech, all conversation, commands, etc., will not be
given in a loud tone of voice. There will be no talking
or whispering. Men who have a cough, or who cannot see
at night, and horses that neigh, will not be taken along.
Take care that no noise arises from ammunition boxes,
mess tins, bayonets, artillery wheels, iron chains, etc.
Do not take along horses for light baggage. The necessary
amount of ammunition will be distributed to individuals.
(b) Regulations concerning connection. Attach white cloth
or other easily recognizable material to the body or arm.
Mutual recognition will be effected by countersign, signals,
whistle, etc. There are other methods, such as wearing
the overcoat, taking off the blouse, etc.
(c) Regulations concerning lights. Be careful of the management
of bivouac fires, the prevention of smoking or making
lights, and methods of decreasing the reflection from
the sword in the moonlight.
(d) Regulations concerning movements. Make a clear statement
of the objective of the march, the road to be taken, and
the method of marching. The method of connection, recognition,
the point of arrival, and what to do after arrival there
(at such a time, it is difficult for the commanding officer
to give commands; if the troops know beforehand what is
expected of them, they will strive to do it.)
The Commanding Officer and Soldiers in a Night Attack.--
1. The commanding officer.
In order to be able to make detailed plans,
it is important that the commanding officer have a thorough
knowledge of the state of the enemy, his dispositions, etc.,
the terrain, etc. A minute reconnaissance both day and night,
must be made over the ground where he expects to move.
The commanding officer must direct the fight,
with a determined spirit. His position must be clearly defined,
so that information, messages, orders, etc., may be sent
and received. Although he must keep his command well in
hand, after his policy and plans have been indicated, each
detachment must act firmly and independently.
2. Subordinate commanders.
Subordinate commanders will strive with all
their might to carry out the task assigned them. They must
use their own initiative, in accordance with the plans of
the commanding officer. They must understand those plans
clearly, and must be diligent in learning everything possible
about conditions which will affect their own movements,
such as, the condition of the enemy, terrain, etc. They
must see that, as far as they are concerned, there is no
neglect about keeping plans secret, that regulations are
complied with, that the men are kept well in hand, that
connection is maintained,and that messages, reports, etc.,
are properly forwarded, etc.
(a) They will guard the secrecy of plans.
(b) They wilt avoid panic.
(c) They will comply carefully with orders and regulations.
(d) They will maintain connection and touch.
(e) They will not load or fire without special orders.
(f) Even though fired upon unexpectedly by the enemy,
they will not answer the fire, or become confused.
(g) When the enemy is encountered, they will strive to
overthrow him by a fierce hand-to-hand fight.
Characteristics of Night Attacks.--A
night attack, usually, partakes of the nature of a surprise;
accordingly, it is necessary to gain success at one blow,
by surprising the enemy. The plans of battle at night, are
based on the avoidance of visibility; therefore, the attacker
must press the enemy suddenly, and fight a hand-to-hand
fight with the bayonet. At such times, a high morale must
be united to a firm offensive spirit; because the panic
of the defender is much greater at night than in the day
time, and the overwhelming menace of the attack will derive
a great effect from a sudden appearance.
Such being the characteristics of a night
attack, great caution must be exercised to prevent discovery
by the enemy, at such a time. When the enemy learns of the
proposed attack, and makes his preparations accordingly,
the attack will waver and the offensive spirit will become
appreciably less. Therefore, noise and lights will be forbidden
in night attacks; for noise warns the enemy's ears, and
lights warn his eyes. However, sometimes the noise of a
night attack is drowned by greater noises, as an artillery
and small arms fight in another locality. If the enemy's
attention can be scattered from the front to be attacked
by such means, it will have the effect of a diversion; if,
on the contrary, it only adds to his watchfulness, it had
better be dispensed with.
At night it is easy to deceive the enemy,
because of the confusion which arises from the misunderstanding
of noises and the lack of vision. Therefore, it is a good
thing to carry out a demonstration at the point the enemy
expects an attack, and execute the real attack at a point
where the enemy does not expect it. The demonstration alone
will not deceive the enemy if it is so unskillfully made
that the enemy knows that it is a demonstration; it must
be executed from the beginning, just like a real attack.
However, the false attack not being the main object, it
will be modified as much as the necessity for quick reports
Method of Night Attacks.--The great
disadvantages of night attacks lie in the difficulty of
leadership, and the lack of facility in the connection and
cooperation of troops. Accordingly, methods of attack which
require a complicated disposition, are seldom successful.
Although envelopment, in the daytime, is valuable
for both its physical and moral effect, at night, its physical
effect is decreased while its moral effect is increased.
Of course this movement will be carried out whenever practicable,
but its execution will be very difficult. When such a movement
is attempted, a combined frontal and flank attack is required;
but at night, this movement, also, is most difficult. Things
go wrong, and often the movement is not only not successful
but our own troops attack each other in the darkness. Therefore,
when the configuration of the ground, amount of light, etc.,
render such a movement at all possible, the greatest amount
of care must be taken to see that there is no collision
with our own troops. During the envelopment, it will not
be necessary for the troops to march a long distance in
close formation; it will be sufficient to assume that formation
immediately before the charge. In short, the envelopment
which is of great value in daytime, is of little value at
night. In the majority of cases, the issue will be decided
by a -frontal charge.
Night Attack, and Arms of the Service.--As
we have said before, the conditions at nighttime are entirely
different from those in the day; so, in regard to the branches
of the service, those must be used chiefly which are able
to remove the obstacles arising from the darkness. Accordingly
it is not wrong to say that night attacks are almost the
special duty of infantry.
The cavalry, except when used dismounted as
a containing force, will be used only for reconnaissance,
security and connection. (There are times, however, when
cavalry makes a night attack on the camp of the enemy's
cavalry.) In other cases, its function in the night attack
is to have all preparations made for quick movement at daylight.
Artillery rarely accompanies the attacking
troops. However, there are times when it continues the day
firing, or executes the so-called alarm fire by threatening
another point; at times, too, artillery firing is carried
out in order to deceive the enemy as to our plans. There
are occasions too, when the artillery can assist the attack
by a violent fire; but, in such cases, the necessary preparations
must have been made beforehand in daytime, and the range
must be short.
Machine guns are not directly necessary in
a night attack, where fire action is not the main reliance
for battle. However, when discovered by the enemy, or when
fire action is especially necessary, machine guns have an
important role In the battle of Mukden, there was firing
on both sides during the night battles, and machine guns,
bomb guns, and hand grenades were used. Although, as a general
thing, machine guns were used principally in holding occupied
points, and for use after daylight, and were taken along
for this purpose, they should be held with the reserve until
the opportunity for using them arises.
Engineer troops are necessary for breaking
up obstacles, opening roads, and for the fortification of
positions which have been seized. It is especially important
to have such troops during night attacks, as the destruction
of obstacles in front of the enemy's position is chiefly
entrusted to the engineers.
It is a good thing to have the other branches
of the service carry hand grenades, and use them at the
instant of the charge.
The Point of Attack at Night. This
point is by no means the same as in daytime. In the latter
case, the approach is first made under cover, the enemy
is then overwhelmed by fire action, and then destroyed with
the bayonet. At night, however, the bayonet is employed
As we have stated before, at nighttime, the
relations of physical objects differ greatly from the daytime.
Therefore the essential elements in the selection of the
point of attack naturally differ; the principal points are
(a) The ease in which approach can be made.
(b) The shortness of the distance of the approach.
(c) The point where the bayonet attack can be delivered
Not only is it possible to hold the principal
point of the position, but a point from which deployment
can be made, can be held as well. However, a night attack
will not be limited, by any means, to one point. With large
bodies, especially, several points of attack must be selected,
and independent attacking detachments will be used for each
The result of victory or defeat do not extend
for long distances as in the daytime; therefore, a victory
at one place by no means extends to distant points, and
likewise, a defeat has less influence at other points. If
these different detachments strive with all their might,
independently, they will obtain victory. However, at nighttime,
there is so much noise from shouting and rifle shots, that
the original objective is liable to be forgotten.
In short, a day attack employs fire action
to open the road for the advance; a night attack presses
forward under cover of darkness. Therefore, it must be remembered
that night movements are easy and secret, and that the cover
which is convenient for approach in daytime, must be avoided
Reconnaissance and Plans. The principal
factor in successful night attacks is complete reconnaissance.
Detailed reconnaissance enables plans to be made properly.
Those who plan as well as those who execute, must reconnoiter
thoroughly. As far as possible, all officers should be well
acquainted with the terrain and physical objects. If the
officers who execute the movement are well acquainted with
the state of the enemy and the terrain, it will go far in
making up for defective plans, and will guarantee success.
Reconnaissance is carried out at night as
well as in the day. It is very important to know what degree
of relation the terrain and physical objects in daytime
bear to those same objects at night. If this point be clear,
mistakes and confusion will be avoided at night.
In a night attack, there must be such a self-confidence
that success is never doubted. Such self confidence is only
obtained through feeling that the plans and execution are
the best possible under the circumstances; and that can
only be possible when complete reconnaissance has been made.
The important cautions with respect to reconnaissance are
(a) State of the enemy.
His preparations for security, and his distributions.
(It is important to know, in detail, the position of the
main body, covering position, protective detachments,
sentinels' positions, etc.)
The enemy's strength, discipline, customs and peculiarities,
also, must be known. Obstacles and entrenchments. (Detailed
reconnaissance as to kind, amount, extent, position, method
of destruction of these objects, place, materials, etc.)
Configuration of the ground occupied by the enemy; configuration
of ground in front of the enemy's position.
1. The terrain as far as the assembly
point and point of deployment; position of such points
and roads to the front. The locality in which the advance
is to be made, advance formation, method of advance, method
of connection and communication, methods of removal of
2. Terrain up to the enemy's position. The apportionment
of sections for the attack, distribution, methods of removal
of obstacles, methods of connection and communication,
3. The influence of weather and the amount of light.
Reconnaissance must be made on dark nights
and on -moonlight nights, in clear weather and in stormy
weather, in order that the differences in such times may
be clearly understood. Too elaborate plans are the foundation
of non-success, but it must be remembered that simplicity
does not mean just as one pleases. Often carelessness at
the time of execution brings discord and confusion.
The Hour for Night Attacks.-- The darkness
can be utilized until success is attained; after victory,
light is essential. This is in order that the fruits of
success may be increased through the cooperation of the
other branches of the service, the light facilitating the
charge and fire action; it is also necessary and convenient
for the reconnaissance of the state of the enemy and the
If it is still dark after the charge, it is
most inconvenient for the succeeding movements, and is favorable
to the enemy who is well acquainted with the terrain. However
the time of execution of a night attack depends upon the
objective of the battle, as follows:
(a) The enemy's position have been taken, if
it is important to hold it securely, time the charge so
as to be able to make dispositions for its defense by
(b) When it is desired to pursue the enemy after the capture
of his position, the movement will be begun so as to be
successful at daylight.
(c) When it is desired to attack by cooperation of all
arms of the service at daylight, the preparations must
be completed by that time.
(d) When it is desired, simply, to throw the enemy into
confusion, it should be executed during the night, and
the movement must be completed by daylight.
(e) Diversions, threatening movements, etc., will be carried
out at necessary times, modified, of course, by the weather,
amount of light, etc. After midnight, the enemy sleeps
soundly, and the service of security often slackens. Therefore,
under ordinary conditions, begin at midnight and try to
finish the movement before daybreak.
Position when Beginning a Night Attack.--
(Point of assembly, deployment, etc.) In movements over
long distances at night, connection is difficult, and it
is easy to mistake directions and fall into confusion. It
is therefore important to shorten the distance of such movements.
To accomplish this, it is a good thing to advance the point
of assembly, and deploy as near as possible to the enemy.
In order to conceal this place of assembly
from the enemy and the natives as well, and to stop the
movements of the latter, a covering screen against the enemy
must be established. This screen must occupy the necessary
points before hand, so as not to advance with the main body.
If this precaution is not taken, the enemy will learn of
the advance of the main body through the movements of the
The point of deployment must be fixed from
the conditions of the hour. The following points govern
(a) Amount of the enemy's service of security.
(c) Size of our army.
(d) Degree of darkness.
In short, it is advantageous to have it
near the enemy, just so that it will not be discovered,
and in a place convenient for movement.
The British Field Service Regulations fix
this distance at not nearer than 900 meters. If the ground
is level and open, the assembly will be made in a deployed
line at once, as a substitute for the assembly in column
of march. Even when this is done, the zone of movement will
be divided, and all detachments will advance in parallel
formation. This is especially true when the movement for
attack must be carried out from a long distance. When already
near the enemy's line in daytime, or when already deployed
near the enemy, the night attack can be begun from this
line. The main thing is to make the advance easy by deploying
as near as possible to the enemy without being discovered.
The points of assembly and deployment, roads to the front,
etc., will be marked as far as possible, by paper, rags,
broken limbs of trees, or soldiers as markers. It is a good
thing to block up the wrong roads, branch roads and unimportant
Night Orders or Instructions. -- Orders
for a night attack will be based on the usual orders for
a day attack. However circumstances may arise at night which
make it necessary to violate regulations. The Infantry Drill
Regulations say, "In the order for a night attack, there
will be indicated the object of the -march of each detachment,
the road, together with the method of mutual communication,
the method of recognition, and, if necessary, the point
of arrival. Again, it is advantageous to indicate, beforehand,
the first step after this movement. "
If the order be made simple, it is especially
necessary to supplement it by instructions. There are two
kinds of orders necessary, depending on the distance to
be traversed for the attack, viz.-the orders for the march
to the assembly point, and the orders for attack. If necessary,
both matters will be included in one order, or the order
will be made as conditions develop. Orders from superior
headquarters usually include both points in one order; the
officer who is to execute the order, will divide it into
two parts, and give the necessary orders. In the night attack
against Kyucho during the late war, the men were told the
general tenor of Major General Okazaki's orders; these orders
did not differ greatly from the usual day order, but the
principal things desired were explained by instructions.
Distribution and Formation for Night Attacks.--
The formation for the night attack must be simple. According
to our regulations, company columns in parallel lines are
used (line of company columns); or detachments covering
from front to rear (for example, battalion column, or double
column of companies). Sometimes a few skirmishers are sent
in front, and sometimes, not.
Although the line of columns is very advantageous
as the greatest number of bayonets can be employed at the
time of the charge, the movement is very difficult when
the distance to be marched in battle formation is very great,
or if the terrain is not very favorable, or if the night
is very dark. The advantages and disadvantages of the battalion
in column, are directly opposite to the above. The double
column of companies is midway between the two above formations,
with corresponding advantages and disadvantages; this formation
is therefore most often used in night attacks.
However, the selection of the formation is
largely governed by circumstances; each company must conform
to the conditions of the hour in adopting the company column
(column of platoons), or the parallel columns. While the
latter has less masses strength than the former, the march
is comparatively easy. Therefore, it is a good thing to
use that formation while marching, and change to the other
when conditions require it.
According to the state of the enemy and the
terrain, the attacking troops, in depth of column, are divided
into two or three echelons. Even when there is fear of a
counter-attack from the flank, the division into three echelons
will be made, the second echelon being placed in rear of
the dangerous flank of the first; the third will be placed
directly in rear of the first so as to make certain the
success of the first line. It is important that the distance
between echelons should be short. If it is believed that
there will not be strong resistance at the point of entry,
but that it is probable there will be a strong counter-attack
after entry, it is important to make the rear detachments
very strong. On the contrary, if it is believed that the
enemy can be beaten at the first entry, the first echelon
will be greatly strengthened.
Even in a night attack, a reserve cannot be
dispensed with. If it is anticipated that the fight will
continue until daybreak, an especially strong reserve is
important until in many cases it must be placed very near
the first echelon. Usually, when the attacker's first line
charges the enemy, its formation is broken up; this is true
irrespective of the strength of the enemy. The ranks must
be reformed at once, and it is the duty of the reserve to
cover this movement and repulse the enemy's second line.
The reserve, often, by an unexpected attack, can cover the
retreat of the first line.
The Advance to the Attack.--When this
advance begins, the troops must resolve most firmly, to
be silent and quiet. If the troops can be led by signals
and without the use of the voice, it is most advantageous.
Each detachment must maintain the direction of the march
accurately; to do this, the following principles must be
(a) Select well defined marks, fix intervening
marks, and follow them.
(b) Follow along roads, railroads, ravines, or edges of
rivers, which prolonged, reach to the selected marks.
(c) Send out scouts; establish soldiers as markers, sign-posts,
(d) Use military or civilian guides who are familiar with
the route to be traversed.
(e) Fix the direction by compass, stars, portable electric
(f) Maintenance of connection.
Each detachment will preserve connection
and cohesion; unexpected incidents must be treated cooly;
if the enemy's sentinels are encountered, capture them (without
firing) or kill them with the bayonet, but it must be done
without noise. In order to recover connection and order,
halt from time to time. When each detachment has arrived
at the attacking point, it will maintain order and quiet
all the more, and will advance most carefully.
When the enemy's effective fire is encountered
during the march, or when discovered by his searchlights,
it is a good thing to halt temporarily, in order to decrease
the effectiveness of the fire, or escape the enemy's vigilance.
Care will be taken, however, not to retard the forward movement.
Night Attacks and Firing.-- A night
attack should be a surprise. However, even though the attack
may be successful, it must be remembered that the enemy,
when he fears a night attack, will take sufficient precautions
and make preparations for fire action; therefore, never
think that you will always be able to enter his position
undiscovered. On the contrary, rather expect to be discovered;
and the chief thought in your mind should be the necessity
of a desperate effort in order to carry out your mission.
The attacker must, therefore, be prepared to receive the
enemy's fire; that is, he must be firm under that fire,
and come to close quarters with the bayonet.
Night firing will not have a great effect
if the attacker's movement is carried out properly; therefore,
even though the enemy may open fire, it does not mean that
the attack is a failure at once. On the contrary, success
or non-success, depends upon the attacker's succeeding movements.
For this reason the troops must not be thrown into confusion
by this fire, but must quietly continue their movement.
Silent intimidation will make the enemy believe that there
is not a single echo to their fire in the darkness. It is
of special importance in night attacks to increase the enemy's
doubts and fears. If their fire is returned, the following
(a) It discovers the attacker's strength to
(b) It discovers their position as well.
(c) The enemy will discover the real front of attack,
and will be able to make his dispositions accordingly.
(d) Silent intimidation loses its effect.
(e) It decreases more and more, the charging strength.
Therefore, by firing, the attacker destroys
himself, does not injure the enemy, and the man who believes
he injures the enemy by such means, is destined to failure.
While in daytime it is necessary to open up a road by such
means, when it is remembered that this is unnecessary at
night, night firing will become meaningless. How much more
true is this when the fire is due to the enticement of the
enemy and is defensive in nature. One can say with truth,
that night firing on the part of the offensive means failure.
Night firing by one detachment encourages
meaningless fire at other places, and such things denote
clearly the inferiority of an army. Therefore, the highest
officer down to the private soldier must brave the enemy's
bullets and long for the charge.
However, at times, firing is used to cast
down the enemy's morale; this is only done when an entry
into their works is certain, and is never done to provide
an opportunity for entry or to open the way of the advance.
Its functions is to increase the success of the charge and
to dazzle the enemy, this purpose being best effected by
the use of hand grenades. This is but the matter of an instant,
and the attacker must already be in the position when the
grenades are used; they will then rush forward shouting
the battle-cry, and success is certain. Sometimes, firing
may be used as a substitute for hand grenades.
Preparations Against the Defenders' Changes
of Disposition.-- The defender, in considering a night
attack, takes the following steps:
(a) Complete preparations for night firing.
(c) Change of position.
Therefore, it is important that the attacker
be prepared to take proper steps to meet such actions. Against
fire action, as we have already stated, lie down temporarily,
or avoid the direction of the line of fire. (The enemy's
firing line at night, on account of the necessary preparations,
is often fixed). If illumined by lights, lie down and keep
still, in order not to make a shadow and to make the target
as small as possible. It is important to avoid gazing at
this light, for, if this is done, it will dazzle the eyes.
The defender, at times, wilt leave a weak
detachment in the day position, and occupy a night position
with his main force, and often this old position is attacked
at night. When the attacker discovers this, he should make
his plans beforehand, and not fall into the enemy's snare.
The attacker should not take it for granted that the defender
always occupies his day position at night.
When it is discovered that the defender is
not in his day position, occupy that position with service
of security troops, reform the ranks and scout to the front
and flanks. Rear detachments should be called up, and emergencies
Sometimes when the enemy knows of our advance,
he will make a counter-attack from a flank. Therefore, do
not stop at simply providing for the service of security
on the flank; make such a distribution that you will be
able to oppose any emergency that may arise.
With reference to the destruction of obstacles,
see the section on the attack on strong positions.
The Night Charge.-- A charge at night
is the penetration of the enemy by the power of combined
wills and a high morale. This charge must come unexpectedly,
and with an overwhelming impulse. The enemy must not be
allowed to await our coming with rifle in hand; we must
seize the position in an instant, and must have a collected
detachment to hold the position when the enemy, awakening,
strives to resist. If the enemy open a violent fire and
we stop to answer it, our movement will end in failure,
and the movements of other detachments will be checked by
the fire of one detachment. Therefore, no attention should
be paid to the enemy's fire, but the charge must be continued
without hesitation. To accomplish this there must be a self-confidence
on the part of the commanding officer which expects success,
and the subordinates must have confidence in their commander.
Movements after a successful Charge.--
When the charge is successful, each detachment quickly reforms,
takes strict precautions for security, provides against
the enemy's resumption of the offensive, and pursues as
quickly as possible.
When a position is once taken, it is necessary
to make preparations against receiving the enemy's violent
fire from every side as soon as it becomes light. Again,
preparations for defense must be made very quietly. This
makes it difficult for the enemy to plan the resumption
of the offensive, and will make it difficult for other detachments
to judge how to change their dispositions according to the
existing state of affairs. Therefore, after a successful
night attack, shouts of victory and noisy confusion, will
disclose our position to other. detachments of the enemy,
and will be the cause of our being fired upon and reattacked.
Pursuit After Night Attack.-- Even
though the night attack be successful, it is not good policy
to leave the position suddenly and pursue the enemy, because
of the many disadvantages resulting from the fact that pursuing
fire cannot be carried out, the great amount of confusion,
and the fear of receiving the enemy's counter-attack. It
will be found difficult enough to hold the position, even.
This is especially true when the position captured is only
one section of the enemy's line, his other detachments holding
their previous positions. In such cases, it is usual to
make preparations for taking up the pursuit, and await daylight.
When the pursuit can be taken up without fear of the above
mentioned disadvantages, the success will be correspondingly
(B) THE DEFENSE.
Psychological Disadvantages.-- At night,
the defender has a feeling of anxiety, because the surrounding
obscurity prevents the vision, which is so necessary to
him. His principal mode of defense is fire action; and while
that is very dangerous to the offense in daytime, it cannot
stop the charge at night. Therefore, it is the duty of the
offense to increase the defender's doubts, fears, suppositions,
etc., and make a demoralized army more so.
For such reasons, the commanding officer of
the defense must always strive to maintain good morale,
quietness and coolness. How much more must he strive at
night to force back the individual weaknesses of the individual,
which arise on account of the difficulty of supervision.
To do this, he must maintain a close formation which is
convenient for leadership and which enables him to use the
psychology of the mass.
The reasons for the difficulties of the defense
are as follows:
(a) The difficulty of preventing the approach
of the enemy by fire action.
(b) The difficulty of knowing quickly of the approach
of the enemy and, consequently, taking proper measures
(c) The difficulty of mutual assistance, on account of
each detachment being bound down to its place.
(d) The fight is one of localities; other troops waste
time (difficulties of leadership, cooperation, movement).
(e) The ease in which a defender falls into a feeling
of being at a disadvantage.
Action of the Defense at Night.-- On
account of the above mentioned disadvantages, the defender
must adopt measures to offset them. He must, therefore,
take the following steps:
(a) Guard against the approach of the
enemy by sending out detachments in front of the defensive
line, by distribution of hidden patrols, by establishing
electric bells, alarms, etc.
(b) Light up the ground in front, discover the enemy's
approach at a suitable time, and make such approach
(c) Fix obstacles at important points in front of the
position, and prevent the enemy from destroying them.
(d) Make preparations beforehand for night firing in
the direction of the enemy's attack. Especially, provide
machine guns at points where it is possible to enfilade
the roads by which the enemy will advance, and make
complete preparations for firing.
(e) Obstruct, by offensive movements, the approach of
the enemy, and his engineering works.
When it is discovered that the enemy has
approached closely and has constructed works, obstruct him
by the attack of small detachments. The objective of such
a sortie, of course, is not the same as that of the main
battle which drives off the attack. It is therefore, not
only not necessary to use large detachments, but when such
are employed it is liable to give rise to a battle not planned
for. As for the reasons for not always carrying out a sortie,
all depends upon conditions as the time.
Steps when Anticipating the Enemy's Night
Attack.-- When the enemy's night attack is anticipated,
have a formation ready to oppose him. Whenever the dispositions
have to be changed at the time of the attack, leadership
and movement are difficult on account of the darkness, and
mistakes and confusion will arise. Accordingly, when expecting
the enemy's attack, the following steps will be taken beforehand:
(a) Strict service of security.
(b) Place the necessary number of men in the firing line.
(c) Troops in rear should be called up near the firing
(d) Take necessary measures for connection and communication.
(Distribution of lights, markers, etc.)
The Defender's Night Battle.-- The
defender, at night, will not permit a single soldier to
leave his position. Each detachment will guard its assigned
position, independently. Even though one section may be
taken, no time will be wasted in reattacking it by rear
detachments. Detachments in the first line must remember
that it is generally impossible to count on assistance from
neighboring troops or troops in rear. The defense will strive
to destroy the enemy by sudden violent fire from the shortest
ranges. To do this, after preparations have been concluded,
await the approach of the enemy; when he is very close,
open up a violent fire, and throw hand grenades. At this
instant, use the bayonet in a determined counter-attack.
The enemy's random and searching are at long ranges must
not be answered. Premature fire action causes useless firing
to start along the whole line; it is not only noisy and
useless, but it discloses our position to the enemy, as
At night, except for the protection of a locality,
a delaying action will hardly be carried out. In this case,
also, as large a reserve as possible must be kept in hand
especially when there is the fear that the engagement may
last until daylight; if there is no reserve then, the day
battle cannot be continued.
Steps When the Defender Drives Off the
Enemy.-- When the enemy is repulsed, the defender reforms
his ranks, but very rarely pursues with his whole force,
as in daytime. Usually a small detachment from the reserve,
or, at times, simply patrols are sent out (according to
the French regulations, only pursuing patrols) who follow
the enemy only. The remainder must guard the position firmly,
Even though the defender is certain that the
enemy's charge will be successful, he will not heedlessly
withdraw from his position. This is because a night retreat
gives rise to extraordinary confusion. A detachment which
is pursued by the enemy, will again occupy a position in
rear, and detachments not yet defeated, will remain in their
former positions. Taking advantage of the latter's success,
the defeated detachment will await an opportunity for a
counter-attack on the flank or rear of the enemy who has
penetrated into our lines. A general retreat, or a general
reattack, however, had better be done in daylight