Military Tactical Maneuvers: Hull Down and Turret Down
Two wonderful tactical maneuvers that are terrific for small units are the “Hull-Down” and “Turret-Down”.
Hull-Down is where the upper part of your vehicle or item is visible, but the main part of it is hidden. Although “Hull-Down” is a term that originates from naval warfare, it is now used in armored warfare.
Most modern armored fighting vehicles use this tactic by hiding behind a crest in the ground, but allowing the turret to be exposed. This allows the bulk of personnel to remain in the main space behind ground cover while being able to use the turret or weapon for attack and defense.
If in more of a observation mode, you can move the vehicle back a few meters or yards so that the entire thing is barely behind the crest, while still allowing the crew or personnel to observe over the crest by opening the hatch or standing up. This is called “Turret-Down”
Naval Use of “Hull-Down” Tactics
If on water, looking at a ship, you can judge the distance of that ship by simply understanding that it will be hull-down at 24 nautical miles and hull-up (or fully visible) at 12 nautical miles from a lookout. Staying hull-down is a naval tactic to hide your true armament and size.
This doesn’t help you a lot, but gives a great concept and a brief history of where the term came from.
Armored Warfare use of “Hull-Down” Tactics
In armored warfare, many armored vehicles have a periscope on the top of the vehicle allowing you to go into a hull-down, fighting position. This means that you are in the main hull behind the safety of armor and earth while able to see and guide your fire-power using your periscope vision.
Generally, the more abrupt the terrain, the easier it is to find hull-down positioning. It is difficult to judge this on long rolling hills. One way to fix both scenarios is by changing the face of the earth. In abrupt changes, you may need to scrape out a good position for the turret, and in rolling terrain, you may need to build up the earth for this advantage.
How You Can Use the Tactic of “Hull-Down”
First, I think that if you have a Bug Out Vehicle with defense functionality, this maneuver is important. One of the most vulnerable spots for a fighting vehicle is when cresting a hill or crossing a crest in terrain. This will expose the underbelly of the vehicle which places the vehicle and crew at risk.
Use the hull-down position to determine the risk to your vehicle before cresting a hill. If you are in defense of your home, neighborhood, or town, you would be wise to know the best places to crest and best vision/ hull-down positions for tactical advantage.
Any vehicle you are going to use hull-down must have the ability to move its fire-power since you will most likely be approaching at an upward angle, so a straight line-of-site shot will be 10-20 degrees up into the air, and useless.
Using Background to Reduce Visibility
If you are in a hull-down position, it is better to use an area that has a busy background, so it makes you much less visible to the on-looker. This will give you a tactical advantage and ALMOST give benefits of turret-down positions with the fire capabilities of hull-down.
So, If you are ever catch wind of a possible force against you, your family, neighborhood, or town., keep this technique in mind, and use the benefit of preparation to place yourself in a tactical advantage prior to needing it.
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