Military Tactical Maneuvers: Infiltration Tactics

Infiltration Tactics

“When you’re on the march, act the way you would if you was sneaking up on a deer.
See the enemy first.”

~ Major Rogers standing orders for his Rangers in 1759.”

Major Rogers standing orders for his Rangers in 1759

Infiltration Tactics

There are times in small unit warfare that infiltration tactics are needed.  This is one of the hardest tactics to switch to the individual defender for practical use, but I will do the best I can.

Infiltration is used when you want to execute movement, undetected, into and through enemy territory, so you can occupy an area or position your group into the enemy’s rear area to give an attack advantage.

The forces that are infiltrating generally are lightly equipped and stealthy so they can slip through the front line to strategically attack certain parts of enemy forces.

I will be discussing 3 main types of Infiltration Tactical Maneuvers:

French Infiltration Tactics

Laffargue Infiltration Tactics

Hutier Infiltration Tactics

French Infiltration Tactics

In 1915 the French proposed the first wave of infantry penetrate as far as possible and leave the strong points to be dealt with by follow-up waves.  This was partially adopted in battle, but German counter attacks were difficult to reinforce or hold against.

Laffargue Infiltration Tactics

Captain Laffargue, from experience, proposed a similar idea but decided that the small unit should have mobile firepower do deal with machine guns.  He wanted to penetrate gaps and weak points while the strong points would be temporarily neutralized by fire or smoke.  The new waves would encircle and attack each one.

Hutier Infiltration Tactics

German General Oskar von Hutier used Laffargue’s insights to supplement tactics being developed.  First, is a brief and violent artillery attack of the enemy front lines.  He wanted to suppress the positions instead of destroying them.

Then, the artillery would be shifter to the enemy’s rear to disrupt lines of communication, artillery, logistics, and command / control nodes.  This was a critical disruption to provide confusion, weaken counterattacks, concentrated fires, or ability to fill gaps/penetrations.

Light infantry would evade and bypass fortified positions, and identify gaps in the front line, and be followed by more heavily armed units.

Then heavy units would attack the strong points and yet other forces would enter gaps shortly after to further attack the strong points which would quicken the collapse of the entire front.

Reasons to use Infiltration Tactics

Direct attack from lightly defended positions

To flank or rear attack strongly defended positions

Disrupt enemy operations

Reconissance or surveillance

If you are wanting to succeed at this, you must be a force that:

Has trained together

Established command and control

Is small for stealth

Is large enough to get out of trouble

Infiltration Lanes

Infiltration Lanes

We will stick with a single lane of infiltration, since in a defense position, you probably will only have a small force.

Rally Points

Rally Point is an easily identifiable object where the force can assemble or reorganize if dispersed.  (remember that I have discussed rally points in bug out scenarios on my blog post about Action Plans.  Rally points should be defensible as well as away from normal routes of movement.

  • Initial Rally Point – Assemble for initial instructions, behind friendly lines
  • En Route Rally Point – based on terrain and visibility
  • Objective Rally Point – ORPs are tentative until objective is pinpointed and can be used before and after conducting objective ops.  It is out of sight, sound, and small arms distance.  This is where:
    Orders can be updated
    Recon information is typically received
    Update preps
    Determine missing soldiers or equipment after objective actions
  • Reentry Rally Point – Where everyone will meet before reentry of friendly lines.  It is out of sight, sound, and small arms distance or friendly lines.  It will be occupied as a security perimeter as well
  • Near / Far Side Rally Points – If accidental contact is made during infiltration and control is lost, people on the sides of this point will go to nearest rally point to them to regroup.

When will you need to consider infiltration?

Reconnaissance

Neighborhood defense, using urban terrain to flank the marauders

For use of a precision attack on a superior force in a rioting scenario.

Can you think of any other uses for this?  What about the best ways to train together?

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