Fire and maneuver.
(1) Unless otherwise ordered by the platoon leader, the squad leader permits his squad to open fire only when fire action is necessary to cover a further advance. At the first firing position, the squad seeks to gain fire superiority over the enemy to its front. Fire superiority is gained by subjecting the enemy to fire of such accuracy and intensity that his fire becomes so inaccurate or so reduced in volume as to be ineffective; once gained, it must be maintained. Unless supporting weapons or other units are able to maintain fire superiority without any help from the squad, enough members of the squad must remain in position and continue the fire to maintain it. The automatic rifle's capacity for putting down a large volume of fire makes it especially useful for this purpose. Meanwhile, other members of the squad move forward, take up firing positions closer to the enemy, and, by their fire, cover the forward movement of the rearward members. By this combination of fire and maneuver, the squad advances close enough to capture the hostile position by assault. (See pars. 154 and 155.)
(2) When the squad begins firing, the method of its further advance is determined by the effectiveness of the hostile fire and by the terrain features affording cover. The squad must take advantage of every irregularity of the ground to provide protection against hostile fire. Complete fire superiority is required for men to advance over open ground in the face of an unbeaten enemy. The squad can advance as a unit only when completely defiladed from hostile small-arms fire or when the hostile fire is kept neutralized by the fire of other units or of supporting weapons. Therefore, the squad usually works forward by irregular or successive advances of individuals.
(3) Rushes by individuals or small groups are used to move from cover to cover across short stretches of terrain. Even in very open terrain the well-trained rifleman will be able to locate and use all kinds of limited cover, such as slight depressions or rises. However, in very open areas,
an advance will usually necessitate overwhelming fire superiority with consequent longer bounds between firing positions. To leave a covered position, make a short rush, and drop into a position which affords no protection from enemy ground fire, serves only to increase losses
without commensurate gain.
(4) The automatic rifleman supports the rapid advance of other members of the squad from positions best suited to provide support. Because of the difficulty of maintaining an adequate supply of ammunition, and because it is more easily spotted by the characteristic fire in bursts, the fire of automatic rifles is conserved for the actual needs of the situation*. Thus, when the fires of individual riflemen serve to accomplish the desired effect, they are used in preference to the automatic rifle.
(5) The squad increases its rate of fire during periods when any part of it or of an adjacent squad is in movement.
(6) When the squad leader decides to advance with certain individuals, he turns command of the remaining men over to the assistant squad leader. The assistant squad leader causes the remaining men to advance on his orders. The squad leader decides whether the automatic rifleman will accompany'him in the first group of individuals or remain under the control of the assistant squad leader. In other situations, the squad leader may direct that his assistant control the advance of the first few individuals, while the squad leader remains in his present position. Exceptionally, when the squad is able to advance in a single rush, the squad leader gives the necessary commands. The intensity of the hostile resistance and the
available cover will indicate which method should be used.
(a) In moving forward from one firing position to another, and if a defiladed area is available behind the new position, the men are halted in rear of it. The squad leader creeps forward quickly to locate and observe the target, and to decide where to place the individual members of his squad. First he selects a position for the automatic rifleman; then he decides how and where to employ his riflemen. He requires the men to move forward and
observe the target with a minimum of exposure and gives his preliminary fire orders (sight setting and description of the target). He then commands: FIRE POSITION, and his men crawl to a position from which they can open fire on the target at the leader's signal. The squad leader then orders or signals COMMENCE FIRING.
(b) When this method cannot be followed, the squad leader may designate the new firing position to the first individuals to advance, send them forward, and thereafter build up the new firing line with other men as they arrive. At times it may be necessary to advance to a new firing position merely by signaling FORWARD to individuals or groups in the squad and then leaving it up to the leading element to select the new firing position.
*Интересно, что хотя боекомплект к B.A.R. был существенно больше, чем к ДП, все равно оставляют автоогонь только для "решительных моментов боя", а в остальное время в основном стреляют винтовки.