New PDF release: World War II (Secret History - Britannica Digital Learning)

By John Townsend

ISBN-10: 1615356088

ISBN-13: 9781615356089

Part of a six ebook sequence that investigates the hidden international of spies, double brokers, assassins and saboteurs and the way their activities affected the process the world's significant conflicts.

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Extra info for World War II (Secret History - Britannica Digital Learning)

Sample text

Missions lasted one or two days, with clearly defined tasks and objectives. If enemy outposts were encountered, action was avoided unless they could be destroyed or driven off without diverting the patrol from its mission. Assault guns or tanks might be attached if strong resistance was expected. The AFVs of the patrol remained in sight of each other, but in open country they could be as much as 300 metres apart. 53 A pre-war Japanese patrol on exercises, with Mount Fuji in the background. Reconnaissance was part of the training, but was often neglected in practice, due to overreliance on the strength of will (seishin), underestimation of the enemy, and the tendency to expect the enemy to do as the Japanese had anticipated.

The unit which is to perform such a reconnaissance may vary in size from a company to a battalion with artillery support. If the Germans expect to encounter unusually well-fortified positions with prepared obstacles, a unit consisting of engineers, heavy artillery and tanks is integrated into the reconnaissance party. The Germans try to conduct a reconnaissance-in-force with all the speed they can achieve. If their first attempt is unsuccessful, they often repeat an attack, sometimes immediately after the first failure.

When the Germans are thoroughly prepared, they launch a night attack. If Russian units detect the approaching groups and open fire on them, the Germans signal for the previously prepared artillery and mortar fire. Reconnaissance-in-force is the most ambitious of all German reconnaissance missions. As a rule, it is directed against a wellfortified position, and precedes an offensive. Before such a reconnaissance, small groups, like those described above, will have tried to define the boundaries of the main objective.

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World War II (Secret History - Britannica Digital Learning) by John Townsend

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