New PDF release: A historical perspective on light infantry

By Scott R McMichael; Combat Studies Institute (U.S.)

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By Scott R McMichael; Combat Studies Institute (U.S.)

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Extra resources for A historical perspective on light infantry

Sample text

In each case, the block was established by two or more battalions that occupied static defensive positions that were wellfortified and dug-in. The battalions received additional supporting weapons by air. Outside the block, a mobile "floater" column or columns patrolled to be ready to attack any enemy from the rear or flank that tried to clear the block These floater columns maintained radio contact with the block and were relieved periodically to keep them fresh. Floater columns, however, did not always work out well; sometimes they lacked the necessary punch to take on a strong, alert enemy force.

53 Leadership and Morale High levels of morale and esprit were developed in the Special Force and Galahad. These were generated, in part, by the arduous training these units endured. The skills they acquired in training produced in the men supreme confidence in their abilities to succeed. Further improving their morale was their assurance that they would be evacuated by air should they be wounded or hurt. Morale was also strengthened by the Chindits' trust in their capable tactical leaders: the men were willing to place their lives in their leaders' hands.

1 4 The pace, duration, and intensity of the training were all designed to create and maintain an ultra-high level of stress and physical demands. Wingate's intent was to cut the deadwood early, to make the officers and men prove their ability to suffer and endure. One of the most celebrated Chindit commanders, Brigadier Michael Calvert, noted that three or four of his older commanders dropped out quickly, too old and unfit for the hardships. ) Another brigade commander, John Masters, stated that no one over the age of thirty-five should have been permitted to remain in the organization; the physical stress simply was beyond their capability.

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A historical perspective on light infantry by Scott R McMichael; Combat Studies Institute (U.S.)


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