Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Night Attack

In a night attack maintaining control of your troops can be difficult. It is hard to know where they are, and hard for them to know where they are located. Using very distinctive markers, like roads, streams or other lateral objects can be helpful as phase lines to control movement.

Units at the front can also fire flares into the air. Some types of flares can burst like fireworks so that they don't illuminate the ground. This can tell the commander the progress of the attack as he watches the progress of the different colored flares.

Artillery can be difficult to control too at night. The field telephone cables can be played out as the troops advance so that communication can be maintained with the fire direction center. The biggest problem is that the infantry will advance into the artillery fire.

The momentum of an attack is difficult to maintain at night. Troops become frightened when they think they are alone. Stopping to fire, it can be difficult to regain the urge to move forward again. Non-commissioned officers are critical to keep the troops moving. In the Soviet Army the Commissar and his NKVD henchmen often helped to urge the troops forward.

Night attacks can be very difficult to coordinate and often fail due to a lack of planning, coordination and training. In my wargame rules we simulate night by preventing observation and firing at far distances to simulate some of the problems.


laboratore said...

Well, one of the best troops all over the world are the finnish.
In an episode of the war against the soviets, the finnish slaughtered a lot of the enemies in a nocturne combat, fighting only with knifes, bayonets, axes... without one shot

Dead from the night!

Bunkermeister said...

The Finns more than held their own against the Soviets.