If cresting hills is not a good idea, what is one to do then?
As one of the faithful readers of this blog (thank you Alan for visiting!) commented in the previous entry, the key is moving like the flow of water. Move around hills, not through them. There are many variations of how to do this and I'm going to write only about the one I'm most familiar with.
Please see a graphical representation in the next figure.
- Of all the members of the hunter/killer team, I've chosen the main battle tank to move and watch ahead. It's always better to make contact with the enemy with the most survivable platform. You may be wondering where all the buzz about the M3 CFVs acting as hunters went, but remember that this situation the hunter/killer team has a moderately small area to cover and is moving ahead as a team instead of separating themselves into different roles
- Below the hill, the tank moves following a contour line of the hill, preferably the lowest one. In the figure below the movement path of the tank is represented by the big blue arrow. The small blue arrows fanning out the big blue arrow represent the orientation of the turret.
- The two M3 CFVs provide over watch while the tank moves. They cover the terrain in front of the tank's axis of movement and the right flank. At this stage of the drill, the two M3 CFVs are represented in the figure by big blue arrowheads. The small blue arrows fanning out from the blue arrowheads represent turrets orientations
- As the tank moves across the countour line, successive sections of enemy-held terrain can be scanned with the tank's TIS. The first terrain sections to be visible will be the ones around the "C" label in the figure, then the ones the "B" label
- If enemy units were located at "A", "B" and "C", the tank would make contact with each, one at a time. Compare this to cresting the hill and making contact with all enemy units simultaneously
- Once the contour line around the hill changes direction, so does the the direction of movement of the tank. The tank re-orients along new direction of the contour line, stops at the tip of the big blue arrow and waits for the M3 CFVs to occupy new overwatch positions (red arrowheads in the figure)
- The tank now moves again along the contour line (big red arrow in the figure), scanning the western side of the terrain labelled "B" and eventually the terrain labelled "A"
"Tank Rush", the US Cavalry version. Click the image for an expanded view.Cheers,
There is catch to this. If contact with the enemy is made the tank will be showing not its front but its left hull side to the enemy. Always keep in mind that the tank's best armor is located in its front. So be ready to quickly pull back into cover when contact is made (see figure below). This will allow you to re-orient behind the cover of the hill and then engage the enemy from a hull-down position.
It's better to be nagged about a damaged gearbox than to be awarded a posthumous Purple Heart. Click the image for an expanded view.