One of the oldest adages in war is “always hold the high ground”. The high ground gives you a vantage point from which to see and shoot the enemy. This blog entry is a friendly reminder that carelessly stepping into the high ground also gives the enemy an opportunity to see and shoot you.
The simulation I’m using for this entry is Steel Beasts ProPE.
A US Cavalry M1 Abrams MBT/M3 Bradley CFV “hunter/killer” team is on the base of a hill. Enemy is likely to be on the other side.
Map showing the hunter/killer team (pink icon in the center) and the line of sight (red/white areas) from their position. At this point the team is in the base of the hill and the line of sight is good to the flanks and to the rear. Since no enemy forces are at the team’s flanks or rear, there is no danger so far.
The hunter/killer cresting the hill. Given the small size of the team and the unknown strength of enemy forces ahead, this wonderful view of the valley is quite dangerous. The reason for this is explained in the caption of the next figure.
Map showing the hunter/killer team (pink icon in the center) and the line of sight (red/white areas) from the crest of the hill. Note how the team can see more terrain than before (good), yet it can also be seen from more enemy-held territory (bad). If weak enemy forces are encountered, the team may survive by firing back. But if equal or superior enemy forces are encountered ... You get the idea.
The crest of hills sometimes make great battle positions. But moving through them while on the march/attack/etc, or stepping on them while on reconnaissance is most of the times not advisable.
In the next installment: what to do instead of cresting.