Infantry Drills

F-35: Classification of Fires with Respect to the Target

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F-35. Fires with respect to the target include enfilade, frontal, flanking, and oblique fire. (See figure F-11, page F-16, and figures F-12 and F-13, both on F-17.) These targets normally are presented to gun teams by the enemy and must be engaged as they are presented. For example, if the enemy presents its flank to the gun crew as it moves past their position from the left or right, the gun crew will have no choice but to employ flanking fire on the enemy.

F-36. Leaders and gunners should strive at all times to position their gun teams where they can best take advantage of the machine gun’s beaten zone with respect to an enemy target. Channeling the enemy by use of terrain or obstacles so they approach a friendly machine gun position from the front in a column formation is one example. In this situation, the machine gun would employ enfilade fire on the enemy column, and effects of the machine gun’s beaten zone would be much greater than if it engaged enemy column from the flank.

Next: F-37: Enfilade Fire

Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad