Infantry Drills

Section IX: Battlefield Obscuration

Previous: Section VIII: Operation During Limited Visibility

2-346. Obscuration mission planning and execution can occur during both the offense and the defense and can be very effective. Firing smoke on enemy positions can degrade the vision of gunners and known or suspected observation posts, preventing them from seeing or tracking targets and, thereby, reducing their effectiveness. When employed against an attacking force, white phosphorus (WP) can cause confusion and disorientation by degrading the enemy’s mission command capabilities; while friendly units retain the ability to engage the enemy using thermal sights and range cards. Enemy vehicles become silhouetted as they emerge from the smoke. If smoke employment is planned and executed correctly, this occurs as the enemy reaches the trigger line.

Next: 2-347: Planning Considerations

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