Infantry Drills

2-324: Counterattack

Previous: 2-321: Ambush

2-324. A counterattack is an attack by part or all of a defending force against an enemy attacking force, for such specific purposes as regaining ground lost or cutting off or destroying enemy advance units. The general objective is to deny the enemy his goal in attacking. The leader directs a counterattack normally conducted from a defensive posture, to defeat or destroy enemy forces, exploit an enemy weakness such as an exposed flank, or to regain control of terrain and facilities after an enemy success. A unit conducts a counterattack to seize the initiative from the enemy through offensive action. A counterattacking force maneuvers to isolate and destroy a designated enemy force. It can be an assault by fire into an engagement area to defeat or destroy an enemy force, restore the original position, or block an enemy penetration. Once launched, the counterattack normally becomes a decisive operation for the leader conducting the counterattack.

2-325. To be decisive, the counterattack occurs when the enemy is overextended, dispersed, and disorganized during his attack. All counterattacks should be rehearsed in the same conditions they will be conducted. Careful consideration is given to the event triggering the counterattack. Once committed, the counterattack force conducts the decisive operation.

Next: 2-326: Demonstrations

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