Infantry Drills

2-329: Spoiling Attack

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2-329. A spoiling attack is a tactical maneuver employed to impair a hostile attack while the enemy is in the process of forming or assembling for an attack. The spoiling attack usually employs heavy, attack helicopter, or fire support elements to attack on enemy assembly positions in front of a main line of resistance or battle position.

2-330. The objective of a spoiling attack is to disrupt the enemy’s offensive capabilities and timelines while destroying targeted enemy personnel and equipment, not to secure terrain and other physical objectives. Two conditions must be met to conduct a survivable spoiling attack:

  • The spoiling attack’s objective must be obtainable before the enemy being able to respond to the attack in a synchronized and coordinated manner.
  • The force conducting the spoiling attack must be prevented from becoming over extended.

2-331. Infantry forces conduct a spoiling attack whenever possible during friendly defensive missions to strike an enemy force while it is in AA or attack positions preparing for its own offensive mission or is stopped temporarily.

Next: 2-332: Electronic Warfare

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