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3-26. Retrograde is a defensive task involving organized movement away from the enemy. The enemy may force a retrograde or the leader may execute it voluntarily. In either case, the higher commander of the force executing the operation must approve retrograding.
3-27. Retrogrades are conducted to improve a tactical situation or preventing a worse situation from developing. Platoons usually conduct retrogrades as part of a larger force but may conduct independent retrogrades (withdrawal) as required. Retrograde operations can accomplish the following:
- Resist, exhaust, and defeat enemy forces.
- Draw the enemy into an unfavorable situation.
- Avoid contact in undesirable conditions.
- Gain time.
- Disengage a force from battle for use elsewhere for other missions.
- Reposition forces, shorten lines of communication, or conform to movements of other friendly units.
- Secure favorable terrain.
3-28. The three forms of retrograde are—
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Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad