Infantry Drills

3-68: Main Battle Area

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3-68. The main battle area is the area in a defense where the leader intends to deploy the bulk of the unit’s combat power and conduct decisive operations to defeat an attacking enemy. The defending leader‘s major advantage is the ability to select the ground on which the battle takes place. The defender positions subordinate forces in mutually supporting positions in-depth to absorb enemy penetrations or canalize them into prepared engagement area, defeating the enemy’s attack by concentrating the effects of overwhelming combat power. The natural defensive strength of positions determines the distribution of forces in relation to both frontage and depth. In addition, defending units typically employ field fortifications and obstacles to improve the terrain’s natural defensive strength. The main battle area also includes the area where the defending force
creates an opportunity to deliver a decisive counterattack to defeat or destroy the enemy.

Next: 3-69: Sequence of the Defense

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