Infantry Drills

6-117: Linear Ambush

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6-117. In an ambush using a linear formation, the assault and support elements parallel the target’s route. This positions the assault and support elements on the long axis of the kill zone and subjects the target to flanking fire. (See figure 6-7.) Only a target that can be covered with a full volume of fire can be engaged in the kill zone. A dispersed target might be too large for the kill zone. This is the disadvantage of linear formations.

6-118. The linear formation is good in close terrain restricting the target’s maneuver, and in open terrain where one flank is blocked by natural obstacles or can be blocked by other means such as Claymores. Claymores or explosives can be placed between the assault and support elements and kill zone to protect the unit from counter-ambush actions.

6-119. When the ambushing unit deploys this way, it leaves access lanes through the obstacles so it can assault the target. An advantage of the linear formation is the relative ease by which it can be controlled under all visibility conditions.

Figure 6-7. Linear ambush

Next: 6-120: L-Shaped Ambush

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