Infantry Drills

6-141: Conducting an Antiarmor Ambush

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6-141. Platoons and squads conduct antiarmor ambushes (see figure 6-13) to destroy armored vehicles. The antiarmor ambush may be part of an area ambush. The antiarmor ambush consists of the assault element (armor-killer element) and support-security element.

Figure 6-13. Anti-armor ambush

6-142. The armor-killer element is built around the CCMSs. (See appendix G of this publication for information about employment of the Javelin.) The leader should consider additional SLMs available to supplement the CCMS fires. The leader considers the mission variables of METT-TC to position all antiarmor weapons to take advantage of their best engagement aspect (rear, flank, or top). The remainder of the platoon must function as support-security elements in the same manner as the other forms of ambushes to cover dismounted enemy avenues of approach into the ambush site.

6-143. In a platoon antiarmor ambush, the company commander selects the general site of the ambush with the platoon leader finding a specific site restricting the movement of enemy armored vehicles out of the designated kill zone. The platoon leader should emplace his weapons so an obstacle is between the platoon and the kill zone. In a squad antiarmor ambush, the platoon leader selects the general site of the ambush and the squad leader then finds a site restricting the movement of enemy armored vehicles out of the kill zone.

6-144. The leader should consider the method for initiating the antiarmor ambush. The preferred method should be a mass casualty-producing signal initiated by a reliable weapon system or explosive, such as a main gun round from a tank or infantry carrier, the detonation of mines or explosives, or other direct fire crew-served weapons that fire from a closed bolt. The Javelin can be used to initiate the ambush, but even with its limited signature, it may be less desirable than an antitank mine.

6-145. The armor-killer team destroys the first and last vehicle in the enemy formation, if possible. All other weapons begin firing once the ambush has been initiated.

6-146. The leader must determine how the presence of dismounted enemy soldiers with armored vehicles will affect the success of the ambush. The leader’s choices include:

  • Initiate the ambush as planned.
  • Withdraw without initiating the ambush.
  • Initiate the ambush with medium machine guns without firing antiarmor weapons.

6-147. Because of the speed enemy armored forces can reinforce the ambushed enemy with, the leader should plan to keep the engagement short and have a quick withdrawal planned. The platoon, based on METT-TC, may not clear the kill zone as in other forms of ambushes.

Next: 6-148: Conducting A Point Ambush

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