[Retyped and formatted by Air War College, Nonresident Studies]
TR 440-15 1-8 TRAINING REGULATIONS WAR DEPARTMENT, No. 440-15 WASHINGTON, January 26, 1926
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF THE
Prepared under direction of the
Chief of Air Service
Paragraphs SECTION I. Functions of Air Service................................. 1 - 5 II. Characteristics of aircraft.............................. 6 - 10 III. General organization.....................................11 - 14 IV. The special role of each class of military aviation......15 - 18
FUNCTIONS OF AIR SERVICE
Paragraphs Doctrine of war......................................................... 1 Mission of the Army..................................................... 2 Mission of the Air Service.............................................. 3 General principle governing the employment of the Air Service........... 4 Administration and training responsibilities for the Air Service........ 5
1. Doctrine of war. --Doctrine of war is the theory of use of the Nation’s force under particular conditions and is based upon national characteristics and resources. Decision to go to war having been made, operations will be carried into hostile territory, and every resource of the Nation--mental, moral, and physical--will be utilized to bring about a definite, speedy, and successful conclusion. (Par. 2, TR 10-5)
2. Mission of the Army. --The mission of the Army is to utilize speedily and effectively the national resources to the extent authorized by Congress and required by the particular conditions, and to overcome the will of the enemy by all available means. The primary objective will be the destruction of his armed forces, and this demands that the strategical and tactical offensive be taken and maintained until a decision is reached. The strategical and tactical defensive is authorized only as a temporary measure to meet the requirements of the principle of economy of force. (Par. 2, TR 10-5)
3. Mission of the Air Service. --The mission of the Air Service is to assist the ground forces to gain strategical and tactical success by destroying enemy aviation, attacking enemy ground forces and other enemy objectives on land or sea, and in conjunction with other agencies to protect ground forces from hostile aerial observation and attack. In addition it furnishes aerial observation for information and for artillery fire and also provides messenger service and transportation for special personnel.
4. General principle governing the employment of the Air Service. --
a. Air Service is an essential arm in all major operations. The organization and training of all air units is based on the fundamental doctrine that their mission is to aid the ground forces to gain decisive success.
b. While all operations conducted by air units will be based on this doctrine, the nature of the cooperation and support varies for different classes of units, as well as with the special conditions associated with each operation. Some units always operate as organic elements of ground commands, while others may be temporarily attached by ground units or may cooperate by indirect support in the area of the ground battlefield or at a distance therefrom.
5. Administration and training responsibilities of the Air Service --This branch of the Army is charged with the care and operation of the aeronautical equipment of the Army and, as prescribed in TR 10-5, must be trained in--
a. Attainment of the greatest possible skill in all phases of flying, including quick maneuver in formation, and aerial navigation.
b. Marksmanship with machine guns, cannons, and bombs.
c. Strategical and tactical observation and reconnaissance.
d. Attack of objectives in the air, on the ground, and on the water.
e. Work of the combined arms and in joint Army and Navy exercises.
f. Maintenance of communications and under all conditions.
g. Use of its auxiliary equipment.
h. Employment of large air units in coordinated operations.
CHARACTERISTICS OF AIRCRAFT
Paragraph Tactical employment affected by types of aircraft and their equipment... 6 Effect of essential characteristics upon design of airplanes............ 7 Characteristics of military airplanes................................... 8 Characteristics of balloons............................................. 9 Characteristics of airships............................................. 10
6. Tactical employment affected by types of aircraft and their equipment. --Aircraft are classified as heavier-than-air (airplanes) and lighter-than-air (balloons and airships). Any clear tactical doctrine with respect to the use of aircraft for performing their accepted military missions in war must be based on definite types which will be actually in use at the outbreak of war, and which can be put into quantity production without delay. This does not mean that there will be any curtailment of effort to determine the characteristics of, to successfully design, to fly, to adopt for use, and to arrange for quantity production of, improved types.
It does mean that while these efforts to improve types are going on there will exist clean-cut decisions as to types that can and will be used in case of sudden emergency; definite arrangements for their quantity production in case of emergency, and definite doctrines for the proper handling of these types.
The armament and equipment carried by aircraft affect tactical employment. At present such materiel includes, in addition to flying equipment, machine guns, cannon, bombs, and communication and photographic apparatus.
7. Effect of essential characteristics upon design of airplanes. --
a. The design of an airplane is always a matter of compromise. It is simple enough to design one that will carry a great weight of fuel or explosive, or to build one with great speed, or one that can climb rapidly or be easily maneuvered, but it is impossible to construct one that will possess in the maximum degree all of these characteristics at the same time. It is necessary, therefore, to determine, from a purely tactical standpoint, what purposes airplanes are to serve in war, and to build different types with appropriate characteristics, endeavoring as far as possible to keep the number of types at a minimum.
b. The most striking characteristic of the airplane is speed. It may be stated as an axiom that the very maximum speed must be sought while giving due consideration to the other features which must be incorporated in its design. However, there are certain disadvantages attendant on speed that must be noted. For example, as the maximum speed of the airplane is increased the landing speed becomes relatively greater and the airdrome required larger.
c. Next in importance is maneuverability, which may be defined as ease of handling and quickness with which the plane can be made to change direction or to perform evolutions.
d. Fuel capacity limits the radius of action. No rule can be given other than the general desirability of reducing weight carried to a minimum consistent with the missions to be performed.
e. The weight-carrying ability must always be reduced to a minimum consistent with the purpose for which the plane is designed.
f. Armament is, of course, essential. The character and amount provided for any plane will be governed by the class of service for which the particular type of plane is designed, but must in all cases be adequate to give the plane sufficient gun power to perform its mission.
g. Armor on an airplane, on account of its weight, detracts from its other desirable qualities, while it adds little to its defensive strength, which rests on speed, maneuverability, and armament. It is now justifiable only on certain specialized types of planes. When used at all, it must be reduced to a minimum.
h. Communication between pilot and observer, between the planes of air unit commanders in the air, and with ground troops is of great importance and warrants adding the weight of the necessary equipment.
i. The field of view of the pilot and crew must be as extensive as possible.
j. Ease of maintenance is a factor that must enter largely into airplane design and is one which has a direct and important tactical bearing. It greatly influences the percentage of planes that can be kept in commission.
k. Speed in vertical direction, or "rate of climb," must be considered in the design of all types, but is particularly important in pursuit aviation.
8. Characteristics of military airplanes. --Military airplanes are divided into 4 classes--pursuit, attack, bombardment, and observation--each of which demands an airplane of different characteristics and, therefore, of different design.
a. The pursuit airplane. --The main characteristic that must be embodied in this design is that which will encourage the pilot to attack, whatever may be his mission, as the offensive spirit is the very essence of pursuit employment. The distinctively defensive characteristics are therefore minimized. Consequently, it should possess the highest speed and best maneuverability obtainable, with an endurance and ceiling sufficient to accomplish the most difficult mission that it may be called upon to perform under average conditions. The weight carried must be reduced to a minimum; therefore, armor must be dispensed with, and where provision is made for the installation of bomb racks they should be detachable and made for small bombs only.
b. The attack airplane. –The principal characteristics are speed and maneuverability consistent with the load to be carried, which consists of the crew, a heavy battery of machine guns and light cannon arranged for ground fire, and a bomb load consisting of a limited number of small bombs. As attack aviation will usually operate at comparatively low altitudes, a high ceiling is not necessary, and as its principal missions will be within the area of the battlefield, only a normal cruising radius is required. This type of airplane affords the crew good visibility.
c. The bombardment airplane. --The prime requisite is the ability to carry, at sufficient speed and altitude, the maximum bomb load necessary for the destruction of the strongest objective against which it may be employed.
(1) The light bombardment airplane. --This type is equipped with a single motor of high horsepower and carries a pilot and a crew of 1 or more men. It has sufficient fuel capacity for a long cruising radius. It must be capable of carrying quantities of fragmentation and demolition bombs at normal high speed and of attaining a high altitude with this load. The armament consists of both fixed and flexible machine guns and the airplane is equipped for both radio and photography.
(2) The heavy bombardment airplane. --This should be of the multimotored type and carry a pilot and a crew of 2 or more men. It must carry great weights of bombs and, consistent with this requirement, must have as much speed, climb, ceiling and cruising radius as possible. Its armament for air defense consists of flexible machine guns, and it is equipped with radio and the necessary installation for photographic equipment.
d. The observation airplane. --Observation airplanes are biplace, equipped with a single motor and have the best possible ground visibility. The auxiliary equipment for reconnaissance and cooperation with ground troops is readily accessible to the pilot and observer. They should have a fuel capacity of at least 4 hours, sufficient speed, maneuverability, climb and ceiling to perform the many and various missions with which charged. The defensive air armament consists normally of 4 machine guns. These planes are equipped with radio, and with the necessary installations for photographic apparatus and may be equipped with racks for small bombs. The chief difference that exists between the observation planes of the division, corps, and Army is the higher ceiling demanded for the Army observation planes.
9. Characteristics of balloons. --The captive balloon secures its lift in calm weather from the buoyancy of the gas with which it is filled, and in windy weather from a combination of the gas and the kiting effect of the wind on the envelope. By means of a windlass mounted on a truck the balloon is allowed to rise and is lowered. The truck is capable of moving the balloon while inflated. Suspended from the balloon is a basket which accommodates the observers who maintain telephone connection with the balloon company exchange. Balloons are capable of ascending to a maximum height of 4,500 feet and of obtaining a field of view, under favorable conditions, extending over a radius of about 20 miles.
10. Characteristics of airships. --The airship is essentially a stream-lined gas bag, propelled by motive power, to which is attached or suspended one or more cars for the accommodation of the crew, load, power plant, and control system. On the basis of design they are classified as nonrigid, semirigid, and rigid. (The figures used in subparagraphs a, b, and c apply to the present time, 1925.)
a. The nonrigid type. --This type depends entirely upon internal pressure to maintain the shape of its body. They are small in size, varying from 35,000 to 450,000 cubic feet displacement, and having a disposable lift of 1 to 4 1/2 tons. The crew carried is from 2 to 8 men; the speeds vary from 40 to 60 miles per hour; endurance at full speed from 10 to 30 hours; and the maximum altitude to which they can ascend is from 6,000 to 10,000 feet.
b. The semirigid type. --The semirigid type differs from the nonrigid in having a keel attached throughout its length to the underside of the envelope. Airships varying from 400,000 to 1,200,000 cubic feet displacement with a disposable lift of from 4 to 18 tons are practicable with this construction. The crew carried is from 8 to 25 men; the speeds vary from 42 to 70 miles per hour; endurance at full speed is from 15 to 36 hours; and the maximum altitude to which they can ascend is from 6,000 to 12,000 feet. The efficient maximum limit in size of this type is about 1,000,000 feet.
c. The rigid type. --This type does not depend upon internal pressure for the maintenance of its shape, as this is fixed by a rigid metal framework inclosed by a suitable covering. The lifting components, consisting of several gas bags, are placed inside this framework, their only function being to provide the necessary buoyancy. Airships of this type vary in size from about 1,000,000 to 2,500,000 cubic feet displacement, with a disposable lift of from 20 to 60 tons. The crew carried is from 14 to 35 men; the speeds vary from 50 to 75 miles per hour; endurance at full speed is from 18 to 50 hours; and the maximum altitude to which they can ascend is about 20,000 feet.
Paragraph Organizational relations of the Air Service............................. 11 Observation aviation.................................................... 12 The Army air force...................................................... 13 The GHQ air force....................................................... 14
11. Organizational relations of the Air Service. --The organizational relations of the Air Service are as follows:
a. Observation aviation is an integral part of Infantry divisions, corps, and armies, with a reserve under GHQ.
b. An army air force of attack and pursuit aviation is an integral part of each field army.
c. GHQ air force of bombardment and pursuit aviation and airships is an integral part of GHQ.
d. The commanders of division, corps, and army services exercise dual functions. They exercise tactical command over their respective air units but not over air units attached or assigned to subordinate units. They are also technical staff officers of their respective division, corps, or army commanders (Par. 4, AR 95-5)
12. Observation aviation. --
a. Aircraft of both the heavier and lighter than air types are employed. The basic organization of the units employing heavier-than-air craft is the observation squadron; that of units employing lighter-than-air craft, the airship company and the balloon company. When two or more units of the same character are assigned to the same command, they are organized into a group, two or more groups forming a wing and two or more wings a brigade.
b. Observation aviation is an integral part of infantry divisions and larger units. One squadron of 13 planes is an organic part of each infantry division; each corps has one observation group of 2 squadrons and 1 balloon group of 4 companies; each army 1 observation group of 4 squadrons; and the GHQ reserve 1 observation group of 4 squadrons, 1 balloon brigade, and 1 airship brigade. The latter forms part of the GHQ air force. For special missions observation planes and balloons may be temporarily attached to infantry, cavalry, or artillery units, or to independent units smaller than divisions.
13. The Army air force. --
a. The cooperation of the Army air force with the ground troops may be obtained by operating directly with them or at a distance within the enemy army area. Pursuit aviation, being responsible for the destruction or dispersion of enemy aerial forces, protects the observation and attack aviation in carrying out their missions and also protects ground forces from aerial attacks. The attack division assists directly in the operations of the infantry, attacking enemy ground troops and enemy establishments. Pursuit operates under the direct orders of the Army commander, unless attached to a smaller unit. Attack while operating under orders of the Army commander may be attached to Army corps for specific battlefield missions. Pursuit aviation and ground antiaircraft forces should work in close cooperation in defense of specific localities. Whenever practicable, the latter should relieve the pursuit aviation for offensive action.
b. The normal operations of pursuit will as a rule provide attack aviation with sufficient protection. Should attack aviation be called upon to carry out a special mission far within the enemy's lines, the pursuit is sent to join it at vital points in the vicinity of the objective, and thus protection is furnished both while the attack is in progress and during the return of the attack aviation within its own lines.
c. When attack aviation is employed to assist the ground forces in the taking of definite objectives, close cooperation becomes necessary, particularly when such objectives are within the range of artillery fire. In most instances this cooperation is best accomplished by placing the attack aviation units directly under the command of the ground commander charged with the tactical handling of the forces involved.
d. During an attack by the Army, the Army air force is concentrated on the immediate front to assist the ground forces. If the enemy is defeated and forced to retreat and our forces pursue, the air component is particularly valuable in exploiting the advantage gained by the ground forces and by pressing the attack from the air, thereby interfering with enemy reorganization and counterattack.
e. When the army is on the march the pursuit patrols within well-defined limits to protect the ground forces from observation and attack by enemy aircraft. If the Army is on the defensive the Army air force endeavors to shield out forces from observation and harassment by enemy air forces. The same method of employment should be used when the Army is in retreat. Preparations for the evacuation of airdromes should be completed and new airdromes selected for immediate occupation in the event of an advance or a necessary withdrawal. Clear tracts of an approximate minimum area of 400 by 600 yards of practically level ground which can be prepared as a field from which to take off and land are essential.
f. One of the duties of attack aviation is the neutralization or destruction of antiaircraft defenses, when they seriously interfere with the operations of bombardment and observation aviation. Antiaircraft defenses provided for the battlefield are within the enemy combat zone normally covered by attack aviation. Those for rear area defense are ordinarily found without the combat area and are usually attacked only when aerial operations, ordinarily bombardment raids, are being carried out against the locality which the antiaircraft protects, and under such conditions pursuit cooperates.
g. In daylight attacks the approach should be made from different directions and every advantage taken for concealment, utilizing particularly all natural features of terrain, and a concerted diving attack should then be launched with machine-gun fire and bombs.
h. At night the first object of the attack should be the searchlights, for without them the batteries are unable to fire effectively. A rapid approach will force them to be darkened, which increases the probability of success of the bombing planes.
i. When the necessity arises, pursuit may be employed in such attacks as attack aviation.
14. The GHQ air force.--
a. The GHQ air service provides--
(1) A general reserve of air units for the field armies.
(2) A GHQ air force organized into large units, highly mobile and capable of effective action within the theater of operations or against distant objectives. It serves the double purpose of assisting directly the ground forces by joining in the ground battle and indirectly by operating against hostile lines of communication.
b. The GHQ air force consists of one air division and one airship brigade. It is self-contained and is capable of rapidly shifting its activities from one theater of operations to another, transporting the equipment and personnel necessary for its efficient operation and upkeep.
c. When a field army is involved in important operations, the army air force will usually be found insufficient to establish that superiority over the enemy aerial forces which will be necessary. Its greatest need will be additional pursuit and bombardment aviation. Under such conditions a whole or part of the GHQ air force may be attached to the army air force.
d. (1) The air division consists of 3 air brigades; each air brigade includes 2 bombardment wings, each wing consists of 1 bombardment group and 2 pursuit groups. The object of the air division is to obtain command of the air by the defeat, destruction, or neutralization of enemy aircraft in the air, and by the destruction of enemy air bases on the ground; to assist in the general mission of the army by attacking enemy combat ground forces and enemy establishments within the theater of operations; and to carry the war into the enemy interior by attacking his important strategical centers. The air division is also available to attack enemy naval forces operating against coasts.
(2) Upon the outbreak of war the offensive power of the Air Service should be ready for instant use, and the offensive in the air should be assumed immediately. During this period of hostilities offensive aerial operations will exert an important influence upon the future conduct of the campaign. It should be used offensively, primarily to secure the control of the air, and, secondarily, to disrupt and delay enemy communications and ground establishment.
(3) In the execution of strategical and tactical plans the GHQ air force possesses great freedom of movement, making it possible to rapidly concentrate superior forces at important points when necessary. The GHQ air force may assist the army in the execution of tactical missions by being employed on the battle front against objectives within the enemy combat zone or, indirectly, when conditions are favorable, by carrying out special missions at great distances from the ground forces.
While air forces can not capture important cities nor occupy disputed territory, nevertheless, once the hostile air force is defeated or neutralized, critical areas of the enemy country may be exposed to aerial attack. Aerial operations can then be employed freely against the enemy's lines of communication or other strategical objectives. Only to meet special and temporary situations should the air division be broken up into small units.
(4) The GHQ air force is of special value in coast defense. Its airships are employed to patrol at considerable distance off the coast to give early information of the approach of an enemy fleet, while the air division is used for attacking such enemy vessels as come within its radius of action. Due to its great mobility, the GHQ air force centrally located can be moved rapidly to any threatened portion of the coast.
(5) In carrying out an attack against a fleet the pursuit, attack, and bombardment aviation proceed in formation in the order names, but so disposed that the necessary operations can be accomplished in rapid sequence. The defensive power of the fleet, which rests in its aircraft and antiaircraft guns, is first neutralized by the pursuit which engages the hostile aerial forces and destroys them or drives them away from the fleet. At the same time smoke clouds are placed to the windward of the leading battleships providing a protective screen for the use of the remaining units in making their attack, and in addition tending to disrupt the fleet formation. The attack aviation then approaches at very low altitude and attacks the aircraft carriers and the antiaircraft and secondary batteries on the capital ships with light bombs, machine gun and cannon fire while the ships are still in or just emerging from the smoke. The bombardment, following closely the attack at the most advantageous altitude for bombing, then attacks the capital ships with heavy high explosive and demolition bombs.
THE SPECIAL ROLE OF EACH CLASS OF MILITARY AVIATION
Paragraph Pursuit aviation........................................................ 15 Bombardment aviation.................................................... 16 Attack aviation......................................................... 17 Observation aviation.................................................... 18
15. Pursuit aviation. --
a. The full value of observation, bombardment, and attack aviation can only be obtained with adequate pursuit protection.
b. Pursuit aviation is organized into flights, squadrons, groups, wings, and brigades. The flight consists of 8 airplanes, with the necessary personnel and equipment to function efficiently. The squadron is made up of 3 flights and is the smallest administrative unit. The group consists of 2 or more squadrons, normally 4, a service squadron and headquarters; the wing consists of 2 or more groups; the brigade consists of 2 or more wings. Pursuit aviation operates directly under the GHQ or Army commander.
c. The role of pursuit aviation is to seek out and engage hostile aviation, defeat or neutralize it and thus secure freedom of action for all air units as well as to protect our ground forces from aerial attack. In order to accomplish this its operations must always be of an offensive nature, and while the general missions with which it is charged are classified as offensive and defensive its principal mission is offensive, defensive missions being carried out only under special conditions. However, regardless of the mission with which it is charged, the end sought must be gained by offensive action.
(1) Offensive missions are carried out by pursuit acting alone or in cooperation with attack or bombardment. In either case the principle of economy of forces should be observed. While there should always be a concentration of effort, this will not demand, in all cases, employment of the larger aerial units. The tactical conditions associated with each situation will determine the strength of units assigned specific missions.
Pursuit normally operates in 3 echelons, consisting of the assault, support, and reserve, at low, medium, and high altitudes, respectively. The horizontal and vertical intervals between these echelons should be such that all are within supporting distance of each other, depending upon the activity and strength of the enemy and the altitude at which he is operating. The guiding principle is that the preponderance of our pursuit should meet the enemy at a greater altitude than the main body of the enemy's pursuit. Superior altitude in pursuit combat is of prime importance.
The normal tactics and habits of enemy pursuit aviation must be carefully studied, as the size of the assault echelon depends in a large measure on the enemy's dispositions. The support echelon is normally employed for the exploitation of any success gained by the assault echelon and for the repetition of its attacks where needed. The strength of the reserve will depend upon the completeness of the knowledge of the enemy's air strength. It should be large enough to attack any hostile pursuit aviation likely to intervene in the fight.
The formation adopted in flight consists of small and highly maneuverable units flying in close support of each other. In any pursuit action full commitment of strength should be avoided until it has been fully established that all enemy forces which might affect the outcome of the operation have been located. Once committed, however, the operation must be carried out with the utmost vigor in order to place the enemy pursuit on the defensive.
If the pursuit forces are equal to or greater than those of the enemy, the situation is favorable for missions combining pursuit and attack and pursuit and bombardment, with the double objective of enemy aircraft and objectives on the ground. Such objectives on the ground will consist of enemy combat forces, lines of communication, supply bases, etc., and operations against them should result in not only the destruction of military resources on the ground but may also offer an opportunity to attack enemy pursuit concentrations attempting to protect the areas attacked.
Pursuit after entering an offensive action is apt to become disorganized. If the enemy formation is broken up, the destruction of the scattered enemy units should be completed. The friendly force should then reorganize and proceed to a predetermined "rendezvous."
In operations against enemy vessels, airdromes, etc., pursuit should defeat, neutralize, or draw off the enemy pursuit in order to have the air clear for attack by the attack and bombardment aviation. Immediately after the destruction or neutralization of the enemy pursuit is accomplished, the pursuit should proceed against the exposed personnel.
(2) Defensive missions have for their object the protection of observation aircraft, convoys, lines of march, and ground forces. When, in order to protect corps and division observation, it is necessary to furnish special protection, a sufficiently large force should be provided. This pursuit force should meet the observation airplanes as they approach the lines and patrol so as to provide the necessary protection. In case these missions require a greater expenditure of gasoline than the capacity of the pursuit plane permits relief patrols are furnished. In the protection of observation on long-distance missions the pursuit commander arranges for the patrols to meet the observation aircraft at the point where enemy aircraft are most likely to be encountered. After meeting the observation aircraft pursuit will remain within supporting distance.
Troops on the march, motor convoys, wagon trains, troop trains, etc., are favorable targets for attack by aircraft. Traffic congestion due to a rapid advance or retreat having been located, an attack may result in serious damage. The commander of the Army air forces should, therefore, keep in touch with all movements of the ground forces and so employ his pursuit as to minimize the effects of the enemy's attacks.
(3) When pursuit is placed on the defensive it should so maneuver as to draw the enemy into a position for a favorable attack. Those units not engaged should endeavor to gain altitude or a favorable position, keeping in touch with those already engaged with the enemy.
16. Bombardment aviation. --
a. Light bombardment squadrons are equipped with 25 airplanes; heavy bombardment squadrons have 13 planes. Four squadrons form a group, 1 bombardment group and 2 pursuit groups a wing. Regardless of the character of the units, they may be employed night or day against objectives within the enemy combat zone or at greater distances against strategical centers or against enemy fleets when operating within their range.
b. The role of bombardment aviation is the attack of hostile military and naval objectives by means of projectiles launched from aircraft in flight.
c. While bombardment aviation should primarily employed for its destructive effect upon physical objectives it may be employed for other purposes, such as its effect on morale and as an emergency means of transportation and supply. It will normally be employed against--
(1) Land forces in the theater of operations, including--
(a) Communications centers,
(b) Ammunition dumps and depots,
(c) Concentration centers,
(d) Transportation lines and centers,
(g) Forts and heavily fortified positions, trains, convoys, columns of troops, and all enemy concentrations.
(2) The enemy zone of the interior, including--
(a) Military industrial centers,
(b) Mobilization and training centers,
(c) Military shipping and transportation centers,
(d) Bridges, dams, locks, power plants, etc.,
(e) War material depots.
(3) Naval forces, including--
(a) Destruction of enemy naval craft,
(b) Destruction of land bases.
d. Except when masked (that is, when protected by darkness, clouds, or foggy weather), bombardment aviation should be employed in large units. Important bombardment missions should be carried on only after carefully prepared plans have been drawn up for cooperative action by pursuit aviation. This operates to the advantage of pursuit aviation, in that bombardment missions very often attract concentrations of enemy pursuit, thus affording the friendly pursuit an opportunity to deliver an attack.
e. Bombardment aviation may directly assist the ground troops by the attack of enemy objectives beyond the range of artillery fire and, when the advance of the infantry has been too rapid to permit of the successful echelonment forward of the artillery, may even replace artillery fire for limited periods. Under favorable conditions bombardment aviation may also be used to supplement artillery fire. Heretofore headquarters, depots, and means of transportation, as well as reserves gathered in cantonments or massed in camps and en route on highways and railroads, and hostile artillery concealed from or beyond the range of our own artillery, have been safe from attack, and the enemy line of communications once established could be used without hindrance. Military transportation systems, centers of supply, and industrial plants in the zone of the interior could be maintained at high efficiency for the upkeep of the armies in the field. Now, however, these and other objectives far in the interior are within the range of bombardment aviation.
f. In attacking a defensive zone of considerable depth bombardment aviation can be used effectively against rear positions, thereby assisting the advance of the infantry and artillery. When the enemy's front has been broken and he has been forced to withdraw to a rear position for defense or is forced to make a general retirement, light bombardment may be used with effect against the retreating troops.
g. Dependent upon the manner in which bombardment aviation is employed, it is classified as tactical bombardment and strategical bombardment.
(1) Tactical bombardment is normally employed against objectives within the enemy combat zone with a view to affording direct assistance to the ground troops in attaining the objective. It may operate directly under the orders of GHQ or may be attached to the Army Air Service and work directly under the Army commander. Under either condition the selection of targets must be in accord with the general tactical situation and coordinated with the artillery. Airdromes, supply depots, means of transportation, concentrations of reserve troops, columns of troops, convoys, railway trains, etc. may constitute the immediate objectives.
(2) Strategical bombardment operates deep into hostile territory beyond the combat zone against targets which may be far removed from the field of battle, with the object of destroying sources of military supply, main lines of communications, mobilization, concentration, and military industrial centers. While strategical bombardment does not involve direct cooperation with ground troops n the field of battle, it should be based on the broad plan of operations of the military forces. Such method of employment may have the effect of interrupting the enemy's military production, transportation, and organization systems by inflicting damage on his most important industrial, railway, and military centers, and may weaken him by causing discontent and alarm. In addition, it may compel him to withdraw a portion of his pursuit and antiaircraft forces from the combat zone.
17. Attack aviation. --
a. The basic organization is the squadron of 25 airplanes. Four squadrons form a group, and 1 group, together with a pursuit group, a wing. It is normally assigned to the army and works under the commander thereof.
b. Its role is the attack of hostile ground forces with light bombs, machine-gun and cannon fire in close cooperation with ground forces in battle, direct attack of personnel and light materiel on enemy vessels, and the laying of smoke screens.
c. The usual activity of attack aviation does not normally extend beyond the limit of the enemy army corps areas. The enemy's headquarters, his supply establishments, his reserves, supports, and troops en route to and from the front will thus be the main objects of attack. To carry out its work efficiently, attack aviation must occupy airdromes advanced so far to the front as possible, and must be held constantly on the alert so that it can be instantly thrown into the fight. Working as it does with ground troops cooperation between attack aviation and the ground forces should be as close as that existing between the artillery and infantry.
d. Except in meeting engagements, few opportunities will exist for the employment of attack aviation preceding a battle, as all enemy movements will be conducted so as to minimize aerial attack. As a rule, marches and movements of trains and convoys within the combat zone will be made at night. However, opportunities for night attacks and for attacks at daylight will arise and should be taken advantage of.
e. During the battle attack aviation operates either over the immediate front in active support of the infantry or against those objectives, which when destroyed, will most effectively obstruct the enemy movements and interrupt his system of command, supply, and reinforcements. Attack aviation may actively support the infantry when objectives of great importance are to be taken. In doing so it precedes and accompanies the troops in their advance, increasing the fire action when necessary at any section of the line; attacking enemy strong points, centers of resistance, machine-gun nests, artillery positions, and supporting troops being brought up to reinforce the line or for a counterattack; and laying smoke screens.
f. When the enemy is retreating, attack aviation will direct its main efforts against the moving elements of troops and trains, attempting to hold the retreat in check to permit the ground troops to overtake and seriously engage the retreating troops.
g. In case it becomes necessary to cover the withdrawal of our own forces the forward elements of the advancing hostile forces will be attacked and every effort made to hinder their progress. The withdrawal of the attack units will be assisted by the active cooperation of pursuit units, and the selection and movement to the new airdromes will be make without interruption of operations.
h. For local use in seacoast defense as protection against hostile landing parties attack aviation can be employed most effectively.
i. In situations where it is impracticable or impossible to employ ground forces to quickly and effectively stop insurrections or local disturbances in colonial possessions or along border territory, attack aviation may be used.
18. Observation aviation. --
a. The principal role of observation aviation is to aid, directly, the strategical and tactical operations of ground troops by general observation, photographic reconnaissance, observation of artillery fire, and similar activities.
b. Dependent upon its assignment and the character of the work it performs, observation aviation is divided into division, corps, and army observation, and the observation units forming part of the GHQ reserve. As the missions carried out by division, corps, and army air service observation units necessitate the use of both heavier-than-air and lighter-than-air craft, and as they are in many instances of the same general nature, a close supervision by air service commanders is necessary to avoid duplication and insure cooperation.
c. Lighter-than-air observation is conducted by balloons and airships. The function of balloons is general surveillance and the observation of artillery fire within their zone of observation not defiladed from view nor beyond a range of approximately 10,000 yards. The principal duties of airships for observation purposes are strategical or long-distance reconnaissance and surveillance missions in seacoast defense. They are employed directly under GHQ, and, as they are very vulnerable to the attack of hostile pursuit and ground antiaircraft forces, their duties should be taken over by observation airplanes when the situation permits.
d. While the technique of the accomplishment of missions by heavier-than-air observation aviation varies in the army, corps, and divisional units, their classification is dependent only upon tactical differences. On this basis missions are classified as reconnaissance, close and distant; artillery surveillance; artillery adjustment; infantry liaison; infantry contact; and command.
(1) Reconnaissance missions are for the purpose of obtaining information of the enemy of both a tactical and strategical nature and are accomplished by either a visual or photographic reconnaissance or by employing them in combination. The depth to which these missions can be carried out in enemy territory is limited by the fuel capacity of the aircraft employed. While photographic reconnaissance is a very reliable method of obtaining information, and is a permanent and accurate record of everything within the field of the lens at the instant of exposure, thus eliminating the element of personal error, it often fails to give information of value in regard to movements. In such cases visual reconnaissance must be relied upon.
(2) Artillery surveillance missions are for the purpose of locating and maintaining contact with definite artillery targets, such as a moving body or troops, a fleet, etc.
(3) Artillery adjustment missions are for the purpose of adjusting the fire of artillery upon selected objectives.
(4) Infantry missions, both liaison and contact, supply information to the commander concerned of his own troops and of hostile elements, particularly those in contact. They furnish a very reliable and rapid means of following the progress of the battle.
(5) Command missions are performed by command airplanes held at the disposal of higher commanders and are carried out under direct orders to obtain specific information or verification of questionable information received.
e. In general terms observation aviation--
(1) Gives the command definite and accurate information of the location and nature of his own and the enemy forces.
(2) Gives the command information as to the nature of the terrain.
(3) Keeps the command informed of the progress of the battle and of the needs of the elements engaged.
(4) Assists in keeping in touch with a retreating enemy.
(5) Reduces the probability of unknown concentrations of enemy forces and consequent surprise attacks.
(6) Forces concealment of enemy dispositions and movements even in the rear areas.
(7) Tends to force all large enemy troop movements to be made at night.
(8) Increases the value of artillery fire by accuracy in observation of fire.
f. The normal zone of action of the division observation aviation extends from the divisional front to a distance in depth which covers the zone of responsibility of the division commander and may also extend a short distance on either side of the boundaries of the division. In general it concerns itself with events taking place in the immediate front, such as the location and activities of friendly and enemy advance elements, and the enemy activities in their immediate rear, such as preparation of intrenchments, location of artillery and machine guns, and the preparation for local [st]ands or counterattacks, etc. It also observes for such artillery as may be present with the division. If the division is operating alone its observation aviation must accomplish such long distance missions as are found necessary. Infantry missions are a function of the divisional squadron. They are carried out only during actual contact with the enemy, at which time the airplane serves the infantry when it is advancing or retreating, and at such other times as may be desired by the command. Such missions keep the command informed as to the location and needs of the advance elements. They are classified as "infantry liaison missions," and "infantry contact missions," dependent on whether the search is principally for information of friendly or of hostile advance troops. Liaison missions furnish a very rapid and reliable means of obtaining information of the progress of the battle and keep the command constantly posted as to the location and the needs of the troops. Contact missions give the command information of the enemy advance elements during the battle.
A balloon, when attached to a division, is useful in supplementing the work of the infantry planes, particularly during large movements or when the enemy is exerting his maximum force, as it furnishes continuous and effective observation both by night and day. It advances when possible as the troops advance and communicates with the command by means of the telephone.
g. The corps air service is an integral part of the corps and consists of a headquarters; an observation group consisting of 2 observation squadrons of 13 planes each, 1 service squadron, and 1 photo section; one communications section; and one balloon group containing 4 balloon companies, 1 balloon service company, and 1 photo section. The normal zone of action of the corps observation aviation extends from the corps front to a depth which covers the zone of responsibility of the corps commander. As in the case of the division air service, it may laterally cover territory beyond the corps boundaries in order to properly fulfill its mission. In general, it concerns itself with events taking place in the immediate front, such as the location and activities of friendly and enemy advance elements and the enemy activities in their immediate rear, such as preparation of defensive works, location of artillery emplacements, division and corps reserves, preparation for counterattacks, etc. In addition it observes fire for such corps artillery as may be present. If the corps is operating alone, it must accomplish such long-distance missions as are found necessary.
During active operations the balloon group may furnish one balloon company to each division to be under the tactical control of the division commander while so attached.
h. The Army observation group consists of a headquarters with 4 planes, 4 observation squadrons of 13 planes each, one service squadron, and 2 photo sections. Its activities are controlled by the Army Air Service commander through the group commander. The zone of action of army observation is limited by the nature of the operation, the information desired, and the fuel capacity of the airplanes used. As a rule, it takes up its work beyond the corps and divisional air services and normally covers the entire enemy army area. However, if conditions so demand, it may penetrate enemy territory to any desired depth consistent with the fuel capacity of the airplane employed. In general it concerns itself with enemy activity well to the rear, such as extensive use of roads and railroads, new construction or dumps, fortifications, detraining points, etc., and the movements of large bodies of troops. This work is accomplished by the employment of both reconnaissance and surveillance missions. It also furnishes observation for long-range artillery fire.
The planes attached to headquarters are used for the purpose of executing "command missions." Such missions are carried out on the direct orders of the command in order to obtain some particular information or to observe some particular area either before, during, or immediately after the battle; such as to follow the general action of the combat, to observe the enemy in an assigned zone, to obtain information on the distribution of his forces, or to obtain information on signs indicating probably counterattack.
i. The observation aviation in GHQ reserve consists of 1 observation group of 4 squadrons of 13 planes each, 1 balloon brigade of 2 wings of 4 groups each, and 1 airship brigade of 2 wings of 3 airship groups each, each group consisting of 4 airship companies. Contained in all organizations are the necessary service units and photo sections. Although the airship brigade is here shown as a component of the observation air service, GHQ, it may be called upon to act with the air division of the GHQ reserve.
The zone of action is limited only by the fuel capacity of the aircraft employed. This force is used principally for strategical reconnaissance and observation and for patrol in coast defense; in the latter case it gains and maintains contact with hostile seacraft approaching our coast and reports their strength, disposition, and movements, and patrols our coasts in order to prevent surprise raids on seacoast defenses or landings on unprotected beaches. The units of the balloon brigade are as a rule attached to armies in accordance with the requirements of the existing situation.
The balloon organizations of an army being only sufficient for organic organizations thereof, units of GHQ artillery when sent to reinforce an army should be accompanied by sufficient balloons for observation purposes.
j. To provide for the observation of fire for the railroad artillery and the artillery with the fixed coast defenses, the necessary observation units, heavier and lighter than air, are supplied from the air service contained in the command responsible for the defense of the sector in which such artillery is operating.
By order of the Secretary of War:
J. L. Hines,
Chief of Staff
Robert C. Davis,
The Adjutant General
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