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Light Infantry Penetration, Tempo, and Mobility
310 pages; 17 chapters and 4 appendixes
During Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan in 2002, US Army ground forces
again demonstrated their incompetent understanding of how to maneuver light
infantry troops in harsh terrain or infiltrate to deep behind enemy lines.
Members of the Army’s 101st Airmobile and 10th “Mountain” (they are NOT
trained for mountain warfare or infiltration) Divisions were deployed
carrying 80 to120 pound packs but they carried few machine guns and were
not adroit at the art of bushwhacking.
The troops were unable to move or think and, as usual, dropped their packs in
order to fight. The enemy, as usual, zeroed in on the packs and ambushed
American units that later tried to secure their packs.
“As the Chinese infiltration columns began to flow around American 2nd Infantry Division units, the American units
began to retreat. Soon panic began to spread through the division as its mass of withdrawing vehicles formed a vast
column 15-20 miles long.
The division began to race towards the rear. As the retreating 2nd Division column rolled south, it entered a four-mile long
valley near the Chongchon River that twisted and turned through high hills and mountains. That valley, which became
famous as "the gauntlet," was lined with six battalions of Chinese light infantry armed with 35-40 machine guns and
11-15 mortars. "Setting up a giant ambush, these Chinese forces inflicted almost 3,000 casualties on the 2d Division in a
single day as the latter tried to withdraw to the south." The Chinese had no antiaircraft protection and the continuous over
flights of American jets had expected to totally destroy them with napalm and bombs alone. However, it was not to be !
The American air support failed and the US 2nd Infantry Division was destroyed in the gauntlet along with most of its
vehicles and artillery. Only remnants of the division escaped into British lines further south.
The US government did a good job of suppressing news of the Chongchon River debacle, including the fact that the
Chinese destroyed several other American divisions at the same time. Yet the grim fact remains. The equivalent of two
lightly armed infantry regiments, with no air or artillery support did destroy a strong modern, American motorized, road-
bound, reinforced division at odds of 1 to 7.
If the terrain facilitates the use of light infantry, the results can be lethal. But first, light infantry must be willing to
infiltrate to those good positions along defiles and areas the US Air Force calls "choke points"."
Excerpt from Infiltration
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Thus, the same tired, repetitive mistakes, dating from the time American soldiers were drowned as they attempted to drag
their 150 pound packs through the surf at Omaha Beach, continue to plague American ground forces and cause them to
loose battles and wars. Somehow the focus on close combat has been supplanted by focus upon carrying 150-pound loads.
Infiltration examines what is known about the correct use of light infantry (carrying many machine guns) for
infiltration, deep penetration, and to exploit foot mobility situations by bushwhacking. Exactly how much of a load
an infantryman can carry (its composition) in order to fight and move effectively is revealed. In addition, the stupidity and
life-threatening features of moving for miles festooned with heavy body armor is also disparaged. The objective is to
infiltrate to positions where bushwhacking with machine guns can most injure an enemy vulnerability. Do
American Army and Marine Corps generals know any of this? NO! They are totally ignorant of the subjects explained so
clearly in this book. Read it and see how things should be done. Maybe someday you or your son can save lives with this