first published on July 14, 2017 by Josh
The combined arms attack is the trademark of any American infantry platoon. The objective is to place the enemy into a conundrum where there is not one maneuver he can make without exposing himself to one of the many deadly simultaneous attacks happening on his position. Meanwhile, his inability to maneuver buys the regular infantrymen the time needed in order to close with and destroy them through close combat.
In this video, coming from 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, we see a combined arms attack happening in training. While machine gunners and mortars hammer the mock enemy positions, a rifle platoon quickly closes the gap and enters the enemies position. When the objective is finally taken, and the enemy is pushed back, the machine gun teams and mortar section will move up to conduct the exploitation phase of combat.
This phase of combat serves to weaken the enemy in the event they were to try and conduct a counter attack. The general concept is that while the enemy retreats from his position, machine gun teams and mortars hammer them to induce as many casualties as possible. This will either deter the enemy from conducting a counter attack completely as they are no longer strong enough to attempt it, or it will weaken them so that they are less of a threat when they do attack.