INFILTRATION | Military Tactics
Infiltration: to pass through weak places in the enemy lines, gradually or stealthily, to attack or seize control from within [
Infiltration tactics bypass enemy front-line defenses, in an attempt to destroy your opponents from within. The objective of infiltration is usually to
destabilize and confuse enemy forces, target important enemy production facilities, or to soften defenses for attack by supporting forces (with heavier weapons). [ 25]
Infiltration can cause an attacking enemy to retreat, and a retreating enemy to be flanked.
In WWI, infiltration tactics were used to try to break the stalemate of trench warfare. Often preceded by artillery bombardment, lightly-equipped infantry would attack enemy rear areas, cutting off the enemy front lines. Then the main force would attack, completing a classic
Hammer and Anvil
With the increased mobility of armed forces in WW2, infiltration could be delivered to the battlefield with speed and precision. Mechanized units could outmaneuver fixed defenses, or transport planes could insert airborne forces to take key cities, roads, and bridges. Improvements in technology and intel also meant that spys and saboteurs could complete their objectives with greater proficiency.
Uses in History INFILTRATION TACTICS IN WWII - "SETTING EUROPE ABLAZE" DEFEATING THE ENEMY FROM WITHIN
• 1944 - Operation Shingle - The Italian Campaign After the defeat of the Axis forces in North Africa, American and British forces invade Italy, but the advance slows as they encounter German fortifications known as the Gustav Line. In an attempt to outflank the Gustav Line, allied forces launch Operation Shingle, with amphibious landings in Anzio and Nettuno. The landings were largely unopposed, but logisitical and planning failures doomed the attack to a stalemate; as the Germans were able to mobilize 40,000 defenders in 2 days. [ 25¾]
• 1944 - The Battle of Arnhem - Market Garden The largest airborne operation of all time, Market Garden was an audacious plan to drive deep into the heart of industrial Germany. Airborne forces (Market) were to capture key roads and bridges, followed by ground forces (Garden) of the XXX Corps. After initial successes, shortages in supply and poor communication helped to slow the advance. All in all the mission was a failure as allied forces failed to grab a foothold across the Rhine and suffered heavy casualties. [ 25¼]
• WW2 - Special Operation Executive (SOE) The Special Operation Executive was also known as "Churchill's Secret Army" or "The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare" and Churchill had hoped they would "set Europe ablaze." The SOE employed just over 13,000, but supported nearly a million operatives across the globe. [ 25½]
Counter Tactics COUNTERING INFILTRATION TACTICS REQUIRES THE ABILITY TO ADJUST YOUR STRATEGIES AS BATTLEFIELD CONDITIONS CHANGE. •
Reconnaissance It's a good idea to use some form of reconnaissance at all times, so that you have a reasonable degree of intel regarding the size and location of enemy forces. A variety of special ops, a spare supply truck, or a stray regiment can all accomplish this task. If you are informed of battlefield conditions you'll be prepared for enemy attacks wherever them may come.
Retreating If you are unprepared to defend against the size/scale of an infiltration attack, you can always concede some territory and retreat your front line forces to deal with the threat; before it becomes a logistical nightmare.
Flanking Maneuver An infiltrating force is very vulnerable to being flanked, use planning and deceptive tactics to block the enemy path of retreat.
Pincer Movement (pinch) The ultimate counter tactic against an overly agressive enemy, the Pincer Movement has been used for over 2000 years; to encircle invading forces. Let them infiltrate, then encircle them.
Terrain Use impassable terrain such as mountains, and natural choke-points on the map, to your advantage. If your enemies must attack, make them attack in areas that are hard to operate in.
In Axis and Allies RTS THE PRIMARY METHOD OF INFILTRATION IN A&A IS AIRBORNE, AND OCCASSIONALLY FAST GROUND FORCES (AT-MECH & TANKETTES). •
Airborne!!! Before you even consider an airborne "drop", you must achieve two critical conditions. First, you (and your allies) must have deployed enough ground forces to hold the front lines. Second, you must have a strong economy, at least
$400 per minute. While not manditory, most players will only deploy large scale airborne assaults with 6 or more airborne hq's, which allows you to "drop" and entire division (6 regiments) in one pass. If you are going to the expense of deploying an airborne assault, make sure to deploy enough of them to destroy their targets, and/or accomplish their objective(s). Small airdrops can be effective for stealing cities or other guerrilla/commando tactics, but when it comes to attacking an enemy base, strength comes in numbers. For more see: Airborne •
Reconnaissance A large scale airborne assault is costly, so it's a good idea to use some form of reconnaissance prior to your attack, so that you have a reasonable degree of intel on your target and it's defenses. A variety of special ops, a spare supply truck, or a stray regiment can all accomplish this task.
Airhead Paratroopers can be used to
establish an airhead that can become a staging point for an advance, or simply to weaken enemy defenses by performing commando raids, and causing them to defend more territory. •
Hammer and Anvil The hammer and anvil is like the
pincer movement in reverse. The flanks attack first, infiltrating enemy territory to capture a location behind enemy lines, becoming the "anvil". As enemy forces turn to counter the threat, the main force attacks, acting as the "hammer". Any opposing forces are now caught in-between the "hammer and anvil". •
Feint Use a diversionary maneuvers and/or attacks to lure the enemy into defending another area, then launch your main attack in the weakened area.
• Use the "Fog of War" to your advantage For infiltration tactics to be successful, it is imperative the enemy does not see you coming. Use any area that has not been supplied by enemy forces, and catch them by surprise!!
Special Ops A variety of Special Ops are well suited for infiltration, including saboteurs, infantry resupply, supply drop, and of course the panzer hohle and maskirovka
paper tanks of Rommel and Chuikov.
• Base Rush In Axis and Allies RTS, a base run is an expression that refers to a player running their forces (often at mech) toward an opponent base (often toward the corp hq) in a risky or suicidal manner. Many consider this a noobish tactic, but it is something to be aware of, and in reality it's just another good reason to deploy adequate supply in front of your base, so you see them coming. Also known as: noob rush, noob run, base rush, suicide run, etc..
"Appear at points which the enemy must hasten to defend; march swiftly to places where you are not expected."
Sun Tzu, the Art of War [weak points and strong]
"At first, then, exhibit the coyness of a maiden, until the enemy gives you an opening; afterwards emulate the rapidity of a running hare, and it will be too late for the enemy to oppose you."
Sun Tzu, the Art of War [the nine situations]
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REFERENCES | Military Tactics
"All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved."
Sun Tzu, the Art of War
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