The US Army is learning fast
14th April 1943: The immediate lessons of combat in North Africa are captured in interviews with men of all ranks
The US Army went from 189,839 men and women in 1939 to 3,075,608 in 1942 and up to 8,267,958 in 19451. Everyone was on a huge learning curve throughout every level of the organisation.
Flares should be used at night to confuse the enemy. They are very effective. You should also fire machine guns at night even if you don't see the enemy. It has a very effective demoralizing effect on the enemy.
Part of this process was the interviewing of a wide range of personnel in the field. The views of all ranks of men who had been involved in front-line fighting were actively sought out. They were presented, largely unedited, in booklet form for the benefit of men in training2:
LIEUTENANT COLONEL RINGSOK, 6th Armored Infantry, and members of his Battalion, 14 April 1943....
The Germans will infiltrate into our line and stay there all day, firing the machine-pistol indiscriminately. He may not have a target but he does it for the nervous effect it produces on us. Our defense for that is to have each platoon do a mopping up job until it contacts the adjacent units and the area is cleared of such people. We use the self-propelled 37-mm gun on the carrier to do this and take in prisoners. We back it up and fire canister into the holes when we find the Germans.
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