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Infantry Marksmanship and Combat Effectiveness ... - Australian Army

Infantry Marksmanship and Combat Effectiveness ... - Australian Army

Infantry Marksmanship and Combat Effectiveness ... - Australian

Operational Analysis Bang on target? Infantry marksmanship and combat effectiveness in Vietnam * Dr Bob Hall and Dr Andrew Ross Abstract Infantry have long aspired to the ideal of ‘one shot, one kill’ in marksmanship training, but this article proves that, especially in complex terrain, infantry are better served by employing the ‘volume of fire’ approach to psychologically dominate the enemy. Only then can the significant challenges of poor visibility and fleeting engagement opportunities be successfully overcome and manoeuvre restored to the light infantryman. In the matter-of-fact terms of Australian Army doctrine the role of the infantry is to seek out and close with the enemy, to kill or capture him, to seize and hold ground and to repel attack, by day or night, regardless of season, weather or terrain. To perform this role the infantry relies on its capacity to produce effective fire using its own weapons, and where possible, indirect and direct fire support. It is often thought that the individual soldier’s marksmanship—the soldier’s ability, using his personal weapon, to hit an observed target—is the basis of the infantry’s * This article has been peer reviewed Australian Army Journal • Volume VI, Number 1 • page 139

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