Defensive Operations


Good defensive tactics are all to often overlooked by the majority of water warriors. Many are content to simply sit in a fort and wait for the enemy to come to them. Good field operators will not build an impossible position. They will allow a weak area to keep the game flowing. For times when they are, the application of good defensive tactics can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

Defensive Security Measures
1. Keep strict fire discipline.
2. Maintain good camouflage of your position.
3. Adhere to a strict track plan when coming into and leaving your base.
4. Don’t make unnecessary movement or noise.
5. Sentries, patrols, ground radar, early warning devices, and observation
devices must be maintained to prevent the enemy approaching you undetected.
6. Patrols must check the area around the defensive position at dusk and
first light.
7. Maintain strict radio discipline- the enemy will be trying to listen.

Reliable communication in a defensive setting is imperative. They allow coordination of reinforcements in the event the enemy attack is small, directed only at one spot, or it becomes necessary to reinforce the lines. Often attackers lose sight that a small patrol can slip out the back of a defensive position and hit them from the rear. Defenders should know the location of all the defensive positions in order to reinforce wherever necessary. Also, restricting movement allows sentries and stationary positions to recognize enemy action just by movement. The unit commander should establish a “safe zone” where reinforcements can get into the base even in the midst of an attack. This can be a trail or back approach to the position. All patrols should leave and return by the same “safe zone”.

Good defensive positions in water wars should be three to six feet (1-2m) apart. This allows the positions to be mutually supportive and can prevent the enemy from flanking any one portion of the line. The on scene commander can not lose focus. If the attack is small, a swift counterattack will quickly overwhelm the enemy. Given the proclivity of the enemy to rush to the sound of the guns, a quick end to the attack will prevent a small attack force from receiving massive reinforcements.


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