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The Plattsburg Manual A Handbook for Military Training

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THE PLATTSBURG MANUAL ***

Produced by Paul Murray, Curtis A. Weyant and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net

THE

PLATTSBURG MANUAL

A HANDBOOK FOR MILITARY TRAINING

BY

O. O. ELLIS MAJOR, UNITED STATES INFANTRY

AND

E. B. GAREY MAJOR, UNITED STATES INFANTRY

(INSTRUCTORS, PLATTSBURG TRAINING CAMP, 1916) (INSTRUCTORS, OFFICERS' TRAINING CAMP, FT. MCPHERSON, GA., 1917) (INSTRUCTORS, OFFICERS' TRAINING CAMP, FT. OGLETHORPE, GA., 1917)

WITH MORE THAN 220 ILLUSTRATIONS

NEW YORK THE CENTURY CO. 1918

Copyright, 1917, by The Century Co.

Published, March, 1917 Second Edition, March, 1917 Third Edition, April, 1917 Fourth Edition, April, 1917 Fifth Edition, May, 1917 Sixth Edition, May, 1917 Seventh Edition, August, 1917 Eighth Edition. September, 1917 Ninth Edition, January, 1918 Tenth Edition, May, 1918

TO THOSE FAR-SEEING MEN WHO INAUGURATED AND ATTENDED THE FIRST FEDERAL TRAINING CAMP THIS TEXT IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED

FOREWORD

The Plattsburg Manual, written by Majors Ellis and Garey, will prove very useful to men who are contemplating military training. It will also be of great value to those who are undergoing training.

It is full of practical information presented in a simple and direct manner and gives in detail much data not easily found elsewhere. It is a useful book, easily understandable by those who have had little or no military experience.

It will be useful not only at training camps but it will be of very great value at schools and colleges where military instruction is being given.

The authors of this book have performed a valuable service, one which will tend to facilitate and aid very much the development of military training in this country. In addition to the purely mechanical details of training the book presents in a very effective and simple manner the tactical use of troops under various conditions.

In a word it is a useful and sound work and one which can be commended to those who contemplate a course in military training.

(Signed) Leonard Wood, Major General U. S. A.

February 27, 1917.

PREFACE

This book is intended to serve as a foundation upon which the military beginner may build so that he may in time be able to study the technical service manuals intelligently. It has been written as an elementary textbook for those who desire to become Reserve Officers, for schools and colleges, and for those who may be called to the colors.

The authors have commanded companies at Plattsburg, New York, and, noting the need of such a text, compiled their observations while there.

The average man undergoing military training wants to know as much as possible about the art and science of war. He wants to acquire a good knowledge of the principles involved. He is interested in the technique of movements. He is willing to work for these things, but he often becomes lost in confusion when he attempts to study the technical service manuals. He does not know how to select the most important and omit the less important. The authors have selected from the standard texts some of the vitally important subjects and principles and have presented them to the civilian in a simple and plain way.

The first part of the text is for the beginner. It tells him how to prepare physically for strenuous military work. After assisting him through the elementary part of his instruction, it presents for his consideration and study the Officers' Reserve Corps.

The second part, or supplement, is a more technical discussion of those subjects introduced in the first. It is intended principally for those who have made excellent progress.

CONTENTS

I General Advice 3 II Physical Exercise 21 III School of the Soldier 28 IV School of the Squad 63 V School of the Company 86 VI Fire Superiority 130 VII The Service of Security 136 VIII Attack and Defense 144 IX General Principles of Target Practice 153 X Practice March or "Hike" 159 XI Officers' Reserve Corps 169

SUPPLEMENT

I The Theory of Security 221 II Attack and Defense 242 III Patrolling 254 IV Target Practice 260 V Tent Pitching 292 VI Signals and Codes 297 VII First Aid to the Injured 309

Appendixes 321

Index 331

THE PLATTSBURG MANUAL

CHAPTER I

GENERAL ADVICE

The United States is divided geographically into military departments with a general officer commanding each department. The departments and their headquarters are as follows:

(1) The Northeastern Department, with headquarters at Boston, Massachusetts.

(2) The Eastern Department, with headquarters at Governors Island, New York.

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