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Infantry

Basic Infantry Tactics

Infantry organization: First Canadian Army Order of Battle, 1945
An Infantryman's basic kit
Infantry Weapons: Lee-Enfield Rifle | Sten gun | Bren gun | Vickers machine gun | Mills Bomb | Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank (PIAT)
Radio Communications
In general, the infantry's role is to close with and destroy enemy ground forces. It does so by taking and holding favourable ground where it can use its organic and supporting weaponry to greatest effect, thus compelling the enemy to do battle at a disadvantage. A fundamental condition of the infantry's ability to execute its tasks is the maintenance and maximization of its own mobility up to and on the battlefield, as well as the limitation of the enemy's mobility. Other combat arms, be they artillery, armour, engineers, exist largely to facilitate the achievement by the infantry of its basic aim in battle: the destruction of the enemy.
Although technological progress has tended to diminish its prestige, the continuing importance of well-trained infantry was proven during the Second World War. Campaigns like that of First Canadian Army on the Scheldt in the autumn of 1944 showed that despite the importance of tanks and aircraft, only the foot soldier was versatile enough to fight on all types of terrain and in any weather conditions, from urban street-fighting to winter, desert, jungle, mountain, or amphibious warfare.

Canadian troops of the 3rd Infantry Division entering Caen, Normandy, after heavy bombing by Allied aircrafts and artillery, 10 July 1944.
Photo by Harold G. Aikman. Department of National Defence / National Archives of Canada, PA-116510.  
Suggested Reading:
•"Infantry Training Part I: The Infantry Battalion, 1944", War Office training manual, 15 January 1944 (National Defence, Directorate of History and Heritage, 83/388).
•Mike Chappell, British Infantry Equipments 1908-80 (London: Osprey, 1980)
•I.C.B. Dear, ed., The Oxford Companion to the Second World War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995).
• Michael A. Dorosh, Canuck: Clothing and Equipping the Canadian Soldier 1939-1945 (Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories, 1995).
• L.F. Ellis, Victory in the West Volume I, The Battle of Normandy (London: HMSO, 1962), Appendix IV, "Notes on the Organization and Equipment of the Allied Armed Forces", pp. 521-551.
•John A. English, On Infantry (New York: Praeger, 1984).
• Ian V Hogg, The Encyclopedia of Infantry Weapons of World War II (London: Arms and Armour, 1977).
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