Aleutian Islands by Center of Military History, George L. MacGarrigle

By Center of Military History, George L. MacGarrigle

A chain of illustrated brochures that describe the campaigns during which U.S. military troops participated in the course of international battle II.

every one brochure describes the strategic atmosphere, lines the operations of the most important American devices concerned, and analyzes the impression of the crusade on destiny operations.

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Every patch of above-water ground and every clump of trees were used for defensive positions. High-water tables meant most positions had to be built above ground. Timber fighting positions were built on log rafts and could be moved to better positions if required. Mines could not generally be used. On the Russian steppes, long snow-bank barriers formed defensive lines with firing positions. Dugouts too were set in the snow berms, which were revetted with snow-filled fuel drums and hay bails (as shown here).

In the rear areas spoil would be heaped in parapets. Tents and shelter quarters were pitched in pits and over slit trenches so the occupants slept below ground level and had protection from the sun and nighttime cold. In the frontline and outpost positions, soil was to be removed and parapets not used. This made it extremely difficult to detect fighting positions from even short ranges. If spoil could not be removed it was spread out around the position to a height of no more than 22cm. This usually created a layer of contrasting soil though.

A heavy machine-gun position for a tripod-mounted gun could accommodate the two-man crew plus the squad leader. 33 The light machine-gun position for a bipod-mounted gun could accommodate two men. 43 rocket-launcher position. This weapon was shoulder-fired and served in an anti-armour role. The end points of the ‘V’ (at the bottom of the photo) face away from the enemy. The gunner could fire from either arm of the trench, allowing him a flank shot on passing enemy tanks. The other one or two crewmen would shelter from the back-blast in the opposite arm.

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