Training Manual

Rifle Drill


Automatic Rifle Manual of Arms

The automatic rifle is slung over the right shoulder for almost every occasion. However, during marches or exercises the rifle may be slung over either shoulder, or while at rest the rifle can be held in any position.
During inspection the rifle is slung on the right shoulder. With the left hand grasp the magazine while pressing the magazine release button with the right hand. Place the magazine in the belt. Then pull the operating handle back with the left hand. Release after inspected.
On the Order Arms command, Pull the trigger, replace magazine, and resume attention.

Thompson and Grease Gun Manual of Arms

These weapons are normally carried with the magazines removed, slung on the right shoulder, with the butt of the gun up.
On the Raise Arms command you will remove weapon from the right shoulder and take right arm out of sling. Then with the butt of the weapon under the right arm grip the pistol grip. The fore finger should run along side the trigger guard and the barrel elevated at a 45 degree angle.
Port Arms is similar to the normal rifle except the right hand cups the base of the butt stock. For Inspection Arms, (unlock grease gun) the operating handle will be pulled back and inspected, then release operating handle.

Facing and Dressing Formation


Drill and Marching Commands

Infantry Drill Commands

(1)SQUAD (2) FALL IN: Men form a straight line at ATTENTION and ORDER ARMS
(1) DRESS RIGHT (2) DRESS: head turns to the right and left arm goes up.
(1) PORT (2) ARMS
(1) INSPECTION (2) ARMS: then squad assumes the PORT ARMS INSPECTION position and waits until inspection is completed.
SQUAD (1) LOCK (2) PIECES: after inspection men lock their pieces and remain in PORT ARMS position.

If remaining in position the command (1) ORDER (2) ARMS: men return to ORDER ARMS and ATTENTION. Then (1) PARADE (2) REST: men assume position and wait for the next command.

(1) SQUAD (2) ATTENTION: men assume position of ATTENTION and ORDER ARMS.
(1) ADJUST (2) SLINGS: men adjust slings and take up the ATTENTION and ORDER ARMS position in preparation for the next command.
(1) SLING (2) ARMS: men sling their weapon onto the right shoulder.

Depending on the direction you are going to head the next command will be SQUAD (1) RIGHT (2) FACE or (1) LEFT (2) FACE or (1) ABOUT (2) FACE. The men make the move and remain at ATTENTION.
SQUAD (1) FORWARD (2) MARCH: the men move out starting with the left foot first. Squad leader will keep cadence.

When the desired location is reached (1) SQUAD (2) HALT: the men finish their step and stop, remaining at ATTENTION.
The next command will be SQUAD (1) RIGHT (2) FACE or (1) LEFT (FACE) or (1) ABOUT (2) FACE. The men make the move and remain at ATTENTION.
SQUAD (1) AT (2) EASE: the men keep right foot in place but can pivot about while remaining quiet. Wait for orders or plan of attack.

(1) SQUAD (2) ATTENTION: men take the position and receive orders.
(1) SQUAD (2) FALL OUT: men fall out and follow the squad leader(s) commands.

Marching Commands

(1) FORWARD (2) MARCH: men start with left foot and squad leader will keep cadence.
(1) RIGHT STEP or LEFT STEP (2) MARCH: the men move right or left with shoulder length steps bring their feet together between steps.
(1) BACKWARD (2) MARCH: the men will slowly march backwards with 15 inch steps.
(1) TO THE LEFT OR RIGHT FLANK (2) MARCH: the men marching in column will be given this command when they are on the left or right foot. Thereby becoming a line marching in unison.
(1) RIGHT or LEFT COLUMN (2) MARCH: the men marching in column will be given this command on the right or left foot. The first person in line will change direction and the next person will turn in the place the first person did. Thereby remaining in column marching in a different direction.
(1) RIGHT or LEFT OBLIQUE (2) MARCH: the men will be given this command if there is an obstacle in the way. It will be given on the right or left foot as needed. The men will then take a half right or left face. When the movement is completed the command will be (1) READY (2) FRONT.
(1) CLOSE (2) MARCH: to close ranks the man on the right stays put. The line will right face take a step and then left face. Placing their hand on the hip with elbow out to provide spacing.
(1) EXTEND (2) MARCH: the men will take a left face and take a step out. Then do a right face and extend left arm to get spacing.
(1) FORM COLUMN OF TWO’S (2) MARCH: The even numbered men step out to the left oblique until they are an arms width from the first column.
(1) FORM SINGLE FILE FROM THE RIGHT OR LEFT (2) MARCH: The men move back into single column using a right oblique movement. Then left oblique movement to get back into line.
(1) MARK TIME (2) MARCH: the men will march in place keeping the count.

In Camp in the morning:

Fall in
Dress right-Dress
Right Shoulder-Arms

Marching to flag pole, ceremony, or event assembly:

By the right Flank-March
Column Right (Left)-March
Right (Left) Step-March

Once at the Flagpole or ceremony. If a salute is required:

Right(Left) Shoulder-Arms

To dismiss the formation after marching back to camp


Other commands:
Form Column of Twos-March
Form single file from Right (Left)-March
Right (Left) Oblique-March
At Ease (talking allowed in ranks)
Parade-Rest (only under arms, no talking)
At Ease-March (no cadence, no talking, slung or carried arms)
Route Step-March (same as above but you can talk)
Sling (unsling)-Arms

Hand Signals


Squad Formations


Use of Cover and Movements


Squad Tactics

Rifle Squad

The C.O. is responsible for the discipline, training, control, and conduct of his squad. He leads in combat. He designates the range, the target, and gives command to fire. The C.O. dictates the rate of fire.

Squad Leader:
The squad leader performs duties assigned by the C.O.

The Scouting
Approach March:

Squad Column: This is vulnerable to hostile action from the front, but is easily controlled and maneuvered. It is suitable for crossing areas exposed to artillery and narrow paths. The column facilitates action to the flanks. The auto rifleman is placed near the squad leader close to the front of the column. The column does not exceed 60 paces in depth.

Skirmishers: This is less vulnerable to hostile action from the front, and enables squad to employ its’ weapons to the front without change of formation. However it is more difficult to control than the column. This method is adapted to rapid advances across open spaces. The line does not exceed 60 paces.

Squad Wedge: This combines most of the advantages with a few of the disadvantages of the above two methods. It is especially adapted to situations where readiness to action in any direction is required. Frequently used when exiting a defile or from cover. Also adapted to take best advantage of cover on broken ground and for traversing zones near the enemy.


During the approach the C.O is at the head or beyond his squad. He studies the ground to choose the best route, while controlling and regulating the movement of the squad.

Squad Leader:
The assistant is usually posted near the rear of the squad to prevent straggling, elongation or bunching up of squad, and to insure its’ orderly advance.

Scouts: Designated by C.O.
Deployed in pairs at wide and irregular intervals. They move out boldly to the front to reconnoiter successive positions. They take advantage of cover and try to get enemy soldiers to disclose their location. When the enemy open fires, the scouts take cover and try to ascertain the position. One scout commences firing, while the other adjusts his fire.

Under Fire

When the scouts are halted under fire the C.O. immediately puts the squad into cover. He studies the terrain to find best route to the target. He may advance his squad in the following ways:

Infiltration of Individuals or Groups:
When there is little cover or concealment and the area is under enemy observation he will send men individually or in groups of 2-3.

When enemy fire permits and the distance is short the squad is moved forward in rushes, otherwise it is preferable to creep or crawl.

Using Covered Route:
When cover is available the movement is down in either column or wedge formation. The squad leader will issue his fire order under cover. The men will then move into position and fire on his command.

Fire Distribution
The men of the squad fire their first shots on that portion of the target that is relative to their position in the squad. They then distributes their shots to the left and right of the first one covering that part of the target that they can accurately hit without changing position. Auto riflemen fire bursts of about five rounds at a slow cyclic rate (about one per second). The squad leader ensures that the entire target is under fire.

Coordinated Attacks

The C.O tells his men everything he knows about the enemy and friendly positions. He tells them what the squads objectives are and what each man is to do. Finally he tells the squad where he will be.

Conduct of Attack
The movement is similar to the approach march. The squad leader generally lets his men fire as needed for the advance of the squad. At the first firing position, the squad will try to gain fire superiority over the enemy to its’ front. This is gained by laying down such accurate and heavy fire that the enemy fire becomes inaccurate. Once achieved it must be maintained. If there is no support to help maintain the supremacy then part of the squad must stay in position. The Auto rifle is useful for this purpose. Other members of the squad continue their advance. Leap frogging and covering fire is used here. This all leads up to the final assault with fixed bayonets and rapid standing fire.

During this attack the C.O. enforces fire discipline and positions men of the squad where they can do most damage to the enemy.

Squad Leader:
Their position is not fixed. They position themselves where they can best assist the C.O.


He tells his men of the enemy situation, the location of allied forces, and extent of squads’ perimeter. He then places each man in position. The men should lay down about 5 yards apart. The squad leader will adjust them until he sees that all fields of fire are covered. The C.O. gives the command on when to fire at advancing soldiers.

Without Bullets tactics do not really work in reenacting, but I wanted to share with you what the soldiers of WWII were taught.

Combat in Towns

Tactical Considerations:

a. In a town there is concealment from fire, but they are conspicuous topographical features that are easily identified on maps.
b. Towns favor defense. Defenders will seek to defend a town in a strategic area, which the attacker must take to be successful.
c. The nature of combat in built up areas is influenced by the following:

1. Concealment and cover are available to both sides.
2. Streets and alleys invite movement, but constitute a lane readily swept by fire.
3. Observation and fields of fire are limited.
4. Use of mechanized vehicles is restricted.
5. Close proximity of opposing force limits the use of close artillery support.
6. Communication will be impeded.

Special Considerations:

Objectives: Neutralization of enemy fire is of utmost importance. Then go after strategic points such as railroads, utilities and so forth.

Locating hostile fire: Buildings, dust, and the background noise of war will make it difficult to pinpoint the location of enemy fire.

Maneuvering: Maneuvering in towns is greatly restricted. The make up of towns makes it easy for a defender to see you. Therefore, speed and aggressiveness is needed. Night maneuvers and the use of smoke or incendiary devices will help mask you movement. Smoke works well in built up areas because it retains for longer periods of time. Often the quickest way to dislodge an enemy from his position is with fire, but this is a double-edged sword and care should be taken in its use.

Rifle Squad Offensive:

Training: Thorough training is needed for no two situations are the same.

Methods of Advance: Normally the rifle squad advances along one side of the street. Traveling from house to house, through yards, along rooftops, or breaching walls to arrive at the target. However, it is sometimes necessary to divide your squad into two or more parties, which can cover both sides of the street. The leading troops should try to avoid the streets as much as possible. Machine gun fire and the use of smoke to conceal movement should cover the advance. The line of the advance must not mask covering fire. All movements across open areas should be made at the run, DO NOT DELAY.

Equipment: The squad should be lightly equipped with the following. Helmets, rifle, bayonet, fragmentation grenades, smoke grenades, incendiary grenades, rope and grappling hook, pistols, and knives. Frequently the squad will have explosives and rocket launchers.

Conduct of Attack:

a. Immediate plan and mission MUST be clear and understood by every individual in the squad.
b. Subdivision of squad into searching and covering parties is frequently needed.

1. The covering party must protect and facilitate the advance of the searching party.
2. It is the searching party’s job to enter and search all buildings. This party should be kept small to avoid interference with each other. 1 or 2 members of the party precede and force entry into the structure. The remainder of the party will promptly follow. Once inside, 1 or more men are posted as guards to prevent a surprise attack. The rest go about clearing the structure.

c. Towns must be attacked systematically to prevent leaving pockets of hostile troops to your rear.
d. Cover must be selected in advance. Hug the walls and move rapidly from cover to cover. DO NOT BUNCH.
e. Control is difficult so movement must be planned in advance, executed rapidly, and covered by fire.
f. Coordination with supporting fire is a MUST. Especially if you have to cross an area covered by your machine guns.
g. Use the element of surprise as often as possible.

Entering and Clearing a structure:

1. There are 3 ways to enter a structure.
a. Through the roof or upper story. It is easier to work your way down. This can be achieved by using ladders or ropes. After clearing the upper floor, toss a grenade down and follow quickly. This can help force the enemy out of the building exposing them to supporting fire.
b. Enter at ground level through doors or windows.
c. Enter at ground level through holes caused by explosions.

2. Use your weapons to the fullest. You can shoot through walls, ceilings, and floors. Use grenades when possible.
3. When entering a room, toss in a grenade. Immediately following the explosion 1 man should enter crouched down with his rifle at the ready. He should move to one side of the doorway allowing the next man to enter. The important key here is to cover your squad mate.

Weapons Information

Rifle Cleaning:

1. Clean out the barrel with patches and bore cleaner. Pay attention to the chamber to ensure that all fouling is removed. Chamber-cleaning brush works efficiently. Dry and oil lightly.
2. Clean carbon deposits from the gas cylinder lock, and the operating rod piston with bore cleaner. DO NOT USE ABRASIVES. Wipe the parts off and oil lightly.
3. Clean the gas cylinder the same as the bore. Make sure the gas port into the barrel is clear.
4. Clean the face of the bolt with a patch and bore cleaner, paying attention to the inside corners, under the extractor hook, and the firing pin hole. Make sure the firing pin moves freely. Dry and oil lightly.
5. Use patches to clean firing debris from the bolt and all other parts, and from inside the receiver. Clean away dirty lubricant and re-oil lightly.
6. Rifle grease should be applied to the places noted in the picture below. With some exceptions:
Do not put grease on the engagement lugs of the hammer, trigger, or sear.
Do not use grease in extreme cold
Leave rifle dry in sandy conditions.
7. A light film of oil on all metal parts will help prevent rust. Before the next firing wipe the oil from the barrel, bolt face, and chamber.

These are the things we will be inspecting for at the beginning of each event.

The MKII Fragmentation Grenade:

21 ounces of cast iron
35-40 yards approximate maximum throw distance
Kill zone of 5-10 yard radius, can be lethal up to 50 yards. Fragments into approximately 1000 pieces.
Time delay of fuse between 4.0 and 4.8 seconds.