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Individual Fieldcraft Movements

Movement by day

  1. Without arms.
    1. The leopard (or stomach crawl).--Hug the ground from toes to chin, chest and crutch flat to the ground, arms outstretched in front of you. Arms and legs work beside, not under the body. All motive power is provided by a thrust with the inside of the thigh. Roll slightly from side to side rather like the swimming crawl stroke.
      Note: This movement cannot be done with the respirator at the "alert."
    2. The hands and knees (the monkey run).--Get down on the hands and knees; clench your fists. Train to go very fast in this way. Go hard 15 yds., drop flat, pause, go on.
    3. The walk.--Avoid the "ostrich" walk, with the head bent foremost. Keep the head up, and observe all the while.
    4. The roll.--Learn to roll away keeping the arms to the sides or stretched forward. This is often the quickest way of getting away from a spot where the enemy has seen you. Practice is necessary if dizziness is to be overcome.
  2. Movement with the rifle
    1. The walk.--Hold the rifle in the left hand across the body, ready for instant action or poised in the two hands. Try to keep the body perfectly balanced and to carry the rifle so that it looks as if if is part of you--not just like an umbrella. When you have learned to walk in this way in a perfectly balanced manner you will be able to "freeze" instantly, then gradually disappear from view. This is often the best way of escaping enemy notice. Remember that jerky unnatural movements are sure to attract attention.
    2. The leopard (or stomach) crawl.--This can be done by working the rifle forward with the right hand over the small of the butt, left hand under the rifle between the point of balance and the outer band.
      An alternative method is to grip the rifle with the left hand at the point of balance, and hold it diagonally across the body with the small of the butt underneath the right arm pit. A Russian method which is worth learning is to grasp the muzzle cap and foresight, or the upper swivel and sling, with the right or the left hand, with the stock of the rifle resting on the forearm.
    3. Hands and knees.--Sling the rifle over the neck, or if it is being carried for instant action, grip is in one hand at the point of balance and run on the hands and knees as before; but the bolt must be uppermost and the butt foremost to prevent dirt from entering the working parts and muzzle.
    4. The roll.--As you turn over press the right hand hard down on the small of the butt. If rolling to the right side, keep the rifle into the right side, and vice versa. Cover the working parts with the forearm to keep them clean. This can only be done by a high degree of self-discipline and individual training.
  3. Movement with the Bren gun
    All men must know all these methods, because high-speed crawls with a Bren gun are often the means of surprising the enemy. As in swimming, the knowledge of a variety of strokes is the best way to avoid fatigue. Close watch must be kept on the soldier during training to make sure that he learns that it is a serious crime to drag the gun along the ground. If dragged the working parts soon become full of mud and the gun jams.
    1. Crawling. Method 1.--No. 1 lies on his side, rests the gun on the instep of the lower leg, which is kept against the ground. Forward movement is achieved by kicking with the upper leg. This is a very tiring method, but useful as an alternative stroke when tired.
    2. Crawling. Method 2.--No. 1 lies on his stomach and folds the bipod legs to the rear. He grips the gun--right hand at the butt, left at the bipod legs. He then either works the gun forward in front of him as he crawls, or lifts the gun forward and rests it on the ground to the limit of his reach and then pulls his body up to the gun--using its weight as a lever.
    3. Crawling. Method 3.--No. 1 and No. 2 work together as a team. No. 1, the firer, moves to the right of the gun and slightly forward. No. 2 crawls forward in the approved manner for about 3 yds., then leans back and grasps the gun by the unfolded bipod legs (the barrel may be hot). No. 1 at the same time grasps the gun by the butt. They then lift the gun together and move it forward a bound. The gun moves in echelon between them. The advantages of this method are that it is very fast, that it keeps the gun perfectly clean, and that the No. 1 is ready for instant action and almost in a firing position during the whole of the movement.
    4. Crawling. Method 4.--The gun after firing is lifted sideways by the No. 2 and the bipod legs folded up. No. 1 then hitches the folded bipod legs on to the back of the equipment of No. 2 (the gun will catch almost anywhere). The No. 1 and No. 1 then crawl forward together, the butt of the gun being kept off the ground by the No. 1 and the barrel and front portion remaining hitched to the back of No. 2. This method is also quick.
    5. Crawling. Method 5.--No. 1 grips the small of the butt in his left hand, No. 2 the bipod legs in his right. They both move forward using the leopard crawl.
    6. Crawling. Method 6.--Fold the bipod legs back and grip the gun with the left hand diagonally across the body, the butt under the right armpit. When tired, put the right arm over the gun and grip it by the ejection opening.
  4. Method of running
    1. Method 1.--Gun over the shoulder; this is tiring if not varied, and it gives away the position of the Bren gun to a flank observer.
    2. Method 2.--The gun held by the Bren sling, or if this is not available, a loop made out of two rifle slings. This is much more comfortable than method 1, and it has the advantage that the sling provides a good support for firing the gun from the hip or for firing the gun by the hose-pipe method against enemy aircraft.
    3. Method 3.--Gun carried between No. 1 and No. 2 and held between them by the butt and the barrel. If the barrel is hot, turn the gun upside down, No. 2 holding the bipod legs.

Movement by night

  1. Without arms.
    1. The ghost walk.--For all night movements, silence is more important than speed. Silence depends on perfect balance. Stand up, left the legs high to avoid long grass and sweep them outwards in a semi-circular motion. Feel gently with the toe for a foothold. Make sure that one foot is safe before the next foot moves, knees slightly bent. Always lie down when you halt at night.
    2. The cat walk.--Get down on the hands and knees and move each hand forward, searching the ground carefully with the hand, making sure there are no twigs, then raise the knee and put it dwon on the spot where the hand is. Then move the hand forward again. This is a very slow method but very sure.
    3. The kitten crawl--If the ground is covered with twigs, the normal stomach crawl would make noise. When moving very close to the enemy perfect silence is essential and the only sure method is to keep raising the whole body off the ground on the forearms and the toes, pressing forward, lowering the body, feeling carefully with the hands each time. This is a very slow and tiring method which requires considerable practice, but it is invaluable. Accurate information at night can only be obtained by movement very close to the enemy.
  2. With arms.--All the remarks made above on movement by day apply. The balance by night must be even better than by day, and the ability to "freeze" instantly is an absolute necessity in night movement.
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