Cavalry Reconnaissance Antiaircraft Weapons

Antiaircraft security while moving: from Cavalry Field Manual FM 2-30: Cavalry Mechanized Reconnaissance Squadron, U.S. War Department, March 1943.

SECURITY — While Moving. Antiaircraft weapons in all elements of the squadron are alerted for antiaircraft fire at all times. Whenever overhead cover is available, units will attempt to escape detection by concealment. When observed and attacked by hostile aircraft, all possible small-arms fire should be brought to bear on the attackers. If aerial threat develops during operations in open country, the best security is effected by dispersion of vehicles, off the road, if possible, or by extending the column to increase the distance between vehicles. Columns with a distance of from 200 to 300 yards between vehicles present an unremunerative target because they force airplanes to attack each vehicle separately.

Jeep Antiaircraft Machine Gun -- Wrong

(1) Wrong

Jeep Antiaircraft Machine Gun -- Right

(2) Right

FIGURE 10.–Antiaircraft weapons are alerted for antiaircraft fire at all times.


81-mm Mortar Emplacement

Diagram of a typical 81-mm Mortar Emplacement from the field manual FM 5-15: Field Fortifications, Corps of Engineers, U.S. War Department, February 1944.

81 mm Mortar Emplacement

Antiairborne Defense

A guide to defense against airborne troops from Cavalry Mechanized Reconnaissance Squadron, Cavalry Field Manual FM 2-30, U.S. War Department, Washington, DC, March 1943:


The reconnaissance squadron is a highly effective agency in the scheme of antiairborne defense as outlined in FM 100-5. Generally speaking, airborne troops in force will be used either ahead or to the flank of their enemy for the purpose of seizing and holding key terrain or behind it as a vertical envelopment. In either case, the squadron has an active role.

a. The squadron operating ahead of the division will, in all probability, be the nearest element to any point at which an air landing is attempted in the division zone of advance. The points at which such an enemy operation will be profitable should be as well known to friendly commanders as they are to the enemy and should therefore be expected. Long-range air reconnaissance may further reduce the element of surprise. Division G-2 should immediately warn the reconnaissance squadron commander of any airborne movements observed either in preparation or aloft. Being thus alerted, the squadron commander can plan how he will oppose a landing at any probable point in his zone.


(1) Parachutists should be prevented from reaching and opening their weapon containers.

(1) The reconnaissance commander encountering airborne troops in his zone must make a rapid decision based on the stage of the enemy development, relative strength, and the urgency of his primary mission. He may decide to attack, to contain the force until reinforced by the division, or to bypass and report the incident.

Continue reading Antiairborne Defense