Friday, November 16, 2012

Sergeant Murphy's Laws of Combat

(As compiled by The Military Philosopher)

The important things are very simple.

The simple things are very hard.

If it’s stupid but it works, it ain’t stupid.

The MP corollary: If it’s lethal or it just works, it ain’t “obsolete” just because your grandfather used it.

Both sides believe they are about to lose; they are both right.

You can win without fighting, but it’s a lot tougher to do when the enemy does not cooperate.

Professionals are reliable and predictable, but the world is full of amateurs.

Radio communications will fail as soon as you need something desperately.

All things being equal, the side with the simplest uniforms wins.

No combat-ready unit has ever passed inspection.

No inspection-ready unit has ever passed combat.

It is easier to expend material in combat then to fill out Graves Registration forms after.

If a private tells you he’s done something, go check it out. If a lieutenant tells you he’s done something on his own, got fix it.

Don’t’ look conspicuous, it draws fire.

Try to look unimportant, they may be low on ammo.

Anything you do can get you shot, including doing nothing.

Never draw fire, it irritates everyone around you.

Teamwork is essential; it gives them other people to shoot at.

If the enemy is in range, so are you.

Tracers work both ways.

Suppressive fire won’t.

Incoming fire has the right of way.

Friendly fire isn’t.

The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.

If you are short of everything except enemy, you are in combat.

If your attack is going really well, it’s an ambush.

The enemy diversion you are ignoring is the main attack.

The enemy will still be able to see you when you can’t see him.

The easy way is always mined.

When in doubt, empty the magazine.

Ammo is cheap compared to your life.

The law of the bayonet says the man with the bullet wins.

Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than you are.

When you have secured an area, don’t forget to tell the enemy.

Make it too tough for the enemy to get in, and you can’t get out.

The only terrain you truly control is the ground you’re standing on.

If your present site is tactically perfect, prepare to move out.

If command says you’re staying overnight, prepare to move out.

Your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.

All five-second grenade fuzes detonate in three seconds.

The bursting radius of a hand grenade is your jumping range plus 1 foot.

If you can’t remember, the claymore is pointed at you.

Any mandated “improvements” to existing equipment will result in twice as much down time for that equipment.

If you make it weigh half as much, the troops will need twice as many.

All-weather close air support doesn’t fly in bad weather.

Precision bombing can be depended upon to be accurate to within plus/minus one mile.

B-52/C-130 cluster bombing is very, very accurate. The bombs always hit the ground.

If you are forward of your position, the artillery will be short.

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