FM 5-20

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Basic Principles



1. SCOPE. --This manual covers general camouflage principles. Camouflage of individuals, infantry weapons, vehicles, bivouacs, command posts, supply points, medical installations, field artillery, aircraft on the ground, airdromes, antiaircraft artillery, rear areas, and permanent fortifications are treated in separate manuals of this series, as listed on the inside of the front cover. Other camouflage techniques are covered in TM 5-267 and its supplements.

2. USE OF CAMOUFLAGE. -- Camouflage uses concealment and deception to promote our offensive action, to surprise, to mislead the enemy, and to prevent him from inflicting damage upon us. Concealment includes hiding from view, making hard to see clearly, arranging obstructions to vision, deceiving and disguising, and deception involving sound.

3. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES. -- a. Individual. -- The practice of concealment, camouflage construction, and camouflage discipline is as much the normal business of a soldier as firing a rifle, driving a truck, planning an attack, or observing sanitary discipline.

b. Unit commander. -- The unit commander is responsible for all camouflage measures within his command. This responsibility includes detailed instruction by means of standing operating procedures and training in (1) choice of position, (2) camouflage discipline, and ( 3 ) the efficient employment of materials and construction methods for concealment. This is accomplished by close supervision, inspection, and correction during phases of field exercises. It is not enough to give orders; the commander must see that each man understands what to do and does it, that each understands what not to do and avoids it.

c. Staff.-(1) The intelligence section of a staff is charged with counterintelligence, including non-tactical measures, to preserve secrecy. This generally includes camouflage. Close co-ordination between intelligence and camouflage officers is essential. The counter- intelligence plan must provide for taking and distributing aerial photographs of friendly positions and installations to insure that the camouflage effort is being properly planned and executed.

(2) The operations, training, and planning section of a staff is responsible for preparation of plans for and supervision of activities concerning tactical measures to preserve secrecy and effect surprise. One such responsibility is operational camouflage; it involves concealment and deception through camouflage activities and construction, and is used tactically in ruses and feints to deceive and surprise the enemy. The operations, training, and planning section

(85K) -- Engineer camouflage troops assisting in planning large-scale operational camouflage plan with aid of terrain model.

shares this responsibility with the intelligence section. A typical procedure may be as follows:

(a) The commander decides on a plan of operations.

(b) After air and ground reconnaissance, G-3, G-2, and G-4, working together, prepare operations plans, camouflage "cover" plans, and supply plans, respectively. (The cover plan is an operational camouflage plan designed to confuse the enemy.)

(c) The commander decides priorities, allocates resources, and issues orders.

(d) G-3 makes the necessary operational arrangements.

(e) G-4 furnishes the necessary materiel.

(f) Troops assisted by technical staff advisors carry out the plan as directed.

d. Corps of engineers. -- The corps of engineers is responsible for the development of methods and materials for camouflage, supply of camouflage materials, and instruction in camouflage and in camouflage discipline.

4. SPECIAL CAMOUFLAGE TROOPS. -- Specially trained camouflage units -- engineer troops -- include camouflage battalions and separate camouflage companies of ground forces; aviation camouflage battalions; and camouflage sections of engineer headquarters companies of the air force.

a. Duties. -- The duties of camouflage troops in theaters of operations are: camouflage inspection; technical aid in training, planning, and construction of camouflage; supervision of special large-scale camouflage measures; assistance in supply of camouflage materials; and, in some measure, manufacture of certain camouflage supplies. Camouflage troops should supervise the execution of operational camouflage plans. Normally the erection and maintenance of camouflage is performed by the troops who occupy the installation. However, in the case of airdromes with appurtenances and similar large-scale camouflage installations, troops skilled in camouflage practice will normally carry out the camouflage measures, assisted by other available troops.

b. Units. -- ( 1 ) Camouflage battalion (army). -- A camouflage battalion is assigned to a field army. This battalion is organized so that it can function either massed with an army or in separate detachments with smaller units. A company (four platoons) is a normal attachment to a corps, a platoon being attached to each division and one to corps troops. The battalion commander continually studies, plans, and recommends to the army commander, through the army engineer, proper attachments and detachments of the

(100K) -- Troops of an aviation camouflage battalion cover a plane in a dispersal point.

elements of his battalion to meet the changing camouflage requirements. As with topographic units, close relations exist with G-2. The battalion's primary mission is to inspect camouflage and advise, supervise, and instruct other troops in the army area in camouflage work and discipline. It also conducts experiments for new camouflage methods, prepares detailed plans for general or special camouflage installations, and facilitates camouflage supply by giving advice on the use of camouflage materials and their availability. The factory section of the service platoon of the headquarters and service company may furnish technical supervision for the manufacture of camouflage materials by local inhabitants or assigned troops. See FM 5-5, FM 5-6, and T/O and T/E S-9S. 5-96, and 5-97 for details.

(2) Separate camouflage companies. -- Separate camouflage companies are assigned to independent corps and also may be assigned to task forces of a corps or smaller. Their organization, duties, and functions are generally similar to those of a lettered company of the army camouflage battalion.

( 3 ) Engineer aviation camouflage battalion. -- An aviation camouflage battalion is assigned to a theater air force. It is organized to work in separate detachments or massed. The battalion commander continually studies, plans, and recommends to the air force commander, through the air force engineer, proper attachments and detachments of the elements of his battalion to meet changing camouflage requirements. The battalion commander co-ordinates with air staff intelligence on the use of decoy and deceptive measures to mislead the enemy and effect surprise. The mission of the battalion is to furnish technical assistance, supervision, and control for the camouflage activities of a theater air force in connection with the design, planning, and execution of camouflage works. It constructs special camouflage projects associated with airdromes and air force installations. In other respects its mission is similar to the engineer camouflage battalion of the Army, as indicated in paragraph (2) (a) above. For further details see FM 5-5, FM 5-6, FM 5-20E, TM 5-255. and T/O and T/E 5-465, 5-466, and 5-467.

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