FM 5-20

TOC Ch1 Ch2 Ch3 Ch4 Ch5 Ch6




8. GAINING CONCEALMENT. -- The two most important considerations in gaining concealment are choice of position and camouflage discipline. The other basic consideration is construction, which includes both the correct choice and the correct erection of materials.

a. Choice of position. -- When choosing a position to gain concealment, seek a background which will visually absorb the elements of the position. The appearance of the background must be changed as little as possible by their presence (fig. 26) . Natural cover (fig. 27) and defilade are desirable, as is concealed access to the position (fig. 24). Make certain the terrain will accommodate the required layout of the installation. Landmarks are avoided because they attract attention to themselves (fig. 30). Sometimes, by making wise use of background, complete concealment can be gained with no construction work at all. This may be easy to do when there is enough natural cover. It may also be possible when natural cover is sparse by taking advantage of irregularities in the terrain.

FIGURE 25 1 and 2
(78K) -- In regular urban terrain, military objects must be sited parallel to and close to pattern lines.

FIGURE 26 1 and 2
(77K) -- On left, and example of suicide siting for an antiaircraft battery. There are no access routes, no broken ground pattern, no concealment. The area on the right has the advantageous features lacking in the other picture.

(88K) -- Vehicles taking advantage of natural concealment.

(71K) -- Although natural concealment is plentiful near-by, this vehicle failed to use it. Identity of the vehicle may be concealed by the drape, but the poorly chosen site fails to hide its presence and tracks would betray it.

(91K) -- In choosing a position for a large installation take advantage of hidden or existing access routes (right). The site indicate by "wrong" demands new access routes, which would be extremely difficult to conceal.


b. Camouflage discipline. -- (1) Camouflage discipline is the avoidance of activity that changes the appearance of an area or reveals military objects to the enemy. Tracks, spoil, and debris (fig. 31 ) are the commonest signs of military activity which indicate concealed objects. Therefore, new tracks follow existing tracks, paths, roads, or natural lines in the terrain; exposed routes do not end at a position, but are extended to another logical termination. If practicable, exposed tracks are camouflaged by brushing out or covering with materials. Spoil and debris are covered or placed to blend with the surroundings. Camouflage construction must be maintained. Smoke from kitchen fires must be controlled and dispersed. Aerial photographs taken at night by the light of flares can pick up breaches in camouflage discipline, which are more likely to occur at night than in the day (fig. 23). Consequently the same standard of camouflage discipline must be adhered to by night as by day. Light discipline is important at night. Sound discipline is always important.

(2) Sounds can be lessened, when in the neighborhood of the enemy, by suitable measures. Loud orders, talking, calling, coughing, and sneezing must be avoided. Hard ground should be avoided and full use made of soft ground. Signs should be used where possible. Soldiers' equipment should be fastened in such a manner that

(80K) -- Tracks, debris, and equipment exposed in this bivouac area invite artillery and bombing attacks.

banging noises are impossible. Each piece of equipment should be wrapped in hay, straw, wood shavings, rags, or similar materials. Wrapping the wheels of horse-drawn vehicles and the horses' hooves is effective for short distances. Horses that are inclined to neigh must have their mouths tied shut. When horses are stationary, nose-bags have a quieting effect. Vehicles must be loaded in such a way that any banging of equipment is impossible, even on bad roads or when going cross country. Straw, wood shavings, and other muffling agents should be used for packing. Loading and unloading of vehicles must be carried out in silence. Every single piece must be carefully lifted and set down. Vehicle horns must be disconnected. At times it is necessary to switch off engines. The noise of engines and tracked vehicles cannot be diminished, but where conditions allow, it can be drowned by the noise of artillery fire, planes, and other loud noises. In order to prevent the enemy from locating gun positions by sound - ranging, ranging should be carried out wherever possible by roving troops, and ranging guns should be brought up for this purpose. If such a system cannot be employed, fire should, if possible, be restricted to closed bursts of fire or salvos. The use of decoy troops equipped to simulate the sounds of firing also makes sound-ranging more difficult.

(129K)-- A well-made overhead drape in color harmony with the background. Color of artificial materials must be changed with the seasons.

(85K) (1). -- Ground view of 155-mm gun under camouflage blending with surroundings. (2). -- Air view of above emplacement.

c. Construction. -- Where there is not enough natural cover to hide an entire installation, either natural or artificial materials are used to supplement existing concealment.

(1) Choose natural materials which are similar to those at the site and which resemble them in form and color.

(2) Artificial materials must be capable of withstanding local weather conditions. They must be arranged to blend with their surroundings. Seasonal changes may require gradual alteration in the color and kind of materials used (fig. 32).

( 3 ) Even the best camouflage materials are worthless if used carelessly or improperly. Construction must be hidden. Work parties must not make tracks which will betray the installation.

9. CAMOUFLAGE METHODS. -- There are three fundamental ways of concealing installations and activity.

a. Blending. -- An object is concealed by camouflage materials arranged so that both the materials and the object seem a part of their background (fig. 33). The aim is to prevent disclosure of the object by a change in the natural appearance of the site.

b. Hiding. -- Hiding is concealing the identity of an object with a screen even though the screen itself may sometimes be seen (fig. 34) .

c. Deceiving. -- (1) Deceiving simulates an object or activity of military significance or disguises them so they appear to be something else. Deceiving accomplishes the following:

(a) Divides an enemy attack by offering more targets than actually exist.

(b) Draws enemy attention and fire away from essential installations or activity (fig. 35).

(c) Deceives the enemy as to identity, strength, intention, or degree of activity in an area.

(2) When deception is used on a large scale by a force commander, it is a part of operational camouflage (see chapter 5).

(3) Decoys -- imitations of real objects -- are the basis for most deceptive practices. Although it is possible to make a decoy representation of any object, the most useful are decoy roads, paths, rocks, stumps, trees, hedges, guns, vehicles, planes, and buildings.

(4) Disguise changes the appearance of an object or activity to give a false impression of its character (fig. 36). The purpose may be either to create a military target or to conceal the object by making it appear to be of non-military significance.

. (81K) -- Hiding. Trees and drape hide light tank.

(87K) -- Deceiving. Portable decoy aircraft is designed to draw enemy attention and fire.

(63K) -- Disguised as tanks, 1/4-ton trucks mislead the enemy.

TOC Ch1 Ch2 Ch3 Ch4 Ch5 Ch6