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Paper – Shock Action: Approaches from the Platoon and Troop Level

“Without shock, fighting tends to be protracted and indecisive.”

Dr Storr. J (2010 Feb) High Explosive: Shock Effect in Dismounted Combat. Infantry: Capability, Burden & Technology

Shock action, when effectively generated, can degrade enemy capabilities and will to fight. However, a poor understanding of the application of shock action exists at junior command levels within the Australian Army. During the planning and execution of an operation, we do not consider how we can defeat the enemy utilising shock action. This is principally because Land Warfare Doctrine (LWD) such as LWD 3-0 Operations, LWD 3-0-3 Formation Tactics and LWD 3-3-4 Employment of Armour do not provide junior commanders with methods of actually achieving shock action. Rather, it is explained as an axiom and the method of achieving it is never truly examined in practical terms.

The purpose of this paper is not to revolutionise the theory of shock action. Instead, it will propose a number of practical ways that junior manoeuvre commanders at platoon and troop level can achieve shock action to seize the initiative, create exploitable opportunities and win the close fight.

Click here to dowload a copy of ‘Shock Action – Approaches from the Platoon and Troop Level’


About the author: Lieutenant Gerard Donnelly is a cavalry officer posted to the School of Armour. He has previously served as a Troop Leader at the 2ndCavalry Regiment.

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