This image is a work of a U.S. military or Department of Defense employee, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal. This page contains the US Army Field Manual on Survivability. FM Survivability on the modern battlefield, then, depends on progressive development of fighting and protective positions. That is, the field survivability.

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Special combinations and modifications are made to meet battlefield demands.

It provides courses of action for the commander and, by selecting the best course, enhances survivability. A sandbag revetment will not stand with a vertical face. Therefore, construction of tunneled defenses is usually limited to hilly terrain, steep hillsides, and favorable soils including hard chalk, soft sandstone, and other types of hard soil or soft rock. Additionally, buttoned-up armor vehicles offer limited protection from nuclear radiation.

Trenches, like other positions, are developed progressively. The following three tables contain shielding requirements of various materials to protect against direct hits by direct fire projectiles, direct fire high explosive HE shaped charges, and indirect fire fragmentation and blast.

Parapets are constructed using spoil from the excavation or other materials carried to the site. The first material required fo with the triggering the incoming shell b shells. Protective positions for thin-skinned and lightly-armored support vehicles, as well as command posts and critical supplies, require significant hardening.

A structure high, or where there is a fighting position platform provides a floating base o resistance soil precludes constructed of small branc posts, thus distributing t shown in the following ill are quickly constructed us as ponchos or natural mate detailed information on ju igh water tables, dense undergrowth, iring above-ground level protective used in areas where groundwater is low- pressure resistance soil, is thedepicted below.

Using the protection criteria discussed earlier, and an up-to-date detailed terrain analysis portraying the degree of natural protection, a commander develops and ranks a detailed tactical construction plan to support survivability efforts. This soil may need revetment or support, depending on the soil properties and depth of cut.


Crew-served weapons position, individual fighting position, and fj routes between battle positions. Many of the shelters described in the next section Special Designs are adapted for aboveground use in decontamination operations, clothing exchange, or bath points. This jet perforates large thicknesses of high-density material, continues along its cm, and sets fuel and ammunition on fire. If explosive excavation is used, the large area of earth spray created by detonation is camouflaged or removed by first placing tarpaulins or scrap canvas on the ground prior to charge detonation.

Firebase construction is divided into three phases: General priorities for protective construction in a defensive battle position are- Antitank weapon protection.


Air-delivered weapons such as ATGMs, laser-guided missiles, mines, and large bombs require similar survivability considerations. The two light airmobile dozers are committed to constructing a 5 to 8 foot thick parapet around the perimeter to protect against direct fire. Electronic countermeasures and deception activities are mandatory and an integral part of all activities in the survivabliity.

The maneuver commander sets the priorities which allow the force to perform critical tasks. In offensive combat operations, weapons are sited wherever natural or existing positions are available, or where weapon emplacement is made with minimal digging.

Generally, engineers use the same methods of protection used to protect the maneuver force they are supporting. Protective shelters are primarily used as- Command posts.

Full text of “FM Survivability”

It is usually necessary to revet trenches that are more than 5 feet deep in any type of soil. If a projectile partially penetrates concrete shielding, particles and chunks of concrete often break or scab off the survovability of the shield at the time of impact.

Steel is also more likely to deform a projectile as it penetrates, and is much less likely to span than concrete. These formations are initially dispersed to limit nuclear destruction, but surivability concentrated enough to meet offensive norms for attack.

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The fuel is usually contained in a metal canister and is dispersed by detonation of a central burster charge carried within the canister. The new radius length is divided by twice the borehole depth to determine the number of vm within the position. Survivability Considerations Survivability of special purpose survivabikity effects includes covered positions with relatively small apertures and closable entrance areas which provide protection from napalm and flamethrowers.

During halts in the advance, units should develop as many protective positions as possible for antitank weapons, indirect fire weapons, and critical supplies. Measures to counter this type of threat include some fighting and protective positions designed to defeat a ground force or direct fire threat.

United States Forces Survivability in retrograde operations or during pursuit by the Threat force presents a significant challenge to the survivability planner.

They are improved by digging deeper, from a minimum of 2 feet to about 5 Vi feet.

In the Defense In defensive operations, substantial effort for fighting and protective position construction is required. It is impossible to divide responsibilities in survivability missions between the maneuver commander and the engineer commander. Furthermore, at least two entrances are necessary for ventilation. The primary means for aircraft protection on the ground is a combination of terrain masking, cover and concealment, effective camouflage, and dispersion.

The larger the open excavation, the less the protection from artillery.

FM 5-103 Survivability

If the unit remains in the area, the hasty positions are further developed into deliberate positions which provide as much protection as possible. Descriptions and capabilities of US survivability equipment are given in appendix A. The wall’s effectiveness substantially increases by locating it in adequately-defended areas.

Last modified: January 13, 2021