Topic: Military Theory
The main objective of the infantry, therefore, to which all other operations are merely preliminaries, is to close with the enemy and destroy him by killing or capture.
Field Service Regulations, Volume II; Operations, 1920 (Provisional), General Staff, War Office
1, Infantry is the arm which in the end wins battles. The co-operation of the other arms is necessary, but neither separately nor together can they defeat the enemy.
2. The weapons of the infantry consisting of the rifle and bayonet, the Lewis gun, the rifle grenade, the hand grenade, and the light mortar enable it to develop rapidly in any direction a large volume of fire, to combine fire and movement, and to engage an enemy at a distance or hand to hand.
3. The movements of infantry on foot are slow, and the distance it can cover in a day is relatively small. On the other hand, infantry is capable of moving over almost any ground by day or night, and can find cover more readily than the other arms. When roads permit, it can be moved with rapidity in motor vehicles, and brought fresh into action at distant points.
4. Fire alone will seldom force determined troops out of their position. To drive an enemy from the field, assault or the immediate threat of it is necessary.
5. The main objective of the infantry, therefore, to which all other operations are merely preliminaries, is to close with the enemy and destroy him by killing or capture. It is this power of closing with the enemy which makes infantry the decisive arm in the fight.