Defilade Position

The MK 19 is most effective when laid directly on a target. Depending on the tactical situation, however, defilade could be the most desirable position.

a. Definition. A MK 19 is in defilade position when the gun and its crew are hidden by a landmass such as the crest of a hill from enemy ground (Figure 5-21). The position can be on the reverse slope of a hill, on the forward slope of the next high ground to the rear of a hill, or in a small fold in the ground. A defilade firing position does not necessarily reduce the effectiveness of fire against a stationary enemy target or preclude fire over the heads of friendly troops. Defilade may also be useful in providing predetermined fire into an EA.

b. Advantages. Some advantages of using the defilade position are that the MK 19 and a crew have cover and concealment from direct fire guns; the crew has some freedom of movement near the MK 19 position; control and supply are facilitated; and the characteristic smoke and flash of the MK 19 are partly concealed from observation.

c. Disadvantages. Disadvantages of using the defilade position are that targets close to the mask usually cannot be engaged, and (because adjustment of fire must be made through an observer) rapidly moving ground targets are not easily engaged.

Machine Gun Position Defilade
Figure 5-21. Defilade positions (and direct lay).

d. Options. A defilade position can either be on a forward or reverse slope.

(1) Reverse Slope Positions. These positions afford some protection from high-angle enemy fire and direct-fire cannon.

(a) Partial Defilade Position. The MK 19 is in partial defilade position when it is sited at the highest point on a slope on which it is defiladed. Partial defilade position provides great flexibility in engagement of new targets, although it does not provide the best cover. The MK 19 crew positioned in partial defilade can be grazed by enemy machine gun fire, but is concealed from enemy observation near the target area.

(b) Maximum Defilade Position. The MK 19 is in maximum defilade position when it is sited at the lowest point on a slope from which it can engage a target. The MK 19 crew positioned in maximum defilade has relatively good cover but lacks the flexibility to engage new targets.

(2) Forward Slope Defilade Position. A forward slope defilade position is not vulnerable to grazing fire from the target area, but it is open to attack or damage from mortar and artillery fire. The MK 19 is in partial defilade on a forward slope if the gun and gunner have some protection from direct fire, and if the gunner is able to engage the target using direct lay. Partial defilade is used only when a fire mission cannot be completed from defilade. The MK 19 is held in defilade and moved into partial defilade to fire.

e. Considerations. Direction, elevation, mask clearance, and adjustment of fire are four essential elements that must be considered when using the MK 19 in defilade position.

(1) Direction. There are four ways to lay the gun for direction.

(a) Direct-alignment Method. The observer selects a position on the gun-target line from which the target can be seen. The gunner loosens the traversing slide and, directed by the observer, moves the MK 19 right or left until it is aligned on the target.

(b) Aiming-point Method. For an aiming point, the gunner selects a prominent landmark visible through the sights (Figure 5-22). An aiming point on the gun-target line and at an equal or greater range than the target is desirable; however, the gunner may use an aiming point on the mask.

TOP VIEW

r;i in position

I ■ TARGET --______ 14 MILS LB

--AIMING POINT

2 — AIMING POINT IS NOT ON LINE GUN-TARGET RANGE GUN-TARGET IS 1,000 METERS. TARGET IS 14 MILS LEFT OF AIMING POINT. DIRECTION: WITH REAR SIGHT SET AT 1.000 MILS LAY GUN ON AIMING POINT. TRAVERSE GUN LEFT 14 MILS. ELEVATION: DEPRESS GUN 12 MILS.

2 — AIMING POINT IS NOT ON LINE GUN-TARGET RANGE GUN-TARGET IS 1,000 METERS. TARGET IS 14 MILS LEFT OF AIMING POINT. DIRECTION: WITH REAR SIGHT SET AT 1.000 MILS LAY GUN ON AIMING POINT. TRAVERSE GUN LEFT 14 MILS. ELEVATION: DEPRESS GUN 12 MILS.

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