The masking properties of the terrain, the conditions of observation and firing, the depth and angle of the shelter, dead space.

Observation conditions and masking properties of the terrain in the strip (on the site) are estimated by the degree of visibility of the terrain from ground observation points and from the air. At the same time, the use for observation of all modern means (optical, radar, television, infrared technology) is taken into account. 

Masking properties of the terrain, conditions of observation and firing, depth and angle of shelter, dead space.

The masking properties of the area are characterized mainly by the presence of natural masks, as well as the color and spotting of the area (the more spots and their color is more diverse, the better the masking conditions).

Natural masking masks.

These are masking elements of the terrain, which help mask troops from observing the enemy from the air and from observation posts. The main natural masks are:

– Woody vegetation (forests, shrubs, gardens).
– Settlements (residential areas, industrial enterprises).
– Deep folds of relief (ravines, beams, etc.).

The study of masking conditions is to identify natural masks and determine their capacity.

Terrain camouflage capacity.

It is determined by the number of conventional battalion units that can be secretly dispersed 2-3 km from each other, provided that the entire area of ​​the masks is used. One conventional battalion unit can be located in a forest on an area of ​​0.4 km2, in a settlement of 75 yards, in a ravine 1 km long or near a casing 3 km long.

Surveillance Conditions.

When studying the conditions of observation, the places from which the best view is opened are identified, the invisibility fields (unseen areas of the area) are determined and charted from observation points (posts). At the same time, it is taken into account that optical, lighting and radio engineering instruments and devices can be used to observe the battlefield. As a result of studying the observation conditions, it is established:

– Command lines, heights and local objects, on which it is most expedient to place observation posts (posts).
– Natural masking masks (forests, settlements, gardens, shrubs, relief folds) that make observation difficult.
– The far boundary of observation, for which they compare the highest heights of the command line with the heights in front of the lying terrain and determine the line beyond which the area is completely or with a few exceptions not visible from the command line. This will be the far boundary of observation.
– Possible shelters, boundaries of areas not visible from observation points.

The results of the study of the observation conditions are drawn up on the map by filling out or hatching the invisibility fields from each observation point. The figure below shows an example of the design of invisibility fields from two observation points. The radial direction of hatching relative to observation points shows that the area of ​​a separate courtyard A is viewed from NP-1 and cannot be viewed from NP-2.

Invisibility fields from two observation posts.

The masking properties of the terrain, the conditions of observation and firing, the depth and angle of the shelter, dead space.

The area of ​​bridge B is visible only from NP-2, and the area of ​​an individual tree C is not visible from either observation point. More precisely, the boundaries of the invisibility fields are determined by constructing a reduced profile.

Surveillance masking conditions.

The conditions for masking from observation from enemy ground points are determined by studying the conditions for observing the enemy.

Learning the conditions of fire.

The conditions of firing are studied in order to select the most advantageous positions for firing small arms, guns, tanks, anti-tank weapons, mortars. The study of the conditions of firing is reduced to identifying and understanding the characteristics of natural shelters, barriers, buildings and structures, as well as topographic and combat ridges and unaffected spaces in the location of the enemy and his troops.

Topographic ridge (watershed) line dividing the surface runoff of two opposite slopes of the ridge.
Combat (fire) crest the terrain near the topographic ridge, which offers the best view down the ramp, and troops and equipment are not projected against the sky when observed from the enemy.

The most advantageous locations for the firing positions of small arms and direct fire cannons are:

– Combat crests of the front ramps.
– Topographic ridges projecting onto other, higher ridges.
– Natural masking lines and areas providing good visibility and shelling of approaches to them.

It is advisable to choose firing and masking positions for tanks on the reverse slope of the ridge near a topographic ridge that is not projected against the sky. Mortars are advantageously placed on reverse ramps, in hollows, quarries, behind buildings and other shelters. When choosing angry positions, it is necessary to take into account the depth and angle of the shelter, the elevation angle of the target and dead spaces.

Depth of shelter, determination of the depth of shelter.

This is the distance in height h from the gun (tank, mortar) to the line of sight directed from a possible observation post of the enemy through the crest covering the firing position.

Shelter depth can be determined by building a profile or calculated by the formula:

h = d2 / d1 (Well-Nnp) + Nnp-Nop

where h is the depth of the shelter, m, d1 is the distance on the map from the observation point to the shelter, cm; d2 – distance on the map from the observation point to the firing position, cm; Well, NNP, NOP the absolute height of the shelter, observation post and firing position, m.

The masking properties of the terrain, the conditions of observation and firing, the depth and angle of the shelter, dead space.


Ннп = 170 m, Well = 130 m, Ноп = 100 m, d1 = 6.4 cm, d2 = 8 cm.

h = 8 / 6.4 (130-170) + 170 100 = 20 meters.

Shelter angle.

This is the angle between the horizon of the gun and the direction to the crest of the shelter. Shelter angle up to 3-00 is calculated by the formula

P = Well-Nop / 0.001 D, where P is the angle of shelter, d .; D – distance (range) from the firing position to the shelter, m.

Target elevation.

This is the angle between the gun’s horizon and the firing position direction — the target. The elevation angle of target B is calculated by the formula

B = НЦ-Ноп / 0.001Д, where Нц – the absolute height of the target, m; D – distance (range) from the firing position to the target, m.

Dead space.

This is a piece of land behind cover that is not affected by enemy fire. The amount of dead space depends on the nature of the shelter and the ballistic properties of the weapon. The higher the shelter, the trajectory is flatter and the closer the enemy firing position is to the shelter, the greater the dead space.

Based on materials from the Handbook of Military Topography.
A. M. Govorukhin, A. M. Kuprin, A. N. Kovalenko, M. V. Gamezo.

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