Hunting fight

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Hunting combat , today a type of combat of the infantry , formerly a special combat act , is supposed to wear out, disrupt, deceive and force the enemy in his rear area through constant surprise attacks. Forces deployed in hunting penetrate deep into the rear enemy territory. The Jagdkommando binds a multiple of its own strength in the operational area and at the same time monitors the operational area.

Special operations as of combat, in the types of operations attack, defense and delay are performed. The fighter platoon supports its own operations by delaying and weakening enemy reserves and supplies as well as by destroying special operational equipment and command posts with their telecommunications personnel and resources.

The reconnaissance of enemy forces by the hunting command in the operational area serves the targeted deployment of the hunting command and also the consolidation of the higher level command's own knowledge of the enemy situation.

The fighting style of the forces deployed in hunting combat in strength of one platoon is characterized by constant alternation of concealment and covert movements with camouflage, by exploiting the terrain and, after covert provision, surprising attack by stroke of a hand or from ambush . This is intended to destroy weak enemy forces or to weaken them through a fire attack. The Jagdkommando may not allow itself to be tied up by the enemy or defend itself during the hunt.

When hunting in (own) rearward areas , weak enemy forces such as SOF ( Special Operation Forces ) troops are identified , deployed and destroyed. Airborne enemy forces are disrupted and delayed during use. Depending on the situation, the fighter campaign is supported by its own additional forces and can itself go into sheltered calm in its own permanent facilities. He doesn't have to be ready for action all the time. The requirements for a fighter campaign in rearward areas are therefore not as high as for fighter combat in enemy territory. However, hunting in the rear areas requires special legal training and instruction of all soldiers, since the threat posed by enemy forces not only comes from enemy combatants but also from armed civilians. A reinforcement by a military police in troops may be needed.


Jagdkampf is a specialized infantry operation and a type of operation carried out especially in German-speaking countries by infantry behind enemy lines (Forward Line of Enemy Troops, "FLET"), which is not known in this form by infantry in other countries. Hunting combat is carried out in the same strength above the level of a raid troop, but with a higher troop strength below the level of a command company.

The Jagdkommando has a greater strength than a commando force in command operations , which, in contrast to this, fights against high-quality enlightened enemy forces in deep enemy space. A long-term surveillance team permanently monitors a point in the area and clears up enemy forces, especially on marching streets.

Special forces are therefore not to be compared with a fighter campaign, even if they are assigned differently, and because of their different structure, they cannot be used for this purpose. In principle, there is no joint deployment of several fighter platoons or together with long-distance patrols or command groups. Their objectives and depths of penetration contradict each other.

Very occasionally, in own open flanks Jagdkommandos in company strength used for special operations. The fighting in the Winter War and the Continuation War in Finland during World War II are examples of war history.


Hunting combat can only be carried out by particularly resilient soldiers . The duration of use is up to 14 days. The fighter platoon is usually not motorized. The exception is, as in the operation area of ​​the Long Range Desert Group, in open, uncovered terrain such as in the dry and hot climatic zone ( desert ) or the dry and cold climatic zone ( eternal snow areas ).

The hunting fight is carried out by a fighter combat platoon, which is formed by a reinforced infantry platoon and led directly by the brigade leading the mission . In exceptional cases, the battalion itself, as a combat unit, orders the deployment of a fighter platoon to disrupt enemy forces in its area of ​​responsibility during attack or defense.

In the area of ​​responsibility of the command level of a division or a corps as a large unit, sub-command units are deployed for special missions on enlightened high-value targets in the deep rear enemy area.

goals and tasks

Objectives of the special operations train are weaker enemy forces as convoys with supplies, guiding devices from battalion rod rarely upwards, telecommunications equipment, utilities and general logistics points, airfields or Behelfslandezonen. Artillery positions can in exceptional cases be the target of a coup. However, apart from heavy artillery missile systems (SARS) with ATACMS or SS-26 Stone , they are basically not an outstanding target. Use against repair points is not sensible because of the damaged armored vehicles standing there.

The ability of enemy forces to move can also be severely impaired by rendering traffic engineering facilities such as bridges or blocking narrow areas after blasting, railway engineering facilities, waterways or water engineering facilities unusable.

Parts of the fighter campaign begin under the leadership of the platoon leader directly in the operational area with the reconnaissance of enemy forces and the exploration of enemy marching routes as well as the approach and departure routes. During the reconnaissance, it should be noted that operational marching roads are secured by minefields , or that mines to disrupt special forces in the rear supply area can also be laid in remote bottlenecks.

For close combat can occur with security forces, in particular the coup enemy facilities and command posts.


The fighter campaign can be composed of

  • Leadership team,
  • Sniper squad ,
  • up to four groups of hunters, one of them as a carrier group with supplies and weapons.

The hunting campaign can be supported by one troop each - usually two soldiers -

The hunting campaign can be supported in the hunt by protection dogs, hazard defense dogs and explosives detection dogs. The use of tracking dogs is pointless in the hunt.

When hunting in the rear areas , a troop of dog handlers with explosives detection and tracking dogs is to be subordinate to the hunting campaign.

Hunting combat in the mountains and high mountains requires the use of army mountain guides with a high mountain hunter train.

Combat service

Operational principles

The leader of the fighter campaign essentially observes the keyword VASE for connection, reconnaissance, security, exploration , in order to protect his fighter campaign from enemy forces. Despite thorough planning and preparation, the course of the hunt is difficult to predict. A reinforced sub-unit is given a general order for the hunt and is given the greatest possible freedom in carrying it out (see also leading with an order ).

Emergency pick-up points suitable for use as helicopter landing zones , like several hiding spots, are already determined in the planning by the leader of the fighter platoon.

In preparation and implementation, hunting matches the conditions and requirements, especially in the wilderness of an expedition or trekking . Experience as well as knowledge and skills must therefore be taken into account.

Penetration into enemy space

The movement of a special operations train is effected by seeping into gaps , Luftanlandung with helicopters , air landing from automatic parachute or shipment by mechanized forces to combat , rifle and transport tanks , by hitting a temporary violent break-through by the FLET (forward line enemy troops). The fighter platoon is then set down in the rear of the enemy area and then reaches its deployment area after walking through seepage.

Soldiers trained for freefall jump in HAHO deployment are generally not to be found in the infantry. This method of deployment is only used by specialized personnel. However, the HAAO deployment procedure offers a possibility for this.

The penetration depth is between 20 km to less than 100 km with an operational area of ​​around 10 km × 10 km to 10 km × 20 km. The extent is determined primarily by large natural and artificial terrain lines and the general design of the terrain space.

Conduct in enemy space

The hunting fight is characterized by permanent observance of the general troop tasks FAST , as a keyword for every soldier for readiness to fire, loosening, entrenchments, camouflage . In hunting combat, entrenchments are made by the constant use of elevations and depressions and not by creating earth coverings. Camouflage is essentially done by paying attention to avoiding one's own reconnaissance, also by covering the view from the background - avoiding standing out from the background and thus offering a target.

The reconnaissance of a fighters' campaign is often carried out by means of traces at the hiding place and at water extraction points, from where they can be traced back to the hiding place with search dogs. It is therefore essential in the training to practice camouflage by using the terrain and avoiding tracks in the terrain.

The camouflage in use is done by permanent

  • Exploitation of shadows and vegetation, especially when moving, as a visual camouflage against visual reconnaissance
  • Avoid odor from perfumes, food that causes body odor and cigarettes
  • Consideration of biological sensor means such as house and farm dogs , goats and geese, but also wild animals, especially wild birds, which fly up when disturbed and indicate the presence of people even at a further distance
  • Avoiding traces at forced points such as water points
  • Protection against electronic reconnaissance in telecommunications through short, veiled or encrypted radio communications
  • Minimization of thermal radiation to avoid reconnaissance through airborne reconnaissance means with thermal imaging devices, also through thick plastic tarpaulins as a cover.

In addition to enemy armed forces, the fighter campaign is mostly threatened by the civilian population, who may be inclined to the enemy side, and / or irregular enemy forces and hostile local militias . Hunting combat is therefore characterized by high mobility on foot and constant movement in the operational area. The fighter platoon permanently relocates and thus secures itself against the approach of enemy forces. By always moving to new hiding places and only temporarily staying in one place, it is more difficult for enemy forces to surprisingly attack the Jagdkommando during periods of rest after reconnaissance. As a rule, the fighter platoon dodges from hiding, even in the face of inferior enemy forces, as well as suddenly in the event of a surprising encounter , in order not to be bound and to retain the initiative itself.

For the use of the fighter campaign several supply depots are usually created as hidden earth depots. These can be prepared or created at the start of the mission. Water, food, ammunition and explosives essentially determine the duration of use. The hunter sergeant set up the first hiding place and separate supply depots while exploring and clearing up the operational area. One of the essential training points is the construction of a hiding place, its camouflage by avoiding traces around the hiding place and the quick, noiseless dismantling. Natural camouflage agents are therefore not to be found in the vicinity of the hiding place, as this causes traces.


The brigade or command level leading the mission is responsible for the expanded equipment of the fighter platoon, in particular with extensive telecommunications and special equipment. These are further for use space suitable field and bivouac equipment , and as needed with warfare agents such as antitank mines directional DM-12 PARM , anti-personnel mines directional M18 Claymore with ignition cable and silenced handguns.

The equipment of a fighter platoon is partly the same as the equipment of a long-distance scouting team in action .

The extensive additional equipment can be transported with infantry carts or in winter with Akja , under special circumstances with pack animals . For motorized use, hybrid electric vehicles with diesel-electric drives will enable low-noise use in open areas such as the desert that are not very overcast.

According to the previous doctrine, the fighter campaign could have been supported by up to two mortars , whose transport and in particular their ammunition should have been carried out by pack animals, in the case of motorized use with wheeled mortar carriers (see under literature Hans von Dach: Gefechtstechnik - Combat under special circumstances ). This support was provided while British SAS trains were still in use in the Gulf Wars .

Combat actions during hunting combat

Hunting combat in enemy space

Hunting fight in the rear area

Life in the field - survival and penetration

  • Seepage and covered movement in the area
  • Orientation in the field
  • makeshift overcoming of severely cut terrain
  • makeshift crossing of bodies of water
  • Hideout and camouflage
  • Dodging from hiding or when unexpectedly meeting with inferior enemy forces


Hunting combat is trained in the infantry , tied to a course as a guide and instructor in hunting combat in the Bundeswehr in the lone fighter course 2, both until 2013 at the airborne and air transport school in Altenstadt, since then only at the infantry school in Hammelburg. Further courses are the survival course special forces and the first aid course C at the training center for special operations in Pfullendorf as well as winter fighting and fighting in difficult terrain at the mountain and winter combat school in Mittenwald .

History of the hunting fight

Historically, the struggle of sub-units and units of a regular armed force against superior enemy forces that move in unfavorable terrain or against them in the rear enemy territory is not new. Irregular forces are known as guerrillas or partisans .

The Teutons under Arminius, Prince of the Cherusci , already used this fighting method in 9 AD in the Varus Battle in an overall operation with individual battles up to the annihilation of three legions of the Romans .

The fight in the rear enemy territory was from the times of standing armies mostly by mounted volunteer corps such as the Croatian riders , pandours or hussars out and because, outside of battles or around as a small war called. Depending on the terrain and the available troops in the deep flanks, also by hunters to secure your own troops.

During the French and Indian War in North America, this type of combat was used by Robert Rogers with his Ranger Company of Blanchard's New Hampshire Regiment . The written instructions for the individual soldier and the combat management with the plan of discipline go back to him.

Johann von Ewald took part in the American War of Independence as captain of the Hesse-Kassel military police corps and summarized his experiences in his book about the little war, which is considered to be the first work that specifically deals with this form of warfare.

In the Indian Wars between the Indians of North America and the European immigrants and - after American independence from 1783 to the end of the 19th century - the troops of the United States, the Indians, due to their inferiority in terms of strength, mostly waged asymmetrical skirmishes in the form of ambushes, hand strokes and Raids.

During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71 , there were planned combat actions by Franc-shooters . These began to attack smaller departments and posts, couriers and train vehicles in the rear of the German armies, but also fought open battles with larger German units.

Examples of war history can be found in the commandos designated in the English-speaking area in the First Boer War in 1880/1881 and in the Second Boer War in 1899/1901 in South Africa.

The Austrian patrol corps Strafuni carried out its operations from 1882 to 1914 in what was then Austro-Hungarian Bosnia in hunting combat.

Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck gives an example of the use of several independent combat units in hunting combat with the deployment of the protection force for German East Africa and during the First World War in East Africa .

With the deployment of irregular Bedouin troops on the Arabian Peninsula and in Sinai during the Arab Revolt in World War I, TE Lawrence was able to significantly slow down the deployment and operational combat management of the Ottoman Army by repeatedly using the Hejaz Railway , which is essential for supplies, as well as the Ottoman military railway lines in Palestine interrupted by fire attacks, ambushes and demolitions and attacked marching units.

Lessons for the hunting fight could be gained during the Continuation War in Lapland (Finland) by German forces, mostly the mountain troops , which corresponded in the fighting style with the Motti tactics of the non-motorized infantry of the Finnish army , which goes back to the Finnish hunters .

The fighting style of the Allied troops in the Battle of Timor in 1942 corresponded to that of the hunting fight behind enemy lines and shows, given favorable spatial conditions in heavily covered and fragmented terrain, that even a small force can bind a much larger one, here with the strength of a Japanese division.

The Armée de terre used this tactic in the Indochina War and the Algerian War .

The fight of regular troops against irregular but also regular troops, mostly in Africa but also in other areas with little infrastructure, is also known as the bush war . In Rhodesia by the Selous Scouts and in Portuguese Angola by the Flechas , both of which consisted of local trackers and soldiers under the command of white officers of the colonial power. During the time of apartheid , the Koevoet and the 32-Bataljon as well as paratroopers and commandos were used in the South African border war through South Africa, which were motorized with the Casspir and Mamba as protected vehicles and enforced examples of the motorized use of fighter campaigns in rear areas or enemy Offer spaces.

During the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan , the mujahideen used this tactic against the technically superior "Limited Contingent of Soviet Troops in Afghanistan" .

See also


  • Hans von Dach: Combat technology: Volume 2: Combat under special circumstances. 4th edition, Dissberger, Düsseldorf 1989, ISBN 3-924753-15-6 .
  • Hans von Dach: Combat technology. Volume 1: General Military Basics . Dissberger, Düsseldorf 1992, ISBN 3-924753-48-2 .
  • Hans von Dach: The total resistance . Guild instructions for everyone. Dissberger, Düsseldorf 1985, ISBN 3-924753-02-4 .
  • Werner Ebeling , Horst Engelbrecht: Fight and get through. The lone fighter - near-war training for behavior away from the troops. 11th edition, Bernard & Graefe, Koblenz 1999, ISBN 3-7637-5441-5 .
  • Dirk Freudenberg: Theory of the Irregular: Partisans, Guerrillas and Terrorists in Modern Guerrilla Warfare. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften , Wiesbaden 2008, ISBN 978-3-531-15737-5 .
  • Arnulf von Garn: The Jagdkommando protecting rear areas. Comments on the deployment and training of the homeland security force in hunting combat , in: Truppenpraxis , 3, 1976, pp. 181-184.
  • Helmut Hammerich: "Only hunters help against elite fighters, not slipper troops". The Bundeswehr and the Little War in the Cold War , in: Uwe Hartmann / Helmut Hammerich / Claus von Rosen (eds.): Yearbook Inner Guidance 2010 , Carola Hartmann Miles-Verlag, Eschede 2009, pp. 161–173. 978-3-937885-30-8.
  • Army Service Regulations (HDv) 100/900
  • Jürgen Pöppelmann: Survival in extreme situations from a military point of view. Bernard & Graefe, Bonn 2005, ISBN 3-7637-6260-4 .
  • Max von Schenckendorff : Front service. A manual for the officer. Experience and advice from a regimental commander . Mittler-Verlag , Berlin 1928.
  • Heinz Volz: Survival in nature and the environment: mastering dangers with simple means. With exercise and training plan as well as ABC part . 15th edition, Walhalla-Fachverlag, Regensburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-8029-6437-4 .
  • Werewolf. Waving for hunting units. 2nd edition, Dissberger, Düsseldorf 1989, ISBN 3-924753-18-0 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Dirk Freudenberg: Theory of the irregular partisan guerrillas and terrorists in modern guerrilla warfare . VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2008, ISBN 978-3-531-15737-5 , p. 393-396 .
  2. KabylieBlog: DOC Algérie colonial 1959: Commando de Chasse. November 4, 2017. Video on (17 minutes), accessed February 7, 2019.