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Field Service Regulations United States Army - 1914 (Updated 1917)

Field Service Regulations United States Army - 1914 (Updated 1917)

World War I manual titled "Field Service Regulations United States Army" First compiled in 1914. This edition corrected to April 15, 1917. 4 1/4 x 5 1/2" hardcover book. 243 pages. Published by the Government Printing Office in 1917. War Department Document No. 475.

There were also more corrections after the book had been finalized. There are several pieces of paper with corrections to August 1917. These were added to the book by just binding them in with the existing pages.

Contents divided into sections headed Organization, Operations, Administration and Appendices. Full of info on all aspects of military field operations and combat. There are line drawing illustrations showing the layouts of the Camp of a Regiment of Infantry - War Strength, the Camp of a Regiment of Calvary-War Strength, Camp of Artillery, Camp of Trains, Camp of Infantry Division all War Strength, Supply Service- Division, Overseas Operations Showing Limitations of Control, Outline of the System of Administration Showing Limitations of Control. Service of Defense L of C, Sanitary Service- Division, Ammunition Service - Division. There are 2 pages with color illustrations of distinguishing flags and lanterns.


Part I : Organization

Article I.

  • Land Forces of the United States
  • Oversea Departments
    Tables of Organization

Part II : Operations

Article I : Information

  • General Principles
  • Reconnaissance
  • Messages, Reports, Field Maps, and War Diaries
  • Transmission of Information

Article II : Security

  • General Principles
  • Advance Guard
  • Advance Guard of a Small Command
  • Advance Guard of a Division (Independent)
  • Security for the Head of a Retreating Force
  • Flank Guards
  • Rear Guards
  • Rear Guard of an Advancing Force
  • Outposts and Outguards

Article III : Orders

  • General Principles
  • Composition of Formal Field Orders
  • Form of Field Orders

Article IV : Marches and Convoys

  • General Principles
  • Conduct of Marches
  • Special Regulations :
    • Marches in Peace
    • Marches in Campaign
  • Convoys
  • Conducting Prisoners
  • Convoys by Water

Article V : Combat

  • Combat Principles
  • Use of Combined Arms
  • Fire Superiority
  • Frontage of Units in Combat
  • Intrenchments
  • Use of Machine Guns
  • Post of the Leader
  • Reserves
  • Plan of Action
  • Combat Orders
  • Development and Deployment for Action
  • The Surprise
  • The Recontre
  • Offensive Combat:
    • The Attack
    • The Enveloping Attack
    • Turning Movements
    • The Holding Attack
    • The Assult
    • The Pursuit
  • Defensive Combat :
    • The Passive Defense
    • The Defense Seeking a Favorable Decision
    • The Counter-Attack
    • Cavalry in Defensive Combat
    • Defensive Positions
    • Positions in Readiness
    • Withdrawal From Action
    • Covering Positions
    • Assembly Positions
    • The Retreat
    • Delaying Actions
  • Night Combat :
    • The Offensive
    • The Defensive
    • Night Advance
  • Bivouac on the Battlefield
  • Measures to be Taken After The Battle

Article VI : Shelter

  • General Principles
  • Shelter in the Service of the Interior
  • Shelter in the Theater of Operations
  • Shelter During Battle
  • Shelter During Sieges
  • Care of Troops

Part III : Administration

Article I : General

Article II : The Service of the Interior

  • General
  • Mobilization and Concentration

Article III : The Service of the Theater of Operations

  • General
  • Headquarters and Staff

Article IV : The Zone of the Advance

  • General
  • Transportation
  • Supply Service
  • Ammunition Service
  • Sanitary Service
  • Engineer Train

Article V : The Zone of the Line of Communications

  • General
  • Service of Defense
  • Supply, Sanitary, and Telegraph Service
  • Service of Military Railways
  • Channels of Correspondence

Article VI : Transportation by Rail

  • Travel on Commercial Railways
  • Travel on Military Railways

Article VII : Military Police

Article VIII : Censorship

  • Correspondents

Article IX : Field Post Office

Appendices of Useful Information

  1. 1A : War Strength in Round Numbers, Road Spaces, and Dimensions of Camps
    1B : Semipermanent Camps
  2. Types of Field Intrenchments
  3. Forms of Field Orders
  4. Field Maps and Sketches
  5. Distinguishing Flags and Lanterns
  6. Extracts from International Conventions and Conferences
  7. Miscellaneous Data
  8. Signals and Codes
  9. List of Abbreviations


War Department
Office of the Chief of Staff
Washington, March 19, 1914

The following Field Service Regulations, revised by the General Staff of the Army, are approved and published for the information and government of the Regular Army and the Organized Militia, and, in time of war, the Volunteer forces.

Success in war can be achieved only by all branches and arms of the service mutually helping and supporting one another in the common effort to attain the desired end.

The basic principles of the combat tactics of the different arms are set forth in the drill regulations of those arms for units as high as brigades. It is the function of higher troop leading to so combine and coordinate the combat tactics of all the arms as to develop in the combined forces the teamwork essential to success.

While the fundamental principles of war are neither very numerous nor complex, their application may be difficult and must not be limited by set rules. Departure from prescribed methods is at times necessary. A thorough knowledge of the principles of war and their application enables the leader to decide when such departure should be made and to determine what methods should bring success.

Officers and men of all ranks and grades are given a certain independence in the execution of the tasks to which they are assigned and are expected to show initiative in meeting the different situations as they arise. Every individual, from the highest commander to the lowest private, must always remember that inaction and neglect of opportunities will warrant more severe censure than an error in the choice of the means.

By order of the Secretary of War

Leonard Wood
Major General, Chief of Staff

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