Multiple Combat Tactics.

When I was writing “Attack, Avoid, Survive” a friend asked that it include a section on dealing with multiple attackers. “Crash Combat” was written from a slightly different perspective so includes a section on the use of teamwork in close combat. Such might be necessary in operations such as crowd control.
This week I came across some nice illustrations in the 1943 version of FM 23-25. While these show bayonet attacks rather than riot control these nicely supplement the suggestions in Crash Combat.
In the first few examples the exact sequence is decided by the enemy under attack. His response determines which of the attackers engages him frontally and which attacks his rear or flank.

In the second example three men attack two. Once again, the responses of the two defenders determine what actually happens. The right defender could have chosen to engage the central attacker, in which case the rightmost attacker would have made a flank attack.

The next two illustrations show the tactics if the attacker is in a minority. In this example the ends of the trio are engaged to prevent the central fighter joining in. In Crash Combat I suggest the alternate approach of concentrating the attackers’ strength at one end of a formation to counter superior numbers.