The sniper team may use the most used and the least used routes to cover its movement. It also loses travel time when trying to camouflage the trail.

a. Most Used Routes. Movement on lightly traveled sandy or soft trails is easily tracked. However, a sniper may try to confuse the tracker by moving on hard-surfaced, often-traveled roads or by merging with civilians. These routes should be carefully examined; if a well-defined approach leads to the enemy, it will probably be mined, ambushed, or covered by snipers.

b. Least Used Routes. Least used routes avoid all man-made trails or roads and confuse the tracker. These routes are normally magnetic azimuths between two points. However, the tracker can use the proper concepts to follow the sniper team if he is experienced and persistent.

c. Reduction of Trail Signs. A sniper who tries to hide his trail moves at reduced speed; therefore, the experienced tracker gains time. Common methods to reduce trail signs areas follows:

(1) Wrap footgear with rags or wear soft-soled sneakers, which make footprints rounded and leas distinctive.

(2) Brush out the trail. This is rarely done without leaving signs.

(3) Change into footgear with a different tread immediately following a deceptive maneuver.

(4) Walk on hard or rocky ground.


Evading a skilled and persistent enemy tracker requires skillfully executed maneuvers to deceive the tracker and to cause him to lose the trail. An enemy tracker cannot be outrun by a sniper team that is carrying equipment, because he travels light and is escorted by enemy forces designed for pursuit. The size of the pursuing force dictates the sniper team's chances of success in employing ambush-type maneuvers. Sniper teams use some of the following techniques in immediate-action drills and deception drills.

a. Backward Walking. One of the basic techniques used is that of walking backward (Figure 8-6) in tracks already made, and then stepping off the trail onto terrain or objects that leave little sign. Skillful use of this maneuver causes the tracker to look in the wrong direction once he has lost the trail.

b. Large Tree A good deception tactic is to change directions at large trees (Figure 8-7). To do this, the sniper moves in any given direction and walks past a large tree (12 inches wide or larger) from 5 to 10 paces. He carefully walks backward to the forward side of the tree and makes a 90-degree change in the direction of travel, passing the tree on its forward side. This technique uses the tree as a screen to hide the new trail from the pursuing tracker.

NOTE: By studying signs, a tracker may determine if an attempt is being made to confuse him. If the sniper team loses the tracker by walking backward, footprints will be deepened at the toe and soil willbe scuffed or dragged in the direction of movement. By following carefully the tracker can normally find a turnaround point.


c. Cut the Corner. Cut-the-corner technique is used when approaching a known road or trail. About 100 meters from the road, the sniper team changes its direction of movement, either 45 degrees left or right. Once the road is reached, the sniper team leaves a visible trail in the same direction of the deception for a short distance on the road. The tracker should believe that the sniper team "cut the corner" to save time. The sniper team backtracks on the trail to the point where it entered the road, and then it carefully moves on the road without leaving a good trail. Once the desired distance is achieved, the sniper team changes direction and continues movement (Figure 8-8).

d. Slip the Stream. The sniper team uses slip-the-stream technique when approaching a known stream. The sniper team executes this method the same as the cut the comer technique. The sniper team establishes the 45-degree deception maneuver upstream, then enters the stream. The sniper team moves upstream to prevent floating debris and silt from compromising its direction of travel, and the sniper team establishes false trails upstream if time permits. Then, it moves downstream to escape since creeks and streams gain tributaries that offer more escape alternatives (Figure 8-9).

e. Arctic Circle. The sniper team uses the arctic circle technique in snow-covered terrain to escape pursuers or to hide a patrol base. It establishes a trail in a circle (Figure 8-10, page 8-16) as large as possible. The trail that starts on a road and returns to the same start point is effective. At some point along the circular trail, the sniper team removes snowshoes (if used) and carefully steps off the trail, leaving one set of tracks. The large tree maneuver can be used to screen the trail. From the hide position, the sniper team returns over the same steps and carefully fills them with snow one at a time. This technique is especially effective if it is snowing.

Figure 8-10. Arctic circle.

f. Fishhook. The sniper team uses the fishhook technique to double back (Figure 8-11) on its own trail in an overwatch position. The sniper team can observe the back trail for trackers or ambush pursuers. If the pursuing force is too large to be destroyed, the sniper team strives to eliminate the tracker. The sniper team uses the hit-and-run tactics, then moves to another ambush position. The terrain must be used to advantage.

Figure 8-11. Fishhook.


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