Applying the National Training Center Experience

Incidence of Ground-to-Ground Fratricide

by Martin Goldsmith


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This Note uses data from the National Training Center instrumentation and observer systems to measure the frequency of fratricidal ground-to-ground engagements, to make some estimate of their importance to battle outcome, and to gain insights into the cases. Because the available data do not include infantry weapons, this study covers only vehicle system engagements and simulated artillery engagements. The study found that 1 to 3 percent of Blue vehicle kills were fratricidal, most fratricides were isolated, and multiple fratricides occurred mostly at night. For indirect fire, an average of 26.7 artillery missions were fired per battle. Of these, 3.1 percent resulted in fratricide, while 33 percent struck the enemy.

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