Advance of ‘Enemy’ Likely To Begin Later In Day, Officers ReportCon
Having reached defense lines deep in the Fort Jackson reservation in fending off an expected attack from a Brown army, the 30th Division took the afternoon off today as an “armistice” was signed between the opposing troops.
The expected attack against the fort by the Brown troops failed to materialize today before the armistice but officers of the Blue army said that they expected the battle to begin tonight or early tomorrow.
More than 19,000 officers and men of the 30th Division were participating in the battle which began Monday night and will continue through Friday. The maneuver is biggest field test ever held at Fort Jackson with the war strength units fully equipped with the latest type of equipment.
The maneuver, involving the war strength 30th Divison, the mechanized troops of the 102nd Cav-
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‘Armistice’ Called In Division Games
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alry regiment and planes of the 105th Observation squadron based at the Columbia airport, began Tuesday morning at 3 o’clock when the 30th Division, known as the “Blues”bivouacked in the area of Blaney.
The opposing forced, the “Browns,” is composed of the 59th Infantry brigade, separated from the 30th to act as hostile troops, reinforced by engineer and medical units. The Browns were reported crossing the Wateree river yesterday at noon and moving forward to attack the Fort Jackson, military reservation.
The Blues, under the command of Maj. Gen. Henry D. Russell, division commander began moving out of their encampment at Blaney yesterday at noon, five minutes after receiving word about the Brown advance. The Blue troops anticipated making contact with the Brown forces deep in the reservation tonight.
Officer of the opposing forces said today that much troop movement would be carried out tonight in efforts to encircle or outflank the enemy. These night movements, to be carried out in 3,000 trucks and cars, will be made without the use of lights.
Brig. Gen. T. E. Marchant, commander of the Brown forces, is leading his troops into the reservation while the Blues under General Russell were rushing aid to the fort from the vicinity of Blaney. The “battle” which may develop late today or at dawn tomorrow will be fought with blank cartridges.
Thousands of the latest type weapons are being brought into play in the division maneuvers with full war field equipment having been carried with the troops when they left camp Monday night. The problem is schedule to continue through Friday.
Officials of the First army corps from headquarters in Columbia were in the field today acting as supervisors of the maneuver and as referees in determining which troops are winning. However, the two commanding officers of the rival forces have been given full authority to maneuver their troops in any direction at any time. The commander’s strategy, and not prepared orders, will direct the development of the maneuver.
The 30th Division will have two other similar maneuvers during May to acquaint the troops with field conditions. Late in May, the 30th will leave Fort Jackson for Tennessee to participate in the 7th corps maneuvers during June.
In October, corps maneuvers of the 1st and 2nd, and possibly the 6th corps, will be held in the Carolinas, followed by First Army maneuvers in November. Whether the 30th will be involved in these fall maneuvers will depend on whether the national guardsmen are returned to their homes at the end of the scheduled one year period or whether, with Congressional action, they will remain in service.