F.T.P. 143(A)

War Instructions

United States Navy
1944

UNITED STATES FLEET
Headquarters of the Commander in Chief


Table of Contents

  Page
Preface vii
Chapter 1 The Human Element in Naval Strength 1
Chapter 2 Command and Operations:  
    Section I -- General comment 3
    Section II -- Command 3
    Section III -- Initiative 4
    Section IV -- Naval directives 4
    Section V -- Information 5
    Section VI -- Cooperation with Army, with Allies, and with Merchant Marine 6
    Section VII -- Doctrines of action 6
Chapter 3 Bases:
    Section I -- Protection of naval units at a base 9
Chapter 4 Individual Ship Readiness:
    Section I -- Conditions of readiness 11
    Section II -- Darkening ship 11
    Section III -- Lights 12
    Section IV -- Speed requirements 12
    Section V -- Material casualty 12
    Section VI -- Exhaustion of fuel and ammunition 12
Chapter 5 General Instructions for Communications, Contact Reports, Recognition and Identification, Radar, Aviation Personnel Rescue:
    Section I -- Communications 13
    Section II -- Contact reports 13
    Section III -- Recognition and identification 16
    Section IV -- Combat information center 17
    Section V -- Radar 17
    Section VI -- Air sea rescue provisions for aviation personnel 18
Chapter 6 Dispositions and Instructions:
    Section I -- Requirements of cruising dispositions 19
    Section II -- Selection of cruising dispositions 19
    Section III -- Forms of cruising dispositions 20
    Section IV -- Covering force 23
    Section V -- Miscellaneous instructions 23
    Section VI -- Convoys 24
    Section VII -- Scouting 25
Chapter 7 Action Against Submarines, Aircraft, Mines, Chemicals:
    Section I -- Antisubmarine measures 29
    Section II -- Antiaircraft measures 30
    Section III -- Mines 33
    Section IV -- Chemical defense 34
Chapter 8 Night Actions:
    Section I -- General 35
    Section II -- Night battle plans 36
    Section III -- Use of star shells and searchlights 37
    Section IV -- Night action instructions 39
Chapter 9 Employment of Submarines:
    Section I -- Submarine characteristics 43
    Section II -- Submarine tactics 43
    Section III -- doctrine of general employments 44
    Section IV -- Submarine operation in conjunction with other types 46
    Section V -- Submarines cruising in company with or in the vicinity of friendly forces 47
Chapter 10 Aircraft Operations:
    Section I -- Aircraft employment 49
    Section II -- Forms of air attack 49
    Section III -- Tactics of attacking aircraft 50
    Section IV -- Aircraft operating in the vicinity of friendly ships 50
    Section V -- Night operations 51
Chapter 11 Sortie and Entry:
    Section I -- General 53
    Section II -- Sortie 54
    Section III -- Entry 55
Chapter 12 Major Action:
    Forward 57
    Section I -- Task groups for a major action 57
    Section II -- Initial contact 59
    Section III -- The approach 59
    Section IV -- Battle task groups during approach 60
    Section V -- Forces in contact 63
    Section VI -- Deployment 64
    Section VII -- Battle dispositions 66
    Section VIII -- Battle plans 67
    Section IX -- Types of major actions 68
    Section X -- General instructions for battle task groups in major actions 70
    Section XI -- Fire distribution 76
    Section XII -- Torpedo instructions 78
    Section XIII -- Smoke screens in battle 79
    Section XIV -- Own vessels disabled in action 80
    Section XV -- Flagship disabled in action 81
    Section XVI -- Enemy vessels disabled in action 81
    Section XVII -- Aircraft disabled in action 81
    Section XVIII -- Assistance to disabled vessels during action 82
    Section XIX -- Rescue of survivors during action 83
    Section XX -- Night attacks before main engagement 83
    Section XXI -- Normal action 83
    Section XXII -- Reverse action 86
    Section XXIII -- Day pursuit action 88
    Section XXIV -- Retirement action 90
    Section XXV -- Delay action 92
    Section XXVI -- Withdrawal action 93
    Section XXVII -- Night action 95
Chapter 13 Procedure Following a Day Engagement:
    Section I -- General 99
    Section II -- Chase 100
    Section III -- Disabled vessels after action 101
    Section IV -- Assistance to disabled vessels and rescue of survivors after action 101
Chapter 14 Amphibious Operations:
    Section I -- Definition, purpose, and scope 103
    Section II -- Organization 103
    Section III -- Command relationship 104
    Section IV -- Major group tasks 105
    Section V -- Plans 105
    Section VI -- Training 106
    Section VII -- General 106
Index 107

F.T.P.143(A)

 

UNITED STATES FLEET,
HEADQUARTERS OF THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF,
NAVY DEPARTMENT,
Washington 25, D.C., 1 November 1944.

F.T.P. 143 (A)

  1. War Instructions, 1944 (F.T.P. 143 (A)), is approved for the use and guidance of the Naval Service, and is effective upon receipt. Its purpose, scope and applicability is as set forth in the preface.

  2. This publication supersedes War Instructions, 1934 (F.T.P. 143), copies of which shall be destroyed by burning. No report of destruction is required.

  3. F.T.P. 143 (A) is a [formerly] confidential [but now declassified], non-registered publication which shall be transported, handled and stowed as prescribed by Article 76, U.S. Navy Regulations, 1920, and the Registered Publication Manual.

  4. IT IS FORBIDDEN TO MAKE EXTRACTS OR COPY THIS PUBLICATION WITHOUT SPECIFIC AUTHORITY FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, OR CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED FOR IN THE REGISTERED PUBLICATION MANUAL. [Unlimited distribution of this document is authorized since its declassification.]

  5. The Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Registered Publication Section) has cognizance of the distribution of this publication.

  6. This publication shall not be carried for use in aircraft.

/signed/
E.J. King
Commander in Chief, United States Fleet,
and Chief of Naval Operations.


Preface

Purpose

War Instructions 1944, derived from experience, is issued to indoctrinate officers in a common concept of naval combat warfare, and fighting procedures. Acceptance and understanding of these basic principles reduces the necessity for detailed instructions in orders.

Scope

War Instructions 1944 defines the doctrine of command, operation of ships and fleets, and encounters with the enemy. All paragraphs assume that there is a state of war or armed resistance, actual or probable.

Amplification of this doctrine, with application to specific circumstances, is found in Navy Regulations, General Tactical Instructions, Current Tactical Orders and Doctrine U.S. Fleet, and other appropriate publications.

The publication Joint Action of the Army and Navy defines the assigned common mission of the Army and Navy, the general functions of the two services, and the demarcation between them. The Joint Chiefs of Staff may establish specific joint functions and command relationships by addition to or modification of the general directives of the above publication.

Applicability

War Instructions 1944 do not limit in any respect the authority of a fleet or force commander to issue supplementary instructions or to suspend within his command the provisions of any paragraph. in the absence of such modifications, lower echelon commanders are governed by the instructions contained herein.

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Table of Contents


Source: A photocopy of this document is in the Navy Department Library. The original document is located in the World War II Command File of the Operational Archives Branch, Naval History & Heritage Command.