Murphy's Laws of Combat


Murphy was an Infantryman

Adapted from Dunnigan's How to Make War (who stole it from everyone else)

Additional suggestions welcome!

You are not Superman.

Incoming fire has the right of way.

Recoilless rifles aren't.

Suppressive fire won't.

Final protective fire doesn't.

Friendly fire isn't.

Perfect plans aren't.

The easy way is always mined.

The easy way will get you killed.

The important things are always simple.

The simple things are always hard.

If it's stupid but works, it's not stupid.

When in doubt, empty the magazine.

Don't look conspicuous. It draws fire.

Never draw fire. It makes everyone around you nervous.

Armored vehicles are bullet magnets - moving foxholes that attract attention.

Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than you.

Teamwork is essential. It gives the enemy other people to shoot at.

Always keep in mind that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.

If your attack is going well, it's an ambush.

If you can't remember..... the claymore is pointed at you.

A five second grenade fuse lasts three seconds.

Try to look unimportant. The enemy may be low on ammo.

If you are forward of your position, the artillery will be short.

The enemy diversion you're ignoring is the main attack.

When you have secured an area, don't forget to tell the enemy.

No combat-ready unit has ever passed inspection.

No inspection-ready unit has ever passed combat.

If the enemy is in range, so are you.

Tracers work both ways.

Anything you can do can get you shot..... including doing nothing.

Make it too tough for the enemy to get in..... and you can't get out.

The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.

The radio will fail as soon as you need something desperately.

When both sides are convinced they are about to lose..... they are both right.

Professionals are predictable, but the world is full of amateurs.

All-weather close air support doesn't work in bad weather.

The bursting radius of the grenade is one foot greater than your jumping range.

The only terrain that is truly controlled is the terrain upon which you're standing.

The law of the bayonet says the man with the bullet wins.

REMF are everywhere.

The best tank killer is another tank. Therefore tanks fight other tanks, and have no time to help the Infantry.

Precision bombing is accurate within plus / minus one mile.

Cluster bombing from B-52's and C-130's is very, very accurate. The bombs always hit the ground.

The side with the fanciest uniforms loses. ( ! )

Ammo is cheap; your life isn't.

If you can't see the enemy, he may still be able to see you.

No plan survives the first few seconds of combat.

It's easier to expend material than to fill out a Graves Registration.

If you are short of everything execpt the enemy, you're in combat.