Smoke companies were originally designed for the screening of large, rear area installations, such as defense
plants, canals, locks, and dams. The first smoke company was organized in April 1942 to screen aircraft defense
plants on the west coast shortly after Pearl Harbor. This unit was composed of four officers and 196 enlisted men.
Later, these units, equipped with the heavy, high silhouetted mechanical smoke generator, M1 "Esso,"
successfully screened ports in North Africa and Italy. A need for smoke in the forward battle area prompted the
development of the mobile, low-silhouetted M2 and M3 generators. These generators were used to screen
beachheads, river crossings, and bridging operations throughout the rest of World War II and in Korea, thus
making the chemical smoke generator units completely mobile. Since the end of the Korean conflict, the need for
chemical smoke generator units steadily declined until the only chemical smoke generator units were in the
However, the reactivation of the Chemical Corps has sparked a renewed interest in the tactical use of smoke.
This interest is currently expanding, with the formation of active Army smoke units and the gradually increasing
use of smoke in field training exercises. The reintroduction of smoke has created some problems. There is a
general dislike for operating in a smoke environment. This is partially created by the improper use and over-use
of smoke in the field. You can minimize these problems by training command and supervisory personnel to
conduct smoke operations properly.
In this subcourse, you will learn how to conduct smoke operations. To accomplish this, you will learn
methods used in predicting the effects of weather and terrain on smoke, planning smoke operations, and how to
control smoke operations.
In Lesson 1, you will learn how to predict the effects that weather and terrain have on smoke. To predict the
effects of weather and terrain on smoke, you must --
o Identify elements, purpose, and limitations of smoke missions.
o Predict effects of terrain on smoke.
o Predict effects of weather and temperature on smoke.
Once you have learned how to predict the effects of weather and terrain on smoke, you will learn how to plan
smoke operations. In Lesson 2, you will learn the procedures necessary to plan smoke operations. To plan smoke
operations you must --
o Determine security and defense requirements for a smoke unit.
o Assess a unit's capability to conduct a mission.
o Determine the spacing of smoke generators.
o Prepare a smoke platoon for tactical movement.
o Determine security and safety requirements for smoke generator positions.