Rattenkrieg – The Art..

Robert Taubert authors “Rattenkrieg: The Art and Science of Close Quarter Battle Pistol” which is a compilation of CQB materials that was taught to Operators who are in the line of tactical hostage rescue business. Rattenkrieg resonates much wisdom of CQB techniques and tactics overtime.

Mr Taubert has over 25 years experiences beginning with a couple of tours in Vietnam as a combat infantry officer with the USMC. Later becoming a G- man with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, here are the highlights of his training and associations with the following but not the complete list in assisting the respective firearms programs:

  • Assisted in formulation of FBI (HRT) Team
  • CIA (CAT)
  • British SAS
  • U.S. 1st SFOD-D
  • U.S. Marine Expeditionary Counter Terrorist Team
  • U.S. Navy Seal
  • DEA Elite Tactical Team
  • U.S. Border Elite Team
  • Germany’s GSG-9
  • Israeli Special Forces
  • DOE (Dept of Energy) Tactical Team

Rattenkrieg (Rat War) is a German term that originates from the “Battle of Stalingrad” – its fierce close quarter battle in the sewers that depicts the urban warfare for real estate. These were vicious fast paced skirmishes with long guns and pistols.

This was the birth of modern close quarter battle (CQB) lessons learned from the Germans and Soviets in the battle of attrition. Information in this book covers advanced concepts that can be used for firearms long or short. Other concepts covered as time progresses due to equipment enhancements.

The training of pistol for CQB in this book is for the advanced practitioners. It is assumed that the basics has been taught to the readers. Drills at the end of the book are various shoot don’t shoot at paper silhouettes to steel targets from static to mobility and single to multiple targets.

Speed Shooting & Engagement Decisions
The main key points about CQB is speed in shooting. Speed and accuracy is the skill to acquire. Pushing this skill to the next level for hostage rescue or first responders to an active shooter scenario is “engagement decisions”. There are many shooters that can shoot fast and accurate, but fall apart when having to make split seconds decisions in nanoseconds. This is what separates the Real operators from the wannabes.

The skill to acquire the second set of speed shooting is scanning techniques. There are many ways to scan, but the basics is “eye moves gun moves“.

Now Shots
In real gun fights there is no such thing as a surprise break when squeezing the trigger. Operators must break the shot deliberately when opportunity presents itself. Hence the term “Shooting the target in the target time”. This is another important equation to effective speed shooting.

Normally takes .25 seconds to react to a stimulus. The goal is to fire an accurate shot at typical room assault ranges in less than .50 seconds while moving towards the target.

The best way to practice this is to train with an electronic timer. Go through a tire room (kill house) with hostile & non hostile targets. As you make the entry at certain times is when the buzzer goes off for you to fire. This can be done alone or as a two man team clearing.

Everyone will get different things out of this book. The main core to understanding CQB is to develop your “Speed shooting/Engagements and the Now Shot” all on the move or static. The drills are entirely up to you combining static targets with moving targets in a variety of environments. The other thing that sticks out is that the author doesn’t swear by a specific method in stances or trigger pull techniques. Each technique has its role and when used while wearing your gear (gloves) the trigger pull must be modified.

One Last Tidbit – The 6 Second Rule
As a final tidbit to add is “The 6 second rule”. This is a guideline that was created, tested and observed in real live operations by the British SAS. Basically, upon entry with flash bangs is made on a room with hostages and bad guys. During the 6 seconds when someone makes a move is usually the most dangerous targets to watch for. This goes for both hostage and bad guys, this is why its critical that the operators are highly trained to observe and make that nanoseconds decisions to engage with firearms or voice commands during that period in time.

So the background of this formulation of the 6 seconds guideline is where the SAS had their men play the role as the terrorists guarding the hostages. The terrorists (opposing force) knew that within 24 hours there would be a rescue attempt by their companions.

Observations that were noted is that “maintaining a stand” posture for several hours is very difficult. When entry was made with explosives (flashbangs) this slowed reaction time for the subjects that reacted. Thus the 6 second rule came into play. Here were some findings during that 6 seconds:

  • Takes an average of 6 seconds for a bad guy to recover & react to the diversionary device & attempt to counter attack.
  • During this 6 seconds is determined to breach, enter/clear and dominate the room.
  • First bad guy that moves is the most dangerous not necessarily the one with the most effective weapon. He/she may be going for a hostage, IED or weapon. Their movement will distract your attention.
  • If the bad guy fails to obey your commands to “Don’t move or Get down” and makes eye contact with you, they’re going to fight you.

Reviewed and written by J Hines