the aggregate of factors and conditions influencing combat action in a certain region during a certain segment of time. The combat situation includes the state of enemy forces (their composition, location, possible changes in groupings of troops, and nature of action), the state of one’s own forces (position, supply status, fighting capabilities), and the state of neighbors’ forces; the nature of the radiation, chemical, and bacteriological situation, the conditions of the terrain, the economy of the region, the sociopolitical makeup of the local population and its mood; climatic and meteorological data, the time of day and season of the year; and the time by which the combat mission is to be fulfilled. The commander must evaluate all conditions of the combat situation correctly and use them to achieve success. His conclusions from evaluation of the situation serve as the basis for his making a decision to fight (conduct an operation).
Information about the situation is gathered by all available methods, such as personal observation by the commander and other responsible personnel of enemy action and that of one’s own forces; inspection of the terrain and terrain objects; reconnaissance and survey reports of all types; reports of subordinate commanders; collection of information from the superior commander (staff) and from neighbors; and interrogation of prisoners, deserters, and others. The gathering and study of situation data is organized by headquarters and carried on before the start of combat action and during its course.