Field Manual 3-19.40 Plans for Civilian Internment: Stalag 17 American Style

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Assembly areas . Assembly areas are temporary holding areas for civilians before they return to their homes or move to a more secure area. Detailed screening or segregation of DC categories takes place at assembly areas. They are usually located in a secure, stable environment and may include schools, churches, hotels, and warehouses. When selecting a specific area, consider the ability to provide overnight accommodations for several days. Local civilians can operate assembly areas under the supervision of tactical or support troops or CA personnel.

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B-26. The presence or absence of social factors (leadership, moral attitudes, and social uniformity) may influence crowd behavior. Leadership has a profound effect on the intensity and direction of crowd behavior. When blocked from expressing its emotions in one direction, a crowd’s frustration and hostility may be redirected elsewhere. The first person to give clear orders in an authoritative manner may become the leader. Agitators can exploit the crowd’s mood and convert a group of frustrated, resentful people into a vengeful mob. Skillful agitators, using clandestine communications within an I/R facility, can reach large portions of the population and incite them to unlawful acts without having direct personal contact. In an I/R environment, any crowd can be a threat to L&O because it is open to manipulation.

B-27. Crowd behavior may be affected by panic or emotional contagion, which provides psychological unity. The unity is usually temporary, but it may be long enough to push a crowd to mob action. When emotional contagion prevails, normal L&O are suppressed, increasing the potential for violence. Panic can occur during a disturbance when—

* Crowd members perceive that their safety is at risk and they attempt to flee the area.

* Crowd members cannot disperse quickly after exposure to riot control agents.

* Escape routes are limited, blocked, or congested.

B-28. Members of the control force are also susceptible to crowd behavior. They may become emotionally stimulated during a tense confrontation and must exercise individual and collective restraint. Rigorous training, firm and effective leadership, and complete awareness and understanding of the ROE and the ROI are necessary to offset the effect of crowd contagion on the control force.

B-29. In disturbances, crowds employ any number of tactics to resist control and achieve their goals. Tactics may be planned or unplanned and violent or nonviolent. The more purposeful the disturbance, the more likely the possibility of well-planned tactics.

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