How do smoke screens provide a military advantage? Why doesn’t the user suffer just as much as their opponent?

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How do smoke screens provide a military advantage? Why doesn’t the user suffer just as much as their opponent?

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Assuming the defender has chosen a good location they’ll be able to spot an attack much sooner than the attacker can see the defenders. They can begin to call in artillery and engage with direct fire from concealed positions. The attacker is trying to move and shoot.

The smoke enables the attacker to get right up on the defender before they can effectively engage and get through that killsack without sustaining as many losses.

On the other side, smoke can be used to cover a withdrawal. The withdrawing force isn’t as much concerned about firing through the smoke as they are getting shot at.

The short answer is that the side that is deploying the smoke screen needs to pick a situation where hiding their appearance is more advantageous than being able to see the opponents.

Examples:

-retreating (so your opponent will be deterred from chasing you or won’t know you’ve begun to leave)

-Charging (so your opponent can’t just run away as you approach)

-bringing out or preparing a big weapon that would draw too much attention