Wrong Place, Right Leader…

“It was indeed seldom that [Southern] officers were guilty of cowardice upon the field of battle; but they were often in the wrong place, fighting as common soldiers, when they should have been directing others.” General Stonewall Jackson (1924 to 1863) Stonewall Jackson, byname of Thomas Jonathan Jackson, was a Confederate general in the American… Read More

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What is the Operational Level of War?

Introduction In the field of military theory, the operational level of war (also called operational art, as derived from Russian: оперативное искусство, or operational warfare) represents the level of command that connects the details of tactics with the goals of strategy. In Joint US military doctrine, operational art is “the cognitive approach by commanders and… Read More

What is a Pincer Movement?

Introduction The pincer movement, or double envelopment, is a military manoeuvre in which forces simultaneously attack both flanks (sides) of an enemy formation. The pincer movement typically occurs when opposing forces advance towards the centre of an army that responds by moving its outside forces to the enemy’s flanks to surround it. At the same… Read More

What is Guerrilla Warfare?

Introduction Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which small groups of combatants, such as paramilitary personnel, armed civilians, or irregulars, use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, raids, petty warfare, hit-and-run tactics, and mobility, to fight a larger and less-mobile traditional military. Although the term “guerrilla warfare” was coined in the context of… Read More

What is a Flanking Manoeuvre?

Introduction In military tactics, a flanking manoeuvre is a movement of an armed force around an enemy force’s side/flank to achieve an advantageous position over it. Flanking is useful because a force’s fighting strength is typically concentrated in its front, therefore to circumvent an opposing force’s front and attack its flank is to concentrate one’s… Read More

What is Enfilade and Defilade?

Introduction Enfilade and defilade are concepts in military tactics used to describe a military formation’s exposure to enemy fire. A formation or position is “in enfilade” if weapons fire can be directed along its longest axis. A unit or position is “in defilade” if it uses natural or artificial obstacles to shield or conceal itself… Read More

What is a Feigned Retreat?

Introduction A feigned retreat is a military tactic, a type of feint, whereby a military force pretends to withdraw or to have been routed, in order to lure an enemy into a position of vulnerability. A feigned retreat is one of the more difficult tactics for a military force to undertake, and requires well-disciplined soldiers.… Read More