What is a Smoke Screen?

Introduction A smoke screen (a military tactic) is smoke released to mask the movement or location of military units such as infantry, tanks, aircraft, or ships. Smoke screens are commonly deployed either by a canister (such as a grenade) or generated by a vehicle (such as a tank or a warship). Whereas smoke screens were… Read More

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What is Crossing the T in Naval Warfare?

Introduction Crossing the T or capping the T is a classic naval warfare tactic used from the late 19th to the mid-20th centuries in which a line of warships crosses in front of a line of enemy ships to allow the crossing line to bring all their guns to bear while it receives fire from… Read More

What is Hull-Down?

Introduction In sailing and warfare, hull-down means that the upper part of a vessel or vehicle is visible, but the main, lower body (hull) is not; the term hull-up means that all of the body is visible. The terms originated with sailing and naval warfare in which the curvature of the earth causes an approaching… Read More

What was a Big Wing?

Introduction The Big Wing, also known as a Balbo, was an air fighting tactic proposed during the Battle of Britain, in World War II, by 12 Group commander Air Vice-Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory and Acting Squadron Leader Douglas Bader. In essence, the tactic involved meeting incoming Luftwaffe bombing raids in strength with a wing-shaped formation of… Read More

What are Interior Lines?

Introduction Interior lines (as opposed to exterior lines) is a military term, derived from the generic term line of operation or line of movement (a term invented by 19th century Swiss-French officer and prominent author Antoine-Henri Jomini). The term “interior lines” is commonly used to illustrate, describe, and analyse the various possible routes (lines) of… Read More

What is a Reverse Slope Defence?

Introduction A reverse slope defence is a military tactic where a defending force is positioned on the slope of an elevated terrain feature such as a hill, ridge, or mountain, on the side opposite from the attacking force. This tactic both hinders the attacker’s ability to observe the defender’s positions and reduces the effectiveness of… Read More

What is the Strategy of the Central Position?

Introduction The strategy of the central position (French: stratégie de la position centrale) was a key tactical doctrine followed by Napoleon in the Napoleonic Wars. Refer to Defeat in Detail and Interior Lines. Outline It involved attacking two cooperating armies at their hinge, swinging around to fight one until it fled, then turning to face… Read More