What is a Riposte?

Introduction In fencing, a riposte (French for “retort”) is an offensive action with the intent of hitting one’s opponent made by the fencer who has just parried an attack. In military usage, a riposte is the strategic device of hitting a vulnerable point of the enemy, thereby forcing him to abandon his own attack. In… Read More

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What is Volley Fire?

Introduction Volley fire, as a military tactic, is (in its simplest form) the concept of having soldiers shoot at the same direction in mass. In practice, it often consists of having a line of soldiers all discharge their weapons simultaneously at the enemy forces on command, known as “firing a volley”, followed by more lines… Read More

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

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