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This article contains a list of military tactics.

The meaning of the phrase is context sensitive, and has varied over time, like the difference between "strategy" and "tactics".[1]

General

Eight classic maneuvers of warfare

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  1. Penetration of the center: This involves exploiting a gap in the enemy line to drive directly to the enemy's command or base. Two ways of accomplishing this are separating enemy forces then using a reserve to exploit the gap (e.g. Battle of Chaeronea (338 BC)) or having fast, elite forces smash at a weak spot (or an area where your elites are at their best in striking power) and using reserves to hold the line while the elite forces continue forward, exploiting the gap immediately (i.e., blitzkrieg).
    Battle of Issus, a classic example of the single envelopment
    Battle of Issus, a classic example of the single envelopment
  2. Attack from a defensive position: Establishing a strong defensive position from which to defend and attack your opponent (e.g., Siege of Alesia and the Battle of the Granicus). However, the defensive can become too passive and result in ultimate defeat.
    Battle of Maling, the earliest known use of the feigned retreat
    Battle of Maling, the earliest known use of the feigned retreat
  3. Single envelopment: A strong flank beating its opponent opposite and, with the aid of holding attacks, attack an opponent in the rear. Sometimes, the establishment of a strong, hidden force behind a weak flank will prevent your opponent from carrying out their own single envelopment (e.g., Battle of Rocroi).
  4. Double envelopment: Both flanks defeat their opponent opposite and launch a rear attack on the enemy center. Its most famous use was Hannibal's tactical masterpiece, the Battle of Cannae and was frequently used by the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front of World War II. It was also executed to prefection by Khalid ibn al-Walid in the decisive Battle of Yarmuk in 636 AD.
  5. Attack in oblique order: This involves placing your flanks in a slanted fashion (refusing one's flank) or giving a vast part of your force to a single flank (e.g., Battle of Leuthen). The latter can be disastrous, however, due to the imbalance of force.
  6. Feigned retreat: Having a frontal force fake a retreat, drawing the opponent in pursuit and then launching an assault with strong force held in reserve (such as the Battle of Maling and the Battle of Hastings). However, a feigned retreat may devolve into a real one, such as in the Battle of Grunwald.
  7. Indirect approach: Having a minority of your force demonstrate in front of your opponent while the majority of your force advance from a hidden area and attack the enemy in the rear or flank (e.g., Battle of Chancellorsville).
  8. Crossing the "T": a classic naval maneuver which maximizes one side's offensive firepower while minimizing that of the opposing force (e.g., Battle of Trafalgar).

Tactics

Deceptive

A mounted archer of the Ming Dynasty Army fires a parthian shot

In the 4th century BCE, Sun Tzu said "the Military is a Tao of deception".[7] Diversionary attacks, feints, decoys; there are thousands of tricks that have been successfully used in warfare, and still have a role in the modern day.

Defensive

Defensive trenches were used commonly during World War I
Defensive trenches were used commonly during World War I

Offensive

The cavalry charge is a quintessential offensive military tactic
The cavalry charge is a quintessential offensive military tactic

Small unit

The use of suppressive fire is a key part of modern small unit tactics
The use of suppressive fire is a key part of modern small unit tactics

See also

References

  1. ^ Bretnor, Reginald (February 1, 2001). Decisive Warfare: A Study in Military Theory (New ed.). Wildside Press. pp. 49–52. ISBN 9781587152481. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  2. ^ Doughty, Robert. "Weather in War". The History Channel. Archived from the original on 13 October 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  3. ^ "SOME JUICY QUOTES FROM CLAUSEWITZ, ON WAR". The Clausewitz Homepage. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  4. ^ Toppe, Alfred (June 1998). Night Combat. ISBN 9780788170805. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  5. ^ Field Manual (FM) 7–92: The Infantry Reconnaissance Platoon and Squad (Airborne, Air Assault, Light Infantry). United States Army. 2001. p. 40.
  6. ^ "Definition of SMOKE SCREEN". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  7. ^ Sun Tzu (2001). The Art of War. Translated by The Denma Translation Group. Shambhala Publications, Inc. p. 5. ISBN 1-57062-978-1.
  8. ^ Glantz 2010, Preface
  9. ^ Gooderson, Ian (1997). Air Power at the Battlefront: Allied Close Air Support in Europe, 1943–45 (1. publ. ed.). London: F. Cass. p. 129. ISBN 0-7146-4680-6.
  10. ^ Datz, I. M. (2008). Military Operations Under Special Conditions of Terrain and Weather. Lancer Publishers. p. 87. ISBN 978-81-7062-123-2. Retrieved 1 January 2021. A holding attack is an attack designed to fix the enemy in position, to prevent him from reinforcing the elements opposing the main attack, and/or to cause him to commit his reserves prematurely at an indecisive location. A holding attack is the most common type of supporting attack. Typically, it is launched frontally against an enemy position while the main attack outflanks or envelops the enemy.