Air assault is the movement of ground-based military forces by vertical take-off and landing aircraft—such as the helicopter—to seize and hold key terrain which has not been secured, to directly engage enemy forces behind enemy lines. In addition to regular infantry training, air-assault units receive training in rappelling and air transportation, their equipment is sometimes designed or field-modified to allow better transportation within aircraft; the US Army field manual FM 1-02 describes an "air assault operation" as an operation in which assault forces, using the firepower and total integration of helicopter assets, maneuver on the battlefield under the control of the ground or air maneuver commander to engage and destroy enemy forces or to seize and hold key terrain behind enemy lines. Due to the transport load restrictions of helicopters, air assault forces are light infantry, though some armored fighting vehicles, like the Russian BMD-1 are designed to fit most heavy lift helicopters, which enable assaulting forces to combine air mobility with a certain degree of ground mechanization.
Invariably the assaulting troops are dependent on aerial fire support provided by the armed helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft escorting them. Air assault should not be confused with air attack, air strike, or air raid, which all refer to attack using aircraft. Moreover, air assault should not be confused with an airborne assault, which occurs when paratroopers, their weapons and supplies, are dropped by parachute from transport aircraft as part of a strategic offensive operation. Air assault and air mobility are related concepts. However, air assault is distinctly a combat insertion rather than transportation to an area in the vicinity of combat. Air assault units can vary in organization. Airmobile artillery is assigned to air assault deployments. Units vary in size, but are company- or brigade-sized units. Airmobile units are designed and trained for air insertion and vertical envelopment ("a maneuver in which troops, either air-dropped or air-landed, attack the rear and flanks of a force, in effect cutting off or encircling the force".
Air resupply, if necessary air extraction. One specific type of air assault unit is the US Army air cavalry, it differs from regular air assault units only in fulfilling a traditional cavalry reconnaissance and short raids role. Britain's 16 Air Assault Brigade was formed in 1999 following an amalgamation of elements of 5th Infantry Brigade and 24 Airmobile Brigade, bringing together the agility and reach of airborne forces with the potency of the attack helicopter; the US 101st Airborne Division was classed as airborne airmobile and now air assault. Air mobility has been a key concept in offensive operations since the 1930s. Initial approaches to air mobility focused on glider-borne troops. During World War II many assaults were done by military gliders; the World War Two era German Fallschirmjäger and the 22nd Air Landing Division glider borne paras laid the foundation for modern day air assault operations. In 1941 the U. S. Army adopted this concept of offensive operations utilizing wooden gliders before the development of helicopters.
Following the war faster aircraft led to the abandonment of the flimsy wooden gliders with the new helicopters taking their place. Four YR-4B helicopters saw limited service in the China Burma India theatre with the 1st Air Commando GroupIn 1943 the Germans conducted the Gran Sasso raid which implemented many aspects of the air assault concept. Another example was the German Brandenburgers' glider borne operation at Ypenburg during World War Two. In 1946, U. S. Marine General Roy S. Geiger observed the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll and recognized that atomic bombs could render amphibious landings difficult because of the dense concentrations of troops and material at beachheads. During this time, The Commandant of the Marine Corps, Alexander Vandegrift, convened a special board known as the Hogaboom Board; this board recommended that the USMC develop transport helicopters in order to allow a diffused attack on enemy shores. It recommended that the USMC form an experimental helicopter squadron.
HMX-1 was commissioned in 1947 with Sikorsky HO3S-1s. In 1948 the Marine Corps Schools came out with Amphibious Operations—Employment of Helicopters, or Phib-31, the first manual for helicopter airmobile operations; the Marines used the term vertical envelopment instead of air assault. HMX-1 performed its first vertical envelopment from the deck of an aircraft carrier in an exercise in 1949. American forces used helicopters for support and transport to great effect during the Korean War showing that the helicopter could be a versatile and powerful military tool; the first helicopter airlift and helicopter sling load mission was conducted on September 13, 1951, during the Korean War. "Operation Windmill I" was conducted by the United States Marine Corps in support of a battalion clearing the enemy from a series of ridges around an extinct volcano called "The Punchbowl." In total seven HRS-1 Marine helicopters made 28 flights that delivered 8,550 kg of supplies and evacuated 74 wounded men. On November 5, 1956, the Royal Marines' 45 Commando performed the world's first combat helicopter insertion with air assault during an amphibious landing as part of Operation Musketeer, in Suez, Egypt.
650 marines and 23 tons of equipm
The Sasanian Empire known as the Sassanian, Sassanid or Neo-Persian Empire, was the last kingdom of the Persian Empire before the rise of Islam. Named after the House of Sasan, it ruled from 224 to 651 AD; the Sasanian Empire succeeded the Parthian Empire and was recognised as one of the leading world powers alongside its neighbouring arch-rival the Roman-Byzantine Empire for a period of more than 400 years. The Sasanian Empire was founded by Ardashir I, after the fall of the Parthian Empire and the defeat of the last Arsacid king, Artabanus V. At its greatest extent, the Sasanian Empire encompassed all of today's Iran, Eastern Arabia, the Levant, the Caucasus, large parts of Turkey, much of Central Asia and Pakistan. According to a legend, the vexilloid of the Sasanian Empire was the Derafsh Kaviani; the Sasanian Empire during Late Antiquity is considered to have been one of Iran's most important, influential historical periods and constituted the last great Iranian empire before the Muslim conquest and the adoption of Islam.
In many ways, the Sasanian period witnessed the peak of ancient Iranian civilisation. The Sasanians' cultural influence extended far beyond the empire's territorial borders, reaching as far as Western Europe, Africa and India, it played a prominent role in the formation of both Asian medieval art. Much of what became known as Islamic culture in art, architecture and other subject matter was transferred from the Sasanians throughout the Muslim world. Conflicting accounts shroud the details of the fall of the Parthian Empire and subsequent rise of the Sassanian Empire in mystery; the Sassanian Empire was established in Estakhr by Ardashir I. Papak was the ruler of a region called Khir. However, by the year 200 he had managed to overthrow Gochihr and appoint himself the new ruler of the Bazrangids, his mother, was the daughter of the provincial governor of Pars. Papak and his eldest son Shapur managed to expand their power over all of Pars; the subsequent events are due to the elusive nature of the sources.
It is certain, that following the death of Papak, who at the time was the governor of Darabgerd, became involved in a power struggle of his own with his elder brother Shapur. Sources reveal that Shapur, leaving for a meeting with his brother, was killed when the roof of a building collapsed on him. By the year 208, over the protests of his other brothers who were put to death, Ardashir declared himself ruler of Pars. Once Ardashir was appointed shah, he moved his capital further to the south of Pars and founded Ardashir-Khwarrah; the city, well protected by high mountains and defensible due to the narrow passes that approached it, became the centre of Ardashir's efforts to gain more power. It was surrounded by a high, circular wall copied from that of Darabgird. Ardashir's palace was on the north side of the city. After establishing his rule over Pars, Ardashir extended his territory, demanding fealty from the local princes of Fars, gaining control over the neighbouring provinces of Kerman, Isfahan and Mesene.
This expansion came to the attention of Artabanus V, the Parthian king, who ordered the governor of Khuzestan to wage war against Ardashir in 224, but Ardashir was victorious in the ensuing battles. In a second attempt to destroy Ardashir, Artabanus himself met Ardashir in battle at Hormozgan, where the former met his death. Following the death of the Parthian ruler, Ardashir went on to invade the western provinces of the now defunct Parthian Empire. At that time the Arsacid dynasty was divided between supporters of Artabanus V and Vologases VI, which allowed Ardashir to consolidate his authority in the south with little or no interference from the Parthians. Ardashir was aided by the geography of the province of Fars, separated from the rest of Iran. Crowned in 224 at Ctesiphon as the sole ruler of Persia, Ardashir took the title shahanshah, or "King of Kings", bringing the 400-year-old Parthian Empire to an end, beginning four centuries of Sassanid rule. In the next few years, local rebellions occurred throughout the empire.
Nonetheless, Ardashir I further expanded his new empire to the east and northwest, conquering the provinces of Sistan, Khorasan, Margiana and Chorasmia. He added Bahrain and Mosul to Sassanid's possessions. Sassanid inscriptions claim the submission of the Kings of Kushan and Mekran to Ardashir, although based on numismatic evidence it is more that these submitted to Ardashir's son, the future Shapur I. In the west, assaults against Hatra and Adiabene met with less success. In 230, Ardashir raided deep into Roman territory, a Roman counter-offensive two years ended inconclusively, although the Roman emperor, Alexander Severus, celebrated a triumph in Rome. Ardashir I's son Shapur I continued the expansion of the empire, conquering Bactria and the western portion of the Kushan Empire, while leading several campaigns against Rome. Invading Roman Mesopotamia, Shapur I captured Carrhae and Nisibis, but in 243 the Roman general Timesitheus defeated the Persians at Rhesaina and regained the lost territories.
The emperor Gordian III's subsequent advance down the Euphrates was defea
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Battle of Rocroi
The Battle of Rocroi of 19 May 1643 resulted in the victory of a French army under the Duc d'Enghien against the Spanish Army under General Francisco de Melo only five days after the accession of Louis XIV of France to the throne of France, late in the Thirty Years' War. The battle is considered by many to be the turning point of the perceived invincibility of the Spanish Tercio that dominated European battlefields in the 16th century and the first half of the 17th century. After Rocroi, the Spanish abandoned the tercio system and began to use linear Dutch-style battalions like the French. From 1618 on the Thirty Years' War had been raging in Germany between the Spanish Habsburgs under Philip IV of Spain and Protestant powers. Fearing strengthened Habsburg presence on its borders, France had in 1635 declared war in support of the Protestant Anti-Habsburg States, despite being a stern Catholic power and having suppressed the Huguenot rebellions at home. An opening invasion of the Spanish Netherlands had ended in failure, with the French retreating to their borders for the next several years.
On 4 December 1642 the royal adviser Cardinal Richelieu died, Louis XIII fell ill in the early spring of 1643. The king died on 14 May 1643. Despite receiving overtures of peace, the new king did not wish to change the course of the war, French military pressure on Franche-Comté, Spanish Flanders was maintained; as it had done the year before at the Battle of Honnecourt, the renowned Spanish Habsburg Army of Flanders advanced through the Ardennes and into northern France with 23,050 men, intending to relieve the French pressure on other fronts. The Duc d'Enghien, commander of a French army in Amiens, was appointed to stop the Spanish incursion. Although 21-years-old, he was not inexperienced, he had worthy subordinates, among them Marshal Jean de Gassion; the total French forces in the area numbered 22,000. The Spanish troops under Francisco de Melo advanced to and besieged Rocroi, a fortress town garrisoned by a few hundred French. A vital logistics hub, Rocroi commanded the route to the valley of the Oise.
D'Enghien followed de Melo's numerically superior army closely. On 17 May d'Enghien learned of death of King Louis. Word reached d'Enghien of 6,000 Spanish reinforcements on their way to Rocroi. Reacting d'Enghien prepared his army to give battle before the Spanish reinforcements arrived. Learning of the French advance, de Melo decided to engage the oncoming forces rather than invest in the siege of Rocroi, as his army was stronger than that of the French; the Spanish saw the battle as an opportunity to win a decisive victory in Northern France. De Melo left a detachment of his army at Rocroi to prevent action from the garrison and moved his army to battle. Enghien advanced along the Oise road and assembled his force along a ridge looking down on the besieged town of Rocroi; the Spanish formed up between the town and the ridge. The French army was arranged with two lines of infantry in the center, squadrons of cavalry on each wing, with a thin line of artillery at the front; the Spanish army was arranged, but with its infantry deployed in their traditional tercio pike squares.
The two armies exchanged some fire on the afternoon of 18 May, but the full battle did not occur until the following day. The battle began after dawn broke, with the French infantry launching a failed attack on the Spanish tercios; the cavalry on the French left advanced against d'Enghien's orders, were forced to retreat. The Spanish cavalry launched a successful counter-attack and nearly routed the French cavalry, but the French reserve moved in and succeeded in checking the Spanish. At this point in the fighting the French left and center were in distress. Meanwhile, on the French right, cavalry under the command of Jean de Gassion routed the Spanish cavalry opposite. D'Enghien himself was able to follow this up by attacking the exposed left flank of the Spanish infantry; the battle was still inconclusive, with both armies having had success on their right and trouble on their left. D'Enghien, aware that his left and center were in trouble, decided that the best way to help them was not to fall back and support them, but rather to exploit his winning momentum on the right flank.
He ordered a huge cavalry encirclement, achieved via a sweeping strike behind the Spanish army. D'Enghien and his cavalry soon smashed their way through to attack the rear of the Spanish cavalry on the right flank, which were still in combat with his reserves; the move succeeded. The Spanish horse was routed, leaving the Spanish infantry to carry on the fight against the French on all sides; the Spanish artillery fled. The momentum now lay with the French army. Two French charges were repulsed by the Spanish tercios, but the infantry formations were forced to stand closer together to maintain their pike squares. D'Enghien captured Spanish guns to blast them apart. Soon the German and Walloon tercios fled from the battlefield, while the Spanish remained on the field with their commander, repulsing four more cavalry charges by the French and never breaking formation, despite repeated heavy artillery bombardment. D'Enghien offered surrender conditions just like those obtained by a besieged garrison in a fortress.
Having agreed to those terms, the remains of the two tercios left the field with deployed flags and weapons. French losses were about 4,000. Melo stated his losses as 6,000 casualties and 4,000 captured in his report to Madrid writ
United States Army
The United States Army is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution; as the oldest and most senior branch of the U. S. military in order of precedence, the modern U. S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, formed to fight the American Revolutionary War —before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army; the United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775. As a uniformed military service, the U. S. Army is part of the Department of the Army, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense; the U. S. Army is headed by a civilian senior appointed civil servant, the Secretary of the Army and by a chief military officer, the Chief of Staff of the Army, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
It is the largest military branch, in the fiscal year 2017, the projected end strength for the Regular Army was 476,000 soldiers. S. Army was 1,018,000 soldiers; as a branch of the armed forces, the mission of the U. S. Army is "to fight and win our Nation's wars, by providing prompt, land dominance, across the full range of military operations and the spectrum of conflict, in support of combatant commanders"; the branch participates in conflicts worldwide and is the major ground-based offensive and defensive force of the United States. The United States Army serves as the land-based branch of the U. S. Armed Forces. Section 3062 of Title 10, U. S. Code defines the purpose of the army as: Preserving the peace and security and providing for the defense of the United States, the Commonwealths and possessions and any areas occupied by the United States Supporting the national policies Implementing the national objectives Overcoming any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United StatesIn 2018, the Army Strategy 2018 articulated an eight-point addendum to the Army Vision for 2028.
While the Army Mission remains constant, the Army Strategy builds upon the Army's Brigade Modernization by adding focus to Corps and Division-level echelons. Modernization, reform for high-intensity conflict, Joint multi-domain operations are added to the strategy, to be completed by 2028; the Continental Army was created on 14 June 1775 by the Second Continental Congress as a unified army for the colonies to fight Great Britain, with George Washington appointed as its commander. The army was led by men who had served in the British Army or colonial militias and who brought much of British military heritage with them; as the Revolutionary War progressed, French aid and military thinking helped shape the new army. A number of European soldiers came on their own to help, such as Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, who taught Prussian Army tactics and organizational skills; the army fought numerous pitched battles and in the South in 1780–1781, at times using the Fabian strategy and hit-and-run tactics, under the leadership of Major General Nathanael Greene, hit where the British were weakest to wear down their forces.
Washington led victories against the British at Trenton and Princeton, but lost a series of battles in the New York and New Jersey campaign in 1776 and the Philadelphia campaign in 1777. With a decisive victory at Yorktown and the help of the French, the Continental Army prevailed against the British. After the war, the Continental Army was given land certificates and disbanded in a reflection of the republican distrust of standing armies. State militias became the new nation's sole ground army, with the exception of a regiment to guard the Western Frontier and one battery of artillery guarding West Point's arsenal. However, because of continuing conflict with Native Americans, it was soon realized that it was necessary to field a trained standing army; the Regular Army was at first small and after General St. Clair's defeat at the Battle of the Wabash, the Regular Army was reorganized as the Legion of the United States, established in 1791 and renamed the United States Army in 1796; the War of 1812, the second and last war between the United States and Great Britain, had mixed results.
The U. S. Army did not conquer Canada but it did destroy Native American resistance to expansion in the Old Northwest and it validated its independence by stopping two major British invasions in 1814 and 1815. After taking control of Lake Erie in 1813, the U. S. Army seized parts of western Upper Canada, burned York and defeated Tecumseh, which caused his Western Confederacy to collapse. Following U. S. victories in the Canadian province of Upper Canada, British troops who had dubbed the U. S. Army "Regulars, by God!", were able to capture and burn Washington, defended by militia, in 1814. The regular army, however proved they were professional and capable of defeating the British army during the invasions of Plattsburgh and Baltimore, prompting British agreement on the rejected terms of a status quo ante bellum. Two weeks after a treaty was signed, Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans and Siege of Fort St. Philip, became a national hero. U. S. troops and sailors captured HMS Cyane and Penguin in the final engagements of the war.
Per the treaty, both sides (the United S
Military tactics encompasses the art of organising and employing fighting forces on or near the battlefield. They involve the application of four battlefield functions which are related – kinetic or firepower, protection or security, shock action. Tactics are a separate function from control and logistics. In contemporary military science, tactics are the lowest of three levels of warfighting, the higher levels being the strategic and operational levels. Throughout history, there has been a shifting balance between the four tactical functions based on the application of military technology, which has led to one or more of the tactical functions being dominant for a period of time accompanied by the dominance of an associated fighting arm deployed on the battlefield, such as infantry, cavalry or tanks. Beginning with the use of melee and missile weapons such as clubs and spears, the kinetic or firepower function of tactics has developed along with technological advances so that the emphasis has shifted over time from the close-range melee and missile weapons to longer-range projectile weapons.
Kinetic effects were delivered by the sword, spear and bow until the introduction of artillery by the Romans. Until the mid 19th century, the value of infantry-delivered missile firepower was not high, meaning that the result of a given battle was decided by infantry firepower alone relying on artillery to deliver significant kinetic effects; the development of disciplined volley fire, delivered at close range, began to improve the hitting power of infantry, compensated in part for the limited range, poor accuracy and low rate of fire of early muskets. Advances in technology the introduction of the rifled musket, used in the Crimean War and American Civil War, meant flatter trajectories and improved accuracy at greater ranges, along with higher casualties; the resulting increase in defensive firepower meant infantry attacks without artillery support became difficult. Firepower became crucial to fixing an enemy in place to allow a decisive strike. Machine guns added to infantry firepower at the turn of the 20th century, the mobile firepower provided by tanks, self-propelled artillery and military aircraft rose in the century that followed.
Along with infantry weapons and other armoured vehicles, self-propelled artillery, guided weapons and aircraft provide the firepower of modern armies. Mobility, which determines how a fighting force can move, was for most of human history limited by the speed of a soldier on foot when supplies were carried by beasts of burden. With this restriction, most armies could not travel more than 32 kilometres per day, unless travelling on rivers. Only small elements of a force such as cavalry or specially trained light troops could exceed this limit; this restriction on tactical mobility remained until the latter years of World War I when the advent of the tank improved mobility sufficiently to allow decisive tactical manoeuvre. Despite this advance, full tactical mobility was not achieved until World War II when armoured and motorised formations achieved remarkable successes. However, large elements of the armies of World War II remained reliant on horse-drawn transport, which limited tactical mobility within the overall force.
Tactical mobility can be limited by the use of field obstacles created by military engineers. Personal armour has been worn since the classical period to provide a measure of individual protection, extended to include barding of the mount; the limitations of armour have always been weight and bulk, its consequent effects on mobility as well as human and animal endurance. By the 18th and 19th centuries, personal armour had been discarded, until the re-introduction of helmets during World War I in response to the firepower of artillery. Armoured fighting vehicles proliferated during World War II, after that war, body armour returned for the infantry in Western armies. Fortifications, which have been used since ancient times, provide collective protection, modern examples include entrenchments, barbed wire and minefields. Like obstacles, fortifications are created by military engineers. Shock action is as much a psychological function of tactics as a physical one, can be enhanced by the use of surprise.
It has been provided by charging infantry, well as by chariots, war elephants and armoured vehicles which provide momentum to an assault. It has been used in a defensive way, for example by the drenching flights of arrows from English longbowmen at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 which caused the horses of the French knights to panic. During early modern warfare, the use of the tactical formations of columns and lines had a greater effect than the firepower of the formations alone. During the early stages of World War II, the combined effects of German machine gun and tank gun firepower, enhanced by accurate indirect fire and air attack broke up Allied units before their assault commenced, or caused them to falter due to casualties among key unit leaders. In both the early modern and World War II examples, the cumulative psychological shock effect on the enemy was greater than the actual casualties incurred; the development of tactics has involved a shifting balance between the four tactical functions since ancient times, changes in firepower and mobility have been fundamental to these changes.
Various models have been proposed to explain the interaction between the tactical functions and the dominance of individual fighting arms during different periods. J. F. C. Fuller proposed three "tactical cycles" in each of the classical and Chri
A military front or battlefront is a contested armed frontier between opposing forces. It can be a local or tactical front. A typical front was the Western Front in France and Belgium in World War I; the term "home front" has been used to denote conditions in the civilian sector of a country at war, including those involved in the production of matériel. Both the Soviet and Polish Armies used the term "front" to mean an army group during the Polish-Soviet War and World War II; the equivalent of the term established in the header was the "Theater of military operations". The term "front line city" was used by the Germans during their long retreat from Moscow/Stalingrad to refer to metropolitan centres that had become disputed by the two combatants. Designation of a city as such resulted in administrative changes. In the film Downfall, the term was referenced; the term "transferred to the front" is used by soldiers or personnel when their position has been changed from other activities. Front line Rear