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
Space warfare is combat that takes place in outer space. The scope of space warfare therefore includes ground-to-space warfare, such as attacking satellites from the Earth, as well as space-to-space warfare, such as satellites attacking satellites; as of 2019 no actual warfare has taken place in space, though a number of tests and demonstrations have been performed. International treaties are in place that regulate conflicts in space and limit the installation of space weapon systems nuclear weapons. From 1985 to 2002 there was a United States Space Command, which in 2002 merged with the United States Strategic Command, leaving Air Force Space Command as the primary American military space force; the Russian Space Force, established on August 10, 1992, which became an independent section of the Russian military on June 1, 2001, was replaced by the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces starting December 1, 2011, but was reestablished as a component of the Russian Aerospace Forces on August 1, 2015.
In 2019 India conducted a test of the ASAT missile making it the fourth country with that capability. Early efforts to conduct space warfare were directed at space-to-space warfare, as ground-to-space systems were considered to be too slow and too isolated by Earth's atmosphere and gravity to be effective at the time; the history of active space warfare development goes back to the 1960s when the Soviet Union began the Almaz project, a project designed to give them the ability to do on-orbit inspections of satellites and destroy them if needed. Similar planning in the United States took the form of the Blue Gemini project, which consisted of modified Gemini capsules that would be able to deploy weapons and perform surveillance. One early test of electronic space warfare, the so-called Starfish Prime test, took place in 1962, when the United States exploded a ground-launched nuclear weapon in space to test the effects of an electromagnetic pulse; the result was a deactivation of both American and Soviet.
The deleterious and unfocused effects of the EMP test led to the banning of nuclear weapons in space in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. In the early 1960s the U. S. military produced a film called National Security which depicted space warfare. Through the 1970s, the Soviet Union continued their project and test-fired a cannon to test space station defense; this was considered too dangerous to do with a crew on board, however, so the test was conducted after the crew had returned to Earth. Space warfare influenced the final design of the United States Space Shuttle; the distinctive delta wing shape was needed if the shuttle were to launch a military payload towards the Soviet Union and perform an immediate de-orbit after one rotation to avoid being shot down. Both the Soviets and the United States developed anti-satellite weaponry designed to shoot down satellites. While early efforts paralleled other space-to-space warfare concepts, the United States was able in the 1980s to develop ground-to-space laser anti-satellite weapons.
None of these systems are known to be active today. In 1985 a USAF pilot in an F-15 shot down the P78-1, an American research satellite, in a 345-mile orbit; the People's Republic of China tested a ballistic missile-launched anti-satellite weapon on January 11, 2007. This resulted in harsh criticism from the United States of America and Japan; the U. S. developed an interceptor missile, the SM-3, testing it by hitting ballistic test targets while they were in space. On February 21, 2008, the U. S. used a SM-3 missile to destroy a spy satellite, USA-193, while it was 247 kilometers above the Pacific Ocean. Japan fields the U. S.-made SM-3 missile, there have been plans to base the land-based version in Romania and Vietnam. In March, 2019, India shot down a low orbit satellite making its way to the list of space warfare nations. In the late 1970s and through the 1980s the Soviet Union and the United States theorized, designed and in some cases tested a variety of weaponry designed for warfare in outer space.
Space warfare was seen as an extension of nuclear warfare, so many theoretical systems were based around the destruction or defense of ground and sea-based missiles. Space-based missiles were not attempted due to the Outer Space Treaty, which banned the use, testing or storage of nuclear weapons outside the Earth's atmosphere; when the U. S. gained "interest in utilizing space-based lasers for ballistic missile defense", two facts emerged. One being that the ballistic missiles are fragile and two, chemical lasers project missile killing energy; this meant. Systems proposed ranged from measures as simple as ground and space-based anti-missiles to railguns, space based lasers, orbital mines and similar weaponry. Deployment of these systems was considered in the mid-1980s under the banner of the Strategic Defense Initiative announced by Ronald Reagan in 1983, using the term "evil empire" to describe the Soviets. If the Cold War had continued, many of these systems could have seen deployment: the United States developed working railguns, a laser that could destroy missiles at range, though the power requirements and firing cycles of both were impractical.
Weapons like the space-based laser was rejected, not just by the government, but by Universities, moral thinkers, religious people because it would have increased the waging of the arms race
Military deception refers to attempts to mislead enemy forces during warfare. This is achieved by creating or amplifying an artificial fog of war via psychological operations, information warfare, visual deception and other methods; as a form of strategic use of information, it overlaps with psychological warfare. To the degree that any enemy that falls for the deception will lose confidence when it is revealed, he may hesitate when confronted with the truth. Deception in warfare dates back to early history; the Art of War, an ancient Chinese military treatise, puts great emphasis on the tactic. In modern times military deception has developed as a fledged doctrine. Misinformation and visual deception were employed during World War I and came into greater prominence during World War II. In the buildup to the 1944 invasion of Normandy the Allies executed one of the largest deceptions in military history, Operation Bodyguard, helping them achieve full tactical surprise. Broadly, military deception may take both tactical forms.
Deception across a strategic battlefield was uncommon until the modern age, but tactical deception dates back to early history. In a practical sense military deception employs visual misdirection and psychology to make the enemy believe something, untrue; the use of military camouflage on a large scale, is a form of deception. The Russian loanword maskirovka is used to describe the Soviet Union and Russia's military doctrine of surprise through deception, in which camouflage plays a significant role. There are numerous examples of deception activities employed throughout the history of warfare, such as: Feigned retreat Leading the enemy, through a false sense of security, into a pre-positioned ambush. Fictional units Creating fictional forces, fake units or exaggerating the size of an army. Smoke screen A tactical deception involving smoke, fog, or other forms of concealment to hide battlefield movements or positions. Trojan horse Gaining admittance to a fortified area under false pretences, to admit a larger attacking force.
Strategic envelopment A small force distracts the enemy while a much larger force moves to attack from the rear. A favoured tactic of Napoleon. Deception has been a part of warfare from the dawn of history. At first it fell to individual commanders to develop tactical deception on the battlefield, it was not until the modern era that deception was organised at a high strategic level, as part of entire campaigns or wars. Early examples of military deception exist in the ancient dynasties of China. Hannibal recognised as one of the finest military commanders in history, made extensive use of deception in his campaigns; the Ancient Greeks were noted for several forms of tactical deception. They invented smoke screens during the Peloponnesian War and stories refer to the famous Trojan horse which allowed them to defeat Troy. In his 52 BC conquest of Gaul, Julius Caesar used tactical deception to achieve a crossing of the Allier river, his opponent, shadowed Caesar's force from the opposite bank, contesting any attempted crossing.
Caesar camped overnight in a wood. Once the coast was clear, the hidden forces established a bridgehead. One volume of Roman aristocrat Frontinus's Stratagems, written in the first century AD, deals with deception. Ancient Rome professed to despise the tactic. Opinion on military deception was divided following the fall of the Roman empire; the chivalrous countries in western Europe considered the tactic to be underhanded, whilst Eastern armies considered it a key skill: the Byzantine general Belisarius was noted for using deception against overwhelming odds. For example, during the Gothic War, Belisarius exaggerated his troop sizes first by advancing them in three directions, at night by having his troops light a long chain of campfires; as a result, the much larger army of Goths fled in panic on his approach. The Normans embraced the concept of a feigned retreat. William the Conqueror appears to have used this tactic during the Battle of Hastings, but the actual events are disputed by scholars.
Whatever the truth, the battle has at least been used as a famous example of the tactic. Mongol armies used the feigned withdrawal. Mongol warlords made use of disinformation tactics, spreading rumours about the size and effectiveness of their forces, they made use of visual deception. On the battlefield, the Mongols used many tactical deceptions, from lighting fires as a smokescreen to luring opponents into traps. Other examples of deception occurred during the Crusades. In 1271, Sultan Baybars captured the formidable Krak des Chevaliers by handing the besieged knights a letter from their commander, ordering them to surrender, it was, of course, but the knights duly capitulated. At around the same time, in England, the Welsh Tudors were seeking a revocation of the price that Henry Percy had placed on their heads, they decided to capture Percy's Conwy castle.
Military history is a humanities discipline within the scope of general historical recording of armed conflict in the history of humanity, its impact on the societies and economies thereof, as well as the resulting changes to local and international relationships. Professional historians focus on military affairs that had a major impact on the societies involved as well as the aftermath of conflicts, while amateur historians and hobbyists take a larger interest in the details of battles and uniforms in use; the essential subjects of military history study are the causes of war, the social and cultural foundations, military doctrine on each side, the logistics, technology and tactics used, how these changed over time. On the other hand, Just War Theory explores the moral dimensions of warfare, to better limit the destructive reality caused by war, seeks to establish a doctrine of military ethics; as an applied field, military history has been studied at academies and service schools because the military command seeks to not repeat past mistakes, improve upon its current performance by instilling an ability in commanders to perceive historical parallels during a battle, so as to capitalize on the lessons learned from the past.
When certifying military history instructors the Combat Studies Institute deemphasizes rote detail memorization and focuses on themes and context in relation to current and future conflict, using the motto "Past is Prologue."The discipline of military history is dynamic, changing with development as much of the subject area as the societies and organisations that make use of it. The dynamic nature of the discipline of military history is related to the rapidity of change the military forces, the art and science of managing them, as well as the frenetic pace of technological development that had taken place during the period known as the Industrial Revolution, more in the nuclear and information ages. An important recent concept is the Revolution in Military Affairs which attempts to explain how warfare has been shaped by emerging technologies, such as gunpowder, it highlights the short outbursts of rapid change followed by periods of relative stability. In terms of the history profession in major countries, military history is an orphan, despite its enormous popularity with the general public.
William H. McNeill points out: This branch of our discipline flourishes in an intellectual ghetto; the 144 books in question fall into two distinct classes: works aimed at a popular readership, written by journalists and men of letters outside academic circles, professional work nearly always produced within the military establishment.... The study of military history in universities remains underdeveloped. Indeed, lack of interest in and disdain for military history constitute one of the strangest prejudices of the profession. Historiography is the study of the history and method of the discipline of history or the study of a specialised topic. In this case, military history with an eye to gaining an accurate assessment of conflicts using all available sources. For this reason military history is periodised, creating overlaying boundaries of study and analysis in which descriptions of battles by leaders may be unreliable due to the inclination to minimize mention of failure and exaggerate success.
Military historians use Historiographical analysis in an effort to allow an unbiased, contemporary view of records. One military historian, Jeremy Black, outlined problems 21st-century military historians face as an inheritance of their predecessors: Eurocentricity, a technological bias, a focus on leading military powers and dominant military systems, the separation of land from sea and air conflicts, the focus on state-to-state conflict, a lack of focus on political "tasking" in how forces are used. If these challenges were not sufficient for the military historians, the limits of method are complicated by the lack of records, either destroyed or never recorded for its value as a military secret that may prevent some salient facts from being reported at all. Researching Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, for example, have presented unique challenges to historians due to records that were destroyed to protect classified military information, among other reasons. Historians utilize their knowledge of government regulation and military organization, employing a targeted and systematic research strategy to piece together war histories.
Despite these limits, wars are some of the most studied and detailed periods of human history. Military historians have compared organization and strategic ideas and national support of the militaries of different nations. In the early 1980s, historian Jeffrey Kimball studied the influence of a historian's political position on current events on interpretive disagreement regarding the causes of 20th century wars, he surveyed the ideological preferences of 109 active diplomatic historians in the United States as well as 54 active military historians. He finds that their current political views are moderately correlated with their historiographical interpretations. A clear position on the left-right continuum regarding capitalism was apparent in most cases. All groups agreed with the proposition, "historically, Americans have tended to view questions of their national security in terms of such extremes as good vs. evil." Though the Socialists were split, the other groups agreed that "miscalculation and/or misunderstanding of the situation" had caused U.
S. interventionism." Kimball reports that: Of historians in the field of diplomatic history, 7% are Socialist, 19% are O
Mountain warfare refers to warfare in the mountains or rough terrain. This type of warfare is called Alpine warfare, after the Alps mountains. Mountain warfare is one of the most dangerous types of combat as it involves surviving not only combat with the enemy but the extreme weather and dangerous terrain. Mountain ranges are of strategic importance since they act as a natural border, may be the origin of a water source. Attacking a prepared enemy position in mountain terrain requires a greater ratio of attacking soldiers to defending soldiers than a war conducted on level ground. Mountains at any time of year are dangerous – lightning, strong gusts of wind, rock falls, snow pack, extreme cold, glaciers with their crevasses and the general uneven terrain and the slow pace of troop and material movement are all additional threats to combatants. Movement and medical evacuation up and down steep slopes and areas where pack animals cannot reach involves an enormous exertion of energy; the term mountain warfare is said to have come about in the Middle Ages after the monarchies of Europe found it difficult to fight the Swiss armies in the Alps because the Swiss were able to fight in smaller units and took vantage points against a huge unmaneuverable army.
Similar styles of attack and defence were employed by guerrillas and irregulars who hid in the mountains after an attack, making it challenging for an army of regulars to fight back. In Bonaparte's Italian campaign, the 1809 rebellion in Tyrol, mountain warfare played a large role. Another example of mountain warfare was the Crossing of the Andes carried out by the Argentinean Army of the Andes commanded by Gen José de San Martín in 1817. One of the divisions surpassed 5000 m in height. Mountain warfare came to the fore once again during World War I, when some of the nations involved in the war had mountain divisions that had hitherto not been tested; the Austro-Hungarian defence repelled Italian attacks as they took advantage of the mountainous terrain in the Julian Alps and the Dolomites, where frostbite and avalanches proved deadlier than bullets. During the summer of 1918, the Battle of San Matteo took place on the Italian front. In December 1914, another offensive was launched by the Turkish supreme commander Enver Pasha with 95,000–190,000 troops against the Russians in the Caucasus.
Insisting on a frontal attack against Russian positions in the mountains in the heart of winter, the end result was devastating and Enver lost 86% of his forces. The Italian Campaign in World War II, Siachen conflict were large-scale mountain warfare examples. Battles of Narvik Kokoda Track campaign Operation Rentier Operation Gauntlet Since the Partition of India in 1947, India and Pakistan have been in conflict over the Kashmir region, they have fought numerous additional skirmishes / border conflicts in the region. Kashmir is located in the highest mountain range in the world; the first hostilities between the two nations, in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, showed that both were ill-equipped to fight in biting cold, let alone at the highest altitudes in the world. During the Sino-Indian War of 1962, hostilities broke out between China in the same area; the subsequent Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 between India and Pakistan was fought in Kashmir's valleys rather than the mountains themselves, although several mountain battles took place.
In the Kargil War Indian forces sought to flush out opponents. The proxy warfare in 1999 was the only modern war, fought on mountains. Following the Kargil War, the Indian Army implemented specialist training on artillery use in the mountains, where ballistic projectiles have different characteristics than at sea level. Most of the Falklands War took place on hills in semi-Arctic conditions on the Falkland Islands. However, during the opening stage of the war, there was military action on the bleak mountainous island of South Georgia, when a British expedition sought to eject occupying Argentine forces. South Georgia is a periantarctic island, the conflict took place during the southern winter, so Alpine conditions prevailed down to sea level; the operation was unusual, in that it combined aspects of long-range amphibious warfare, arctic warfare and mountain warfare. It involved special forces troops and helicopters. Throughout history but since 1979, many mountain warfare operations have taken place throughout Afghanistan.
Since the coalition invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 these have been in the eastern provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. Kunar and eastern Nuristan are strategic terrain; the area constitutes a major infiltration route into Afghanistan, insurgents can enter these provinces from any number of places along the Pakistani border to gain access to a vast network of river valleys. In this part of Afghanistan, the US military has adopted a hybrid style of mountain warfare incorporating counterinsurgency theory, in which the population is paramount as the center of gravity in the fight. In counterinsurgency and holding territory is less important than avoiding civilian casualties; the primary goal of counterinsurgency is to secure the backing of the populace and thereby legitimize the government rather than focus on militarily defeating the insurgents. Counterinsurgency doctrine has proved difficult to implement in Nuristan. In the sparsely populated mountain regions of Eastern Afghanistan, strategists have argued for holding the high ground—a
Medieval warfare is the European warfare of the Middle Ages. Technological and social developments had forced a dramatic transformation in the character of warfare from antiquity, changing military tactics and the role of cavalry and artillery. In terms of fortification, the Middle Ages saw the emergence of the castle in Europe, which spread to Western Asia. Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus wrote De re militari in the late 4th century. Described by historian Walter Goffart as "the bible of warfare throughout the Middle Ages", De re militari was distributed through the Latin West. While Western Europe relied on a single text for the basis of its military knowledge, the Byzantine Empire in Southeastern Europe had a succession of military writers. Though Vegetius had no military experience and De re militari was derived from the works of Cato and Frontinus, his books were the standard for military discourse in Western Europe from their production until the 16th century. De re militari was divided into five books: who should be a soldier and the skills they needed to learn, the composition and structure of an army, field tactics, how to conduct and withstand sieges, the role of the navy.
According to Vegetius, infantry was the most important element of an army because it was cheap compared to cavalry and could be deployed on any terrain. One of the tenets he put forward was that a general should only engage in battle when he was sure of victory or had no other choice; as archaeologist Robert Liddiard explains, "Pitched battles in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, were rare."Although his work was reproduced, over 200 copies and extracts survive today, the extent to which Vegetius affected the actual practice of warfare as opposed to its concept is unclear because of his habit of stating the obvious. Historian Michael Clanchy noted "the medieval axiom that laymen are illiterate and its converse that clergy are literate", so it may be the case that few soldiers read Vegetius' work. While their Roman predecessors were well-educated and had been experienced in warfare, the European nobility of the early Medieval period were not renowned for their education, but from the 12th century, it became more common for them to read.
Some soldiers regarded the experience of warfare as more valuable than reading about it. While it is uncertain to what extent his work was read by the warrior class as opposed to the clergy, Vegetius remained prominent in the literature on warfare in the medieval period. In 1489, King Henry VII of England commissioned the translation of De re militari into English, "so every gentleman born to arms and all manner of men of war, soldiers and all others would know how they ought to behave in the feats of wars and battles". In Europe, breakdowns in centralized power led to the rise of a number of groups that turned to large-scale pillage as a source of income. Most notably the Vikings raided significantly; as these groups were small and needed to move building fortifications was a good way to provide refuge and protection for the people and the wealth in the region. These fortifications evolved over the course of the Middle Ages, the most important form being the castle, a structure which has become synonymous with the Medieval era in the popular eye.
The castle served as a protected place for the local elites. Inside a castle they were protected from bands of raiders and could send mounted warriors to drive the enemy from the area, or to disrupt the efforts of larger armies to supply themselves in the region by gaining local superiority over foraging parties that would be impossible against the whole enemy host. Fortifications were a important part of warfare because they provided safety to the lord, his family, his servants, they provided refuge from armies too large to face in open battle. The ability of the heavy cavalry to dominate a battle on an open field was useless against fortifications. Building siege engines was a time-consuming process, could be done without preparations before the campaign. Many sieges could take months, if not years, to demoralize the defenders sufficiently. Fortifications were an excellent means of ensuring that the elite could not be dislodged from their lands – as Count Baldwin of Hainaut commented in 1184 on seeing enemy troops ravage his lands from the safety of his castle, "they can't take the land with them".
In the Medieval period besieging armies used a wide variety of siege engines including: scaling ladders. Siege techniques included mining in which tunnels were dug under a section of the wall and rapidly collapsed to destabilize the wall's foundation. Another technique was to bore into the enemy walls, however this was not nearly as effective as other methods due to the thickness of castle walls. Advances in the prosecution of sieges encouraged the development of a variety of defensive counter-measures. In particular, Medieval fortifications became progressively stronger – for example, the advent of the concentric castle from the period of the Crusades – and more dangerous to attackers – witness the increasing use of machicolations, as well the preparation of hot or incendiary substances. Arrow slits, concealed doors for sallies, deep water wells were integral to resisting siege at this time. Designers of castles paid particular attention to defending entrances, protec