Cold-weather warfare known as Arctic warfare or winter warfare, encompasses military operations affected by snow, thawing conditions or cold, both on land and at sea. Cold-weather conditions occur year-round at high elevation or at high latitudes, elsewhere materialise seasonally during the winter period. Mountain warfare takes place in cold weather or on terrain, affected by ice and snow, such as the Alps and the Himalayas. Most such operations have been during winter in the Northern Hemisphere; some have occurred above the Arctic Circle where snow and cold may occur throughout the year. At times, cold or its aftermath—thaw—has been a decisive factor in the failure of a campaign, as with Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812 and the German invasion of Russia during World War II. Northern and Eastern Europe were the venues for some well-documented winter campaigns. During World War II several actions took place above the Arctic Circle. Recent cold-weather conflicts have occurred in the Himalayas.
In 1242, the Teutonic Order lost the Battle on the Ice on Lake Peipus to Novgorod. In 1520, the decisive Battle of Bogesund between Sweden and Denmark occurred on the ice of lake Åsunden. Sweden and Denmark fought several wars during the 17th centuries; as a great deal of Denmark consists of islands, it was safe from invasion, but in January 1658, most of the Danish waters froze. Charles X Gustav of Sweden led his army across the ice of the Belts to besiege Copenhagen; the war ended with the treaty of Roskilde, a treaty favorable to the Swedish. During the Great Northern War, Swedish king Charles XII set off to invade Moscow, but was defeated at the Battle of Poltava after being weakened by cold weather and scorched earth tactics. Sweden suffered more casualties during the same war as Carl Gustaf Armfeldt with 6,000 men tried to invade Trondheim. Three thousand of them died of exposure in the snow during the Carolean Death March. During the Finnish War, the Russian army unexpectedly crossed the frozen Gulf of Bothnia from Finland to the Åland Islands and, by 19 March 1809, reached the Swedish shore within 70 km from the Swedish capital, Stockholm.
This daring maneuvre decided the outcome of the war. Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812 resulted in retreat in the face of winter with the majority of the French army succumbing to frostbite and starvation, rather than combat injuries; the Finnish Army used ski troops during the Winter War and the Second World War, where the numerically dominant Soviet forces had a hard time fighting mobile, white-clad ski soldiers. In Operation Barbarossa in 1941, both Russian and German soldiers had to endure terrible conditions during the Russian winter; the German-Finnish joint offensive against Murmansk in 1941 saw heavy fighting in the Arctic environment. Subsequently, the Petsamo-Kirkenes Operation conducted by the Red Army against the Wehrmacht in 1944 in northern Finland and Norway drove the Germans out of there. In late 1944, Finland turned against their former cobelligerents, Nazi Germany, under the Soviet Union's pressure and pressured the Germans to withdraw in the ensuing Lapland War. While use of ski infantry was common in the Red Army, Germany formed only one division for movement on skis.
From June 1942 to August 1943, the United States and Canada fought the Japanese in the Aleutian Islands Campaign in the Alaska Territory. The Battle of Chosin Reservoir was a stark example of cold affecting military operations in the Korean War. There were many cold malfunctions of materiel, both vehicles and weapons; the Siachen conflict is a military conflict between India and Pakistan over the disputed Siachen Glacier region in Kashmir. The conflict began in 1984 with India's successful Operation Meghdoot during which it gained control over all of the Siachen Glacier. A cease-fire went into effect in 2003; the following actions were fought in the Arctic by land and naval forces between 1941 and 1945 in the following theaters of operations: The raid on Kirkenes and Petsamo took place on 30 July 1941 when the British Fleet Air Arm launched an unsuccessful raid from the aircraft carriers HMS Victorious and Furious to inflict damage on merchant vessels owned by Germany and Finland and to show support for Britain's new ally, the Soviet Union.
Operation Rösselsprung was a plan by the German Kriegsmarine to intercept an Arctic convoy in mid-1942, resulting in the near destruction of Convoy PQ 17. Operation Wunderland was a large-scale operation undertaken in summer 1942 by the Kriegsmarine to enter the Kara Sea during the summer thaw and destroy as many Russian vessels as possible; the Winter War was a military conflict between Finland. It began with a Soviet invasion of Finland on 30 November 1939, three months after the outbreak of World War II, ended three and a half months with the Moscow Peace Treaty on 13 March 1940; the Lapland War was fought between Finland and Germany from September 1944 to April 1945 in Finland's northernmost Lapland Province. It included: Operation Birke was a German operation late in World War II in Finnish Lapland to protect access to nickel. Operation Nordlicht was a German scorched-earth retreat operation in Finland during the end of World War II; the Petsamo–Kirkenes Offensive was a major military offensive during World War II, mounted by the Red Army against the Wehrmacht in 1944 in northern Finland and Norway.
The liberation of Finnmark was a military operation, lasting from 23 October 1944 until 26 April 1945, in which Soviet and Norwegian forces wrestled away control of Finnmark, the northernmost county of Norway, from Germany. It started with a major Soviet offensive. Operation Silver Fox was
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
A siege is a military blockade of a city, or fortress, with the intent of conquering by attrition, or a well-prepared assault. This derives from Latin: sedere, lit.'to sit'. Siege warfare is a form of constant, low-intensity conflict characterized by one party holding a strong, defensive position. An opportunity for negotiation between combatants is not uncommon, as proximity and fluctuating advantage can encourage diplomacy; the art of conducting and resisting sieges is called siegecraft, or poliorcetics. A siege occurs when an attacker encounters a city or fortress that cannot be taken by a quick assault, which refuses to surrender. Sieges involve surrounding the target to block the provision of supplies and the reinforcement or escape of troops; this is coupled with attempts to reduce the fortifications by means of siege engines, artillery bombardment, mining, or the use of deception or treachery to bypass defenses. Failing a military outcome, sieges can be decided by starvation, thirst, or disease, which can afflict either the attacker or defender.
This form of siege, can take many months or years, depending upon the size of the stores of food the fortified position holds. The attacking force can circumvallate the besieged place, to build a line of earth-works, consisting of a rampart and trench, surrounding it. During the process of circumvallation, the attacking force can be set upon by another force, an ally of the besieged place, due to the lengthy amount of time required to force it to capitulate. A defensive ring of forts outside the ring of circumvallated forts, called contravallation, is sometimes used to defend the attackers from outside. Ancient cities in the Middle East show archaeological evidence of having had fortified city walls. During the Warring States era of ancient China, there is both textual and archaeological evidence of prolonged sieges and siege machinery used against the defenders of city walls. Siege machinery was a tradition of the ancient Greco-Roman world. During the Renaissance and the early modern period, siege warfare dominated the conduct of war in Europe.
Leonardo da Vinci gained as much of his renown from the design of fortifications as from his artwork. Medieval campaigns were designed around a succession of sieges. In the Napoleonic era, increasing use of more powerful cannon reduced the value of fortifications. In the 20th century, the significance of the classical siege declined. With the advent of mobile warfare, a single fortified stronghold is no longer as decisive as it once was. While traditional sieges do still occur, they are not as common as they once were due to changes in modes of battle, principally the ease by which huge volumes of destructive power can be directed onto a static target. Modern sieges are more the result of smaller hostage, militant, or extreme resisting arrest situations; the Assyrians deployed large labour forces to build new palaces and defensive walls. Some settlements in the Indus Valley Civilization were fortified. By about 3500 BC, hundreds of small farming villages dotted the Indus River floodplain. Many of these settlements had planned streets.
The stone and mud brick houses of Kot Diji were clustered behind massive stone flood dikes and defensive walls, for neighbouring communities quarrelled about the control of prime agricultural land. Mundigak in present-day south-east Afghanistan has defensive walls and square bastions of sun-dried bricks. City walls and fortifications were essential for the defence of the first cities in the ancient Near East; the walls were built of mudbricks, wood, or a combination of these materials, depending on local availability. They may have served the dual purpose of showing presumptive enemies the might of the kingdom; the great walls surrounding the Sumerian city of Uruk gained a widespread reputation. The walls were 9.5 km in length, up to 12 m in height. The walls of Babylon, reinforced by towers and ditches, gained a similar reputation. In Anatolia, the Hittites built massive stone walls around their cities atop hillsides, taking advantage of the terrain. In Shang Dynasty China, at the site of Ao, large walls were erected in the 15th century BC that had dimensions of 20 m in width at the base and enclosed an area of some 2,100 yards squared.
The ancient Chinese capital for the State of Zhao, founded in 386 BC had walls that were 20 m wide at the base. The cities of the Indus Valley Civilization showed less effort in constructing defences, as did the Minoan civilization on Crete; these civilizations relied more on the defence of their outer borders or sea shores. Unlike the ancient Minoan civilization, the Mycenaean Greeks emphasized the need for fortifications alongside natural defences of mountainous terrain, such as the massive Cyclopean walls built at Mycenae and other adjacent Late Bronze Age centers of central and southern Greece. Although there are depictions of sieges from the ancient Near East in historical sources and in art, there are few examples of siege systems that have been found archaeologically. Of the few examples, several are noteworthy: The late 9th-century BC siege system surrounding Tell es-Safi/Gath, consists of a 2.5 km long siege trench and other elements, is the earliest evidence of a circumvallation system known in the world.
It was built by Hazael of Aram Damascus, as part of his siege and conquest of Philistine Gath in the late 9th century BC (mentio
A charge is a maneuver in battle in which combatants advance towards their enemy at their best speed in an attempt to engage in close combat. The charge is the dominant shock attack and has been the key tactic and decisive moment of many battles throughout history. Modern charges involve small groups against individual positions instead of large groups of combatants charging another group or a fortified line, it may be assumed that the charge was practiced in prehistoric warfare, but clear evidence only comes with literate societies. The tactics of the classical Greek phalanx included an ordered approach march, with a final charge to contact. In response to the introduction of firearms and Scottish troops at the end of the 16th century developed a tactic that combined a volley of musketry with a rapid close to close combat using swords. Successful, it was countered by effective discipline and the development of defensive bayonet tactics; the development of the bayonet in the late 17th century led to the bayonet charge becoming the main infantry charge tactic through the 19th century and into the 20th.
As early as the 19th century, tactical scholars were noting that most bayonet charges did not result in close combat. Instead, one side fled before actual bayonet fighting ensued; the act of fixing bayonets has been held to be connected to morale, the making of a clear signal to friend and foe of a willingness to kill at close quarters. The shock value of a charge attack has been exploited in cavalry tactics, both of armored knights and lighter mounted troops of both earlier and eras. Historians such as John Keegan have shown that when prepared against and by standing firm in face of the onslaught, cavalry charges failed against infantry, with horses refusing to gallop into the dense mass of enemies, or the charging unit itself breaking up. However, when cavalry charges succeeded, it was due to the defending formation breaking up and scattering, to be hunted down by the enemy, it must be noted, that while it was not recommended for a cavalry charge to continue against unbroken infantry, charges were still a viable danger to heavy infantry.
Parthian lancers were noted to require dense formations of Roman legionaries to stop, Frankish knights were reported to be harder to stop, if the writing of Anna Komnene is to be believed. However, only trained horses would voluntarily charge dense, unbroken enemy formations directly, in order to be effective, a strong formation would have to be kept – such strong formations being the result of efficient training. Heavy cavalry lacking a single part of this combination – composed of high morale, excellent training, quality equipment, individual prowess, collective discipline of both the warrior and the mount – would suffer in a charge against unbroken heavy infantry, only the best heavy cavalrymen throughout history would own these in regards to their era and terrain; the cavalry charge was a significant tactic in the Middle Ages. Although cavalry had charged before, a combination of the adoption of a frame saddle secured in place by a breast-band and the technique of couching the lance under the arm delivered a hitherto unachievable ability to utilise the momentum of the horse and rider.
These developments began in the 7th century but were not combined to full effect until the 11th century. The Battle of Dyrrhachium was an early instance of the familiar medieval cavalry charge. By the time of the First Crusade in the 1090s, the cavalry charge was being employed by European armies. However, from the dawn of the Hundred Years' War onward, the use of professional pikemen and longbowmen with high morale and functional tactics meant that a knight would have to be cautious in a cavalry charge. Men wielding either pike or halberd in formation, with high morale, could stave off all but the best cavalry charges, whilst English longbowmen could unleash a torrent of arrows capable of wreaking havoc, though not a massacre, upon the heads of heavy infantry and cavalry in unsuitable terrain, it became common for knights to dismount and fight as elite heavy infantry, although some continued to stay mounted throughout combat. The use of cavalry for flanking manoeuvres became more useful, although some interpretations of the knightly ideal led to reckless, undisciplined charges.
Cavalry could still charge dense heavy infantry formations head-on if the cavalrymen had a combination of certain traits. They had a high chance of success if they were in a formation, collectively disciplined skilled, equipped with the best arms and armour, as well as mounted upon horses trained to endure the physical and mental stresses of such charges. However, the majority of cavalry personnel lacked at least one of these traits discipline and horses trained for head-on charges. Thus, the use of the head-on cavalry charge declined, although Polish hussars, French Cuirassiers, Spanish and Portuguese conquistadores were still capable of succeeding in such charges due to their possession of the mentioned combination of the traits required for success in such endeavours. In the twentieth century, the cavalry charge was used, though it enjoyed sporadic and occasional success. In what was called the "last true cavalry charge", elements of the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States attacked Villista forces in the Battle of Guerrero on 29 March 1916.
The battle was a victory for the Americans, occurring in desert terrain
Air combat manoeuvring
Air combat manoeuvring is the tactical art of moving, turning and/or situating one's fighter aircraft in order to attain a position from which an attack can be made on another aircraft. Air combat manoeuvres rely on offensive and defensive basic fighter manoeuvring to gain an advantage over an aerial opponent. Military aviation appeared in World War I when aircraft were used to spot enemy troop concentrations, field gun positions and movements. Early aerial combat consisted of aviators shooting at one another with hand held weapons; the first recorded aircraft to be shot down by another aircraft, which occurred on October 5, 1914, was a German Aviatik. The pilot, Feldwebel Wilhelm Schlichting, was shot with a carbine wielded by observer Louis Quenault, riding in a Voisin Type 3 piloted by French Sergeant Joseph Frantz; the need to stop reconnaissance, being conducted by enemy aircraft led to the development of fighter planes, a class of aircraft designed to destroy other aircraft. Fixed, forward-firing guns were found to be the most effective armament a majority of World War I era fighter planes, but it was nearly impossible to fire them through the spinning propeller of one's own aircraft without destroying one's own plane.
Roland Garros, working with Morane Saulnier Aéroplanes, was the first to solve this problem by attaching steel deflector wedges to the propeller. He achieved three was shot down by ground fire and landed behind German lines. Anthony Fokker inspected the plane's wreckage and learned to improved the design by connecting the firing mechanism of the gun to the timing of the engine, thus allowing the gun to fire through the propeller without making contact with the propeller; as technology advanced and young aviators began defining the realm of air-to-air combat, such as Max Immelmann, Oswald Boelcke, Lanoe Hawker. One of the greatest of these "ace pilots" of World War I, Manfred von Richthofen, wrote in his book The Red Fighter Pilot, "The great thing in air fighting is that the decisive factor does not lie in trick flying but in the personal ability and energy of the aviator. A flying man may be able to loop and do all the stunts imaginable and yet he may not succeed in shooting down a single enemy."Pilots soon learned to achieve a firing position by manoeuvring themselves behind an enemy aircraft.
This type of combat became known as dogfighting. Oswald Boelcke, a German fighter ace during World War I, was the first to publish the basic rules for aerial combat manoeuvring in 1916, known as the Dicta Boelcke, he advised pilots to attack from the direction of the sun, or to fly at a higher altitude than the opponent. Most of these rules are still as valuable today. Today's air combat is much more complicated than that of older times, as air-to-air missiles and automatic cannons capable of high rates of fire are used on all modern fighter aircraft. New, additional types of manoeuvres have emerged, intending to break radar lock by minimizing the Doppler signature of one's own aircraft, or to exhaust the kinetic energy of an incoming missile. However, close range fighting with infrared guided missiles and aircraft cannons still obeys the same general rules laid down in the skies over Europe in the early 20th century; the master rule is still the same: do not let your opponent get onto your six, while attempting to get on his.
Close-range combat tactics vary according to the type of aircraft being used and the number of aircraft involved. There are five things. In Southeast Asia, over 85 percent of all kills are attributed to the attacker spotting and shooting the defender without being seen. Structural limitations of the attacking and defending fighters must be taken into account, such as thrust-to-weight ratio, wing loading, the "corner speed". Variable limitations must be considered, such as turn radius, turn rate and the specific energy of the aircraft. Position of aircraft must be assessed, including direction, angle off tail, closing speed; the pilot must be aware of his wingman’s position and maintain good communication. A pilot in combat attempts to conserve his aircraft’s energy through timed and executed manoeuvres. By using such manoeuvres, a pilot will make trade offs between the fighter’s potential energy and kinetic energy, to maintain the energy-to-weight ratio of the aircraft, or the "specific energy".
A manoeuvre such as the "low yo-yo" trades altitude for airspeed to close on an enemy and to decrease turn radius. The opposite manoeuvre, a "high yo-yo", trades speed for height storing energy in "the altitude bank", which allows a fast moving attacker to slow his closing speed. An attacker is confronted with three possible ways to pursue an enemy, all of which are vital during chase. "Lag pursuit" happens in a turn when the nose of the attacker’s aircraft points behind an enemy’s tail. Lag pursuit allows an attacker to increase or maintain range without oversho