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
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
Infantry is the branch of an army that engages in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry and tank forces. Known as foot soldiers, infantry traditionally relies on moving by foot between combats as well, but may use mounts, military vehicles, or other transport. Infantry make up a large portion of all armed forces in most nations, bear the largest brunt in warfare, as measured by casualties, deprivation, or physical and psychological stress; the first military forces in history were infantry. In antiquity, infantry were armed with an early melee weapon such as a spear, axe or sword, or an early ranged weapon like a javelin, sling, or bow, with a few infantrymen having both a melee and a ranged weapon. With the development of gunpowder, infantry began converting to firearms. By the time of Napoleonic warfare, infantry and artillery formed a basic triad of ground forces, though infantry remained the most numerous. With armoured warfare, armoured fighting vehicles have replaced the horses of cavalry, airpower has added a new dimension to ground combat, but infantry remains pivotal to all modern combined arms operations.
Infantry have much greater local situational awareness than other military forces, due to their inherent intimate contact with the battlefield. Infantry can more recognise and respond to local conditions and changing enemy weapons or tactics, they can operate in a wide range of terrain inaccessible to military vehicles, can operate with a lower logistical burden. Infantry are the most delivered forces to ground combat areas, by simple and reliable marching, or by trucks, sea or air transport, they can be augmented with a variety of crew-served weapons, armoured personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles. In English, use of the term infantry began about the 1570s, describing soldiers who march and fight on foot; the word derives from Middle French infanterie, from older Italian infanteria, from Latin īnfāns, from which English gets infant. The individual-soldier term infantryman was not coined until 1837. In modern usage, foot soldiers of any era are now considered infantrymen. From the mid-18th century until 1881 the British Army named its infantry as numbered regiments "of Foot" to distinguish them from cavalry and dragoon regiments.
Infantry equipped with special weapons were named after that weapon, such as grenadiers for their grenades, or fusiliers for their fusils. These names can persist long after the weapon speciality. More in modern times, infantry with special tactics are named for their roles, such as commandos, snipers and militia. Dragoons were created. However, if light cavalry was lacking in an army, any available dragoons might be assigned their duties. Conversely, starting about the mid-19th century, regular cavalry have been forced to spend more of their time dismounted in combat due to the ever-increasing effectiveness of enemy infantry firearms, thus most cavalry transitioned to mounted infantry. As with grenadiers, the dragoon and cavalry designations can be retained long after their horses, such as in the Royal Dragoon Guards, Royal Lancers, King's Royal Hussars. Motorised infantry have trucks and other unarmed vehicles for non-combat movement, but are still infantry since they leave their vehicles for any combat.
Most modern infantry have vehicle transport, to the point where infantry being motorised is assumed, the few exceptions might be identified as modern light infantry, or "leg infantry" colloquially. Mechanised infantry go beyond motorised, having transport vehicles with combat abilities, armoured personnel carriers, providing at least some options for combat without leaving their vehicles. In modern infantry, some APCs have evolved to be infantry fighting vehicles, which are transport vehicles with more substantial combat abilities, approaching those of light tanks; some well-equipped mechanised infantry can be designated as armoured infantry. Given that infantry forces also have some tanks, given that most armoured forces have more mechanised infantry units than tank units in their organisation, the distinction between mechanised infantry and armour forces has blurred; the terms "infantry", "armour", "cavalry" used in the official names for military units like divisions, brigades, or regiments might be better understood as a description of their expected balance of defensive and mobility roles, rather than just use of vehicles.
Some modern mechanised infantry units are termed cavalry or armoured cavalry though they never had horses, to e
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
Urban warfare is combat conducted in urban areas such as towns and cities. Urban combat is different from combat in the open at both the operational and tactical level. Complicating factors in urban warfare include the presence of civilians and the complexity of the urban terrain. Urban combat operations may be conducted in order to capitalize on the strategic or tactical advantages with which possession or control of a particular urban area gives or to deny these advantages to the enemy. Fighting in urban areas negates the advantages that one side may have over the other in armour, heavy artillery, or air support. Ambushes laid down by small groups of soldiers with handheld anti-tank weapons can destroy entire columns of modern armour, while artillery and air support can be reduced if the'superior' party wants to limit civilian casualties as much as possible, but the defending party does not; some civilians may be difficult to distinguish from combatants such as armed militias and gangs, individuals who are trying to protect their homes from attackers.
Tactics are complicated by a three-dimensional environment, limited fields of view and fire because of buildings, enhanced concealment and cover for defenders, below-ground infrastructure, the ease of placement of booby traps and snipers. The United States Armed Forces term for urban warfare is an abbreviation for urban operations; the used U. S. military term MOUT, an abbreviation for military operations in urban terrain, has been replaced by UO, although the term MOUT Site is still in use. The British armed forces terms are OBUA, FIBUA, or sometimes FISH, or FISH and CHIPS; the term FOFO refers to clearing enemy personnel from narrow and entrenched places like bunkers and strongholds. Israel Defense Forces calls urban warfare לש "a Hebrew acronym for warfare on urban terrain. LASHAB in the IDF includes CQB training for fighting forces. IDF's LASHAB was developed in recent decades, after the 1982 Lebanon War included urban warfare in Beirut and Lebanese villages, was further developed during the Second Intifada in which IDF soldiers entered and fought in Palestinian cities and refugee camps.
The IDF has a special advanced facility for training soldiers and units in urban warfare. Urban military operations in World War II relied on large quantities of artillery bombardment and air support varying from ground attack fighters to heavy bombers. In some vicious urban warfare operations such as Stalingrad and Warsaw, all weapons were used irrespective of their consequences. However, when liberating occupied territory some restraint was applied in urban settings. For example, Canadian operations in both Ortona and Groningen avoided the use of artillery altogether to spare civilians and buildings, during the Battle of Manila in 1945, General MacArthur placed a ban on artillery and air strikes to save civilian lives. Military forces are bound by the laws of war governing military necessity to the amount of force which can be applied when attacking an area where there are known to be civilians; until the 1970s, this was covered by the 1907 Hague Convention IV – The Laws and Customs of War on Land which includes articles 25–27.
This has since been supplemented by the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, relating to the Protection of Victims of International and Non-International Armed Conflicts. Sometimes distinction and proportionality, as in the case of the Canadians in Ortona, causes the attacking force to restrain from using all the force they could when attacking a city. In other cases, such as the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of Berlin, both military forces considered evacuating civilians only to find it impractical; when Russian forces attacked Grozny in 1999, large amounts of artillery fire were used. The Russian Army handled the issue of civilian casualties by warning the inhabitants that they were going to launch an all-out assault on Grozny and requested that all civilians leave the city before the start of the artillery bombardment. Fighting in an urban environment can offer some advantages to a weaker defending force or to guerrilla fighters through ambush-induced attrition losses.
The attacking army must account for three dimensions more and expend greater amounts of manpower in order to secure a myriad of structures, mountains of rubble. Ferroconcrete structures will be ruined by heavy bombardment, but it is difficult to demolish such a building when it is well defended. Soviet forces had to fight room by room, it is difficult to destroy underground or fortified structures such as bunkers and utility tunnels. The characteristics of an average city include tall buildings, narrow alleys, sewage tunnels and a subway system
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
Armoured warfare, mechanised warfare or tank warfare is the use of armoured fighting vehicles in modern warfare. It is a major component of modern methods of war; the premise of armoured warfare rests on the ability of troops to penetrate conventional defensive lines through use of manoeuvre by armoured units. Much of the application of armoured warfare depends on the use of tanks and related vehicles used by other supporting arms such as infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled artillery, other combat vehicles, as well as mounted combat engineers and other support units; the doctrine of armoured warfare was developed to break the static nature of World War I trench warfare on the Western Front, return to the 19th century school of thought that advocated manoeuvre and "decisive battle" outcomes in military strategy. Modern armoured warfare began during the First World War with the need to break the tactical and strategic stalemates forced on commanders on the Western Front by the effectiveness of entrenched defensive infantry armed with machine guns—known as trench warfare.
Under these conditions, any sort of advance was very slow and caused massive casualties. The development of the tank was motivated by the need to return manoeuvre to warfare, the only practical way to do so was to provide caterpillar traction to guns allowing them to overcome trenches while at the same time offering them armour protection against small arms fire as they were moving. Tanks were first developed in Britain and France in 1915, as a way of navigating the barbed wire and other obstacles of no-man's land while remaining protected from machine-gun fire. British Mark I tanks first went to action at the Somme, on 15 September 1916, but did not manage to break the deadlock of trench warfare; the first French employment of tanks, on 16 April 1917, using the Schneider CA, was a failure. In the Battle of Cambrai British tanks were more successful, broke a German trenchline system, the Hindenburg Line. Despite the unpromising beginnings, the military and political leadership in both Britain and France during 1917 backed large investments into armoured vehicle production.
This led to a sharp increase in the number of available tanks for 1918. The German Empire to the contrary, produced only a few tanks, late in the war. Twenty German A7V tanks were produced during the entire conflict, compared to over 4,400 French and over 2,500 British tanks of various kinds. Nonetheless, World War I saw the first tank-versus-tank battle, during the Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux in April 1918, when a group of three German A7V tanks engaged a group of three British Mark IV tanks they accidentally met. After the final German Spring Offensives of 1918, Entente tanks were used in mass at the Battle of Soissons and Battle of Amiens, which ended the stalemate imposed by trench warfare on the Western Front, thus ended the war. Tactically, the deployment of armour during the war was typified by a strong emphasis on direct infantry support; the tank's main tasks were seen as crushing barbed wire and destroying machine-gun nests, facilitating the advance of foot soldiers. Theoretical debate focused on the question whether a "swarm" of light tanks should be used for this or a limited number of potent heavy vehicles.
Though in the Battle of Cambrai a large concentration of British heavy tanks effected a breakthrough, it was not exploited by armour. The manoeuvrability of the tank should at least in theory regain armies the ability to flank enemy lines. In practice, tank warfare during most of World War I was hampered by the technical immaturity of the new weapon system causing mechanical failure, limited numbers, general underutilisation, a low speed and a short range. Strategic use of tanks was slow to develop during and after World War I due to these technical limitations but due to the prestige role traditionally accorded to horse-mounted cavalry. An exception, on paper, was the Plan 1919 of Colonel John Fuller, who envisaged using the expected vast increase in armour production during 1919 to execute deep strategic penetrations by mechanised forces consisting of tanks and infantry carried by lorries, supported by aeroplanes, to paralyse the enemy command structure. Following the First World War, the technical and doctrinal aspects of armoured warfare became more sophisticated and diverged into multiple schools of doctrinal thought.
During the 1920s, only few tanks were produced. There were however, important technical developments. Various British and French commanders who had contributed to the origin of the tank, such as Jean Baptiste Eugène Estienne, B. H. Liddell Hart and J. F. C. Fuller, theorised about a possible future use of independent armoured forces, containing a large concentration of tanks, to execute deep strategic penetrations. Liddell Hart wrote many books about the subject propagating Fuller's theories; such doctrines were faced with the reality that during the 1920s the armoured vehicles, as early road transport in general, were unreliable, could not be used in sustained operations. Mainstream thought on the subject was more conservative and tried to integrate armoured vehicles into the existing infantry and cavalry organisation and tactics. Technical development focussed on the improvement of the suspension system and engine, to create vehicles that were faster, more reliable and had a better range than their WW I predecessors.
To save weight, such designs had thin armour plating and this inspired fitting small-calibre high-velocity guns in turrets, giving tanks a good antitank capacity. Both France and Britain built specialised infantry tanks, more armoured to provide infantry