Counter-offensive

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A counter-offensive is the term used by the military to describe large-scale, usually strategic offensive operations by forces that had successfully halted the enemy's offensive, while occupying defensive positions.

Military organized body primarily tasked with preparing for and conducting war

A military is an armed force primarily intended for warfare, typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct military uniform. It may consist of one or more military branches such as an Army, Navy, Air Force and in certain countries, Marines and Coast Guard. The main task of the military is usually defined as defence of the state and its interests against external armed threats. Beyond warfare, the military may be employed in additional sanctioned and non-sanctioned functions within the state, including internal security threats, population control, the promotion of a political agenda, emergency services and reconstruction, protecting corporate economic interests, social ceremonies and national honor guards. For a nation's military may function as a discrete subculture within a larger civil society, through the development of separate infrastructures, which may include housing, schools, utilities, logistics, health and medical, law, food production, finance and banking.

An offensive is a military operation that seeks through aggressive projection of armed force to occupy territory, gain an objective or achieve some larger strategic, operational, or tactical goal. Another term for an offensive often used by the media is 'invasion', or the more general 'attack'.

Strategic defence is a type of military planning doctrine and a set defense and/or combat activities used for the purpose of deterring, resisting and repelling a strategic offensive, conducted as either a territorial or airspace, invasion or attack; or as part of a cyberspace attack in cyberwarfare; or a naval offensive to interrupt shipping lane traffic as a form of economic warfare.

The counter-offensive is executed after exhausting the enemy's front line troops and after the enemy reserves had been committed to combat and proven incapable of breaching defences, but before the enemy has had the opportunity to assume new defensive positions. Sometimes the counter-offensive can be of a more limited operational maneuver nature, with more limited objectives rather than those seeking attainment of a strategic goal. A counter-offensive as considered by Clausewitz to be the most efficient means of forcing the attacker to abandon offensive plans. [1]

A strategic military goal is used in strategic military operation plans to define the desired end-state of a war or a campaign. Usually it entails either a strategic change in an enemy's military posture, intentions or ongoing operations, or achieving a strategic victory over the enemy that ends the conflict, although the goal can be set in terms of diplomatic or economic conditions, defined by purely territorial gains, or the evidence that the enemy's will to fight has been broken. Sometimes the strategic goal can be to limit the scope of the conflict.

Counter-offensives can be executed not only on land, but also by the naval forces and air forces. Strategic counter-offensives have been recorded by military historians in many wars throughout military history. Although not always known as such, because they are usually described by historians in conjunction with the defensive phase, such as the Battle of Moscow.

Military history is a humanities discipline within the scope of general historical recording of armed conflict in the history of humanity, and its impact on the societies, cultures and economies thereof, as well as the resulting changes to local and international relationships.

Battle of Moscow periods of strategically significant fighting on a 600 km (370 mi) sector of the Eastern Front during World War II

The Battle of Moscow was a military campaign that consisted of two periods of strategically significant fighting on a 600 km (370 mi) sector of the Eastern Front during World War II. It took place between October 1941 and January 1942. The Soviet defensive effort frustrated Hitler's attack on Moscow, the capital and largest city of the Soviet Union. Moscow was one of the primary military and political objectives for Axis forces in their invasion of the Soviet Union.

A counterattack is the tactical and sometimes smaller operational equivalent of the counter-offensive.

Counterattack tactic employed in response to an attack

A counterattack is a tactic employed in response to an attack, with the term originating in "war games". The general objective is to negate or thwart the advantage gained by the enemy during attack, while the specific objectives typically seek to regain lost ground or destroy the attacking enemy.

Military tactics science and art of organizing a military force and techniques

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 closely related – kinetic or firepower, mobility, protection or security, and shock action. Tactics are a separate function from command and 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, generally 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, usually accompanied by the dominance of an associated fighting arm deployed on the battlefield, such as infantry, artillery, cavalry or tanks.

Notes

  1. p.540, Briggs

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Military doctrine is the expression of how military forces contribute to campaigns, major operations, battles, and engagements.

Schlieffen Plan German General Staffs early-20th-century overall strategic plan

The Schlieffen Plan was the name given, after the First World War, to German war plans and the influence of Field Marshal Alfred von Schlieffen and his thinking on the invasion of France and Belgium on 4 August 1914. Schlieffen was Chief of the General Staff of the German Army from 1891 to 1906. In 1905 and 1906, Schlieffen devised an army deployment plan for a war-winning offensive against the French Third Republic. After losing the First World War, German official historians of the Reichsarchiv and other writers described the plan as a blueprint for victory. Generaloberst (Colonel-General) Helmuth von Moltke the Younger, succeeded Schlieffen as Chief of the German General Staff in 1906 and was dismissed after the First Battle of the Marne. German historians claimed that Moltke had ruined the plan by meddling with it.

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An invasion is a military offensive in which large parts of combatants of one geopolitical entity aggressively enter territory controlled by another such entity, generally with the objective of either conquering; liberating or re-establishing control or authority over a territory; forcing the partition of a country; altering the established government or gaining concessions from said government; or a combination thereof. An invasion can be the cause of a war, be a part of a larger strategy to end a war, or it can constitute an entire war in itself. Due to the large scale of the operations associated with invasions, they are usually strategic in planning and execution.

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Operation Bagration military offensive

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An air offensive is a type of military operation conducted using aircrew, airborne and strategic missile troops to allow securing of war, campaign or operational initiative, air-space superiority or ensure defeat of enemy forces through use of air-delivered ordnance, or destruction of enemy air, ground and naval forces.

Defence in depth is a military strategy that seeks to delay rather than prevent the advance of an attacker, buying time and causing additional casualties by yielding space. Rather than defeating an attacker with a single, strong defensive line, defence in depth relies on the tendency of an attack to lose momentum over time or as it covers a larger area. A defender can thus yield lightly defended territory in an effort to stress an attacker's logistics or spread out a numerically superior attacking force. Once an attacker has lost momentum or is forced to spread out to pacify a large area, defensive counter-attacks can be mounted on the attacker's weak points, with the goal being to cause attrition or drive the attacker back to its original starting position.

References

United States Department of Defense United States federal executive department

The Department of Defense is an executive branch department of the federal government charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government concerned directly with national security and the United States Armed Forces. The department is the largest employer in the world, with nearly 1.3 million active duty servicemen and women as of 2016. Adding to its employees are over 826,000 National Guardsmen and Reservists from the four services, and over 732,000 civilians bringing the total to over 2.8 million employees. Headquartered at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., the DoD's stated mission is to provide "the military forces needed to deter war and ensure our nation's security".