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This article is about the military tactic. For the crowd act associated with sporting events, see audience wave.

Human wave attack is a military term describing a type of assault performed by infantry units, in which soldiers attack in successive line formations, often in dense groups, generally without the support of other arms nor with any sophistication in the tactics used. The tactic is usually found in conscript armies, whose poor training leaves them little tactical flexibility. The term has come to be used as a pejorative. Many of the authors that served in various real-life wars (and survived) wrote stories that are at least somewhat based on their own experiences. ... This is a partial list of battles that have entries in Wikipedia. ... This is a list of civil wars. ... . ... This is a list of both successful and repelled international invasions ordered by date. ... This is a list of missions, operations, and projects. ... The 1453 Siege of Constantinople (painted 1499) A siege is a prolonged military assault and blockade on a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by force or attrition. ... This page contains a list of military raids, not including air raids, sorted by the date at which they started: 1259 Mongol raid into Lithuania 1565, August 26th Chaseabout Raid 1575, July 7th Raid of the Redeswire 1582, August 27th Raid of Ruthven 1667, June 6th Raid on the Medway... This page contains a list of military tactics: // Identification of objectives Concentration of effort Exploiting prevailing weather Exploiting night Maintenance of reserve forces Economy of force Force protection Force dispersal Military Camouflage Deception Perfidy False flag Electronic countermeasures Electronic counter-counter-measures Radio silence Fortification Fieldworks (entrenchments) Over Head Protection... See also list of military writers. ... This is a list of lists of wars, sorted by country, date, region, and type of conflict. ... This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. ... . ... There are a bewildering array of weapons, far more than would be useful in list form. ... This is a list of military writers, alphabetical by last name. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Its modern incarnation is as a tactic that developed out of trench warfare, where artillery or aerial attack often proved ineffective at dislodging the enemy from a firmly held defensive position. In a human wave attack there is no attempt to minimize casualties; on the contrary, part of the tactic involves presenting the defender with the shock value of overwhelming numbers of attackers. This dense concentration of troops in the open tends to lead to very high casualty rates. Trench warfare is a form of war in which both opposing armies have static lines of defense. ...


These attacks can also develop in situations where the defensive position is very strong and the attacker's combined-arms team has been broken up, leaving no alternative.

Contents

Background

What we today call “human wave” tactics were in fact the main tactic used by infantry on the attack prior to the development of modern skirmisher tactics during the Napoléonic Wars. When infantry firepower was very short-range, massed unsupported attacks worked, and were not considered especially costly compared to other tactics. Infantry maneuvered in very tightly-packed ranks and individual soldiers were not expected to maneuver on their own. Image File history File links Phalanx1. ... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. Infantry are soldiers who fight primarily on foot with small arms in organized military units, though they may be transported to the battlefield by horses, ships, automobiles, skis, or other means. ... Skirmishers are infantry soldiers who are stationed ahead or to the sides of a larger body of friendly troops. ... Combatants Allies: Austrian Empire[1] Kingdom of Portugal Kingdom of Prussia[1] Russian Empire[2] Kingdom of Spain[3] Kingdom of Sweden United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland[4] French Empire - Kingdom of Holland - Kingdom of Italy - Kingdom of Naples - Duchy of Warsaw - Kingdom of Bavaria[5] - Kingdom of...


An illustrative example from antiquity is the charge of the Athenian hoplites at the Battle of Marathon. With no missile troops of their own, the hoplites charging of the Persian lines in massed ranks was the best tactic to neutralize the Persians’ superiority in archers and maximize their own superiority in hand-to-hand combat. Battle of WoÅ‚odarka Polish infantry charging enemy positions during the Polish Defensive War A charge is a maneuver in battle in which soldiers advance towards their enemy at their best speed to engage in close combat. ... Hoplites depicted on an Attic vase dated to 510-500 BC The Hoplite was a heavy infantryman that was the central focus of warfare in Ancient Greece. ... Combatants Athens and Plataea Persia Commanders Miltiades Callimachus† Darius I of Persia Datis†? Artaphernes Strength 10,000 Athenians 1,000 Plataeans 20,000-60,000 by modern estimates 1 Casualties 192 Athenians dead 11 Plateans dead 6,400 dead 7 ships captured 1 Ancient sources give numbers ranging from 200... The Persian Empire was a series of historical empires that ruled over the Iranian plateau, the old Persian homeland, and beyond in Western Asia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. ...


Even with the arrival of firearms this same logic could be found in, for example, the French Napoléonic armies. Massed infantry columns, supported by artillery and screened by voltigeur light infantry skirmishers, were seen as a way to produce militarily useful formations out of recruits with a minimum of time and training. The theory was that given the range and rate of fire of the muskets of the day, if an infantry column started its charge just outside the effective range of its opponents, the massed infantry column would be able to smash into its opponents before there had been enough volleys of incoming fire to destroy it. Bonaparte as general Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a general of the French Revolution and was the ruler of France as First Consul (Premier Consul) of the French Republic from November 11, 1799 to May 18, 1804, then as Emperor of the French (Empereur... A military column is a formation of soldiers, marching together single file, one behind another. ... Artillery with Gabion fortification Cannons on display at Fort Point Continental Artillery crew from the American Revolution Firing of an 18-pound gun, Louis-Philippe Crepin, (1772 – 1851) A forge-welded Iron Cannon in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. ... Traditionally light infantry (or skirmishers) were soldiers whose job was to provide a skirmishing screen ahead of the main body of infantry, harassing and delaying the enemy advance. ... Muskets and bayonets aboard the frigate Grand Turk. ...

British Grenadiers press the attack at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
British Grenadiers press the attack at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

The ensuing bayonet mêlée would then go the way of the attacking column who would have a numerical and morale advantage. The alternative for infantry at this time was to advance to musket range and for the two sides to trade musket volleys until one side broke. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1144x946, 232 KB) Battle of Bunker Hill by E. Percy Moran. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1144x946, 232 KB) Battle of Bunker Hill by E. Percy Moran. ... Numerous places and things are named for this battle, see: Bunker Hill (disambiguation). ... The US Marine Corps OKC-3S Bayonet A bayonet (from French baïonnette) is a knife- or dagger-shaped weapon designed to fit on or over the muzzle of a rifle barrel or similar weapon. ... Mêlée generally refers to disorganized hand-to-hand combat involving a group of fighters. ... Morale is a term for the capacity of people to maintain belief in an institution or a goal. ...

Napoléon’s legacy

Despite its shortcomings, the French tactical system had worked, as evidenced by Napoléon’s great victories. In the years that followed Napoleonic Wars, theorists and tacticians devoted themselves to discovering the secrets to those great victories, so as to be able to emulate them. These included the American Dennis Hart Mahan, father of the more famous naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan, for many years a senior lecturer at West Point, Napoléon’s general, Antoine-Henri Jomini, and the great Prussian military thinker Carl von Clausewitz. These men would have a great influence on the military leadership, tactical doctrines and military fortunes of their nations, each drawing different conclusions from the same inspiration. Combatants Allies: Austrian Empire[1] Kingdom of Portugal Kingdom of Prussia[1] Russian Empire[2] Kingdom of Spain[3] Kingdom of Sweden United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland[4] French Empire - Kingdom of Holland - Kingdom of Italy - Kingdom of Naples - Duchy of Warsaw - Kingdom of Bavaria[5] - Kingdom of... Combatants Allies: Austrian Empire[1] Kingdom of Portugal Kingdom of Prussia[1] Russian Empire[2] Kingdom of Spain[3] Kingdom of Sweden United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland[4] French Empire - Kingdom of Holland - Kingdom of Italy - Kingdom of Naples - Duchy of Warsaw - Kingdom of Bavaria[5] - Kingdom of... Dennis Hart Mahan (April 2, 1802 - September 16, 1871) was a noted American military theorist and professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point. ... Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan (September 27, 1840 - December 1, 1914) was a United States Navy officer, geostrategist, and educator. ... USMA redirects here. ... Jomini Antoine-Henri, baron Jomini (March 6, 1779–March 24, 1869), general in the French and afterwards in the Russian service, and one of the most celebrated writers on the art of war, was born at Payerne in the canton of Vaud, Switzerland, where his father was syndic. ... Motto: Suum cuique Latin: To each his own Prussia at its peak, as leading state of the German Empire Capital Königsberg, later Berlin Political structure Duchy, Kingdom, Republic Duke1  - 1525–68 Albert I  - 1688–1701 Frederick III King1  - 1701–13 Frederick I  - 1888–1918 William II Prime Minister1,2... Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz (June 1, 1780 – November 16, 1831) was a Prussian soldier, military historian and influential military theorist. ...


In large part, the nature of the American Civil War, tactically, strategically, and organizationally, was colored by the elder Mahan’s influence on the generals of both sides. This article is becoming very long. ...


When the tactical failures of the Napoléonic system were acknowledged, such failures were put down as its misapplication by lesser commanders, and at Waterloo to the failure of subsidiary commanders. To the theorists, such failures could be overcome by a little more determination, a little more dash and aggression, by closing with the enemy a little faster. The French would later develop the doctrine of “l’attaque a outrance”, which emphasized attacking and counterattacking at all costs, at the earliest of opportunities. This would be the seed of the massed infantry attacks of World War I. Combatants France Seventh Coalition: Prussia United Kingdom United Netherlands Hannover Nassau Brunswick Commanders Napoléon Bonaparte Michel Ney Duke of Wellington Gebhard von Blücher Strength 73,000 67,000 Coalition 60,000 Prussian (48,000 engaged by about 18:00) Casualties 25,000 dead or wounded; 7,000 Captured... A counterattack is a military tactic used by defending forces when under attack by an enemy force. ... Combatants Allied Powers: Russian Empire France British Empire Italy United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary German Empire Ottoman Empire Bulgaria Commanders Nikolay II Aleksey Brusilov Georges Clemenceau Joseph Joffre Ferdinand Foch Robert Nivelle Herbert H. Asquith D. Lloyd George Sir Douglas Haig Sir John Jellicoe Victor Emmanuel III Luigi Cadorna...


One theory of why the French infantry column worked for Napoléon and failed for others is that Napoléon was an artilleryman. Since the value of the infantry column was as much in the threat of its attack as it was in the actual attack, the infantry could be used to fix the line of enemy infantry, who had to deploy to receive a possible charge. The enemy infantry could then be rolled up from the flank by the cavalry if it deployed linearly, or be bombarded by artillery if it deployed as a square. The infantry attack, if made, would then be an attack against an enemy already weakened or disorganised by the other arms. The failure of others in emulating Napoléon’s success was in seeing the most spectacular part of his combined arms approach—the infantry attack—as its most important element and neglecting the other arms. Or, if they did realize the importance of a combined arms approach, of mistiming the interplay between the different elements of the army. Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. Infantry are soldiers who fight primarily on foot with small arms in organized military units, though they may be transported to the battlefield by horses, ships, automobiles, skis, or other means. ... A military column is a formation of soldiers, marching together single file, one behind another. ... The Line Formation was a standard tactical formation used throughout history. ... An infantry square is a battle tactic of infantry when faced with cavalry. ...


Crimean War

The Siege of Sevastopol during the Crimean War, considered an early rehearsal for the First World War, saw the opposing armies face each other; hunkered down in trenches and hasty fortifications, artillery duelling to silence each other, fighting to smash the defences of the other, and to pound the opposition into oblivion. The siege saw furious assaults to possess ground answered by equally furious counter-attacks. Combatants Allies: Second French Empire United Kingdom Ottoman Empire Kingdom of Sardinia Russian Empire Bulgarian volunteers Casualties 90,000 French 35,000 Turkish 17,500 British 2,050 Sardinian killed, wounded and died of disease 256,000 killed, wounded and died of disease The Crimean War (1854–1856) was fought... Combatants United Kingdom France Russia Commanders General François Canrobert (later replaced by General Pélissier) Lord Raglen Admiral Kornilov (later replaced by Admiral Pavel Nakhimov) Lt. ... Combatants Allies: Second French Empire United Kingdom Ottoman Empire Kingdom of Sardinia Russian Empire Bulgarian volunteers Casualties 90,000 French 35,000 Turkish 17,500 British 2,050 Sardinian killed, wounded and died of disease 256,000 killed, wounded and died of disease The Crimean War (1854–1856) was fought...


At the Battle of Malakoff, an entire French corps assaulted a strong fortified position in three columns, to a timetable governed by synchronised watches. The fortress fell after heavy hand to hand fighting, costing the attackers 10,000 casualties and the defenders 13,000. The loss of the Malakoff, and with it Sevastopol, won the war for the French allies, thus ensuring the place of such tactics in the playbooks of future generals. The Battle of Malakoff was fought on September 7, 1855 and resulted in a French victory under General MacMahon against the Russians. ...


American Civil War

Firepower of all types increased their range, accuracy, and lethality in the nineteenth century. The American Civil War is an example of the incredible human costs resulting from the lag time between advances in technology and development of appropriate tactics. This may well be envisioned as an age-old antagonism between science and art: Scientific innovations naturally tend to spur on other innovations. Military tactics, on the other hand, are an art form, whose essence and execution lie ultimately in the minds of its practitioners. As a social undertaking, development of strategy can be stymied by individual, cultural, institutional, and political factors. Gauging the efficacy of a weapon system is relatively straightforward, as the variables are easily measured and compared (although this doesn't preclude useless weapons from being fielded). The efficacy of military tactical ideas, though, cannot be fully appraised even in the most detailed exercises and simulations; this must wait until their actual use against an enemy. This article is becoming very long. ...


Although it had made its mark in the American Revolutionary War, in the hands of the minutemen at Lexington, the Kentucky rifle was unsuitable as the main infantry weapon for the tactics and formations adopted by the Continental Army. In the rifles of the day there was a steady loss of performance, due to fouling of the rifling by gunpowder residue, and the rate of fire was very much inferior to that of smoothbore muskets caused by the need to use a tightly fitting ball to properly engage with the weapons rifling. The construction of the rifle also meant that it was far more likely to burst with catastrophic consequences than the smoothbore musket. These shortcomings were acceptable in an hunting weapon but not as weapon in the military systems of the day. As the war evolved both sides began to fight more like their enemy. Rather than formulate a tactical system to make best use of its advantages the Continental Army forwent the superiority of its native rifles and riflemen to fight with muskets in the massed formations of their British adversaries. The British on the otherhand learned from the Americans to utilise riflemen as skirmishers, an experience which would give birth to the Rifle Brigade. By the wars end and for most of the century after the rifle had become firmly a specialist skirmishing weapon. Combatants American Revolutionaries, France, Dutch Republic, Spain, American Indians Kingdom of Great Britain, German mercenaries, Loyalists, American Indians Commanders George Washington, Comte de Rochambeau, Nathanael Greene, Bernardo de Gálvez Sir William Howe, Sir Henry Clinton, Lord Cornwallis (more commanders) The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the... Lexington Minuteman representing John Parker Minutemen is a name given to members of the militia of the American Colonies, who vowed to be ready for battle in a minutes notice. ... Combatants Militia of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, (Minutemen) British Army, Royal Marines Commanders John Parker, James Barrett, William Heath Francis Smith, John Pitcairn, Walter Laurie, Lord Hugh Percy Strength 75 at Lexington Green (Parker). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Illustration depicting uniforms and weapons used during the 1779 to 1783 period of the American Revolution by showing four soldiers standing in an informal group General George Washington, was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army on June 15, 1775. ... The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consorts Own) was a regiment of the British Army. ...


By the time of the American Civil War however, technical and industrial progress had made the the rifle the standard weapon of the infantry of both sides. Machine tools and improvements in metallurgy allowed barrels to be accurately bored out rather than rely on the single piece forging process that could give rise to bursting. Mass production techniques pioneered by Springfield Armory allowed the North to arm all its troops with Springfield rifles. The adoption of the Minié ball allowed these rifles to be fired at a rate no slower than the old muskets, whilst the copper driving band cleaned out the rifling as it was fired, removing the steady loss of performance caused by gunpowder residue fouling. Mass production is the production of large amounts of standardised products on production lines. ... From 1794 to 1968 the Springfield Armory was a center for the manufacture of U.S. military small arms and the site of many important technological advances. ... Modern reproduction of the Springfield Model 1861 The Springfield Model 1861 was a rifled musket shoulder arm used by the United States Army and Marines during the American Civil War. ... 1855 minie ball design from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia The Minié ball (or minie ball) is a type of muzzle-loading rifle ordnance named after its main co-developer, Claude-Étienne Minié. It came to prominence in the Crimean War and American Civil War. ...


Below is a description by the late Civil War author Bruce Catton on the state of the military arts and military sciences as it applied to infantry tactics: Bruce Catton (October 9, 1899 — August 28, 1978) was a journalist and a notable historian of the American Civil War. ...

Infantry tactics at that time were based on the use of the smoothbore musket, a weapon of limited range and accuracy. Firing lines that were much more than a hundred yards apart could not inflict very much damage on each other, and so troops which were to make an attack would be massed together, elbow to elbow, and would make a run for it; if there were enough of them, and they ran fast enough, the defensive line could not hurt them seriously, and when they got to close quarters the advange of numbers and the use of the bayonet would settle things. But the Civil War musket was rifled, which made an enormous difference. It was still a muzzle-loader, but it had much more accuracy and a far longer range than the old smoothbore, and it completely changed the conditions under which soldiers fought. An advancing line could be brought under killing fire at a distance of half a mile, now, and the massed charge of Napoleonic tradition was miserably out of date. When a defensive line occupied field entrenchments - which the soldiers learned to dig fairly early in the game - a direct frontal assault became almost impossibile. The hideous casualty lists of Civil War battles owed much of their size to the fact that soldiers were fighting with rifles but were using tactics suited to smoothbores. It took the generals a long time to learn that a new approach was needed. [from The American Heritage Picture History of The Civil War, by Bruce Catton (1960) chapter "The Armies"]

Franco-Prussian War

There was very little difference between the French and Germans with regards to technology and infantry tactics; the French had better small arms, the Germans better artillery, and each developed tactics to press their advantage. However, where the Prussians triumphed was in advocating a scientific and an organisational approach to the analysis and execution of war. Combatants Second French Empire North German Confederation allied with south German states (later German Empire) Commanders Napoleon III # Otto Von Bismarck Helmuth von Moltke the Elder Strength 400,000 at the beginning of the war 1,200,000 Casualties 150,000 dead or wounded 284,000 captured 350,000 civilian...


In its wars up to the Franco-Prussian War, the Prussians, under their legendary General Staff, had gravitated from a Jominian system of maneuver to Clausewitz’s concept of the “mass of decision” and the idea that nations and armies have a “center of gravity.” Combatants Second French Empire North German Confederation allied with south German states (later German Empire) Commanders Napoleon III # Otto Von Bismarck Helmuth von Moltke the Elder Strength 400,000 at the beginning of the war 1,200,000 Casualties 150,000 dead or wounded 284,000 captured 350,000 civilian... The German General Staff or Großer Generalstab was the most important German weapon for nearly two centuries. ... Jomini Antoine-Henri, baron Jomini (March 6, 1779–March 24, 1869), general in the French and afterwards in the Russian service, and one of the most celebrated writers on the art of war, was born at Payerne in the canton of Vaud, Switzerland, where his father was syndic. ... Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz (June 1, 1780 – November 16, 1831) was a Prussian soldier, military historian and influential military theorist. ...


Previously, it had been a commonly held assumption that there was an optimum size for an army (approximately 100-120,000 men). Given the technologies of the day, any larger an army would be impossible to supply, move, or control. What was desired was to be able to create concentrations of force when and where it mattered. This involved moving a number of smaller forces separately, to allow rapid movement without hindering each other's progress, before concentrating rapidly in overwhelming numbers at a decisive location. Each of these smaller forces being under the command of men trained to operate and think in the same way, so that the briefest of orders from their over all commander would have the same desired results. In this way, the Prussians could achieve a sudden local numerical superiority and dictate where, how and when it fought. Such a “mass” could be on the strategic level strategic, aimed against a nation’s centre of gravity, or tactical aimed at an enemy army’s center of gravity. At whatever level, the very presence and strength of a Prussian army meant it could not be ignored by an enemy, who in being forced to react could be made to fritter away its manpower and thus invite defeat in detail. Conversely, a Prussian army in the field would be strong enough and well enough supplied to decline to fight if it so wished. Defeat in detail is a military phrase referring to the tactic of bringing a large portion of ones own force to bear on a small enemy unit, rather than engaging the bulk of the enemy force. ...


Once in the field probing forces would be used to find the Schwerpunkt, the critical center of an enemy, against which the main Prussian strength would be launched, this was neither where the enemy was strongest nor where it was weakest. The Schwerpunkt, had a philosophical aspect, embracing the abstract notion of an enemy’s center in terms of time, of motivation and morale, of ability and of action. For example, the Prussians made use of the French emotional and symbolic attachment for Paris and the route to Paris, seeing beyond its mere geographical and industrial value. The basic Prussian plan therefore, the father and grandfather of those used in the First and Second World Wars, was to march its armies against Paris and to engage and destroy the French armies as they were sent out to stop the occupation of their capital. In doing so the French played into the Prussian hands. Blitzkrieg relies on close co-operation between infantry and panzers (tanks). ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) Paris Eiffel tower as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... Combatants Allied Powers: Russian Empire France British Empire Italy United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary German Empire Ottoman Empire Bulgaria Commanders Nikolay II Aleksey Brusilov Georges Clemenceau Joseph Joffre Ferdinand Foch Robert Nivelle Herbert H. Asquith D. Lloyd George Sir Douglas Haig Sir John Jellicoe Victor Emmanuel III Luigi Cadorna... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


One of the tenets of Clauswitz’s system was the destruction of an enemy’s ability to wage war; this could be done through destroying the populace’s will to fight, disabling its political leadership, disrupting its logistical and industrial capacity or most directly of all, by destroying its armies in the field. The Siege of Metz of a French army served as a military Schwerpunkt leading as it did to the Battle of Sedan and the end of effective French military resistance. Whilst the successful conclusion of the Siege of Paris served as a political Schwerpunkt ending the Government of National Defense’s will to fight, and with it the war. Combatants Prussia France Commanders Prince Friedrich Karl François Bazaine Strength 134,000 180,000 Casualties unknown 180,000 surrendered The Siege of Metz lasting from September 3 – October 23, 1870 was a crushing defeat for the French during the Franco-Prussian War. ... Combatants Prussia Bavaria France Commanders Wilhelm I Helmuth von Moltke Napoleon III Patrice MacMahon Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot Strength 200,000 774 cannon 120,000 564 cannon Casualties 2,320 dead 5,980 wounded 700 missing (9,000 total) 3,000 dead 14,000 wounded 21,000 captured 82,000 surrendered... Combatants Prussia, Baden Bavaria, Württemberg (later German Empire) France Commanders Wilhelm I of Germany Helmuth von Moltke Louis Jules Trochu Joseph Vinoy Strength 240,000 regulars 200,000 regulars 200,000 militia and sailors Casualties 12,000 dead or wounded 24,000 dead or wounded 146,000 captured 47... La Gouvernement de la Défense Nationale, or The Government of National Defence, was the official Government of the Third Republic of France from September 4th 1870 to February 13th 1871. ...


In the Franco-Prussian War the Prussians, using meticulous planning and its railways, and with a psychological leash on the French were able to achieve and maintain tactical flexibility, and local superiority of numbers. This allowed them with weight of numbers and artillery to encircle and destroy the French armies, despite the fact that the French rifles had twice the range of their own. In return the French attempts to break out lacked the “mass” to punch out off the Prussian sieges and encirclements, and just served to speed their own destruction. Combatants Second French Empire North German Confederation allied with south German states (later German Empire) Commanders Napoleon III # Otto Von Bismarck Helmuth von Moltke the Elder Strength 400,000 at the beginning of the war 1,200,000 Casualties 150,000 dead or wounded 284,000 captured 350,000 civilian...


The success of the Prussian system led to its adoption and emulation by the nations of continental Europe. The fundamental assumptions being that victory would go to the nation which could bring the largest possible army to bear upon its enemy in the shortest possible time, and that the only way to resist such an army, was to attack first with an even bigger army. This was to lead to the institution of the large conscript army, mobilized and deployed on an autopilot of rigid timetables. These large conscript armies strained to different extents the ability of the continental nations to train, officer and especially in the case of Imperial Russia to equip and arm all its soldiers, leading to armies of various and sometimes dubious qualities. The French, for example, were only able to match the Germans (who had a larger population) in numbers by lengthening the term of conscription and the upper age limit of men in the reserves. These flaws were to lead to inflexibility and rigidity in thinking from the political, to the strategic, to the tactical levels, the consequences of which were the killing fields of the First World War. This article describes military mobilization. ... The Causes of World War I were complex and included many factors, central of these being the drives and interests of competing nationalist elements in Europe. ... // During the 1890s, Russias industrial development led to a significant increase in the size of the urban bourgeoisie and the working class, setting the stage for a more dynamic political atmosphere and the development of radical parties. ... Ypres, 1917, in the vicinity of the Battle of Passchendaele. ...


Russo-Japanese War

Combatants Russian Empire Empire of Japan Commanders Emperor Nicholas II Aleksey Kuropatkin Stepan Makarov† Emperor Meiji Oyama Iwao Heihachiro Togo Strength 500,000 Soldiers 400,000 Soldiers Casualties 24,844 killed; 146,519 wounded; 59,218 POW; unknown Chinese civilians 47,387 killed; 173,425 wounded; unknown Chinese civilians Greater...

Human wave attacks in the modern era

In the modern era, human-wave attacks are often, but not always associated with mass armies of untrained soldiers. The casualty rate is generally enormous, yet such attacks are often successful and therefore remain an accepted combat technique. When the defender is also poorly-trained or of low quality, the shock value of a human-wave attack may be enough to carry the objective.


First World War

A French bayonet charge.
A French bayonet charge.

Early battles of the First World War exhibited both characteristics of human wave attacks, for example the Germans at the Battle of Mons, and incorporated elements of maneuver and infiltration in assaults. There is no contradiction in this as the combatants included both long service professionals and mobilised reservists, troops of differing temperament, ability and training. Combatants Allied Powers: Russian Empire France British Empire Italy United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary German Empire Ottoman Empire Bulgaria Commanders Nikolay II Aleksey Brusilov Georges Clemenceau Joseph Joffre Ferdinand Foch Robert Nivelle Herbert H. Asquith D. Lloyd George Sir Douglas Haig Sir John Jellicoe Victor Emmanuel III Luigi Cadorna... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (874x523, 137 KB) Summary This image was scanned from The Story of the Great War, Volume III, Francis Joseph Reynolds et al, 1916. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (874x523, 137 KB) Summary This image was scanned from The Story of the Great War, Volume III, Francis Joseph Reynolds et al, 1916. ... Combatants Allied Powers: Russian Empire France British Empire Italy United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary German Empire Ottoman Empire Bulgaria Commanders Nikolay II Aleksey Brusilov Georges Clemenceau Joseph Joffre Ferdinand Foch Robert Nivelle Herbert H. Asquith D. Lloyd George Sir Douglas Haig Sir John Jellicoe Victor Emmanuel III Luigi Cadorna... Combatants Britain Germany Commanders Sir John French Alexander von Kluck Strength 4 divisions 8 divisions Casualties 1,600 5,000 (estimate) The Battle of Mons (Flemish name for Mons is Bergen) was the first major action of the British Expeditionary Force in World War I. Following the surrender of the...


With the loss of strategic maneuver after the First Battle of the Marne the latter stages of the First World War degenerated into trench warfare. With trench warfare Human-wave attacks became common, a product of the reappearance of mass conscript armies dealing unsuccessfully with a new combat environment. There was a belief that troops could not handle sophisticated tactics (though counter-evidence was available); means of communication with supporting arms were ineffective; and senior leaders did not always see the battle environment as it really was. Combatants France United Kingdom German Empire Commanders Joseph Joffre John French Helmuth von Moltke Karl von Bülow Alexander von Kluck Strength 1,071,000 1,485,000 Casualties Approximately 263,000: 250,000 French casualties (80,000 dead) 13,000 British casualties (1,700 dead) Approximately 250,000 total...


In the British army human-wave attacks were adopted by the new armies because a lack of proficiency in musketry led to the doctrine that in the attack the grenade and bayonet would be the prime infantry weapons and tactics were evolved to accommodate this. To this was added a lack of leadership, due to the dilution of the professional officer and NCO corps, for anything more sophisticated than massed attacks. The classic example of the human-wave attacks would be the Battle of the Somme. WWI recruitment poster for Kitcheners Army. ... For the alcoholic beverage sold in New Orleans, see hand grenade (drink). ... The US Marine Corps OKC-3S Bayonet A bayonet (from French baïonnette) is a knife- or dagger-shaped weapon designed to fit on or over the muzzle of a rifle barrel or similar weapon. ... A non-commissioned officer (sometimes noncommissioned officer), also known as an NCO or noncom, is a non-commissioned member of an armed force who has been given authority by a commissioned officer. ... Combatants British Empire United Kingdom Australia Canada New Zealand Newfoundland South Africa France German Empire Commanders Douglas Haig Joseph Joffre Max von Gallwitz Fritz von Below Strength 13 British and 11 French divisions (initial) 51 British and 48 French divisions (final) 10½ divisions (initial) 50 divisions (final) Casualties 419,654...

Allied forces suffered over 600,000 casualties during the three months of fighting, for no tangible goals other than the attrition of the enemy. Despite these horrendous casualties, this could still be seen as a success, given that the Germans endured casualties at least as severe and the attack relieved pressure on the French at Verdun. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2190x1401, 339 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Human wave attack User:Redvers/Gallery ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2190x1401, 339 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Human wave attack User:Redvers/Gallery ... Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) burial ground for the dead of World War I located in the Ypres Salient on the Western Front. ... This article is about the military strategy. ...


Only towards the end of the war were skirmisher tactics, infiltration tactics, and new combined-arms approaches, re-discovered and developed in raiding and harassing attacks, allowed to flower; coming to a final, though ultimately futile, realisation in the German Spring Offensive of 1918. Combined arms is an approach to warfare which seeks to integrate different arms of a military to achieve mutually complementary effects. ... The 1918 Spring Offensive or Kaiserschlacht was a series of German attacks along the Western Front during the First World War, which marked the deepest advance by either side since 1914. ...


Firsthand British Accounts

Accounts of receiving and making an attack.

It came with a suddenness that was most startling....A grey mass of humanity was charging, running for all God would let them, straight on to us not 50 yards off....and as I fired my rifle the rest all went off almost simultaneously. One saw the great mass of Germans quiver. In reality some fell, some fell over them, and others came on. I have never shot so much in such a short time.....the whole lot came on again...Twenty yard more and they would have been over us in thousands but our fire must have been fearful....Some of the leading people turned to the left for some reason, and they all followed like a great flock of sheep. I don't think one could have missed at the distance and just for one short minute or two we poured the ammunition into them in boxfuls....


—Captain Harry Dillon,2nd Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.Saturday 24th October 1914 after First Battle of Ypres. The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry was an infantry regiment of the British Army. ... Combatants United Kingdom France German Empire Commanders John French Ferdinand Foch Erich von Falkenhayn Strength UK: 7 infantry divisions, 3 cavalry divisions France: ? Fourth and Sixth Armies Casualties UK: 58,000 France: 50,000 130,000 The First Battle of Ypres, also called the Battle of Flanders, was the last...

At 6.30 a.m our artillery were bombarding intensely…..At 7.30 we moved to “the attack” by companies at 200 yard intervals in the order C, D,A, B….A battery of artillery was in action….enemy sending heavy shrapnel all over the place…We had a terrible dose of machine gun fire sweeping us through wood …..across the opening I saw the last platoon of A Coy. going over open ground in front of wood….about 120 yards. Half of the platoon were killed and almost all of remainder wounded in the crossing, and I at once realised that some part of the attack had gone radically wrong, as we were being enfiladed by batteries of enemy machine guns… A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 100-200 soldiers. ... A sectioned Shrapnel shell displayed at the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa For other uses, see Shrapnel (disambiguation). ... Platoon is a term from military science. ... French frigate Poursuivante firing raking fire in enfilade on a British ship of line French frigate Aréthuse and English frigate Amélia exchanging defilade fire on the shores of Guinea, the 7th of February 1813 Enfilade and defilade are military tactical concepts used to describe a fighting units...


—Ernest Shepard CSM B Coy 1st Dorsets. writing of the 1st July 1916, the Battle of the Somme. The Dorset Regiment was an infantry regiment of the British Army. ... Combatants British Empire Australia Canada New Zealand Newfoundland South Africa United Kingdom France German Empire Commanders Douglas Haig Joseph Joffre Max von Gallwitz Fritz von Below Strength 13 British & 11 French divisions (initial) 51 British and 48 French divisions (final) 10. ...

The military legacy

Although they had fought the same war, the participants learnt different lessons from the same experience. The French went from the one extreme of idolizing the all-out attack to the idolizing of the ideal of dogged defense, as exemplified by the Battle of Verdun, leading directly to the building of the Maginot Line. Combatants France German Empire Commanders Philippe Pétain Robert Nivelle Erich von Falkenhayn Strength About 30,000 on 21 February 1916 About 150,000 on 21 February 1916 Casualties 378,000; of whom 120,000 died 337,000; of whom 100,000 died The Battle of Verdun was one of... The Maginot Line (IPA: [maʒino], named after French minister of defence André Maginot) was a line of concrete fortifications, tank obstacles, machine gun posts and other defenses which France constructed along its borders with Germany and with Italy, in the light of experience from World War I, and...


With its first and last throws of the dice the German Army convinced itself that it had almost had victory in its grasp. In its next attempt it married Hutier tactics and mechanization to the Schlieffen Plan, achieving with Blitzkrieg in the May of 1940 during the Fall of France what it could not in August of 1914. In warfare, infiltration tactics involve small, lightly-equipped infantry forces attacking enemy rear areas while bypassing enemy front-line strongpoints, isolating them for attack by follow-on friendly troops with heavier weapons. ... Alfred Graf von Schlieffen The Schlieffen Plan was the German General Staffs overall strategic plan for victory on the Western Front against France, and was executed to near victory in the first month of World War I; however, a French counterattack on the outskirts of Paris, the Battle of... The defining characteristic of what is commonly known as Blitzkrieg is that it is a highly mobile form of mechanized warfare. ... Combatants France United Kingdom Canada Czechoslovakia Poland Belgium Netherlands Luxembourg Germany Italy Commanders Maurice Gamelin, Maxime Weygand (French) Lord Gort (British Expeditionary Force) H.G. Winkelman (Dutch) Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group A) Fedor von Bock (Army Group B) Wilhelm von Leeb (Army Group C) H.R.H. Umberto di...


For Britain, the horrors and slaughter of First World War made it the War to end all wars; determined never to allow such a conflict again, she spent her efforts between the wars futilely trying to avert future wars. The solution to conflict would be disarmament and arms limitations, the banning of so called offensive weapons, in so doing she threw away her lead in armored and mechanized warfare and many hard-earned lessons. World War I (then known as The Great War) was at the time and in the years just after described as the war to end all wars (or, in the jargon of the French Poilus: la der des der, i. ... Disarmament means the act of reducing or depriving arms i. ...


The United States decided to wash it hands of European wars and reverted to a policy of Isolationism. Isolationism is a foreign policy which combines a non-interventionist military and a political policy of economic nationalism (protectionism). ...


Winter War

In the Winter War, the Finns developed—out of necessity—the motti tactic against the human wave attack. It involved retreating at the face of the human wave, simultaneously advancing at the flanks and enveloping the wave. Once the onslaught had culminated, the supply lines were cut and encirclement became complete. The attacking Soviet forces were ordered not to retreat; therefore, encircling them and staging a siege proved a highly lethal maneuver against the Soviets. Combatants Finland Soviet Union Commanders Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim Kliment Voroshilov, later Semyon Timoshenko Strength 250,000 men 30 tanks 130 aircraft[1][2] 1,000,000 men 3,000 tanks 3,800 aircraft[3][4] Casualties 26,662 dead 39,886 wounded 1,000 captured[5] 126,875 dead... Combatants Finland Soviet Union Commanders Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim Kliment Voroshilov, later Semyon Timoshenko Strength 250,000 men 30 tanks 130 aircraft[1][2] 1,000,000 men 3,000 tanks 3,800 aircraft[3][4] Casualties 26,662 dead 39,886 wounded 1,000 captured[5] 126,875 dead... In military terms, a salient is a battlefield feature that projects into enemy territory. ... This article is about the armed forces of the Soviet Union. ...


Second World War

When Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union, the Germans reported that the Red Army used the tactic against both advancing and entrenched German soldiers, sometimes using penal battalions or militia units. It is assumed that the Red Army soldiers were ordered to charge directly in a wide berth to strike every possible point in the German lines simultaneously (see Panfilovtsy). In some battles the Soviets defeated the Germans after sustaining battle losses much higher than the German losses. After 1942, the Red Army developed into a more capable force and used modern tactics. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... Red Army flag The Workers and Peasants Red Army (Russian: Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия, Raboche-Krestyanskaya Krasnaya Armiya; RKKA or usually simply the Red Army) were the armed forces first organized by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in 1918 and that in 1922 became the army of the Soviet Union. ... Penal battalion, penal company, etc. ... Lexington Minuteman representing militia minuteman John Parker Militia is the activity of one or more citizens organized to provide defense or paramilitary service, or those engaged in such activity. ... Memorial on the place of the final battle of 28 panfilovtsy Panfilovtsy (from Russian: , singular: панфиловец - panfilovetz, named after Soviet Major General Ivan Panfilov) were soldiers of the Soviet 316th Rifle Division (renamed to 8th Guards Division on November 18, 1941 and thus they were also bynamed guardsmen-panfilovtsy - гвардейцы-панфиловцы) under the...


In the Japanese Army, human wave attacks in the form of Banzai charges were common in the early battles of World War II. Japanese units generally had adequate training and were skilled at infiltration tactics, but were very weak in artillery. Even in the constricted terrain of the Pacific War, however, these attacks generally failed. As this lesson was absorbed, the tactic was abandoned except as a tactic of desperation or last resort. The Imperial Japanese Army (: 大日本帝國陸軍 Shinjitai: 大日本帝国陸軍 Dai-Nippon Teikoku Rikugun) was the official ground based armed force of Japan from 1867 to 1945 when it was Imperial Japan. ... Banzai charge (or banzai attack) is a term related to the Japanese samurai spirit and ideology of not accepting the shame of defeat. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Combatants China (from 1937) United States (from 1941) United Kingdom (from 1941) British India (1941) Australia (1941) Free France (1941) Philippines (1941) Netherlands (1941) New Zealand (1941) Canada (1941) Soviet Union (from 1945) Mongolia (from 1945) Empire of Japan Wang Jingwei Government (1940) Thailand (1942) Manchukuo Mengjiang Free India (1943...


Korean War

It is widely believed that such tactics were employed widely and successfully by the North Korean and Chinese armies during the Korean War, because to the UN troops, the enemy seemed to be everywhere, for example at the battles of the Chosin Reservoir and the Imjin River. Combatants United Nations:  Republic of Korea,  Australia,  Belgium,  Luxembourg,  Canada,  Colombia,  Ethiopia,  France,  Greece,  Luxembourg,  Netherlands,  New Zealand,  Philippines,  South Africa,  Thailand,  Turkey,  United Kingdom,  United States Medical staff:  Denmark,  Australia,  Italy,  Norway,  Sweden Communist states:  Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,  Peoples Republic of China,  Soviet Union Commanders... North Korea, officially the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK; Korean: Chosŏn Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk; Hangul: 조선민주주의인민공화국; Hanja: 朝鮮民主主義人民共和國), is a country in eastern Asia... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Combatants United Nations:  Republic of Korea,  Australia,  Belgium,  Luxembourg,  Canada,  Colombia,  Ethiopia,  France,  Greece,  Luxembourg,  Netherlands,  New Zealand,  Philippines,  South Africa,  Thailand,  Turkey,  United Kingdom,  United States Medical staff:  Denmark,  Australia,  Italy,  Norway,  Sweden Communist states:  Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,  Peoples Republic of China,  Soviet Union Commanders... This article is about the United Nations, for other uses of UN see UN (disambiguation) Official languages English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic Secretary-General Kofi Annan (since 1997) Established October 24, 1945 Member states 191 Headquarters New York City, NY, USA Official site http://www. ... Combatants Peoples Republic of China United Nations forces; including United States Commanders Song Shi-Lun Oliver Smith Strength 120,000 40,000 Casualties 25,000 killed, 12,500 wounded, 30,000 frost-bite casualties 2,500 dead, 192 missing, 5,000 wounded, 7,500 cold related injuries The Battle... The Battle of the Imjin took place between April 22 – April 25, 1951 during the Korean War. ...


However, while massed infantry attacks were used, what the North Korean and Chinese forces actually used is more aptly described as infiltration assault. With UN air superiority, any concentration of Chinese armor or artillery, to support the infantry, would have invited instant air attack and almost as instant annihilation. The Chinese employed infiltration tactics to mitigate their inferiority in terms of available artillery and air support, finding it was necessary to bypass their enemies forward lines and complete an encirclement before heavy fighting began. By beginning their attacks at night and only when in close proximity to their targets, they rendered the UN unable to use its artillery and air power without endangering its own troops. Air superiority is the dominance in the air power of one side air forces of another side during a military campaign. ...

...The Chinese generally attacked at night and tried to close in on a small troop position — generally a platoon — and then attacked it with local superiority in numbers. The usual method was to infiltrate small units, from a platoon of fifty men to a company of 200, split into separate detachments. While one team cut off the escape route of the Americans, the others struck both the front and the flanks in concerted assaults.


—Bevin Alexander, How Wars Are Won

See the “The Chinese Entry” section of the Korean War article for more details Combatants United Nations:  Republic of Korea,  Australia,  Belgium,  Luxembourg,  Canada,  Colombia,  Ethiopia,  France,  Greece,  Luxembourg,  Netherlands,  New Zealand,  Philippines,  South Africa,  Thailand,  Turkey,  United Kingdom,  United States Medical staff:  Denmark,  Australia,  Italy,  Norway,  Sweden Communist states:  Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,  Peoples Republic of China,  Soviet Union Commanders...


Vietnam

During the 1950s, the Viet Minh, under the command of General Vo Nguyen Giap, enjoying the advantage of superior numbers in artillery and manpower, successfully employed the massed infantry tactics against the entrenched French garrison at Dien Bien Phu. However, whether such organized assaults are human wave attacks is debatable. The Viet Minh (abbreviated from Việt Nam ộc Lập ồng Minh Hội, League for the Independence of Vietnam) was formed by Ho Ngoc Lam and Nguyen Hai Than in 1941 to seek independence for Vietnam from France. ... General Võ Nguyên Giáp (born circa 1912[1]) Vietnamese general and statesman. ... Combatants France, Vietnam (loyalist), Hmong mercenaries Vietnam (Viet Minh), Chinese consultants Commanders Christian de Castries, Pierre Langlais # Vo Nguyen Giap Strength As of March 13: 10,800[1] As of March 13: 48,000 combat personnel, 15,000 logistical support personnel[2] Casualties 2,293 dead, 5,195 wounded, 11...


During the Sino-Vietnamese War, Chinese armies employed a strategy of invading on a broad front, attacking simultaneously with multiple columns in order to hide the main thrusts of attack. The intention was to lure out the defending armies into the open field where they could be annihilated in battles of encirclement and attrition, where Chinese armies' numerical superiority would allow them to prevail. However, Vietnamese forces withdrew to a narrower and more easily defendable front, reducing Chinese freedom of maneuver and forcing them to launch large frontal assaults against enemy positions using artillery and infantry. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A military column is a formation of soldiers, marching together single file, one behind another. ... Encirclement is a military term for the situation when one sides force or target is isolated and surrounded by other sides forces. ... Attrition means wearing down by friction or grinding and may refer to the following. ...


Falklands War

Even today there are at times, even in the best trained and most modern of armies, where a direct unsupported infantry assaults of prepared positions may be needed. Although in no way approaching the massed attacks of previous conflicts, one such example was during the Battle of Goose Green by Lieutenant-Colonel H. Jones and members of 2 Para. Combatants United Kingdom Argentina Commanders Sir John Fieldhouse Sir John Woodward Margaret Thatcher Leopoldo Galtieri Mario Menéndez Casualties 258 killed [1] 777 wounded 59 taken prisoner 649 killed 1,068 wounded 11,313 taken prisoner The Falklands War (Spanish: ) was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom... Combatants United Kingdom Argentina Commanders Lt. ...


The British in the Falklands had very little in the way of supporting arms, and the fire and movement attack against the strong Argentine positions had broken down and had become stalled. Exposed and somewhat disorganized, the British faced the danger of being whittled away by Argentinian machine gun and mortar fire. Colonel Jones’s attack seized back the initiative from the enemy, inspired his comrades and broke the Argentinians psychologically. Motto: En Unión y Libertad (English: In Union and Liberty) Anthem: Himno Nacional Argentino Capital Buenos Aires 34°20′ S 58°30′ W Largest city Buenos Aires Official languages Spanish Government President Democratic Republic Néstor Kirchner Independence - May Revolution - Declared - Recognised from Spain May 25, 1810... A machine gun is a fully-automatic firearm that is capable of firing bullets in rapid succession. ... US soldier loading a M224 60-mm mortar. ...


Iran-Iraq War

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Human wave attacks were again rampant in the Iran-Iraq War. The Iranian Army was the primary user of these tactics, as it had the less technologically advanced (its advanced U.S. supplied equipment suffering from the U.S. arms embargo) and less well-trained forces (due to the fact that most military leaders of Iranian army either fled the country or were faced with imprisonment or execution after the 1979 revolution). In addition to the lack of military supplies the US, the Europeans, the Soviets and the complete Arab world (except Syria and Libya) were financially, militarily and diplomatically assisting Iraq in one way or another. Human wave attacks were utilized by Iranians as a last-ditch effort to recover and overtake the Iraqi military. In some cases these volunteers, many of them young teenagers, had very little military training. Combatants  Iran Iraq Commanders - Ruhollah Khomeini, - Abolhassan Banisadr, - Ali Shamkhani, - Mostafa Chamran† - Saddam Hussein, - Ali Hassan al-Majid Strength - 305,000 soldiers, - 500,000 Passdaran and Basij militia, - 1,000 tanks, - 1,000 armored vehicles, - 3,000 artillery pieces, - 450 aircraft, - 750 helicopters[1] - 190,000 soldiers, - 4,500 tanks... Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Combatants  Iran Iraq Commanders - Ruhollah Khomeini, - Abolhassan Banisadr, - Ali Shamkhani, - Mostafa Chamran† - Saddam Hussein, - Ali Hassan al-Majid Strength - 305,000 soldiers, - 500,000 Passdaran and Basij militia, - 1,000 tanks, - 1,000 armored vehicles, - 3,000 artillery pieces, - 450 aircraft, - 750 helicopters[1] - 190,000 soldiers, - 4,500 tanks... // Introduction The Iranian Army is the national army of Iran and called the Artesh. ...


Eritrean-Ethiopian War

The 1998-2000 border war between Eritrea and Ethiopia has been described as "combining First World War tactics, Korean war weaponry and Napoleonic field-hospital care"and throughout the conflict both sides were reported to have engaged in human wave attacks. Combatants Eritrea Ethiopia Commanders Sebhat Ephrem Samora Mohammed Yunis Casualties 19,000 (Eritrean opposition and state official count, backed with names and date of death in combat) More than 123,000 upto 155,000[1] The Eritrean-Ethiopian War took place from May 1998 to June 2000 between Ethiopia and...


Resurgent Taliban 2006

Taliban tactics in Afghanistan September 2006 would appear to have some of the hallmarks of human wave attacks, featuring massed attacks against prepared positions, with apparently little attempt to minimise casualties, and intense close-quarter fighting including bayonet charges. In the words of one source talking to The Daily Mail, "We're talking Waterloo stuff here." Armed Taliban in pickup truck in Herat, July 2001. ...


Countermeasures

Countermeasures to such attacks may involve extreme firepower superiority, generally of an organizationally or technologically superior nature.


Although the fire power of an individual smoothbore musket was very weak, being considered by most as being inferior in terms of accuracy, range and rate of fire to the English Longbow, the firepower of a military unit could be enhanced by organisation and fire discipline. Organisationally this involved breaking all actions into drills. Musket drill involved breaking the act of loading the musket into a series of individual actions which by dint of constant and repetetive practise became second nature. Actions which could be carried out even under the stress and pressure of enemy fire and the death of comrades. Repeated practise of formation drills similarly allowed commanders to be able to reliably move and deploy their troops. Self-yew English longbow, 6 ft 6 in long, 105 lbf draw force. ... Fire Discipline is a system of communication in the military, primarily the Artillery. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with parade (military). ... Muskets and bayonets aboard the frigate Grand Turk. ...


Fire discipline allowed commanders to maximise the firepower available to them. At its simplest this meant holding off firing the first volley until an enemy was well within effective range, a practise neatly encapsulated in the command "Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes!" (see Battle of Bunker Hill). Numerous places and things are named for this battle, see: Bunker Hill (disambiguation). ...


With three or more lines of defenders, individual ranks could stagger reloading and firing so that ideally there would always be one rank with weapons ready to fire. The British Army also evolves a system of volley firing by company and by platoon, with numbered companies or platoons in the battle line firing in turn. Look up company in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Platoon is a term from military science. ...


Even with the introduction of magazine rifles into British service, fire discipline remained, allowing officers to control and maximise the firepower available. Gravure of a 30-round STANAG 4179 magazine, originally designed for the AR-15/M16 series of rifles. ...


For when the enemy charge did arrive, Bayonet drill in the British Army also encouraged its soldiers to fight as units and not as individuals. The bayonet drill was introduced for the Battle of Culloden, in order to defeat the much vaunted Highland charge; it was not for a soldier to protect himself or to attack the enemy in front, but to stab into the unprotected side of the man attacking his neighbour, each man in the battle line relying on his comrades to defend him. The US Marine Corps OKC-3S Bayonet A bayonet (from French baïonnette) is a knife- or dagger-shaped weapon designed to fit on or over the muzzle of a rifle barrel or similar weapon. ... Combatants British Army Jacobite Forces Commanders William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender Strength ca. ... Moriers painting Culloden depicts the Highland Charge in 1745. ...


From the Peninsular War onwards, the British Army met the French columns with troops in lines utilizing the reverse slope defence. Where possible these lines were structured to allow the British to rake the sides of the oncoming French columns and not just the head of the column with fire. Two thirds of French casualties in the campaign however, were inflicted by the Spanish irregular forces using guerilla war techniques, rather then by the much vaunted "British line against French column" cliché. Combatants Spain United Kingdom Portugal French Empire The Peninsular War was a major conflict during the Napoleonic Wars, fought on the Iberian Peninsula by an alliance of Spain, Portugal, and Britain against the Napoleonic French Empire. ... The Line Formation was a standard tactical formation used throughout history. ... A reverse slope defence is a positioning technique characterised by the location of defensive forces on a slope of a hill, ridge, or mountain that descends away from the enemy. ... French frigate Poursuivante firing raking fire in enfilade on a British ship of line French frigate Aréthuse and English frigate Amélia exchanging defilade fire on the shores of Guinea, the 7th of February 1813 Enfilade and defilade are military tactical concepts used to describe a fighting units... are you looking for the political definition of guerilla war? Guerilla War is a video game by SNK. It is an overhead shooter. ...


In the Anglo-Zulu War, the British Army used machine guns and organized rifle volleys to great effect against superior numbers of opposing forces armed only with primitive weapons and a few guns. Combatants United Kingdom Zulu Nation Commanders Sir Bartle Frere, Frederick Augustus Thesiger, 2nd Baron Chelmsford Cetshwayo Strength 14,800 (6,400 Europeans 8,400 Africans) 40,000 Casualties 1,727 killed, 256 wounded 8,250+ killed, 3,000+ wounded The Anglo-Zulu War was fought in 1879 between the United... A machine gun is a fully-automatic firearm that is capable of firing bullets in rapid succession. ... It has been suggested that Break action be merged into this article or section. ...


In the wars from the end of the Napoléonic Wars leading up to the First World War, field fortifications became increasingly important. Long a feature of sieges both in the attack and the defence, field fortifications from the quick and humble foxhole and shell scrape, to the complex Hindenberg Line became a routine practice to all sides in the Great War. There are many types of defensive fighting positions (DFPs), more commonly known in U.S. military slang as foxholes. ... The Hindenburg Line was a vast system of defences in Northern France constructed by the Germans during the winter of 1916–17 during World War I; the Germans called it the Siegfried Line. ...


Conventional tactics

The term can perhaps best be understood when contrasted with other types of deliberate attacks against well-defended points. In general, attacking forces will attempt to weaken the defender through the use of artillery or close air support before or while launching an infantry attack. Artillery with Gabion fortification Cannons on display at Fort Point Continental Artillery crew from the American Revolution Firing of an 18-pound gun, Louis-Philippe Crepin, (1772 – 1851) A forge-welded Iron Cannon in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. ...


In the modern battlefield, individual soldiers maneuver as individuals and as part of very small teams using "Fire and Movement" with a high degree of initiative. Their leaders have communications with supporting arms. In effect, all infantrymen are skirmishers, and there is no need for human-wave attacks except in armies based on conscription, in which training, tactics, and regard for the soldiers' lives is very low. The infantry attack may be more successful when combined with other supporting arms such as tank support, infiltration tactics, night attacks, flanking attacks, and so forth. All of these alternative tactics require some skill in planning and great skill in execution, since disparate units and weapons must be used in a coordinated manner. Often, human-wave attacks are the unplanned result of a poorly-executed conventional attack. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Infantry Minor Tactics. ... See: espionage, urban exploration, entryism, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. ...


References

  • The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Army, David Chandler (General Editor), OUP, 1994 edition.
  • The Decisive Battles of the Western World 1792-1944, by J.F.C. Fuller, abridged and revised edition 1970 published by Paladin.
  • The Somme 1916, Crucible of a British Army, by Michael Chappell, W&G, 1995.
  • The Western Front, by Malcolm Brown, published by The Imperial War Museum,1993.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Human wave attack - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3984 words)
Human wave attack is a military term describing a type of assault performed by infantry units, in which soldiers attack in successive line formations, often in dense groups, generally without the support of other arms or with any sophistication in the tactics used.
In a human wave attack there is no attempt to minimize casualties; on the contrary, part of the tactic involves presenting the defender with the shock value of overwhelming numbers of attackers.
What we today call “human wave” tactics were in fact the main tactic used by infantry on the attack prior to the development of modern skirmisher tactics during the Napoléonic Wars.
Human wave attack (138 words)
Human wave attack is a military term describing a type of assault performed by infantry units in which soldiers attack in successive line formations.
Such attacks are common in all poorly equipped armies, or where the objective is of strategic importance.
The Viet Minh, under the command of General Giap, successfully used the human wave attack method against the entrenched French garrison at Dien Bien Phu (Vietnam), shocking the French government into seeking an end to the conflict in Indochina.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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