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10 Most Popular Military Terms

Military Term DefinitionViews
To counter-attack by fire
(Mission/task Verb) Fires (direct and indirect) employed to destroy the enemy from a distance, normally used when the mission does not dictate or support occupation of the objective. This task is usually given to the supporting element during the offensive (see also support by fire position) and as a counter-attack option for the reserve during defensive operations. An attack by fire is not done in conjunction with a manoeuvring force. When given this task, the intent of the fires must be specified.
To Attack by fire position
(Mission/task Verb) Fires employed to destroy the enemy from a distance, normally used when the mission does not dictate or support occupation of the objective. This task is usually given to the supporting element during the offensive and as a counter-attack option for the reserve during defensive operations.
To follow and support
(Mission/task Verb) An operation in which a committed force follows and supports the mission accomplishment of a force conducting an offensive operation. Such a force is not a reserve but is committed to accomplish any or all of these tasks: destroy bypassed units, relieve in place any direct pressure or encircling force that has halted to contain the enemy; block movement of enemy reinforcements; secure lines of communications; guard prisoners, key areas, and installations; secure key terrain; and control refugees.
To cover - Security
(Mission/task Verb) Covering Force: A force operating apart from the main force for the purpose of intercepting, delaying, disorganizing, and deceiving the enemy before he can attack the force covered. Any body or detachment of troops which provides security for a larger force by observation, reconnaissance, attack, or defense, or by any combination of these methods.
To follow and assume
(Mission/task Verb) An operation in which a committed force follows a force conducting offensive operations and is prepared to continue the mission of the force it is following when that force is fixed, attrited, or otherwise unable to continue. Such a force is not a reserve but is committed to accomplish specified tasks.
To guard: Given to a a security element whose primary task is to protect the main force by fighting to gain time, while also observing and reporting information.
To withdraw under pressure
(Mission/task Verb) Most often used within a mobile defense concept of operations, this task verb is used for units within the main defensive area and is designed to deceive the enemy into believing he is gaining success. Ultimately, the effect of this task is position the enemy for destruction, shaping him into a specific piece of terrain (normally a killing zone) within the MDA.
To counter-attack
(Mission/task Verb) Attack by a part or all of a defending force against an enemy attacking force, for such specific purposes as regaining ground lost or cutting off or destroying enemy advance units, and with the general objective of denying to the enemy the attainment of his purpose in attacking. In sustained defensive operations, it is undertaken to restore the battle position and is directed at limited objectives.
To support by fire position
(Mission/task Verb) Given to a manoeuvre element, it moves to a position on the battlefield where it can engage the enemy by direct fire. The manoeuvre element does not attempt to manoeuvre to capture enemy forces or terrain.
Military Occupation Code. Expressed as a 2 digit (officer) or a 3 digit (NCM) number.
To disrupt
(Mission/task Verb) A tactical task or obstacle effect (that integrates fire planning and obstacle effort) that breaks apart an enemy's formation and tempo, interrupts the enemy's time table, causes premature commitment of forces, and/or splinters their attack.

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Today in Military History

February 26


The troopship HMS Birkenhead was en route to Cape Town when it hit an uncharted rock during the night, about 3 miles off the South African shore, near Danger Point. The ship is believed to have had 638 passengers and crew aboard including 476 soldiers from a number of different regiments of the British Army, on their way to reinforce the garrison in the Cape Colony, but also 7 women and 13 children. The rock tore open the hull, and about 100 soldiers asleep below were drowned drowned immediately. Everyone else mustered on deck, where it was clear the ship was sinking quickly. Only three lifeboats could be used; all the women and children were placed in these, with a few crew to man them.  The senior army officer aboard, Lieutenant Colonel Seton of the 74th Foot, drew the soldiers up on parade on the deck, and emphasised the need for absolute discipline if the lifeboats were not to be swamped.  Some cavalry horses aboard were freed and driven into the sea in the hope that they might be able to swim themselves ashore.  The soldiers stood firm, even as a mast crashed down around them and the ship split in two.  She sank in less than 25 minutes.  Only 193 people survived the ordeal - although the weather was excellent, sharks claimed many of the men in the water, as well as most of the horses.  The tradition of "Women and children first" is popularly ascribed to have its roots in this incident.


The Kano-Sokoto expedition was mounted to extend British rule thoughout the northern territories of Nigeria, and in particular to suppress the slave trade. On 26 February, a small party of 45 locally recruited soldiers from the Northern Nigerian Regiment, commanded by Lieutenant Wright, were attacked by no less than 3,000 tribesmen, including 1,000 cavalry. For two hours, the soldiers beat back repeated attacks, until eventually the tribesmen started to withdraw in good order. Lieutenant Wright then led his men forward in a charge, and succeeded in turning the withdrawal into a rout. He was awarded the Victoria Cross.


During the continuing efforts of the Franco-British naval force at the Dardanelles to destroy the Turkish coastal defences, a small party of seamen was landed under the command of Lieutenant Commander Robinson, to demolish a battery at Kum Kale. They were met with heavy fire, and Robinson feared that the men's white uniforms made them too easy a target. He therefore ordered them to remain under cover, and went forward alone. Despite the enemy fire, he succeeded in reaching a gun whose crew had fled, and laid a demolition charge. That gun destroyed, he returned to his men, collected a further supply of explosives, and returned alone to destroy a second position. He subsequently played a leading role in four operations to clear minefields in the straits, and was awarded the Victoria Cross.


Although the Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen had succeeded in escaping from Brest to Germany in the Channel Dash, they remained priority targets. Gneisenau was spotted by reconnaissance aircraft in drydock in Kiel, undergoing repairs to the damage inflicted by a mine during the dash. 49 Bomber Command Wellington, Hampden and Halifax aircraft attacked, and a direct hit was scored on the battlecruiser, in the bows, killing 116 crew and causing such severe damage that she never returned to service. Three bombers failed to return.


THE HOCHWALD, efective dates for battle honour begin (to 4 Mar 45)


VC won by Sgt Aubrey Cosens, The Queens Own Rifles of Canada, Mooshof, Germany (posthumous)


Ottawa Ontario - Ottawa starts program to raise Francophone numbers in the Canadian Armed Forces to at least 28%.

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