Tactics 101: 024 – The Attack of a Built Up Area
FORMS OF MANEUVER IN URBAN OPERATIONS
We discussed the basic forms of offensive maneuver in our May 2007 article of the series entitled, “The Basics of the Offense.” These forms: envelopment, turning movement, infiltration, penetration, and frontal attack apply in urban operations just as they do in any environment. We will not go into great detail on each form (that is a plug to read the past article!), but will describe the nuances of each as they pertain to attacking a built-up area.
Envelopment – Since the key to defeating a defending enemy is isolating them; the envelopment is a perfect form of maneuver to accomplish this. Of course, like everything in tactics this is easier said than done! The key of course is being able to maneuver quickly enough through potential difficult urban terrain to accomplish the envelopment. With the envelopment forces in place, you can use another force to attack the enemy from another location.
Turning Movement – In the turning movement, we are looking at seizing key lines of communication to the rear of the enemy. It is hoped that this maneuver will threaten the enemy both mentally and physically to move from their defensive positions. Once the enemy departs, friendly forces move to occupy the built-up area and can attempt to attack the fleeing enemy.
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