Show Menu

Eight Classical Warfare Maneuvers Cheat Sheet by

Eight Classical Warfare Maneuvers
warfare     tactics     classical     maneuvers


Military tactics are the science and art of organizing a military force, and the techniques for combining and using weapons and military units to engage and defeat an enemy in battle. Changes in philosophy and technology have been reflected in changes to military tactics. In contem­porary military science, tactics are the lowest of three planning levels: (i) strategic, (ii) operat­ional, and (iii) tactical. The highest level of planning is strategy: how force is translated into political objectives by bridging the means and ends of war. The interm­ediate level, operat­ional, the conversion of strategy into tactics, deals with formations of units. In the vernac­ular, tactical decisions are those made to achieve the greatest immediate value; strategic decisions are those made to achieve the greatest overall value, irresp­ective of the immediate results of a tactical decision

1. Penetr­ation of the Center

This involves the creation of a gap in the enemy line and its exploi­tation. Two ways of accomp­lishing this Separating Enemy Forces and

a. using a reserve to exploit the gap that forms between them or
b. having fast, elite forces smash at a specific point in the enemy line (an enemy weak spot or an area where your elites are at their best in striking power) and,

While reserves and holding forces hold your opponent, drive quickly and immedi­ately for the enemy's command or base (i.e., blitzk­rieg).
Battle of Chaeronea (338 BC), the first recorded use of the penetr­ation of the center

2. Attack from a defensive position:

Establ­ishing a strong defensive position from which to defend and attack your opponent. However, the defensive can become too passive and result in ultimate defeat
e.g., Siege of Alesia and the Battle of the Granicus.

3. Single Envelo­pment

A strong flank beating its opponent opposite and, with the aid of holding attacks, attack an opponent in the rear. Sometimes, the establ­ishment of a strong, hidden force behind a weak flank will prevent your opponent from carrying out their own single envelo­pment.
e.g. Battle of Rocroi.

4. Double envelo­pment

Both flanks defeat their opponent opposite and launch a rear attack on the enemy center.
Its most noted use was Hannibal's tactical master­piece, the Battle of Cannae and was frequently used by the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front of World War II.

Basic Tactics

5. Attack in oblique order

This involves placing your flanks in a slanted fashion (refusing one's flank) or giving a vast part of your force to a single flank . The latter can be disast­rous, however, due to the imbalance of force.
e.g., Battle of Leuthen

6. Feigned Retreat

Having a frontal force fake a retreat, drawing the opponent in pursuit and then launching an assault with strong force held in reserve. However, a feigned retreat may devolve into a real one, such as in the Battle of Grunwald.
e.g. Battle of Maling and the Battle of Hastings

7. Indirect Approach

Having a minority of your force demons­trate in front of your opponent while the majority of your force advance from a hidden area and attack the enemy in the rear or flank.
e.g., Battle of Chance­llo­rsville

8. Crossing the "­T"

A classic naval maneuver which maximizes one side's offensive firepower while minimizing that of the opposing force.

Download the Eight Classical Warfare Maneuvers Cheat Sheet

2 Pages

PDF (recommended)

Alternative Downloads

Share This Cheat Sheet!



No comments yet. Add yours below!

Add a Comment

Your Comment

Please enter your name.

    Please enter your email address

      Please enter your Comment.

          Related Cheat Sheets

          Common Negotiation Tactics Cheat Sheet

          More Cheat Sheets by Davidpol