Offensive (military) | Wikipedia audio article


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’. The offensive was considered a pre-eminent
means of producing victory, although with the recognition of a defensive phase at some
stage of the execution.A quick guide to the size or scope of the offensive is to consider
the number of troops involved in the side initiating the offensive. Offensives are largely conducted as a means
to secure initiative in a confrontation between opponents. They can be waged on land, at sea or in the
air. Naval offensives, such as the Japanese attack
on Pearl Harbor, can have wide-ranging implications for national strategies, and require significant
logistical commitment to destroy enemy naval capabilities. It can also be used to interdict enemy shipping,
such as World War II’s Battle of the Atlantic. Naval offensives can also be tactical in nature,
such as Operation Coronado IX conducted by the United States Navy’s Mobile Riverine Force
during the Vietnam War. An air offensive is an operation that can
describe any number of different types of operations, usually restricted to specific
types of aircraft. The offensives conducted with use of fighter
aircraft are predominantly concerned with establishing air superiority in a given air
space, or over a given territory. A bomber offensive is sometimes also known
as a strategic bombing offensive and was prominently used by the Allies on a large scale during
World War II. Use of ground attack aircraft in support of
ground offensives can be said to be an air offensive, such as that performed in the opening
phase of the Red Army’s Operations Kutuzov and Rumyantsev, when hundreds of Il-2 aircraft
were used en masse to overwhelm the Wehrmacht’s ground troops.==Theatre offensive==
A theatre offensive can be a war and a dominant feature of a national security policy, or
one of several components of a war if a country is involved in several theatres such as the
United Kingdom in 1941. In general theatre offensives require over
250,000 troops to be committed to combat operations, including combined planning for different
arms and services of the armed forces, such as for example air defence troops integrated
into the overall plan for ground operations.==Strategic offensive==
A strategic offensive is often a campaign, and would involve use of over 100,000 troops
as part of a general Strategy of the conflict in a given theatre. For example, the Operation Barbarossa was
a theatre offensive composed of three distinct and inter-related campaigns in the Southern,
Central and Northern parts of USSR territory. Soviet strategic offensive operations during
World War II often involved multi-front coordinated operations. Along with the Wehrmacht operations on the
Eastern Front of World War II, these were the largest military operations of the twentieth
century. Strategic operations of the Red Army in World
War II provides a listing of large-scale Soviet operations. A strategic offensive is the aggressive expression
of war planning and use of strategic forces as a whole, combining all resources available
for achieving defined and definitive goals that would fundamentally alter the balance
of power between belligerents. However, the planning and execution of strategic
offensives are always based on theoretical considerations because it is impractical,
uneconomic and difficult to hide a full-scale rehearsal of large-scale operations. A strategic offensive consists of simultaneous,
tandem or phased operational offensives that seek to achieve specific operational objectives
that eventually lead to the achievement of a strategic goal, usually a complete defeat
of the opposition, but also destruction of a significant enemy force or occupation of
strategically significant territory, such as the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation.Any
given strategic offensive is a derivative of a combination of factors such as national
military doctrine, past military experience, and analysis of socio-political, economic
and military circumstances.==An offensive==
An offensive is a conduct of combat operations that seek to achieve only some of the objectives
of the strategy being pursued in the theatre as a whole. Commonly an offensive is carried out by one
or more divisions, numbering between 10–30,000 troops as part of a combined arms manoeuvre.==See also==The best defense is a good offense
Charm offensive Military operation
Offensive jihad Pre-dawn raid
Charge (warfare

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