Military tactics

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Military tactics is the collective name for methods of engaging and defeating an enemy in battle. Through time, military tactics have changed much under the influence of philosophy and technology.

Up until the 19th century, much of military tactics was confined to battlefield tactics, concerned with manouvering units in battle in open terrain. In current military thought, tactics is the operational application of forces to a situation. This is different from military strategy, which is more concerned with long term results.

Specialized tactics exist for many situations, from situations as small as securing a room to large scale operations such as establishing air superiority in aircraft carrier battles. Today, military tactics are employed on all levels of command, from individual and group up to entire armed forces. Indeed, the units used in warfare have always been a reflection of current military tactics, and their size and composition have varied accordingly.

Common military tactics include frontal assaults, attempts to flank the enemy, keeping troops in reserve and the use of ambushes. Often deception in the form of camouflage, or misdirection using decoys, are used to confuse the enemy.

See also: Naval warfare tactics, Military history, War and Weapon