August 8, 2022

An envelopment (surrounding) is a form of attack that attempts to maneuver forces against the enemy's vulnerable flanks or rear.


A siege is a form of attack directed at forces against the flanks and rear of the enemy, which are more vulnerable to other forms of attack, such as frontal assaults and charges, than against the enemy's front. Encirclement, in which forces are directed to the enemy's flanks, is more dangerous than frontal attacks, in which forces are concentrated in front, but has been practiced as an offensive method capable of inflicting decisive damage on the enemy. An envelopment can basically be divided into a single envelopment and a double envelopment. A single siege is an encirclement against one flank, one in which the main force attacks one of the enemy's flanks, as well as a detachment attack against the enemy's front. History of such sieges include the Battle of Leuctra, the Battle of Leuthen, and the Second Battle of Bull Run. A two-flank encirclement is a two-flank encirclement, a method of encirclement in which a detachment strikes the enemy's front and restrains him, while attacking the enemy's flanks with the main force from both wings. Successful sieges in history include the Battle of Marathon, the Battle of Cannae, the Battle of Zama, and the Battle of Cowpens.

See Also

Tactical - Maneuver - Defensive - Internal and External Operations


Bond, P. S., and E. H. Crounch. 1923. Tactics: the practical art of leading troops in war. Annapolis, Md.: New Military Library. Foertsch, H. 1940. The art of modern warfare. New York: Veritas Press. 1986. Field Manual 100-5: Operations. Washington, D.C.: Department of the Army.