Test Your Knowledge: Offensive Military Tactics

MILITARY

Staff

5 Min Quiz

Strategic bombing offensives were a hallmark of which conflict?

Thousands of bombers dropped millions of bombs on both sides, causing widespread devastation.

Advertisement

For many years, cavalry forces were used to defend against and also mount what kind of attacks?

They were swift enough to ward off flanking attacks or to execute them against an enemy's lines.

Advertisement

If you have small, mobile force gathered against a much larger force, you may need to use which tactics?

Using superior mobility to attack and then evade has helped many outmanned forces defeat larger (but slower) enemies.

Advertisement

What's a fundamental first step towards successful offensive tactics?

Unless all units know where they need to go and what they're trying to accomplish, its hard to launch a successful offensive.

Advertisement

What kind of units participate in a human wave attack?

It's a type of frontal assault in which soldiers basically charge enemy lines.

Advertisement

In past wars, cavalry charges could be used to break what kind of defensive formation?

The speed and power of mounted soldiers could shatter an enemy's lines and cause chaos.

Advertisement

The German blitzkrieg relied on concentrated force paired with what other element?

The potent combination of power and speed was very effective in WWII.

Advertisement

What kind of attack is generally a last resort for a field commander?

A frontal assault means the attacks will be subjected to the defense's strongest points.

Advertisement

When unit members walk in a zigzag pattern on a road, they are using which formation?

This formation prevents more than one solider being hit by fire and also maximizes retaliatory firepower.

Advertisement

Which maneuver is designed to draw defending forces to a particular area?

Make the enemy commit more forces to one spot and then execute the real attack in another spot.

Advertisement

What is always the primary objective of offensive military tactics?

If you can simply destroy them, you don't have to think much about secondary objectives.

Advertisement

What is NOT a purpose of raiding?

Raiders strike and then flee back to friendly lines before the defenders can pursue them.

Advertisement

What is a "coup de main?"

A fast, direct attack on an unsuspecting enemy can be effective in the right circumstances.

Advertisement

Offensive tactics can help the attacker secure what?

A successful attack can give you the ability to dictate the terms of battle for days or months.

Advertisement

Banzai attacks were fairly common during which war?

Japanese infantry would charge Allied lines, often at tremendous cost to their own units.

Advertisement

What is a hallmark of a salient during a battle?

The troops are typically surrounded on three sides and vulnerable to counter attacks.

Advertisement

The offensive tactic called "shock and awe" was first widely publicized during which conflict?

It involves using overwhelming firepower to pound an enemy into submission.

Advertisement

What is a primary challenge for forces that attempt to encircle enemy units?

Encirclement tends to strain supply lines for the attackers and may make it harder for them to finish the offensive.

Advertisement

If your attack at one part of an enemy's lines fails, you should do what?

Use an indirect attack to throw your enemy off balance.

Advertisement

Attrition is a key component of which offensive tactic?

If a siege is executed properly, the defenders will surrender without a fight.

Advertisement

What is the SECOND stage of a penetration attack?

Following a direct attack, the attackers must clean up the rear of the enemy to prevent effective counter attacks.

Advertisement

What is strategic flanking?

This kind of flanking might involve an entire army.

Advertisement

Napoleon often used which kind of offensive strategy to beat down his opponents?

The idea was to destroy an enemy's army in one major battle and bring a country to its knees.

Advertisement

A feint retreat may accomplish which feat?

Fake retreats may cause all sorts of havoc for attackers that give chase.

Advertisement

Futile frontal assaults were a hallmark of which war?

Soldiers ran headlong into fortified machine guns and were mowed down by the thousands.

Advertisement

Which tactic involves attacking an enemy from the rear?

By flanking, an attacker avoids the concentrated power of a defender's central position

Advertisement

A scorpion attack is a pincer attack that is by assisted by what kind of force?

Woe to the enemy that finds itself being attacked from all sides and also from the skies.

Advertisement

What's one reason you may want to choose NOT to completely encircle an enemy force?

Cornering desperate soldiers makes them fight even harder.

Advertisement

What is a key component of a pincer ambush?

The enemy moves into the jaws of your pincer formation and then the ambush is initiated.

Advertisement

What's one purpose of a turning maneuver?

These indirect attacks swing far around the enemy's main lines and threatens their flanks.

Advertisement

Explore More Quizzes

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

War calls for field commanders to take the fight to their enemies. How much do you know about offensive military tactics? Test your knowledge by taking this quiz!

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!