Infantry Drills

2-13: Envelopment

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2-13. Envelopment is a form of maneuver in which an attacking force seeks to avoid the principal enemy defenses by seizing objectives behind those defenses allowing the targeted enemy force to be destroyed in their current positions. BCTs and above normally plan and conduct envelopments. At the tactical level, envelopments focus on seizing terrain, destroying specific enemy forces, and interdicting enemy withdrawal routes. The leader’s decisive operation focuses on attacking an assailable flank. It avoids the enemy’s strength at the front where the effects of fires and obstacles are greatest. Generally, the leader prefers to conduct envelopment instead of a penetration or frontal attack because the attacking force tends to suffer fewer casualties while having the most opportunities to destroy the enemy. Envelopment also produces great psychological shock on the enemy. If no assailable flank is available, the attacking force creates one. The four varieties of envelopment are single envelopment, double envelopment, encirclement, and vertical envelopment. (See figure 2-1.)

Figure 2-1. Envelopment

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Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad