How Well Do You Know Offensive Military Tactics?

By: Staff

About This Quiz

Are you a student of war? Do you think you know every military tactic in the book? Take this quiz to find out if you really know as much as you think you do.

So, who was Sun Tzu? He was a military strategist, philosopher, and general who lived in ancient China. Sun Tzu wrote "The Art of War" in the 5th century BC. The book is short, only 13 chapters, and it is Sun Tzu's version of how to apply military tactics and strategies to warfare. 

Throughout the centuries, though, Sun Tzu's work has been applied to more than warfare. The strategies and tactics described in the book are now being applied to business, law, and even life in general.

Interesting, right? Of course, this quiz isn't only about Sun Tzu and his military prowess. We've compiled 35 of the most commonly used offensive military tactics that have been used since the beginning of warfare. 

Do you think you know enough about how to apply offensive military tactics to the battlefield to identify each one or are you better suited for a game of Risk than actual combat?

Take this quiz if you're ready to prove your knowledge of offensive military tactics.

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.

What kind of units participate in a human wave attack?

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

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.

Strategic bombing offensives were a hallmark of which conflict?

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

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

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

Banzai attacks were fairly common during which war?

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

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.

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.

What is a "coup de main?"

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Which tactic involves attacking an enemy from the rear?

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

What's one purpose of a turning maneuver?

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

What is strategic flanking?

This kind of flanking might involve an entire army.

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.

What is NOT a purpose of raiding?

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

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.

Futile frontal assaults were a hallmark of which war?

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

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.

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.

A feint retreat may accomplish which feat?

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

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.

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.

Attrition is a key component of which offensive tactic?

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

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

Cornering desperate soldiers makes them fight even harder.

What is a hallmark of a salient during a battle?

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

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.

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.

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