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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 maneuvering 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
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.