Military Blockade

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Military Blockade


a special form of military action whose aim is to isolate an enemy objective and disrupt all forms of communications an enemy has with the outside. Individual countries, their armed forces, large groups of forces in theaters of war, points of strategic and operational significance with military garrisons, islands, straits, bays, naval bases, ports, heavily fortified areas, and cities can be the objectives of military blockades. A military blockade prevents or reduces to a minimum the approach of reinforcements, delivery of military equipment, the means of logistical support, and the evacuation of valuables. It helps create conditions under which the enemy can be routed rapidly or forced to surrender.

Many instances of military blockades are known in history. Sometimes they were broad in scope, such as the Continental Blockade that Napoleon implemented against England in the early 19th century, Germany’s naval blockade of Great Britain, and the blockade of Germany by its enemies during World War I (1914–18).

Depending on the forces and means employed, a military blockade may be a land, air, naval, or mixed blockade—that is, land and air, air and sea, or land, air, and sea. In World War II military blockades were, as a rule, mixed. In terms of the missions to be accomplished and of the scope of action, a military blockade may be strategic, operational, or tactical. A land blockade is carried out by means of ground troops in cooperation with air force and antiaircraft troops (for example, the blockade of fascist German troops by Soviet forces near Stalingrad in 1942–43, in Budapest in 1944, and in Vienna and Breslau in 1945). A striking example of a mixed military blockade (land, air, and sea) that did not achieve its aim is the blockade of Leningrad by fascist German troops in 1941–43; despite extraordinary difficulties, Soviet troops held out and then broke through, inflicting a great defeat on the enemy. As a rule, an air blockade is in part a land and sea blockade; it is called an air blockade if the decisive role belongs to the air force. An air blockade is carried out by means of the air force and antiaircraft defense troops. Its aim is to cut or reduce to a minimum the blockaded objective’s external communications by air, and it accomplishes this goal by destroying the enemy’s planes, both in the air and on the airfields where they take off or land. A naval blockade is carried out through actions by the fleet—that is, by surface ships, submarines, and aircraft from aircraft carriers and bases; by the planting of mines in the vicinity of ports, naval bases, and on sea (oceanic) lines of communication; and by the destruction of all the enemy’s ships on the seas and at bases and of its aircraft in the air and at airfields. A naval blockade may be close, or tight, when the blockaded party leaves its base and unavoidably makes combat contact with the blockading forces; it is distant, or broad, when the enemy in a certain zone makes crossings and conducts combat action without making combat contact with the blockade forces.

References in periodicals archive ?
Without a military blockade, "the traffickers will continue to operate and make money and the wretched will continue to die," said Pier Fernando Casini, the Senate foreign affairs commission president.
What if Palestinians imposed a military blockade on Israel?
Al-Quds featured an Israeli NGO report revealing that Israeli authorities set a 'red line' of minimum food needs for the Gaza Strip so that a punitive military blockade would not cause malnutrition.
Last year, the IFJ condemned the brutal attacks on civilians, including journalists, by Israeli forces in the assault on a flotilla that tried to breach the military blockade of the Gaza coastline in Palestine.
GENEVA: Israel must lift its military blockade of the Gaza Strip and invite an independent, fact-finding mission to investigate its raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, a United Nations rights body said on Friday.
Friday's rocket attack and military strikes also came amid a demand from the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva that Israel lift its military blockade of Gaza andndash; imposed since Hamas seized power there in June 2007 andndash; and let an independent fact-finding mission investigate its raid on an aid flotilla on May 31 in which nine activists were killed by Israeli soldiers.
Mr Cowen also demanded that one of the last boats in the Gaza mission, the Irish vessel the MV Rachel Corrie, is given safe passage through the military blockade of the territory.
In November 2006, long before Gaza Strip came under the control of the Islamic movement Hamas, which is cited as the casus belli for the Israeli latest three-week bloody and destructive war on Gaza as well as for the nine-year old Israeli military blockade of 1.
Israel eases its military blockade on parts of the West Bank, with the Army withdrawing from Jenin and parts of Ramallah.
Driven by obsession, he struggles to get to this meeting place, overcoming a massive secret military blockade and rough terrain along the way.
The suit claims the company engaged in a joint venture with the PNG government to maintain a copper mine on the island, which resulted in international environmental violations and crimes against humanity stemming from a military blockade motivated by civilian resistance to the mine.
It is a known fact that the kidnappers' presence on Arsal's outskirts is governed by the changing weather amid the military blockade imposed on them by the Lebanese Army from four directions.