(from French, place d’armes, “troop assembly area”).
(1) Area of concentration. An area in one’s own or another state used to prepare for an invasion of another state; a base for the concentration and deployment of armed forces. There are strategic and operational areas of concentration.
(2) Bridgehead. A sector of the terrain captured by advancing troops in forcing a water barrier or held by retreating troops on the opposite bank of the barrier. In the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, the Oranienbaum bridgehead near Leningrad and the Bukra and Liutezh bridgeheads captured by Soviet troops on the Dnieper and the Pulawy, Magnuszew, and Sandomierz bridgeheads on the Vistula played an important role by permitting the concentration of troop groupings for subsequent offensive operations.
(3) Beachhead. A sector of a coast captured during a landing operation to secure the landing and deployment of the main forces of a naval landing party, such as the beachheads captured by Soviet troops near Novorossiisk and Kerch’ in 1943.