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rolling barrage[′rōl·iŋ bə′räzh]
a solid curtain of fire on one (conventional rolling barrage) or simultaneously on two (double rolling barrage) lines before the front of attacking friendly troops, moving consistently in front of them as they advance.
The depth of the rolling barrage (which varies in range up to 3 km) and its type are determined by the nature of the enemy defense, terrain conditions, and the amount of artillery and ammunition of the attacking forces. The Soviet armed forces first employed a conventional rolling barrage on Jan. 10, 1943, while mopping up a surrounded enemy grouping during the battle of Stalingrad of 1942–43. Double rolling barrages were used for artillery support in infantry and tank attacks during numerous operations in 1944–45.
a type of fire by ground artillery, usually used on the defensive to repulse an attack by enemy infantry and tanks.
The rolling barrage involves establishing a curtain of very dense fire along certain lines, usually observable, which are located on the most important axes of enemy movement. The distance between lines is 400–600 m and more. The closest line is 200–400 m away from friendly troops, and for rocket-launching artillery at least 1,000 m. The width of the rolling-barrage sector is figured at 50 m per gun or mortar. Fire is opened up when the lead enemy tanks reach an assigned line and is continued until most of the tanks exit from the impact area. At this point, fire is moved to the next line. The rolling barrage was used extensively in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45.