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a troop maneuver carried out to strike blows at one or both flanks of the enemy.
Envelopment is employed in a meeting engagement, in an offensive against an enemy who is on the defensive or is retreating, and in counterattacks while defending. The maneuver is initiated only if there are open flanks and gaps in the battle formations of the enemy. If there are none of these, it is carried out after the continuous front of the defense is broken through. Envelopment is carried out in close coordination of both fire and tactics with the troops attacking from the front. Envelopment differs from a turning movement in that the latter is carried out in greater depth. In the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), Soviet troops widely and successfully employed envelopment in combination with a turning movement, which made it possible to encircle the enemy troops.