Geography, Military

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Geography, Military


the study of current military-political, military-economic, and physical-geographic conditions and the analysis of the operational organization of possible land and sea theaters of military actions and of particular strategic regions and countries, as well as of the influence of these factors on preparation for and conduct of military actions.

Military-political and military-economic conditions include the military blocs and alliances and their political directions, the primary centers of political tension, the foreign and domestic policy of states, political parties, the population and its political condition and morale, mobilization and labor resources, the economic condition and military-economic potential of particular countries and coalitions of states, the primary power and industrial centers of strategic and operational importance and their vulnerability, the degree of dependence of production on the import of strategic materials, and the possibilities for use of local resources (food, building materials, and means of transportation) and repair of combat equipment and weapons on the spot.

Physical-geographic conditions are investigated in order to learn their influence on the concentration, movement, and deployment of troops and on maneuverability; to determine possibilities for creating floods, destruction, and fires; and to establish the defense of directions and regions most advantageous for use by combat arms and equipment. During study of the operational organization of a territory (missile sites, airfields, navy bases, ports, fortifications, various obstacles, lines of communication, storage areas), the possibilities of stationing large units of the various armed services and the conditions for their logistic supply are determined. The armed forces of other countries are studied from the point of view of determining size, structure, technical equipment, principles of army composition, and the morale and fighting qualities of the personnel.

As a military discipline military geography includes general principles and the military geography of particular countries and theaters of military actions. Sea and ocean theaters are studied by naval geography, which investigates the conditions indicated above in the interest of using naval forces and means.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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