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 ?
More than 15,000 people -- around 10% of the island's population -- are estimated to have died during the war between the Papua New Guinea Defense Force and secessionists, due in part to a military blockade preventing essential medicine and food from reaching Bougainville, which lies 1,200 km east of the capital Port Moresby.
In addition, according to a UN economist, a military blockade isolating each Palestinian town and village from the other in the occupied territories has caused a 13 percent decline in the Palestinians' GDP and a 50 percent increase in their unemployment and poverty levels.
The majority of the nearly two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are sealed inside the coastal enclave due to the continuation of the military blockade imposed by Israel and upheld by Egypt on the southern border.
Force continue to impose a tight military blockade on Hebron for almost two weeks now.
They added that Hezbollah has deployed some of its units in the rugged mountainous areas opposite the militants' positions as a kind of a military blockade.
What if Palestinians imposed a military blockade on Israel?
The Inquirer received information on Sunday that Malik had slipped through the military blockade on the coast and was already in Kanmindos village in Luuk town, Sulu province.
The Cabinet appealed to the international community to address the Israeli illegal practices which violate the international law and UN resolutions, emphasizing the need to stop all actions aimed at Judaization of Al-Quds and end the economic and military blockade against the Palestinians.
In terms of local forces and unknown to the United States, 158 Soviet nuclear warheads of five types were already in Cuba by the time the military blockade was imposed on October 24th.
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.
The US ship will bring over 3,000 letters of support to a population suffering its fifth continuous decade of de facto occupation, now in the form of a military blockade controlling Gaza's sea and sky, punctuated by frequent deadly military incursions, that has starved Gaza's economy and people to the exact level of cruelty considered acceptable to the domestic population of our own United States, Israel's staunchest ally.
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.