a system of roads (excluding railroads) in the theater of military operations and outside its limits, used for military purposes. Military roads constitute the basis of military communication and have strategic, operational, and tactical significance. Strategic military roads include highways and improved roadways that provide contact between the theater of military operations and the rear areas of the country; operational military roads include roads for military vehicles built in the rear areas of the front; and tactical roads include all military roads built in the rear areas of forces and of troop concentrations or positions.
Existing roads may be used as military roads. In areas where there are not enough existing roads, military road crews build new ones or crews of military engineers lay cross-country tracks. A road headquarters and service crew are established at the military roads to patrol during the trans-port of troops, to guard and defend the basic roadway structures, and to keep the roads passable. Alternate and duplicate crossings over waterways are prepared, and, in places where roads cross highways on overpasses, viaducts are built; sharp curves are made less sharp and steep climbs and descents are made gentler; detours are set up around heavily populated areas.
Military roads have played an important role in military operations since ancient times. They have been especially significant since World War I (1914-18), when motor vehicle transport was first used for military purposes, thus increasing the importance of roads. The use of motor vehicles and the need to supply troops with various types of military technical equipment and to transport large mechanized units long distances have added to the operational and strategic importance of military roads. In modern times, military roads are a decisive factor in the success of large-scale maneuver and the increase of movement capability of troops.
G. F. SAMOILOVICH