flank(redirected from flank laparotomy)
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the right or left sides of a troop formation or deployment; also the sides of a combat, marching, or operational formation. In combat formation, the flank is more vulnerable than the front; if the enemy gains the flank, the troops become isolated from neighboring forces and communications with the rear may be cut off. For this reason, an army devotes special attention to securing its own flanks and the points at which the flanks of adjacent units meet.