pursuit(redirected from pursue)
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a type of military action whose objective is to destroy or capture an enemy who has begun a forced retreat or a deliberate withdrawal of troops to new lines.
Pursuit is organized when there is detection of an enemy withdrawal resulting from a successful breakthrough of enemy defenses, the defeat of the enemy in a meeting engagement, or a successfully developing counterstrike. The pursuit is carried on without stopping, either by day or by night. It follows in the path of the enemy’s withdrawal or travels in parallel directions for the purpose of overtaking the main forces, cutting off retreat routes, encircling the enemy, and destroying or capturing him. Troops pursue in combat, approach march, or march formations. Tank forces are used to reach deep points on the path of enemy withdrawal and take important lines where the enemy could organize resistance; airborne landings may also be used in such cases. If the retreating enemy goes over to the defensive, pursuing forces attack on the run. During pursuit, special attention is given to the fight against approaching enemy reserves.