Raid (military)

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Description:
Raid, also known as depredation, is a military tactic or operational warfare mission which has a specific purpose and is not normally intended to capture and hold terrain, but instead finish with the raiding force quickly retreating to a previous defended position prior to the enemy forces being able to respond in a co-ordinated manner or formulate a counter-attack. Within the tactical mission, a raiding group may consist of personnel specially trained in this tactic (such as commandos or guerrilla fighters), regular soldiers, or any organized group of combatants.

The purposes of a raid may include:
  • to demoralize, confuse, or exhaust an enemy
  • to ransack or pillage a location
  • to obtain property or capture people
  • to destroy goods or other things with an economic value
  • to free POW
  • to kill or capture specific people
  • to gather intelligence.


Development of raiding warfare

Land

Among many tribal societies, raiding was the most common and lethal form of warfare. Taking place at night, the goal was to catch the enemy sleeping to avoid casualties to the raiding party. Cattle raiding was a major feature of Irish society in the Iron Age and forms the central plot of the historical epic Táin Bó Cúailnge (English :Cattle Raid of Cooley).

Small scale raiding warfare was common in Western European warfare of the Middle Ages. Much of a professional soldiers' time could be spent in "little war",...
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