Coup de main

Coup de main

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A coup de main is a swift attack that relies on speed and surprise to accomplish its objectives in a single blow. The United States Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 defines it as:
The literal translation from French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 means a stroke or blow of the hand. The term coup de main originally meant "by direct assault rather than by artillery".

The very first airborne assault in the World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 Battle of Normandy
Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the operation that launched the invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II by Allied forces. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings...

, on Pegasus Bridge
Pegasus Bridge
Pegasus Bridge is a bascule bridge , built in 1934, that crossed the Caen Canal, between Caen and Ouistreham, in Normandy, France....

, is an example of a "coup de main" operation, and is sometimes referred to as Operation Coup de Main though the actual code name for the British airborne attack was Operation Deadstick
Operation Deadstick
Operation Deadstick was the codename for an airborne forces operation by the British Army that took place on 6 June 1944 as part of the Normandy landings. The mission's objective was to capture intact two road bridges in Normandy across the River Orne and the Caen Canal providing the only exit...

.

See also

  • Attack on Pearl Harbor
    Attack on Pearl Harbor
    The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

  • Battle of Fort Eben-Emael
    Battle of Fort Eben-Emael
    The Battle of Fort Eben-Emael was a battle between Belgian and German forces that took place between 10 May and 11 May 1940, and was part of the Battle of the Netherlands, Battle of Belgium and Fall Gelb, the German invasion of the Low Countries and France...

  • Tatsinskaya Raid
    Tatsinskaya Raid
    The Tatsinskaya Raid was a Soviet armoured raid deep into the German rear conducted by 24th Tank Corps under the command of Major General Vasily Mikhaylovich Badanov in late December 1942, during the last phases of the Battle of Stalingrad . It was designed to force the Germans to divert forces...

  • Coup d'état
    Coup d'état
    A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

  • Coup de grâce
    Coup de grâce
    The expression coup de grâce means a death blow intended to end the suffering of a wounded creature. The phrase can refer to the killing of civilians or soldiers, friends or enemies, with or without the consent of the sufferer...

  • Siege
    Siege
    A siege is a military blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by attrition or assault. The term derives from sedere, Latin for "to sit". Generally speaking, siege warfare is a form of constant, low intensity conflict characterized by one party holding a strong, static...