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A military engagement
is a combat
Combat, or fighting, is a purposeful violent conflict meant to establish dominance over the opposition, or to terminate the opposition forever, or drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed....
between two forces, neither larger than a division
A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, and in turn several divisions typically make up a corps...
and not smaller than a company
A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 80–225 soldiers and usually commanded by a Captain, Major or Commandant. Most companies are formed of three to five platoons although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, and structure...
, in which each has an assigned or perceived mission
Combat mission may refer to:*Military operation, the coordinated military actions of a state in response to a developing situation*Combat Mission , the name of a successful series of computer games simulating tactical battles...
. An engagement begins when the attacking force initiates combat in pursuit of its mission, and ends when the attacker has accomplished the mission, or ceases to try to accomplish the mission, or when one or both sides receive sufficient reinforcements, thus initiating a new engagement.
As a tactical mission the engagement is often a part of a battle
Generally, a battle is a conceptual component in the hierarchy of combat in warfare between two or more armed forces, or combatants. In a battle, each combatant will seek to defeat the others, with defeat determined by the conditions of a military campaign...
. An engagement normally lasts one to two days; it may be as brief as a few hours, and is rarely longer than five days. It is at this scale of combat that tactical
Military tactics, the science and art of organizing an army or an air force, are the techniques for using weapons or military units in combination for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle. Changes in philosophy and technology over time have been reflected in changes to military tactics. In...
engagement ranges of weapons and support systems become important to the troops and their commanders.
- Dupuy, T.N.
Trevor Nevitt Dupuy was a Colonel, United States Army, retired, soldier and noted military historian.-Biography:Born in New York, the son of noted military historian, R. Ernest Dupuy, Trevor followed in his father's footsteps. Trevor Dupuy attended West Point, graduating in the class of 1938....
(Col. ret.), Understanding war: History and Theory of combat, Leo Cooper, London, 1992
- Simpkin, Richard
Brigadier Richard Evelyn Simpkin MC was a British Army officer.Simpkin was commissioned into the Royal Tank Regiment in 1941. He cut short a degree course at the University of Cambridge to do so. He served in North Africa where he won the Military Cross and was taken prisoner...
, Race to the Swift: Thoughts on Twenty-first Century Warfare. Foreword by Donn A. Starry
General Donn Albert Starry was a United States Army four star general who served as Commanding General, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command from 1977 to 1981; and as Commander in Chief, U.S...
. London: Brassey's Defence, 1985. ISBN 0-08-031170-9.