A coup de main
is a swift attack that relies on
speed and surprise to accomplish its objectives in a single blow.
United States Department of
Defense defines it as:
The literal translation from French
means a stroke or blow of the hand. The term coup de main
originally meant "by direct assault rather than by
first airborne assault in the Battle
of Normandy, on Pegasus Bridge, is an example of a "coup de main" operation, and
is sometimes referred to as Operation Coup de Main, though
this is incorrect -- the code name for the British airborne attacks
was Operation Tonga.
Notes and references