is a spot of elevated terrain which
can be useful in military tactics
Fighting from an elevated position is easier for a number of
reasons. Soldiers will tire more quickly when fighting uphill, will
move more slowly, and if fighting in formation will have little
ability to see beyond the soldiers in front of them. Likewise,
soldiers fighting on the hill won't get tired as quickly, will move
faster, and will be able to see farther when in formation, aiding
them in making smart tactical maneuvers. Furthermore, soldiers who
are elevated above their enemies can get greater range out of
low-speed projectiles like rocks and javelins. Likewise, rocks and
javelins will have less range when thrown uphill.
Very steep and/or rocky terrain, like mountain sides, can be an
obstacle to tanks
and armoured personnel carriers
in the past to cavalry
and war elephants
. For example, in the Soviet war in Afghanistan,
mujahideen guerrillas based themselves in the mountains of
Afghanistan, thereby protecting themselves from the Soviet motorized
divisions. This forced the Soviets to rely heavily on
helicopters to conduct the war, but the
States gave the mujahideen FIM-92 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, which,
arguably, combined with the defense of the mountains, was able to
win the war for the mujahideen.
The high ground and anti-air
craft missiles made it possible for the mujahideen to use guerrilla
warfare against the Soviets without being wiped out. High ground
was also employed in the 1423 Battle of
, where Taborite
soldiers took to high ground, forcing the
cavalry to dismount to attack
them, and also rendering their cannons ineffective. Taborite
soldiers were eventually able to make a downhill charge and wipe
out the remaining Utraquists. Here again, high ground played a
crucial role in the outcome of the battle.
However, getting the high ground is not always advantageous.
Battle of Jieting of the Three Kingdoms period of China, Shu Han forces occupied a hilltop, where Cao Wei forces soon surrounded and isolated the Shu
forces from water supplies and reinforcements.
forces suffered a humiliating defeat, and the Shu northern expedition
to be aborted.