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[[File:Enfilade Fire crop.png|thumb|Diagram showing enfilade firing: the cannons at top are firing on a [[rank (formation)|rank]] of soldiers from a flanking position]]
 
[[File:Enfilade Fire crop.png|thumb|Diagram showing enfilade firing: the cannons at top are firing on a [[rank (formation)|rank]] of soldiers from a flanking position]]
   
'''Enfilade''' and '''defilade''' are concepts in [[military tactics]] used to describe a military formation's exposure to enemy fire. A formation or position is "in enfilade" if weapons fire can be directed along its longest axis. A unit or position is "in defilade" if it uses natural or artificial obstacles to shield or conceal itself from enfilade.<ref name=bellamy>{{cite book|title=The Evolution of Modern Land Warfare: Theory and Practice|author= Chris Bellamy|year= 1990|publisher=Routledge|isbn=0-415-02073-5|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=AAQ-AAAAIAAJ&lpg=PA24&dq=Enfilade%20defilade&pg=PA24#v=onepage&q=Enfilade%20defilade&f=false}}</ref> The strategies invented by the English use the French ''enfiler'' ("to put on a string or sling") and ''défiler'' ("to slip away or off") which the English nobility used at that time.<ref name="bbc.co.uk">http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00yjy5r</ref>
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'''Enfilade''' and '''defilade''' are concepts in [[military tactics]] used to describe a military formation's exposure to enemy fire. A formation or position is "in enfilade" if weapons fire can be directed along its longest axis. A unit or position is "in defilade" if it uses natural or artificial obstacles to shield or conceal itself from enfilade.<ref name=bellamy>{{cite book|title=The Evolution of Modern Land Warfare: Theory and Practice|author= Chris Bellamy|year= 1990|publisher=Routledge|isbn=0-415-02073-5|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=AAQ-AAAAIAAJ&lpg=PA24&dq=Enfilade%20defilade&pg=PA24#v=onepage&q=Enfilade%20defilade&f=false}}</ref> The strategies invented by the [[England|English]] use the French ''enfiler'' ("to put on a string or sling") and ''défiler'' ("to slip away or off") which the English nobility used at that time.<ref name="bbc.co.uk">http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00yjy5r</ref>
   
 
Enfilade fire, a gunfire directed against an enfiladed formation or position, is also commonly known as "flanking fire".<ref name=bellamy/> [[Raking fire]] is the equivalent term in [[naval warfare]]. [[Strafing]], firing on targets from a flying platform, is often done with enfilade fire.
 
Enfilade fire, a gunfire directed against an enfiladed formation or position, is also commonly known as "flanking fire".<ref name=bellamy/> [[Raking fire]] is the equivalent term in [[naval warfare]]. [[Strafing]], firing on targets from a flying platform, is often done with enfilade fire.
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A formation or position is "in enfilade" if weapons fire can be directed along its longest axis.<ref>{{cite book|pages=2.10|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=nOVGjqUavScC&lpg=SA2-PA10&dq=%22plunging%20fire%22&pg=SA2-PA10#v=onepage&q&f=false|title=Marine Rifle Squad|isbn=978-1-60206-063-0|author1=United States Marine Corps|date=2007-03-01}}</ref> For instance, a [[trench warfare|trench]] is enfiladed if the opponent can fire down the length of the trench. A [[column (formation)|column]] of marching troops is enfiladed if fired on from the front or rear such that the projectiles travel the length of the column. A [[rank (formation)|rank]] or line of advancing troops is enfiladed if fired on from the side (from the flank).<ref name=bellamy/>
 
A formation or position is "in enfilade" if weapons fire can be directed along its longest axis.<ref>{{cite book|pages=2.10|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=nOVGjqUavScC&lpg=SA2-PA10&dq=%22plunging%20fire%22&pg=SA2-PA10#v=onepage&q&f=false|title=Marine Rifle Squad|isbn=978-1-60206-063-0|author1=United States Marine Corps|date=2007-03-01}}</ref> For instance, a [[trench warfare|trench]] is enfiladed if the opponent can fire down the length of the trench. A [[column (formation)|column]] of marching troops is enfiladed if fired on from the front or rear such that the projectiles travel the length of the column. A [[rank (formation)|rank]] or line of advancing troops is enfiladed if fired on from the side (from the flank).<ref name=bellamy/>
   
The original concept of enfilade fire was invented by the English using ranked archers combined with dismounted knights first employed at the [[Battle of Dupplin Moor]] in 1332 and used to devastating effect against the French in the [[Hundred Years War]].<ref name="bbc.co.uk"/> The benefit of enfilading an enemy formation is that, by firing along the long axis, it becomes easier to hit targets within that formation. Enfilade fire takes advantage of the fact that it is usually easier to aim laterally ([[Traverse (archery)|traversing]] the weapon) than to correctly estimate the range to avoid shooting too long or short. Additionally, both indirect and direct fire projectiles that might miss an intended target are more likely to hit another valuable target within the formation if firing along the long axis.
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The original concept of enfilade fire was invented by the [[England|English]] using ranked archers combined with dismounted knights first employed at the [[Battle of Dupplin Moor]] in 1332 and used to devastating effect against the French in the [[Hundred Years War]].<ref name="bbc.co.uk"/> The benefit of enfilading an enemy formation is that, by firing along the long axis, it becomes easier to hit targets within that formation. Enfilade fire takes advantage of the fact that it is usually easier to aim laterally ([[Traverse (archery)|traversing]] the weapon) than to correctly estimate the range to avoid shooting too long or short. Additionally, both indirect and direct fire projectiles that might miss an intended target are more likely to hit another valuable target within the formation if firing along the long axis.
   
 
When planning field and other fortifications, it became common for mutually supporting positions to be arranged so that it became impossible to attack any one position without exposing oneself to enfilading fire from the others, this being found for example in the mutually supporting bastions of [[star forts]], and the [[caponier]]s of later fortifications
 
When planning field and other fortifications, it became common for mutually supporting positions to be arranged so that it became impossible to attack any one position without exposing oneself to enfilading fire from the others, this being found for example in the mutually supporting bastions of [[star forts]], and the [[caponier]]s of later fortifications

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