The Fabian strategy is a military strategy where pitched battles and frontal assaults are avoided in favor of wearing down an opponent through a war of attrition and indirection. While avoiding decisive battles, the side employing this strategy harasses its enemy through skirmishes to cause attrition, disrupt supply and affect morale. Employment of this strategy implies that the weaker side believes time is on its side, but it may also be adopted when no feasible alternative strategy can be devised. Continue reading
Hors de combat, literally meaning “outside the fight,” is a French term used in diplomacy and international law to refer to soldiers who are incapable of performing their military function. Examples include a downed fighter pilot, as well as the sick, wounded, detained, or otherwise disabled. Soldiers hors de combat are normally granted special protections according to the laws of war, sometimes including prisoner of war status. Continue reading
The expression coup de grâce ( /ˌkuː də ˈɡrɑːs/; French: [ku də ɡʁɑs], “blow of mercy”) 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.
It is often used figuratively to describe the last in a series of events which brings about the end of some entity; for example: “The business had been failing for years; the coup de grâce was the sudden jump in oil prices.