Sortie (siege warfare)
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In siege warfare, a sortie, or sudden issuing of troops against the enemy from a defensive position, can be launched against the besiegers by the defenders. If the sortie is through a sally port, the terms either to sortie or to sally can be used.
Purposes of sorties include harassment of enemy troops, destruction of siege weaponry and engineering works, joining the relief force, etc.
"The events of these sieges show that a bold and vigorous sortie in might carry destruction through every part of a besieger's approaches where the guard is injudiciously disposed and ill commanded; that if due precautions have been observed in forming the approaches posting the defenders any sortie from a besieged place must be with loss in their advance when the approaches are still distant; or when the approaches are near should a sortie succeed in into them by a sudden rush the assailants must inevitably be out again in a moment with terrible slaughter"
- Siege Warfare and Military Organization in the Successor States (400-800 AD): Byzantium, the West and Islam, p. 293
- "Journals of Sieges Carried on by the Army Under the Duke of Wellington, in Spain, During the Years 1811 to 1814 ... Also Memoranda Relative to the Lines Thrown Up to Cover Lisbon in 1810." 3rd Ed. Edited by H.D. Jones, Volume 2 p. 331