A military strategy in which force A surrounds all of force B, preventing its retreat and cutting off its supply lines. Force B's only real hope is in an attack. If the war is in a defensive paradigm, then A has pretty much won. B still has a chance if it has allies not enveloped, or if A is spread thinly enough that B can break out.

Hannibal used envelopment to defeat the Romans in the Battle of Cannae. In imitation of that battle, the German army tried to use envelopment in WWI, only on a more massive scale. Also, the Battle of the Bulge in WWII included an incidental envelopment of allied forces which Axis command had deemed irrelevant. Their holding on provided a propaganda boost to the allies... but that is another story.

In Fencing, an action similar to the disengage or counter-parry. However, the circular motion is initiated not with the intention to avoid a parry, but instead to take the opponent's blade out of a line. One must be within fencing distance to begin the move. Done properly, this will result in prise de fer, leaving one's opponent completely open for a leisurely attack. Otherwise, the opponent disengage and likely thrust, because Envelopement does not gain Right-of-way.

This move is generally not recommended for beginners, as it takes a familiarity with your opponents' reactions that can only be developed on the piste. Must like the flick, it's no use trying if you can't do it well.

(Unlike the flick, it won't hurt like the Dickens if a neophyte fails the action on you.)

En*vel"op*ment (?), n. [Cf. F. enveloppement.]


The act of enveloping or wrapping; an inclosing or covering on all sides.


That which envelops or surrounds; an envelop.


© Webster 1913.

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