Relief is a special combat action to a city , castle , fort or included troops from the outside of the enclosure to liberate and thereby gain their freedom again. It is therefore to be distinguished from the reinforcement , which supplies forces inwards without acting directly from outside. The term is derived from the Middle High German word “horror” and means, in addition to “liberate”, also “depose” and “fear”.
Purpose and process
Relief can be useful from a military point of view if the context of the conduct of the operation is endangered by the inclusion of partial forces or if trapped troops cannot free themselves on their own. The besiegers should be compelled by the action of an army coming from outside to give up the planned or ongoing enclosure of a place and the attack on it.
Preparing for a successful relief includes taking logistical considerations and measures with regard to the trapped troops into account . Depending on the intended purpose of the relief attack (establishing the context of the overall operation or freeing the trapped forces), arrangements should be made for a possible failure of the trapped parts and for the subordination of the relief forces to the (formerly) trapped forces or vice versa.
Trapped troops are usually shocked by an attack . Relief attacks should be coordinated with the actions of the besieged , trapped troops. But that was often not possible in the absence of communication. In earlier times a messenger often had to sneak through the siege ring to request relief, which for security reasons often took place at night to deliver the call for help to friendly powers. A relief army (also relief army , French Armée de secours ), d. H. an auxiliary army ( military formation ).
In July 1634, an attempt at relief by the city of Regensburg, which was occupied by the Swedes during the Thirty Years' War and besieged by an imperial army , failed due to a Swedish army brought in from Württemberg in many day's marches . The threatened situation of the city because of the running out of powder supplies was not sufficiently known to the troops brought in, so that the approach took two days too long.
In World War II failed in December 1942 under the code name " Operation Winter Storm " well-known relief attack of the 4th Panzer Army (called at that time, "Army Group Hoth") for in Stalingrad included German 6th Army (see Battle of Stalingrad ).
- Battle of Alesia ( Gallic War , 52 BC; relief failed)
- Siege of Paris (885-886) (relief abandoned in favor of negotiations)
- Siege of Constantinople (1453) (relief fleet arrived too late)
- Gronings Ontzet ( Groningen relief ; commemoration of the end of the siege of Groningen in 1672; no actual relief, but retreat)
- Battle of Cholm (during the Second World War 1942; relief successful)