In military art a blockade is an operation for capturing an enemy's town or fortress without bombardment or regular siege. The attacking party throws up works on the neighboring heights and roads, and part of the besieging force remains under cover in villages, or in a temporary camp, ready to repel any sortie attempted by the besieged.
The whole purpose in view is to prevent the besieged from receiving any supplies of any kind so that when food or ammunition is exhausted, they may be compelled to surrender. Fortresses situated on steep and rocky eminences, difficult to conquer by bombardment or assault, may often be reduced by blockade, because the roads or paths for the reception of supplies are few and can be guarded by a small number of troops.
Related term(s): Fortress; Siege; Besiege; Besieged; Sortie
Category: Military - General
Source information: Wilhelm, Thomas. A Military Dictionary and Gazetteer. Philadelphia: L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1881. 63.