Theater (warfare)

In warfare, a theater or theatre (see spelling differences) is an area in which important military events occur or are progressing.[1][2] A theater can include the entirety of the airspace, land and sea area that is or that may potentially become involved in war operations.[3]

Military organization
Latvian platoon at Camp Lejune
Typical Units Typical numbers Typical Commander
Fireteam 2–4 Lance Corporal /
5–14 Corporal/
Staff Sergeant
15–45 Second Lieutenant /
First Lieutenant /
80–150 Captain /
Battalion /
300–800 Lieutenant Colonel
Regiment /
Brigade /
1,000–5,500 Colonel /
Brigadier General
Division 10,000–25,000 Major General
Corps 30,000–50,000 Lieutenant General
Field Army 100,000–300,000 General
Army group /
2+ field armies Field Marshal /
Five-star General
Region /
4+ army groups Commander-in-chief

Theater of war

In his book On War, Carl von Clausewitz defines the term as one that:

"Denotes properly such a portion of the space over which war prevails as has its boundaries protected, and thus possesses a kind of independence. This protection may consist of fortresses, or important natural obstacles presented by the country, or even in its being separated by a considerable distance from the rest of the space embraced in the war. Such a portion is not a mere piece of the whole, but a small whole complete in itself; and consequently it is more or less in such a condition that changes which take place at other points in the seat of war have only an indirect and no direct influence upon it. To give an adequate idea of this, we may suppose that on this portion an advance is made, whilst in another quarter a retreat is taking place, or that upon the one an army is acting defensively, whilst an offensive is being carried on upon the other. Such a clearly defined idea as this is not capable of universal application; it is here used merely to indicate the line of distinction."[4]

Theater of operations

Theater of operations (TO) is a sub-area within a theater of war. The boundary of a TO is defined by the commander who is orchestrating or providing support for specific combat operations within the TO.

Theater of operations is divided into strategic directions or military regions depending on whether it's a war or peacetime. The United States Armed Forces split into Unified Combatant Commands (regions) that are assigned to a particular theater of military operations. A strategic direction is a group of armies also known as a task (field) forces or battlegroups.

A strategic command or direction in general essence would combine a number of tactical military formations or operational command. In the modern military, a strategic command is better known as a combat command that may be a combination of groups.

Soviet and Russian Armed Forces

The Soviet and Russian Armed Forces classify a large geographic subdivision – such as continental geographic territories with their bordering maritime areas, islands, adjacent coasts[5] and airspace – as a theater. The Russian-language term for a military "theater" is театр военных действий, teatr voennykh deistvii (literally: "theater of military operations"), abbreviated ТВД, TVD.

The division of large continental and maritime areas assists in determining the limits within which to develop plans for the operations of strategic military groups of forces, allowing military operations of specific significant "strategic directions" known as "fronts", which were originally named in accordance with their theater of operations; for example the Southwestern Front (Russian Empire) (1914–1918), the 1st Ukrainian Front (1943–1945, which fought in Ukraine, Poland, Germany, and Czechoslovakia), and the Northern Front (Soviet Union) (June to August, 1941). In peacetime, lacking the urgencies of a strategic direction, fronts were transformed into military regions (districts) responsible for an assigned section of operations.

United States

Unified Combatant Command of the United States.
Theater of operations
Chart 12.- Typical organization of a theater of operations as envisaged by War Department Doctrine, 1940.

The term "theater of operations" was defined in the [American] field manuals as the land and sea areas to be invaded or defended, including areas necessary for administrative activities incident to the military operations (chart 12). In accordance with the experience of World War I, it was usually conceived of as a large land mass over which continuous operations would take place and was divided into two chief areas–the combat zone, or the area of active fighting, and the communications zone, or area required for administration of the theater. As the armies advanced, both these zones and the areas into which they were divided would shift forward to new geographic areas of control.[6]

See also


  1. ^ "Definition of theatre noun (MILITARY) from Cambridge Dictionary Online: Free English Dictionary and Thesaurus". Retrieved 2011-08-31.
  2. ^ "Theater (warfare) – definition of Theater (warfare) by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2011-08-31.
  3. ^ "theatre of war, theatres of war- WordWeb dictionary definition".
  4. ^ "Carl Von Clausewitz, On War". Retrieved 2011-08-31.
  5. ^ See: Voennyj entsiklopedicheskij slovarj (BES) Военный энциклопедический словарь (ВЭС) [Military encyclopedic dictionary] (in Russian). Moscow: Военное издательство (ВИ). 1984. p. 732.
  6. ^ "Chapter VII: Prewar Army Doctrine for Theater". Retrieved 2011-08-31.
Joint Theater Level Simulation

The Joint Theater Level Simulation (JTLS) is used to simulate joint, combined, and coalition civil-military operations at the operational level. Used for civil/military simulations and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR) scenarios, JTLS is an interactive, computer-assisted simulation that models multi-sided air, ground, and naval resources with logistical Special Operation Forces (SOF) and intelligence support. The primary purpose of JTLS is to create a realistic environment in which agency staff can operate as they would within a real-world or operational situation. A training audience conducts a scenario or event to practice their ability to coordinate various staff functions.

List of academic fields

The following outline is provided as an overview of an topical guide to academic disciplines:

An academic discipline or field of study is known as a branch of knowledge. It is taught as an accredited part of higher education. A scholar's discipline is commonly defined and recognized by a university faculties. That person will be accredited by learned societies to which he or she belongs along with the academic journals in which he or she publishes. However, no formal criteria exist for defining an academic discipline.

Disciplines varies between universities and programs. These discipline will have well-defined rosters of journals and conferences supported by a few universities and publications. A discipline may have branches, that are called sub-disciplines.

There is no consensus on how some academic disciplines should be classified (e.g., whether anthropology and linguistics are disciplines of social sciences or fields within the humanities). More generally, the proper criteria for organizing knowledge into disciplines are also open to debate.

Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD), a component of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), is a tenant command located at Naval base Ventura County in Port Hueneme, California. In addition to its primary location at Port Hueneme, the division operates detachments at White Sands, New Mexico, Virginia Beach, Va. and Louisville, Ky

Robert C. Richardson III

Robert Charlwood Richardson III (January 5, 1918 – January 2, 2011) was an American military officer of the United States Army Air Corps, and subsequently the United States Air Force, eventually attaining the rank of brigadier general. A leader in the early days of the US Air Force, he was a renowned expert in tactical nuclear warfare, NATO, and military long range planning.

In his early career he is known for his involvement in the World War II Laconia incident, where the actions taken by order of Richardson have been identified as a prima facie war crime. Under the conventions of war, ships engaged in rescue operations (including submarines) are held immune from attack.

Theatre (disambiguation)

Theatre or theater refers to representational performing arts, and semantically related to a stage.

Theatre may also refer to:


Theater (structure), a building with a stage and audience seating for performances

Movie theater, a building used to show films to an audience

Theatre of War

Theatre of War or Theater of War may refer to:

Theater (warfare), a military term for an area where an armed conflict takes place

Theater War, a war between Denmark-Norway and Sweden in 1788-1789

Theater of War (album), a 2001 music album by the band Jacob's Dream

Theater of War (film), a 2008 documentary film by director John Walter

Theatre of War (Doctor Who), a 1994 Doctor Who novel by Justin Richards

Theatre of War (Three-Sixty), a 1992 computer game by Three-Sixty Pacific

Theatre of War (video game), a 2007 computer game by 1C Company

War of the Theatres, a rivalry between playwrights Ben Johnson, John Marston, and Thomas Dekker from 1599 to 1602

Theatre of War Project, community-specific, theater-based projects that address public health and social issues


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