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Forcible entry

Definition Forcible entry, in military operations, refers to the act of quickly entering officially hostile territory, often with the use of force, with the aim to seize and secure a strategic area. This tactic involves deploying military forces without the consent or cooperation of the target location’s authorities. The entry can be executed via various […]


Forcible entry, in military operations, refers to the act of quickly entering officially hostile territory, often with the use of force, with the aim to seize and secure a strategic area. This tactic involves deploying military forces without the consent or cooperation of the target location’s authorities. The entry can be executed via various means such as an airborne assault, amphibious landing, or direct physical breach.

Key Takeaways

  1. Forcible Entry refers to the strategic deployment of a nation’s military forces to quickly invade and secure a target area, generally in a foreign territory. It’s a potent application of physical force to gain an advantage.
  2. This military operation is often premeditated under the assumption that the target location will offer significant resistance or is otherwise inaccessible. The operation generally involves a combination of ground, naval, and air forces for an effective strike.
  3. While Forcible Entry launches aggressive action, it prioritises minimising casualties on both sides, especially civilian, and limiting collateral damage to the target’s infrastructure and environment. Therefore, it requires intensive planning and precision in execution.


Forcible entry is a pivotal term in military operations, which refers to the strategic act of penetrating or breaking through enemy defenses to secure a foothold in hostile territory.

Its importance lies in its ability to rapidly disrupt and dislocate enemy forces, allowing for easier advancement and control over the strategic area.

This tactic, which predominantly involves air, naval, or ground forces, is critical and often necessary when facing heavily fortified defenses or areas that have been particularly challenging to conquer.

The successful implementation of forcible entry is instrumental in determining the outcome of a military operation as it directly impacts the feasibility and pace of the campaign.

This operation, however, requires careful planning, sufficient resources, and strategic excellence to mitigate the risks and increase the possibility of success.


Forcible Entry in military operations primarily refers to the strategic capability that enables a force to enter a contested area against opposing forces who may be trying to deny access. The purpose of such an operation is to penetrate and secure entry points quickly and efficiently, allowing friendly forces to move on to their main objective.

This is especially pivotal in places where the enemy has total control or where entries are heavily fortified or obstructed. Therefore, successful forcible entry operations may be instrumental in ensuring the effectiveness of any ensuing operations by creating an operating base or opening up a previously blocked route.

Forcible entry operations prove to be crucial in both offensive and defensive situations. For instance, in offensive situations, it can be used for infiltrating enemy lines, disrupting their defensive setups and creating avenues for larger operational plans.

Meanwhile, in a defensive context, it can be used for regaining control of strategic points that have been lost to the enemy. It is worth noting that while the term is prominently used in military contexts, it may also apply to law enforcement during situations such as hostage rescues or certain breaches of security.

Examples of Forcible entry

Operation Neptune (1944): This codename was given to the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II, which is perhaps the most well-known example of forcible entry. Over 156,000 troops forcibly entered German-occupied Western Europe via amphibious assault. Their ultimate success marked the turning point for World War II in Europe.

Operation Urgent Fury (1983): This was a military operation involve the United States, along with several Caribbean allies, forcibly entering Grenada island to overthrow a Marxist regime which had recently orchestrated a coup, and to restore constitutional government. The operation was successful and the government was reinstated.

Operation Just Cause (1989): This was the U.S military invasion of Panama to depose the dictator Manuel Noriega. The U.S forces use of airborne operations and special operations units to conduct forcible entry into the country and subsequently capture Noriega.

FAQs about Forcible Entry Operations

What is a Forcible Entry Operation?

A forcible entry operation is a strategic military maneuver that involves the use of force to breach or remove obstacles in order to gain access into an area or structure. It is often conducted in high-risk environments for the purpose of establishing a presence, rescuing hostages, or securing assets.

What are the common methods used in Forcible Entry Operations?

The common methods used can include the use of specially equipped military vehicles or explosives, parachute assaults from aircraft, or amphibious landings from naval vessels. The method used depends on the nature of the obstacle, the environment, and the resources available.

How are personnel trained for Forcible Entry Operations?

Personnel undergo extensive training in a variety of disciplines including explosives handling, demolition techniques, hand-to-hand combat, tactical entry techniques, and covert operations. They also undergo rigorous physical fitness and endurance training.

What are the potential risks and challenges of Forcible Entry Operations?

Forcible entry operations are high-risk activities that carry significant potential for casualties. Challenges can include hostile environments, armed resistance, potential for civilian casualties, and the need for rapid decision-making under high stress conditions.

What are the consequences of a failed Forcible Entry Operation?

Consequences can range from mission failure, loss of strategic assets, civilian casualties, and potentially significant losses to the attacking forces. Therefore, detailed planning, intelligence gathering, and training are crucial to the success of these operations.

Related Military Operation Terms

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Sources for More Information

  • Joint Chiefs of Staff: This is the official site of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. It provides information about all aspects of U.S. military operations, including forcible entry.
  • RAND Corporation: RAND Corporation is a global policy think tank that provides in-depth analysis and research on a wide range of topics, including military operations and forcible entry.
  • Marine Corps University: This educational institution of the U.S. Marine Corps offers various resources and research materials related to military operations, including forcible entry.
  • U.S. Army: The official website of the U.S. Army, it provides numerous resources and useful information about various military operations, including forcible entry.

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