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Terrain evaluation for military purposes: examples from the Balkans

C.P. Nathanail
C.P. Nathanail
School of Chemical Environmental Engineering, Nottingham University, Nottingham, UK
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January 01, 2001


Terrain has influenced military commanders and the outcome of military operations since ancient times (Rose & Nathanail 2000). The aim of terrain evaluation in support of military operations revolves around gaining maximum operational advantage from the ground. In war this includes maximizing the mobility of your own forces and ensuring the survival of your troops and in turn denying both of these to the enemy’s forces. Armed forces are also increasingly being used in peace keeping or peace enforcing roles. In such cases the aim of terrain evaluation is to support the humanitarian efforts of the military.

The United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) was tasked with delivering humanitarian relief in Bosnia Herzegovina (Fig. 1). British troops were based in four main compounds at Vitez (School and Garage), Tuzla, Gornji Vakuf and Tomislavgrad. Terrain evaluation principles were used to advise on the feasibility of constructing water supply boreholes within the perimeter wire of each compound to ensure a secure supply of water independent of any of the warring factions.

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Geological Society, London, Engineering Geology Special Publications

Land Surface Evaluation for Engineering Practice

Geological Society of London
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 2001




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