Dawn Attack
Military units prefer to attack at dawn


(permanent link) added: 2011-06-06 08:40:16 sponsor: aschwartz07901 (last reply: 2011-09-20 08:16:37)

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We Attack at Dawn!

Dawn Attacks are particularly popular in Real Life as well as fiction. It is generally assumed that suprise attacks are most likely to take place at dawn. This allows the attackers to move into place during the cover of the night, while using the first light of the morning to see well enough for the actual attack. There is also the hope that an attack just before or just at dawn will catch the enemy while most of them are still sleeping or just waking up, and are therefore not fully alert. Also, as dawn is a time of transition between dark and light, the theory is that attacking at dawn allows you to catch the enemy while their eyes have not yet fully adjusted to the morning light. For an extra bonus, you can attack from an direction that will result in the enemies being blinded by the glare of the rising sun.

Of course, the irony of this tactic is that is has been so heavily used that most military forces now use the practice called "Stand-To-Arms", where the entire defending force wakes up sometime before dawn and goes to a full defensive alert, with every soldier in their battle positions.

For fictional purposes, the Dawn Attack adds extra drama to a scene, symbolizes transitions and new beginnings, and (in visual mediums) allows for just enough light to be able to clearly portray the action.

compare Shot at Dawn.

This is Older Than Dirt

Examples

film
  • Ice Age
    Diego: We'll teach that human what happens when he messes with sabers.
    Soto: Alert the troops. We attack at dawn.
  • The Last Flight (AKA Le dernier vol)
Lieutenant, follow me! Silence! We attack at dawn!

Literature
  • Tortall Universe:Ulasim realizes that the war for Rajmat "has begun ahead of schedual."
    Ulasim: Any good swimmer knows to swim with the tide rather than against it. We Attck in force at dawn
  • in Jingo, a conversation between Captain Carrot and Jabbar, wise man of the D'regs, while surrounded by Klatchian soldiers:
Jabbar: They will not dare attack before dawn. Carrot: And what will you do, sir? Jabbar: At dawn we will charge! Carrot: Ah. Uh. I wonder if I could suggest an alternative approach? Jabbar: Alternative? It is right to charge! Charging is what dawn is for.

Live Action TV
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys episode "Hercules and the Lost Kingdom"
    Hercules: We attack at dawn.
    Telamon: Dawn? Why don't we attack tonight?
    Hercules: Because we attack at dawn.

TV
  • Family Guy: one of Peter's inventions flings Stewie into a tree, where he sees the Keebler elves plotting to "attack the Rice Krispies guys at dawn."

Western Animation
  • The Grim Adventuresof Billyand Mandy
    Mandy: [in show intro] It's you and me against the world. [dons an army helmet] We attack at dawn.
    • Also in the episode where they look into the future and see Mandy Ruling the world, when billy tells the rebels her only volnerablity
    Billy's friend: (gibberish math) equals ... FROGS! We attck at Dawn!
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
    Nizam: Words won't stop our enemies once they're armed with Alamutian blades. We attack at dawn.

Real Life
  • D-Day, AKA The Invasion of Normandy, was timed so that the first wave of the main assault arrived at the beach at about 6:30 AM local time. However, the supporting paratroopers had touched down earlier, at about 1 AM.
  • Deliberately subverted in a number of conflicts in the 1990's and early twenty - first century due to night - vision goggles, giving attackers using them an advantage when attacking well before dawn rather than immediately after.

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