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[[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/napoleons_retreat_from_moscow_8.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''Napoleon's Retreat from Russia'' by Adolph Northen]]

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* This trope is the main basis of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defence_in_depth defence in depth]]. Instead of trying to stop the enemy at the frontline, one holds back or retreats to force the enemy to stretch their forces thin, then counterattack the now more-vulnerable enemy.



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* In ''WesternAnimation/BatmanVsTheTeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'', it becomes clear that the Turtles can't beat Batman, who has been handily beating the brothers, Donatello declares that he's calling it and drops a smoke bomb, allowing them to escape.


* One scene from ''LordOfTheRings'' describes Faramir attempting to do this and leading his men back to Minas Tirith in an orderly retreat despite having already lost one battle and continuing to be harassed by the enemy cavalry. Then [[TheDreaded the Nazgul]] get involved and it ''does'' turn into a rout until Gandalf and some Gondorian knights do the BigDamnHeroes thing.

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* One scene from ''LordOfTheRings'' ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' describes Faramir attempting to do this and leading his men back to Minas Tirith in an orderly retreat despite having already lost one battle and continuing to be harassed by the enemy cavalry. Then [[TheDreaded the Nazgul]] get involved and it ''does'' turn into a rout until Gandalf and some Gondorian knights do the BigDamnHeroes thing.


* UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington was particularly skilled at organizing tactical retreats during UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution. He realized that preserving the revolutionary army was a higher priority than defeating the British in battle. His most impressive withdrawal would be him managing to pull a disappearing act with 8,000 men at the Battle of Brooklyn Heights.

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* UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington was particularly skilled at organizing tactical retreats during UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution. He realized that preserving the revolutionary army was a higher priority than defeating the British in battle. His most impressive withdrawal would be him managing to pull a disappearing act with 8,000 men ''8,000 men'' at the Battle of Brooklyn Heights.


* UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington was particularly skilled at organizing tactical retreats during UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution. He realized that preserving the revolutionary army was a higher priority than defeating the British in battle. His most impressive withdrawal would be him managing to literally sneak his entire army out of Brooklyn, New York under the noses of the British forces that surrounded him.

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* UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington was particularly skilled at organizing tactical retreats during UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution. He realized that preserving the revolutionary army was a higher priority than defeating the British in battle. His most impressive withdrawal would be him managing to literally sneak his entire army out of Brooklyn, New York under pull a disappearing act with 8,000 men at the noses Battle of the British forces that surrounded him.Brooklyn Heights.


In ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia'', the third round of the Joint Training Arc ends in a draw because Class 1-B's Pony Tsunotori gets stuck in a 1v1 with Class 1-A's Shoji, and everyone else on the field is unconscious. Realizing that she's at a slight disadvantage against Shoji and that she can't focus on fending him off while trying to put any more of 1-A's team in "jail" at the same time, she takes her fallen teammates and flies up out of Shoji's reach to wait out the clock so that at least her team won't lose.

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* In ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia'', the third round of the Joint Training Arc ends in a draw because Class 1-B's Pony Tsunotori gets stuck in a 1v1 with Class 1-A's Shoji, and everyone else on the field is unconscious. Realizing that she's at a slight disadvantage against Shoji and that she can't focus on fending him off while trying to put any more of 1-A's team in "jail" at the same time, she takes her fallen teammates and flies up out of Shoji's reach to wait out the clock so that at least her team won't lose.


In ''[[Manga/MyHeroAcademia]]'', the third round of the Joint Training Arc ends in a draw because Class 1-B's Pony Tsunotori gets stuck in a 1v1 with Class 1-A's Shoji, and everyone else on the field is unconscious. Realizing that she's at a slight disadvantage against Shoji and that she can't focus on fending him off while trying to put any more of 1-A's team in "jail" at the same time, she takes her fallen teammates and flies up out of Shoji's reach to wait out the clock so that at least her team won't lose.

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In ''[[Manga/MyHeroAcademia]]'', ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia'', the third round of the Joint Training Arc ends in a draw because Class 1-B's Pony Tsunotori gets stuck in a 1v1 with Class 1-A's Shoji, and everyone else on the field is unconscious. Realizing that she's at a slight disadvantage against Shoji and that she can't focus on fending him off while trying to put any more of 1-A's team in "jail" at the same time, she takes her fallen teammates and flies up out of Shoji's reach to wait out the clock so that at least her team won't lose.


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[[folder: Anime]]
Anime & Manga]]


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In ''[[Manga/MyHeroAcademia]]'', the third round of the Joint Training Arc ends in a draw because Class 1-B's Pony Tsunotori gets stuck in a 1v1 with Class 1-A's Shoji, and everyone else on the field is unconscious. Realizing that she's at a slight disadvantage against Shoji and that she can't focus on fending him off while trying to put any more of 1-A's team in "jail" at the same time, she takes her fallen teammates and flies up out of Shoji's reach to wait out the clock so that at least her team won't lose.


* In ''Film/RogueOne: A Franchise/StarWars Story'', the whole point of the Rebel attack on Scarif is to steal the plans for the Death Star. Once those plans have been secured, the fleet launches an immediate retreat. And then Darth Vader shows up in his personal Star Destroyer and almost ruins everything.

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* Multiple examples in the ''Franchise/StarWars'' films:
** ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'': During the first act, the Empire discovers the Rebels' hidden base on Hoth (having forced them to abandon their previous base [[Film/ANewHope after the events of the previous film]]) and the Rebels have to [[DelayingAction hold off the Imperial assault long enough to evacuate the base.]]
** ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'' opens with a large Seperatist Fleet, led by Count Dooku and General Grevious, trying to make their getaway after attacking the Republic capital of Coruscant and abducting Chancellor Palpatine, as arriving Republic reinforcements try to stop them and rescue the Chancellor. Grevious and his fleet escape, but not without Palpatine being rescued by the Jedi and their fleet taking serious losses.
**
In ''Film/RogueOne: A Franchise/StarWars Story'', the whole point of the Rebel attack on Scarif is to steal the plans for the Death Star. Once those plans have been secured, the fleet launches an immediate retreat. And then Darth Vader shows up in his personal Star Destroyer and almost ruins everything.
** ''Film/TheLastJedi'' begins with the Resistance base on D'Qar in the middle of evacuating when a large First Order fleet arrives to destroy them. Most of the film depicts the First Order's [[SternChase pursuit of the Resistance fleet]] and the film ends [[spoiler: with the few remaining Resistance fighters escaping while Master Luke Skywalker single-handedly stalls the First Order's assault.]]



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* In ''Film/RogueOne: A Franchise/StarWars Story'', the whole point of the Rebel attack on Scarif is to steal the plans for the Death Star. Once those plans have been secured, the fleet launches an immediate retreat. And then Darth Vader shows up in his personal Star Destroyer and almost ruins everything.


* ''ThePenguinsOfMadagascar'' has the team face Officer/Agent X:

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* ''ThePenguinsOfMadagascar'' ''WesternAnimation/ThePenguinsOfMadagascar'' has the team face Officer/Agent X:



* Happened a couple of times in the Peninsular War (depicted in ''{{Sharpe}}''). At the Retreat to Corunna, the British expeditionary force retreated from the superior French army, giving battle before Corunna long enough for them to escape. Later, British troops retreated from another large French force by delaying them long enough to build the Lines of Torres Vedras, a massive series of fortifications protecting the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. The French were left facing an impenetrable city and a huge army to try and feed with a country whose crops and livestock had deliberately been destroyed.

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* Happened a couple of times in the Peninsular War (depicted in ''{{Sharpe}}'').''Literature/{{Sharpe}}''). At the Retreat to Corunna, the British expeditionary force retreated from the superior French army, giving battle before Corunna long enough for them to escape. Later, British troops retreated from another large French force by delaying them long enough to build the Lines of Torres Vedras, a massive series of fortifications protecting the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. The French were left facing an impenetrable city and a huge army to try and feed with a country whose crops and livestock had deliberately been destroyed.


* The cynical version is often lampshaded in the Creator/SvenHassel WW2 novels. When a high-ranking officer runs away it's called a strategic withdrawal, whereas when the ordinary soldier does this it's called cowardice and he's executed. On one occasion, a KangarooCourt happily executing a flood of so-called deserters gets a nasty shock when Soviet tanks turn up on their doorstep. Turns out there really is a full retreat going on.

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* The cynical version is often lampshaded in the Creator/SvenHassel WW2 [=WW2=] novels. When a high-ranking officer runs away it's called a strategic withdrawal, whereas when the ordinary soldier does this it's called cowardice and he's executed. On one occasion, a KangarooCourt happily executing a flood of so-called deserters gets a nasty shock when Soviet tanks turn up on their doorstep. Turns out there really is a full retreat going on.

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* The cynical version is often lampshaded in the Creator/SvenHassel WW2 novels. When a high-ranking officer runs away it's called a strategic withdrawal, whereas when the ordinary soldier does this it's called cowardice and he's executed. On one occasion, a KangarooCourt happily executing a flood of so-called deserters gets a nasty shock when Soviet tanks turn up on their doorstep. Turns out there really is a full retreat going on.


* Done in the [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 03 version of Ninja Turtles]] which Leonardo uses to get Raphael to fall back calling it a "Tactical Retreat" which Ralph is fine with as long as it's not "running away".

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* Done in the [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 03 version of Ninja Turtles]] which Leonardo uses to get Raphael to fall back calling it a "Tactical Retreat" which Ralph Raph is fine with as long as it's not "running away".

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