battlefield - level warfare

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Senior Member
Shanhaiguan saw some fighting during the internal upheavals of the 1920's, while the second Sino - Japanese War of 1937 - 45 and the bloody struggles thah preceded it from 1933 onwards saw the Great Wall playing the role for which it had originaly been designed: as a physical barrier to battlefield - level warfare.

Hello everyone. Please can you help me to understand what it's mean battlefield - level warfare? Thank you:)
  • kitenok

    Senior Member
    Hi Masis,
    Tautologically speaking, I take it to mean warfare on the level of the battlefield.
    This might be differentiated from air strikes or naval strikes, where the great wall would not be a barrier.


    New Member
    On the battlefield, where army's met to fight, a level battlefield meant that both groups had the same advantages and disadvantages. The Great Wall created an advantage and therefore changed the equal opportunity for the armies. It gave the obvious advantage to the 'higher ground'.

    Does that help?



    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Warfare takes place at many different levels.
    It is, for example, the continuation of politics by different means :)
    It takes place on a grand scale, and it takes place right there on the ground, on the battlefield, where physical obstacles matter.

    The Great Wall was meant to be a physical barrier and indeed a psychological barrier. How dare anyone challenge the power that could create such an impressive structure.

    In the period in question, the psychological element would not have been relevant, but the Wall was still a formidable physical barrier - to battlefield-level warfare.


    Senior Member
    English UK
    It is, as far as I know, traditional to look at warfare at various levels, making either a two-fold distinction between strategic and tactical or a three-fold distinction between strategic, operational, and tactical. The difference lies in the focus: strategic is "big picture" (or long-range), operational is medium focus/medium range; tactical is "detailed picture"/short range. The battlefield level is the tactical level.

    I think kitenok's right: the point being made here is that the Great Wall served in the 1930s/40s as a barrier to on-the-ground fighting. But it did not serve as a barrier to medium/long-range weapons or tactics.

    EDIT: I hadn't seen panj's post when I wrote this, but I think we're saying similar things.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    Thanks fo r help. But is there a possibility taht this word level in this case meant a verb. i.e. function, operating? There is a similar termin in other books- OPERATIONAL - LEVEL PLAN. I have translated it like Plan for operational actions. Maybe I am wrong?
    I don't think it's possible to treat "level" as a verb in that context. It would create a disjointed phrase in what is otherwise an articulate passage.

    I'm sure that Loob has got it right. "Battlefield-level warfare" means the conflicts fought physically in a defined area, instead of in a much larger theatre of war.

    When British and German forces met at El Alemein in 1942, it was battlefield-level warfare waged with artillery. But when they (and other allied armies) met in Normandy in 1942, it was a dispersed conflict, waged with ships, aircraft, tanks, artillery and infantry over a much larger area.


    Senior Member
    Ok. Thanks. But I don't know how to translate this in my language. It is somehow difficult for translating. So level is level here, if I undestand correct?


    Senior Member
    Yes, I know. But there no one help me:(. Your help is enough for me. For my task.I am quite good in english to understand your help.


    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Hi Masis, You probably are correct, but I am not certain what you mean when you say "So level is level here". I will just explain what I think level means.

    Level here is a noun. Meaning noun #5 in the WR definition of level is probably closest: height above ground. So the Wall acted as a barrier for warfare that took place at height (=level) at which battlefields are (which is on the ground).

    As others have pointed out, some warfare takes at a higher level, (with airplanes above the ground) and some takes place at a lower level, (between boats in the sea, which is often lower than the ground.)

    I hope this helps.
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