Line of communication
A line of communication (or communications) is the route that connects an operating military unit with its supply base
Materiel is a term used in English to refer to the equipment and supplies in military and commercial supply chain management....

. Supplies and reinforcements are transported along the line of communication. Therefore, a secure and open line of communication is vital for any military force to continue to operate effectively. Prior to the advent of the use of telegraph and radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

 in warfare, lines of communication were also the routes used by despatch rider
Despatch rider
A despatch rider is a military messenger, mounted on horse or motorcycle.Despatch riders were used by armed forces to deliver urgent orders and messages between headquarters and military units...

s on horseback and runners to convey and deliver orders and battle updates to and from unit commanders and headquarters. Thus, a unit whose lines of communication were compromised was vulnerable to becoming isolated and defeated, as the means for requesting reinforcements and resupply is lost .

The standard military abbreviation is LOC or SLOC for Sea line of communication
Sea lines of communication
Sea lines of communication is a term describing the primary maritime routes between ports, used for trade, logistics and naval forces...

 or ALOC for Air line of communication.

The interdiction
Interdiction is a military term that refers to the act of delaying, disrupting, or destroying enemy forces or supplies en route to the battle area. A distinction is often made between strategic and tactical interdiction...

 of supplies and reinforcements to units closer to the front lines is therefore an important strategic goal for opposing forces. Some notable examples:
  • The encirclement of 6th Army in the Battle of Stalingrad
    Battle of Stalingrad
    The Battle of Stalingrad was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in southwestern Russia. The battle took place between 23 August 1942 and 2 February 1943...

  • United States attacks on the Ho Chi Minh trail
    Ho Chi Minh trail
    The Ho Chi Minh trail was a logistical system that ran from the Democratic Republic of Vietnam to the Republic of Vietnam through the neighboring kingdoms of Laos and Cambodia...

     during the Vietnam War
    Vietnam War
    The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

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