Garrison (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
A body of troops placed on duty in a fortified place. Garrisons have probably been in existence since before the walls and towers of Jericho were erected between 8000 and 7000 b.c.e. Their purpose is simple: to occupy a strategic point or permanent military post and defend it. Without them, no conquest can be consolidated, for lands left unguarded are soon recaptured. Moreover, garrisons often provide the backbone of an offensive. A far-flung military objective is sooner met when an assault is launched from a nearby garrison. Of equal importance is the role of the garrison as a barrier against foreign invasion or even as a bulwark against civil conflict. More than transient military camps, a garrisoned post becomes a true (if martial and often semi-permanent) community, which will sometimes interact with non-hostile civilian populations.
(The entire section is 135 words.)
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