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Rear Area
(318 words)

Rear Area

Originally the term for the area devoted to the storage of military supplies behind the frontline. The German term Etappe derives from the French étape. The zone located directly behind the rearward limits of the combat area, and serving, among other things, for the supply and transportation of men and materials. Owing to the increased supply needs of large-scale modern armies, the term came to refer to the zone linking the fighting troops with their home territory. Its forward limit was defined by the operatio…

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Thoss, Bruno, “Rear Area”, in: Brill’s Digital Library of World War I. Consulted online on 24 March 2023 <>
First published online: 2015

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