Plunging fire

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Plunging fire is a form of indirect fire, gunfire fired at a trajectory such as to fall on its target from above. It is normal at the high trajectories used to attain long range, and can be used deliberately to attack a target not susceptible to direct or grazing fire due to not being in direct line of sight.[1][2]

In naval warfare plunging shellfire was often used to penetrate an enemy ship's thinner deck armor rather than firing directly at a warship's heavily armored side.

Plunging fire in terrestrial warfare allows attacking a target not in direct line of sight, for example over the brow of a hill engaging in a reverse slope defence. Artillery weapons such as howitzers and mortars are designed for this purpose. Machine guns and belt-fed grenade launchers may also use plunging fire.

See also


  1. ^ "A State of War, Plunging Fire and Naval Construction, and more". Scientific American. 116 (13): 320–321. 1917. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican03311917-320. ISSN 0036-8733. (subscription required)

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