AskDefine | Define Laager

Dictionary Definition

laager n : a camp defended by a circular formation of wagons [syn: lager]

Extensive Definition

A laager, lager, leaguer or laer (Afrikaans, from Dutch leger (camp); pronounced or ), is a defensive formation of wagons drawn up into a circle or square, while a camp is made in the interior of the circle. The word is South African in origin, and originally referred to a formation used by travelers whereby they would draw wagons into a circle and place cattle and horses on the inside to protect them from raiders or nocturnal animals. In 1800s America, the same approach was used by pioneers who would "circle the wagons" in case of Indian attack.
In modern armoured warfare a similar formation of tanks or other armoured vehicles is used for quick resupply or refueling. This formation is rather vulnerable to attack, especially from the air, so it is only maintained for a short period, in a relatively safe location.
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