BASE OF OPERATIONS, in military maneuvers, is some spot or line which the gen eral of an army relies upon as a stronghold and magazine. An army cannot take with it all the food, forage, and ammunition for a long war; the consumption is enormous, and a constant supply is indispensable. Again, the sick and wounded cannot accom pany the army through toilsome marches; the commander endeavors to send them back to some place of safety. Furthermore, fresh troops must have some spot front which they can safely advance through the enemy's country. To secure all these advantages, a B. of 0. is necessary. It may be a port, a stretch of sea-coast, a river, a mountain range, according to circumstances; but it must be such as to serve as a magazine of supply, a place of retreat under disaster, and the end of a line of open communication extending to the spot occupied by the army. When lord Raglan and marshal St. Arnaud advanced from the Alma towards Sebastopol, in Sept. 1S54, they intended to attack the great fortress on the north side; but the tactics of the Russians prevented this; and the allies, changing their plan, resolved on the celebrated fiank-march to Balaklava, by which they secured the whole coast from Balaklava to Kamiesch as a B. of 0. during the siege
of Sebastopol. See BALAKLAVA. In the military contests arising out of the Indian mutiny, in 1857 and 1858, Cawnpore was the chief B. of 0. whence Havelock, Outram, and Clyde made those advances toward Lucknow which led ultimately to the suppres ,ion of the revolt. In the Italian war of 1859, the Austrian B. of 0. was very fluctuating„ owing in part to the disaffected state of the Lombard population around the great for tresses of Mantua, Peschiera, etc.; and indeed the only reliable base was furnished by the eastern and Tyrolese Alps. The French and Sardinian base, in the same war, was virtually Genoa, and the line of country extending thence to the great stronghold of ..klessandria.