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Melee (// or //, French: mêlée [mɛle]; the French spelling is also quite frequent in English writing), generally refers to disorganized close combat in battles fought at abnormally close range with little central control once it starts.
In military aviation, a melee is described as "[a]n air battle in which several aircraft, both friend and foe, are confusingly intermingled".
Lord Nelson described his tactics for the Battle of Trafalgar as inducing a "pell mell battle", or a melee between the fleets, which he was sure would lead to a decisive victory, given the superiority of the Royal Navy.
|Look up melee in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Fremont-Barnes, Gregory (2005), Trafalgar 1805: Nelson's Crowning Victory, Osprey Publishing, p. 3838, ISBN 978-1-84176-892-2
- Kumar, Bharat; DeRemer, Dale; Marshall, Douglas (2004), An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation, McGraw Hill Professional, p. 462, ISBN 978-0-07-178260-9
- "mêlée n.", Oxford English Dictionary (online ed.), Oxford University Press, March 2015