Talk:Defensive fighting position

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Military history (Rated C-Class)
MILHIST This article is within the scope of the Military history WikiProject. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks. To use this banner, please see the full instructions.
C This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality assessment scale.


Surely "In the United States Marine Corps, foxholes are often referred to as fighting holes" should say "In the United States Marine Corps, DFPs are often referred to as fighting holes". Also, the difference between fighting and hiding is not small or philosophical. Open4D (talk) 03:19, 28 November 2007 (UTC)


I removed this text:

The word foxhole is a homophone of fo'c'sle, which is a syncope of the word forecastle, which likely referred to defensive fighting positions on the battlefield forward of castle walls.

First, they are not homophones (at least not the way I speak English). Second, in the absence of a citation this seems like an implausible folk etymology. Surely a foxhole is a hole similar to the one a fox lives in? Cyclopaedic (talk) 10:49, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Not only that, but fo'c'sle or forecastle is a part of a ship, not a land-based structure. (talk) 01:26, 30 October 2009 (UTC)


"Defensive fighting position" sounds very much like a technical military term used only by military people. As far as I know, this would be known to most people as a foxhole, so describing that term as "slang" and basically equating it with real army slang like "ranger grave" and "fighting hole" doesn't seem accurate at all. According to, the term has been around since WW I and is used in the literature all the time, and certainly not as some kind of colloquialism.

Also, compare hits for "DFP" and "foxhole". The former gets you 1,160 hits[1] while the latter scores 406,000[2]. The foxhole-search includes a lot that isn't military, but adding terms like "soldier", "war" or "battle" still gets you around 100k hist.

If you try searching on Google Books, "DFP" scores 80 hits[3] while "foxhole +"world war II" alone scores 9,790 hits[4]

A minor rewrite seems appropriate.

Peter Isotalo 18:57, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. Anyone support or object to such a change?Morgan Riley (talk) 06:09, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
I think DFP has been chosen because its neutral, whereas "foxhole" is an American term; most other English-speaking nations use "[fire] trench" etc. In any case this article covers defensive positions that are not foxholes or trenches e.g. sangars and shell scrapes. Bermicourt (talk) 08:03, 25 October 2016 (UTC)


Why does this artice start with WW2? Trenches have been getting dug since antquity. The American Civil War saw trenches. Slit trenches were employed by the British during the Boer War and the campaigns in Zululand etc etc etc This article needs greater expansion and less focus on the US military. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:21, 25 February 2012 (UTC)