ContextReverso website, when I input "со всех флангов" returns an English translation "white-side" (possibly as adverb), which they state means "from all flanks".

Is it a special military term or is it complete rubbish?

What is the correct term for "from all flanks" or what does military use in such case?

P.s. "on/from all flanks" is correct?

  • I never heard of white-side except with the sense given by OED's definition of the adjective Having sides of a white or pale colour; marked with white along the side or flank. Are you sure you're not looking for blindside? Feb 28 '18 at 18:08
  • @FumbleFingers Sure, I was looking for English version of "from all flanks" translated from Russian, but somehow "white-side" popped up as a translation. Feb 28 '18 at 18:10
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    You can say on all flanks or from all flanks, the former specifying the places of the attacks, the latter, the directions whence the attackers are coming. Feb 28 '18 at 18:17
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    Okay, I think this is where it comes from: In American Sniper (film), the terms white side and green side are used during a combat scene. What do they mean? It's apparently based on the conventional colour of nautical lights (red, green, white = port, starboard, stern). But I'd stick to attacked from the rear (or from behind). Feb 28 '18 at 18:21

"On all sides" or "From all sides" is what I would use (as a non-military American).

They have us surrounded on all sides.

They are attacking from all sides.

If you are not looking specifically for military jargon, that is a way to phrase it that would make sense and not sound strange (at least in my area).


A flank, meaning one of the two sides of a military formation, can be either right or left (also southern or northern/eastern or western). So in the context of the attack on the opposing army "to attack (on) all(?) flanks" sounds rather odd in comparison to "to attack (on) both flanks". Note the use of preposition "on" where you can't do without it, for example:

They decided to attack their enemy's southern flank.

The army was attacked on the left flank.

In the context of flanking maneuver, you can use the verb outflank, which also can be used figuratively meaning get the better of. (See the examples in different contexts).

In addition:

If it's frontal, from the rear, and flanking, all at the same time, the attack would be an attack from/on all sides.


I hadn't heard of "white-side" except literally (having white sides). There is a reasonably common word "blindside", which is used as a verb mean "To attack from behind" or "to ambush".

Apparently there is a military use. Ships use lights, with red on the left, green on the right and white on the back. Hence "white-side" means on the back. It is not in common use.

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