Definitions for open city

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word open city

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

o′pen cit′y(n.)

  1. a city that is officially declared demilitarized and is therefore not subject to military attack.

    Category: Government

Origin of open city:



  1. Open city

    In war, in the event of the imminent capture of a city, the government/military structure of the nation that controls the city will sometimes declare it an open city, thus announcing that they have abandoned all defensive efforts. The attacking armies of the opposing military will then be expected not to bomb or otherwise attack the city, but simply to march in. The concept aims at protecting the historic landmarks and civilians who dwell in the city from an unnecessary battle. Attacking forces do not always respect the declaration of an "open city." Defensive forces will use it as a political tactic as well. In some cases, the declaration of a city to be "open" is made by a side which is on the verge of defeat and surrender; in other cases, those making such a declaration are willing and able to fight on, but prefer that the specific city be spared. Several cities were declared open during World War II: ⁕Brussels in 1940 ⁕Oslo in 1940 ⁕Paris in 1940, from which the French Government fled after it became apparent that they could not defend it ⁕Belgrade in April 1941 ⁕Penang in December 1941 after the British retreated to Singapore ⁕Manila in 1941, which the American military abandoned during the Japanese invasion.


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