You probably remember this from your American history class:
In the Battle of Bunker Hill, as the British advanced in columns against the Americans, American General William Prescott reportedly told his men, “Don’t one of you fire until you see the whites of their eyes!” When the Redcoats were within 40 yards, the Americans let loose with a lethal barrage of musket fire, throwing the British into retreat.
In an Epic Battle of Tanks, Russia Was Routed, Repeating Earlier Mistakes
(New York Times)In the extended battle, both sides [Ukraine and Russia] sent tanks into the fray, rumbling over dirt roads and maneuvering around tree lines, with the Russians thrusting forward in columns and the Ukrainians maneuvering defensively, firing from a distance or from hiding places as Russian columns came into their sights.
When it was over, not only had Russia failed to capture Vuhledar, but it also had made the same mistake that cost Moscow hundreds of tanks earlier in the war: advancing columns into ambushes.
Blown up on mines, hit with artillery or obliterated by anti-tank missiles, the charred hulks of Russian armored vehicles now litter farm fields all about Vuhledar, according to Ukrainian military drone footage. Ukraine’s military said Russia had lost at least 130 tanks and armored personnel carriers in the battle.
“We studied the roads they used, then hid and waited” to shoot in ambushes, Sergeant Knignitsky [a Ukrainian], said.
The dirt road had been left free of mines, while the fields all about were seeded with them, so as to entice the Russians to advance while preventing tanks from turning around once the trap was sprung.
The column of tanks becomes most vulnerable, Lieutenant Bayak said, after the shooting starts and drivers panic and try to turn around — by driving onto the mine-laden shoulder of the road. Blown-up vehicles then act as impediments, slowing or stalling the column. At that point, Ukrainian artillery opens fire, blowing up more armor and killing soldiers who clamber out of disabled machines.