A cavalry raid was a military tactic commonly associated with Earth history. The tactic involved hit-and-run maneuvers using the elements of surprise and mobility to catch the enemy unaware and inflect moderate to severe damage, prior to escaping before retaliation could be organized.
The term "cavalry raid" originates from the use of horses as an important military transport. The central innovations of the tactic were revised and applied to inter-stellar warfare in the 23rd and 24th centuries, most notably by the Klingon Defense Forces whose cloaking technology and highly maneuverable ships - notably the Bird-of-Prey - were perfectly suited for use in stealthy surprise attacks.
During the height of the Dominion War, when the numerical superiority of the Dominion forces compelled the Federation Alliance to seek scaled down alternatives to all-out offenses, the tactic was introduced again. The most successful advocate of the cavalry raid at this time was General Martok, who employed it on repeat occasions to much success, including the attack on Trelka V. (DS9: "Once More Unto the Breach")