My Chinese is rudimentary, but CUHK doesn't appear to expatiate this semantic shift.
Oxford Chinese Dictionary (2010) p 957.
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「陣 」can be thought of as "a certain amount"
some light smoke or mist
a certain amount of time
一陣間 (in Cantonese)
a short moment
but I think you can say, to a general in a battle, a certain amount of troop, or to him, it is like a flow of battle force (going from right to left, north to south, etc).