Infantry is the branch of an army that engages in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry and tank forces. Known as foot soldiers, infantry traditionally relies on moving by foot between combats as well, but may use mounts, military vehicles, or other transport. Infantry make up a large portion of all armed forces in most nations, bear the largest brunt in warfare, as measured by casualties, deprivation, or physical and psychological stress; the first military forces in history were infantry. In antiquity, infantry were armed with an early melee weapon such as a spear, axe or sword, or an early ranged weapon like a javelin, sling, or bow, with a few infantrymen having both a melee and a ranged weapon. With the development of gunpowder, infantry began converting to firearms. By the time of Napoleonic warfare, infantry and artillery formed a basic triad of ground forces, though infantry remained the most numerous. With armoured warfare, armoured fighting vehicles have replaced the horses of cavalry, airpower has added a new dimension to ground combat, but infantry remains pivotal to all modern combined arms operations.
Infantry have much greater local situational awareness than other military forces, due to their inherent intimate contact with the battlefield. Infantry can more recognise and respond to local conditions and changing enemy weapons or tactics, they can operate in a wide range of terrain inaccessible to military vehicles, can operate with a lower logistical burden. Infantry are the most delivered forces to ground combat areas, by simple and reliable marching, or by trucks, sea or air transport, they can be augmented with a variety of crew-served weapons, armoured personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles. In English, use of the term infantry began about the 1570s, describing soldiers who march and fight on foot; the word derives from Middle French infanterie, from older Italian infanteria, from Latin īnfāns, from which English gets infant. The individual-soldier term infantryman was not coined until 1837. In modern usage, foot soldiers of any era are now considered infantrymen. From the mid-18th century until 1881 the British Army named its infantry as numbered regiments "of Foot" to distinguish them from cavalry and dragoon regiments.
Infantry equipped with special weapons were named after that weapon, such as grenadiers for their grenades, or fusiliers for their fusils. These names can persist long after the weapon speciality. More in modern times, infantry with special tactics are named for their roles, such as commandos, snipers and militia. Dragoons were created. However, if light cavalry was lacking in an army, any available dragoons might be assigned their duties. Conversely, starting about the mid-19th century, regular cavalry have been forced to spend more of their time dismounted in combat due to the ever-increasing effectiveness of enemy infantry firearms, thus most cavalry transitioned to mounted infantry. As with grenadiers, the dragoon and cavalry designations can be retained long after their horses, such as in the Royal Dragoon Guards, Royal Lancers, King's Royal Hussars. Motorised infantry have trucks and other unarmed vehicles for non-combat movement, but are still infantry since they leave their vehicles for any combat.
Most modern infantry have vehicle transport, to the point where infantry being motorised is assumed, the few exceptions might be identified as modern light infantry, or "leg infantry" colloquially. Mechanised infantry go beyond motorised, having transport vehicles with combat abilities, armoured personnel carriers, providing at least some options for combat without leaving their vehicles. In modern infantry, some APCs have evolved to be infantry fighting vehicles, which are transport vehicles with more substantial combat abilities, approaching those of light tanks; some well-equipped mechanised infantry can be designated as armoured infantry. Given that infantry forces also have some tanks, given that most armoured forces have more mechanised infantry units than tank units in their organisation, the distinction between mechanised infantry and armour forces has blurred; the terms "infantry", "armour", "cavalry" used in the official names for military units like divisions, brigades, or regiments might be better understood as a description of their expected balance of defensive and mobility roles, rather than just use of vehicles.
Some modern mechanised infantry units are termed cavalry or armoured cavalry though they never had horses, to e
Biological warfare —also known as germ warfare—is the use of biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacteria and fungi with the intent to kill or incapacitate humans, animals or plants as an act of war. Biological weapons are living organisms or replicating entities that reproduce or replicate within their host victims. Entomological warfare is considered a type of biological weapon; this type of warfare is distinct from nuclear warfare and chemical warfare, which together with biological warfare make up NBC, the military initialism for nuclear and chemical warfare using weapons of mass destruction. None of these are considered conventional weapons, which are deployed for their explosive, kinetic, or incendiary potential. Biological weapons may be employed in various ways to gain a strategic or tactical advantage over the enemy, either by threats or by actual deployments. Like some chemical weapons, biological weapons may be useful as area denial weapons; these agents may be lethal or non-lethal, may be targeted against a single individual, a group of people, or an entire population.
They may be developed, stockpiled or deployed by nation states or by non-national groups. In the latter case, or if a nation-state uses it clandestinely, it may be considered bioterrorism. Biological warfare and chemical warfare overlap to an extent, as the use of toxins produced by some living organisms is considered under the provisions of both the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Toxins and psychochemical weapons are referred to as midspectrum agents. Unlike bioweapons, these midspectrum agents do not reproduce in their host and are characterized by shorter incubation periods; the use of biological weapons is prohibited under customary international humanitarian law, as well as a variety of international treaties. The use of biological agents in armed conflict is a war crime. Offensive biological warfare, including mass production and use of biological weapons, was outlawed by the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention; the rationale behind this treaty, ratified or acceded to by 170 countries as of April 2013, is to prevent a biological attack which could conceivably result in large numbers of civilian casualties and cause severe disruption to economic and societal infrastructure.
Many countries, including signatories of the BWC pursue research into the defense or protection against BW, not prohibited by the BWC. A nation or group that can pose a credible threat omass casualty has the ability to alter the terms on which other nations or groups interact with it. Biological weapons allow for the potential to create a level of destruction and loss of life far in excess of nuclear, chemical or conventional weapons, relative to their mass and cost of development and storage. Therefore, biological agents may be useful as strategic deterrents in addition to their utility as offensive weapons on the battlefield; as a tactical weapon for military use, a significant problem with a BW attack is that it would take days to be effective, therefore might not stop an opposing force. Some biological agents (smallpox, have the capability of person-to-person transmission via aerosolized respiratory droplets; this feature can be undesirable, as the agent may be transmitted by this mechanism to unintended populations, including neutral or friendly forces.
While containment of BW is less of a concern for certain criminal or terrorist organizations, it remains a significant concern for the military and civilian populations of all nations. Rudimentary forms of biological warfare have been practiced since antiquity; the earliest documented incident of the intention to use biological weapons is recorded in Hittite texts of 1500–1200 BC, in which victims of tularemia were driven into enemy lands, causing an epidemic. Although the Assyrians knew of ergot, a parasitic fungus of rye which produces ergotism when ingested, there is no evidence that they poisoned enemy wells with the fungus, as has been claimed. In 1346, the bodies of Mongol warriors of the Golden Horde who had died of plague were thrown over the walls of the besieged Crimean city of Kaffa. Specialists disagree over whether this operation may have been responsible for the spread of the Black Death into Europe, Near East and North Africa, resulting in the killing of 25 million Europeans.
The British Army commanders approved the use of smallpox as a biological weapon in the French and Indian War to target Native Americans during the Siege of Fort Pitt in 1763. Correspondence between General Jeffrey Amherst and Colonel Henry Bouquet provides further evidence that the English army planned for the use of biological weapons to kill Native Americans, as detailed in Native American disease and epidemics. A smallpox outbreak was reported in the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes area through 1763 and 1764; the spread of smallpox weakened the French and Native American resistance to the British troops led by Bouquet. The smallpox outbreak was considered a direct result of two blankets and a scarf taken from a Small Pox Hospital gifted by William Trent and others English army representatives to leader Maumaultee and warrior Turtle Heart of the Delaware people during their visit to Ft Pitt. Amherst and Bouquet discussed other biological weapon deployments as a result. Apologists pose questions as to whether the outbreak was the result of the Fort Pitt incident or the virus was present among the Delaware people.
It is that the British Marines used smallpox in New S
Amphibious warfare is a type of offensive military operation that today uses naval ships to project ground and air power onto a hostile or hostile shore at a designated landing beach. Through history the operations were conducted using ship's boats as the primary method of delivering troops to shore. Since the Gallipoli Campaign, specialised watercraft were designed for landing troops and vehicles, including by landing craft and for insertion of commandos, by fast patrol boats and from mini-submersibles; the term amphibious first emerged in the UK and the USA during the 1930s with introduction of vehicles such as Vickers-Carden-Loyd Light Amphibious Tank or the Landing Vehicle Tracked. Amphibious warfare includes operations defined by their type, purpose and means of execution. In the British Empire at the time these were called combined operations which were defined as "...operations where naval, military or air forces in any combination are co-operating with each other, working independently under their respective commanders, but with a common strategic object."
All armed forces that employ troops with special training and equipment for conducting landings from naval vessels to shore agree to this definition. Since the 20th century an amphibious landing of troops on a beachhead is acknowledged as the most complex of all military maneuvers; the undertaking requires an intricate coordination of numerous military specialties, including air power, naval gunfire, naval transport, logistical planning, specialized equipment, land warfare and extensive training in the nuances of this maneuver for all personnel involved. An amphibious operation is similar to but in many ways different from land and air operations. At its basic, such operations include phases of strategic planning and preparation, operational transit to the intended theatre of operations, pre-landing rehearsal and disembarkation, troop landings, beachhead consolidation and conducting inland ground and air operations. Within the scope of these phases a vital part of success was based on the military logistics, naval gunfire and close air support.
Another factor is the variety and quantity of specialised vehicles and equipment used by the landing force that are designed for the specific needs of this type of operation. Amphibious operations can be classified as tactical or operational raids such as the Dieppe Raid, operational landings in support of a larger land strategy such as the Kerch–Eltigen Operation, a strategic opening of a new Theatre of Operations, for example the Operation Avalanche; the purpose of amphibious operations is always limited by the plan and terrain. Landings on islands less than 5,000 km2 in size are tactical with the limited objectives of neutralising enemy defenders and obtaining a new base of operation; such an operation may be prepared and planned in days or weeks, would employ a naval task force to land less than a division of troops. The intent of operational landings is to exploit the shore as a vulnerability in the enemy's overall position, forcing redeployment of forces, premature use of reserves, aiding a larger allied offensive effort elsewhere.
Such an operation requiring weeks to months of preparation and planning, would use multiple task forces, or a naval fleet to land corps-size forces, including on large islands, for example Operation Chromite. A strategic landing operation requires a major commitment of forces to invade a national territory in the archipelagic, such as the Battle of Leyte, or continental, such as Operation Neptune; such an operation may require multiple naval and air fleets to support the landings, extensive intelligence gathering and planning of over a year. Although most amphibious operations are thought of as beach landings, they can take exploit available shore infrastructure to land troops directly into an urban environment if unopposed. In this case non-specialised ships can offload troops and cargo using organic or facility wharf-side equipment. Tactical landings in the past have utilised small boats, small craft, small ships and civilian vessels converted for the mission to deliver troops to the water's edge.
Preparation and planning the naval landing operation requires the assembly of vessels with sufficient capacity to lift necessary troops employing combat loading. The military intelligence services produce a briefing on the expected opponent which guides the organisation and equipping of the embarked force. First specially designed landing craft were used for the Gallipoli landings, armoured tracked vehicles were available for the Guadalcanal Campaign. Helicopters were first used to support beach landings during Operation Musketeer. Hovercraft have been in use for naval landings by military forces since the 1960s. Recorded amphibious warfare goes back to ancient times; the Sea Peoples menaced the Egyptians from the reign of Akhenaten as captured on the reliefs at Medinet Habu and Karnak. The Hellenic city states resorted to opposed assaults upon each other's shores, which they reflected upon in their plays and other expressions of art; the landing at Marathon by the ancient Persians on 9 September 490 BC, was the largest amphibious until eclipsed by the landings at Battle of Gallipoli.
In 1565, the island of Malta was invaded by the Ottoman Turks during the Great Siege of Malta, forcing its defenders to retreat to the fortified cities. A strategic choke point in the Mediterranean Sea, its loss would have been so menacing for the Western European kingdoms that forces were urgently raised in order to relieve the island, but it took four months to train and move a 5,500-man amphibious force to lift the siege. Philip II, King of Spain de
For much of history, humans have used some form of cavalry for war and, as a result, cavalry tactics have evolved over time. Tactically, the main advantages of cavalry over infantry troops were greater mobility, a larger impact, a higher position. Chariot tactics had been the basis for using the horse in war; the chariot's advantage of speed was outdone by the agility of riding on horseback. The ability of horsemen to pass more difficult terrain was crucial to this change. Horsemen supplanted most light chariots. In Celtic warfare, light chariots persisted among mounted troops, for their ability to transport armoured warriors and as mobile command platforms. At first it was not considered effective to use weapons on horseback, but rather to use the horse as transport. "Mounted infantry" would ride to battle, dismount to fight. For a long time and charioteers worked alongside each other in the cavalry; the first recorded instance of mounted warriors are the mounted archers of the Iranian tribes appearing in Assyrian records from the 9th century BC.
Mongolian troops had a Buryat bow, for showering the enemy with arrows from a safe distance. The aim on horseback was better than in a jiggling chariot, after it was discovered that the best time to shoot was while all the hooves of the horse were in the air. An archer in a chariot could shoot stronger infantry bows. Javelins were employed as a powerful ranged weapon by many cavalries, they were easy to handle on horseback. Two to ten javelins would be carried, depending on their weight. Thrown javelins have less range than composite bows, but prevailed in use nevertheless. Due to the mass of the weapon, there was a greater armour-piercing ability, they thus caused fatal wounds more frequently. Usage is reported for both light and heavy cavalry, for example, by Numidia and the Mongol's light cavalry and the heavy cataphracts, Celtic cavalry and the Mamluks during the Crusades; the Celtic horsemen's training was copied by the Roman equites. A significant element learned from the Celts was turning on horseback to throw javelins backwards, similar to the Parthian shot in archery.
Stirrups and spurs improved the ability of riders to act fast and securely in melées and manoeuvres demanding agility of the horse, but their employment was not unquestioned. Modern historical reenactors have shown that neither the stirrup nor the saddle are necessary for the effective use of the couched lance, refuting a widely held belief. Free movement of the rider on horseback were esteemed for light cavalry to shoot and fight in all directions, contemporaries regarded stirrups and spurs as inhibiting for this purpose. Andalusian light cavalry refused to employ them until the 12th century, nor were they used by the Baltic turcopoles of the Teutonic Order in the battle of Legnica. An example of combined arms and the efficiency of cavalry forces were the Medieval Mongols. Important for their horse archery was the use of stirrups for the archer to stand while shooting; this new position enabled them to use stronger cavalry bows than the enemy. Armies of horse archers could cover enemy troops with arrows from a distance and never had to engage in close combat.
Slower enemies without effective long range weapons had no chance against them. It was in this manner that the cavalry of the Parthian Empire destroyed the troops of Crassus in the Battle of Carrhae. During their raids in Central and Western Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries, Magyar mounted archers spread terror in West Francia and East Francia; the Sassanid Persians and the Mamluks were the chief proponents of the idea, although Muslim cavalry in India had been known to use it in battle. It involved a line of well-armoured cavalrymen standing in a massed static line, or advancing in an ordered formation at the walk while loosing their arrows as as possible, it was effective against unsteady enemies who could be unnerved by the sight of a vast cloud of arrows raining down upon them. A case in point is Procopius's accounts of Belisarius's wars against the Sassanids where he states how the Byzantine cavalry engaged in massed archery duels against their Persian counterparts; the Persians loosed their arrows with far greater frequency, but as their bows were much weaker, they did not do much damage compared to the stronger Roman bows.
The great weakness of mounted archers was their need of their light equipment. If they were forced to fight in close combat against better armoured enemies, they lost. Furthermore, they were not suited for participating in sieges. For example, although victorious in the field the Mongols had been unable to take the fortified Chinese cities until they managed to capture and enlist the services of Islamic siege engineers; the Mongols subsequently failed to retake Hungary in 1280 after the Hungarians became more focused on Western European heavy cavalry and castle building. Good cavalry troops needed lots of training and good horses. Many peoples who engaged in this form of classical cavalry, such as the Hungarians and Mongols lived on horseback; the Battle of Dorylaeum during the First Crusade shows the advantages and disadvantages of mounted archers.
Space warfare is combat that takes place in outer space. The scope of space warfare therefore includes ground-to-space warfare, such as attacking satellites from the Earth, as well as space-to-space warfare, such as satellites attacking satellites; as of 2019 no actual warfare has taken place in space, though a number of tests and demonstrations have been performed. International treaties are in place that regulate conflicts in space and limit the installation of space weapon systems nuclear weapons. From 1985 to 2002 there was a United States Space Command, which in 2002 merged with the United States Strategic Command, leaving Air Force Space Command as the primary American military space force; the Russian Space Force, established on August 10, 1992, which became an independent section of the Russian military on June 1, 2001, was replaced by the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces starting December 1, 2011, but was reestablished as a component of the Russian Aerospace Forces on August 1, 2015.
In 2019 India conducted a test of the ASAT missile making it the fourth country with that capability. Early efforts to conduct space warfare were directed at space-to-space warfare, as ground-to-space systems were considered to be too slow and too isolated by Earth's atmosphere and gravity to be effective at the time; the history of active space warfare development goes back to the 1960s when the Soviet Union began the Almaz project, a project designed to give them the ability to do on-orbit inspections of satellites and destroy them if needed. Similar planning in the United States took the form of the Blue Gemini project, which consisted of modified Gemini capsules that would be able to deploy weapons and perform surveillance. One early test of electronic space warfare, the so-called Starfish Prime test, took place in 1962, when the United States exploded a ground-launched nuclear weapon in space to test the effects of an electromagnetic pulse; the result was a deactivation of both American and Soviet.
The deleterious and unfocused effects of the EMP test led to the banning of nuclear weapons in space in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. In the early 1960s the U. S. military produced a film called National Security which depicted space warfare. Through the 1970s, the Soviet Union continued their project and test-fired a cannon to test space station defense; this was considered too dangerous to do with a crew on board, however, so the test was conducted after the crew had returned to Earth. Space warfare influenced the final design of the United States Space Shuttle; the distinctive delta wing shape was needed if the shuttle were to launch a military payload towards the Soviet Union and perform an immediate de-orbit after one rotation to avoid being shot down. Both the Soviets and the United States developed anti-satellite weaponry designed to shoot down satellites. While early efforts paralleled other space-to-space warfare concepts, the United States was able in the 1980s to develop ground-to-space laser anti-satellite weapons.
None of these systems are known to be active today. In 1985 a USAF pilot in an F-15 shot down the P78-1, an American research satellite, in a 345-mile orbit; the People's Republic of China tested a ballistic missile-launched anti-satellite weapon on January 11, 2007. This resulted in harsh criticism from the United States of America and Japan; the U. S. developed an interceptor missile, the SM-3, testing it by hitting ballistic test targets while they were in space. On February 21, 2008, the U. S. used a SM-3 missile to destroy a spy satellite, USA-193, while it was 247 kilometers above the Pacific Ocean. Japan fields the U. S.-made SM-3 missile, there have been plans to base the land-based version in Romania and Vietnam. In March, 2019, India shot down a low orbit satellite making its way to the list of space warfare nations. In the late 1970s and through the 1980s the Soviet Union and the United States theorized, designed and in some cases tested a variety of weaponry designed for warfare in outer space.
Space warfare was seen as an extension of nuclear warfare, so many theoretical systems were based around the destruction or defense of ground and sea-based missiles. Space-based missiles were not attempted due to the Outer Space Treaty, which banned the use, testing or storage of nuclear weapons outside the Earth's atmosphere; when the U. S. gained "interest in utilizing space-based lasers for ballistic missile defense", two facts emerged. One being that the ballistic missiles are fragile and two, chemical lasers project missile killing energy; this meant. Systems proposed ranged from measures as simple as ground and space-based anti-missiles to railguns, space based lasers, orbital mines and similar weaponry. Deployment of these systems was considered in the mid-1980s under the banner of the Strategic Defense Initiative announced by Ronald Reagan in 1983, using the term "evil empire" to describe the Soviets. If the Cold War had continued, many of these systems could have seen deployment: the United States developed working railguns, a laser that could destroy missiles at range, though the power requirements and firing cycles of both were impractical.
Weapons like the space-based laser was rejected, not just by the government, but by Universities, moral thinkers, religious people because it would have increased the waging of the arms race
A weapon, arm or armament is any device that can be used with intent to inflict damage or harm. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficiency of activities such as hunting, law enforcement, self-defense, warfare. In broader context, weapons may be construed to include anything used to gain a tactical, material or mental advantage over an adversary or enemy target. While ordinary objects such as sticks, cars, or pencils can be used as weapons, many are expressly designed for the purpose – ranging from simple implements such as clubs and axes, to complicated modern intercontinental ballistic missiles, biological weapons and cyberweapons. Something, re-purposed, converted, or enhanced to become a weapon of war is termed weaponized, such as a weaponized virus or weaponized laser; the use of objects as weapons has been observed among chimpanzees, leading to speculation that early hominids used weapons as early as five million years ago. However, this can not be confirmed using physical evidence because wooden clubs and unshaped stones would have left an ambiguous record.
The earliest unambiguous weapons to be found are the Schöningen spears, eight wooden throwing spears dating back more than 300,000 years. At the site of Nataruk in Turkana, numerous human skeletons dating to 10,000 years ago may present evidence of traumatic injuries to the head, ribs and hands, including obsidian projectiles embedded in the bones that might have been caused from arrows and clubs during conflict between two hunter-gatherer groups, but the evidence interpretation of warfare at Nataruk has been challenged. The earliest ancient weapons were evolutionary improvements of late neolithic implements, but significant improvements in materials and crafting techniques led to a series of revolutions in military technology; the development of metal tools began with copper during the Copper Age and was followed by the Bronze Age, leading to the creation of the Bronze Age sword and similar weapons. During the Bronze Age, the first defensive structures and fortifications appeared as well, indicating an increased need for security.
Weapons designed to breach fortifications followed soon after, such as the battering ram, in use by 2500 BC. The development of iron-working around 1300 BC in Greece had an important impact on the development of ancient weapons, it was not the introduction of early Iron Age swords, however, as they were not superior to their bronze predecessors, but rather the domestication of the horse and widespread use of spoked wheels by c. 2000 BC. This led to the creation of the light, horse-drawn chariot, whose improved mobility proved important during this era. Spoke-wheeled chariot usage peaked around 1300 BC and declined, ceasing to be militarily relevant by the 4th century BC. Cavalry developed; the horse increased the speed of attacks. In addition to land based weaponry, such as the trireme, were in use by the 7th century BC. European warfare during the Post-classical history was dominated by elite groups of knights supported by massed infantry, they were involved in mobile combat and sieges which involved various siege tactics.
Knights on horseback developed tactics for charging with lances providing an impact on the enemy formations and drawing more practical weapons once they entered into the melee. By contrast, infantry, in the age before structured formations, relied on cheap, sturdy weapons such as spears and billhooks in close combat and bows from a distance; as armies became more professional, their equipment was standardized and infantry transitioned to pikes. Pikes are seven to eight feet in length, used in conjunction with smaller side-arms. In Eastern and Middle Eastern warfare, similar tactics were developed independent of European influences; the introduction of gunpowder from the Asia at the end of this period revolutionized warfare. Formations of musketeers, protected by pikemen came to dominate open battles, the cannon replaced the trebuchet as the dominant siege weapon; the European Renaissance marked the beginning of the implementation of firearms in western warfare. Guns and rockets were introduced to the battlefield.
Firearms are qualitatively different from earlier weapons because they release energy from combustible propellants such as gunpowder, rather than from a counter-weight or spring. This energy is released rapidly and can be replicated without much effort by the user; therefore early firearms such as the arquebus were much more powerful than human-powered weapons. Firearms became important and effective during the 16th century to 19th century, with progressive improvements in ignition mechanisms followed by revolutionary changes in ammunition handling and propellant. During the U. S. Civil War new applications of firearms including the machine gun and ironclad warship emerged that would still be recognizable and useful military weapons today in limited conflicts. In the 19th century warship propulsion changed from sail power to fossil fuel-powered steam engines. Since the mid-18th century North American French-Indian war through the beginning of the 20th century, human-powered weapons were reduced from the primary weaponry of the battlefield yielding to gunpowder-based weaponry.
Sometimes referred to as the "Age of Rifles", this period was characterized by the development of firearms for infantry and cannons for support, as well as the beginnings of mechanized weapons such as the machine gun. Of particular note, Howitzers were able to destroy masonry fortresses and other fortifications, this single invention caused a Revolution in