Military history is a humanities discipline within the scope of general historical recording of armed conflict in the history of humanity, its impact on the societies and economies thereof, as well as the resulting changes to local and international relationships. Professional historians focus on military affairs that had a major impact on the societies involved as well as the aftermath of conflicts, while amateur historians and hobbyists take a larger interest in the details of battles and uniforms in use; the essential subjects of military history study are the causes of war, the social and cultural foundations, military doctrine on each side, the logistics, technology and tactics used, how these changed over time. On the other hand, Just War Theory explores the moral dimensions of warfare, to better limit the destructive reality caused by war, seeks to establish a doctrine of military ethics; as an applied field, military history has been studied at academies and service schools because the military command seeks to not repeat past mistakes, improve upon its current performance by instilling an ability in commanders to perceive historical parallels during a battle, so as to capitalize on the lessons learned from the past.
When certifying military history instructors the Combat Studies Institute deemphasizes rote detail memorization and focuses on themes and context in relation to current and future conflict, using the motto "Past is Prologue."The discipline of military history is dynamic, changing with development as much of the subject area as the societies and organisations that make use of it. The dynamic nature of the discipline of military history is related to the rapidity of change the military forces, the art and science of managing them, as well as the frenetic pace of technological development that had taken place during the period known as the Industrial Revolution, more in the nuclear and information ages. An important recent concept is the Revolution in Military Affairs which attempts to explain how warfare has been shaped by emerging technologies, such as gunpowder, it highlights the short outbursts of rapid change followed by periods of relative stability. In terms of the history profession in major countries, military history is an orphan, despite its enormous popularity with the general public.
William H. McNeill points out: This branch of our discipline flourishes in an intellectual ghetto; the 144 books in question fall into two distinct classes: works aimed at a popular readership, written by journalists and men of letters outside academic circles, professional work nearly always produced within the military establishment.... The study of military history in universities remains underdeveloped. Indeed, lack of interest in and disdain for military history constitute one of the strangest prejudices of the profession. Historiography is the study of the history and method of the discipline of history or the study of a specialised topic. In this case, military history with an eye to gaining an accurate assessment of conflicts using all available sources. For this reason military history is periodised, creating overlaying boundaries of study and analysis in which descriptions of battles by leaders may be unreliable due to the inclination to minimize mention of failure and exaggerate success.
Military historians use Historiographical analysis in an effort to allow an unbiased, contemporary view of records. One military historian, Jeremy Black, outlined problems 21st-century military historians face as an inheritance of their predecessors: Eurocentricity, a technological bias, a focus on leading military powers and dominant military systems, the separation of land from sea and air conflicts, the focus on state-to-state conflict, a lack of focus on political "tasking" in how forces are used. If these challenges were not sufficient for the military historians, the limits of method are complicated by the lack of records, either destroyed or never recorded for its value as a military secret that may prevent some salient facts from being reported at all. Researching Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, for example, have presented unique challenges to historians due to records that were destroyed to protect classified military information, among other reasons. Historians utilize their knowledge of government regulation and military organization, employing a targeted and systematic research strategy to piece together war histories.
Despite these limits, wars are some of the most studied and detailed periods of human history. Military historians have compared organization and strategic ideas and national support of the militaries of different nations. In the early 1980s, historian Jeffrey Kimball studied the influence of a historian's political position on current events on interpretive disagreement regarding the causes of 20th century wars, he surveyed the ideological preferences of 109 active diplomatic historians in the United States as well as 54 active military historians. He finds that their current political views are moderately correlated with their historiographical interpretations. A clear position on the left-right continuum regarding capitalism was apparent in most cases. All groups agreed with the proposition, "historically, Americans have tended to view questions of their national security in terms of such extremes as good vs. evil." Though the Socialists were split, the other groups agreed that "miscalculation and/or misunderstanding of the situation" had caused U.
S. interventionism." Kimball reports that: Of historians in the field of diplomatic history, 7% are Socialist, 19% are O
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
A counter-insurgency or counterinsurgency is defined by the United States Department of State as "comprehensive civilian and military efforts taken to defeat and contain insurgency and address its root causes". An insurgency is a rebellion against a constituted authority when those taking part in the rebellion are not recognized as belligerents, it is "the organized use of subversion and violence to seize, nullify or challenge political control of a region. As such, it is a political struggle, in which both sides use armed force to create space for their political and influence activities to be effective." Counter-insurgency campaigns of duly-elected or politically recognized governments take place during war, occupation by a foreign military or police force, when internal conflicts that involve subversion and armed rebellion occur. The most effective counterinsurgency campaigns "integrate and synchronize political, security and informational components that reinforce governmental legitimacy and effectiveness while reducing insurgent influence over the population.
COIN strategies should be designed to protect the population from insurgent violence. According to scholars, it is crucial to know what this strategy was designed for to understand it comprehensively. COIN strategy aims to achieve the support of local population for the government created by host nation; the main point of the modern counterinsurgency campaign is not kill and capture insurgents, but to improve living conditions, support government in providing services for people and eliminate any support for insurgency. Counter-insurgency is conducted as a combination of conventional military operations and other means, such as demoralization in the form of propaganda, psy-ops, assassinations. Counter-insurgency operations include many different facets: military, political, economic and civic actions taken to defeat insurgency. To understand counter-insurgency, one must understand insurgency to comprehend the dynamics of revolutionary warfare. Insurgents capitalize on societal problems called gaps.
When the gaps are wide, they create a sea of discontent, creating the environment in which the insurgent can operate. In The Insurgent Archipelago John Mackinlay puts forward the concept of an evolution of insurgency from the Maoist paradigm of the golden age of insurgency to the global insurgency of the start of the 21st-century, he defines this distinction as'Maoist' and'post-Maoist' insurgency. William B. Caldwell wrote: The law of armed conflict requires that, to use force, "combatants" must distinguish individuals presenting a threat from innocent civilians; this basic principle is accepted by all disciplined militaries. In the counterinsurgency, disciplined application of force is more critical because our enemies camouflage themselves in the civilian population. Our success in Iraq depends on our ability to treat the civilian population with humanity and dignity as we remain ready to defend ourselves or Iraqi civilians when a threat is detected; the third Marques of Santa Cruz de Marcenado is the earliest author who dealt systematically in his writings with counter-insurgency.
In his Reflexiones Militares, published between 1726 and 1730, he discussed how to spot early signs of an incipient insurgency, prevent insurgencies, counter them, if they could not be warded off. Strikingly, Santa Cruz recognized that insurgencies are due to real grievances: "A state rises up without the fault of its governors." He advocated clemency towards the population and good governance, to seek the people's "heart and love". The majority of counter-insurgency efforts by major powers in the last century have been spectacularly unsuccessful; this may be attributed to a number of causes. First, as B. H. Liddell Hart pointed out in the Insurgency addendum to the second version of his book Strategy: The Indirect Approach, a popular insurgency has an inherent advantage over any occupying force, he showed as a prime example the French occupation of Spain during the Napoleonic wars. Whenever Spanish forces managed to constitute themselves into a regular fighting force, the superior French forces beat them every time.
However, once dispersed and decentralized, the irregular nature of the rebel campaigns proved a decisive counter to French superiority on the battlefield. Napoleon's army had no means of combatting the rebels, in the end their strength and morale were so sapped that when Wellington was able to challenge French forces in the field, the French had no choice but to abandon the situation. Counter-insurgency efforts may be successful when the insurgents are unpopular; the Philippine–American War, the Shining Path in Peru, the Malayan Emergency in Malaya have been the sites of failed insurgencies. Hart points to the experiences of T. E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt during World War I as another example of the power of the rebel/insurgent. Though the Ottomans had advantages in manpower of more than 100 to 1, the Arabs' ability to materialize out of the desert and disappear again left the Turks reeling and paralyzed, creating an opportunity for regular British forces to sweep in and finish the Turkish forces off.
In both the preceding cases, the insurgents and rebel fighters were working in conjunction with or in a manner complementary to regular forces. Such was the case with the French Resistance during World War II and the National Liberation Front during the Vietna
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which a small group of combatants, such as paramilitary personnel, armed civilians, or irregulars. Guerrilla groups are a type of violent non-state actor; the Spanish word "guerrilla" is the diminutive form of "guerra". The term became popular during the early-19th century Peninsular War, when the Spanish and Portuguese people rose against the Napoleonic troops and fought against a superior army using the guerrilla strategy. In correct Spanish usage, a person, a member of a "guerrilla" unit is a "guerrillero" if male, or a "guerrillera" if female; the term "guerrilla" was used in English as early as 1809 to refer to the fighters, to denote a group or band of such fighters. However, in most languages guerrilla still denotes the specific style of warfare; the use of the diminutive evokes the differences in number and scope between the guerrilla army and the formal, professional army of the state. Guerrilla warfare is a type of asymmetric warfare: competition between opponents of unequal strength.
It is a type of irregular warfare: that is, it aims not to defeat an enemy, but to win popular support and political influence, to the enemy's cost. Accordingly, guerrilla strategy aims to magnify the impact of a small, mobile force on a larger, more-cumbersome one. If successful, guerrillas weaken their enemy by attrition forcing them to withdraw. Tactically, guerrillas avoid confrontation with large units and formations of enemy troops, but seek and attack small groups of enemy personnel and resources to deplete the opposing force while minimizing their own losses; the guerrilla prizes mobility and surprise, organizing in small units and taking advantage of terrain, difficult for larger units to use. For example, Mao Zedong summarized basic guerrilla tactics at the beginning of the Chinese "Second Revolutionary Civil War" as:"The enemy advances, we retreat. At least one author credits the ancient Chinese work The Art of War with inspiring Mao's tactics. In the 20th century, other communist leaders, including North Vietnamese Ho Chi Minh used and developed guerrilla warfare tactics, which provided a model for their use elsewhere, leading to the Cuban "foco" theory and the anti-Soviet Mujahadeen in Afghanistan.
In addition to traditional military methods, guerrilla groups may rely on destroying infrastructure, using improvised explosive devices, for example. They also rely on logistical and political support from the local population and foreign backers, are embedded within it, many guerrilla groups are adept at public persuasion through propaganda. Many guerrilla movements today rely on children as combatants, porters, informants, in other roles, which has drawn international condemnation. There is no accepted definition of "terrorism", the term is used as a political tactic by belligerents to denounce opponents whose status as terrorists is disputed. Contrary to some terrorist groups, guerrillas work in open positions as armed units, try to hold and seize land, do not refrain from fighting enemy military force in battle and apply pressure to control or dominate territory and population. While the primary concern of guerrillas is the enemy's active military units, terrorists are concerned with non-military agents and target civilians.
Guerrilla forces principally fight in accordance with the law of war. In this sense, they respect the rights of innocent civilians by refraining from targeting them. According to the Ankara Center for Crisis and Policy Studies, terrorists do not limit their actions and terrorise civilians by putting fear in people's hearts and kill innocent foreigners in the country. Irregular warfare, based on elements characteristic of modern guerrilla warfare, has existed throughout the battles of many ancient civilizations; the growth of guerrilla warfare in the 20th century was inspired in part by theoretical works on guerrilla warfare, starting with the Manual de Guerra de Guerrillas by Matías Ramón Mella written in the 19th century and, more Mao Zedong's On Guerrilla Warfare, Che Guevara's Guerrilla Warfare, Lenin's text of the same name, all written after the successful revolutions carried by them in China and Russia, respectively. Those texts characterized the tactic of guerrilla warfare as, according to Che Guevara's text, being"used by the side, supported by a majority but which possesses a much smaller number of arms for use in defense against oppression".
The Chinese general and strategist Sun Tzu, in his The Art of War or 600 BC to 501 BC, was the earliest to propose the use of guerrilla warfare. This directly inspired the development of modern guerrilla warfare. Guerrilla tactics were employed by prehistoric tribal warriors against enemy tribes. Evidence of conventional warfare, on the other hand, did not emerge until 3100 BC in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Since the Enlightenment, ideologies such as nationalism, liberalism and religious fundamentalism have played an important role in shaping insurgencies and guerrilla warfare; the Moroccan national hero Mohamed ben Abdelkrim el-Khattabi, along with his father, unified the Moroccan
Armoured warfare, mechanised warfare or tank warfare is the use of armoured fighting vehicles in modern warfare. It is a major component of modern methods of war; the premise of armoured warfare rests on the ability of troops to penetrate conventional defensive lines through use of manoeuvre by armoured units. Much of the application of armoured warfare depends on the use of tanks and related vehicles used by other supporting arms such as infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled artillery, other combat vehicles, as well as mounted combat engineers and other support units; the doctrine of armoured warfare was developed to break the static nature of World War I trench warfare on the Western Front, return to the 19th century school of thought that advocated manoeuvre and "decisive battle" outcomes in military strategy. Modern armoured warfare began during the First World War with the need to break the tactical and strategic stalemates forced on commanders on the Western Front by the effectiveness of entrenched defensive infantry armed with machine guns—known as trench warfare.
Under these conditions, any sort of advance was very slow and caused massive casualties. The development of the tank was motivated by the need to return manoeuvre to warfare, the only practical way to do so was to provide caterpillar traction to guns allowing them to overcome trenches while at the same time offering them armour protection against small arms fire as they were moving. Tanks were first developed in Britain and France in 1915, as a way of navigating the barbed wire and other obstacles of no-man's land while remaining protected from machine-gun fire. British Mark I tanks first went to action at the Somme, on 15 September 1916, but did not manage to break the deadlock of trench warfare; the first French employment of tanks, on 16 April 1917, using the Schneider CA, was a failure. In the Battle of Cambrai British tanks were more successful, broke a German trenchline system, the Hindenburg Line. Despite the unpromising beginnings, the military and political leadership in both Britain and France during 1917 backed large investments into armoured vehicle production.
This led to a sharp increase in the number of available tanks for 1918. The German Empire to the contrary, produced only a few tanks, late in the war. Twenty German A7V tanks were produced during the entire conflict, compared to over 4,400 French and over 2,500 British tanks of various kinds. Nonetheless, World War I saw the first tank-versus-tank battle, during the Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux in April 1918, when a group of three German A7V tanks engaged a group of three British Mark IV tanks they accidentally met. After the final German Spring Offensives of 1918, Entente tanks were used in mass at the Battle of Soissons and Battle of Amiens, which ended the stalemate imposed by trench warfare on the Western Front, thus ended the war. Tactically, the deployment of armour during the war was typified by a strong emphasis on direct infantry support; the tank's main tasks were seen as crushing barbed wire and destroying machine-gun nests, facilitating the advance of foot soldiers. Theoretical debate focused on the question whether a "swarm" of light tanks should be used for this or a limited number of potent heavy vehicles.
Though in the Battle of Cambrai a large concentration of British heavy tanks effected a breakthrough, it was not exploited by armour. The manoeuvrability of the tank should at least in theory regain armies the ability to flank enemy lines. In practice, tank warfare during most of World War I was hampered by the technical immaturity of the new weapon system causing mechanical failure, limited numbers, general underutilisation, a low speed and a short range. Strategic use of tanks was slow to develop during and after World War I due to these technical limitations but due to the prestige role traditionally accorded to horse-mounted cavalry. An exception, on paper, was the Plan 1919 of Colonel John Fuller, who envisaged using the expected vast increase in armour production during 1919 to execute deep strategic penetrations by mechanised forces consisting of tanks and infantry carried by lorries, supported by aeroplanes, to paralyse the enemy command structure. Following the First World War, the technical and doctrinal aspects of armoured warfare became more sophisticated and diverged into multiple schools of doctrinal thought.
During the 1920s, only few tanks were produced. There were however, important technical developments. Various British and French commanders who had contributed to the origin of the tank, such as Jean Baptiste Eugène Estienne, B. H. Liddell Hart and J. F. C. Fuller, theorised about a possible future use of independent armoured forces, containing a large concentration of tanks, to execute deep strategic penetrations. Liddell Hart wrote many books about the subject propagating Fuller's theories; such doctrines were faced with the reality that during the 1920s the armoured vehicles, as early road transport in general, were unreliable, could not be used in sustained operations. Mainstream thought on the subject was more conservative and tried to integrate armoured vehicles into the existing infantry and cavalry organisation and tactics. Technical development focussed on the improvement of the suspension system and engine, to create vehicles that were faster, more reliable and had a better range than their WW I predecessors.
To save weight, such designs had thin armour plating and this inspired fitting small-calibre high-velocity guns in turrets, giving tanks a good antitank capacity. Both France and Britain built specialised infantry tanks, more armoured to provide infantry
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
Military tactics encompasses the art of organising and employing fighting forces on or near the battlefield. They involve the application of four battlefield functions which are related – kinetic or firepower, protection or security, shock action. Tactics are a separate function from control and logistics. In contemporary military science, tactics are the lowest of three levels of warfighting, the higher levels being the strategic and operational levels. Throughout history, there has been a shifting balance between the four tactical functions based on the application of military technology, which has led to one or more of the tactical functions being dominant for a period of time accompanied by the dominance of an associated fighting arm deployed on the battlefield, such as infantry, cavalry or tanks. Beginning with the use of melee and missile weapons such as clubs and spears, the kinetic or firepower function of tactics has developed along with technological advances so that the emphasis has shifted over time from the close-range melee and missile weapons to longer-range projectile weapons.
Kinetic effects were delivered by the sword, spear and bow until the introduction of artillery by the Romans. Until the mid 19th century, the value of infantry-delivered missile firepower was not high, meaning that the result of a given battle was decided by infantry firepower alone relying on artillery to deliver significant kinetic effects; the development of disciplined volley fire, delivered at close range, began to improve the hitting power of infantry, compensated in part for the limited range, poor accuracy and low rate of fire of early muskets. Advances in technology the introduction of the rifled musket, used in the Crimean War and American Civil War, meant flatter trajectories and improved accuracy at greater ranges, along with higher casualties; the resulting increase in defensive firepower meant infantry attacks without artillery support became difficult. Firepower became crucial to fixing an enemy in place to allow a decisive strike. Machine guns added to infantry firepower at the turn of the 20th century, the mobile firepower provided by tanks, self-propelled artillery and military aircraft rose in the century that followed.
Along with infantry weapons and other armoured vehicles, self-propelled artillery, guided weapons and aircraft provide the firepower of modern armies. Mobility, which determines how a fighting force can move, was for most of human history limited by the speed of a soldier on foot when supplies were carried by beasts of burden. With this restriction, most armies could not travel more than 32 kilometres per day, unless travelling on rivers. Only small elements of a force such as cavalry or specially trained light troops could exceed this limit; this restriction on tactical mobility remained until the latter years of World War I when the advent of the tank improved mobility sufficiently to allow decisive tactical manoeuvre. Despite this advance, full tactical mobility was not achieved until World War II when armoured and motorised formations achieved remarkable successes. However, large elements of the armies of World War II remained reliant on horse-drawn transport, which limited tactical mobility within the overall force.
Tactical mobility can be limited by the use of field obstacles created by military engineers. Personal armour has been worn since the classical period to provide a measure of individual protection, extended to include barding of the mount; the limitations of armour have always been weight and bulk, its consequent effects on mobility as well as human and animal endurance. By the 18th and 19th centuries, personal armour had been discarded, until the re-introduction of helmets during World War I in response to the firepower of artillery. Armoured fighting vehicles proliferated during World War II, after that war, body armour returned for the infantry in Western armies. Fortifications, which have been used since ancient times, provide collective protection, modern examples include entrenchments, barbed wire and minefields. Like obstacles, fortifications are created by military engineers. Shock action is as much a psychological function of tactics as a physical one, can be enhanced by the use of surprise.
It has been provided by charging infantry, well as by chariots, war elephants and armoured vehicles which provide momentum to an assault. It has been used in a defensive way, for example by the drenching flights of arrows from English longbowmen at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 which caused the horses of the French knights to panic. During early modern warfare, the use of the tactical formations of columns and lines had a greater effect than the firepower of the formations alone. During the early stages of World War II, the combined effects of German machine gun and tank gun firepower, enhanced by accurate indirect fire and air attack broke up Allied units before their assault commenced, or caused them to falter due to casualties among key unit leaders. In both the early modern and World War II examples, the cumulative psychological shock effect on the enemy was greater than the actual casualties incurred; the development of tactics has involved a shifting balance between the four tactical functions since ancient times, changes in firepower and mobility have been fundamental to these changes.
Various models have been proposed to explain the interaction between the tactical functions and the dominance of individual fighting arms during different periods. J. F. C. Fuller proposed three "tactical cycles" in each of the classical and Chri