Cavalry or horsemen are soldiers or warriors who fight mounted on horseback. Cavalry were the most mobile of the combat arms. An individual soldier in the cavalry is known by a number of designations such as cavalryman, dragoon, or trooper; the designation of cavalry was not given to any military forces that used other animals, such as camels, mules or elephants. Infantry who moved on horseback, but dismounted to fight on foot, were known in the 17th and early 18th centuries as dragoons, a class of mounted infantry which evolved into cavalry proper while retaining their historic title. Cavalry had the advantage of improved mobility, a man fighting from horseback had the advantages of greater height and inertial mass over an opponent on foot. Another element of horse mounted warfare is the psychological impact a mounted soldier can inflict on an opponent; the speed and shock value of the cavalry was appreciated and exploited in armed forces in the Ancient and Middle Ages. In Europe cavalry became armoured, became known for the mounted knights.
During the 17th century cavalry in Europe lost most of its armor, ineffective against the muskets and cannon which were coming into use, by the mid-19th century armor had fallen into disuse, although some regiments retained a small thickened cuirass that offered protection against lances and sabres and some protection against shot. In the period between the World Wars, many cavalry units were converted into motorized infantry and mechanized infantry units, or reformed as tank troops. However, some cavalry still served during World War II, notably in the Red Army, the Mongolian People's Army, the Royal Italian Army, the Romanian Army, the Polish Land Forces, light reconnaissance units within the Waffen SS. Most cavalry units that are horse-mounted in modern armies serve in purely ceremonial roles, or as mounted infantry in difficult terrain such as mountains or forested areas. Modern usage of the term refers to units performing the role of reconnaissance and target acquisition. In many modern armies, the term cavalry is still used to refer to units that are a combat arm of the armed forces which in the past filled the traditional horse-borne land combat light cavalry roles.
These include scouting, skirmishing with enemy reconnaissance elements to deny them knowledge of own disposition of troops, forward security, offensive reconnaissance by combat, defensive screening of friendly forces during retrograde movement, restoration of command and control, battle handover and passage of lines, relief in place, breakout operations, raiding. The shock role, traditionally filled by heavy cavalry, is filled by units with the "armored" designation. Before the Iron Age, the role of cavalry on the battlefield was performed by light chariots; the chariot originated with the Sintashta-Petrovka culture in Central Asia and spread by nomadic or semi-nomadic Indo-Iranians. The chariot was adopted by settled peoples both as a military technology and an object of ceremonial status by the pharaohs of the New Kingdom of Egypt as well as the Assyrian army and Babylonian royalty; the power of mobility given by mounted units was recognized early on, but was offset by the difficulty of raising large forces and by the inability of horses to carry heavy armor.
Cavalry techniques were an innovation of equestrian nomads of the Central Asian and Iranian steppe and pastoralist tribes such as the Iranic Parthians and Sarmatians. The photograph above left shows Assyrian cavalry from reliefs of 865–860 BC. At this time, the men had no spurs, saddle cloths, or stirrups. Fighting from the back of a horse was much more difficult than mere riding; the cavalry acted in pairs. At this early time, cavalry used swords and bows; the sculpture implies two types of cavalry. Images of Assyrian cavalry show saddle cloths as primitive saddles, allowing each archer to control his own horse; as early as 490 BC a breed of large horses was bred in the Nisaean plain in Media to carry men with increasing amounts of armour, but large horses were still exceptional at this time. By the fourth century BC the Chinese during the Warring States period began to use cavalry against rival states, by 331 BC when Alexander the Great defeated the Persians the use of chariots in battle was obsolete in most nations.
The last recorded use of chariots as a shock force in continental Europe was during the Battle of Telamon in 225 BC. However, chariots remained in use for ceremonial purposes such as carrying the victorious general in a Roman triumph, or for racing. Outside of mainland Europe, the southern Britons met Julius Caesar with chariots in 55 and 54 BC, but by the time of the Roman conquest of Britain a century chariots were obsolete in Britannia; the last mention of chariot use in Britain was by the Caledonians at the Mons Graupius, in 84 AD. During the classical Greek period cavalry were limited to those citizens who could afford expensive war-horses. Three types of cavalry became common: light cavalry, whose riders, armed with javelins, could harass and skirmish.
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
A blue-water navy is a maritime force capable of operating globally across the deep waters of open oceans. While definitions of what constitutes such a force vary, there is a requirement for the ability to exercise sea control at wide ranges; the term "blue-water navy" is a maritime geographical-term in contrast with "brown-water navy" and "green-water navy". The Defense Security Service of the United States has defined the blue-water navy as "a maritime force capable of sustained operation across the deep waters of open oceans. A blue-water navy allows a country to project power far from the home country and includes one or more aircraft carriers. Smaller blue-water navies are able to dispatch fewer vessels abroad for shorter periods of time." In public discourse blue-water capability is identified with the operation of iconic capital ships such as battleships/battlecruisers, aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines. For instance, during the debate in the 1970s whether Australia should replace HMAS Melbourne, a former Chief of Navy claimed that if Australia did not replace her last aircraft carrier, she "would no longer have a blue-water navy".
In the end Australia did not buy a new carrier, but former Parliamentary defence advisor Gary Brown could still claim in 2004 that her navy remained "an effective blue-water force". The Soviet Navy towards the end of the Cold War is another example of a blue-water navy that had minimal carrier aviation, relying instead on submarines, missile-carrying surface ships, long-range bombers based on land. A blue-water navy implies force protection from sub-surface and airborne threats and a sustainable logistic reach, allowing a persistent presence at range. A hallmark of a true blue-water navy is the ability to conduct replenishment at sea, the commissioning of underway replenishment ships is a strong sign of a navy's blue-water ambitions. While a blue-water navy can project sea control power into another nation's littoral, it remains susceptible to threats from less capable forces. Maintenance and logistics at range have high costs, there might be a saturation advantage over a deployed force through the use of land-based air or surface-to-surface missile assets, diesel-electric submarines, or asymmetric tactics such as Fast Inshore Attack Craft.
An example of this vulnerability was the October 2000 USS Cole bombing in Aden. The term'blue-water navy' should not be confused with the capability of an individual ship. For example, vessels of a green-water navy can operate in blue water for short periods of time. A number of nations have extensive maritime assets but lack the capability to maintain the required sustainable logistic reach; some of them join coalition task groups in blue-water deployments such as anti-piracy patrols off Somalia. According to a dictionary definition, blue-water capability refers to an oceangoing fleet able to operate on the high seas far from its nation's homeports; some operate throughout the world. In their 2012 publication, "Sea Power and the Asia-Pacific", professors Geoffrey Till and Patrick C. Bratton outlined what they termed as "concise criteria" with regard to the definitions of brown and blue-water navies. Quote, they go on to say that with such a definition and understanding of naval hierarchy, it is still "ambiguous".
For example, while France and the United States may be considered blue-water navies, he states that the "operational capability and geographic reach of both navies are different." Another definition states that'brown-water' refers to the littoral areas within 100 nautical miles of the coastline.'Green-water' begins from 100 nautical miles out to the next major land formation. While'blue-water' is the ability to project force out to aleast 1,500 nautical miles beyond the coast. Traditionally a distinction used to be made between a coastal brown-water navy operating in the littoral zone to 200 nautical miles and an oceangoing blue-water navy. However, the United States Navy created a new term, green-water navy, to replace the term'brown-water navy' in US Navy parlance. Today, a brown-water navy has become to be known as a predominately riverine force. Despite the above however, there is no agreed definition of the term. There have been many attempts by naval scholars and other authorities to classify world navies, including.
All identify a basic common criteria such as. The table below shows the world naval hierarchy according to the classification system by professors Daniel Todd and Michael Lindberg, their system outlines ten ranks, distinguished by capability. Since it has been used by various other experts to illustrate the subject. According to Todd and Lindberg, a "blue-water navy" is one that can project any sort of power beyond its own territorial waters; however they used the principle of loss of strength gradient and other criteria to distinguish navies by capability under the four "blue-water" ranks. The six ranks of "Non blue-water navies" can be further broken down into "green-water" and "brown-water navies", according to Todd and Lindberg, these are navies only c
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
Industrial warfare is a period in the history of warfare ranging from the early 19th century and the start of the Industrial Revolution to the beginning of the Atomic Age, which saw the rise of nation-states, capable of creating and equipping large armies and air forces, through the process of industrialisation. The era featured mass-conscripted armies, rapid transportation and wireless communications, the concept of total war. In terms of technology, this era saw the rise of rifled breech-loading infantry weapons capable of high rates of fire, high-velocity breech-loading artillery, chemical weapons, armoured warfare, metal warships and aircraft. One of the main features of industrial warfare is the concept of "total war"; the term was coined during World War I by Erich Ludendorff, which called for the complete mobilization and subordination of all resources, including policy and social systems, to the German war effort. It has come to mean waging warfare with absolute ruthlessness, its most identifiable legacy today has been the reintroduction of civilians and civilian infrastructure as targets in destroying the enemy's ability to engage in war.
There are several reasons for the rise of total warfare in the 19th century. The main one is industrialization; as countries' capital and natural resources grew, it became clear that some forms of warfare demanded more resources than others. The greater cost of warfare became evident. An industrialized nation could distinguish and choose the intensity of warfare that it wished to engage in. Additionally, warfare was becoming more mechanized and required greater infrastructure. Combatants could no longer live off the land, but required an extensive support network of people behind the lines to keep them fed and armed; this required the mobilization of the home front. Modern concepts like propaganda were first used to boost production and maintain morale, while rationing took place to provide more war materiel; the earliest modern example of total war was the American Civil War. Union generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman were convinced that, if the North was to be victorious, the Confederacy's strategic and psychological ability to wage war had to be definitively crushed.
They believed that to break the backbone of the South, the North had to employ scorched earth tactics, or as Sherman called it, "Hard War". Sherman's advance through Georgia and the Carolinas was characterized by widespread destruction of civilian supplies and infrastructure. In contrast to conflicts, the damage done by Sherman was entirely limited to property destruction. In Georgia alone, Sherman claimed he and his men had caused $100,000,000 in damages. Conscription is the compulsory enrollment of civilians into military service. Conscription allowed the French Republic to form La Grande Armée, what Napoleon Bonaparte called "the nation in arms", which battled European professional armies. Conscription when the conscripts are being sent to foreign wars that do not directly affect the security of the nation, has been politically contentious in democracies. For instance, during World War I, bitter political disputes broke out in Canada, Newfoundland and New Zealand over conscription. Canada had a political dispute over conscription during World War II.
Both South Africa and Australia put limits on where conscripts could fight in WWII. Mass protests against conscription to fight the Vietnam War occurred in several countries in the late 1960s. In developed nations, the increasing emphasis on technological firepower and better-trained fighting forces, the sheer unlikelihood of a conventional military assault on most developed nations, as well as memories of the contentiousness of the Vietnam War experience, make mass conscription unlikely in the foreseeable future. Russia, as well as many smaller nations such as Switzerland, retain conscript armies. Prior to the invention of the motorized transport, combatants were transported from by wagons, horses and by marching. With the advent of locomotives, large groups of combatants and equipment were able to be transported faster and in larger numbers. To counter this, an opposing force would destroy rail lines to hinder their enemies' movements. General Sherman's men during the American Civil War, would destroy tracks, heat the rails, wrap them around trees.
The mass transportation of combatants was further revolutionized with the advent of the internal combustion engine and the automobile. Combined with the widespread use of the machine gun, the horse, after millennia of use, was supplanted in its war time role. During both WWI and WWII, trucks were used to carry combatants and materiel, while cars and jeeps were used to scout enemy positions; the mechanization of infantry occurred during WWII. The tank, a product of World War I invented by the British to break through trenches while withstanding machine gun fire, while discounted by many, came into its own. Tanks evolved from thin-skinned, lumbering vehicles into fast, powerful war machines of various types that dominated the battlefield and allowed the Germans to conquer most of Europe; as a result of the tank's evolution, a number of armored transport vehicles appeared, such as armoured personnel carriers and amphibious vehicles. After the war ended, armored transports continued to evolve; the armored car and train declined in use becoming relegated to military and civilian use as transportation for VIPs.
Infantry fighting vehicles rose to prominence with the creation of th
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