Cold-weather warfare known as Arctic warfare or winter warfare, encompasses military operations affected by snow, thawing conditions or cold, both on land and at sea. Cold-weather conditions occur year-round at high elevation or at high latitudes, elsewhere materialise seasonally during the winter period. Mountain warfare takes place in cold weather or on terrain, affected by ice and snow, such as the Alps and the Himalayas. Most such operations have been during winter in the Northern Hemisphere; some have occurred above the Arctic Circle where snow and cold may occur throughout the year. At times, cold or its aftermath—thaw—has been a decisive factor in the failure of a campaign, as with Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812 and the German invasion of Russia during World War II. Northern and Eastern Europe were the venues for some well-documented winter campaigns. During World War II several actions took place above the Arctic Circle. Recent cold-weather conflicts have occurred in the Himalayas.
In 1242, the Teutonic Order lost the Battle on the Ice on Lake Peipus to Novgorod. In 1520, the decisive Battle of Bogesund between Sweden and Denmark occurred on the ice of lake Åsunden. Sweden and Denmark fought several wars during the 17th centuries; as a great deal of Denmark consists of islands, it was safe from invasion, but in January 1658, most of the Danish waters froze. Charles X Gustav of Sweden led his army across the ice of the Belts to besiege Copenhagen; the war ended with the treaty of Roskilde, a treaty favorable to the Swedish. During the Great Northern War, Swedish king Charles XII set off to invade Moscow, but was defeated at the Battle of Poltava after being weakened by cold weather and scorched earth tactics. Sweden suffered more casualties during the same war as Carl Gustaf Armfeldt with 6,000 men tried to invade Trondheim. Three thousand of them died of exposure in the snow during the Carolean Death March. During the Finnish War, the Russian army unexpectedly crossed the frozen Gulf of Bothnia from Finland to the Åland Islands and, by 19 March 1809, reached the Swedish shore within 70 km from the Swedish capital, Stockholm.
This daring maneuvre decided the outcome of the war. Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812 resulted in retreat in the face of winter with the majority of the French army succumbing to frostbite and starvation, rather than combat injuries; the Finnish Army used ski troops during the Winter War and the Second World War, where the numerically dominant Soviet forces had a hard time fighting mobile, white-clad ski soldiers. In Operation Barbarossa in 1941, both Russian and German soldiers had to endure terrible conditions during the Russian winter; the German-Finnish joint offensive against Murmansk in 1941 saw heavy fighting in the Arctic environment. Subsequently, the Petsamo-Kirkenes Operation conducted by the Red Army against the Wehrmacht in 1944 in northern Finland and Norway drove the Germans out of there. In late 1944, Finland turned against their former cobelligerents, Nazi Germany, under the Soviet Union's pressure and pressured the Germans to withdraw in the ensuing Lapland War. While use of ski infantry was common in the Red Army, Germany formed only one division for movement on skis.
From June 1942 to August 1943, the United States and Canada fought the Japanese in the Aleutian Islands Campaign in the Alaska Territory. The Battle of Chosin Reservoir was a stark example of cold affecting military operations in the Korean War. There were many cold malfunctions of materiel, both vehicles and weapons; the Siachen conflict is a military conflict between India and Pakistan over the disputed Siachen Glacier region in Kashmir. The conflict began in 1984 with India's successful Operation Meghdoot during which it gained control over all of the Siachen Glacier. A cease-fire went into effect in 2003; the following actions were fought in the Arctic by land and naval forces between 1941 and 1945 in the following theaters of operations: The raid on Kirkenes and Petsamo took place on 30 July 1941 when the British Fleet Air Arm launched an unsuccessful raid from the aircraft carriers HMS Victorious and Furious to inflict damage on merchant vessels owned by Germany and Finland and to show support for Britain's new ally, the Soviet Union.
Operation Rösselsprung was a plan by the German Kriegsmarine to intercept an Arctic convoy in mid-1942, resulting in the near destruction of Convoy PQ 17. Operation Wunderland was a large-scale operation undertaken in summer 1942 by the Kriegsmarine to enter the Kara Sea during the summer thaw and destroy as many Russian vessels as possible; the Winter War was a military conflict between Finland. It began with a Soviet invasion of Finland on 30 November 1939, three months after the outbreak of World War II, ended three and a half months with the Moscow Peace Treaty on 13 March 1940; the Lapland War was fought between Finland and Germany from September 1944 to April 1945 in Finland's northernmost Lapland Province. It included: Operation Birke was a German operation late in World War II in Finnish Lapland to protect access to nickel. Operation Nordlicht was a German scorched-earth retreat operation in Finland during the end of World War II; the Petsamo–Kirkenes Offensive was a major military offensive during World War II, mounted by the Red Army against the Wehrmacht in 1944 in northern Finland and Norway.
The liberation of Finnmark was a military operation, lasting from 23 October 1944 until 26 April 1945, in which Soviet and Norwegian forces wrestled away control of Finnmark, the northernmost county of Norway, from Germany. It started with a major Soviet offensive. Operation Silver Fox was
Early modern warfare
Early modern warfare is associated with the start of the widespread use of gunpowder and the development of suitable weapons to use the explosive, including artillery and firearms. This entire period is contained within the Age of Sail, which characteristic dominated the era's naval tactics, including the use of gunpowder in naval artillery. All of the Great Powers of Europe and the Middle East were fighting numerous wars throughout this period, grouped in rough geographical and chronological terms as The European wars of religion between the 1520s and the 1640s and, the Franco-Spanish War, the Northern Wars, Polish–Swedish wars and Russo-Swedish Wars. In the Horn of Africa, the Adal's conquest of Ethiopia and the involving of the Ottomans and the Portuguese. In Asia, the Persia–Portugal war, Nader's Campaigns, the Mughal conquests, the Chinese Ten Great Campaigns, the Anglo-Mysore Wars; the earliest existent Chinese formula for gunpowder is recorded in the Wujing Zongyao manuscript published by 1044, while the fire lance, an early firearm, was used by Song Chinese forces against the Jin during the Siege of De'an in 1132.
The earliest surviving bronze hand cannon, dates to 1288, during the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty of China. Gunpowder warfare was used in the Mongol invasions of Japan in 1274 and 1281 in the form of explosive bombs fired from catapults against enemy soldiers. Japanese scrolls contain illustrations of bombs used by the Yuan-Mongol forces against mounted samurai. Archaeological evidence of the use of gunpowder include the discovery of multiple shells of the explosive bombs in an underwater shipwreck off the shore of Japan, with X-rays providing proof that they contained gunpowder. In 1326, the earliest known European picture of a gun appeared in a manuscript by Walter de Milemete. In 1350, Petrarch wrote that the presence of cannons on the battlefield was'as common and familiar as other kinds of arms'. Early artillery played a limited role in the Hundred Years' War, it became indispensable in the Italian Wars of 1494–1559. Charles VIII, during his invasion of Italy, brought with him the first mobile siege train: culverins and bombards mounted on wheeled carriages, which could be deployed against an enemy stronghold after arrival.
The period from 1500–1801 saw a rapid advance in techniques of fortification in Europe. Whereas medieval castles had relied on high walls to keep out attackers, early modern fortifications had to withstand artillery bombardments. To do this, engineers developed a style of fortress known as the trace italienne or "Italian style"; these had low, sloping walls, that would either absorb or deflect cannon fire. In addition, they were shaped with bastions protruding at sharp angles; this was to ensure that every bastion could be supported with fire from an adjacent bastion, leaving no "dead ground" for an attacker to take cover in. These new fortifications negated the advantages cannon had offered to besiegers. A polygonal fort is a fortification in the style that evolved around the middle of the 18th century, in response to the development of explosive shells; the complex and sophisticated designs of star forts that preceded them were effective against cannon assault, but proved much less effective against the more accurate fire of rifled guns and the destructive power of explosive shells.
The polygonal style of fortification is described as a "flankless fort". Many such forts were built in the United Kingdom and the British Empire during the government of Lord Palmerston, so they are often referred to as Palmerston forts, their low profile makes them easy to overlook. In response to the vulnerabilities of star forts, military engineers evolved a much simpler but more robust style of fortification. An example of this style can be seen at Fort McHenry in Baltimore in the United States of America, the home of the famous battle where The Star-Spangled Banner was penned by Francis Scott Key; the power of aristocracies vis à vis states diminished throughout Western Europe during this period. Aristocrats' 200- to 400-year-old ancestral castles no longer provided useful defences against artillery; the nobility's importance in warfare eroded as medieval heavy cavalry lost its central role in battle. The heavy cavalry - made up of armoured knights - had begun to fade in importance in the Late Middle Ages.
The English longbow and the Swiss pike had both proven their ability to devastate larger armed forces of mounted knights. However, the proper use of the longbow required the user to be strong, making it impossible to amass large forces of archers; the proper use of the pike required complex operations in formation and a great deal of fortitude and cohesion by the pikemen, again making amassing large forces difficult. Starting in the early 14th-century, armourers added plate-armour pieces to the traditional protective linked mail armour of knights and men-at-arms to guard against the arrows of the longbow and crossbow. By 1415, some infantrymen began deploying the first "hand cannons", the earliest small-bore arquebuses, with burning "m
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
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
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.
Military deception refers to attempts to mislead enemy forces during warfare. This is achieved by creating or amplifying an artificial fog of war via psychological operations, information warfare, visual deception and other methods; as a form of strategic use of information, it overlaps with psychological warfare. To the degree that any enemy that falls for the deception will lose confidence when it is revealed, he may hesitate when confronted with the truth. Deception in warfare dates back to early history; the Art of War, an ancient Chinese military treatise, puts great emphasis on the tactic. In modern times military deception has developed as a fledged doctrine. Misinformation and visual deception were employed during World War I and came into greater prominence during World War II. In the buildup to the 1944 invasion of Normandy the Allies executed one of the largest deceptions in military history, Operation Bodyguard, helping them achieve full tactical surprise. Broadly, military deception may take both tactical forms.
Deception across a strategic battlefield was uncommon until the modern age, but tactical deception dates back to early history. In a practical sense military deception employs visual misdirection and psychology to make the enemy believe something, untrue; the use of military camouflage on a large scale, is a form of deception. The Russian loanword maskirovka is used to describe the Soviet Union and Russia's military doctrine of surprise through deception, in which camouflage plays a significant role. There are numerous examples of deception activities employed throughout the history of warfare, such as: Feigned retreat Leading the enemy, through a false sense of security, into a pre-positioned ambush. Fictional units Creating fictional forces, fake units or exaggerating the size of an army. Smoke screen A tactical deception involving smoke, fog, or other forms of concealment to hide battlefield movements or positions. Trojan horse Gaining admittance to a fortified area under false pretences, to admit a larger attacking force.
Strategic envelopment A small force distracts the enemy while a much larger force moves to attack from the rear. A favoured tactic of Napoleon. Deception has been a part of warfare from the dawn of history. At first it fell to individual commanders to develop tactical deception on the battlefield, it was not until the modern era that deception was organised at a high strategic level, as part of entire campaigns or wars. Early examples of military deception exist in the ancient dynasties of China. Hannibal recognised as one of the finest military commanders in history, made extensive use of deception in his campaigns; the Ancient Greeks were noted for several forms of tactical deception. They invented smoke screens during the Peloponnesian War and stories refer to the famous Trojan horse which allowed them to defeat Troy. In his 52 BC conquest of Gaul, Julius Caesar used tactical deception to achieve a crossing of the Allier river, his opponent, shadowed Caesar's force from the opposite bank, contesting any attempted crossing.
Caesar camped overnight in a wood. Once the coast was clear, the hidden forces established a bridgehead. One volume of Roman aristocrat Frontinus's Stratagems, written in the first century AD, deals with deception. Ancient Rome professed to despise the tactic. Opinion on military deception was divided following the fall of the Roman empire; the chivalrous countries in western Europe considered the tactic to be underhanded, whilst Eastern armies considered it a key skill: the Byzantine general Belisarius was noted for using deception against overwhelming odds. For example, during the Gothic War, Belisarius exaggerated his troop sizes first by advancing them in three directions, at night by having his troops light a long chain of campfires; as a result, the much larger army of Goths fled in panic on his approach. The Normans embraced the concept of a feigned retreat. William the Conqueror appears to have used this tactic during the Battle of Hastings, but the actual events are disputed by scholars.
Whatever the truth, the battle has at least been used as a famous example of the tactic. Mongol armies used the feigned withdrawal. Mongol warlords made use of disinformation tactics, spreading rumours about the size and effectiveness of their forces, they made use of visual deception. On the battlefield, the Mongols used many tactical deceptions, from lighting fires as a smokescreen to luring opponents into traps. Other examples of deception occurred during the Crusades. In 1271, Sultan Baybars captured the formidable Krak des Chevaliers by handing the besieged knights a letter from their commander, ordering them to surrender, it was, of course, but the knights duly capitulated. At around the same time, in England, the Welsh Tudors were seeking a revocation of the price that Henry Percy had placed on their heads, they decided to capture Percy's Conwy castle.
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