A military resource is any type of personnel (such as infantry or cavalry) or equipment (such as tanks or ships) that has been deployed in a war or battle.
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Infantry is the branch of the army that fights on foot. Infantrymen are land-based soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face-to-face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are still the backbone of modern armies. Infantry units have more physically-demanding training than other branches of armies, and place a greater emphasis on discipline, physical strength, fitness and spontaneous sustained aggression. The infantryman himself, with or without his personal weapon, is considered a weapon system.
Infantrymen are easily distinguished from soldiers trained to fight on horseback (cavalry), in tanks, or in technical roles such as armourers or signallers. Rudimentary infantry skills such as basic individual movement techniques, shooting positions and field craft are fundamental to the training of every soldier. Infantry can access and maneuver in terrain inaccessible to vehicles and tanks, and employ infantry support weapons that can provide firepower in the absence of artillery. Their combat insertion techniques include, airborne, air assault, amphibious
A medium machine gun or MMG, in modern terms, usually refers to a belt-fed automatic firearm firing a full-power rifle cartridge.
In the late 19th century, Gatling guns and other externally powered types, such as the Nordenfelt, were often made in different ranges of calibers, such as half-inch and one-inch. Thanks to their many barrels, overheating was not a major issue, and they were also quite heavy, being, essentially, heavy machine guns.
When Hiram Maxim developed his recoil-powered machine gun that used a single barrel, the first main design was a modest 26 pounds (11.8 kg) in weight, firing a .45-inch rifle caliber bullet (from a 24 inch long barrel). As depicted in a famous photo of Maxim, it could be picked up complete with its 15-pound (6.8 kg) tripod with one arm. It was similar to later-design medium machine guns, but it could not be fired for extended periods. As a result, he created a water-jacket cooling system to enable it to fire for extended periods. This added significant weight, as did changes to more powerful cartridges. This class of heavy, water-cooled machine gun would eventually be regarded as the classic heavy machine guns. However, the much lighter total
Trotyl Mines were a model of "contact" naval mines used by the Germans in WW1 with devastating effect. Trotyl is wet gun cotton, which made the mines very safe to store and manipulate, meaning that explosions of nearby mines rarely set them off too. This meant that ships coming to aid those already struck by a nearby mine would be very vulnerable to the nearby mines which had still not detonated. They were usually anchored to the sea bed.
A mortar is an indirect fire weapon that fires explosive projectiles known as (mortar) bombs at low velocities, short ranges, and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. It is typically muzzle-loading and has a barrel length less than 15 times its caliber.
A mortar is relatively simple and easy to operate. A modern mortar consists of a tube into which assistant gunners drop a purpose-designed bomb. The tube is generally set at between 45 and 85 degrees angle to the ground, with the higher angle giving shorter firing distances. The bomb has no cartridge case; the propellant is attached to the bomb's fins. When it reaches the base of the tube it hits a firing pin, which detonates the propellant and fires the projectile. Some larger caliber mortars have a string-operated firing pin.
These attributes contrast with the mortar's larger siblings, howitzers and field guns, that fire shells at higher velocities, longer ranges, flatter arcs, and sometimes using direct fire. These weapons are also breech-loaded while mortars are muzzle-loaded.
From the 18th to the early 20th century very heavy, relatively immobile siege mortars were used, of up to one metre calibre, often made of cast iron and
A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of between 10,000 and 30,000 soldiers. In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, and in turn several divisions typically make up a corps. In most modern militaries, a division tends to be the smallest combined arms unit capable of independent operations; due to its self-sustaining role as a unit with a range of combat troops and suitable combat support forces, which can be divided into various organic combinations.
While the focus of this article is on army divisions, in naval usage division may refer either to an administrative department aboard Naval and Coast Guard ships and shore commands, or to a sub-unit of several ships within a flotilla or squadron. In the administrative usage, unit size varies widely, though typically divisions number far less than 100 persons. In the U.S. and Commonwealth Navies, a divisional officer (DIVO) is usually an Ensign or Lieutenant (JG), but may be an officer of much higher rank in certain circumstances or aboard large warships, who oversees a team of enlisted sailors in their duties.
In the West, the first general to think of organising an army
A siege engine is a device that is designed to break or circumvent city walls and other fortifications in siege warfare. Some have been operated close to the fortifications, while others have been used to attack from a distance. From antiquity, siege engines were constructed largely of wood and tended to use mechanical advantage to fling stones and similar missiles. With the development of gunpowder and improved metallurgical techniques, siege engines became artillery. Collectively, siege engines or artillery together with the necessary troops and transport vehicles to conduct a siege are referred to as a siege-train.
The earliest engine was the battering ram, developed by the Assyrians, followed by the catapult in ancient Greece. The Spartans used battering rams in the Siege of Plataea in 429 BC, but it seems that the Greeks limited their use of siege engines to assault ladders, though Peloponnesian forces used something resembling flamethrowers.
The first Mediterranean people to use advanced siege machinery were the Carthaginians, who used siege towers and battering rams against the Greek colonies of Sicily. These engines influenced the ruler of Syracuse, Dionysius I, who
A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a lieutenant colonel or a colonel. Several battalions are grouped to form a regiment or a brigade.
The nomenclature varies by nationality and by branch of arms, for instance, some armies organize their infantry into battalions, but call battalion-sized cavalry, reconnaissance, or tank units a squadron or a regiment instead. There may even be subtle distinctions within a nation's branches of arms, such as a distinction between a tank battalion and an armored squadron, depending on how the unit's operational role is perceived to fit into the army's historical organization.
A battalion is generally the smallest military unit capable of independent operations (i.e., not attached to a higher command), although many armies have smaller units that are self-sustaining. The battalion is usually part of a regiment, group or a brigade, depending on the organizational model used by that service. The bulk of a battalion will ordinarily be homogeneous with respect to type (e.g., an infantry battalion or a tank battalion), although there are many
A general-purpose machine gun (GPMG) is a belt-fed weapon used in a variety of roles, from bipod- or tripod-mounted infantry support to deployment as a helicopter door gun or a vehicle-mounted support weapon. It can provide fire support for vehicles or infantry from a variety of mounts.
In modern practice, it is an air-cooled medium machine gun, firing rifle cartridges such as the 7.62×51mm NATO, 7.62×54mmR Warsaw pact, or 7.92x57mm Mauser. It is generally operated from a stationary position from either a bipod or tripod, or otherwise mounted on a vehicle, as it is usually too powerful and heavy to be fired effectively on foot from an unsupported standing position or on the move.
The Belgian FN MAG is in service with many nations and in various forms:
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the effective range of personal weapons. These engines comprise specialised devices which use some form of stored energy to operate, whether mechanical, chemical, or electromagnetic. Originally designed to breach fortifications, they have evolved from nearly static installations intended to reduce a single obstacle to highly mobile weapons of great flexibility in which now reposes the greater portion of a modern army's offensive capabilities.
Since the development of cannon, the word "artillery" in practice has largely meant cannon; in contemporary usage it usually refers to shell-firing guns, howitzers, mortars, and rockets.
In common speech the word artillery is often used to refer to individual devices, together with their accessories and fittings, although these assemblages are more properly referred to as equipments. By association, artillery may also refer to the arm of service that customarily operates such engines.
Artillery may also refer to a system of
A regiment is a title used by some military units. The size of a regiment varies markedly, depending on the country and the arm of service.
Historically, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a full-strength regiment was typically supposed to be a thousand men, and was commanded by a colonel.
Today, there is no set size for a unit calling itself a "regiment", which may be:
The French term régiment entered military usage in Europe at the end of the 16th century, when armies evolved from collections of retinues who followed knights, to formally organised, permanent military forces. At that time, regiments usually were named after their commanding colonels, and disbanded at the end of the campaign or war; the colonel and his regiment might recruit from and serve several monarchs or countries. Later, it was customary to name the regiment by its precedence in the line of battle, and to recruit from specific places, called cantons. The oldest regiments which still exist include the 1521 Swedish Life Guards, the 1537 British Honourable Artillery Company and the French premier régiment d'infanterie de ligne, created from the ancient "bandes de Picardie" first established in 1479.
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire bullets in quick succession from an ammunition belt or magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute.
Machine guns are generally categorized as submachine guns, machine guns, or autocannons. Submachine guns are hand-held small portable automatic weapons for personal defense or short-range combat firing pistol-caliber rounds. A machine gun is often portable to a certain degree, but is generally used when attached to a mount or fired from the ground on a bipod, and generally fires a rifle cartridge. Light machine guns are small enough to be fired and are hand-held like a rifle, but are more effective when fired from a prone position. The difference between machine guns and autocannons is based on caliber, with autocannons using calibers larger than 16 mm.
Another factor is whether the gun fires conventional rounds or explosive rounds. Guns firing large-caliber explosive rounds are generally considered either autocannons or automatic grenade launchers ("grenade machine guns"). In contrast to submachine guns and autocannons, machine guns (like rifles) tend to share the
A tank is a tracked, armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat which combines operational mobility and tactical offensive and defensive capabilities. Firepower is normally provided by a large-calibre main gun in a rotating turret and secondary machine guns, while heavy armour and all-terrain mobility provide protection for the tank and its crew, allowing it to perform all primary tasks of the armoured troops on the battlefield.
Tanks in World War I were developed separately and simultaneously by Great Britain and France as a means to break the deadlock of trench warfare on the Western Front. Their first use in combat was by the British Army on September 15, 1916 at Flers-Courcelette, during the Battle of the Somme. The name "tank" was adopted by the British during the early stages of their development, as a security measure to conceal their purpose (see Etymology). While the French and British built thousands of tanks between them, Germany developed and brought into service only a single design the A7V producing 20 vehicles due to lack of capacities or resources.
Tanks of the interwar period evolved into the designs of World War II. Important concepts of armoured
A weapon of mass destruction (WMD) is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans (and other life forms) and/or cause great damage to man-made structures (e.g. buildings), natural structures (e.g. mountains), or the biosphere in general. The scope and application of the term has evolved and been disputed, often signifying more politically than technically. Coined in reference to aerial bombing with chemical explosives, it has come to distinguish large-scale weaponry of other technologies, such as chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear. This differentiates the term from more technical ones such as chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons (CBRN).
The first use of the term "weapon of mass destruction" on record is by Cosmo Gordon Lang, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1937 in reference to the aerial bombardment of Guernica, Spain:
At the time, the United States was yet to develop and discharge nuclear weapons. Japan conducted research on biological weapons (see Unit 731), and chemical weapons had seen wide use, most notably in World War I.
Following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and progressing through the Cold War,
The Israel Defense Forces 162nd Armor Division, also known as the Steel Formation (Hebrew: עֻצְבַּת הַפְּלָדָה, Utzbat HaPlada), is a regular-service armor division in the IDF. It is subordinate to the Central Regional Command. The division is led by Brigadier-General Moti Baruch.
It played a critical role in the 1973 Yom Kippur War in the Sinai under Abraham Adan.
Although attached to the Central Command, the 162nd Division participated in battles against Hezbollah, from July to August 2006, in the western sector of southern Lebanon and north of Bint Jbail. The division reached the strategic Litani River, that separates Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon from central Lebanon. The division participated in additional skirmishes with Hezbollah as late as September 27.
A private military company (PMC), or private military or security company, provides military and armed security services. These combatants are commonly known as mercenaries, though modern-day PMCs euphemistically prefer to refer to their staff as security contractors or private military contractors. Private military companies refer to their business generally as the private military industry or The Circuit, in an attempt to avoid the stigma often associated with mercenaries. While the hiring of mercenaries is a common practice in the history of armed conflict, it is prohibited in the modern age by the United Nations Mercenary Convention, which is why PMC's make a specific differentiation between their commercial activities and the connotations surrounding the word “mercenary”.
The services and expertise offered by PMCs are typically similar to those of governmental military or police forces, most often on a smaller scale. While PMCs often provide services to train or supplement official armed forces in service of governments, they can also be employed by private companies to provide bodyguards for key staff or protection of company premises, especially in hostile territories.
Cavalry (from French cavalerie, cf. cheval 'horse') or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest (after infantry and chariotry) and the most mobile of the combat arms. A soldier in the cavalry is known by a number of designations such as cavalryman, horseman or trooper.
The designation of cavalry was not usually given to any military force that used other animals, such as camels or mules. 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 later evolved into cavalry proper while retaining their historic title.
From earliest times cavalry had the advantage of improved mobility, making it an
instrument which multiplied the fighting value of even the smallest forces, allowing them to outflank and avoid, to surprise and overpower, to retreat and escape according to the requirements of the moment.
A man fighting from horseback also had the advantages of greater height, speed, and inertial mass over an opponent on foot. Another element of horse mounted warfare is the psychological impact a mounted soldier can
A military aircraft is any fixed-wing or rotary-wing aircraft that is operated by a legal or insurrectionary armed service of any type. Military aircraft can be either combat or non-combat:
Combat aircraft, or "Warplanes", are divide broadly into multi-role, fighters, bombers and attackers, with several variations between them, including fighter-bombers, such as the MiG-23, ground-attack aircraft, such as the Soviet Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik. Also included among combat aircraft are long-range maritime patrol aircraft, such as the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod and the S-3 Viking that are often equipped to attack with anti-ship missiles and anti-submarine weapons.
The main role of fighters is destroying enemy aircraft in air-to-air combat, offensive or defensive. Many are fast and highly maneuverable. Escorting bombers or other aircraft is also a common task. They are capable of carrying a variety of weapons, including machine guns, cannons, rockets and guided missiles. Many modern fighters can attack enemy fighters from a great distance, before the enemy even sees them. Examples of air superiority fighters include the F-22 Raptor and the MiG-29. WWII fighters include the Spitfire, the P-51