Talk:Heavy infantry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Military history (Rated Stub-Class)
MILHIST This article is within the scope of the Military history WikiProject. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks. To use this banner, please see the full instructions.
Stub This article has been rated as Stub-Class on the quality assessment scale.

To link between the Middle Ages and the Modern Age: Regular Infantry (British redcoats, etc), though unarmored, would have been considered heavy infantry, in contrast to skirmishers or light infantry.

The only link to the modern era except for mech infantry would be the development of powered exoskeletons, although such has seen only fictional military use, some promising DARPA projects notwithstanding.--Sergeantgiggles

The use of the term being limited to pre Gunpowder does not actually seem to be the case, Napoleonic Troops seem to be described as light and heavy as a matter of course. Even if the post gunpowder claim (I say claim as it seems to lack citation) is accurate it would seem to be against popular consensus. -- Jadrax —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:17, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Its worth noting that by the late Middle Ages - at least on the battlefields of the hundred years war - that the traditional mounted knight had largely transformed into heavy infantry fighting with a poleaxe or other such two handed weapon while protected by advanced plate. At Agincourt for example, the French only mounted a portion of their knights as a special tactical force tasked to ride down the English flanks while the vast majority of the knights on both sides fought on foot. There are many potential reasons for the change to dismounted knights. The devastating effects of massed longbows and crossbows against boot-to-boot cavalry charges (where horses were far more vulnerable than riders and tended to cause ugly pile-ups when they went down) are generally understood, but perhaps more important than that is the frightening disadvantage of facing a truly lethal spearing and chopping two-handed weapon while stuck on a horse in a melee - as far back as Hastings, mounted men might find their horse nearly decapitated by a well placed blow that they could neither parry nor return. The historical record suggests that it was the rise of professionally trained and equipped heavy infantry as much as later gunpowder weapons that ended the domination of heavy horse. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:29, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Disconnect between heavy as in formation, and heavy as in armor[edit]

It is my unmderstanding that heavy infantry is often confused with heavily-armored infantry. When historians talk about heavy infantry they are talking about units that fight in a tight formation, heavily-armored or not. For instance, most greek hoplites could not afford any body armor, but since they fought shoulder to shoudler, the "weight" of their unit was greater, i.e., it hit with more force on a charge (which for hoplies was probably a slow trot) and was harder to move when it was charged against. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scoutrto (talkcontribs) 04:50, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Indeed the article tends to focus on equipment rather than role; light vs heavy could equally be define those units which are "line of battle" (heavy, emphasising fighting power) & those who fulfill other roles such as skirmishing, harassment, reconnaissance & raiding (emphasising tactical mobility.)

The change to the gunpowder era doesn't alter this - as the velite fought ahead of the triplex acies & fell back through its ranks as the battle closed so is the tactical relationship between the tirailler & line of fusiliers (in an oddly apt comparision the legionnaire as much as the fusilier hoped to break his enemy with his organic firepower, though both were expected to close if needs be.)

What gets confusing is the idea of "medium infantry" a concept that seems modern, albeit applied retrospectively to previous eras. This quite possibly to distinguish elite (guards, grenadiers) line units from the homogeneously equipped infantry line, "heavy" traditionally implying more battlefield capability than other line units. It could be said that this semantic difference followed on to a real difference as the "elite" infantry unit some late-19thC/early-20thC nations ended up with higher densities of machine guns, more organic artillery and other support assets. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:24, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Classical "Medium infantry" might perhaps consist of such creatures as ekdromoi, theurophoroi, thorakities (my spelling may stink) or Roman Antesigni - men equipped and trained to fight in close order but also trained for skirmishing. The classic role=/=equipment is the "peltast" units deployed by some of the Hellenistic diadochoi states that consisted of heavily armoured assault infantry who still rated as light troops (peltasts) because they fought in open order rather than being part of a phalanx. (talk) 11:15, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Did the Russians really convert tanks to APCs in "post invasion Iraq"?[edit]

Or is someone just very confused? The last para of "The Industrial Era and Beyond" needs a re-write to be clear what the author means. After several re-reads, sense eventually breaks through, but there's still an orphaned reference to Russians that makes it look like they were part of the Iraq Coalition. (talk) 11:15, 18 December 2012 (UTC)