Traditionally light infantry (or skirmishers) were soldiers whose job was to provide a skirmishing screen ahead of the main body of infantry, harassing and delaying the enemy advance. Light infantry was distinct from medium, heavy or line infantry. Heavy infantry were dedicated primarily to fighting in tight formations that were the core of large battles. Light infantry often fought in close co-ordination with heavy infantry, where they could screen the heavy infantry from harassing fire, and the heavy infantry could intervene to protect the light infantry from attacks of enemy heavy infantry or cavalry. Heavy infantry originally had heavier arms and more armour than light infantry, but this distinction was lost as the use of armour declined and gunpowder weapons became standardized.
Read more about Light Infantry: Contemporary Light Infantry Forces
Famous quotes containing the word light:
“Ive never been afraid to step out and to reach out and to move out in order to make things happen.”
—Victoria Gray, African American civil rights activist. As quoted in This Little Light of Mine, ch. 3, by Hay Mills (1993)