Doughty, Robert A.
January 1996
Reader's Companion to Military History;1996, p218
Book Chapter
Since the first human beings fought in prehistoric times, the infantry has engaged in close combat with opponents. Though many aspects of the infantry have changed, its offensive missions of closing with and destroying the enemy and seizing and holding terrain and its defensive mission of denying key areas to the enemy have not. Infantry formations have comprised the bulk of all armies through much of recorded history and have largely determined their success or failure. The infantry is often supported by cavalry in the ancient period. In the modern era, the infantry receives support from tanks, artillery, engineers, and aviation units. The role of the infantry has not changed over the centuries, but its arms, formations, logistics, uniforms, and command and control have. Despite the introduction of new technologies, the infantry still has a place on the modern battlefield.


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