Skirmish Line


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Skirmish Line

 

a battle formation used by motorized rifle squads, platoons, and companies during an advance. In such a formation, troops are deployed in a single line along the front at intervals of 6–8 m (eight to 12 paces). An individual may move slightly forward or to the side to improve his fire position or to better adapt himself to the terrain, as long as he neither breaks the general continuity of the formation’s front nor hinders his neighbors. First used in the second half of the 19th century, the skirmish line appeared in response to the widespread use of rifled weapons, against which troops in columns sustained heavy losses (seeBATTLE FORMATIONS) .

References in periodicals archive ?
The skirmish line usually consists of a line of officers with hats and bats, several line backers, and a leader.
A significant weakness of the standard skirmish line concept is the span of control.
The augmented skirmish line provides a method of deploying officers in a riot squad formation, while maintaining control of the personnel involved.
Therefore, the presence of uniformed law enforcement officers formed into the skirmish line and outfitted with helmets and riot batons usually has an intimidating effect on the crowd.
As time passes without action from either side, a small faction within the crowd might begin to search for objects to throw at the officers maintaining the skirmish line.
Essentially, absent other activity between the crowd and the skirmish line, the shields become missile magnets, inviting the crowd to start throwing things.
The center of the skirmish line opens, and the Tango Team marches through the gap toward the crowd.
Chemical agents can be used to create distance between the skirmish line and the crowd and can be deployed effectively by the shield handlers without contaminating unnecessary areas.
I'm not talking about the officers who were on the skirmish lines, but those who made the decisions.
Having stood in a number of skirmish lines over a 36-year career in law enforcement, I find it easy to see that the expedient route to getting people to leave has almost always been costly.