Skirmish Line

(redirected from skirmisher)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.

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 ?
As those balls that did not hit the skirmishers carried on into the columns behind, I put a good number of men out of action.
In an earlier time, they would have been called skirmishers.
Whatever the cause, the 2 QOR's formation fell into confusion and Fenian skirmishers, seizing the opportunity, drove them and the entire militia force from the field.
When the American Civil War broke out in 1861, Buell accepted a commission with the army as a 2nd Lieutenant and led a company of skirmishers at the Second Battle of Bull Run and the Battle of Antietam.
A knight, for example, required "a team of half a dozen men," including a mounted scout and skirmishers, known as a "lance," and in the fourteenth century the French knight adopted highly ornamented plate armor and chose to fight dismounted, "partly out of considerations of pure gallantry" (Howard 3, 12).
During the attack, McPherson tried to evade capture on horseback and was shot by Confederate skirmishers.
Public Diplomacy with its light funding, its light arms, are rather the scouts and skirmishers that move ahead of the infantry.
Some skirmishers had to precede these dispersed columns, but skirmish lines and linear tactics were avoided.
It must be that the Force [Tirah Expeditionary Force] is opposed to perhaps the best skirmishers and best natural rifle-shots in the world; and that the country they inhabit is probably the most difficult on the face of the globe.
The poem begins with an army pressing forward, its "cloud of skirmishers in advance" (Miller, Sequel 20).
Here we see a match of rhythm and mode of war: war dances for individualist skirmishers, entrainment-producing group bonding for the phalanx infantry and the trireme rowers.