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 ?
A century later, the word Europeani was first used by a monastic chronicler describing Charles Martel's victory over Moorish skirmishers at Tours.
Accordingly, he deployed on his first two battle lines skirmishers and militia, with instructions to fire two volleys and then feign a panicked retreat.
42) An advance force of about five hundred skirmishers had already probed the fort's north-facing defenses, with unsatisfactory results; (43) the Confederate defenders had repulsed the Union line with canister and musket fire from strong positions, inducing anxiety in Weitzel's mind.
Sometimes the archers were employed as skirmishers, aiming to pick off particular enemy targets and generally harass the enemy.
Sometimes, however, the archers were skirmishers ( harassing and picking off particular enemy targets.
30am, in bright sunshine, the 1/8th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 600 in all ranks storming the line, leaped from their trenches and advanced in eight successive waves of skirmishers.
Thus, we see more skirmishers, attacks by columns, and advances along parallel axes.
SKIRMISHERS at a battlefield site will be dressed a little differently from the usual medieval Yorkists next month.
The second phase (1862-63) saw the emergence of linear tactics in which armies were deployed in two or three lines with skirmishers well in advance.
This latter wing was quite effective as skirmishers.
They stood between the front lines of the two armies throughout the three-day fight, and were subject constantly to fire from skirmishers and sharpshooters.
lines and for not having used his light troops and militia as skirmishers who may have been able to feel out a more prudent line of attack.