A grenadier ( // , French pronunciation: [ɡʁə.na.dje] ; derived from the word grenade ) was originally a specialized soldier, first established as a distinct role in the mid-to-late 17th century, for the throwing of grenades and sometimes assault operations. At that time grenadiers were chosen from the strongest and largest soldiers. By the 18th century, dedicated grenade throwing of this sort was no longer relevant, but grenadiers were still chosen for being the most physically powerful soldiers and would lead assaults in the field of battle. Grenadiers would also often lead the storming of fortification breaches in siege warfare, although this role was more usually fulfilled by all-arm units of volunteers called forlorn hopes, and might also be fulfilled by sappers or pioneers.
A forlorn hope is a band of soldiers or other combatants chosen to take the leading part in a military operation, such as an assault on a defended position, where the risk of casualties is high.
A sapper, also called pioneer or combat engineer, is a combatant or soldier who performs a variety of military engineering duties such as breaching fortifications, demolitions, bridge-building, laying or clearing minefields, preparing field defenses, as well as working on road and airfield construction and repair. They are also trained to serve as infantry personnel in defensive and offensive operations. A sapper's duties are devoted to tasks involving facilitating movement, defence and survival of allied forces and impeding those of enemies. The term "sapper" is used in the British Army and Commonwealth nations, Polish Army and the U.S. military. The word "sapper" comes from the French word sapeur, itself being derived from the verb saper.
A pioneer is a soldier employed to perform engineering and construction tasks. The term is in principle similar to sapper.
Certain countries such as France (Grenadiers à Cheval de la Garde Impériale) and Argentina (Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers) established units of Horse Grenadiers and for a time the British Army had Horse Grenadier Guards. Like their infantry grenadier counterparts, these horse-mounted soldiers were chosen for their size and strength (heavy cavalry).
The Grenadiers à Cheval de la Garde Impériale constituted a heavy cavalry regiment in the Consular, then Imperial Guard during the French Consulate and First French Empire respectively. They were the senior "Old Guard" cavalry regiment of the Imperial Guard and from 1806 were brigaded together with the Dragons de la Garde Impériale.
The Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers is the name of two Argentine Army regiments of two different time periods: a historic regiment that operated from 1812 to 1826, and a modern cavalry unit that was organized in 1903. The first Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers, formed in 1812, fought in the Argentine War of Independence under José de San Martín, and the Cisplatine War, subsequently becoming the Presidential bodyguard in 1825. Refusing to replenish its membership with soldiers who had not fought in the Argentine War of Independence, the regiment disbanded in 1826.
The Horse Grenadier Guards, usually referred to Horse Grenadiers were a series of cavalry troops in the British Household Cavalry between 1687 and 1788, who used grenades and other explosives in battle. Originally attached to the Horse Guards, they became independent for a century before being disbanded. However, the men of the troops formed the basis of the new troops of Life Guards.
Today, the term is also used to describe a soldier armed with a grenade launcher, a weapon that fires a specially-designed large-caliber projectile, often with an explosive, smoke or gas warhead. These soldiers operate as part of a fireteam.
A grenade launcher is a weapon that fires a specially-designed large-caliber projectile, often with an explosive, smoke or gas warhead. Today, the term generally refers to a class of dedicated firearms firing unitary grenade cartridges. The most common type are man-portable, shoulder-fired weapons issued to individuals, although larger crew-served launchers are issued at higher levels of organisation by military forces.
A fireteam or fire team is a small military sub-subunit of infantry designed to optimise "bounding overwatch" and "fire and movement" tactical doctrine in combat. Depending on mission requirements, a typical fireteam consists of four or fewer members; an automatic rifleman, a grenadier (M203), a rifleman, and a designated team leader. The role of each fireteam leader is to ensure that the fireteam operates as a cohesive unit. Two or three fireteams are organised into a section or squad in co-ordinated operations, which is led by a squad leader.
The concept of throwing grenades may go back to the Ming China, when Chinese soldiers on the Great Wall were reported to be using this weapon. The earliest references to these grenade-throwing soldiers in Western armies come from Austria and Spain. References also appear in England during the English Civil War. However, it was King Louis XIV of France who made the grenadier an official type of soldier and company during his army reforms late in the 17th century.According to René Chartrand, Lt. Col. Jean Martinet introduced the idea of having men detailed to throw grenades in the Régiment du Roi in 1667. In May 1677 the English Army ordered that two soldiers of every Guards Regiment were to be trained as grenadiers; in April 1678 it was ordered that a company of grenadiers be added to the senior eight regiments of foot of the army. On 29 June of that year the diarist John Evelyn saw them at a war games encampment at Hounslow, near London:
The Ming dynasty, officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynasty of China ruled by Han Chinese. Although the primary capital of Beijing fell in 1644 to a rebellion led by Li Zicheng, numerous rump regimes loyal to the Ming throne – collectively called the Southern Ming – survived until 1662.
The Great Wall of China is the collective name of a series of fortification systems generally built across the historical northern borders of China to protect and consolidate territories of Chinese states and empires against various nomadic groups of the steppe and their polities. Several walls were being built from as early as the 7th century BC by ancient Chinese states; selective stretches were later joined together by Qin Shi Huang (220–206 BC), the first Emperor of China. Little of the Qin wall remains. Later on, many successive dynasties have built and maintained multiple stretches of border walls. The most well-known sections of the wall were built by the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).
The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers") principally over the manner of England's governance. The first (1642–1646) and second (1648–1649) wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third (1649–1651) saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II and supporters of the Rump Parliament. The war ended with Parliamentarian victory at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651.
Now were brought into service a new sort of soldier called Grenadiers, who were dexterous in flinging hand grenadoes, every one having a pouch full; they had furred caps with coped crowns like Janizaries, which made them look very fierce, and some had long hoods hanging down behind, as we picture fools. Their clothing being likewise piebald, yellow and red.
The Janissaries were elite infantry units that formed the Ottoman Sultan's household troops, bodyguards and the first modern standing army in Europe. The corps was most likely established during the reign of Murad I (1362–1389).
A jester, court jester, or fool, was historically an entertainer during the medieval and Renaissance eras who was a member of the household of a nobleman or a monarch employed to entertain him and his guests. A jester was also an itinerant performer who entertained common folk at fairs and markets. Jesters are also modern-day entertainers who resemble their historical counterparts.
The first grenades were small iron spheres filled with gunpowder fused with a length of slow-match, roughly the size of a baseball. The grenadiers had to be tall and strong enough to hurl these heavy objects far enough so as not to harm themselves or their comrades, and disciplined enough to stand at the forefront of the fight, light the fuse and throw at the appropriate moment to minimize the ability of an enemy to throw the grenade back. Understandably, such requirements led to grenadiers being regarded as an elite fighting force.
Gunpowder, also known as black powder to distinguish it from modern smokeless powder, is the earliest known chemical explosive. It consists of a mixture of sulfur (S), charcoal (C), and potassium nitrate (saltpeter, KNO3). The sulfur and charcoal act as fuels while the saltpeter is an oxidizer. Because of its incendiary properties and the amount of heat and gas volume that it generates, gunpowder has been widely used as a propellant in firearms, artillery, rockets, and fireworks, and as a blasting powder in quarrying, mining, and road building.
Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objective of the offensive team is to hit the ball into the field of play, allowing its players to run the bases, having them advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate. The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.
The wide hats with broad brims characteristic of infantry during the late 17th century were discarded and replaced with caps. This was originally to allow the grenadier to sling his musket over his back with greater ease while throwing grenades (initially, only these troops were provided with slings). Additionally, a brimless hat permitted the grenadier greater ease in throwing the grenade overhand. By 1700, grenadiers in the English and other armies had adopted a cap in the shape of a bishop's mitre, usually decorated with the regimental insignia in embroidered cloth. In addition to grenades, they were equipped with contemporary longarms. The uniform included a belt tube that held the match for lighting the fuse, a feature that was retained in later grenadier uniforms.
Grenade usage declined significantly in the early 18th century, a fact that can be attributed to the improved effectiveness of massive infantry line tactics and flintlock technology. However, the need for elite assault troops remained, and the existing grenadier companies were used for this purpose. As noted, above average physical size had been considered important for the original grenadiers and, in principle, height and strength remained the basis of selection for these picked companies. In the British regiments of foot during the 18th century the preference was, however, to draw on steady veterans for appointment to individual vacancies in a grenadier company (one of the eight companies comprising each regiment). The traditional criterion of size was only resorted to when newly raised regiments required a quick sorting of a mass of new recruits.Transferral to a grenadier company generally meant both enhanced status and an increase in subsistence pay.
Whether for reasons of appearance or reputation, grenadiers tended to be the showpiece troops of their respective armies. In the Spanish Army of the early 19th century, for example, grenadier companies were excused routine duties such as town patrols but were expected to provide guards at the headquarters and residences of senior officers. When a regiment was in line formation the grenadiers were always the company which formed on the right flank. In the British Army, when Trooping the Colour, "The British Grenadiers" march is played no matter which regiment is on the parade ground, as the colour party stands at the right-hand end of the line, as every regiment formerly had a company of grenadiers at the right of their formation.
As noted above, grenadiers were distinguished by their head-gear from the ordinary musketeers (or Hatmen) who made up the bulk of each regiment of foot. While there were some exceptions, the most typical grenadier headdress was either the mitre cap or the bearskin. Both began to appear in various armies during the second half of the 17th century because grenadiers were impeded by the wide brimmed infantry hats of the period when throwing grenades.
The cloth caps worn by the original grenadiers in European armies during the 17th century were frequently trimmed with fur.The practice fell into disuse until the second half of the 18th century when grenadiers in the British, Spanish and French armies began wearing high fur hats with cloth tops and, sometimes, ornamental front plates. The purpose appears to have been to add to the apparent height and impressive appearance of these troops both on the parade ground and the battlefield.
The mitre cap, whether in stiffened cloth or metal, had become the distinguishing feature of the grenadier in the armies of Britain, Russia, Prussia and most German states during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Spanish, Austrian and French grenadiers favoured high fur hats with long coloured cloth hoods ("bags") to them. The mitre was gradually replaced by bearskin hats in other armies and by 1914 it only survived in three regiments of the Prussian and Russian Imperial Guards. Russian grenadiers had worn their brass fronted mitre hats on active service until 1807 and some of these preserved for parade wear by the Pavlovsky Guards until 1914 still had dents or holes from musket balls. Some have survived for display in museums and collections.
While Northern-European armies such as Britain, Russia, Sweden and various German states (perhaps most famously Prussia) wore the mitre cap, southern countries such as France, Spain, Austria, Portugal and various Italian states preferred the bearskin. By 1768 Britain had adopted the bearskin.
The shape and appearance of fur hats differed according to period and country. While France used smaller bearskins, Spain preferred towering ones with long flowing bags, and while Britain had its tall cloth mitres with lacing and braiding, Russia would sport equally tall leather helmets with brass front-plates. The first headdresses were fairly low, and in the case of Spain and Austria sometimes contained elements from both mitres and bearskins. At the beginning of the 18th century and briefly during the 1770s, French grenadiers wore tricorne hats, rather than either the mitre or fur cap. Gradually, both began to increase in size and decoration, now showing devices such as pompoms, cords, badges, front-plates, plumes, braiding and also various national heraldic symbols.
By the advent of the Napoleonic Wars, both mitres and fur hats had begun to fall out of use in favour of the shako. Two major exceptions were France's Grande Armée (although in 1812, regulations changed grenadier uniforms to those more similar to the ones of fusiliers, except in guard regiments) and the Austrian Army. After the Battle of Friedland in 1807, because of their distinguished performance, Russia's Pavlovsk Regiment were allowed to keep their mitre caps and were admitted to the Imperial Guard.
During the Napoleonic Wars, British grenadiers had normally worn the bearskin only for full dress when on home service, since the fur was found to deteriorate rapidly during campaigning overseas.Following their role in the defeat of the French Old Guard at the Battle of Waterloo, the 1st Foot Guards was renamed the Grenadier Guards and all companies of the regiment adopted the bearskin. All British infantry grenadiers retained the fur headdress for parade dress until shortly before the Crimean War, where it was only worn by foot guard regiments.
From the 17th Centuryto the mid 19th centuries the "Foot" or infantry regiments of the British and several other armies comprised ten companies; eight of them "Battalion" or "Centre" companies, and two "Flank Companies" consisting of one Grenadier and one Light or Light Infantry Company. In the United States an Act of Congress made on 8 May 1792 directed that for every infantry battalion there should be one company of grenadiers, riflemen, or light infantry.
On occasion the grenadier and light companies could be "brigaded" together into separate grenadier and light infantry battalions for assaults or skirmishing respectively.
Each of the line infantry regiments of the Austrian Army of this period included a grenadier division of two companies, separate from the fusilier companies which made up the bulk of the unit. The grenadier companies were frequently detached from the parent regiment and grouped into composite grenadier battalions for a particular campaign or purpose.
The Russian Imperial Army of the 18th century followed a different line of development. Prior to 1731 grenadiers made up five separate regiments. These were disbanded prior to the outbreak of war with Turkey and picked infantrymen were transferred to one of two grenadier companies incorporated in each (two-battalion) line infantry regiment. In 1756 each of these grenadier companies was brought together in four permanent grenadier regiments.This policy of maintaining a separate corps of grenadiers continued until the Russian Revolution of 1917. The Palace Grenadiers was a ceremonial company selected from distinguished veterans, in existence from 1827 to 1917 with the primary role of guarding the Winter Palace.
With the standardisation of training and tactics, the need for separate grenadier companies at regimental level had passed by the mid-19th century and the British, French and Austrian armies phased out these sub-units between 1850 and 1862.
The term grenadier was retained or adopted by various elite infantry units, including the Prussian Potsdam Grenadiers; the Granatieri di Sardegna (Grenadiers of Sardinia) in Italy; France's Foot Grenadiers, Fusilier-Grenadiers, Tirailleur-Grenadiers and Grenadiers à Cheval de la Garde Impériale ; the Russian Empire's Imperial Guard; Britain's Grenadier Guards and the 101st Grenadiers. The latter was part of the British Indian Army and claimed to be the first and oldest grenadier regiment (as opposed to grenadier companies) in the British Empire. In 1747 the grenadier companies of a number of disbanded French infantry regiments were brought together to form a single permanent unit - the Grenadiers de France.
During the American Revolution of 1775-1783, the Connecticut 1st Company Governor's Guardsand the 11th Regiment of Connecticut Militia had grenadier companies. New York City also had a Grenadier unit, as did South Carolina – the elite 1st South Carolina Regiment, raised and commanded by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney.
In Mexico Antonio López de Santa Anna created the Grenadier Guards of the Supreme Power on 7 December 1841. The formation remained in service until 1847.
A Toronto militia unit was renamed the 10th Royal Grenadiers in 1881, then later became the Royal Regiment of Canada.
In 1914 the Imperial German and Russian Armies still included a number of grenadier regiments. In the Russian Army these comprised the Grenadier Guards Regiment (L-G Grenadierski Polk) as well as the Grenadier Corps of sixteen regiments(plus an independent reinforced company of Palace Grenadiers, guarding the St. Petersburg Imperial residences). Five regiments of the Prussian Guard were designated as Garde-Grenadiers and there were an additional fourteen regiment of grenadiers amongst the line infantry of the German Empire. In both the Russian and German armies the grenadier regiments were considered as a historic elite; distinguished by features such as plumed helmets in full dress, distinctive facings (yellow for all Russian grenadiers) or special braiding. Their role and training however no longer differed from that of the rest of the infantry.
Today, regiments using the name grenadiers are effectively indistinguishable from other infantry, especially when hand grenades, RPGs, and other types of explosive arms have become standard-issue weaponry; however, such regiments retain at least the tradition of their elite past. Grenadier can also refer to soldiers utilizing grenade launchers, including those mounted on rifles. During World War I a proposal to designate specialist grenade launching units in the British Army as grenadiers was vetoed by the Grenadier Guards who considered that they now had exclusive rights to the ancient distinction, and the term "bomber" was substituted.
During World War I, German troops referred to as assault pioneers, who were early combat engineers or sappers and stormtroopers began using two types of hand grenades in trench warfare operations against the French to clear opposing trenches of troops. The more effective of the two was the so-called "potato masher" Stielhandgranate, which were stick grenades.
The term Panzergrenadier was adopted in the German Wehrmacht to describe mechanized heavy infantry elements whose greater protection and mobility allowed them to keep pace with (and provide intimate protection to) armoured units and formations. This designation reflects the traditional role of grenadiers as shock troops. The term in today's Bundeswehr refer to mechanized infantry.
When parachute units were first created in the United States Army, the Air Corps desired them to be under their control and to be designated "air grenadiers".
The last known unit to serve as grenadiers, and employing grenades as their weapons, was a special "Grenadier brigade" formed by the Red Army within the 4th Army during the Tikhvin defensive operation in October 1941. It was a measure taken because of lack of firearms, and the commander of the brigade was appropriately General Major G.T. Timofeyev who had served in one of the Russian Imperial Army's grenadier regiments during the First World War.
In the Vietnam War US squads usually had at least one soldier whose role was that of a grenadier. He was usually armed with an M79 grenade launcher, although towards the end of the war it was replaced with an XM148 grenade launcher underslinging an M16 rifle in very small numbers. In infantry squads the grenadier was dedicated to his weapon, meaning that he usually carried only the M79 and an M1911 pistol. In some cases, grenadiers were not even issued this sidearm. The M79 was designed to bridge the gap between the maximum throwing range of a grenade and the minimum distance of mortar fire. It also allowed the use of various rounds, notably high explosive, buckshot, flechette, smoke grenades and parachute flares. US squads have continued the concept of the grenadier armed with an M203 or M320 Grenade Launcher Module attached to an M16 or M4.
The Argentine Army still maintains a prestigious unit known as the Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers (Regimiento de Granaderos a Caballo)--actually a squadron-strength formation—which serves as the Presidential ceremonial escort and guard unit. The regiment was founded in 1903 as a recreation of a unit which existed from 1813 to 1826 under the leadership of national hero General José de San Martín.
Unlike most other units which carried the title of "grenadiers", the Argentine Grenadiers are a cavalry unit, and continue to mount horses for ceremonial purposes, as well as carrying lances and cavalry sabers.
See: Regiment Carabiniers Prins Boudewijn – Grenadiers
The Belgian Land Component retains two regiments of grenadiers based in Brussels. First raised in 1837 from companies drawn from the line infantry of the newly independent kingdom, these troops served with distinction in both World Wars. In peacetime they had a ceremonial role which corresponded to that of royal guards in other armies. In 1960 the historic blue and red full dress worn prior to World War I was reintroduced for limited wear, although the tall bearskin headdress is now made of synthetic material.
The Canadian Grenadier Guards is one of the longest serving units in the Canadian Army's Primary Reserve, it still continues today, both in its reserve role and as a ceremonial guard at the National War Memorial, Rideau Hall, and other places of symbolic importance.
The 10th Royal Grenadiers later became the Royal Regiment of Canada with tradition surviving in a grenadier company.
The same case of the Mounted Grenadier Regiment in Argentina also applies to its western neighbor Chile. The Presidential Horse Guards Cavalry Regiment "Grenadiers" (Regimiento Escolta Presidencial n.1 "Granaderos") of the Chilean Army is active since 1827, has fought in every major battle of the Chilean Army in the 19th century and since 1840 and 1907 has served as the Escort Regiment to the President of Chile in every important national occasion. This regiment is named after General Manuel Bulnes Prieto, the founding patron of the regiment, who led the Chilean Army to victory in the War of the Peru-Bolivia Confederation in the crucial Battle of Yungay in 1839, which signaled the confederation's demise.
The Chilean Grenadiers' uniforms, until 2011, were similar to the full Feldgrau uniforms of the Chilean Army, but adapted for the cavalry, and like their Argentine counterparts, carry lances but not cavalry sabers, which are reserved for officers and the mounted colors guard escort. Starting 2011, they wear a cavalry light blue full dress uniform with Pickelhaubes for all ranks.
The "Tarqui Grenadiers" serve as the Presidential Escort Squadron for the President of Ecuador. The unit stands guard at Quito's Carondelet Palace and retains the uniform worn during the Battle of Tarqui of 1829, reporting as part of the Ecuadorian Army.
While the French army has not included any grenadiers since 1870, the grenade badge is still a distinctive mark of the Foreign Legion, the National Gendarmerie and the French Customs which was a military unit until 1940.
The oldest grenadier regiment of the armies in the Commonwealth belongs to the Indian Army. The concept of 'Grenadiers' evolved from the practice of selecting the bravest and strongest men for the most dangerous tasks in combat. The Grenadiers have the longest unbroken record of existence in the Indian Army.
The Granatieri di Sardegna Mechanized Brigade (Reggimento Granatieri di Sardegna) is currently part of the mechanized infantry brigade with the same name in the Italian Army. This unit traces its history back to a guards regiment raised in 1659 and is made up predominantly of one year volunteers. Historically, as the senior regiment in the Piedmontese and Italian armies the Grenadiers of Sardinia took the tallest recruitsof each intake. On ceremonial occasions the Italian Grenadiers parade in their 19th century blue uniforms and fur headdresses. The 1st Grenadiers of Sardinia regiment is currently (2010) the only infantry regiment of the Italian Army with two battalions (1st "Assietta" and 2nd "Cengio" Grenadiers battalions), and it is likely that in 2020 its 2nd battalion will be detached to re-activate the 2nd Sardinia Grenadiers Regiment.
In Mexico, Grenadiers (Granaderos) are armored specialist police units used for anti-riot duties and other security roles. The Federal Police maintains regional grenadier companies for public security duties, while performing law enforcement and wearing FP uniforms.
The Royal Netherlands Army maintains a regiment of Guard Grenadiers who retain the bearskin headdress of the early 19th century. This regiment has been amalgamated with the Jager Guards to form the "Garderegiment Grenadiers en Jagers" Two of its companies are Jagers (riflemen), the other two are grenadiers; it wears the maroon beret and is an air assault and airborne forces trained unit.
In the Norwegian Army and Air Force, grenadier (Norwegian : grenader) is used as a rank, the lowest enlisted below sergeant, to distinguish professional soldiers from conscripts. The grenadiers are employed for positions requiring more experience and/or professional presence. Fully professionalised units, such as the Telemark Battalion, serve in international operations. Professional enlisted personnel in the Navy has the equivalent rank matros (able seaman).
There is one company of the 1st King's Immemorial Infantry Regiment which during ceremonies is authorized to use grenadier uniforms of the Charles III period.
The Grenadier Company is the honor guard of the Swedish Army's Life Guards for state ceremonies. Their uniform includes bearskin hats, and white baldrics (cross belts) that originally carried the fuses used to light grenades. The grenadiers bear the King's own Life Company banner, which was presented to the unit in 1868 by Charles XV's consort, Queen Louise.
In the military of Switzerland, the Grenadiers form well trained mechanized infantry units. They are used for especially challenging operations and are initially trained in Isone, a secluded, mountainous region in the South of Switzerland. The Swiss Kommando Spezialkräfte specialize in urban warfare, guerrilla warfare, anti-terrorist operations, commando tactics, sniper missions, hand-to-hand combat, and other special operations.
The Grenadier Guards are one of the five prestigious regiments of Foot Guards, each of which retain the bearskin headdress originally associated with grenadiers.
The Grenadier Guards are officially recognized as the most senior regiment of foot guards, although this is not recognized by the Coldstream Guards, who are an older regiment founded six years earlier. The older age of the Coldstream Guards is not recognized as seniority because they were formed to serve the Commonwealth and only served the English (later British) monarchy after the Stuart Restoration. On the other hand, the Grenadier Guards were formed a few years before the Restoration by Charles II while still in exile in the Spanish Netherlands (now Belgium), so the Grenadier Guards have a longer service to the crown.
The United States Army rifle squad consists of two fireteams of four soldiers each, with the designated grenadier being equipped with an M4/M16 with the M203 grenade launcher (or newer M320) slung under the barrel and providing limited high-angle fire over 'dead space'.
The United States Marine Corps rifle squad consists of three four-man fireteams including a team leader who also works as the M203 grenadier. During the Vietnam War there was one grenadier in the squad armed with an M79 grenade launcher.
The Pickelhaube, also Pickelhelm, is a spiked helmet worn in the 19th and 20th centuries by German military, firefighters, and police. Although typically associated with the Prussian Army, which adopted it in 1842–43, the helmet was widely imitated by other armies during this period. It is still worn today as part of ceremonial wear in the militaries of certain countries.
The Grande Armée was the army commanded by Napoleon I during the Napoleonic Wars. From 1805 to 1809, the Grande Armée scored a series of historic victories that gave the French Empire an unprecedented grip on power over the European continent. Widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest fighting forces ever assembled, it suffered terrible losses during the French invasion of Russia in 1812 and never recovered its tactical superiority after that campaign.
The Imperial Guard was originally a small group of elite soldiers of the French Army under the direct command of Napoleon I, but grew considerably over time. It acted as his bodyguard and tactical reserve, and he was careful of its use in battle. The Guard was divided into the staff, infantry, cavalry, and artillery regiments, as well as battalions of sappers and marines. The guard itself as a whole distinguished between the experienced veterans and less experienced members by being separated into three sections: the Old Guard, Middle Guard and Young Guard.
In some militaries, foot guards are senior infantry regiments. Foot guards are commonly responsible for guarding royal families, or other state leaders, and they also often perform ceremonial duties accordingly, but in the same time are combat soldiers.
The mitre or miter, is a type of headgear now known as the traditional, ceremonial head-dress of bishops and certain abbots in traditional Christianity. Mitres are worn in the Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, as well as in the Anglican Communion, some Lutheran churches, and also bishops and certain other clergy in the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. The Metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church also wears a mitre during important ceremonies such as the Episcopal Consecration.
Chasseur, a French term for "hunter", is the designation given to certain regiments of French and Belgian light infantry or light cavalry to denote troops trained for rapid action.
The kepi is a cap with a flat circular top and a peak, or visor. Etymologically, the term is a loanword of a French képi, itself a re-spelled version of the Alemannic Käppi, a diminutive form of Kappe, meaning "cap". In Europe, this headgear is most commonly associated with French military and police uniforms, though versions of it were widely worn by other armies during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In North America, it is usually associated with the American Civil War, as it was worn by soldiers on both sides of the conflict.
Fusilier is a name given to various kinds of soldiers; its meaning depends on the historical context. While fusilier is derived from the 17th-century French word fusil – meaning a type of flintlock musket – the term has been used in contrasting ways in different countries and at different times, including soldiers guarding artillery, various elite units, ordinary line infantry and other uses.
A military uniform is a standardised dress worn by members of the armed forces and paramilitaries of various nations.
A bearskin is a tall fur cap, usually worn as part of a ceremonial military uniform. Traditionally, the bearskin was the headgear of grenadiers and remains in use by grenadier and guards regiments in various armies.
The Royal Life Guards is a mechanized infantry regiment of the Danish Army, founded in 1658 by King Frederik III. The primary task is to provide a number of soldiers from the Guard Company to serve as a guard/ceremonial unit to the Danish monarchy, while training the Royal Guards for various functions in the mobilisation force. Until its disbandment, the Royal Horse Guards, served the role as the mounted guard/ceremonial unit, afterwards the role was taken over by Guard Hussar Regiment Mounted Squadron. During the time period 1684-1867, the Royal Life Guards were called The Royal Foot Guard, in order to distinguish between the regiment and the Royal Horse Guards.
Busby is the English name for the Hungarian prémes csákó or kucsma, a military head-dress made of fur, originally worn by Hungarian hussars. In its original Hungarian form the busby was a cylindrical fur cap, having a bag of coloured cloth hanging from the top. The end of this bag was attached to the right shoulder as a defence against sabre cuts. In Great Britain busbies are of two kinds: (a) the hussar busby, cylindrical in shape, with a bag; this is worn by hussars and the Royal Horse Artillery; (b) the rifle busby, a folding cap of astrakhan formerly worn by rifle regiments, in shape somewhat resembling a Glengarry but taller. Both have straight plumes in the front of the headdress.
The Guards Division is an administrative unit of the British Army responsible for the administration of the regiments of Foot Guards and the London Regiment. The Guards Division is responsible for providing two battalions for public duties to London District ; although the guards are most associated with ceremony, they are nevertheless operational infantry battalions, and as such perform all the various roles of infantry.
The uniforms of La Grande Armée, the army of Napoleon I, are described in this article.
The uniforms of the British Army currently exist in twelve categories ranging from ceremonial uniforms to combat dress. Uniforms in the British Army are specific to the regiment to which a soldier belongs. Full dress presents the most differentiation between units, and there are fewer regimental distinctions between ceremonial dress, service dress, barrack dress and combat dress, though a level of regimental distinction runs throughout.
The caubeen is an Irish beret, formerly worn by peasants. It has been adopted as the head dress of Irish regiments of Commonwealth armies.
The Voltigeurs were French military skirmish units created in 1804 by Emperor Napoleon I. It officially replaced the second company of fusiliers, which were also chasseurs.
The Imperial Guard of Napoleon III was a military corps in the French Army formed by Napoleon III as a re-establishment of his uncle Napoleon I's Imperial Guard, with an updated version of the original uniforms and almost the same privileges.
The British Army during the Napoleonic Wars experienced a time of rapid change. At the beginning of the French Revolutionary Wars in 1793, the army was a small, awkwardly administered force of barely 40,000 men. By the end of the period, the numbers had vastly increased. At its peak, in 1813, the regular army contained over 250,000 men. The British infantry was "the only military force not to suffer a major reverse at the hands of Napoleonic France."
A flank company was a former military designation for two elite companies of a regiment. In regimental formation, the grenadier company constituted the right flank of the regiment and the light infantry constituted the left flank, with the other companies of the regiment referred as "battalion companies" or "centre companies". They were still referred to as flank companies even if they were detached from their regiment. Frequently flank companies of several regiments were placed together in their own unit.
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