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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Infantry Units


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Going through lists of Infantry regiments I see a number of descriptors:

Light Infantry (but no heavy infantry)



Fusiliers, and


possibly also

Artillery (as in HAC) and


Are these all historical hang overs, or did these regiments maintain a level of specialism, such that divisional commanders when making up brigades etc. would seek to create a mix of different type of infantry? Or was the Old/New/Territorial and experience criteria far more important?



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Generally, these are hang-overs from earlier times. Things like drill and dress distinctions would survive, but their role was pretty well identical. The Guards were 'different', but only in terms of the Monarch having to allow them to be used, and their superior officers (Brigade commanders, etc) being Guardsmen.

Cyclists did have cycles, though, and the HAC were an oddity: during the GW they provided several batteries of Horse Artillery, a battery of Siege Artillery (I believe), and two active battalions of infantry - as a very upper-crust territorial unit (allegedly the oldest unit in the army), they seemed to do pretty well. That said, their batteries and battalions did whatever their role demanded.

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