Heavy infantry

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Description:
Heavy infantry refers to heavily armed and armoured ground troops, as opposed to medium or light infantry, in which the warriors are relatively lightly armoured. As modern infantry troops usually define their subgroups differently (such as by weapon or type of attack), 'heavy infantry' almost always is used to describe pre-gunpowder age troops.

History of the heavy infantry

Antiquity

Ancient Greece

In ancient Greece the Hoplite was a common form of heavy infantry. All hoplites had a shield and spear, and perhaps a helmet as well. Wealthier hoplites were able to afford bronze breastplate or linothorax armor, while poorer hoplites wore little to no armor. The hoplite armor and shield were designed to block arrows and blows from spear points and swords. Hoplites would act as both a city watch and as an army in the field. Hoplites were thought of as a force to be reckoned with because they would form a phalanx, a tight band of spearmen, which aided them against lighter infantry and cavalry.

Hellenistic Successor States

Alexander's army employed infantry known as the phalangite - soldiers equipped with a small shield and long pike, and employed in a formation known as the sarissa phalanx. Alexander also had a flexible heavy infantry force known as the Argyraspides, or silver shields, who also acted as his elite infantry. Post-Alexander Hellenistic States such as the Macedonians, Seleucids, Ptolemies, etc would employ more heavily armored phalangites, as well as their...
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