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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Battalion'

Battalion Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    battalion n
  1. an army unit usually consisting of a headquarters and three or more companies
  2. a large indefinite number; "a battalion of ants"; "a multitude of TV antennas"; "a plurality of religions" [syn: large number, multitude, plurality, pack]
Battalion Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Battalion \Bat*tal"ion\, n. (Mil.) An infantry command of two or more companies, which is the tactical unit of the infantry, or the smallest command which is self-supporting upon the battlefield, and also the unit in which the strength of the infantry of an army is expressed. Note: In the United States army, since April 29, 1898, a battalion consists of four companies, and three battalions form a regiment. The term is also applied to two or more batteries of artillery combined into a single command.
Battalion Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Battalion \Bat*tal"ion\, n. [F. bataillon, fr. It. battaglione. See Battalia.]
  1. A body of troops; esp. a body of troops or an army in battle array. ``The whole battalion views.'' --Milton.
  2. (Mil.) A regiment, or two or more companies of a regiment, esp. when assembled for drill or battle.
Battalion Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Battalion \Bat*tal"ion\, v. t. To form into battalions. [R.]
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Battalion'

A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,300 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel. Several battalions are grouped to form a regiment or a brigade.

The nomenclature varies by nationality and by branch of arms, for instance, some armies organize their infantry into battalions, but call battalion-sized cavalry, reconnaissance, or tank units a squadron or a regiment instead. There may even be subtle distinctions within a nation's branches of arms, such as a distinction between a tank battalion and an armored squadron, depending on how the unit's operational role is perceived to fit into the army's historical organization.

A battalion is generally the smallest military unit capable of independent operations (i.e., not attached to a higher command), although many armies have smaller units that are self-sustaining. The battalion is usually part of a regiment, group or a brigade, depending on the organizational model used by that service. The bulk of a battalion will ordinarily be homogeneous with respect to type (e.g., an infantry battalion or a tank battalion), although there are many exceptions. Every battalion will also include some sort of combat service support, typically organized within a combat support company.

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