I'm trying to determine the feasibility of some advantages and disadvantages of literal light infantry. This type of infantry is basically the same as the rest but weighs much less.
To truly determine the advantages and disadvantages of light infantry I want to eliminate what specific light materials and such would do for them, so I'm assuming that this infantry is exactly the same as a normal human but lighter. Its bones have the same strength, resilience, elasticity etc, it's fat has the same energy content, it's brain is just as capable, it's muscles just as strong etc. Nothing is different but one thing: Their weight. Currently, I'm exaggerating their weight difference in saying that the lightweight human is 10% of the weight of the "real" human. As an example, an 80 kilo human would have a lightweight version of 8 kilo's. An old-timey 40 kilo human would have a lightweight version of 4 kilo's etc. The individual weight differences do not matter for this check, just the general advantages and disadvantages of being significantly lighter.
Advantages as far as I can determine:
- higher jumps
- faster acceleration to their maximum speed
- slower terminal velocity
- can fall from higher before a fall will wound or kill
- better climbers
- can carry more weight before it becomes a problem -->techniqually not true. They can carry the same amount of weight, but the reduced amount of bodyweight means more weight of equipment can be carried.
- requires much less equipment to hover or fly.
Disadvantages as far as I can determine:
- slower falls --> when jumping or trying to run, it takes longer to reach the ground again, meaning you can run slower and take longer to recover from a jump.
- When in a car crash (or explosion) you are more likely to die --> your organs are easier to accelerate/decelerate causing them to receive more damage. This might be a moot point as there's also less force behind your own organs, IE they require less force to be stopped and thus might experience fewer problems from a crash.
- Similar to a car crash, being in a fight will mean getting hit is more lethal to you (might be just as moot a point).
- In hand-to-hand combat, you are much more ineffective as any blunt-force attempt has much less weight and therefore energy behind it (any other technique still works assuming you don't need your weight). Can be countered by wearing more heavy gear to compensate.
- high winds have much more effect on the light human
- much more problems handling recoil. --> the era does not matter for this question, just that any type of recoil (or wind for that matter!) will have more effect on a light human than a heavier one.
The question is: are these advantages and disadvantages feasible?
Clarification on the time period:
This question does not tell you what time period these lightweight humans are in as it is about the general differences between a light and normal human, and not the individual specific differences between say a sword-wielding lightweight vs normal human.
The comments aren't exactly clear why the time period matters. There's two interpretations that I could identify as to why it might be important. The first is that the type of weapon matters. But does it really matter? with melee combat in medieval times the lightweight user has certain disadvantages. With melee combat in current and future times the lightweight user still has the same disadvantages. It also doesn't matter if the lightweight user is using a bow, a musket, an SMG or a handheld tank canon. In all cases the lightweight user is at a disadvantage over a normal weight user (bows have a small amount of forwards recoil rather than backwards, but this is comparatively a similar amount of recoil per kilogram as that of some modern rifles have on normal weight humans!). The answer does not change based on the weapon or time the weapon is used.
The second way it could be interpreted is what type of conflict was the most common and how efficient the lightweight humans would be in such a conflict. While an interesting question in itself that I might ask later, the question I ask isn't about the efficiency of lightweight humans wielding a particular weapon set or engaging in a particular kind of conflict. It's just pure and simple about the general advantages and disadvantages a lightweight human would have over a heavyweight human. It is a reality check with some advantages and disadvantages I thought would apply, this can be answered with a yes/no question and some additional information as to why you think it is correct or not.
I hope that clears up some of the confusion about my question.