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flying column

noun, Military.
(formerly) a force of troops equipped and organized to move swiftly and independently of a principal unit to which it is attached.
Origin of flying column
First recorded in 1865-70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for flying column
Historical Examples
  • To oppose the invaders, a flying column was organized at Wady Halfa.

  • For Arcoll had purposely turned his police into a flying column.

    Prester John John Buchan
  • With Khartoum fallen the mission of the flying column was ended.

    Sir John French Cecil Chisholm
  • I propose to use my force as a sort of flying column, co-operating with yours.

    With Moore at Corunna G. A. Henty
  • But it has a black look for our friends that the flying column we met in the stream-cave came back so soon.

    The Master of Appleby

    Francis Lynde
  • The flying column that had ridden to the rescue was a small band of picked men, with a couple of light machine guns.

    The Watchers of the Plains

    Ridgewell Cullum
  • Orders were issued on one occasion that we leave camp for seven days and become a flying column.

    A Soldier's Life Edwin G. Rundle
  • With the flying column were taken the Indians that were with the army but which numbered less than a dozen.

  • It goes to-morrow back to Pynaar's River, and then joins a flying column of some sort.

    In the Ranks of the C.I.V. Erskine Childers
  • That unleashed hawk which was the flying column failed to clutch its prey.

    The Missourian

    Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle

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