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A musketeer (French: mousquetaire) was a type of soldier equipped with a musket. Musketeers were an important part of early modern warfare, particularly in Europe, as they normally comprised the majority of their infantry. The musketeer was a precursor to the rifleman. Muskets were replaced by rifles as the almost universal firearm for modern armies during the period 1850 to 1860. The traditional designation of "musketeer" for an infantry private survived in the Imperial German Army until World War I.