Total War of Greece and Rome Essay

Total War of Greece and Rome Essay

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Total War of Greece and Rome

The Assyrian and Persian armies—like those of the ancient empires of
India and China—were basically professional forces. The Greek
city-states, on the other hand, relied on a civilian militia. The
backbone of the Greek army was the armoured spearman, massed in a
phalanx or squares eight to ten ranks deep. As time went on, the Greek
armies became more professional. This was particularly true of the
light infantry, which had originally been composed of the poorer
classes. Philip II of Macedonia, who conquered Greece in the 4th
century BC, deepened the phalanx to 16 men and developed
artillery—mobile machines that catapulted missiles at the enemy.
Philip's son, Alexander the Great, used the army created by his father
to conquer the Persian Empire.

The Romans, like the Greeks, initially relied on a citizen-soldiery,
but in the course of the Punic Wars (3rd and 2nd century BC), the
Roman army became a professional force. Drill and discipline were the
keystones of Roman military power. After the 2nd century AD the
Romans began to rely increasingly on mercenaries. This reduced their
military effectiveness.

The Middle Ages
After the break-up of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD,
military organization fell into a decline. Western Europeans attempted
to deal with the persistent raids of the Vikings by creating a feudal
system in which the aristocracy performed mandatory military service
in return for its privileges. The mounted knight, who owed allegiance
to one noble rather than to a national state, dominated medieval
warfare. Fighting out of a spirit of adventure or for spoils, the

... middle of paper ...

millions became possible. The railways, telegraph, electricity, the
diesel engine and numerous other mechanical and electrical inventions
helped to make killing even more efficient. Industrialisation helped
nations to keep millions of men on the front – clothed, fed healthy,
day or night, armed with deadly weapons for long periods. . Each side
suffered enormous casualties in vain efforts to breach the other's
defences; new weapons such as the airplane and the tank were
introduced, and sea warfare was revolutionized by the submarine.

What the total war meant was also that victory did not come in a
single battle. It required a long term plans.

From then on wars were not something that a citizen watched from the
sidelines. He or she were all totally involved in many ways,
physically, emotionally and economically.

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