WAR FROM MYCENEANS TO ROME
The modern day soldier did not arrive at the current level of training methods overnight. Throughout history warfare techniques and strategies have evolved from the earliest primitive battles to the latest technologies. The only way to learn about war is to study the past engagements and lessons learned. There are nine principles of war as follows: Objective, Offensive, Mass, Economy of force, Maneuver, Unity of command, Security, Surprise, and Simplicity. These are the areas of study in order to gain a better understanding of what to do and what to avoid during any engagement.
The battles from yesterday differ from those in recent years and today, because the more primitive cultures fought under their leader for food, territory, or the domination of another group. Today’s motives are based more on economic, political, or social reasons regarded as appropriate by a group of individuals instead of the thoughts or intentions of one man.
Mainland Greece is the first study of warfare in the selected readings and by 1600 B.C. a civilization emerged from the Hellas culture and the Minoan culture. This group, known as the Myceneans, fought using chariots and armor made of bronze. By the eighth century B.C., the Myceneans art of war consisted of the phalanx. The phalanx was a solid rectangle of infantrymen carrying armor and spears eight deep. When an army approached another army the phalanxes of both sides would come head to head. The soldiers, who were normally citizens not professional soldiers, would find themselves in the midst of blood and sweat pouring out of the bodies surrounding them from the hand to hand combat. The only way of victory was to hold the lines strong and fight until the other side fled. The problems with this type of formation was that there was no overall leadership within the phalanx, no reserve was established to outflank the opposing army, and there was no way to pursue the fleeing enemy, left them capable to heal and fight another day.
The technique of phalanx had not changed for some time and the Greek warfare stayed the same due to no major opposition force that used different techniques against Greek system. The phalanx was also used because it was a proven technique that had been tested and used successfully. O...
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...diterranean, Hannibal moved to engage the Romans and almost conquered them at Cannae (216 B.C.), where the largest Roman army was surrounded, enveloped, and destroyed. The Romans needed military leadership to outwit Hannibal and found it in Scipio.
Scipio made the maniples stronger than ever and increased the amount of horsemen in the cavalry to solve the problem that the Romans had against Hannibal. By using adapting techniques to envelop and control sea power, Scipio was able to defeat Carthage at the battle of Zama (202 B.C.), and thus the Romans were ready to expand their empire from Spain to Asia Minor and from Britain to Northern Africa.
Preston, Richard A., Alex Roland, and Sydney F. Wise. Men
In Arms: A History of Warfare and its interrelationships
With Western Society. (Belmont, California:Wadsworth/
Thomson Learning, 2001). Chap 1-3
Warry, John. Warfare in the Classical World: An Illustrated
Encyclopedia of Weapons, Warriors, and Warfare in the
Ancient Civilisations of Greece and Rome. (Norman,
Oklahoma:University of Oklahoma Press, 1995). Chap 1-13
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