To the glory of heavy infantry


First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the creators of the film “The Battle of the Five Armies”. It’s hard to spoil many good things the way they did. “It's a fairy tale,” many will say. Rather, fantasy, and just the central element - the most massive battle. And almost all sides of the confrontation have heavy infantry. And the mass viewer sees what he sees. And he creates a very strange impression of the clash of large armies of the pre-powder era.

No, mistakes happen, but when literally everything is done the other way around ... serious doubts creep in.

So, a little about heavy infantry. Why is it good and why is it needed. Almost all authors historical books telling about the legendary adventures of Iskander the Two-Horned in dusty Asia have some difficulties in substantiating his phenomenal victories over the Persians. The trouble is that these very victories are absolutely fabulous and even fabulous.

No matter how much you clarify or cut down the size of the armies of the king of Persia, we have to admit: they were much more of Alexander Filippovich's army. No matter how sophisticated, no matter how sophisticated, you have to admit (taking into account the fact that Darius put up on the battlefield every time in general battles new army), that the soldiers of the Persians was about an order of magnitude more than the Macedonians. No wonder, if we compare the population of the Persian Empire and Macedonia with Greece.

No, of course, Alexander the Great is a great man, and innumerable amounts of chairs (still in antiquity) are broken around him, but as the examples of Hannibal and Francis I (both of them, by the way, fought in Italy!), Even a genius is powerless against the strategic superiority of the enemy in power. No matter how cool you are, no matter how “get out” ...

A version is suddenly used that Darius III is a coward and a "loshara." Exactly, “on the opposite side”, they say, Alexander is a hero and a genius, and Darius is his complete opposite. Actively "forcing" and advancing this topic. There is even a mosaic on this subject: they say, Alexander “dawned” on Darius so much that he was frightened and lost both courage, and valor, and empire ...

To the glory of heavy infantry

However, not everything is so simple: if it were about a collision between two cavalry units, then yes, the courage of the commander would be of fundamental importance. Like his fighting skills. But in the course of a gigantic battle, in which tens of thousands of soldiers are involved, the heroic gesture of the commander-in-chief means little. You still know, these very “raids of Alexander” at the head of the getyers on the right flank somehow do not inspire warm feelings. It's not about courage / cowardice: if he had fallen during such a dashing attack from a random spear / arrow, what would happen to his army? With the state?

One immediately recalls Epaminondas and his death. Moreover, even the "noble Spartans" beat Epaminondas quite purposefully. The Spartans, who glorified the “bold spear” and cursed the “cowardly arrow”. The Spartans, whose swords were the shortest in Greece ... And even they, in the case of the brilliant Epaminondas, “beat on the staffs”. Categorically.

But just as the Persians were famous for their ability to shoot a bow. The Persian nobility taught their sons three things, and to ride a war horse and shoot a bow was one of the three irreplaceable skills. Feel what it smelled like "reckless Alexander"? But the gods were on his side, there can be no other explanation. Lucky man, how rarely someone lucky in war ... As we all understand his life was critical for the successful completion of the campaign and such a risk was not completely justified.

And what is this battle, where the commander-in-chief personally participates, albeit in an important, but flank attack? Army who will lead? There were other sensible commanders? So why exactly them Do not lead the very decisive attack on the right flank? If, apart from Macedonian itself, no one could do this ... what kind of army is this? Guerrilla unit?

But he won? Really. He defeated "countless hordes of Persians." But the reason is not only and not so much in the genius and heroism of the commander on the battlefields, but in that the basis of the Macedonian army was a phalanx of heavy infantry. But with this phalanx itself, of course, covered by archers and light infantry, and the cavalry from the flanks, the Persians could do nothing. Paradoxically, it sounds, but the numerical ratio did not matter much. Either you have enough well-trained heavy infantry in sufficient quantities, or you don’t have it. In the latter case, you can only sympathize.

To fight head-on with heavy enemy infantry, you need your own heavy infantry. In another way. Understand, there are no other options. Trying to crush a phalanx box with a “big crowd” is just wasting people. If the phalangites keep the line, and from the flanks this line is securely covered, then they can be “broken” only by other heavy infantry. This is very difficult for an ordinary person (and even a historian-specialist in antiquity) to understand. Understand the fact that if you do not have a sensible heavy infantry, a head-on collision with an enemy, who possessing, most likely, will end very badly for you.

To level the presence of the enemy of such units with numerical superiority is very, very difficult. Therefore, in the absence of the Persians' own heavy infantrymen, holding a major field battle turned into a real puzzle for them - there are a lot of troops, but no one can stand against the phalanx. "Dial" heavy infantry fail. A prosperous and free peasantry is needed (social factor). Requires serious traditions, etc.

"Vundervaffe" Macedonians (phalanx with sarissy was created before Alexander) was just largely in the ordinary free Macedonian, who, on the one hand, was free and felt personal interest in the battle / campaign (as opposed to the ordinary Persian infantryman). On the other hand, he obeyed strict discipline and was ready to keep his place in the ranks not only out of fear of punishment.

As a result, the phalanx was simply “too tough” for the Persians. No, of course, Alexander is very skillfully used and acted very competently and decisively (the victory itself does not come to visit). But without this "tactical domination" it is unlikely that he would have been able to achieve something, had he been three times brilliant. Heavy infantry. It was she who largely determined the fate of the Persian Empire. Granic, Issa and Gavgamela without phalanx with sarissy would be impossible.

Alexander's cavalry was certainly good ... but it would be very difficult to surprise the Persians with it. Darius chose the place of the last battle precisely for reasons of ease of use as large masses of cavalry as possible ... But this did not save him. It is extremely difficult to “gall” phalanxes with masses of cavalry.

The paradox is that with a gigantic numerical / resource superiority the general battle to the Persians was absolutely unprofitable. In the general battle they were weaker. All because of the lack of the very klyatoy "heavy infantry." Persian military experts failed to understand this. Every time they "simply did not believe their eyes."

But the army of Macedon was extremely vulnerable in the vast expanses of the Asian ... the army is mostly on foot. The terrain is unfamiliar, the climate is unfamiliar, the distances are enormous ... and the Persians (how rarely any other civilized people) had masses of excellent horse archers ... Once again: the Macedonian cavalry could in no case "fight one on one" with the Persian cavalry. It was absolutely impossible. Moreover, the Greeks / Macedonians did not have any "horse archers". Somehow I remember the fate of the Crassian legions ...

The funny thing is that Surena Mihran's cavalry was much smaller than Darius (there was no infantry at all!), But the Crassus forces were quite comparable to the forces of Alexander the Great. Crassus himself is very difficult to compare with Macedon, I agree.

But Darius III preferred large field battles, while not having his own heavy infantry (mercenaries, of course, were). The victory could not end in any way ...

But just the "invincible Macedonian phalanx" was completely beaten under Kinoskefalami. And without any frills and monstrous sacrifices. Spit found a stone - just the Romans with heavy infantry everything was in order. And even more. In fact, legions are the very heavy infantry. But even more disciplined and broken into maniples. That is the basis of all the victories of the Roman republic / empire.

Battlefield, general battle ... and iron-clad maniples of Roman legionnaires. And practically no one could do anything about it. Is that a brilliant Hannibal. But genuine geniuses are rare. Most of the authors writing on military themes love three things very much, namely, true heroism, the magical "vundervaffly" and countless hordes of enemies. Therefore, the victory at Kinoskefalah is shrouded in some mysticism. And someone even tries to proceed from the fact that the Roman Republic had much greater resources than the Macedonian kingdom. So it is so, and if the fight with the phalanx was reduced to "filling it up with corpses," then one could speak of a "relationship" between resources and human potential.

The Battle of Pydna had approximately the same result: the complete defeat of the Macedonian phalanx without any significant losses for the legionnaires. So it's not a matter of "great numerical superiority." The scythe found on the stone. The Macedonian "heavy infantry lovers" faced the Roman pros. Alexander and his diadochi were lucky: rarely any of their opponents could put a box of heavy infantry on the battlefield. The phalanges of the sarissophores were "impenetrable". But not for the Romans.

The sudden "collapse" of the phalanx when confronted with the legions is surprising to many, but we must remember that before that phalanx simply did not have a worthy opponent. An intelligent heavy infantry (disciplined and well-trained) is not as easy as it seems. Not everyone had it historically. The strength of the Roman legion lay in its ability to act on the battlefield with cohorts and maniples.

The Macedonian phalanx was also divided into small phalanxes, syntangms and fuckers, but separately they, as a rule, only moved to the battlefield. They struck blow together. And that was the problem. "Violation" of the phalanx on the battlefield probably happened before, many times. Where have you seen absolutely flat fields for the march of 16 thousands of people build? In computer games? But few could take advantage of these "breaks" system. On the battlefield, it is not so easy to do.

As a rule, the opponents of the Macedonians not only did not have disciplined heavy infantry, but also stupidly controlled the troops only until their entry into battle (in most cases). Manage the same individual units on the battlefield few people knew how. And in the phalanx a gap ... and you see it, what's next? Poorly organized random fighters who rush in there, stupidly cut. And to competently there to hit you need to have on hand the very cohort / maniple. And who were they (or their analogs) other than the Romans?

So the reason for the pogrom of the phalanx is not only in the “inability of the phalangites to fight with swords,” the reason is also in the principled tactical superiority of the Roman legion. It was extremely difficult to do something while staying within the phalanx. If at all possible. The use of multimeter sariss outside of very large units is pointless. The problem was not in some kind of “fading of the phalanx”, which some historians like to write about. The problem was that the phalanx system, which was fully developed and formed over the course of generations, suddenly faced with the tactical superiority of the heavy infantry of the Romans.

And hardly anything, just like that, could be invented in response. The Macedonians fought on the battlefield with the order they had and fought as best they could. Against most opponents, this was quite enough, but not against the Romans. The Romans could resist on the battlefield, except the tactical genius of Hannibal ... All the others in the "right battle" they carried out from the battlefield. That way peremptorily.

Such is the Roman Empire. The reason is the same - the competent use of heavy infantry on the battlefield. Repeat and master the Roman cohort / manipulative system so no one could really (although some attempts were certainly made). But all in vain. And in the future there were of course failures, failures, and defeats ... But the superbly organized Roman state (the eastern monarchies were largely inferior to it) and the superbly organized heavy infantry of the legions (with the support of cavalry and auxiliary troops) did their job time and again.

Once again - to beat the heavy infantry on the battlefield in the general battle, not having its heavy infantry, is extremely difficult. The various Gauls / Celts / Germans with long swords could by no means be a worthy contender for obvious reasons “no organization” on the battlefield. The Romans and the Greeks (in contrast to the barbarians) fought systems. This each time gave them an undeniable tactical advantage. The Romans (unlike the majority of the rest of the “civilized” nations) could act on the battlefield by separate units, close / unlock the ranks, rebuild, without losing the order.

The opponents knew how to do, at best, elite / shock parts. The Romans did not use unorganized mobs on the battlefield at all. Do not need it, too much. The Roman soldier, while his unit was not defeated, acted in the ranks and even in the heat of battle obeyed the orders.

Just copy and reproduce it all. on the battlefield very few people were on the shoulder. Therefore, the heroic barbarians could endlessly fight for their freedom - almost every "right" battle ended in defeat for them. Trying to compensate for the structure, discipline and training of personal heroism and fearlessness - an exercise, as a rule, of little use.

The Romans “infinitely won” for the simple reason that a worthy opponent for them was most often a rarity. Their defeats show that in itself heavy infantry is absolute weapons was not. In the period of the decline of Rome, when discipline began to fall, then the fighting qualities of the legions rushed down. Iron discipline is the basis of Roman fighting power, with its loss, the superiority of the legionaries on the battlefields was lost.

It is not a matter of arming and defending a Roman legionary; it is not always reasonable to consider an army at the level of individual soldiers. It is more logical to look at the unit, albeit small. A separate soldier / officer is just a cog in a big "car." And from a certain point, due to the fall of discipline, the Roman military machine went racing. There was nothing “extraordinary” in her weapons and equipment.

And it was not only and not so much in the courage of individual soldiers, but in the organization of that same flawless “war machine”. The physical condition of the soldiers and the level of weapons at the same time could not be too high. God is on the side of the big battalions, speak? Somehow in the battle of Alesia it didn’t have much effect ... and the Gauls were armed somewhat better. The Gallic sword, you know, is no match for the Roman ...

The knightly era of the Middle Ages is historically much closer to us, when for quite objective social reasons the equestrian knight was the king of the battlefield. But this is just one historical moment. Equestrian knight could dominate on the battlefield in the absence of the very “heavy infantry”, if someone did not understand, then a frontal attack with heavy cavalry of a heavy infantry box is insanity. Complete insanity.

For example, the epic fantasy battle in the description of Sapkowski himself (when there is only heavy cavalry on one side) looks absolutely wild: you can beat a heavy infantry head-on only with heavy infantry, well, or shoot crossbows (as allegedly shot by Chinese crossbowmen during a collision with Roman legionnaires after being captured in the service of Parthia). You can not attack them with cavalry, even if the cataphract type - this is nonsense and madness. A horseman (his horse) is expensive, much more expensive than an infantryman. Heavy cavalry, his armor and horse, capable of carrying it all on themselves, are very expensive. Equestrian knight / knightly cavalry "superunit" are not in any time.

They are expensive and vulnerable. And retraining / recovery of losses is very difficult. All nations that relied on heavy cavalry faced this: the Parthians and the Teutonic Order. To compensate for the loss is extremely problematic. After a devastating defeat, “recovering” is not at all easy and quick. That is, heavy cavalry, of course, a magnificent "unit" at first glance - powerful, beautiful and speedy. However ... in the realities of a difficult, long war - by no means the most interesting.

And why popular movies and books are mentioned (and numerous idiotic illustrations with knights attacking a dense system of spearmen in armor!) - a common point in the public consciousness was that anyone could fight with heavy infantry and in any way. The battle - she is such a battle ... some troops fight with others (and this battle by all means splits into a series of individual fights!). And even the “experts” on the Middle Ages and knighthood give out very wild pearls ... In reality, a tough collision with a formation of heavy infantry meant great unjustified losses for almost anyone. The valiant knights of the Middle Ages were so valiant, precisely because there was no need to break through such a system. By the way, the violation of the system of heavy infantry in battle - sharply devalued it.

The paradox of Alexander of Macedon (which “in the light” reached India!) And the paradox of Rome (which created the greatest empire and defeated almost all opponents) is explained by the correct preparation and competent use of heavy infantry units.

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  1. +8
    20 September 2017 06: 47
    Thanks to the author, good material about the role of heavy infantry in the formation of empires.
    1. +4
      20 September 2017 08: 28
      I agree completely. Yes Just a great article. good
      1. +1
        20 September 2017 17: 18
        Other Heavy Infantry. Another historical segment. But I like the song.
        Armored Infantry March
        1. 0
          21 September 2017 00: 12
          Quote: igordok

          igordok Today, 17:18 ↑ New
          Other Heavy Infantry. Another historical segment. But I like the song.
          Armored Infantry March

          actually, originally - this is a song about the imperial guard from wahi (Warhammer 40k) ...
  2. +6
    20 September 2017 09: 24
    The article is good, but still a little one-sided.
    1) The fall of the Persian Empire of the Achaemenids is nevertheless due to internal causes (social, religious and economic). Alexander only reaped the fruits of these reasons. (Which does not detract from his military talent)
    2) There was heavy infantry in Persia too - for example, mercenary hoplites from the Greek cities of Asia Minor and defectors from the policies of Hellas, after a series of Boeotian, Peloponessian and other wars. Relying on sources from “Alexander the Great” by R. Fraerman, it can be assumed that the hired Greek phalanx was not inferior, but in some ways superior to the sarisophors, but Alexander always won.
    3) The Battle of Auskul - the victory of the phalanx over the manipulative system. And the Carthaginians often used this very construction, with large masses of cavalry on the flanks.
    1. 0
      20 September 2017 18: 35
      The fall of the Persian Empire of the Achaemenids is still due to internal causes (social, religious and economic)

      And who is arguing? But the author considered and analyzed the purely military aspect of the issue.

      There was heavy infantry in Persia - for example, mercenary hoplites from the Greek cities of Asia Minor and deserters from the policies of Hellas

      In what quantity, quality and how was all this organized? And what status do they have?

      and in some ways superior to sarisophors

      But this is very unlikely ...

      victory of the phalanx over the manipulative system.

      And no one claimed that manipulations / cohorts always should have beaten the phalanx ...
      1. The comment was deleted.
      2. 0
        21 September 2017 09: 38
        1) Analyzing the purely military aspect of the question, how was the logistics of Alexander’s army carried out? I haven’t read how many sources, this moment is either omitted or on the pasture. It turns out to be an almost mirror situation with the Mongols, if, according to narrative sources, there are hundreds of thousands, what did they and their horses eat?
        2) The organization of the heavy infantry of the Achaemenids should depend on:
        -Hired or drafted
        -From where - Greeks of Asia Minor, Hellas, Bactrians
        I am inclined to believe that there were all of the above. Accordingly:

        - Mercenaries from Hellas - small units subordinate to their commanders work for a fixed amount or allotments, at the first defeat they go over to the side of Alexander (with the exception of his political opponents) - Most clearly - The Battle of Granik.
        -Greeks of Asia Minor - hoplites in their pure form, a set of free citizens. The value depends on the conditions in which they are used. The siege of Halicarnassus - fought to the last. The battle of Issus is a break.
        -Bactrians - tribes related to the Persians. U Popova A.A. in the Greco-Bactrian kingdom it is indicated that they fought on foot along with the conquerors. And excavations show that the elements of weapons are heavy. they had infantry. I did not find anything about value and organization.
  3. +2
    20 September 2017 09: 43
    Heavy infantry glory. By the way, the author slightly flips the data on the movie battle of 5 troops at the beginning. Firstly, it’s fantasy and you can’t take it seriously. Secondly, the elves fought light infantry and archers. Third dwarfs then what is it? Chained in armor with shields and long spears and hammers. Fourth, Orc troops belong to which infantry class?
    1. +1
      20 September 2017 18: 41
      Firstly, it’s fantasy and you can’t take it seriously.

      But the "melee" there is higher than the roof .... And somehow it was crookedly realized.

      Secondly, the elves fought light infantry and archers.


      It is a not light infantry never ...
      1. 0
        20 September 2017 20: 06

        Only here the little people (in the center of the building) in everyday clothes spoil the whole picture ... and so - lyapota !!!

        it's not bad too
        1. 0
          22 September 2017 12: 09
          There were no people in clothes; there, in general, all the troops were propagated by a computer of 20 (+/-) actors.
  4. +5
    20 September 2017 12: 39
    An excellent article. I will add that Alexander, having gone through all of Persia, was faced with a stalemate in Central Asia, fighting with the Saks. Scythian horsemen simply refused to climb spears and shot, shot, shot ... Every day the phalanx took a step forward forward under the hail arrows, occupied the area, losing a hundred dead and hundreds of wounded ... and the next day it went on! There were few gaitars, there were dozens of Saks on one Macedonian archer, and the Scythian army suffered minimal losses. As a result, Alexander abandoned this thankless task, loudly announced his victory and left the steppe.
    1. +3
      20 September 2017 13: 50
      which, in fact, happened in the Wild Field before the appearance of pre-Mongolian Russia with an adequate response ... as soon as their equestrian archers appeared, infantry adequate to the case, the priorities immediately changed ... and the Khazan Khaganate fell ...
    2. +3
      20 September 2017 14: 27
      Accurate remark. In order to "unwind" the heavily armed enemy troops in a mobile war, it is not necessary to even have heavily armed cataphractors. Enough middle cavalry with a good rifle school. Well, if there are a couple of cataphracts, then, together with equestrian shooters, they will plague any getairahs, and hoplites will be driven to camps - they will die without water and provisions. What can I say about Darius - give a fool ... a glass one, he will break it: reduce his cavalry advantage to an absurd zero, and let the enemy take advantage of hoplites and phalangites by 110% - this should be able to. However, from Darius the general status of the Tsar of Kings demanded general battles: there were many applicants-flatterers and staggering tribal leaders, and the faithful were miserable. The example of Bess and the company speaks of the real precarious situation of the King of kings in the absence of "victoriousness" and other PR. Darius did not have the courage for partisanism. But in vain.
      1. 0
        22 September 2017 13: 24
        Quote: andrew42
        In order to "unwind" the heavily armed enemy troops in a mobile war, it is not necessary to have even heavily armed cataphractors. Enough middle cavalry with a good rifle school.

        Cavalry may be light, but logistics is heavy. Efficiency of mounted aimless firing "at squares" is extremely low and there are VERY many arrows to be delivered, this is not a lift for nomads.
        1. 0
          17 October 2017 20: 46
          Logistics WHAT EXACTLY? Somehow used to juggling with the concept of "logistics", which, without reference to the field of activity / process, means absolutely nothing. If we mean the logistics of the supply of troops, as well as the logistics of moving troops, then the "infantry" armies, this logistics is much "harder". If there is a deep rear, mobile horse units will poison any phalanx. They studied the Scythians of the Persians under Cyrus, taught, taught, and never learned. Pupils were unable.
          1. 0
            18 October 2017 20: 58
            Quote: andrew42
            Logistics WHAT EXACTLY?

            All that is needed for war. For the gifted, I repeat - it was about arrows, which need a lot for aimless shooting at squares.
          2. 0
            6 December 2018 11: 57
            - mobile horse units will hunt any phalanx. - (with)
            This is if they do not need to protect cities, fields and fields.
  5. +4
    20 September 2017 13: 33
    And where the heavy infantry prevented Comrade Batu. The author of course, well done wrote a good article. But still he didn’t really show what heavy infantry is. Disciplined crowd in bronics with shields and spears or something else. Both Filipych and the Romans did not win at the expense of the heavy infantry, but at the expense of the developed interaction of this infantry with other branches of the army. Due to the logistics of discipline and motivation. And the heavy infantry itself is easily beaten by the same mounted archers.
    1. 0
      20 September 2017 18: 58
      And where the heavy infantry prevented Comrade Batu.

      And a lot of it (heavy infantry) was in Russia? If we exclude a few foot warriors?

      . But still it didn’t really show what heavy infantry is. Disciplined crowd in armor with shields and spears or something else.

      P. was divided into heavy (in ancient Greece, they were called hoplites (See Hoplites), in ancient Rome, they were gastats, principles, and triarias) and light (in ancient Rome they were called Velites). Heavy P. was recruited from more affluent free citizens and was armed with spears, swords, had round shields, armor on his chest, helmets and leggings on his feet. The weight of protective weapons reached 30 kg

      Disciplined "box" in armor with shields and spears
      1. +1
        20 September 2017 19: 22
        Comrade Batu also went through Europe. And again, what is heavy. We will repeat. The armor is at least leather, even the spear's linen shield. And if the shield helmet spear is that light. Especially if you are taught to keep order. And let's aim in the Middle Ages. There is no shield. But the armor of the peak. Who is this. Or a crossbowman. Armor is no spears. Who is this. By the way, the Persians had their hoplites from subservient policies and not much less than the opponents. In short, I return to my thought. The victory is not in heavy infantry but in the organization of interaction on the battlefield and the traditions of this interaction. That is, in regular combat training.
        1. +1
          20 September 2017 20: 03
          And we throw in the middle ages.

          Rush! Next weekend and we throw ... laughing
    2. 0
      20 September 2017 20: 24
      Quote: Ken71
      And where the heavy infantry prevented Comrade Batu

      And he was smart enough not to butt her forehead. The Mongols were masters of false retreats, ambushes, roundabouts and archery
  6. +4
    20 September 2017 13: 35
    Well, I admire the heavy infantry.
    True, I do not believe in point blank, 16 thousand people in the ranks, armed with sarisses. I do not believe point-blank that the legion, supposedly 5 thousand people, masterfully "ballerinas" on the battlefield, now opening, then closing ranks. And on the other side of the field there are Conan suckers and, with a finger in their mouths, are watching all this.
    All of these descriptions, so colorful, are only suitable for .... descriptions.
    No matter how heavy the heavy cavalry is, it will never trample on a tight formation of spearmen, here I agree with Oleg on everything. A horse is not a gazelle and a doe, it cannot jump. Yes, and with a spear in his chest he will barely jump three meters .... he will stand on its hind legs, and then he will collapse.
    The fight against heavy cavalry could go in the spirit of “Braveheart”, when spear-sarissa were not initially visible to the riders. And even this - a super-honed version of the brave warriors, whose gut does not flinch, wait for the heavy cavalry to attack, and then raise their spears at the last moment - for me, for example, it looks unrealistic.
    It turns out a strange thing. But the battlefield half-idiots, idiots do not go out. Those who come out know how and what to do. The one who does not know lay down in the first battle.
    But, they continue with the stubbornness of maniacs to throw themselves at the phalanx - whether on foot or on horseback.
    But isn’t it easier to kill yourself, right away. He put a sword or a dart, or whatever poker is sharpened in his hands, to his heart and fall face down. You’ll suffer less and less. And not that they stuck a piece of iron in your thigh, and then 16 thousand people walk on you on foot.
    I do not believe in all these colorful descriptions. There was a German historian. an officer, even before the First World War, I can’t now, for some reason, find anything about him - so he investigated exactly the PLACES of all these epic battles. From his point of view, an officer of the General Staff of Germany. Well, of course, I came to the conclusion that not only tens of thousands of soldiers could not fit there, there, these vaunted 300 Spartans would have to be built in 50 rows.
    In short, relying on ancient chronicles, it’s the same as evaluating epic battles precisely according to Sapkowski and Game of Thrones.
    Would this German be the one and only. So no .... here - ..http: // worth reading and wondering.
    But, for me there is no wonder.
    But with what passion everyone advertises the Roman Empire - where is the surprise. There was such an empire, hoo, hoo-ha ... but these vaunted Roman legions and Mithridates combed, and the Parthians and in Britain broke off only a part, and in Africa they also lay weak, Spartacus alone, in the metropolis of which it costs .
    As a result, they were defeated by the barbarian cavalry, with foot idiots in addition.
    But Byzantium, supposedly Eastern Roman - stood for almost a thousand years.
    This is purely my opinion, the Romans were forced to NEED to be divided into cohorts, maniples, and so on - semi-maniples, octets ... what else is there.
    Because they fought not with the CROWD of barbarians and not with the frostbitten loners, but with the fighting detachments of the fighters, who perfectly knew how to crumble, gather in BTG when the situation required. Try to fight in the forest, in the German phalanx. Or in the mountains of Samnia with the Samnites. Learned, damn it .... Rymlyany.
    The equestrian archers, who were masses in the Persian forces, would have carried out all this heavy infantry in three to four days — without coming into close contact. Hoplites would have managed, standing in line in the sun all day.
    But the father of Alexander the Great said - "donkey loaded with gold will take any fortress."
    Such layouts are interesting. The main thing is that the Romans - the traders were, at least to where.
    Heavy infantry is good for parades and sweeps. To give stability to the troops. Like an impact force - not a fountain.
    That's the whole clue.
    1. +1
      20 September 2017 14: 18
      Found, finally.
      Hans Delbrück was the name of this respected man.
      And - .... https: //
    2. 0
      20 September 2017 19: 23
      The Legion did not spoil anything. He lined up and fought like that.
    3. +1
      20 September 2017 19: 40
      I don’t believe in emphasis that the legion, presumably 5 of thousands of people, skillfully "ballerina" on the battlefield, now opening and closing the ranks.

      However, this is so ... [quote] [/ quote]



    4. 0
      20 September 2017 20: 26
      Such layouts are interesting. The main thing is that the Romans - the traders were, at least to where.

      ????? belay

      It could not be a worthy occupation for a patrician ... only freedmen ..
      (at the time of the Republic)
  7. +2
    20 September 2017 14: 40
    The "recruit" heavy infantry does not work. A prosperous and free peasantry (social factor) is needed.
    Very interesting article. Thanks to the author. But the cited point about the need for a prosperous and free peasantry and a constant reference to the Roman EMPIRE (RI) requires clarification. The genius of Hanniball did not live to RI. There was also the Roman Republic (RR) with an abundance of the required free and prosperous ... But the republican traditions of commanding troops as unprofessional consuls, elected for a short term, very soon led the RR to a situation where free and prosperous citizens were DONE. They remained on the battlefields, where the manipulative system under the command of the consuls over and over again led to the loss of armies. This is a question of the uninterrupted removal of opponents. I am not so professional in Roman history as to recall all the consuls who have ruined their armies. I don’t remember the name of the author of the defeat at Cannes, who rallied the maniple system into a mass to be beaten. But the repeated consulate of Mary took place thanks to the recruitment of any short-term tear into the army, because there was no one else! And these are not prosperous at all, but people without property, staggering between the courtyard, successfully got into operation and fought off numerous German barbarians, interrupting them in some completely wild quantities from some alpine Mineral Waters. Moreover, the army of the Republic of Ingushetia was no longer recruited from free prosperous citizens. The commander, of course, formed his army in the Roman legal field, which, if according to the results of the reporting period considered him worthy, called him emperor and was ready to defend his right to fight under his command and explain to all other Roman citizens the need to recognize his greatness .
    1. +1
      20 September 2017 19: 12
      I am not so professional in Roman history as to recall all the consuls who have ditched their armies. Even the author of the defeat at Cannes, who rallied the force manipulated into the mass to be beaten, I do not remember by name.

      From the “other side” was Hannibal. By itself, the Roman military machine did not guarantee victory

      Moreover, the army of the Republic of Ingushetia are no longer recruited from the free wealthy citizens.

      Less and less. And the quality and discipline fell ...

      if according to the results of activity during the reporting period he considered him worthy, he called him emperor and was ready to defend his right to fight under his authority and explain to all other Roman citizens

      It was under the curtain ...
      1. 0
        20 September 2017 19: 38
        Quote: Olezhek
        It was under the curtain ...

        Well, already at the curtain. The very middle of the existence of ancient Rome, 600 years approximately from the base of Caesar crossed the Rubicon. After 500 years, the emperors are over.
        1. 0
          20 September 2017 19: 49
          Well, so under the curtain. The very middle of the existence of ancient Rome, 600 years from about the foundation of Caesar crossed the Rubicon.

          The era of civil wars between the empire and the republic ...
          Then stabilization, but then it became a mass phenomenon ...
  8. +2
    20 September 2017 14: 50
    Well said. A little would strengthen about the "cogs of a combat vehicle." The Romans had ways to control troops on the battlefield. Tug-boats, special badges raised on spears, messengers ... But managing the manipulator directly on the battlefield is the business of its commander. It was the unit commander who first noticed the break in the enemy system and sent his unit there by his own will. There is simply no time to wait for directions in such an environment. Here is the commander of the maniple and the maniple itself, which does not lose control, is the basis of victories. By the way, the knight with his "spear" was almost the same ...
    Well, filmmakers do not blame. The battle system is surprisingly ugly and non-spectacular thing. See buhurts, which are carried out by lovers of historical reconstruction. Well, what movie based on this sweaty and bloody pushing on the contact line? What is romantic in the cry "press shield !! push shield, fuck-tararah ..."
    1. +2
      20 September 2017 19: 34
      Well, filmmakers do not blame. The battle system is surprisingly ugly and non-spectacular thing. See buhurts, which are carried out by lovers of historical reconstruction. Well, what movie based on this sweaty and bloody pushing on the contact line? What is romantic in the cry "press shield !! push shield, fuck-tararah ..."

      But realistic ... By the way, in Troy Hollywood, this moment is quite well shown.


      But realistic .... and no gag ... and "fights" during the battle ...
  9. +8
    20 September 2017 16: 03
    The result was a natural panegyric to heavy infantry. But, as one character used to say, not everything is so simple) Vaitor already briefly mentioned Carra. What he did NOT mention was that the Parthians, who had practically no infantry from the very beginning of their statehood, successfully smashed both the Greco-Bactrians and the Seleucids, and there was a phalanx in both of them. They plagued the Romans more than once. Moreover, in the Sasanian army the infantry was not so frequent, however, Ammianus Marcellinus wrote in white Latin that a direct clash with the Persians was the worst thing for the Romans. And the strength of the Persians is heavy cavalry, a savaran ... If you attack heavy infantry with heavy cavalry - this is "madness", what did the legions fear?
    And you can go back a little bit in history. To recall, for example, how the Macedonian veterans-phalangites of Antigonus One-eyed under Ips made dry the coalition forces of the diadoch, in which the main force was precisely the Asian-barbarian contingents and horse archers. They stupidly threw the phalanx with darts and stones, and slashed arrows until she ran, part where the eyes look, part - to give up. This is exactly what the Persians of Darius Kodoman should have done. But they did not, because Darius is indeed a loshara, although not because he fled from fear. Darius simply did not know how to fight, but no sensible advisers were found. Memnon had already died by then. Well, and also because quite a while ago the Persians did not seriously fight and their war machine completely went wrong. But as soon as those who clearly knew its strengths and weaknesses spoke out against the phalanx, the phalanx could not do anything. And so, if you sort it out, well, think about it - the phalanx ... If anything, the Persians without any problems at one time conquered all of Asia Minor colonized by the Greeks and crushed the uprisings there. And nothing - the phalanx was controlled effortlessly. They had defeats, but there were no problems with the victory. And even the battle of Plataea could easily end not so rosy for the Greeks, if not for the tactical misses of Mardonius, who could not realize his overwhelming superiority in archers.
    About galls in general it is strange to read. If anything, their armies were always smaller than the Roman ones. And the stories about hundreds of thousands of Gauls are from the same series as the okhuliards of the Bolshevik hordes that roll on ten Reich infantrymen somewhere in the Trans-Volga steppes.
    1. +1
      20 September 2017 19: 51
      Quote: Molot1979
      that the okhuliards of the Bolshevik hordes, rolling on ten infantrymen of the Reich somewhere in the Trans-Volga steppes.

      Here! Well, there are people who masterfully own numbers! How to give you TV announcers training, and especially the “voices” in Yu-tube, reading interlinear translations from English with a random arrangement of stresses.
      1. 0
        21 September 2017 16: 28
        Yes, I would have taught them logs on the back)
        1. 0
          21 September 2017 17: 29
          Quote: Molot1979
          Yes, I would have taught them logs on the back)

          Specialists in raising children say that children cannot be beaten. I have the impression that the luminaries of the pedagogy of their own children have not done it.
          1. +1
            22 September 2017 07: 34
            And the former luminaries of pedagogy indicated that "do not get tired, baby bee." And their wisdom is more ancient than any Spock.
    2. +1
      20 September 2017 20: 00
      What he did NOT mention - that the Parthians, who practically had no infantry from the very beginning of their statehood, successfully smashed both the Greek and Bactrians and the Seleucids, and the phalanx of those and others.

      The author, like ba, mentioned the Battle of Carrah .... and, as it were, he was skeptical about Alexander’s successful adventure ...
      for the purpose of showing - no “unit” is indestructible...
      They must be properly used

      If that, the Persians without any problems at one time conquered all of Asia Minor colonized by the Greeks and suppressed the uprisings there. And nothing - with phalanx controlled playfully

      The Greeks, Khm, "the princes are divided" - they (the city) met the Persians one by one and were conquered all together ...

      And so, if you figure it out, well, just think - the phalanx ...

      "In the hands of a fool even foolishness is dangerous ..." Ursula Le Guin
      1. +1
        21 September 2017 16: 25
        Quote: Olezhek
        The Greeks, Khm, "the princes are divided" - they (the city) met the Persians one by one and were conquered all together ...

        And during the Marathon, what, all of Greece came out? The plateau contingent, and the rest are stupidly some Athenians. But they did it. And how. So it was not the disunity of the princes. Although the Persians themselves considered the Marathon as an annoying misunderstanding. Before the battle of Plataeus openly called the Greeks women and were not at all afraid. Just because in Asia they are used to thrashing these phalanges. Maybe because of this benevolent mood, they lost.
    3. 0
      6 December 2018 12: 18
      - successfully defeated both the Greco-Bactrians and the Seleucids, and the phalanx was both those and others - (c)
      Well, Duc and medieval knights crushed mobilized men on the battlefield as if they were not standing, but they pressed until they ran into Swiss professionals, for example.
      In a field battle, trained infantry (and professionals — infantrymen who are not armed with clubs and are not dressed in rags) can withstand any cavalry, if only because in a direct battle there will always be three infantrymen per horse, a large horse takes up a lot of space, therefore the horseman on the front is three meters, and three infantrymen fit on three meters.
  10. +1
    21 September 2017 10: 07
    -After almost 2 thousand years, the English archers at the Battle of Agincourt simply shot the French foot knights, clad in armor ... and having a huge numerical advantage ...
    1. +1
      21 September 2017 16: 21
      But this example does not channel at all. Firstly, serious doubts about the monstrous numerical superiority of the French, about which English sources speak, secondly, the monstrous miscalculations of command and the poor organization of the French greatly helped the English army
    2. 0
      21 September 2017 21: 20
      Quote: gorenina91
      just shot french knights on foot

      Have you read the article? The strength of the heavy infantry is not so much in armor as in training, but what is the skill of knights who are used to fighting on horses?
  11. +1
    21 September 2017 16: 34
    Another point about equestrian attacks on heavy infantry. In Italy they are nevertheless clearly fixed. For example, the Burgundian knights against the Swiss. True, there everything just ended exactly as the author described - as a complete beating of chivalry. But it was the same. And not always a failure. For example, under Kurtre, the Flemish spearmen carved French armor, but under Kassel and Mons-en-Pevel, French knighthood was already trampled into the chernozem of the Flemish foot soldiers. So when the knights are accused of neglecting new military experience, they usually forget that they also relied on combat experience.
  12. +1
    21 September 2017 20: 24
    Well, regarding the first battle of the Romans and the Macedonians, so more the mistake of the king of Macedonia decided the outcome of the battle. If you are seriously engaged in the topic, you should know that the king flanked the FLANG by his mistake due to a poor awareness of the battlefield. Nowhere did the Romans wedge. While one part of the Macedonians fought with the Romans advancing and crowding them. The second part of the Achaeans and other allies of Rome drove. The Macedonians had the opportunity not to expose the flank of the first part, but the king’s mistake, not a special maneuver or Roman cunning, decided the outcome of the battle. So, some global advantage of the Roman construction over the Macedonian was not observed
  13. +1
    21 September 2017 23: 13
    Darius DID NOT RISK - ARMINY embodied in LIFE ...


    Autumn 9 years BC e. (762th from the foundation of Rome) the capital of Octavian Augustus lived a joyful anticipation of triumph. Having settled firmly on the Rhine, Roman troops captured the inner Germanic lands. After brilliant campaigns conducted by the stepsons of the emperor Tiberius and Druz, most of the barbarian tribes west of the Elbe recognized the power of Rome. Only the Sueva leader Maroboda resisted.
    The final success seemed to be near, and suddenly, like thunder from a clear sky, gloomy news spread through the capital: Publius Quintilius Var, the viceroy of Germany, was surrounded and defeated by rebel barbarians on a forest road. Three legions of heavy infantry were killed in the battle, the entire cavalry and six cohorts of local auxiliary troops — about 22 people — on paper, but in fact, a little less. Three eagles (badges replacing banners) fell into the hands of enemies. And the worst thing: the stealthy treacherous blow was dealt by the closest allies of the empire - the Cherusks led by a Roman citizen, leader Arminius. And loyalty to Rome, ironically, showed the obstinate Sveva. When the winner sent Marobod the severed head of the governor in order to induce him to join the uprising, he sent a terrible gift to August so that Var could find peace in the family vault of Kvintiliev.
    The Romans did not know such serious defeats for the last 60 years, since the Parthians at Carra in the distant lands beyond the Euphrates destroyed the expeditionary force of Mark Licinius Crassus. And for 36 years of the sole rule of Augustus, Rome was completely accustomed to victories alone, conquering new lands - Egypt, northwestern Spain, Aquitaine, the Alps, Dalmatia, the Middle Danube and finally Germany. Nobody now doubted the complete victory of the Romans over their neighbors. Virgil has already made a promise to the descendants of Aeneas in the mouth of Jupiter: "I do not put their power to either limit or term."
    The shock was huge. Augustus, after listening to the messenger, tore his toga on himself and began to bang his head against the lintel of the door, exclaiming: “Quintilius Var, return my legions to me!” Until the end of his days, he put on mourning on the anniversary of the defeat. Foreign ambassadors were sent from Rome, and the emperor's German bodyguards were sent to serve on the remote islands (however, as is usually the case in such cases, less than five years have passed before they returned to the imperial palace). Tiberius, who had just suppressed the riot in Pannonia and was preparing to celebrate a triumph, had instead to rush to the Rhine - to defend the border from the pervading barbarians. Germanicus, the nephew of Tiberius, who received the name in honor of the victories of his father Druze over the Germans, also went there.
    How could this happen? Why did the highly professional Roman army, accustomed to victories over the barbarians, suffer such a crushing defeat?
    George Kantor June 01, 2009
    Around the World Magazine / June 2009 / Var, return the legions!
    1. +1
      23 September 2017 10: 26
      Quote: hohol95
      How could this happen? Why did the highly professional Roman army, accustomed to victories over the barbarians, suffer such a crushing defeat?

      What a child’s question) “This” could happen because Quintili Var turned out to be burdock even taller than Darius the Third, even though it’s hard to believe. He was openly warned that Arminius was a traitor and was leading the army into an ambush. But he did not believe. Well, here, he liked this Arminius in a human way. And when I did not like it, it was too late. It was not in vain that the German leader served in the legions - he well thought out how to beat such an enemy. As a result, a series of partisan skirmishes was imposed on the Romans, in which light German infantrymen tormented the hungry legionaries, and there was simply nowhere to realize the advantages of the manipulative system. In a series of such battles, the Romans were cut out. Only historians call this long-term campaign "the battle in the Teutoburg Forest." There really was no “battle”, otherwise everything would have ended for the Romans in a completely different way. This was shown by the campaigns of Druze and Tiberius, which, albeit with difficulty and loss, but thrashed the Germans like goat goats.
      1. +1
        23 September 2017 10: 36
        Thanks for the comment! But the words - "How could this happen? Why did the highly professional Roman army, accustomed to victories over the barbarians, suffer such a crushing defeat?" refer to the article in the journal "Around the World" by George Kantor!
        This article describes everything!
  14. +1
    22 September 2017 09: 51
    Any advanced European knows very well that Asterix and Obelix together could easily cope with the totalitarian legion!
  15. 0
    22 September 2017 12: 02
    I read it, twisted it around the weight and forgot ... It turns out that the hoplite phalanx is peasants who are not trained and
    "Inability to fight with swords"
    And of course, the main highlight of the program in the "falsy were gaps" Logic level 80.
  16. 0
    23 September 2017 20: 56
    And the mass viewer, as a result, sees what he sees. And he creates a very strange impression of the collision of large armies of the pre-powder era.
    yes least of all this viewer thinks about constructions and application laughing Found that as an example to take and with whom to compare! laughing
  17. 0
    6 December 2018 11: 45
    The Legion is also a phalanx, only Roman, not Macedonian.
    The Legion is a more agile and controlled phalanx than that wall of heavy infantry shields that most peoples possessed of trained heavy infantry.
    Manipulas and cohorts facilitated maneuvering on the battlefield, but before a direct collision with the enemy, they closed, the gaps between them were filled.
    In the era of infantry "revival" at the end of the Middle Ages, in the same way, to improve maneuvering in battle, infantry tactics transitioned from the battles of the Swiss and Landsknechts to the third of the Spaniards.

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