Samurai




 
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August 4th, 2004  
Shadowalker
 
 

Topic: Samurai


In my opinion the samurai were the most effective close combat fighting force in history, with there mix of a code of honour, the best swords ever made and martial arts they were the best fighters ever, i was wondering if any of you would disagree, or have any suggestions for anyone who might beat them! (close combat only, no ranged weapons!)
thanks!
August 4th, 2004  
silent driller
 
 
MAYBE the Gurkas or the Cossacks. Those are the only two I can think of who would come close.
August 4th, 2004  
LeatherNeckRVA
 
one on one a samurai would win, but a heavy cavalry of knights would take them in a battle. At least thats what I think, their curved blades seem too light to cut through heavy armor, and once they and their opponents are on horses they have lost their speed advantage.
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August 4th, 2004  
Shadowalker
 
 
Sorry i meant to say fighters on foot! If i wanted to say fighters on horseback i would probably say that the saracens/ mamelukes (i dont think there the same! not sure) were the best!
August 4th, 2004  
ENRG
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeatherNeckRVA
one on one a samurai would win, but a heavy cavalry of knights would take them in a battle. At least thats what I think, their curved blades seem too light to cut through heavy armor, and once they and their opponents are on horses they have lost their speed advantage.
I agree, I think that a Battalion of Roman Legioners would take the Samurais out in a matter of hours, reasons:

- Mass Formations using Heavy Armor Shields.
- Extended reach with thier Pikes and Spears.
- The number of Legioners.
August 4th, 2004  
LeatherNeckRVA
 
samurais often did ride on horseback though. disqualifying that takes away from them.
August 5th, 2004  
Endiminion
 
 

Topic: samurai


You have to remember however, the samurai style of fighting, well most asian style of fighting is more based on speed. You notice how european military was more armor oriented, plate male and what not. Take for example roman legionaries, quite disciplined proffesional soldiers, with heavy armor and a big ass shield, effective of course, but not very fast, you can't be with that type of equipment. Also take in to concideration weapons. European swords are straight ant typically made for piercing armor and such. With asian weapons you see curviture, made for slicing, because there is not so much armor in asian military, they have lighter troops. Samurai wore leather and some ceramics, which gave them the flexibility they needed to perform their great martial arts, and of course the speed. Samurai had very good cavalry generally, deadly weapons on horseback like the naginata, and also great horse archers. Personally I admire the samurai and their code, and perfectly made sword design.
August 7th, 2004  
Acerbus
 
Ah, Samurai. My favored warrior class.

Endiminion had it right when pointing out the differences in styles of waging war. But everyone left out the fact that the Samurai were only one part of a feudal Japanese military force. The Samurai were the nobles and officers, there were also common spearmen, archers and the like. A General worth his salt would use all of these factors in shaping the battlefield to his tastes. A force of solely Samurai would have been easily torn apart in any full-scale battle.

As for the individual discipline, the Samurai were pretty hard to beat. And as others have mentioned earlier, they were a warrior society. Anyone catch that difference between the words 'warrior' and 'soldier'? What made the Romans great militarily were their soldiers, there was little room for warriors (they wiped out the warriors of Gaul for example). But it's also the fact that they lacked warriors to inspire later on as the Empire declined which led to their downfall (I study a bit of Roman history since I'm taking Latin, their military and leadership went to hell as it died.).

But I over-reach myself. I have great respect for the Samurai style of discipline, especially the insistence on living each moment of life to the fullest. As it might be gone the next (not too uncommon in feudal Japan, what with the wars and deadly weather). That acceptance of the inevitability of death is core to their discipline.

The eventual downfall of the Samurai and Legions in my opinion are a lesson in the need to strike a balance between what makes up a warrior and a soldier. They are two styles of discipline, kinda like yin and yang. We need the mass discipline of the soldier to project our might, but we also need the discipline of the warrior to define who we are.

Recommended reading (on the warrior ethic in general): The Code of the Warrior by Shannon E. French.
August 7th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
I'd have to completely disagree. The most effective militaries for their respective times were probably
1.) The Monguls
2.) The Romans
3.) The Macedonians

Now the Monguls, we know for certain to have proved themselves superior to all sorts of Oriental warrior types, most notably China (who had all the same advantages as the Samuri). Its quite well known that were it not for a fortuitous storm, the Japanese didn't have a chance in hell of withstanding a Mongolian invasion. The Monguls also made mincemeat of European armored knights. I doubt that the Samuri and their armies could really compare. Even without their bows, one on one it would be tough to beat a Mongul.
August 7th, 2004  
Paddster
 
Well, the Samurai way of life and their training was Jiu - Jitsu, which I personally train, believe you me, even without a weaponl they could beat anyone on foot. (non ballistic of course).

What I would love to see would be Samurai fighting Chinese Imperial Guards, Jiu - Jitsu vs Kung Fu.