In your opinion, what war in the ancient world, changed how we conduct warfare today?




 
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November 24th, 2009  
Riddell10
 

Topic: In your opinion, what war in the ancient world, changed how we conduct warfare today?


Discuss.

In my opinion its the 2nd punic war, fighting a war in spain italy sicily and eventually africa, was alot larger of a war then Rome could have expected, and aloud them to grow into the super power they were, when they won they took over the western part of the known world and truly became the worlds super power.
Not only that, Hannibal changed the mindset of most generals. First general to openly almost say that his center breaking, is a good thing and not to mention his victory at cannae outflanking and encircling a very much larger force then his
November 24th, 2009  
MontyB
 
 
I am not sure there is an answer to this as since the rise of air power the large scale "ancient" tactics have become pretty much out dated.

Over all though I will say the Greek victory over the Persians (480BC) because that preserved democracy so that it could grow and influence the way the worlds major military's perform today.
November 24th, 2009  
Riddell10
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I am not sure there is an answer to this as since the rise of air power the large scale "ancient" tactics have become pretty much out dated.

Over all though I will say the Greek victory over the Persians (480BC) because that preserved democracy so that it could grow and influence the way the worlds major military's perform today.
basic infantry tactics are studied by our military leaders today and not only tactics they tought us how to political, diplomaticly win wars.
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November 25th, 2009  
MontyB
 
 
Yes but I am not entirely sure you can attribute basic infantry attacks to Hannibal as pretty much all civilisations prior to Carthage and Rome used them, for example the battle of Marathon, the Greeks allowed their center to buckle (by deliberately putting second grade troops and a thinner than usual depth) in order to allow attacks on the Persian flanks.


I have seen the interviews with Schwarzkopf where he claims he owes success in Gulf War 1 to the tactics of Hannibal but on the whole I think he is a little deluded to make these claims
November 26th, 2009  
Riddell10
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Yes but I am not entirely sure you can attribute basic infantry attacks to Hannibal as pretty much all civilisations prior to Carthage and Rome used them, for example the battle of Marathon, the Greeks allowed their center to buckle (by deliberately putting second grade troops and a thinner than usual depth) in order to allow attacks on the Persian flanks.


I have seen the interviews with Schwarzkopf where he claims he owes success in Gulf War 1 to the tactics of Hannibal but on the whole I think he is a little deluded to make these claims
in a higher sence hannibal use his calvary to shield his african infantry, and and by that the romans didn't understand the big picture looking at the army across the field, so they put all their efforts into smashing the center, and when their center gave ground the african infantry turned in to the surprised romans... also with him powerhousing the left and then encircling the right calvary he was given free space to manouvre any calvary unit anywere, thus creating the circle cutting off any retreat

edit: the greeks didnt use such complex attack a stronger position manouvre, the romans out numbered the punic army and Hannibal outflanked a stronger force by using there greatest strength as there greatest weakness, the greeks on the other hand used there heavy infantry, and if you read more into it didnt deliberetly form that way, thats how the battle went and when the pushing slowed down thats what ended up, they just let them crash into their shields and flee
November 26th, 2009  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riddell10
in a higher sence hannibal use his calvary to shield his african infantry, and and by that the romans didn't understand the big picture looking at the army across the field, so they put all their efforts into smashing the center, and when their center gave ground the african infantry turned in to the surprised romans... also with him powerhousing the left and then encircling the right calvary he was given free space to manouvre any calvary unit anywere, thus creating the circle cutting off any retreat

edit: the greeks didnt use such complex attack a stronger position manouvre, the romans out numbered the punic army and Hannibal outflanked a stronger force by using there greatest strength as there greatest weakness, the greeks on the other hand used there heavy infantry, and if you read more into it didnt deliberetly form that way, thats how the battle went and when the pushing slowed down thats what ended up, they just let them crash into their shields and flee

The problem with this is that the Greeks were massively out numbered by the Persians and still carried out enveloping maneuvers, they defeated the Persians on land and at sea, they carried out scorched earth policies etc. etc. they also managed to split their 11000 strong army and move them back to Athens in time to defend the city against invasion and in the end the Athenians even managed to get a thumbs up by the Spartans who turned up afterward.

The fact is that the Hannibal may have refined a lot of these tactics but the Greeks were the first to record their use.
November 26th, 2009  
Riddell10
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
The problem with this is that the Greeks were massively out numbered by the Persians and still carried out enveloping maneuvers, they defeated the Persians on land and at sea, they carried out scorched earth policies etc. etc. they also managed to split their 11000 strong army and move them back to Athens in time to defend the city against invasion and in the end the Athenians even managed to get a thumbs up by the Spartans who turned up afterward.

The fact is that the Hannibal may have refined a lot of these tactics but the Greeks were the first to record their use.
saying they were heavily outnumbered is stating a hollywood movie is accurate, it was extremely evenly matchs at marathon, read into the persian perspective and how many THEIR historians say they brought.

The fact that in the second punic war it was an actual war to our standards as well, it wasn't 2 field army's operating, with a navy along side it was multiple armies ( spain 2 punic 1 roman, italy 2 romans 1 punic silicy 1 of each and then onto africa, and even greece) the individual aspects of the war with hannibal sure they can be related to anything. but the fact he force marched across gaul all hostile area to surprise attack a super power and basically was a pain in the ass for a long time is amasing. And the fact that Rome refused to admit they were at the brink of defeat after cannae and relised the importance to attack spain, and hold hannibal at bay in italy, all these things can and are used today to a point
November 26th, 2009  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riddell10
saying they were heavily outnumbered is stating a hollywood movie is accurate, it was extremely evenly matchs at marathon, read into the persian perspective and how many THEIR historians say they brought.
I don't know about Hollywood as it isn't quoted in any of my books but Herodotus, Plutarch, Ephorus and Diodorus Siculus are quoted as writing about the Greco-Persian wars within 500 years of the event (Herodotus was alive at the time) and all are considered to be excellent sources.

In terms of the numbers involved it is widely accepted that there were 10-11,000 Athenians and their allies and 25,000 Persians plus 1-2000 cavalry so roughly 2-2.5 to 1 in favour of the Persians.

The simple reality is that wars were fought along similar lines for thousands of years and Carthaginians did not really add anything new to the mix they just did some things better than others, things like envelopment were nothing new to battle but at places like Cannae and Marathon the process was executed better than at battles like Kadesh.

As you can tell I am less convinced that Hannibal was the great general history tries to portray him as, in reality I see him as a somewhat timid commander who couldn't see the big picture and eventually failed with the small picture as well.

As is attributed to him, "Hannibal knows how to win battles but he doesn't know how to win wars."
November 27th, 2009  
Riddell10
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I don't know about Hollywood as it isn't quoted in any of my books but Herodotus, Plutarch, Ephorus and Diodorus Siculus are quoted as writing about the Greco-Persian wars within 500 years of the event (Herodotus was alive at the time) and all are considered to be excellent sources.

In terms of the numbers involved it is widely accepted that there were 10-11,000 Athenians and their allies and 25,000 Persians plus 1-2000 cavalry so roughly 2-2.5 to 1 in favour of the Persians.

The simple reality is that wars were fought along similar lines for thousands of years and Carthaginians did not really add anything new to the mix they just did some things better than others, things like envelopment were nothing new to battle but at places like Cannae and Marathon the process was executed better than at battles like Kadesh.

As you can tell I am less convinced that Hannibal was the great general history tries to portray him as, in reality I see him as a somewhat timid commander who couldn't see the big picture and eventually failed with the small picture as well.

As is attributed to him, "Hannibal knows how to win battles but he doesn't know how to win wars."
i no i no, but marching on rome after cannae would have bin a mistake and he understood that he didnt have the siege train and the battle of cannae was to large a distance away from Rome, and i dont no if you can say he didn't see the whole picture, he reocognized militarily that the war he fought was the closest he could get to destroying the romans and recognized by leaving his brother and collegue in spain he secured his route for supplies and reinforcements ( which were defeated by a fluke)
At marathon they had enough men to block the passe way with a thick body of heavy infantry. compared to western heavy infantry the persians stood no chance so it was basically a 1 on 1 battle between steal and wood. Marathon isn't impressive several defences in the modern era have bin successful because of the natural landscape and theres an example of an ancient one, better soldiers were given the oppurtunity to fight in a one on one basis but with cannae, an army weaker then the romans outmatched in everything except calvary forced an army into such a tight pack they couldn't even swing their swords anymore, hannibal and his battlefield genius ( not warfare) is acceptable to say attributes to us and both senates the way they handled the warfare carthage in a bad way and rome in a good way gives us a good idea on how to react after a defeat and after a victory

edit: the greeks and persians operated in 1 on 1 land army basis even if they were outnumbered totally, im talking about large scale mulitple armies here, a senate can tell one army how to move but the fact they handled 4 provinces with 5 armies is unbelievible
November 27th, 2009  
MontyB
 
 
I am sorry we can cycle around in circles here until we are dizzy but in the end I believe that the battle of Marathon clearly indicates that the Greeks had at the very least a rudimentary grasp of the tactics you seem to be attributing to the Carthaginians some 200 years before Cannae.
 


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