Ancient warfare uaf edu

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Ancient Greece, Iron Age Europe, Japanese, Notable ancient wars. Notable ancient battles, Unit types, See also, References. Literature, External links,Chariots, As states grew in size speed of movement became crucial because central power could not hold if rebellions could not be suppressed. rapidly The first solution to this was the chariot which became used in the Middle East from around 1800 BC First pulled by oxen. and donkeys they allowed rapid traversing of the relatively flat lands of the Middle East The chariots were light enough that they. could easily be floated across rivers Improvements in the ability to train horses soon allowed them to be used to pull chariots . possibly as early as 2100 BC 3 and their greater speed and power made chariots even more efficient The major limitation of the use. of chariots is terrain while very mobile on flat hard open ground this is lost on any sort of rough ground even sparse trees or. bushes small ravines or streams or marsh where they are surpassed in maneuverability by common foot soldiers and later by. cavalry , The power of the chariot as a device both of transportation and of battle became the central weapon of the peoples of the Ancient. Near East in the 2nd millennium BC The typical chariot was worked by two men one would be a bowman and fire at the enemy. forces while the other would control the vehicle Over time chariots carrying up to five warriors were developed The effectiveness. of these vehicles is still somewhat in doubt In China their chariots became the central weapon of the Shang dynasty allowing them. to unify a great area , Although chariots have been compared to modern day tanks in the role they played on the battlefield i e shock attacks this is.
disputed 4 5 with scholars pointing out that chariots were vulnerable and fragile required a level terrain while tanks are all terrain. vehicles and thus not suitable for use in the way modern tanks have been used as a physical shock force 6 7 The chief advantage of. the chariot was the tactical mobility they provided to bowmen Because tightly packed infantry were the formation of choice in order. for ancient generals to maintain command and control during the battle as well as for mutual protection a force of chariots could. stand off at long range and rain arrows down on the infantrymen s heads Because of their speed any attempts to charge the chariots. could be easily evaded If on the other hand an infantry unit spread out to minimize the damage from arrows they would lose the. benefit of mutual protection and the charioteers could easily overrun them . From a tactical standpoint this put any force facing chariots on the horns of dilemma making chariots indispensable to armies of the. day Chariots however were complicated pieces of hardware that required specialized craftsmen to maintain them Such services . therefore made chariots expensive to own When chariots were owned by individuals within a society it tended to give rise to a. warrior class of specialists and a feudal system an example of which can be seen in Homer s The Iliad Where chariots were. publicly owned they helped in the maintenance and establishment of a strong central government e g the New Egyptian Kingdom . Chariot usage peaked in the Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BC which was probably the largest chariot battle ever fought involving. perhaps 5 000 chariots 8 ,Naval warfare, Naval warfare in the ancient world can be traced back to the third millennium BC Mediterranean as evidence of paintings on. Cyclades and models of ships were being made across the Aegean 9 Ships in this era have been said to have served as both ordinary. transportation and trade vessels as well as having some military and warfare applications These early sea vessels would have been. propelled by both oar and sail but since the Mediterranean is known for its inconsistent weather patterns the oar would have most. likely been the primary means of propulsion 9 , The first documented physical evidence of a naval battle is found in the relief painting located in the temple of Medinet Habu near. Luxor Egypt This relief painting depicts the victory of Ramses III over the Sea Peoples at the Nile river delta in the early twelfth. century BC 10 These Sea Peoples are originally believed to be of Philistine and Phoenician descent while there is speculation that. there could be some Greek influence in their sea faring While the relief painting at the Temple of Medinet Habu is said to be the first. physical documentation of naval warfare there are earlier records that indicate that the concept and practice of sea faring battles. sprouted up as early as 2550 BC under the Egyptian Pharaoh Sahue who reportedly used transport vessels to escort his armies to. foreign shores 11 There is even further evidence from earlier sources that illustrate sea faring and military action around the Nile. 12 , Delta during the early dynastic period in Egypt following into the reign of Ramses II. Prior to the victory of Ramses III over the Sea Peoples Egypt as a sovereign state did not have access to kind of timber needed to. manufacture seafaring vessels and warships alike on a large scale Instead of importing mass amounts of timber in order to build. warships Egyptian naval architects and early engineers began to convert the common river going ship by reconfiguring the size of. 13 , the ship while also adding heavy trees for longitudinal support of the hull on the open sea . This newly theorized concept of rearranging and reconfiguring the common Egyptian river boat was held in high esteem and largely. contributed to the victory of Ramesses III over the Sea Peoples in the Nile river delta as depicted in the relief painting at Medinet. Habu The relief shows in great detail how fighting was actually conducted in a naval battle in this time period The Relief shows. Egyptian wars ships consisting of over twenty rows of oarsmen along with infantry troops and archers fighting in apparent hand to . hand combat with the opposing naval force 14 This begs the theory that there was no actual naval weaponry developed at this time. but rather reliant upon maneuvering tactics and strategy in order to engage with infantry troops . The Trireme, Amongst the great innovations of naval warfare in the Ancient world there are few that can surpass therireme.
T style warship in terms, of efficiency strategy and over all effectiveness The first depiction of this longship style vessel an. c be found in Homer s theIliad as, means of transport of men armed men and supplies to areas of conflict across the seas 15 These ships were said to have consisted of. two separate levels that could have help up to 60 men per level all operating oars in unison to propel the ship The upper level of. oarsmen would sit in single file fashion pulling their oars through what is called a topwale or some sort of oarport while the men in. the lower rows would sit in the ships hold also rowing through lower oarports 16 It is also said that each oar throughout the ship. 16 , would be made in length proportionate the physique of an average Greek man . Manned crews for these massive warships would have been quite impressive but. accounts vary in actual numbers of men from source to source Herodotus of. Halicarnassus was a Greek historian in the fourth century BC who through his. accounts said that these Triremes would consist of at least two hundred men. manning all positions 17 With these massive crews these ships were able to work. at maximum capacity and efficiency in regards to speed navigation and transport . While these ships were built for maximum efficiency there is room for debate about. the conditions and space aboard the ship itself It is estimated that out of the 200 reconstruction of ancient Greek. Trireme, man crew around 170 of those men would have been oarsmen with respective. positions below deck 18 These oarsmen below deck would sit on thwarts and kept. their personal storage items beneath them reassuring the theory that these ships would be very crowded with little room for anything. other than operational functions , What exactly these Greek triremes were capable of in battle is debated There are various different accounts that lay down.
foundations of what equipment was used and how these ships engaged in combat The main military applications of Greek Triremes . besides the transport of troops and supplies would be the advantages of ramming tactics developments and innovations of the Greek. Trireme evolved over time especially in respects to ramming tactics Naval architects during this time saw fit to bring about full. effectiveness and damaging power to these ships By doing this the amount of manpower would stay consistent i e keeping the. same amount of rowing power but shortening the length of the ship to condense the ramming power while keeping speed and agility. consistent 19 This new ideology of warfare and naval tactics would prove to be prudent to the overall military applications of the. Trireme and soon would become the principal combative strategy of the Greek navy and other navies alike . The Greek Trireme would soon after its appearance in the Aegean become the standard warship throughout the mediterranean as. sovereign states such as Egypt and even the Persian Empire would adopt the design of these ships and apply them to their own. military applications One major attraction of the Greek design would be its efficient ramming capability but also its ability to travel. long distances at fair speeds One account from Athenian soldier and historian Xenophon describes the voyage of Athenian fleet. commander Iphicrates through unfriendly waters and the strategy he used combined with the sheer sailing power of therireme . T, He proceeded with his journey and at the same time made all the necessary preparations for action at the outset. leaving his main sails behind as if he was expecting an engagement In addition even if there was a following wind. he used his small boat sails little but progressed by oar instead presumably of using main sails and boat sails. when the wind was favourable Thus he both improved the fitness of his men and achieved a higher speed for his. ships 20 , This primary source account can be interpreted as a functional and efficient use of the Greek Trireme Maximizing its speed through. rugged and unfriendly seas while also utilizing specific military strategy in order to ensure the most prudent and effective outcome. was what led to the success of Trireme across all kinds of empires and civilizations throughout the Mediterranean The Trireme. would later become a vital piece of naval weaponry throughout the Persian Wars for both the Greeks and the Persian Empire as well. as the base standard for the formation of the Roman Navy. , The Persian Wars were the first to feature large scale naval operations not only sophisticated fleet engagements with dozens of. triremes on each side but combined land sea operations Ships in the ancient world could operate only on the relatively quiet waters. of seas and rivers the oceans were off limits Navies were almost always used as auxiliaries to land forces often essential to bringing. them supplies They would rarely strike out on their own With only limited range weapons naval galleys would often attempt to ram. their opponents with their reinforced bow to cause damage or sink the enemy warships which often caused the two ships to become. joined together and initiated a boarding battle Only occasionally was a decisive naval battle fought such as the Battle of Lade in. which a Persian navy destroyed the Greek navy, ,Tactics and weapons. Strategy, Ancient strategy focused broadly on the twin goals of convincing the enemy that continued war was more costly than submitting and.
of making the most gain possible from war , Forcing the enemy to submit generally consisted of defeating their army in the field Once the enemy force was routed the threat of. siege civilian deaths and the like often forced the enemy to the bargaining table However this goal could be accomplished by other. means Burning enemy fields would force the choice of surrendering or fighting a pitched battle Waiting an enemy out until their. army had to disband due to the beginning of the harvest season or running out of payment for mercenaries presented an enemy with a. similar choice The exceptional conflicts of the ancient world were when these rules of warfare were violated The Spartan and. Athenian refusal to accept surrender after many years of war and near bankruptcy in the Peloponnesian War is one such exceptional. example as is the Roman refusal to surrender after theBattle of Cannae . A more personal goal in war was simple profit This profit was often monetary as was the case with the raiding culture of the Gallic. tribes But the profit could be political as great leaders in war were often rewarded with government office after their success These. strategies often contradict modern common sense as they conflict with what would be best for the states involved in the war. , Tactics,Effective tactics varied greatly depending on . 1 The army s size, 2 Unit types, 3 Terrain, 4 The weather. 5 Positional advantage, 6 Skill level, 7 Individual battle experience. 8 Individual morale, 9 Armament quantity and quality .
Weapons, Ancient weapons included the spear the atlatl with light javelin or similar projectile the bow and arrow the sling pole. Ancient warfare Ancient warfare is war as conducted from the beginnings of recorded history to the end of the ancient period In Europe and the Near East the end of antiquity is often equated with the Fall of Rome in 476 AD the wars of the Eastern Roman Empire on its

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