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    (Original post by B00kwOrm)
    True. Shame the Persians found a way to go around the Greeks and attack them from the front and the back at the same time. Do you know the exact circumstances of that?
    Found myself reading up on a few battles in the ancient world, and lo behold, what do I find a few pages after a detailed acount of Marathon??? Themopylae. One of the two kings of Sparta, Leonidas, takes his personal guard of 300 men and some 5000 greek soldiers to meet Xerxes. Offering battle at the pass of Thermopylae with a vastly inferior force, Leonidas holds Xerxes in confusion for 4 days, yet on the 5th day Xerxes attacks. After 2 days of vicious fighting, a Greek traitor tells Xerxes of a goat path, one of several, that goes around the pass. Leonidas learns of this in the morning and tells the Greek soldiers to retreat, to fight again another day. It is now that he holds the pass with only the 300 men of his personal guard. Indeed some of the best soldiers to walk the earth at that time. Leonidas was one of the first to fall, yet the guard formed a tight clump and fought their way to retrieve the body, before retiring to a stronger position awaiting the next attack. They held out for most of the day, and when their number reached only five, they are said to have been stood with their backs against the wall ready to 'fight tooth and nail'. In the end, the last five of Leonidas' 300 were brought down with spears and rocks, for Xerxes' men feared to close with these skilled warriors.
    There ya go. Hope that helps. Leonidas made the Persians suffer dearly, and also caused a severe supply problem by holding up an army of some 120,000 men for almost a week, leaving roughly 20,000 fallen in the aftermath.
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    Thanks a lot, Sire, that was great! Sorry, I totally forgot about this I must say, I got sidetracked by other things. That was a great account. I think the book I've got says that the Greeks invented the story of the betrayal to cover up a mistake they made, i.e. that they forgot to plan a defence of that path. Anyway, I really like the idea of these five soldiers holding up the whole of the Persian army.

    By the way, I watched 'The Last Samurai' on Saturday, quite an amazing film I think. Do you have any details about the last battle fought by the Samurai?
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    Bump for jiggly2004 or whatever they style themself as.
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    (Original post by B00kwOrm)
    Thanks a lot, Sire, that was great! Sorry, I totally forgot about this I must say, I got sidetracked by other things. That was a great account. I think the book I've got says that the Greeks invented the story of the betrayal to cover up a mistake they made, i.e. that they forgot to plan a defence of that path. Anyway, I really like the idea of these five soldiers holding up the whole of the Persian army.

    By the way, I watched 'The Last Samurai' on Saturday, quite an amazing film I think. Do you have any details about the last battle fought by the Samurai?
    Uhmm, there were several goat tracks, and the Greeks knew about them. Deciding to heavily guard the one they thought most likely to be used was their mistake. The Persians took another path and got through undetected. I also think I accidentally mislead you with the 5 soldiers part. Xerxes wanted all the Spartans dead, and the Spartans weren't going anywhere. Hence the last 5 men came to be standing with thier backs against a rock wall before they were killed. But they did indeed delay proceedings for a bit longer before they were eventually killed. I really do admire the valour etc. Left me stunned after I'd read about it (3 times to be sure plus cuz it was a good read)

    As for The Last Samurai, its really good, even mentions Themopylae as you've no doubt noticed. Uhmmm were you asking me about the last battle as portrayed in the movie, or was there actually a last battle of the Samurai warriors sometime in the late 1900s? I'd be interested to know more about it if there was one.
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    Does anyone remember the story of the 300 Spartans who repelled the advancing forces of the Persians (numbering 10,000) and saved Greece from invasion? I think the Romans were cool and Alexander's phalanx and cone-shaped cavalry charges were taken to pieces by Indian archers under the command of King Paurus - that was really why the Greeks turned back from their mission of world conquest on the Eastern front
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    OK here's one to think about: In the back of a Bernard Cornwell novel, he opines that had the Duke of Wellington had longbowmen at his disposal instead of riflemen, the Brits would have won Waterloo far more decisively, and with less casualties. What do you make of this?
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    this is an interesting fact if its true: Apparently during a war between England and another nation, because the enemy at the time had cavalry who fought with spears in their left hand, the commander told his troops to fight with their right stronger arm,

    any hoo that is apparently why we drive on the left hand side of the road
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    (Original post by Kurdt Morello)
    Does anyone remember the story of the 300 Spartans who repelled the advancing forces of the Persians (numbering 10,000) and saved Greece from invasion? I think the Romans were cool and Alexander's phalanx and cone-shaped cavalry charges were taken to pieces by Indian archers under the command of King Paurus - that was really why the Greeks turned back from their mission of world conquest on the Eastern front
    Well the 300 Spartans is in fact the story of Thermopylae as we were discussing. As for the Alexander remark, you must remember that he became rather ill, I think poison was mentioned somewhere. Either way he died, and with him the inspiration to lead an army to world domination etc. Why do you think the Roman's to be cool though? Hannibal made a mockery of them after all. He did this so easily because he just fought a battle that wasn't done to a schedule as Rome had come to teach its armies to fight with.
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    (Original post by Kurdt Morello)
    Does anyone remember the story of the 300 Spartans who repelled the advancing forces of the Persians (numbering 10,000) and saved Greece from invasion? I think the Romans were cool and Alexander's phalanx and cone-shaped cavalry charges were taken to pieces by Indian archers under the command of King Paurus - that was really why the Greeks turned back from their mission of world conquest on the Eastern front
    Yes. I enjoy classical and med history. I cant stand modern history about Hitler etc. I loved history at school but did Geography for GCSE because it was all about WWII which is boring to me.
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    (Original post by 4Ed)
    OK here's one to think about: In the back of a Bernard Cornwell novel, he opines that had the Duke of Wellington had longbowmen at his disposal instead of riflemen, the Brits would have won Waterloo far more decisively, and with less casualties. What do you make of this?
    Yes this is not as inexplicable as it sounds - the rifles used at the battle of Waterloo were of a very poor quality - the rifles still used smooth barrels which used rounds which were smaller than the barrells' width = therefore the round would come bouncing out of the barrel and would be very inaccurate - later the barrels and rounds had corresponding grooves which allowed the round to spin and come out straight - hence the reason why exit wounds are far bigger than entry wounds
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    (Original post by Sire)
    They were certainly good, and the persians weren't exactly great. But you must remember they won mostly because of using some brains to match the brawn. They fought from well defend and stabilised positions. The odds were generally in their favour. (Made possible by their own ingenuity yes.) However if they had been used in the manner of the persian elite guard, the effect would have been just the same, possibly more so if they'd been repulsed.

    Although the Spartans were indoctrinated into being a race dedicated to warfare, one of the reasons they defeated Athens in the second? Peleponesian war. They kicked their kids out from an early age to learn how to fend for themselves. Maybe the Spartans would not have been able to delay the Persians for long enough if their culture had not been dedicated to martial pursuits.


    hehe, im interested too although it kinda dropped for a while for politics and girls. Have you read Sun Tzu 's "The Art of War", thats jokes and is often recommended for business executives (not that relevent but)
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    (Original post by 4Ed)
    OK here's one to think about: In the back of a Bernard Cornwell novel, he opines that had the Duke of Wellington had longbowmen at his disposal instead of riflemen, the Brits would have won Waterloo far more decisively, and with less casualties. What do you make of this?
    Perhaps not more decisively, or even with fewer casualties, but it would have been interesting all the same. Higher rate of fire, armour long being a dead concept and thus allowing the arrows to be effective once again. Charges may have been repulsed a lot quicker. You could have something there.
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    (Original post by Absolution)
    this is an interesting fact if its true: Apparently during a war between England and another nation, because the enemy at the time had cavalry who fought with spears in their left hand, the commander told his troops to fight with their right stronger arm,

    any hoo that is apparently why we drive on the left hand side of the road
    we drive on the left as it means your sword hands meet in the middle when you draw weapons. And Napolean made the continent drive on the right as he said there was no need for weapons as it was united under his rule.
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    (Original post by Sire)
    Well the 300 Spartans is in fact the story of Thermopylae as we were discussing. As for the Alexander remark, you must remember that he became rather ill, I think poison was mentioned somewhere. Either way he died, and with him the inspiration to lead an army to world domination etc. Why do you think the Roman's to be cool though? Hannibal made a mockery of them after all. He did this so easily because he just fought a battle that wasn't done to a schedule as Rome had come to teach its armies to fight with.
    Yes apologies for not reading the post above - ok Julius Caesar was cool because he was only a lowly soldier in the Gaul campaigns by the time he was 35 - he looked upon Alexander the Great and wept yearning to be as great - he also showed balls by taking on Rome when he came back from Gaul campaign (note my signature = crossing of Rubicon) and yes hannibal did indeed make a mockery but he was stupid not to take Rome when it was a sitting duck
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    (Original post by JSM)
    Although the Spartans were indoctrinated into being a race dedicated to warfare, one of the reasons they defeated Athens in the second? Peleponesian war. They kicked their kids out from an early age to learn how to fend for themselves. Maybe the Spartans would not have been able to delay the Persians for long enough if their culture had not been dedicated to martial pursuits.


    hehe, im interested too although it kinda dropped for a while for politics and girls. Have you read Sun Tzu 's "The Art of War", thats jokes and is often recommended for business executives (not that relevent but)
    yes I've read 'Art of War', a translated version of course though. Ironically I read it for my future career in business as opposed to my interest in warfare. Guess I won on two counts having it for my career and being able to say I've read it.
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    (Original post by Kurdt Morello)
    Yes apologies for not reading the post above - ok Julius Caesar was cool because he was only a lowly soldier in the Gaul campaigns by the time he was 35 - he looked upon Alexander the Great and wept yearning to be as great - he also showed balls by taking on Rome when he came back from Gaul campaign (note my signature = crossing of Rubicon) and yes hannibal did indeed make a mockery but he was stupid not to take Rome when it was a sitting duck
    *chuckles* stupid not to take Rome. His Numidian commander told him something like that. 'Hannibal, you know how to win a battle, yet not how to use one'. Though I agree with the theory that he was trying to strangle Rome, rather than knock it out quickly. Make Rome suffer, as he had promised his father Hamilcar many years before.
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    (Original post by JSM)
    we drive on the left as it means your sword hands meet in the middle when you draw weapons. And Napolean made the continent drive on the right as he said there was no need for weapons as it was united under his rule.
    is that really where all this came from? Just a little shocked is all
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    Spartans were not really inventive in their ways of fighting. My classic teacher taught me that once the Greeks leart that it could add an extra row on the right hand side of the phalanx, it beat the spartans easily, as the phalanx would always turn to the left, and staright into the calvary.

    The Spartans fought 3 times, but lost in each battle due to the new tactic.

    Also their children would be taught to steal/kill from a young age as to harden them up. A few sheep/farmers would not go amiss in those days.
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    (Original post by Kurdt Morello)
    Yes this is not as inexplicable as it sounds - the rifles used at the battle of Waterloo were of a very poor quality - the rifles still used smooth barrels which used rounds which were smaller than the barrells' width = therefore the round would come bouncing out of the barrel and would be very inaccurate
    well according to the Cornwell books, the Baker rifles used then already contained the seven spiralled grooves that 'gripped' the bullet and made it far more accurate than a smoothbore musket.

    (Original post by Sire)
    Perhaps not more decisively, or even with fewer casualties, but it would have been interesting all the same. Higher rate of fire, armour long being a dead concept and thus allowing the arrows to be effective once again. Charges may have been repulsed a lot quicker. You could have something there.
    Arrows also have a longer range, and when fired en masse, would be virtually impossible to dodge, and would have a demoralising effect on the enemy. Although it is also mentions that longbowmen needed to be trained from young - 6-8 years old to be a good archer.

    When were percussion caps (enabling guns to be fired in wet weather) introduced, and how did they work?
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    (Original post by Sire)
    is that really where all this came from? Just a little shocked is all
    i believe so, thats what i was told
 
 
 
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