WAR FROM MYCENEANS TO ROME
The modern day soldier did not arrive at the current level of training methods overnight. Throughout history warfare techniques and strategies have evolved from the earliest primitive battles to the latest technologies. The only way to learn about war is to study the past engagements and lessons learned. There are nine principles of war as follows: Objective, Offensive, Mass, Economy of force, Maneuver, Unity of command, Security, Surprise, and Simplicity. These are the areas of study in order to gain a better understanding of what to do and what to avoid during any engagement.
The battles from yesterday differ from those in recent years and today, because the more primitive cultures fought under their leader for food, territory, or the domination of another group. Today’s motives are based more on economic, political, or social reasons regarded as appropriate by a group of individuals instead of the thoughts or intentions of one man.
Mainland Greece is the first study of warfare in the selected readings and by 1600 B.C. a civilization emerged from the Hellas culture and the Minoan culture. This group, known as the Myceneans, fought using chariots and armor made of bronze. By the eighth century B.C., the Myceneans art of war consisted of the phalanx. The phalanx was a solid rectangle of infantrymen carrying armor and spears eight deep. When an army approached another army the phalanxes of both sides would come head to head. The soldiers, who were normally citizens not professional soldiers, would find themselves in the midst of blood and sweat pouring out of the bodies surrounding them from the hand to hand combat. The only way of victory was to hold the lines strong and fight until the other side fled. The problems with this type of formation was that there was no overall leadership within the phalanx, no reserve was established to outflank the opposing army, and there was no way to pursue the fleeing enemy, left them capable to heal and fight another day.
The technique of phalanx had not changed for some time and the Greek warfare stayed the same due to no major opposition force that used different techniques against Greek system. The phalanx was also used because it was a proven technique that had been tested and used successfully. Other factors governing the Greek warfare from the eight to fourth century B.C. were terrain consideration, food shortages, and the unwritten warrior code, which would not allow the Greek infantryman to aggressively attack a community itself.
The Persian Imperial soldier used a different weapon, the bow, and preferred to engage the enemy from a distance. Although the average soldier also wielded a spear and a knife for close combat, the standard scheme was to launch a barrage of arrows from a safe distance from the Mycenean phalanx. A Persian foot soldier as well...