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The Art of War


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#41 macbolan00

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 05:44 PM

the first guy's obviously a russian. you liked enemy at the gates? the guy's name is vasily zaitsev, russian sniper at stalingrad, credited with over 200 kills.

the german guy is kurt knispel, leading german tank ace with 168 confirmed tank kills (almost a tank division!) though claims went as high as 195.

#42 TheSmilingBandit

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 05:52 PM

the first guy's obviously a russian. you liked enemy at the gates? the guy's name is vasily zaitsev, russian sniper at stalingrad, credited with over 200 kills.

the german guy is kurt knispel, leading german tank ace with 168 confirmed tank kills (almost a tank division!) though claims went as high as 195.

Very interesting, I must admit I tended to concentrate more on the strategic and logistical level with only some interest in the tactical level and almost none at all in the field level.

So who would win Alexander the Great's army vs. the Legions of Rome (1st Triumvirate period). This is a subject that I've shifted side so many times I sometimes argue with myself about it.


#43 uaeboy25

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 10:29 PM

aminado ako na art of war ang isa sa basis ko sa strategical management.

#44 macbolan00

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 05:01 PM

not much knowledge in roman, greco and peleponesian warfare but from what i've read, comparing alexander's army to julius caesar's legoins is like comparing the british army to the US army in world war 1. the british were more numerous, had a very monolithic command structure, and in general had superior weaponry compared with their opponents. they were partly multi-national and command structure often suffered. much of command appointments were through influence and birth-right, rather than meritorious. the US army, on the other hand, was composed of hardened volunteers, commanded by professional military officers, with a very simplified command structure. promotions were chiefly meritorious.

the macedonians engaged with at least 10,000 troops and cavalry at any time and they seemed to favor and aggressive offense, aimed at breaking the main enemy lines. caesar, on the other hand, faught legion-sized. they were very hardy and mobile. they also operated on the principle of aggressiveness, often sending a cohort right into an enemy's flank to destroy it, or waves of cohorts attacking frontally, sparked by javelin throwers who then whip out their gladius swords and take on anyone not hit by their pillum.

alexander was the more audacious commander and was rarely known to hesitate. he was also a gracious conqueror who improved the cities and towns he captured. there were dozens of cities named alexandria scattered around asia minor, middle east, perhaps up to india but only that in egypt remained. the egyptians crowned him pharaoh.

caesar was known to have been defeated by the gaul chief vercingetorix on a couple of engagements but the roman legions' chief skill showed itself in caesar's time: siege warfare. what does it matter if your beat caesar in the field when he captures your chief city and fortress? casar was also a resourceful commander who deafeted numerically superior opponents, roman legoins under pompei.

so to summarize, alexander had the support and resources of an entire kingdom (and several annexed territories.) caesar was tied down by his lack of power within the triumvirate, his personal debt burden, weakening hold on the chief troika member, pompey. but he was a popular leader and inspired loyalty from his men --his chief asset.

i'll go with alexander's army. aside from having more resources, alexander was born to command. caesar was of the rare type like oliver cromwell who, although received military training, was more of a politician and administrator. he then commanded an army and found he could beat professional soldiers in their own game.

#45 TheSmilingBandit

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 10:14 AM

The Macedonian Army
The Hypaspists were the elite of the infantry under Alexander the Great and organized into 2 battalions of 1,500+ officers and men in 6 smaller units of 264 men. They wore laminated or quilted layered linen armor (enough to turn swords and arrows), helmets with cheek pieces, a small shield and greaves, their weapons include a double edged sword and a 2.7 meter spear.

The Macedonian Phalanxes at the time of Alexander the Great had battalions of 1,500+ officers and men in 6 distinct unit of 264 men each, all were armored (laminated and/or quilted layered linen armor), a helmet with cheek pieces, a small shield, and greaves. Their offensive armaments were their sarissa (6.5 meter pike) and a short heavy sword (probably single edged). Officers would have heavier armor (probably metal reinforced) and a double edged sword. According to multiple sources, Alexander the Great probably only had 6 battalions of these well-trained fighting men (9,000+).

In addition, Alexander normally had mercenary slingers, archers, javelineers and Greek hoplites (pretty much armed and armored as Hypaspists) probably numbering about 9,000+ hoplites and some 20,000 mixed slingers, archers, and javelineers (based on multiple sources, Alexander prefered to have more javelineers than archers and slingers).

Alexander's cavalry arm was also pretty well organized with the main strength being the right wing Companion cavalry 8 squadrons of 200 men (aside from the Royal Squadron which had 300) for a total of some 1,800+ heavy cavalry in bronze chest plates, with 3 meter spears and double edged swords. Similarly equipped were the 1,800 Thessalian cavarly soldiers that guard the left flank of the Macedonian army. In addition Alexander recruited hundreds of javelin armed light cavalry and even thousands of horse-archers from various Bedouin Arab tribes (yes the same type of horse archers that would cause the disaster atCarrhae).

So the average strength of Alexander's army would be typically 40,000 infantry and 6,000 cavalry.

The Roman Army

During the time of Julius Caesar, the Roman Legion was one of the most flexible fighting units around. 9 cohorts, each with 6 centuries of 80 men and the 1st cohort with 8 centuries of 160 men plus their officers and under-officers would round up to some 6,000 fighting men backed by auxiliaries that are often as strong giving each Legate around 11,000 soldiers. While the legionaries would all be equipped in metal armor (either chain mail or banded armor) with large shields, a double-edged short sword, and 2 javelins each, the auxiliaries would have more variation in equipment, being a mixture of cavalry, slingers, archers, and javelineers.

In all, Caesar would field about 12 legions at the height of his career before the civil war. That would give him some 50,000 soldiers (since his legions were notoriously understrength due to restrictions placed upon him by Pompey).

The dilemma, both leaders (despite Alexander's towering reputation, Caesar had more victories against greater odds) were deemed the best generals of their respective days. Each could maximize the use of their armies that couldn't be matched by their opponents or even those that led the same type of armies after their deaths. Was their success merely because of their armies or a combination of their native skills, trained talents, or something more?


#46 macbolan00

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 12:49 PM

now a question: before firearms, what technological/strategic/tactical development defined warfare between ancient fighting and that just before gunpowder?

#47 TheSmilingBandit

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 03:46 PM

now a question: before firearms, what technological/strategic/tactical development defined warfare between ancient fighting and that just before gunpowder?


Age of Bronze
Age of Iron
Development of linking chain armor <--- my own addition
Development of compound bows <--- my own addition
Age of Horseshoes <--- my own addition
Age of Gunpowder


#48 uaeboy25

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 11:54 PM


Age of Bronze
Age of Iron
Development of linking chain armor <--- my own addition
Development of compound bows <--- my own addition
Age of Horseshoes <--- my own addition
Age of Gunpowder


sa ngaun its all corporate war. nag simula nung world war 1. bakit nga ba nagkagiyera? sa world war 1 may company na yumaman dahil sa giyera.

#49 TheSmilingBandit

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 01:24 AM

sa ngaun its all corporate war. nag simula nung world war 1. bakit nga ba nagkagiyera? sa world war 1 may company na yumaman dahil sa giyera.

Ages of war has nothing to do with the background, rather any innovations that alter the face of warfare. Contrary to common belief, even the ancient Romans had a version of "corporate war" long before.

#50 macbolan00

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 08:38 AM

my own theory would be the rise of the professional army. the romans were ahead in this respect but career militants showed themselves to be most efficient during the height of the byzantine empire (600-1000,) the english army under the plantagenets (including the 100-year war,) and the ottomans. the mongolian hordes were an exception (still largely paid in booty, commanded by an autocracy.)

#51 TheSmilingBandit

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 10:22 AM

my own theory would be the rise of the professional army. the romans were ahead in this respect but career militants showed themselves to be most efficient during the height of the byzantine empire (600-1000,) the english army under the plantagenets (including the 100-year war,) and the ottomans. the mongolian hordes were an exception (still largely paid in booty, commanded by an autocracy.)


Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

I know that a lot of people would like to think of the Mongolian hordes as a bunch of ill-disciplined horse nomads that conquered because of overwhelming force, but that is a fallacy. The Mongol tuomens were highly organized, the 10,000 horsemen in it divided into 10 mingyans (1,000 horsemen) further subdivided into 10 shuuts (100 horsemen) which is composed of 10 arbats (10 horsemen). Each warrior had at least 2 remounts to facilitate travel and combat, the mounts used were all mares so that they can be milked, raw beef was placed between the saddle and the saddle-blankets to soften the tough cuts of meat (hence steak tartare). A Mongolian Hordu is composed of 2 to 5 toumens, and would have additional remounts to equip all their soldiers. Promotion was based entirely on merit (with the exception of Ghengis Khan's family which got high ranks, but even then the actual command devolved to experienced soldiers) and they definitely recruited from captive populations. They had a good system of military intelligence and even a propaganda corps to help magnify the strength and ferocity of their armies.


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Posted 09 December 2009 - 06:20 PM

Very interesting, I must admit I tended to concentrate more on the strategic and logistical level with only some interest in the tactical level and almost none at all in the field level.

So who would win Alexander the Great's army vs. the Legions of Rome (1st Triumvirate period). This is a subject that I've shifted side so many times I sometimes argue with myself about it.

I'd pick Alexander the Great over any Roman general. Even the great Caesar himself. But if Alexander the Great went up against Hannibal the Annihilator, I'd have a hard time picking who but my bet would be on Hannibal since he had war elephants which was antiquity's version of an M1A1.

#53 kisserfoxygirl

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 06:29 PM

try this 'what if':

Bismark vs. Yamato

explain your stand.



there was a game that came out Navyfield.....the had the bizmark and also the yamato featured.....


of course bizmark ako ....stupid kasi yung captain ng yamato....never engaged the ship in any kind of combat....so makita palang ng crew ng yamato ang bizmark tatakbo na sila....

#54 TheSmilingBandit

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 06:39 PM

I'd pick Alexander the Great over any Roman general. Even the great Caesar himself. But if Alexander the Great went up against Hannibal the Annihilator, I'd have a hard time picking who but my bet would be on Hannibal since he had war elephants which was antiquity's version of an M1A1.

In the Battle of the Hydaspes, Alexander's army went up against an estimated 200 war elephants, needless to say he did win that battle also.

there was a game that came out Navyfield.....the had the bizmark and also the yamato featured.....

of course bizmark ako ....stupid kasi yung captain ng yamato....never engaged the ship in any kind of combat....so makita palang ng crew ng yamato ang bizmark tatakbo na sila....

Okay, so you think that the Yamato's crew was cowardly? Care to show any form of proof that is the case?

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 07:47 PM

In the Battle of the Hydaspes, Alexander's army went up against an estimated 200 war elephants, needless to say he did win that battle also.

Who was Alexander the Great going up against in that battle? Going up against perhaps the greatest general of all-time, Hannibal, would be a different story. The Romans could not beat him force on force so Scipio Africanus had to be insidious and attack Hannibal's center of gravity which is Carthage, which forced Hannibal to go back and defend it. Scipio knew he couldn't beat Hannibal in a confronatation so he had to think of another way. The Romans beat him in the Battle of Zama since they took away Carthage's food supply by ravaging the fertile lands that the Carthaginians used for planting food thus depriving Hannibal and his army of a basic necessity which led him to surrender to the Romans.

Edited by megalodon, 09 December 2009 - 07:48 PM.


#56 TheSmilingBandit

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 07:50 PM

Who was Alexander the Great going up against in that battle? Going up against perhaps the greatest general of all-time, Hannibal, would be a different story. The Romans could not beat him force on force so Scipio Africanus had to be insidious and attack Hannibal's center of gravity which is Carthage, which forced Hannibal to go back and defend it. Scipio knew he couldn't beat Hannibal in a confronatation so he had to think of another way. The Romans beat him in the Battle of Zama since they took away Carthage's food supply by ravaging the fertile lands that the Carthaginians used for planting food thus depriving Hannibal and his army of a basic necessity which led him to surrender to the Romans.

How do you define Hannibal as the greatest general of all time?

#57 macbolan00

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 07:57 PM

they say the greatest general in history was belisarius of the byzantine. now there's a guy who won all his battle nearly outnumbered.

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 08:00 PM

How do you define Hannibal as the greatest general of all time?

I think Hannibal is the greatest general of all-time coz the most disciplined army of antiquity, the Romans, couldn't beat him in a face to face battle. He was a great tactician and the master of the unorthodox. Case in point, Hannibal did the unthinkable by crossing the seemingly unpassable Alps to attack Rome. The Romans never expected this since they thought that the Alps was unpassable thus they left that part of the way to Rome unguarded. The Alps had many boulders which impeded Hannibal but he found a way to get through these boulders by heating them up then pouring vinegar to melt the boulders. He was also a great engineer.

#59 TheSmilingBandit

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 08:04 PM

I think Hannibal is the greatest general of all-time coz the most disciplined army of antiquity, the Romans, couldn't beat him in a face to face battle. He was a great tactician and the master of the unorthodox. Case in point, Hannibal did the unthinkable by crossing the seemingly unpassable Alps to attack Rome. The Romans never expected this since they thought that the Alps was unpassable thus they left that part of the way to Rome unguarded. The Alps had many boulders which impeded Hannibal but he found a way to get through these boulders by heating them up then pouring vinegar to melt the boulders. He was also a great engineer.


The greatest generals of antiquity did include Hannibal, but also Alexander the Great, Caesar, Scipio Africanus, and Pyrrhus (who was also never beaten by the Romans).

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 11:07 PM

The greatest generals of antiquity did include Hannibal, but also Alexander the Great, Caesar, Scipio Africanus, and Pyrrhus (who was also never beaten by the Romans).

I agree but when you say greatest, the one who comes into mind is Hannibal. Pyrrhus was never beaten but in his last battle with the Romans, he suffered heavy losses although he won the battle thus the term "Pyhrric victory" which means shallow victory.

The thing is Hannibal won every battle with the Romans but eventually lost the war coz his grand strategy was to take Rome and destroy it. He never did. Siguro naglalaro ka din ng Rome Total War.




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