Monday, November 27, 2017

TOP 7 MILITARY UNITS THAT CHANGED THE TIES OF HISTORY DURING IRON AGE


The Iron Age is an archaeological era, referring to a period of time in the prehistory and protohistory of the Old World (Afro-Eurasia) when the dominant toolmaking material was ironThe start of the Iron Age proper is considered by many to fall between around 1200 BC and 600 BC, depending on the region. It is divided on three timelines-     A) Early Iron Age: 1200 BC-450 BC     B) Middle Iron Age : 450 BC- 250 AD   C) Late Iron Age : 250 AD - 500/600 AD ... During this time a lot of tribes city states and early nation were involved in constant wars that shaped the ancient as we know it. In some kind of thinking we still are in iron age but it is politically incorrect. 

1) Great Assyrian Horse-Chariot 
    Type : Charge heavy cavalry , armored wagon equipment .

The core of the Assyrian army lay in its chariots. Originally these chariots were used as two-horse vehicles. The Ancient Egyptians and Sumerians used war chariots in this fashion as firing mobile platforms or as mobile command platforms; the elevated view would give the general some ability to see how the troops fared in battle. The Assyrians also used chariots in reconnaissance, carrying messages to and from the front lines, ans for battle. However, the rise of cavalry in the 1st millennium BC meant that by the 7th century BC, the chariot was demoted to combat duties only; lighter chariots consisting of two to three horses were later upgraded under the reign of Ashurnasirpal II to heavy four horse chariots. Such chariots could contain up to four men. Heavier chariots also found new roles, smashing into enemy formations and dispersing the infantry in the process.The Assyrian cavalry and infantry would then be able to exploit the gap and rout the enemy, thereby taking the battlefield.
Historically, chariots have often been relegated to anachronistic traditions among Bronze Age civilizations. In the Assyrian army however, chariots took a special place among the royal family and their wealthy retainers – as is evidenced from their continuous usage in the battlefield for over a millennium. In fact, by the time of Ashurbanipal in late 7th century BC, the chariot morphed from a flexible platform of archery and reconnaissance into a heavy, boisterous instrument of war drawn by four horses and mounted by four men. So in many ways, the chariot was designed as the ultimate shock weapon that after serving as a mobile missile platform, would charge into the enemy ranks with its imposingly sturdy frame. The impact, like the later charges of the medieval knights, would have both psychologically and physically afflicted the enemy.However the chariot also had its shortcomings in the scope of flexibility, especially in uneven terrains. This is where the trained cavalry forces of the Assyrians came into the fray. In the battlefield, they were used to exploit and then drive home the charge that was initially carried forth by the heavy chariots. Such grand maneuvers were complemented by other crucial activities like surveillance and flanking. Interestingly, one of the tactical units of the Assyrian army pertained to the pairing of two horsemen, where one rider held the reigns of the other horse while his ‘partner’ rider shot his bow.
These chariots consisted in a unique technique of horse coordination based on human abilities and also combined to the new horse training lessons given in home growing family manners. /this horse chariots had the advantage to be heavy armored in comparison to  precedent chariots of Bronze Age. Sometimes they where called scythed chariots and they where contemporary used by Phrygians in the kingdom of  Pontus ,all around Anatolia even in Thrace and Caucasus Kingdoms .  Tiglath-Pileser III’s army reforms retained such a pairing tactic, but the horse archers were gradually replaced by dual lancers.Over time the economic advantage of cavalry forces over chariots became much evident, and as such the Assyrians began to treat horses as valuable resources. In fact, by 9th century BC, many of their wars and raids were targeted towards acquiring lands with proven horse-breeding pedigree, like Medes. Furthermore, horse supply lines within the empire were micromanaged at the provincial level with specialized officials employed for the task. [ 1 ]

2) Persian heavy Immortals.    
     Type : Heavy Spear infantry , Additional weaponry equipment . 


The first Persian Empire (550 BC – 330 BC), called the Achaemenid Empire, is known for having an elite force of soldiers. Named the “Immortals” by Herodotus, this army consisted of a heavy infantry of 10,000 men, that never reduced in number or strength. The Immortals played an important role in Persian history, acting as both the Imperial Guard and the standing army during the expansion of the Persian Empire and the Greco-Persian Wars.The Immortals were called such because of the way in which the army was formed. When a member of the 10,000-strong force was killed or wounded, he was immediately replaced by someone else. This allowed for the infantry to remain cohesive and consistent in numbers, no matter what happened. Thus, from an outsider’s perspective, it would appear that each member of the infantry was ‘immortal’, and their replacement may have represented a resurrection of sorts.They were sophisticated, well-equipped, their armor glittering with gold. As described by Herodotus, their armament included wicker shields, short spears, swords or large daggers, bow and arrow. They wore a special headdress, believed to have been a Persian tiara. It is often described as a cloth or felt hat that could be pulled over the face to protect from dirt and dust. It is said that compared to the Greeks, the Immortals were “hardly armored”. Yet what they lacked in armor, they made up through psychological impact, as the sight of the well-formed and highly trained army was enough to strike fear into their enemies.As they traveled, they were accompanied by carriages carrying their women and servants, as well as food and supplies. Being a part of this unit was very exclusive. Men had to apply to be a part of it, and being chosen was a great honor.
The Immortals played an important role in several conquests. First, they were elemental when Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon in 539 BC. They played a role in Cambyses II's conquest of Egypt in 525 BC, and Darius I's invasion of western Punjab, Sindh, and Scythia in 520 BC and 513 BC.
The Immortals also participated in the Battle of Thermopylae 480 BC. During the Battle of Thermopylae, the Greeks had prevented a Persian invasion by blocking a narrow road. The Immortals took a different route, and attacked the Greeks from the rear. They were very strong, and feared by many, for their strength, replenishing numbers, strategy, and technique.
Unfortunately, historical knowledge of the Immortals is somewhat limited, beyond the writings of Herodotus, and it is difficult to confirm the details. The big problem with this elite corps is that they are unknown from other sources. (There are, of course, other Greek and Latin texts that mention the Immortals, but they have taken this name for the Persian elite troops from Herodotus and simply mean: the royal guard.) There is ample evidence from Persia - e.g., the Persepolis fortification tablets - but it does not mention a corps of Immortals. Probably, Herodotus' informant has confused the name Anûšiya ("companions") with Anauša("Immortals"). Historians of Alexander the Great write of an elite group known as the Apple Bearers. They were called such due to apple-shaped counterweights on their spears. Some scholars believe they are the same as the Immortals. [ 2 ]

3) Thracian Rhomphaia Oathsworn

     Type : Very heavy melee infantry , additional weaponry equipment.
  
    Instances of Thracian people engaging in armed conflict occur in the Iliad of Homer and in Greek mythologyThe Greek Temenids ousted the Thracians from Pieria (later central Macedonia). The Thraciansprominent warriors who became allies of Troycame from the Aegean coastIn the Odyssey there is only one instance of Thraciansthat of Cicones again on the coastbut they are weakThe Thracians were a particularly fierce culture in terms of violence and conflict and so they appeared in Greek Mythology as mostly associated with its stories of strifeThe god of war Ares was said to have been born in Thrace and was also heavily worshiped therein contrast to the revulsion of his worship by many other Balkan city statesHomer recounts in the book of Odyssey that an embarrassed Ares retreated among his Thracian followers when his love affair with the goddess Aphrodite was caught and the two were promptly ensnared by HephaestusThrace had the potential to muster a huge number of troops though this rarely occurredBy traditionThracians honored warriors andaccording to Herodotusdespised all other occupationsThe Thracians fought as peltasts using javelins and crescent or round wicker shields called peltesMissile weapons were favored but close combat weaponry was carried by the Thracians as wellThese close combat weapons varied from the dreaded Rhomphaia to clubs (used to knock the heads of the spears in Xenophon's Anabasis by Thynians), oneand two sided axesbowsknivesspearsakinakes and long swordsThracians shunned armor and greaves and fought aslight as possiblefavoring mobility above all other traits and had excellent horsemenThe sica was consideredtheir national weaponThe Bithynian Thracians had contributed a number of 6,000 men (60,000 according to Herodotusin Xerxes I of Persia campaign of 480 BC but in general resisted Persian occupation and turned against Mardonius's army as he retreated. As we can see the Thracians were a formidable and flexible war power and special melee infantry in full abilities of free battle choice. A Thracian warrior during a battle could change the battle ties and war method on spot. They were full equipped and auto sufficient in war manteinment due to their excellent skill as metal workers. Their warfare changed in various styles but allways evolved keeping their basics. The fiercest unit elite type of them where the Oathsworned to tribe clans and their maim weapon was the Rhomphaia sword. The rhomphaia was a close-combat bladed weapon used by the Thracians. Rhomphaias were polearms with a straight or slightly curved single-edged blade attached to a pole, which in most cases was considerably shorter than the blade. Although the rhomphaia was similar to the falx, most archaeological evidence suggests that rhomphaias were forged with straight or slightly curved blades, presumably to enable their use as both a thrusting and slashing weapon. The blade was constructed of iron and used a triangular cross section to accommodate the single cutting edge with a tang of rectangular cross section. Length varied, but a typical rhomphaia would have a blade of approximately 60–80 cm and a tang of approximately 50 cm. From the length of the tang, it can be presumed that, when attached to the hilt, this portion of the weapon would be of similar length to the blade. A short history  is that Rhomphaia was first a "spear", later a "sword" (Plutarch: Life of Aemilius Paulus 18; Eustathius, on Iliad verse VI 166; Hesychius; also Luke 2:35 and the Revelation of John of Patmos, several times.). In Latin, it has the forms:
  • rumpia (Livy, Aulus Gellius, Ascon. ad Mil.)
  • romphea (Isidore of Seville.),
  • romphaea vel romfea (CGL 7, 212).

Definitely the Thracian rhomphaia contains the stem *rump- in the Latin rumpo-ere "to break, to tear". A weapon called rhomphaia was also mentioned in Michael Psellos' Chronographia where he describes it as a "one-edged sword of heavy iron which they [the palace guards at Constantinople] carry suspended from the right shoulder". Their tactics were never leave the battlefield and allways push forward. They became famous in the conflicts with romans when finally Rome agreed to make several pack as accepting Thracians free land as ally borders. Their resistance was attributed to similar warfare tactics as Romans that mos scholars debate that might have been and ancient connection between these two people since Homeric times. Anyway the Thracians were regarded as warlike, ferocious, and savagely bloodthirsty. Thracians were seen as "Barbarians" by other peoples, namely the Greeks and the Romans. Plato in his Republic considers them, along with the Scythians, extravagant and high spirited; and in his Laws considers them a war-like nation, grouping them with Celts, Persians, Scythians, Iberians and Carthaginians. Polybius wrote of Cotys' sober and gentle character being unlike that of most Thracians. Tacitus in his Annals writes of them being wild, savage and impatient, disobedient even to their own kings. Polyaenus and Strabo write how the Thracians broke their pacts of truce with trickery. The Thracians struck their weapons against each other before battle and engaged in night attacks. Diegylis was considered one of the most bloothirsty chieftains by Diodorus Siculus. An Athenian club for lawless youths was named after the Triballi. The Dii were responsible for the worst atrocities of the Peloponnesian war killing every living thing, including children and dogs, in Tanagra and Mycalessos. Thracians would impale Roman heads on their spears and Rhomphaias such as in the Kallinikos skirmish in 171 BC. Although these atrocities Thracians were considered as the first choice to fulfill a loyal army to lead and successful expedition. [ 3 ]


4) Hellenic Hoplite Spears Phalanx
     Type: Very heavy spear infantry, additional melee equipment 


hoplite (from ta hopla meaning tool or equipment) was the most common type of heavily armed foot-soldier in ancient Greece from the 7th to 4th centuries BCE, and most ordinary citizens of Greek city-states with sufficient means were expected to equip and make themselves available for the role when necessary.Limited manpower did not allow most Greek city-states to form large armies which could operate for long periods, especially in the case of light troops like the psiloi, who were recruited from the lower citizen classes, and as such, they were mainly farmers, workers, even slaves. This inevitably reduced the potential duration of campaigns, as a large portion of any Greek army would need to return to their own professions (especially in the case of farmers, for example).When battles occurred, they were usually set piece and intended to be decisive. The battlefield would be flat and open to facilitate phalanx warfare. These battles were usually short and required a high degree of discipline. At least in the early classical period, cavalry was usually used to protect the flanks, when present at all, and cover a possible retreat. Light infantry and missile troops took part in the battle, but their role was of a lower importance.                                                                                                                             WEAPONS & ARMOUR    The principal weapons of a hoplite infantryman were a long ash wood spear (doru) and a short sword (xiphos). The spear measured on average 2.5 metres (8 ft.) in length and was fitted with a bronze or iron blade and a four-sided end spike (sauroter). The sword was also of iron with a straight or sometimes curved blade (machaira or kopis) no more than 60 cm in length. No doubt many hoplites also carried a dagger (encheiridion) as an extra insurance. Protection was provided by a leather-lined bronze helmet which could vary in design, was often crested, and protected the head, neck, and face. A corselet or breastplate (thorax) of bronze or leather (later reduced to a laminated linen vest to save weight - a linothorax), bronze greaves (knemides) to protect the shins, and sometimes arm-guards were also worn. The hoplite carried a large circular shield (hoplon or aspis) some 80 cm (30 in.) in diameter and weighing as much as 8 kg. This was made of wood or stiff leather, faced with bronze, and was held with the left arm placed through a central band (porpax) and gripped via a strap (antilabe) attached to the shield rim. Shields often carried particular designs - the most famous being the inverted V-shape of Spartan hoplites - and emblems - particularly popular was the gorgon from Greek mythology with its association with changing the onlooker into stone. Surviving examples of breastplates and helmets also display engraved decoration. Fully armoured then, the hoplite was required to carry some 20 kg of equipment and so good physical training must have given one side a strong advantage (e.g. the well-trained and professional Spartans). Precisely because all of this equipment amounted to quite an investment, being a hoplite also indicated that the individual had a certain status in wider Greek society.  
    Athens had a system of compulsory military service for 18-20 year olds, but during a war all male citizens up to the age of 60 could be called up to the armed forces. Other city-states followed a similar policy which meant that hoplites were not professional soldiers and often lacked sufficient military training, although some states did maintain a small elite professional unit, the epilektoi. The most famous of these was the Sacred Band of Thebes, a unit composed of 150 pairs of male lovers who swore to defend their partner to the death. Sparta, where all male citizens over 20 were members of a permanent professional army, was the notable exception to this approach of only calling up an army when absolutely needed. Another hoplite far more sophisticated was the Illyrian type witch was better in equipment and personal warrior abilities as far as putting Greeks in losing battles and subjugation towards  them even though in lack phalanx coordination appliance. The invention of Macedonian pike infantry which was an redesigned Hoplite mixed  with Thracian weaponry tactics put an end to Illyrian or Spartan hegemony in spear warfare.   
  The phalanxes would approach each other in a steady, slow march to keep cohesion or sometimes at a run (if the enemy was prone to panic, or if they fought against enemies equipped with bows, as was the case against the Persians at the Battle of Marathon). The two lines would remain at a small distance to be able to effectively use their spears, while the psiloi threw stones and javelins from behind their lines. If the "doratismos" (Greek for spear combat) was not decisive, then the lines would close and swords would be drawn. The shields would clash and the first lines (protostates) would stab at their opponents, at the same time trying to keep in position. The ranks behind them would support them with their own spears and the mass of their shields gently pushing them, not to force them into the enemy formation but to keep them steady and in place. At certain points, a command would be given to the phalanx or a part thereof to collectively take a certain number of steps forward (ranging from half to multiple steps). This was the famed "othismos". At this point, the phalanx would put its collective weight to push back the enemy line and thus create fear and panic among its ranks. There could be multiple such instances of attempts to push, but it seems from the accounts of the ancients that these were perfectly orchestrated and attempted organized en masse. Battles rarely lasted more than an hour. Once one of the lines broke, the troops would generally flee from the field, sometimes chased by psiloi, peltasts or light cavalry. If a hoplite escaped, he would sometimes be forced to drop his cumbersome aspis, thereby disgracing himself to his friends and family (becoming a "ripsaspis", one who threw his shield). Casualties were slight compared to later battles, rarely amounting to more than 5% of the losing side, but the slain often included the most prominent citizens and generals who led from the front. Thus, the whole war could be decided by a single field battle; victory was enforced by ransoming the fallen back to the defeated, called the "Custom of the Greeks". Individual hoplites carried their shields on their left arm, protecting not only themselves but also the soldier to the left. This meant that the men at the extreme right of the phalanx were only half-protected. In battle, opposing phalanxes would exploit this weakness by attempting to overlap the enemy's right flank. It also meant that, in battle, a phalanx would tend to drift to the right (as hoplites sought to remain behind the shield of their neighbour). The most experienced hoplites were often placed on the right side of the phalanx, to counteract these problems. A phalanx tended to be 8 rows or more deep, each row with a leader, and a rear rank officer, the ouragos (meaning: tail-leader), who kept order in the rear. The phalanx is an example of a military formation in which single combat and other individualistic forms of battle were suppressed for the good of the whole. In earlier Homeric combat, the words and deeds of supremely powerful heroes turned the tide of battle. With his friends jostling and pushing on both sides and behind, and his enemies forming a solid wall in front of him, the hoplite had little opportunity for feats of technique and weapon skill, but great need for commitment and mental toughness. Its effectiveness depended on how well the hoplites could maintain this formation while in combat, and how well they could stand their ground, especially when engaged against another phalanx. The more disciplined and courageous the army, the more likely it was to win – often engagements between the various city-states of Greece would be resolved by one side fleeing before the battle. The Greek word dynamis, the "will" or "ability to fight," was used to express the drive that kept hoplites in formation - and from which get dynamicand dynamo.
HOPLITE PHALANX WEAKNESSES   The last thing to note about the phalanx is its weaknesses. The major weakness of the phalanx is that it had little to no protection on its sides and rear.Since men were marching forward, and everyone’s spears were pointed in the same forward direction, hoplites were pretty much defenseless on the flanks and rear. This was a similar problem encountered by the Macedonian pike phalanx. The phalanx had to face every threat as one; if men acted alone the strength of the phalanx was gone.This made small, mobile infantry groups and cavalry very effective at defeating the phalanx, as they could effectively strike from the flank or the rear. Another weakness of the phalanx was that it required a very specific type of landscape to operate on. Phalanxes could only fight in large, open areas with even ground. Otherwise, the “armored wall” of the phalanx would break up and leave too many openings for the enemy to take advantage of. It was this specific weakness that the Republican Romans exploited against the Macedonian phalanx - but it was equally true of any phalanx formation. [ 4 ] 

5) Heavy Companion Cavalry of Macedonia
     Type: Very Heavy shock cavalry , additional weapons and melee redesigned
Macedonians were a people that descended from Thracian tribe of  Migdones and Crestones. During 12 th-10th century BC the Thracian tribes expanded their settlements from Black Sea to Adriatic shores ,including  Anatolia and Thessaly. From here begins the legacy of the finest cavalry of Greek City-states. The Macedonian Companion Cavalry was the army's decisive arm under Alexander the Great, and for good reason. His tactics for its employment in battle were simple but effective. First Alexander would fix the enemy in place with light cavalry and the phalanx, and then launch the killing stroke with his cavalry at the critical moment. This hammer-and- anvil approach served Alexander well throughout his 11 years in Asia, and the successes of the Macedonian cavalry arm must place Alexander’s horsemen with the finest fielded by any army. Foremost among Alexander’s cavalry units were the Companions. Recruited from among the nobly born young men of Macedonia, the Companions were the senior regiment in the army and fought on the right wing, the place of honor in the line of battle. They were armed with a spear and shield, and protected by a cuirass and an open Boeotian-style bronze helmet that offered all-around vision and hearing. The Companions were 1,800 strong at the outset of Alexander’s campaign against Persia, and organized into eight ilai, or squadrons. The senior ile, or Royal Squadron, was 300 men strong, and Alexander fought at the head of this formation at Gaugamela. The remaining seven were smaller, composed of about 215 men apiece, and each was drawn, on a territorial basis, from different areas of Macedonia, such as Amphipolis, Anthemus, Apollonia, and Bottiaea. The Companions fought in a wedge formation with the best troopers at the front. The wedge was favored for its ability to penetrate and exploit gaps in the opposing line more easily than the typical square formation in use in most Greek states. The Companions were Alexander’s elite, his principal instrument of victory, and he used them to deliver the decisive, fatal blow to the Persian enemy.   ----  MACEDONIA’S ELITE  CAVALRY  ----                  The Thessalian cavalry were recruited from the best horse-breeding country in Greece, the plains of Thessaly, which was dominated by its nobility and their excellent cavalry. They were considered by many to be the finest horsemen in the army, but for reasons of national origin were junior to the Companions. Like the Companions, they numbered 1,800 at the start of the campaign against Persia, and were also organized in eight ilai. These squadrons were of unequal size, however, with the largest and best, in Arrian’s opinion, being from Pharsalus. The Thessalians normally fought on the left wing of the battle line, and at Gaugamela were under the direct command of Parmenio, one of Alexander’s senior generals. Their heroic action saved that day for the left wing, demonstrating that their reputation for excellence was well deserved. The Thessalians were armed and armored like the Companions, and fought in a diamond-shaped formation, the rhombos. Unlike the usual square formations, the rhombos allowed the squadron to maneuver quickly because the leader was easier to see and follow. Further, the facing of the formation could be changed simply by turning the troopers’ horses in the appropriate direction. The prodromoi, or scouts, were four squadrons of Thracians of the Royal Army, and were used to reconnoiter ahead of the main body of the army. Alexander relied heavily upon the scouts for accurate intelligence about Darius’s whereabouts, and they did not fail him. As scouts, the prodromoi were lightly equipped, and their armor was probably limited to a helmet. As light troops, they were often detached from the main army for actions where speed was required. Other Thracian cavalrymen fought as allies for Alexander. A squadron of Paeonians and perhaps two of Odrysians took service with Alexander, provided for by agreements with the client kings of those states.
One encounter during the Gaugamela Campaign shows the dash and bravado reminiscent of a Napoleonic hussar. As Alexander’s troops were crossing the Tigris River, a force of Persian cavalry arrived at a vulnerable moment for the Macedonians. Alexander immediately ordered the Paeonians, under the command of Ariston, to attack. Ariston gallantly engaged the Persian commander Satropates in single combat and slew him, to the cheers of the watching Macedonians on the riverbank, and the Persians were driven off. The Greek allies of the League of Corinth also supplied Alexander with a number of cavalry. They were recruited from different cities in Greece but were grouped together in battle. Two squadrons of six hundred men each fought for Alexander at Gaugamela. More important than the Greek allied cavalry were the mercenary light horsemen, recruited by the king to remedy his weakness in light cavalry. Two squadrons fought for Alexander at Gaugamela, with the formation under the command of Menidas in the vanguard of the entire army. It was Menidas’s mercenary horse that performed the critical role of drawing off enough of Darius’s own cavalry to allow Alexander his moment to strike.   ---Striking a Deathblow to the Persian Empire ---- The performance of Alexander’s cavalry left little to be desired. They fought bravely and well and were victorious. Their advantage over the Persians, whom they bested on numerous occasions, was not due to a lack of Persian skill or courage. Rather, the Macedonians were exceptionally well led, and their morale, as soldiers of the young and charismatic Alexander, was exceptionally high. As with its infantry, so with its cavalry, the Persians were undone by overly large numbers and the polyglot composition of their cavalry force. Fewer troops under tighter control might have allowed Darius to avoid the fatal blunder at Gaugamela that occurred when the entire left wing was drawn off by Alexander’s feint with his mercenary light cavalry. Alexander, at the head of his smaller but tightly disciplined Companions, was able to exploit this opening and deliver the killing blow to the Persian army, and indeed, to the Persian Empire. [ 5 ] 


6) Roman Legionaries Cohorts & Later Derivates 
         Type : Very heavy melee infantry , especial battle abilities 


The Roman legionary (Latinlegionarius, pl. legionarii) was a professional heavy infantryman of the Roman army after the Marian reforms. Legionaries had to be Roman citizens under the age of 45. They enlisted in a legion for twenty-five years of service, a change from the early practice of enlisting only for a campaign. The last five years were on veteran lighter duties. The legionary was one of the best war machine of its time and the mother unit of more than 30 derivations . As it evolved gave birth to Preatorins , Eagle Cohorts , Evocati Cohorts and the Comitatenses of Late Iron age.. Roman army and the legionary unit was extremely sofisticated to survive and to memorize all tactics and to find quick counter-tactic solution giving the upper hand to the Romans toward other nations. Regular trained legionaries were known as milites and were the equivalent in rank of the modern private. Included in the ranks, aside from the milites, were the immunes, specialist soldiers with secondary roles such as engineer, artilleryman, drill and weapons instructor, carpenter and medic. These men were still fully trained legionaries, however, and would fight in the ranks if called upon. They were excused from some of the more arduous tasks such as drill and fatigues and received better pay than their comrades in arms.
Their Equipment was special too it was composed by varius gadgets that coul be changed iv variety of the battle demands.On the march in unfriendly terrain, the legionary would be loaded down with armour commonly lorica hamatalorica squamata, or 1st-3rd century lorica segmentatashield (scutum), helmet (galea), two javelins (one heavy pilum and one light verutum), a short sword (gladius), a dagger (pugio), a belt (balteus), a pair of heavy sandals (caligae), a marching pack (sarcina), about fourteen days' worth of food, a waterskin (bladder for posca), cooking equipment, two stakes(sudes murale) for the construction of palisades, and a shovel, and a wicker basket.
    Their Training was a different question and a headache too . The Roman soldier underwent especially rigorous training; discipline was the base of the army's success, and the soldiers were relentlessly and constantly trained with weapons and especially with drill — forced marches with full load and in tight formation were frequent. As discipline was important, infractions were heavily punished by the centurions. Punishments could range from being obliged to spend the night outside the protective security of a fortified camp, through being beaten with clubs (fustuarium --- a common punishment for 'slowpokes' during long marches), to the stoning of individuals or unit executions involving decimation.
However, honors, rewards and promotions were frequently awarded to legionaries who distinguished themselves in battle or through exemplary service. Over time the military system changed its equipment and roles, but throughout the course of Roman history, it always remained a disciplined and professional war machine. According to Vegetius, during the four-month initial training of a Roman legionary, marching skills were taught before recruits ever handled a weapon; since any formation would be split up by stragglers at the back or soldiers trundling along at differing speeds. Standards varied over time, but normally recruits were first required to complete 20 Roman miles (29.62 km or 18.405 modern miles) with 20.5 kg in five summer hours (the Roman day was divided into 12 hours regardless of season), which was known as "the regular step" or "military pace". They then progressed to the "faster step" or "full pace" and were required to complete 24 Roman miles (35.544 km or 22.086 modern miles) in five summer hours loaded with 20.5 kilograms (45 lb). The typical conditioning regime also included gymnastics and swimming to build physical strength and fitness. After conditioning, the recruits underwent weapons training; this was deemed of such importance that weapons instructors generally received double rations.Legionaries were trained to thrust with their gladii because they could defend themselves behind their large shields (scuta) while stabbing the enemy. These training exercises began with thrusting a wooden gladius and throwing wooden pila into a quintain (wooden dummy or stake) while wearing full armor. Their wooden swords and pila were designed to be twice as heavy as their metal counterparts so that the soldiers could wield a true gladius with ease. Next, soldiers progressed to armatura, a term for sparring that was also used to describe the similar one-on-one training of gladiators. Unlike earlier training, the wooden weapons used for armatura were the same weight as the weapons they emulated. Vegetius notes that roofed halls were built to allow for these drills to continue throughout the winter. Other training exercises taught the legionary to obey commands and assume battle formations. At the end of training the legionary had to swear an oath of loyalty to the SPQR (Senatus Populusque Romanus, or the Senate and the Roman People) or later to the emperor. The soldier was then given a diploma and sent off to fight for his living and the glory and honor of Rome.  after the battle begins and the legionary usual deployment as front line infantry these are some of special abilities and commands often used in battles: 
  • Repellere equites ("repel horsemen/knights") was the formation used to resist cavalry. The legionaries would assume a square formation, holding their pila as spears in the space between their shields and strung together shoulder to shoulder.
  • At the command iacere pila, the legionaries hurled their pila at the enemy.
  • At the command cuneum formate, the infantry formed a wedge to charge and break enemy lines. This formation was used as a shock tactic.
  • At the command contendite vestra sponte, the legionaries assumed an aggressive stance and attacked every opponent they faced.
  • At the command orbem formate, the legionaries assumed a circle-like formation with the archers placed in the midst of and behind the legionaries providing missile fire support. This tactic was used mainly when a small number of legionaries had to hold a position and were surrounded by enemies.
  • At the command ciringite frontem, the legionaries held their position.
  • At the command frontem allargate, a scattered formation was adopted.
  • At the command testudinem formate, the legionaries assumed the testudo (tortoise) formation. This was slow moving but almost impenetrable to enemy fire, and thus very effective during sieges and/or when facing off against enemy archers. However the testudo formation didn't allow for effective close combat and therefore it was used when the enemy were far enough away so as the legionaries could get into another formation before being attacked.
  • At the command tecombre, the legionaries would break the Testudo formation and revert to their previous formation.
  • At the command Agmen formate, the legionaries assumed a square formation, which was also the typical shape of a century in battle.
 Whatever the deployment, the Roman army was marked both by flexibility and strong discipline and cohesion. Different formations were assumed according to different tactical situations.There are a lot of tactics and details that can be talked in another special session depending on your demands. [ 6 ]

7) Hunnic Heavy Horse Archers 

      Type: Heavy missile cavalry , melee weaponry equipment as second usage.



The Huns were a nomadic people who lived in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia between the 4th century AD and the 6th century AD. According to European tradition, they were first reported living east of the Volga River, in an area that was part of Scythia at the time; the Huns' arrival is associated with the migration westward of a Scythian people, the Alans. By 370 AD, the Huns had arrived on the Volga, and by 430 the Huns had established a vast, if short-lived, dominion in Europe. Huns where devided in two great groups the red Huns in Europe and the white Huns i Asia. The key of their success was the special unit of heavy horse archers that gave the upper hand towards all great empires of the late Iron age. A horse archer is a cavalryman armed with a bow, able to shoot while riding from horseback. Archery has occasionally been used from the backs of other riding animals. In large open areas, it was a highly successful technique for hunting, for protecting the herds, and for war. It was a defining characteristic of the Eurasian nomads during antiquity and the medieval period, as well as the Thraco-Iranian peoples (Scythians, Sarmatians, Parthians, Sassanid Persians) and Indians in antiquity, and by the Mongols and the Turkic peoples during the Middle Ages. By the expansion of these peoples, the practice also spread to Eastern Europe (via the Sarmatians and the Huns), to Mesopotamia, and to East Asia. In East Asia, horse archery came to be particularly honoured in the samurai tradition of Japan, where horse archery is called YabusameThe term mounted archer occurs in medieval English sources to describe a soldier who rode to battle but who dismounted to shoot. In the modern English usage, however, "mounted archer" and "horse archer" are essentially interchangeable terms. Inside this amalgam of archery the Heavy one with the finest horse experience and equipment was developed to wipe out all the others. We can say that each group had their best shooters and great wipers. The xionite and the yacut blood warriors were respectively the best high trained units. the Huns were all weapon herds men and their training was allways based on their personal abilities and the ruthless education in struggle between their own blood lines. So the basic secondary military equipment of these huns was the same as all units and as we know the Strategikon states the Huns typically used maille, swords, bows, and lances, and that most Hunnic warriors were armed with both the bow and lance and used them interchangeably as needed. It also states the Huns used quilted linen, wool, or sometimes iron barding for their horses and also wore quilted coifs and kaftans. This assessment is largely corroborated by archaeological finds of Hun military equipment, such as the Volnikovka and Brut Burials. A late Roman ridge helmet of the Berkasovo-Type was found with a Hun burial at Concesti. The lanseax and one kind o spatha was introducet to europeans during this time. Anyway the main weapon and in the same time the most famous weapon of the Huns, of course, is the Qum Darya-type composite recurve bow, often called the "Hunnish Bow." This bow was invented some time in the 3rd or 2nd centuries BC with the earliest finds near Lake Baikal, but spread across Eurasia long before the Hunnic migration. These bows were typified by being asymmetric in cross-section between 145-155cm in length, having between 4–9 lathes on the grip and in the siyahs. Although whole bows rarely survive in European climatic conditions, finds of bone Siyahs are quite common and characteristic of steppe burials. Complete specimens have been found at sites in the Tarim Basin and Gobi Desert such as Niya, Qum Darya, and Shombuuziin-Belchir. 
Eurasian nomads such as the Huns typically used trilobate diamond shaped iron arrowheads, attached using birch tar and a tang, with typically 75cm shafts and fletching attached with tar and sinew whipping. Such trilobate arrowheads are believed to be more accurate and have better penetrating power or capacity to injure than flat arrowheads. As for the tactics they are known as cuning and devious people but Hun warfare as a whole is not well studied, and many scholars as of recent have discounted Ammianus' description of the Huns. This was first pointed out by E.A. Thompson, who stated that the Huns could never have conquered Europe without iron armor and weapons. The only accurate information on Hun warfare comes from the 6th-century Strategikon, which describes the warfare of "Dealing with the, Avars, Turks, and others whose way of life resembles that of the Hunnish peoples." The Strategikon describes the Avars and Huns as devious and very experienced in military matters.They are described as preferring to defeat their enemies by deceit, surprise attacks, and cutting off supplies. The Huns brought large numbers of horses to use as replacements and to give the impression of a larger army on campaign.The Hunnish peoples did not set up an entrenched camp, but spread out across the grazing fields according to clan, and guard their necessary horses until they began forming the battle line under the cover of early morning. The Strategikon states the Huns also stationed sentries at significant distances and in constant contact with each other in order to prevent surprise attacks. According to the Strategikon, the Huns did not form a battle line in the method that the Romans and Persians used, but in irregularly sized divisions in a single line, and keep a separate force nearby for ambushes and as a reserve. The Strategikon also states the Huns used deep formations with a dense and even front. Otto Maenchen-Helfen states that the Huns likely formed up in divisions according to tribal clans and families which Ammianus calls Cunei, the leader of which was called a Cur and inherited the title as it was passed down through the clan. The Strategikon states that the Huns kept their spare horses and baggage train to either side of the line about a mile away, with a moderate sized guard, and would sometimes tie their spare horses together behind the main battle line. The Huns preferred to fight at long range, utilizing ambush, encirclement, and the feigned retreat. The Strategikon also makes note of the wedge shaped formations mentioned by Ammianus, and corroborated as familial regiments by Maenchen-Helfen. The Strategikon states the Huns preferred to pursue their enemies relentlessly after a victory and then wear them out by a long siege after defeat. Anyway all thought all these abilities and  fame they are known as the most deadly killing machine of the late Iron Age with more than 3 million of dead people and thousands devastation of villages. [ 7 ] 

Bibliography ________________________

[ 1 ] REALM OF HISTORY  .Assyrian warfare 
[ 2 ] Livius .org Ancient origins .george hidricks 1995
[ 3 ] THE THRACIANS 700 BC-46AD  (Men-at-Arms) by Christopher WEBBER and Angus McBRIDE, 2001
[ 4 ] ANCIENT HISTORY ENCYKLOPEDIA . HELLENIC WAR ART       
[ 5 ] ANCIENT HISTORY ENCYKLOPEDIA . THRACO-MACEONIAN WARFARE
[ 6 ] Ancient roman warfare 18 th edition 1993
[ 7 ] E.A. THOMPSON , HUNNIC WARFARE AND TACTICS 
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