By David J. Lonsdale
This publication deals a strategic research of 1 of the main impressive army careers in historical past, determining the main pertinent strategic classes from the campaigns of Alexander the nice.
David Lonsdale argues that because the center ideas of process are everlasting, the examine and research of old examples have price to the trendy theorist and practitioner. additionally, as technique is so advanced and demanding, the extraordinary profession of Alexander presents the best chance to appreciate top perform in technique, as he accomplished notable and non-stop luck around the spectrum of conflict, in quite a few situations and environments. This booklet provides the 13 so much pertinent classes that may be realized from his campaigns, dividing them into 3 different types: grand approach, army operations, and use of strength. every one of those different types presents classes pertinent to the fashionable strategic surroundings. eventually, even though, the booklet argues that the dominant think about his good fortune used to be Alexander himself, and that it used to be his personal features as a strategist that allowed him to beat the complexities of approach and attain his expansive targets.
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Extra resources for Alexander the Great: Lessons in Strategy
However, due to the length of the spear, only the weapons of the first three ranks protruded into the killing zone. The key to success in such a formation was cohesion and discipline rather than individual acts of glory. Indeed, maintaining the line was the primary concern of the phalanx. A cohesive and solid phalanx was a formidable defensive formation. It presented an enemy with a solid line and mass of shields and spearheads. However, should any gaps appear, or should the enemy get behind the phalanx, then the vulnerable flanks and rear would be exposed.
The spear had both an iron spearhead and a butt-spike at the other extremity. This latter device is believed to have served a number of purposes. In the first instance, should the spear break during combat, the hoplite could simply turn his spear around and continue to thrust at his enemy with the butt-spike. Also, the butt-spike could be used to dispatch any fallen enemy underfoot. The spear was essentially used as a thrusting weapon, and not as a missile to be thrown. Although the hoplite relied primarily upon his spear for offensive attacks, he also carried a short sword should his spear be lost or irrevocably damaged.
A cohesive and solid phalanx was a formidable defensive formation. It presented an enemy with a solid line and mass of shields and spearheads. However, should any gaps appear, or should the enemy get behind the phalanx, then the vulnerable flanks and rear would be exposed. In most instances this could spell disaster for the phalanx. 30 The above orthodox view has been challenged somewhat by van Wees. Rather than being a mere three feet apart, van Wees claims that the gap between hoplites would have been six feet.