Alexander the Great: Lessons in Strategy by David J. Lonsdale

By David J. Lonsdale

This e-book deals a strategic research of 1 of the main extraordinary army careers in heritage, determining the main pertinent strategic classes from the campaigns of Alexander the nice.

David Lonsdale argues that because the center rules of procedure are everlasting, the learn and research of old examples have worth to the fashionable theorist and practitioner. additionally, as approach is so complicated and hard, the extraordinary profession of Alexander presents the right chance to appreciate top perform in method, as he accomplished awesome and non-stop good fortune around the spectrum of conflict, in quite a few conditions and environments. This publication provides the 13 such a lot pertinent classes that may be realized from his campaigns, dividing them into 3 different types: grand approach, army operations, and use of strength. each one of those different types presents classes pertinent to the trendy strategic atmosphere. finally, notwithstanding, the ebook argues that the dominant think about his luck 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 pursuits.

 

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Extra resources for Alexander the Great: Lessons in Strategy

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One can only imagine the discomfort of marching and fighting in such conditions whilst wearing heavy bronze armour, carrying the substantial hoplon and wielding an eight-foot spear. From a practical perspective, it thus becomes clear why the hoplites dispensed with their heavy equipment over the years. As noted, hoplites were not professional soldiers who campaigned all-year round. 20 Typically, the belligerents would meet on an open plain for a decisive and short clash of arms to decide the issue in question.

48 However, it appears that in hoplite warfare morale could decide a battle very rapidly. Indeed, there were many occasions when one side would flee at the sight of the enemy. The Spartans often had this effect on their enemies. In fact, they realised how significant this was and enhanced its effect. Spartan hoplites would wear the same uniform red cloaks into battle, and would try to unsettle their opponents with a steady advance at walking pace. However, this latter technique may have also been intended to maintain the cohesion of the formation.

The answer to the above dilemma may be that the front rank used their spears in an overhand fashion to stab down at their opponents, whilst the next two or three ranks created the shock collision with spears held underarm. However, this debate is only valid if we accept the orthodox view of a hoplite phalanx formation in which the troops are closely packed together. 39 As the two forces finally engaged each other, a number of spears may have broken on impact with the enemy’s armour and/or shields.

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