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Hoplites and Phalanx Combat
Phalanx and hoplites are supposedly the core and flower of Greek armies.<br>
How could it happen that using such way of fighting Hellenes achieved such good results? I mean that copy-book maxim that phalanx has disadvantage in manoeuvrability and its flanks are<br>
vulnerable. This is the case, there were numerous examples when heavily armored hoplites were defeated by light missile troops and nobody can deny that long line of hoplites is difficult to control.<br>
First of all, majority of battles were wars of hundreds, not thousands and tens of thousands soldiers. Having in mind these comparatively small units, things are different. You can control such formation rather effectively.<br>
As for missile troops… There were usually a lot of slingers, javelinmen and archers attached to hoplites. Hoplites were best armored infantry in the world and Mediterranean missile troops were not too effective. So, hoplites were tanks of antiquity and in this region nothing could oppose them.<br>
Psychologically men ready from the very beginning for a close hand-to-hand combat are in advantage. Hostile missile troops may encircle them and what? If hoplites don’t have missile support, how long will it take for enemy to empty their supply of missiles? Fifteen minutes? Half an hour? And if hoplites have some missile troops of their own they could easily neutralize enemy fire and do whatever they want, move in whatever direction they desire. Usually they attacked and their cavalry and missile troops covered their flanks and rear.<br>
<p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=>warrior11</A> <IMG HEIGHT=10 WIDTH=10 SRC="" BORDER=0> at: 11/9/03 8:59<br></i>
Hi all,<br>
Hoplites’ arms are a spear and a sword. The curve sword of a Spartan was of the size as a dagger<br>
My point of view: the spear is the basic weapon of a hoplit, for fight in phalanx and for single fight.<br>
Xenofont only once speaks about fight of hoplites using swords because there was night and fight was inside a settlement (village).<br>
Anabasis VII. 4. “By this time too the flames were making their appearance through the roof, and Xenophon and his followers were within, with their coats of mail on, and big shields, SWORDS, and helmets. Then Silanus, a Macistian[2], a youth of some eighteen years, signalled on the trumpet; and in an instant, out they all leapt with their drawn SWORDS, and the inmates of other quarters as well.â€ÂÂ
One must never forget that Greek battle in the Ancient world was a very controlled and the lines of the Phalanx were to meet line on line, one line eventually pushing the other line back until it disintergrated and routed. In fact many of the so called Hoplite battles disintergrated into routs even before the opposing lines met. Also do not disregard geography greece is full of mountains and passes and in order not to be outflanked it was a simple matter of filling up the valley from wall to wall. The Greek tactics of the day called for a Hoplite to push forward and to never retreat, a fact that Phillip and Alexander used to great effect as they introduced a strategic retreat of part of thier Phalanx line in order to force an opening in the opposing line to get the cavallry through and cause havoc. <p></p><i></i>

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