How did a phalanx work?
phalanx, in military science, tactical formation consisting of a block of heavily armed infantry standing shoulder to shoulder in files several ranks deep. Fully developed by the ancient Greeks, it survived in modified form into the gunpowder era and is viewed today as the beginning of European military development.
Who used phalanx?
The age of the phalanx may be traced back to Sumeria in the 25th century BCE, through Egypt, and finally appearing in Greek literature through Homer in the 8th century BCE (and since has been generally associated with Greek warfare strategy, the name itself coming from the Greek word for ‘finger’).
How did Romans beat phalanx?
Polybius on the Macedonian Wars gets into some of the nitty gritty, but basically the gist is that during the Samnite Wars, the Romans found that their phalanxes were being beaten by the Samnite light infantry and cavalry, who were used to fighting the mountainous terrain of Samnium.
Why did they stop using the phalanx?
It was clumsy and had serious weakness to flanking. So, being innovative, the Romans worked on it and evolved into a 3 line fighting stance, known as a Legion. It was more flexible than a phalanx, which gave Rome the edge as it invaded Greece.
Why was the phalanx so powerful?
The extreme length of the sarissa meant that up to five layers of pikes protruded ahead of the front man – allowing the phalanx to steamroll any opponent. So long as its rear and flank were protected, the formation was extremely powerful both as a defensive and an offensive weapon.
How big was a Spartan phalanx?
The most common was the “close-order” phalanx. In this formation, hoplites stood 45 cm apart (around 1.5 feet), with their shields overlapping.
Did the Spartans use the phalanx?
Spartan Military Innovations. The hoplite phalanx, however, consisted of specially-armed infantry. They all wore bronze body armor, helmets, bronze shin guards, and all carried shields.
Did Rome ever fight Spartans?
The Romans and their allies then advanced upon Sellasia not far north of Sparta. The Romans were defeated in a small battle and they retreated. The Romans then won another battle against the Spartans and forced them to retreat into the city.
Did Spartans use a phalanx?
Did Vikings use phalanx?
The Viking shield wall (or skjaldborg in Old Norse) was a pretty conventional tactic used by the Norsemen in land battles. It entailed a phalanx-like formation of warriors who were up to five ranks deep.
Did Spartans use the phalanx?
The Spartans were different: they were professionals, trained in arms and in maneuver. Their phalanx was composed of regiments, and the regiments of companies, and so on, each commanded by an officer. This professionalism allowed their phalanx a degree of maneuverability which they put to good use at Mantinea.
Did Alexander use the phalanx?
The Macedonian phalanx (Greek: Μακεδονική φάλαγξ) was an infantry formation developed by Philip II and used by his son Alexander the Great to conquer the Achaemenid Empire and defeat armies of other kingdoms.
What was the phalanx weakness?
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.
Why was the Roman legion better than the Greek phalanx?
Unlike the phalanx that fought in a single line, engaging the enemy simultaneously across the entire front, the legion deployed its maniples in a checkerboard pattern; leaving deliberate gaps between each maniple equal to its frontage.
How tall is the average Spartan?
Depending on the type of Spartan the height of a Spartan II (fully armored) is 7’2 feet tall, a Spartan III (Fully armored) is 6’10 feet tall, and a Spartan IV (Fully armored) stands on average a little shorter at 6’9, all while boasting a reinforced endoskeleton.
What fighting style did the Spartans use?
Hoplite Fighting The Spartans fought in the hoplite style which was the hallmark of ancient Greek warfare. Their massed ranks of men wore body armor and helmets. They carried round shields fixed by a pair of straps to their left arms.
Why did soldiers stop using shields?
The development of plate armour made shields less and less common as it eliminated the need for a shield. Lightly armoured troops continued to use shields after men-at-arms and knights ceased to use them. Shields continued in use even after gunpowder powered weapons made them essentially obsolete on the battlefield.
Why was Alexander’s army so good?
Ultimately, Alexander’s army represented a truly professional force, with an organised logistical corps, uniform equipment and frequent drill. Alexander’s men could form many different formations very quickly and were well trained.
Did the Spartans invent the phalanx?
Traditionally, historians date the origin of the hoplite phalanx of ancient Greece to the 8th century BC in Sparta, but this is under revision.