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

By David J. Lonsdale

This booklet bargains a strategic research of 1 of the main striking army careers in heritage, picking out the main pertinent strategic classes from the campaigns of Alexander the good. David Lonsdale argues that because the center ideas of method are everlasting, the learn and research of historic examples have price to the trendy theorist and practitioner. in addition, as technique is so advanced and hard, the extraordinary occupation of Alexander presents the right chance to appreciate top perform in process, as he accomplished impressive and non-stop good fortune around the spectrum of battle, in a number of situations and environments. This e-book provides the 13 so much pertinent classes that may be discovered from his campaigns, dividing them into 3 different types: grand approach, army operations, and use of strength. every one of those different types offers classes pertinent to the trendy strategic atmosphere. eventually, besides the fact that, the e-book argues that the dominant consider his good fortune was once Alexander himself, and that it was once his personal features as a strategist that allowed him to beat the complexities of technique and attain his expansive objectives.  

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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. 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.

Surely more damage could be inflicted on the enemy, and therefore there was more chance for achieving a decision, with the continued use of spear and sword, rather than merely relying on pushing one’s foe from the field. This approach also seems to represent a more likely evolution from the Homeric form of battle. During this earlier period, the formations were much more open and fluid. Battle tended to be characterised by a fluctuating front line in which each side would engage in a series of charges, during which individuals would attempt to dispatch an opponent from the opposing side.

31 This would, of course, indicate a close-order formation. 32 The significance of this debate concerning the spacing of the hoplites will become apparent below. 33 Ancient Greek warfare 29 It is important to point out that the fighting during the classical period in Greek history was dominated by the clash of similarly armed hoplite phalanxes. Again, due to a combination of convention and practicalities, cavalry or lightinfantry forces took little part in this form of warfare. The clash of hoplites in face-to-face combat fitted with the heroic tradition of Greek legend.

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