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Alexander The Great: The Power Of Man's Army

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Few people have completely changed the world in their lifetime. Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE), through his unprecedented military campaign, may proudly lay claim to such an achievement. Historians for centuries have been entranced by the mystique and legend of Alexander and his conquests. Copious amounts of scholarship persistently probe the sources looking for subtleties, but seldom focus on the interaction between Alexander’s stellar battle tactics and his army’s equipment, namely the sarissa. Conscientious scrutiny of the Macedonian weapons used during the fourth century BCE campaigns reveals that the tactical decisions made by Alexander directly resulted from the strengths and weakness of his men’s equipment. Based upon a comparative analysis of…show more content…
The more mass and weight behind your army, the more powerful it was. By having a substantial weight advantage over your adversary, an offensive gain was the natural result. Since the sarissa provided the Macedonian commanders with more offensive power than their opponents, Philip and Alexander were able to dictate the tempo and position of battle. As the offensive element, the tempo of battle is manipulated because the defending unit is put into a reactive stance instead of a proactive one. The reactive element cannot choose where and how to fight, but is limited to counterattacks in confined manners. Additionally, by controlling tempo, the fatigue of your soldiers is also management more appropriately and timings of attacks are precise. Furthermore, the offensive element chooses where to attack, in what strength, and for what duration awarding them a positional advantage. However, offensive and dominant are not synonymous terms on the battlefield. Defenders claim some advantages, such as terrain or possible fortifications, which may counteract the offensive
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