Alexander And Macendonians Slides

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Lecture # 4:Alexander the Great and the Macedonian System Capt Gillingham, USMCRm 156 Reynolds Coliseum(919) [email protected]

Evolution of Warfare

AgendaQuizBasic Military SymbologyIssues For Consideration/DiscussionThe Rise of MacedoniaThe Macedonian Military SystemAlexanders Persian CampaignAlexander as Military Commander


Issues For Consideration

What were the organizational and tactical improvements of the Macedonian military system 350-320 B.C.?Describe the tactics and strategy of Alexander at the Battle of Arbela.How did the principles of war apply to Alexanders campaigns?Describe Alexander's unique resolution of the land power-sea power dichotomyKnow and describe Alexanders 4 Major Battles against Persia.Evaluate Alexander as Military Commander

Issues For Discussion

Discuss the pros & cons of the Persian strategy not adopted of attacking Alexanders logistical support base. (Not a single house to be burned)Discuss how Alexanders land campaign influenced the Persian fleet.Articulate this campaign at the three levels of war.How did Alexander employ cavalry and infantry as combined arms?How did Alexanders heavy cavalry affect his enemies?

How did the principles of war apply to Alexanders campaigns?Know and describe Alexanders 4 Major Battles against Persia.Evaluate Alexander as Military Commander

Basic Military SymbologyFriendly UnitEnemy Unit

Reconnaissance units

Alexanders RuleDied of Malaria 13 June 323 B.C.33 years old12 year rule

Macedonia and its occupied territories in 359 BC

Philip of Macedon - King of Macedonia and conqueror of Illyria, Thrace, and Greece

Macedonian Expansion 348 BC

Macedonia at Philip's death (336 BC)

The Macedonian Military SystemPhilip had formed the first national standing army consisting of:Citizens owing military serviceVolunteers from the nobilityAuxiliary troops from tributary statesMercenaries employed for some special skillOrganized army to improve articulation & controlTetrarchia (platoon) - 64 menTaxiarchia (company) - 128 menSyntagma (battalion) - 256 menChiliarchia (regiment) - 1024 men

The Macedonian Army

Philip built the first scientifically organized army on the continent of EuropeProfessional army that was drilled until they could function as a cohesive unitFielded armyFirst use of Combined ArmsThe details of the Macedonian staff system are not well-known but must have been quite thorough and extensiveCommand was exercised by voice, by trumpet, and by spear movementLong range communications were accomplished by smoke signals or fire beaconsBeginning of Generalship

Heavy InfantryImproved the Phalanx by providing longer spear (Sarissa) about 21 ft long and increasing the depth from 8 to 16 ranks

Reduced the need for armor especially in the rear ranks (less cost)

Heavy InfantryIn battle formation, the Sarissa of the first five ranks protruded into an impenetrable hedge, while the remaining ranks grounded or carried their Sarissa at a 45 degree angle to deflect missiles from overheadEmphasis changed from the individual effort of the front rank to the entire unit

Heavy InfantryOn level ground this mobile force was invincible when it bore down with locked shields and bristling points. But formation had weaknesses. Its flanks and rear were open to attack, but it was better able to maneuver over rough terrain than previous phalanxFlanks and rear of formation protected by Light InfantryPeltasts (Supporting light pike men)Psiloi (Included archers, slingers, and javelin men)

HypaspistsLighter armorShorter Pike Individual skill v. drill & formationsEmployed with cavalry for shock actionThis infantry served as a link between the slower moving phalanx and the faster moving cavalryThis hinge was essential to an advance in oblique order, for without it, contact between the cavalry and phalanx would almost certainly be lost

MacedonianHeavyCavalryThe cavalry had been the weakness of Greek arms. Philip made it the strength of his Army. He organized his nobles into a bodyguard called the Companions which became the hammer of Macedonian battle tactics.Heavy Calvary Armor, shields, Calvary Spear (9 with iron tips)Still no StirrupShock ActionDiscipline, organized unitsHeavy Calvary dominated light Infantry

In support he formed troops of light horsemen trained for scouting, skirmishing, and screeningStill had traditional Light Calvary which relied on missile actionMacedonianLightCavalry

Alexander and his Strategy against Persian Sea Power

Aristotle was his tutorPhilip was assassinated in 336Many Greek states assumed that his son (only 20) would not be a formidable leader. Aroused by Darius III of Persia, who feared a strong Macedonia, many Greek states and separate tribes revolted against Alexander and Macedonian rule.In less than two years, Alexander had reestablished unquestioned Macedonian rule in the area.Having assured the security of his Hellenic base, Alexander now determined to conquer PersiaTo maintain the security of his base, and to ensure communications, Alexander knew he must destroy the Persian fleet which dominated the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean. How?

Alexander Attacks Persia

4 Major BattlesGranicus River 334 B.C.Issus 333 B.C.Arbela (Guagamela) 331 B.C.Hydaspes 326 B.C.

The Persian Campaign 334-323 BC

Persia Darius IIICalvary and Light Infantry combination they added heavy infantry (Greek Mercenaries)Light Infantry in frontFoundation was cavalry to decide the battleNO heavy cavalryBows and javelins (mailed shirts and swords)

Alexander as Military CommanderBold and imaginative leadership, the courage and technical quality of his army, and the systematic development of his strategy over 2 million square miles.Alexander was among the first to recognize that commander's proper function is not to fight himself, but to direct the fighting of others.Had a keen sense of how to motivate people and how to obtain their loyalty and respect.Appointed his garrison commanders and ordered them to allow the governors to rule their respective districts according to ancient custom.

For Next TimeComprehend, know and explain the organization of the Roman army, with emphasis on the legionary systemKnow/describe the First Punic War, with emphasis on the campaigns against King PyrrhusKnow and recount the major battles of the Second Punic War, to include the battles of Trebia, Lake Trasimene, and CanaeKnow and evaluate Hannibal as a Great CaptainComprehend and explain Hannibals failure to gain strategic victory despite tactical successKnow and review the Battle of Zama and Scipios impact on the outcome

Pax per potens" Peace through powerQuestions?