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Battle in Ancient Greece And Rome. Organization. Units were organized into tightly pact units. This unit was known as a Phalanx. Stages of Combat. Charge screaming battle cries. Smash into the enemy’s ranks. Thrust with spears.

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  • Units were organized into tightly pact units. This unit was known as a Phalanx.
stages of combat
Stages of Combat
  • Charge screaming battle cries.
  • Smash into the enemy’s ranks.
  • Thrust with spears.
  • As most spears shatter, men move in with shields and swords. This stage continues until the enemy formation is broken and destroyed.
reasons for the phalanx
Reasons for the Phalanx
  • There was a limited capacity for communication on the battle field. Commanders had more control when men were pact tightly together.
  • There was strength in numbers. The weight and momentum of the formation could literally push the enemy back or break his formation.
reasons for the phalanx continued
Reasons for the Phalanx Continued.

The tightly pact mass of men could offer protection for each other. They would link shields and could protect themselves from enemy spears and arrows.

They could form a defensive square formation to defend against enemy cavalry.

fighting in phalanxes
Fighting in Phalanxes
  • Due to the simplicity of the formation, there was little need for leadership at lower levels. Commands were given by flute, and the entire formation would move together.
  • As each man had his shield in his left hand, each man shifted to his right. This was countered by putting the strongest, largest men on the right.
fighting in phalanxes continued
Fighting in Phalanxes Continued
  • The entire Phalanx tended to pivot to the left in battle because swords would be swung from the right to the left. This could influence a battle depending on terrain.

Hoplites were the soldiers that most frequently composed the ranks of phalanxes.

They were armed with a long spear (for jabbing, not throwing), a short sword, and wielded a large round shield.

They wore a tunic, a helmet, sandals, a breastplate, and greaves.

hoplites continued
Hoplites Continued

This shows two hoplites in attack positions.

  • The Romans used a “Testudo” formation, or tortise formation. It formed all around defense against enemy ranged weapons.

Notice: once phalanxes broke, fighting reverted to man to man killing. Control and formations disintegrated.