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HISTORY FUN!!!!!

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HISTORY FUN!!!!!

Post by Bloodstar on Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:33 am

See, I was bored and decided to start (another) history topic. Here I will post some new fact everyday. Please don't be angry, as my inner nerd is struggling to get out ;) You guys can correct me or post your own facts if you want. (I hope there is no arguing in this topic atleast)

Today's fact:
Pila: (How did they work and why were they useful)
To understand the importance of pila, you have to know the fighting style of a roman soldier (caesar's times). He had a big, rectangular shield that, if he crouched, he could hide behind. So, he crouched adn used the shield defensively, or offensively (punching with it) adn used his short, stabbing sword (gladius) only when he saw an opening. So, a roman's shield was very important. Now, if the enemy is armed only with a sword, then killing him becomes easy,as all you have to do is defend with shield adn attack with sword. But if he was armed with a shield as well, then it becomes harder.

This is where the pilum comes in.

You see, the iron shank (connecting part) that connected the wooden shaft adn the pyramid shaped metal tip, was narrow. So, when the romans threw the pilum, and the enemy caught it with their shields, the shank, would absorb the force of impact, adn since it was narrow, and thus didnt have the mass to take such force, it would bend and thus lock on to the shield. It was hard to remove, especially in the heat of battle, so the enemy would simply abandon their shield as it was too heavy. Thus the romans rid their opponents of their only defensive weapon.
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Re: HISTORY FUN!!!!!

Post by Clive on Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:58 am

Hahahahaha
Nobody mindes.Post as much as you want man.
Sad thing is I don't that much about history so I wont be posting but I'm more then glad to read and learn.
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Re: HISTORY FUN!!!!!

Post by Bloodstar on Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:17 am

@Clive Thanks dude. I heard you are leaving rtw community. Good luck and Have Fun.
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Re: HISTORY FUN!!!!!

Post by Bloodstar on Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:46 am

Today's fact:
Numidians: We all know about the famous Numidians who, along with Hannibal, wreaked havoc. When Rome became a very strong Republic (a bit before Caesar's times) it needed to garrison troops at the borders, and these men wouldn't be allowed to come back home for a long time.

Naturally, the farmers and other middle class people who had been the soldiers of the army for a long time, refused. They were used to fighting a campaign, and then returning hom ein time for harvest. They were used to buying their own equipment. Now they were being asked to stay in a foreign land, for a very long time, leaving their farms, jobs, and families.

Now that these people refused, Gaius Marius (uncle to Gaius Julius Caesar), the consul, turned to the jobless people of Rome (of whom there were many) and told them to join the army and that the Roman State would pay for the equipment.

Now that the state was paying, all the soldiers got uniform equipment, and thus the old system of velites, hastati, principes, and triarii disappeared. All soldiers of a legion were the same.

Now, when Rome became an Empire, and the boundaries expanded like hell, even these Romans were not willing to garrison. So Rome began hiring mercenaries. One of these were the Numidians.

Numidians:
Numidia comes from the greek word "Nomads". Numidia was divided into East and West Numida. East Numidia supported Carthage in the Second Punic War and the West, Rome. However, Massinissa, the next king of the Eastern Numidians allied himself with Rome, and in the Numidian Civil War, beat the Western Numidians. Thus all of Numidia fell under Roman control, and the Romans gained the superb Numidian horsemen. And you know what the funny thing about Numidians is?

They rode with no saddle or bridle. In fact, they rarely used a harness, and if they did, it was a simple rope noose. They didn't need reins to control their horses; they used their thighs. This left both their hands free for skirmishing with javelins and other skirmishing missiles.

The drawback of this was that the Numidians could only atatck and withdraw; he couldn't make complicated maneuevers, because he didn't have reins. But the numidians wore no armor and their horses were extremely fast, thus they got close in loose formation, lobbed their javelins and ran off before their enemies could react.

"Imperial Rome employed Numidians from Africa. These horsemen, who, as we have seen, wreaked such havoc in the armies of Rome during the war with Hannibal, were completely unarmored, rode bareback without even a saddlecloth or bridle"- The Roman Army, Osprey.

They were, however, completely vulnerable to heavy cavalry. During Caesar's invasion of Africa, 30 gallic horsemen drove off a much larger force of Numidians.

"At the same time they were generally unable to stand their ground against heavier types of cavalry, in one incident during the aforementioned African invasion thirty of Caesar's Gallic horsemen drove off a much larger force of Moorish cavalry, while in another a squadron of Caesar's Iberian horsemen routed a large body of Labienus's Numidians, while his Gallic and Germanic horsemen stood their ground."- Wikipedia.

Thus, while Numidians were excellent for skirmishing, as can be seen when Caesar was frustrated in his invasion of Africa by losses while marching through the desert due to Numidians, they were useless in fighting melee.
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Re: HISTORY FUN!!!!!

Post by Bloodstar on Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:51 am

Pirates in ancient times.
You might think, upon hearing the words 'pirate', about the piates in the colonial era, with ships adn cannons, balsting and fighting their way out with guns and rapiers. But there were pirates in the ancient times as well.

Ships in the ancient mediterranean sea often hugged the coast as they moved, as they were afraid of being caught in the open sea during a storm (storms were very dangerous during those times).

One of the most famous piracy ridden countries was Illyria. As the country's coast was rocky, the people couldn't practice agriculture, and thus took to fishing. However, even that couldn't sustain them for long, and thus they took to piracy.

Illyrian pirates moved in small galleys called lembus ships. They were small, adn could accomodate some 50 people, and were more manouverable than the huge triremes and quinquiremes. They had no sails.

As told above, ships often hugged the coast as they moved through the sea. So, pirates took advantage of this, and hid in coves and enclaves (places where the sea penetrates a bit inland). These places were hidden from the view of ships by the land, and so when the ships came, pirates would spring out a surprise attack. They would ram the huge ships, board them with grappling hook, steal, and get back onto their ships before the other ships could react.

Sometimes the Illyrian government would support their subjects. Queen Teta's Illyria was notorius for its piracy. Illyrians even defeated the greeks by a very cunning method. Instead of filling their ships with seasoned seamen who could steer and ram their ships into the greeks, they filled it with warriors, and tied their ships together. Then, when greeks, laughing at their stupidity, rammed the Illyrian ships, the warriors simply got aboard the greek ships and killed everyone. Thus, sacrificing their inferior ships, they got the better greek ships instead.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Paxos

The Illyrians were, however, trashed by the Romans, and Pompey was famous for defeating pirates in a naval battle.
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Re: HISTORY FUN!!!!!

Post by Bloodstar on Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:04 am

Who was the best general?
Was it Alexander because of the surprising qyuickness with which he conquered such large swathes of land? But he faced a weakened Achaemenid Empire and a Persian Army that was inferior to his in quality!

Was it Gaius Julius Caesar? But many of his victories were rather due to the quality of Roman troops and their engineering skills!

Was it Hannibal? But despite his many victories, he failed in his objective! He couldn't conquer Rome!

I think (my opinion) that it is Hannibal. Bear with me. Unlike Alexander, he didn't face a weakened Empire, in fact the Roman Republic was almost at its peak, having defeated Carthage (First Punic War). he did not face an enemy who was qualitatively inferior to his own. In fact the Romans outnumbered and were better than his ragtag mecenary/gallic army. But we can say that he faced generals who were lacking in skills.

But still, when he faced Scipio, he was old, adn he had an army of raw recruits. All the adavntages he had when he fought Rome on their home turf (superior cavalry, veteran men) were not there. In fact, it is at these times, that the heroes in the books would do something so crazy, but genius, and save the day.

But this is real life.

Hannibal failed at the end, but it really wasn't his fault. You see, he never had Carthage's help from the beginning. His army, his supplies, all came from Spain, a base established by the sweat and blood of Hamilcar Barca, a patriot who used Sapin's numerous silver mines to make Carthage rich again, despite Rome's victory and the fact that Carthage was no longer a naval power.

Hannibal's plan was to attack the cities around rome and deprive Rome of allies, because Roem was too stropng to defeat head-on in a siege.

His army was too small to either assault or securely besiege Rome
Rome itself remain defended by two legions and a large, conscriptable population
Marching on and laying siege to Rome was beyond his logistical capacity
He cannot realistically defeat Rome while her Latin and Italian allies remained loyal

So he sought to strip Rome of its allies. But then, despite his brilliant plan, why did he fail? Because he didnt expect Scipio.

Scipio was like what Wellington was to Napoleon. People argue on who's better, but everyone knows, in his prime, Napoleon was better than Wellington (Ok again this is a point for discussion). But after his many victories, one can imagine Hannibal's frustration. Fabius was always never giving him battle, but tried trapping him in a valley. But Hnanibal proved that he wasn't only brilliant against stupid people, and escaped using a brillaint atctic. He tied torches to the horns of the many goats in the valley, and in the darkness, made them run towards the encircling defenders. Thinking that Hnanibal's army was trying to escape, the defenders withdrew men from other exits in the valley, only to find goats trying to lick their ass. Hanibal said Adios Amigos and escaped with his army intact.

Still, he expected men from Spain, from his brother to help him. Scipio realized that Spain was the problem and proceeded to defeat his brother. Now Hannibal was cut off from supplies and men. So he lived on the land, terrorizing Rome's allies into joinig him. But Scipio, then invaded Carthage itself. Hannibal then left his men, who were scattered, and went to command Carthage's army, which he lost.

Now let's see why he is (according to me) the greatest general.

He faced and almost defeated a stronger and more numerous army 3 times. He used a strategy that was in no way short term. In fact it was an excellent strategy, adn wouldve worked if not for Scipio's brilliance.

The reason he failed was because, in contrast to him, rome had infinite resources. They had enough men to prevent Hannibal from taking Rome, and fight a war in Macedon and fight a war in Spain and fight a war in Sicily. They had infinite men, and more money, a much better navy.

All of Hannibal's advantages were taken by the end. He was never helped by the country he fought for. He died running for his life, betrayed by his countrymen. He died alone.
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Re: HISTORY FUN!!!!!

Post by Clive on Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:53 pm

Nice posts.
Well for me, a person with limited knowledge of history, Cezar was the best.He did beat the Gauls and was so respected by his men that they went against the Republic with him.And he faced Pompei who was a capable commander with experience and more men, trained men.I don't know the numbers but Pompei had much more cav and more men.

Idk he is Cezar
The name itself says it all hahahahahhaha
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Re: HISTORY FUN!!!!!

Post by Bloodstar on Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:27 am

Ur right Clive and entitled to your opnion but I don't like Caesar because of one thing: his arrogance. If he makes a tactical mistake (Gergovia) he blames it on his subordinates. That's all, otherwise even I love him.
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Re: HISTORY FUN!!!!!

Post by Bloodstar on Thu Aug 04, 2016 5:44 am

Yi Sun Si
He was one of the greatest generals (Admiral) that ever lived, and is one of my favourites (He is the favorite of one of my korean friends. I dare you to guess who). His story reads like that of a movie character. He suffers hardship after hardship for his country which never cares about him (atleast the king and higher nobility don't) And then he dies for the country that never cared about him.

"Military historians have placed General Yi Sun-Sin on par with Admiral Horatio Nelson as arguably the greatest naval commander in history for his undefeated record against seemingly insurmountable odds despite no background in naval training."- Wikipedia

At a young age, Yi played wargames with his friends, and showed excellent skill in command. He became friends with a boy named Ryu. It is very important. He failed a military examination because he broke his leg during the cavalry test, but he came again, and was posted at Korea's border. There he showed his skill by defeating the Jurchens (nomads who were eventually defeated by the Mongols).

"In 1583, he lured the Jurchen into battle, defeated the marauders, and captured their chief, Mu Pai Nai. According to a contemporary tradition, Yi then spent three years out of the army upon hearing of his father's death. After his return to the front line, Yi led a string of successful campaigns against the Jurchen."-Wikipedia

He was extremely skilled, and this bought him the jealousy of superiors. Also, he was incorruptible, so rich people were pissed at him. The king stripped him of his rank, tortured him and kicked him out of the army. Then he rejoined again, as a common foot soldier. But he was so skilled, that he rose to the position of naval commander quickly, when war with Japan became imminent.

He started the building of turtle ships. This was to prevent the better Japanese soldiers from boarding the Korean ships. It only let the cannons out.

JAPAN'S INVASION

Japan wanted to invade Korea to use it as a forward base for invasion of Ming China.

"There were numerous reasons why Yi was so successful against the Japanese fleets. Yi had prepared for the war by checking the status of his soldiers, granaries, and supplies, replacing them when it was necessary. As part of this preparation, Yi resurrected and built the turtle ship, which was a considerable factor in his victories. Yi also had a great deal of information about the southern Korean coast and he planned his battles using the sea tides and narrow straits to his advantage."-Wikipedia

Korean ships could actually carry 20 guns compared to the Japanese 1 or 2!

Since the story is extremely long, I'll explain only 2 battles here (He fought in 23 in his life and won all of them!). Needless to say, the Japanese army was able to rage through Korea, but Yi, the naval commander was brilliant. He used his turtle ship as bait, feigning withdrawal, then surrounding the Japanese ships! The Japanese navy was being destroyed slowly, and realizing this, they put together a fleet of 133 ships to fight Yi's 13 ships.

Yi smartky lured the 133 ships into the narrow strait (Meongnyang) for his last stand. The srait had a peculiar property: it would reverse its current every 3 hrs. This would first pull the Japanese fleet in and then push them out. The tactic worked wonderfully. Yi attacked the vanguard of the japanse fleet; 1 ship against 20. But he survived and eventually drove the vanguard back. This gave heart to Yi's troops and they attacked with him.

Soon, the battle was raging. Then, the current switched. Now, it pushed the ships out of the strait. The Korean ships thus were able to move forward faster, while the Japanese ships were pushed back. The vanguard was being pushed back, but the rearguard, unaware of the situation, tried to move forward. In the collison that ensued, the Japanese were routed and fled. In this battle, Yi drowned more than 30 japanese ships, yet lost none of his own.

Soon, Ming China allied themselves with Korea and attacked the Japanese land army. They also sent their navy to help Yi. In a climatic last battle, Yi was wounded. But he told his sons to keep beating the drums that were the rythm for the ships' movements as if they stopped now, it would be a morale blow. His teary eyed son did as he was told and told no one that his father was dying.

They won, but they lost a great soul and a great general. He was one of the greatest patriots that ever lived.


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