By David J. Lonsdale
This booklet bargains a strategic research of 1 of the main extraordinary army careers in heritage, opting for the main pertinent strategic classes from the campaigns of Alexander the good.
David Lonsdale argues that because the middle ideas of process are everlasting, the examine and research of old examples have worth to the trendy theorist and practitioner. in addition, as procedure is so advanced and difficult, the impressive occupation of Alexander offers the proper chance to appreciate most sensible perform in procedure, as he completed striking and non-stop luck around the spectrum of struggle, in quite a few situations and environments. This booklet offers the 13 such a lot pertinent classes that may be realized from his campaigns, dividing them into 3 different types: grand procedure, army operations, and use of strength. every one of those different types offers classes pertinent to the trendy strategic setting. finally, besides the fact that, the e-book argues that the dominant consider his luck was once Alexander himself, and that it used to be his personal features as a strategist that allowed him to beat the complexities of approach and accomplish his expansive pursuits.
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Extra info for Alexander the Great: Lessons in Strategy
Perhaps the most important of these resides within the commander himself. Certain attributes are required to improve the chances of success in strategy. 93 Although Clausewitz refers to genius, this is not meant to restrict the study of command to the very few individuals who display something extraordinarily special. Rather, military genius can be used as a vehicle for understanding the qualities of good command more generally. The key point to note is that military genius is a human attribute that includes certain cognitive skills, certain moral qualities, and an understanding of human issues.
From a practical perspective, it thus becomes clear why the hoplites dispensed with their heavy equipment over the years. As noted, hoplites were not professional soldiers who campaigned all-year round. 20 Typically, the belligerents would meet on an open plain for a decisive and short clash of arms to decide the issue in question. 21 Battles would last for a couple of hours and were limited to daylight. In no way was this total or irregular warfare in which surprise night attacks or ambushes had any part to play.
However, this debate is only valid if we accept the orthodox view of a hoplite phalanx formation in which the troops are closely packed together. 39 As the two forces finally engaged each other, a number of spears may have broken on impact with the enemy’s armour and/or shields. 40 Those whose spears had broken may have opted to use the butt-spike, or indeed may have unsheathed their swords. Victor Davis Hanson paints a grim picture for those in the front lines during this stage of the battle. He describes how bodies could be piled two or three high at the point of contact between the two sides.