By David J. Lonsdale

This publication bargains a strategic research of 1 of the main amazing army careers in background, picking out the main pertinent strategic classes from the campaigns of Alexander the good.

David Lonsdale argues that because the middle rules of method are everlasting, the research and research of old examples have price to the fashionable theorist and practitioner. in addition, as approach is so complicated and difficult, the awesome profession of Alexander presents the proper chance to appreciate most sensible perform in approach, as he completed striking and non-stop luck around the spectrum of conflict, in numerous conditions and environments. This booklet offers the 13 such a lot pertinent classes that may be discovered from his campaigns, dividing them into 3 different types: grand approach, army operations, and use of strength. every one of those different types presents classes pertinent to the fashionable strategic surroundings. eventually, even though, the booklet argues that the dominant think about his good fortune was once Alexander himself, and that it was once his personal features as a strategist that allowed him to beat the complexities of procedure and attain his expansive targets.


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43 Again, this description of hoplite battle has been challenged by van Wees. He claims that evidence exists to suggest that there was room for manoeuvre in the front ranks. 44 As is so often the case, the actual truth may lie somewhere between these two descriptions. It is not inconceivable that on occasions the front line could become so congested that the battle eventually resembled a shoving match. However, it seems unlikely that this would represent either the norm or the general intent of the belligerents.

In contrast, Sparta’s power lay in its land forces, and in particular in its professional hoplite army. 55 Athens could not defeat the Spartan land forces, no more than Sparta could match Athens at sea. Consequently, the Peloponnesian War would not be won by a decisive clash of hoplite phalanxes. Both sides had to search for an alternative route to victory. In this manner, the demands of strategy induced significant tactical changes. The Peloponnesian War unleashed a range of forces and resources not typically seen in conflicts between two Greek city-states.

42 By now, the two phalanxes would literally be toe to toe and shield to shield. The men in the rear ranks would put their shoulders under the rim of the hoplon and push those ahead into the enemy. The objective Ancient Greek warfare 31 now was to force the enemy formation back and drive it from the field of battle. For those in the front ranks the situation must have been desperate. In some sense they still attempted to dispatch their opponents with their weapons. Alternatively, if it had become too congested they would try to wrestle their opponents to the ground with their bare hands.

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Alexander the Great: Lessons in Strategy by David J. Lonsdale
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