Take the 2-minute tour ×
History Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for historians and history buffs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm talking about the formational fighting show in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJO2UfG9KcI

Where did the show's creators get the source material? If so, what was it called, when did this style of fighting start and was it effective?

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

The Romans would have a tactic of three lines, where first the the second and then the third line would press themselves between the first line when needed to let the first line get a breather and reform.

When the first line as a whole had done its best and become weakened and exhausted by losses, it gave way to the relief of fresh men from the second line who, passing through it gradually, pressed forward one by one, or in single file, and worked their way into the fight in the same way. Meanwhile the tired men of the original first line, when sufficiently rested, reformed and re-entered the fight. This continued until all men of the first and second lines had been engaged. This does not presuppose an actual withdrawal of the first line, but rather a merging, a blending or a coalescing of both lines. Thus the enemy was given no rest and was continually opposed by fresh troops until, exhausted and demoralized, he yielded to repeated attacks.

The formation was called "Acies triplex", which just means "triple line". I can't find any reference to a name of the "rank switching".

Source: Lt. Col. S.G. Brady, The Military Affairs of Ancient Rome and Roman Art of War in Caesar's Time

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.