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12

Basically, the time to put veterans in the front line is when you are in an attacking mode. That is, you put your shock troops in front so that they can actually deliver a shock. In a defensive mode, you put your less experienced troops in front 1) to give them experience and 2) to have them absorb casualties and spare your veterans. If and when the enemy ...


12

Roman Infantry There were two types of Roman infantry: the light and the heavy infantry. The average heavy infantryman had a helmet, a mail coat, greaves, a shield, a spatha(broadsword), five weighted darts, and a javelin (pilum). The pilum was five to six feet long with a tip of iron, weighing nine ounces. The total weight of the pilum ranged between ...


7

I've found some evidence during the Mongol invasion of Japan (it is wikipedia, but it's cited to a reasonable, but not fantastic degree): "in 1274, the Yuan fleet set out, with an estimated 15,000 Mongol and Chinese soldiers and 8,000 Korean soldiers, in 300 large vessels and 400-500 smaller craft, although figures vary considerably depending on the source" ...


7

Well, back in the 70's when I was in Army ROTC, I carried a M60 machine gun (23lbs), 4 bandoliers of blank ammo (about another 25-30lbs), maybe a grenade sim or 2, 2 canteens of water and C rations and other field gear. My total was probably around 90-100lbs. Later, in the USMC, I carried a M16 or a 9mm pistol, ammo and assorted field gear that probably ...


6

There are two things that the Mongols had to their advantage when they waged war, significant numbers and superior training and discipline. These two factors almost always ensured that they would have the upper hand in any engagement. I found one source that suggested that a typical military unit for the Mongols would consist of three major units. One unit ...


5

This is basically oblique order. The idea is to crush one flank of the enemy with the strong force, turn it 90° and defeat the enemy in detail. The remainder of your troops keep the enemy busy on the other flank. You put your heavy troops on the strong flank because they need the most strength (they need to break the line). The light troops are more ...


5

Yes. This is called "combined arms" and occurred all the time; providing you could afford the cost of horses and the delay of infantry. While the range and reach of pole-arms had some uses before the arrival of set-piece battles involving horses (a/k/a The Cavalry); pole-arms exploded in popularity once horses were common enough and cheap enough - ...


4

Both Union and Confederate cavalry in the civil war fought almost exclusively as dragoons, using their mounts only as transportation, except in pursuit, while scouting and while engaging against enemy cavalry. See here: When charged by Union cavalry, a Southern general said his men would respond with the cry; "Boys, here are those fools coming again ...


4

From what I learned in military strategy classes in OCS, the line infantry for pretty much all militaries in the 18th and 19th centuries consisted primarily of ill-equipped, poorly trained conscripts. These were men who either chose the military rather than going to prison, or enlisted because there was no other job to be had. Either way, the one thing they ...


3

If your veterans are broken, your inexperienced warriors cannot help. Once the inexperienced are broken, the veterans can help. This is simple. If you put veterans in front row, you can rely only on them, and the young warriors are completely useless.


2

Any unit required to execute formed battle-field drill is likely to size-off regularly in order to place the smaller men in the middle of the line, and the larger men on both wings. This is done in order to minimize unit disruption while wheeling in either direction. The modern means of sizing off is to: Line up in order of decreasing height; Count off ...


2

In the French Army of Napoleon size was not the critical qualifier for being a grenadier - experience and bravery was. Certainly diminutive size would disqualify a soldier from being eligible for the grenadier company of his battalion (but in turn making him eligible for the voltigeur company), but average size was sufficient (and a moustache was de rigeur). ...


2

This was an expression of the "traditional" order of fighting, elite troops, in the position of order on the right; lesser troops on the left. The battle of Leuctra cited in another answer was an exception. But many military dispositions were not so rational. In the battle of Camden in the American Revolution, the British-trained American general, Horatio ...


2

Proper Squad Sizing is important for minimizing loss of trim when the unit wheels. By having the shorter men in the middle take a normal pace in a wheel, the taller men on the outside can more easily stretch their pace to keep the line trimmed. Those on the inside must shorten their pace, but ease of doing that is not dependent on leg length. The Canadian ...


1

Col. Peter R. Mansoor, author of the well-regarded book "The GI Offensive in Europe", offers this extensively researched and well reasoned conclusion in a lecture on the topic - A more balanced comparison of German and American forces would compare each organization at its zenith, say, the German army in June 1941 and the American army in April 1945. ...


1

I think you are talking about Trevor Dupuy's modeling as talked about in his book Numbers, Predictions, and War. While I am skeptical of this kind of thing, I don't think it is controversial that a typical German unit fought better than the typical Allied unit. That's why we brought along more units.



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