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In Ancient China, the primary method of coordinating units were to use flags, drums and gongs. Beating drums were a signal to advance, whereas ringing gongs was an order to retreat. Flags instructed units on the battlefield to move in specific directions. 《吳子‧應變》 凡戰之法,晝以旌旗旛麾為節,夜以金鼓笳笛為節。麾左而左,麾右而右。鼓之則進,金之則止。 (Wuzi, chapter "Reaction") The method of war ...


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Those are a lot of questions! Referenced quotes at the bottom. How could they coordinate such an immense mass of people? Divide up the command. How could they provide the logistics? They brought everything with them and hoped either to resupply from the enemy or not at all (win quickly). These armies had to be separated into smaller armies I ...


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Even though the armies were massive, ever more massive were the supply trains which helped solve the problem of supplies. Moreover, there are stories of generals who actually burned the supplies right before the battle, thus motivating their troops to win the battle and take the supplies of the enemy. As for communication, it was undeniably slow- while there ...


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The coming back part, is, IMHO well covered by Tom Au. But the disappearance is due to modernisation of the armies in the 15th Century as well as the appearance of fire-weapons. In the earlier Middle Age, the nobles were equiped with lances and mounted on horses. This lead to the tactical uses of heavy cavalries, which were, e.g., quite effective in the ...


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According to a different set of GDP estimates (which are PPP-adjusted to facilitate cross-national comparisons), Japan's economy is roughly in proportion to @TomAu's estimates of Japan's martial contributions. For example Tom estimates that Japan contributed more to the war effort than Italy. In every year of the war, Wikipedia estimates that Japan had a ...


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We may read what Whitaker has related in his "A Complete System of Universal History" (1821) about Jedso (Hokkaido): Their weapons are bows, arrows, and lances, and a kind of short scymetar. On some occasions they use poisoned arrows, being choleric, quarrelsome, and revengefull. Instead of shield or cuirass, they wear coats made of small, thin ...


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armor basically does the same job as a shield, and japanese armor is extremely advanced even without the use of metals, plus the ashigaru were most of the time given the long spear like the pike but minor differences, i forget the name but anyway, or the bow, some were bands of raiders that used swords, taken from fallen foes, and like the samurai following ...


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Late on the comment i know but, from what i gather*- evolution on the way of war runs slightly parallel with that of the native american indians, mainly the iroquous(vaguely) since both use mobility as the primary stratagim by geographical regions, neighbouring tribes/clans, weapon technology, principals etc...native americans would be best example so, ...


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I have made mail armor on and off for 15 years now and perform in a local living history group. I also do a bit in plate armor. While it looks simple and such things as making a sheet of mail are rather simple, there is a complexity to patterning that is hard to explain to people with out actually doing it. Proper fitting and shaping makes a world of ...


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The Scutum was discontinued because around the 3rd century AD the Roman Legions were mostly made up of Auxilia. This created more "barbarian" influence in the Legions. Eventually the Roman Legionary began to look more like a Germanic warrior instead of what most people think of when they hear the term Roman soldier.


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It is foolish to apply literally the maxims applicable to a mostly-levy army 2500 years ago to more modern forces. There is much of value to be found in The Art of War, as well as much that has faded from applicability over the centuries; one must read with understanding to distinguish one from the other. Caesar, only 400 or so years subsequent to Sun Tzu, ...


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In addition to the above in engagements boats on deck would have been vulnerable to damage by enemy cannon fire. The splinters would have been more lethal than the missile, hence they were lowered to avoid that risk.


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The boats of a Napoleonic warship were a very important part of the ship's equipment. They were the main means (and often the only means) of moving men, goods and communications to and from the ship. The number of boats carried and their size would be dependent on the rate of warship. A ship-of-the-line could have as many as 7 boats, while an unrated ...


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Beat to quarters is what has become General Quarters in the modern navies. It was the call to ship's company to prepare for action/battle. All crew would prepare for action, depending on the reason for BtQ. (BtQ would be called during storm preparation as well as battle prep, for instance) The cannon crew would ensure their cannon were properly tied for the ...



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