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US military History - A long telescope allows us to see how warfare evolved from simple brutish clashing of men and clubs to a culture of warriors itself.

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Introduction

The Long Telescope US Military History Brian L. Hansen Consequently, the art of using troops is this: When ten to the enemy's one, surround him... When five times his strength, attack him... If double his strength, divide him... If equally matched, you may engage him... If weaker numerically, be capable of withdrawing... Sun Tzu, The Art of War A long telescope allows us to see how warfare evolved from simple brutish clashing of men and clubs to a culture of warriors itself. From the age of the chariots to the last great horse battles of World War II, man and equestrian beast have become one in bringing swift death upon their enemies. It was this art of combining the valor of man with the strength and speed of the horse, and wrapping it in ideology, which changed warfare and this world's history. Shortly after 1525 BC, the first chariots appeared under the direction and bloodlust of Aryan armies from lands in eastern present day Iran. The author John Keegan maintains the "adoption of the war chariot... is one of the most extraordinary episodes in world history."? The appearance of the chariot alone cannot claim to be revolutionary, instead it must be combined with the speed of the horse and skill of the archer with his composite bow in order to gain battlefield dominance. The relatively slow foot troops were at a great disadvantage when fast chariots could drive up, stop out of range, and pelt the infantry with powerful composite bowshots. ...read more.

Middle

Nevertheless, they came out of the steppe in their masses and changed the face of the known and "civilized" world. In the fifth century AD, the Huns invaded the Roman Empire. Even their barbarian enemies knew them as the Scourge of God. The Huns are thought to originally be from the Hsiung-nu people of China. They found their way into the valley of the Volga and, in the second half of the Fourth Century, overwhelmed the Alans, an Iranian people at the Battle of Tanais River in 371 AD. Rome eventually was forced to pay tribute to these nomadic mercenaries. The Huns were clearly feared for their prowess in battle, and they began hiring themselves out to fight for the Romans. Eventually, through stratagem and guile a new leader rose from their ranks, Attila. He launched an immediate invasion of Eastern Europe. The Huns fought as horse archers again using the composite bow, though their forces were much bolstered by the heavy cavalry of their Germanic subjects. During the next three years, Attila's men lived off the booty and tribute of the Eastern Empire before turning, in 450 AD, to the West. In 451 AD, the two great armies met on the Catalaunian Fields, near Ch�lons-sur-Marne and the Huns suffered a grave defeat. Yet, Attila's forces were not completely destroyed and he went on to besiege Mediolanum, the Roman capital. Huns spread devastation across the whole of northern Italy and came to the walls of Rome itself. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yet as we've seen before, a time must emerge when the horse peoples of the steppe fall into decline. When Genghis Khan died in 1227 his empire was divided between his four sons. Here began the end and yet it was also a beginning. The Mongols were defeated in their invasion of Palestine under H�leg�, and incorporated into Chinese society under Kublai Khan. He who knows the art of the direct and indirect approach will be victorious. Such is the art of maneuvering. Sun Tzu, The Art of War Through the combined flesh of horse and man, warfare was changed forever. It wasn't until the age of the steel horse that the mounted cavalryman would disappear. Their speed in battle as well as their ferociousness from having lived in the desolate outreaches of the steppe provided them with the ability to transform war making. These people viewed killing as a way of life, taught to them from their youth. This combined with the Arabs idea: that war could be an autonomous activity and the warrior's life a culture itself.? Man was able to bring the mutuality between the horse and the warrior to bear down upon weaker civilized societies. This influence is still felt today as the modern jihad rears its ugly head. ? Keegan, History of Warfare pg. 155 ? John Keegan, History of Warfare, pg 167 ? John Keegan, History of Warfare, pg 156 ? John Keegan, History of Warfare, pg 178 ? John Keegan, History of Warfare, pg 188 ? John Keegan, History of Warfare, pg 189 ? John Keegan, History of Warfare, pg 200 ? John Keegan, History of Warfare, pg 201 ? John Keegan, History of Warfare, pg 216 ...read more.

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