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The Western Way of War


To do this, he draws the reader into the bronze panoply of helmet, greaves, breastplate and shield and plunges us straight into the rush of snapping spears and the crushing, suffocating press of the rear columns. The fact remains that there is still no evidence for “pure” Hoplite Warfare in the Archaic Era, meaning that we can still only infer from the later evidence we do have.

We pose the questions as whether a single Western Way of Warfare (how Western militaries fight) has been successful, whether it … I am a life long history fan and have had an interest in things military for over 50 years.

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Despite its intriguing title, this was Hanson's second book (1989), and it shows: it's dense and scholarly, apparently having been written before Hanson mastered the art of writing compelling and illuminating books for a mass audience. The Greek word "Othismos"- a "pushing" describes Greek city state warfare at its best. This is a one of Victor Davis Hanson's classiscs about the Western Way of War.
Covers the human aspects of battle - the fear, the sounds, they discomfort, the fatigue that almost places one in the center of the phalanx. Hanson is especially laudable in his discussion of Western warmaking because he denies any "superiority" in the moral sense, and utterly disdains any racial element. Period. Therefore they declared wars and battles in advance, announcing when and where they were going to deploy. “It is this Western desire for a single, magnificent collision of infantry, for brutal killing with edged weapons on a battlefield between free men, that has baffled and terrified our adversaries from the non-Western world for more than 2,500 years.”Furthermore, the idea that the Greeks did not utilize deception is also inherently false. The Greek word "Othismos"- a "pushing" describes Greek city state warfare at its best. Unlike the Persians and many other Near Eastern armies, they did not rely upon cavalry (although some modification will come under Alexander the Great), along with chariots as those armies had. Hanson's breakout book, done after the fashion of Keegan's Face of Battle in focusing on the actual experience of the infantryman on the ground. Very little ingenuity in tactics were used.

Deviation from the rules is reserved for the inferior cowards and losers who have to “cheat” to win.Hanson states that these duellistic notions and attitudes towards warfare are unique to the west and date all the way back to the Classical Greek Hoplites. ‎A collection of discussions with those in the Profession of Arms that tries to understand the issues around how to fight, and succeed, against adversaries in the 2020s.
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1 The Western Way of War was put forward by several influential thinkers in military history. Like the 18’th century British Regiments, whose reputations were built on battlefield gallantry, risking death and holding your ground to defeat your enemy according to the rules of combat is the definition of bravery by Western standards. The Western Canon is a fairly recent concept, and in a way, it was grasping at the idea as civilisation rushed on by. Glad I was a Tanker in the Army. Very little ingenuity in tactics were used.

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