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Battle of Chalcis, 429 BC

Battle of Chalcis, 429 BC


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Battle of Chalcis, 429 BC

The battle of Chalcis (429 BC) was the first of two Athenian naval victories won in the same year in the Gulf of Corinth that helped demonstrate their naval superiority in the early part of the Great Peloponnesian War.

In 429 the Spartans decided to launch an invasion of Acarnania, the area to the north-west of the entrance to the Gulf of Corinth. The plan was for their fleets to unite at Leucas, an island to the north-west of the gulf. Part of the combined fleet was to come from the Peloponnese and from other areas outside the gulf, while the rest sailed from Corinth and other areas inside the gulf. The first part of the fleet reached Leucas without any problems, but the forty seven ships sailing from the Corinth end of the gulf had to get past an Athenian naval force.

This small naval force, of twenty triremes under the command of Phormio, was based at Naupactus, an Athenian base on the northern shore of the gulf, just to the north-east of the narrow Strait of Rion, the western end of the gulf (the area outside the straits is called the Gulf of Rion or Rhium).

Although Phormio's twenty ships were badly outnumbered by the forty seven Peloponnesian ships, he had three advantages. First, his fleet was a single united force with a single commander, while the Peloponnesian fleet was made up of several allied contingents, each with at least one commander - the Corinthian contingent alone had three commanders: Machaon, Isocrates and Agatharchidas. Second, the Athenian fleet was manned by experienced sailors who had spent some time operating together in the Gulf of Corinth, while the Peloponnesian crews were less experienced. Finally many of the Peloponnesian ships were fitted out to transport troops and not as warships.

Phormio shadowed the Peloponnesian fleet as it sailed west along the Gulf of Corinth. On the evening before the battle the Peloponnesians moored at Patrae, on the northern coast of Achaea. In an attempt to slip past the Athenians they set sail for the north coast of the gulf of Rion during the night, but they were spotted, and the Athenians moved to intercept them.

The Peloponnesian commander's lack of faith in their fighting abilities is clearly demonstrated in the tactics they decided to adopt. Despite outnumbering the Athenians by more that two to one, they adopted an entirely defensive position, forming their fleet into a circle, with the ship's bows pointing outwards and the sterns inwards. The gap between each ship was made as wide as possible while making sure that the Athenians couldn't sail between them. Five of the fastest and best warships and all of the lighter ships were placed inside the circle, to act as a mobile reserve.

Phormio decided to try and take advantage of both the local weather conditions and the superior skills of his sailors. He knew that a strong wing normally blew early in the mornings in the Gulf of Rion, and that this wing would probably disrupt the Peloponnesian formation. In order to make it as difficult as possible for the Peloponnesians he ordered his ships to sail in circles around the enemy fleet, occasionally dashing inwards as if they were about to attack. This was something of a gamble - his hope was that the Peloponnesians would attempt to back away from his ships in an attempt to avoid battle and stay in formation, but if they had instead decided to attack then his entire fleet could have been rammed amidships.

Phormio's gamble paid off. As the Athenians circled around them the Peloponnesians backed off, reducing the size of their circle and the gaps between the ships. When the wind began to blow their ships began to run into each other. At this point Phormio finally ordered his ships to turn in and attack. One of the enemy admiral's ships was sunk first, and after that the Peloponnesian formation broke up in confusion, and each ship attempted to flee back to Patrae or to nearby Dyme. According to Thucydides the Athenians 'destroyed every ship that they came across'. He also states that they captured twelve ships along with most of their crews, but this may refer to the same ships, as Phormio still only had twenty triremes at his disposal at the battle of Naupactus, which followed soon afterwards.

In the aftermath of their victory the Athenians erected a trophy on the headland of Rhium, and then returned to their base at Naupactus. The surviving Peloponnesian ships sailed west to the dockyard at Cyllene, at the north-western tip of the Peloponnese opposite Cephalonia. There they were joined by the fleet that had taken part in the unsuccessful invasion of Acarnania, which had ended after defeat at Stratus. By the time the Peloponnesian fleet put back to sea it contained 77 triremes, while Phormio had yet to be reinforced, but despite this massive numerical inferiority the Athenians still won the next naval clash, at Naupactus.


Facts and fiction

This unit comprises of some of the greatest warriors in the ancient world. Utterly devoted to the pursuit of manly excellence these nobles vie with each other for the most glorious deeds of valour. Having practiced the art of war for the greatest part of their existence these warriors are eager to do battle with any foe and show their might.

The squadron shows the ultimate in loyalty to the King, being made up of many of his relatives and the rest being his noble's. Darayawu š the Great (Dareios) served as an Ar š tibara Asabari before his ascension to the Persian throne.

Armed with cornel wood palta and the characteristic golden weighted spear these soldiers can fight from a distance or up close and personal. They wear brilliant corslets of heavy scales to protect against the fiercest attacks, as such they can hold their own in even a protracted melee. Their great pride and honour prevent them from wearing any head protection however as that would be considered a cowardly and shameful act.
Riding at the head of the army in sheer brilliance these soldiers are the pride of Persia.


Ancient Greece (1100 BC - 146 BC)

Dark Age (ca.1100 BC - 750 BC)

Archaic Period (750 BC - 480 BC)

  • 776 Traditional date for the first historic Olympic games. The first Messenian war starts. (date disputed by Jerome, Pausanias and Diodorus this estimate is based on a reading of Diodorus' Spartan king lists and Pausanias' description of the war) Office of Archon reduced to 10 years. Members of the ruling family to hold the office starting with Charops. (dating based on Pausanias)
  • 754 Polydorus becomes king of Sparta.
  • 738 Alternate date for the end of the first Messenian war.
  • 735 Perdiccas I of Macedon flees from Argos to Macedonia and conquers the land.
  • 734 Polydorus sends colonists to Italy.
  • 727-717 Hippomenes, archon of Athens, who killed his daughter's adulterer by yoking him up to his chariot and then locks his daughter up with a horse until she dies. (Pausanias and Aristotle) 725 Lelantine War between Chalcis and Eretria. Many Greek cities are allied with one or the other. Dates before this point uncertain.
  • 719 Polydorus The king of Sparta is murdered by Polymarchus.
  • 716 The reign of the Heraklids over Lydia is ended when Candaules, known as Myrsilus to the Greeks, is murdered by Gyges because of his wife’s anger.
  • 690 Pheidon becomes tyrant of Argos Annual office of Archon established. Any Athenian citizen can be elected to office if they meet the requirements. Creon elected first annual archon. (dating based on Pausanias)
  • 685 The second Messenian war begins
  • 665 The second Messenian war ends
  • 656 Cypselus subjects Corinth to tyranny
  • 645-560 Spartan wars with Tegea all unsuccessful
  • 642 or 634 Battus establishes a Greek colony in Cyrene in LibyaCylon, Athenian noble, seizes Acropolis and tries to make himself king, fails Formal pederasty is introduced, first in Crete, as a means of population control and an educational modality Draco, Athenian lawgiver, issues code of laws where everything is punishable by death – Draconian Solon, Athenian statesman, becomes Archon pre-582BC (cf. ML6 (death of Kypselos 585BC) and Plutarch Sol. 14), captures Salamis from Megarians- later, when member of the Areopagus is appointed to effect social reforms in order to preserve order in Athens, which include the abolishment of the security of debts on the debtor's person (Aristotle Ath. Pol. 6), returning exiled Athenian slaves (Solon fr. 4 in Ath. Pol. 12), changing the value of weights and measures to the Korinthian standard, prohibiting the export of grain from Attica and encouraging the planting of olives (Plut. Sol. 22-4), established the property classes (Ar. Ath. Pol. 7) and the council of 400 (Ar. Ath. Pol. 8). Sappho, Greek poet and priestess, flourishes on island of Lesbos.
  • 569 Pythagoras was born. Peisistratos, Athenian general, organizes Diakrioi, party of poor people.
  • 546 Pythagoras founded science and philosophy.
  • 510 Pythagoras founded his own school.
  • 500 Pythagoras died in Crotona, Italy, when he was in Metapontum.

Late Archaic Period

    Pisistratus takes power in Athens for first time, Pisistratus driven out by Lycurgus who leads nobles Pisistratus restored by help of MegaclesCroesus, rich king of Lydia, captured at Sardis by PersiansPisistratus expelled, makes fortune from Thracian mines Pisistratus restored by Thessaly and Lygdamos of NaxosPisistratus dies, succeeded by sons Hippias and Hipparchus Persian Darius I, son-in-law of Cyrus the Great takes Egypt Hippias becomes sole ruler after the death of HipparchusHippias is forced to leave Athens. Cleisthenes, Greek reformer, takes power, increases democracy Themistocles and Miltiades, Athenians, defeat Darius at Marathon, Phidippides runs with news Aeschylus, Athenian playwright, wins Athenian Prize

Classical Period (480 BC - 323 BC)

    Leonidas, Spartan, makes sacrifice of 300 Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae so main force can escape, Xerxes son of Darius is leading the Persians Simultaenous with Thermopylae, the Greeks and Persians fight to a draw in the naval Battle of ArtemisiumBattle of Salamis - Themistocles, Athenian general, lures Persians into Bay of Salamis, Xerxes loses and goes home, leaves behind MardoniusPausanias, Greek general routs Mardonius at the Battle of PlataeaBattle of Mycale frees Greek colonies in Asia. After the Battle of Salamis, Athens set up the Delian League, treasury on island of Delos, a confederacy of cities around the Aegean Sea. It was intended as a military defense association against Persia but was turned into an empire, collecting tribute and deciding policy of its associates. Sparta formed rival Peloponnesian League -462Cimon elected general each year, he was victorious over Persia and then enforced military power on Delian League Pindar, Greek poet moves to Thebes from court at SyracuseThemistoclesostracizedSophocles, Greek playwright, defeats Aeschylus for Athenian Prize Cimon ostracized Pericles, Athenian statesman begins Golden Age, he was taught by Anaxagoras, who believed in dualistic Universe and atoms Aeschylus dies Herodotus, Greek Historian, writes History of Greco-Persian War from 490-479 Ictinus and Callicrates, Greek architects rebuild Acropolis from Persian destruction Euripides, Greek playwright, wins Athenian prize Heraclitus, Greek philosopher, believes everything is mutable Phidias, Greek sculptor, completes Zeus at Elis 1 of 7 wonders Corinth, Sparta, Megara and Aegina ally against Corfu, Athens, Rhegium, and Leontini End of Golden Age, Athens under Pericles blockades Potidaea (Battle of Potidaea), Corfu declares war on Corinth (Battle of Sybota) Sparta led by Archidamus II sets out to destroy Athens thus starting the Peloponnesian WarEmpedocles, Greek doctor, believes body has Four Temperaments. Failed peace mission by Athens, bubonic plague year, Sparta takes no prisoners Leucippus, Greek philosopher, believes every natural event has natural cause. Athenian Plague appears in Athens. Phormio, Athenian admiral, wins the Battle of ChalcisPericles dies of Athenian Plague, possibly typhus or bubonic plagueHippocrates, Greek doctor, believes diseases have physical cause Plato born. Mitylene rebels, chief city of LesbosArchidamus II dies, Alcidas, Greek admiral sent to help Lesbos, raids Ionia and flees after seeing Athenian might Athenian Plague returns Mitylene surrenders to Athens, Plataeans surrender to Athens Aristophanes, Greek playwrong, wins Athenian Prize Corfu secures island for Athens Demosthenes, Athenian general, and Cleon, Athenian demagogue, revitalizes Athenian forces, makes bold plans opposed by Nicias, his first military campaign barely succeeds Athenian fleet bottles up Spartan navy at Navarino Bay, Nicias resigns Syracuse sends Athenians home Pagondas of Thebes crushes Athenian army at the Battle of Delium, Brasidas a Spartan general makes a successful campaign, Cleon exiles Thucydides for 20 years for arriving late Truce of Laches supposed to stop Brasidas but doesn't, Nicias leads Athenian forces in retaking MendeCleon meets Brasidas outside of Amphipolis, both are killed (Battle of Amphipolis) Peace of Nicias brings temporary end to war, but Alcibiades, a nephew of Pericles, makes anti-Sparta alliance Quadruple alliance of Athens, Argos, Mantinea, and Elis confronts Spartan-Boeotian alliance King Agis, ruler of Sparta, attacks Argos, makes treaty Battle of Mantinea, greatest land battle of war, gives Sparta victory over Argos, which broke treaty, Alcibiades thrown out, alliance broken Alcibiades makes plans, is restored to power Hermai are mutilated in Athens, Alcibiades accused, asks for inquiry, told to set sail for battle (Sicilian Expedition), is condemned to death in absentia, he defects to SpartaLemachus, Athenian commander killed at SyracuseNicias and Demosthenes killed at Syracuse Alcibiades is thrown out of Sparta, conspires to come back to Athens Democracy ends in Athens by Antiphon, Peisander, and Phrynichus, overthrown by Theramenes, Constitution of the 5000, Athenian navy recalls Alcibiades, confirmed by Athenians After several successes, Athenian demagogue Cleophon rejects Sparta peace overtures Byzantium recaptured by Alcibiades for AthensAlcibiades reenters Athens in triumph, Lysander, a Spartan commander, builds fleet at EphesusLysander begins destruction of Athenian fleet, Alcibiades stripped of power Callicratides, Spartan naval leader, loses Battle of Arginusae over blockade of Mitylene harbor, Sparta sues for peace, rejected by CleophonLysander captures Athenian fleet, Spartan king Pausanius lays siege to Athens, Cleophon executed, Corinth and Thebes demand destruction of Athens Athens capitulates Apr 25 Theramenes secures terms, prevents total destruction of Athens, Theramenes and Alcibiades are killed Thucydides, Greek historian, leaves account of Golden Age of Pericles and Peloponnesian War at his death (History of the Peloponnesian War) Socrates, Greek philosopher, condemned to death for corrupting youth. Peace of Antalcidas concluded between the Greeks and the Persians. Plato, Greek philosopher, founder of Academy, dies. Aristotle, Greek philosopher, begins teaching Alexander, son of Philip of MacedonPhilip of Macedon defeats Athens and Thebes at Chaeronea Aug 2 and establishes League of Corinth in winter of 338 BC/337 BC . Alexander succeeds father, who was assassinated by Pausanias of Orestis Alexander defeats Persians at Battle of Issus, Oct, but Darius III escapes Alexander conquers Egypt at Battle of Gaugamela Oct 1, Alexander ends Achaemenid Dynasty and takes Persian EmpireDemocritus, Greek philosopher, develops Atomic theory, believes cause and necessity, nothing comes out of nothing Alexander conquers Samarkand Alexander invades Northern India, but his army is despondent and refuses to march further eastwards.

Hellenistic Period (323 BC - 146 BC)

    Alexander dies, his generals vie for power in Wars of the Diadochi:Antigonus- Macedon, Antipater- Macedon, Seleucus- Babylonia and Syria, Ptolemy- Egypt, Eumenes- Macedon, Lysimachus, later Antipater's son Cassander also vies for power. - 322Lamian War. - 320 First War of the Diadochi. Partition of Triparadisus. - 311Second War of the Diadochi. Menander, Greek playwright, wins Athenian prize. Zeno of Citium founds his stoic school in Athens. Epicurus founds his philosophic school in Athens. Battle of Ipsus. Euclid, Greek mathematician, publishes Elements, treating both geometry and number theory (see also Euclidean algorithm). Athens falls to Demetrius, Lachares killed. - 275Pyrrhic War. Creation of the Achaean League. Gallic invasion of the Balkans. - 271First Syrian War. - 262Chremonidean War. Archimedes, Greek mathematician, develops screw, specific gravity, center of gravity anticipates discoveries of integral calculus. - 253Second Syrian War. - 241Third Syrian War. - 217Fourth Syrian War. - 205First Macedonian War. - 200Fifth Syrian War. - 196Second Macedonian War. - 188Roman–Syrian War. - 167Third Macedonian War. - 168Sixth Syrian War. - 148Fourth Macedonian War.

Battle of Potidaea

The battle of Potidaea was, with the battle of Sybota, one of the catalysts for the Peloponnesian war. It was fought near Potidaea in 432 BC between Athens and a combined army from Corinth and Potidaea, along with different allies.
Potidaea was a colony of Corinth on the Chalcidice Peninsula, but was a member of Athenian Alliance and paid tribute to Athens. After Sybota, Athens demanded that Potidaea to tear down part of the wall, expel Corinthian ambassadors, and send hostages to Athens. Athens was afraid that Potidaea would revolt due to Corinthian or Macedonian influence, as Perdiccas II of Macedon was encouraging revolts among Athens other allies in Thrace.
Athens gathered a fleet of 30 ships and 1.000 hoplites under the overall command of the commander, the cook, who was originally meant to fight Perdiccas in Macedonia but was diverted to Potidaea. In the Potidaeans sent envoys to Athens and Sparta, and when negotiations broke down in Athens, Sparta promised to help the revolt of Potidaea. The Athenian fleet sailed for Potidaea, but when he arrived, the commander, the cook attacked the Macedonians instead, as already Potidaeans revolted and in Alliance with Perdiccas. Corinth of 1600 hoplites and 400 light troops to Potidaea, and, under the command of Aristeus, but as "volunteers", while hoping not to provoke a major war. In response, Athens sent another 2.000 hoplites and more than 40 ships, under the command of Cullen. After some struggle against Perdiccas, the combined Athenian forces sailed to Potidaea and landed there. Perdiccas and 200 cavalry joined with Aristeus, and their combined army marched to Potidaea.
In the ensuing battle, Aristey wing of Corinthian troops defeated a section of the Athenian line, but elsewhere the Athenians were victorious. Aristeus returned to Potidaea along the coast with difficulty, hoping to avoid the main Athenian army. The reserve force of the Potidaeans, located in the neighbouring Olynthus, tried to facilitate Aristey, but they were also defeated. The Corinthians and Potidaeans lost about 300 men, and the Athenians about 150, including Cullen. The Macedonian cavalry did not join in the fight.
The Athenians remained outside Potidaea for some time, and were reinforced by another of 1.600 hoplites under the command of Phormio. Both sides have built walls and against the wall, and the Athenians managed to cut off Potidaea from the sea with a naval blockade. During the blockade, representatives of Corinth, Athens and Sparta met in Sparta, resulting in the formal Declaration of war.
However, this siege, which lasted until 430 / 429 BC, seriously depleted the Athenian Treasury, with as much as 1.000 talents per year required for military activities. It was not popular among the Athenians, and in combination with the plague that swept through Athens in the early 420s BC, made the leadership of Pericles untenable. The strategy of Pericles to hide behind the long walls and relying on the low cash reserves of Peloponnese is starting to become unfavorable to the greater Athenian consciousness.
A few of platos dialogues, the philosopher Socrates showed a veteran of the battle of Potidaea, where he saved the life of Alcibiades in the Symposium 219e-221b.

Potidaea ˌpɒtɪˈdiːə Ancient Greek: Ποτίδαια, Potidaia, also Ποτείδαια, Poteidaia was a colony founded by the Corinthians around 600 BC in the narrowest
was to defend Potidaea from an Athenian attack. He then went on to defend the Corinthian colony from Athens during the Battle of Potidaea in 432 BC, until
battle but this was denied by the Corinthians and the other Greeks. Adeimantus son Aristeus was the Corinthian commander at the Battle of Potidaea in
approach of Archistratus s fleet was what pushed Potidaea into open revolt. It is thought the forces circled back around to take part in the Battle of Potidaea
occupation of their island. Soon after this battle the Athenians and Corinthians fought again at the Battle of Potidaea leading to a formal declaration of war
to Potidaea and lands there. In the ensuing Battle of Potidaea the Athenians are victorious against Corinth and its allies. The Greek colony of Heraclea
Archestratus of Phrearrhi, Plato s neighbor Archestratus general Athenian commander at the Battle of Potidaea 432 BC Archestratus boule member of the Athenian
to Potidaea and lands there. In the ensuing Battle of Potidaea the Athenians are victorious against Corinth and its allies. The Greek colony of Heraclea
against the Chalcideans and Bottiaeans at the Battle of Spartolos, but were compelled to retreat into Potidaea Thuc. 2.70 Thuc. 2.79. This article incorporates
broke the treaty and marched to Potidaea While the Athenians were eventually victorious, the battle along with the Battle of Sybota directly led to the
of them to take heart, and I said I would not leave them behind. I had an even finer opportunity to observe Socrates there than I had had at Potidaea

headed by Leotychidas of Sparta and Xanthippus of Athens in the Battle of Mycale, off the coast of Lydia in Asia Minor. Potidaea is struck by a tsunami
Medes, fronting the men of Corinth and Potidaea and Orchomenus and Sicyon next to the Medes, the Bactrians, fronting men of Epidaurus, Troezen, Lepreum
Warrior Princess 1995 - 2001 She is referred to by fans as the Battling Bard of Potidaea Her trademark weapons are the Amazon fighting staff and later
the side of the city that the Athenians had not yet surrounded and constructed a counter - wall to complete Potidaea s investment. After Potidaea was firmly
encouraged Potidaea to revolt and assured them that they would ally with them should they revolt from Athens. During the subsequent Battle of Potidaea the
Polemides enlists in the Athenian army sent to hasten the end of the siege of Potidaea Alcibiades, also a common infantryman, makes an early name for
to the Kassandra Peninsula. Built on the site of the ancient city of Potidaea 33 kilometers south - west of Polygyros, it was re - founded in 1922 by refugees
War Battle of Arginusae Battle of Delium Battle of Chalcis Battle of Sybota Battle of Potidaea Battle of Naupactus 429 BC Battle of Notium Battle of Syme
capturing Corcyra. Following this, Athens places Potidaea a tributary ally of Athens but a colony of Corinth, under siege. The Corinthians, upset by Athens
both Pydna and Potidaea were conquered over the winter and occupied Philip, however, did not surrender Amphipolis. He also took the city of Crenides from

army in battle he again leads a naval expedition to plunder the coasts of the Peloponnesus, this time taking 100 Athenian ships with him. Potidaea finally
march against Sulla, but died on the way, at Tidaeum or Potidaea or Mount Tisaion The commander of the army sent to Macedonia is called Ariarathes by
increasing conflict between Athens and several of Sparta s allies. Athens alliance with Corcyra and attack on Potidaea enraged Corinth, and the Megarian decree
Psaumis dies 432 Potidaea leaves the Delian League and is sieged by Athens 432 Pydna is sieged by Athens 432 End of Golden Age of Athens 431 Sparta
and Timotheus. With Pydna and Potidaea occupied, Philip II decides to keep Amphipolis anyway. He also takes the city of Crenides from the Odrysae and
Veientines. 479 BC: The Battle of Plataea, the Greeks defeat the Persians, ending the Persian Wars. 479 BC: Battle of Mycale. 479 BC: Potidaea is struck by a tsunami
that he has just returned from a battle at Potidaea a city besieged and conquered by the Athenians at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War. Socrates
particularly in charge of the reserve forces guarding the route back to Asia, and responsible for suppressing a revolt in Potidaea The invasion ended the
city formerly called Potidaea and now Cassandreia, was called Phlegra in still earlier times. It used to be inhabited by the giants of whom the myths are

  • Potidaea ˌpɒtɪˈdiːə Ancient Greek: Ποτίδαια, Potidaia, also Ποτείδαια, Poteidaia was a colony founded by the Corinthians around 600 BC in the narrowest
  • was to defend Potidaea from an Athenian attack. He then went on to defend the Corinthian colony from Athens during the Battle of Potidaea in 432 BC, until
  • battle but this was denied by the Corinthians and the other Greeks. Adeimantus son Aristeus was the Corinthian commander at the Battle of Potidaea in
  • approach of Archistratus s fleet was what pushed Potidaea into open revolt. It is thought the forces circled back around to take part in the Battle of Potidaea
  • occupation of their island. Soon after this battle the Athenians and Corinthians fought again at the Battle of Potidaea leading to a formal declaration of war
  • to Potidaea and lands there. In the ensuing Battle of Potidaea the Athenians are victorious against Corinth and its allies. The Greek colony of Heraclea
  • Archestratus of Phrearrhi, Plato s neighbor Archestratus general Athenian commander at the Battle of Potidaea 432 BC Archestratus boule member of the Athenian
  • to Potidaea and lands there. In the ensuing Battle of Potidaea the Athenians are victorious against Corinth and its allies. The Greek colony of Heraclea
  • against the Chalcideans and Bottiaeans at the Battle of Spartolos, but were compelled to retreat into Potidaea Thuc. 2.70 Thuc. 2.79. This article incorporates
  • broke the treaty and marched to Potidaea While the Athenians were eventually victorious, the battle along with the Battle of Sybota directly led to the
  • of them to take heart, and I said I would not leave them behind. I had an even finer opportunity to observe Socrates there than I had had at Potidaea
  • headed by Leotychidas of Sparta and Xanthippus of Athens in the Battle of Mycale, off the coast of Lydia in Asia Minor. Potidaea is struck by a tsunami
  • Medes, fronting the men of Corinth and Potidaea and Orchomenus and Sicyon next to the Medes, the Bactrians, fronting men of Epidaurus, Troezen, Lepreum
  • Warrior Princess 1995 - 2001 She is referred to by fans as the Battling Bard of Potidaea Her trademark weapons are the Amazon fighting staff and later
  • the side of the city that the Athenians had not yet surrounded and constructed a counter - wall to complete Potidaea s investment. After Potidaea was firmly
  • encouraged Potidaea to revolt and assured them that they would ally with them should they revolt from Athens. During the subsequent Battle of Potidaea the
  • Polemides enlists in the Athenian army sent to hasten the end of the siege of Potidaea Alcibiades, also a common infantryman, makes an early name for
  • to the Kassandra Peninsula. Built on the site of the ancient city of Potidaea 33 kilometers south - west of Polygyros, it was re - founded in 1922 by refugees
  • War Battle of Arginusae Battle of Delium Battle of Chalcis Battle of Sybota Battle of Potidaea Battle of Naupactus 429 BC Battle of Notium Battle of Syme
  • capturing Corcyra. Following this, Athens places Potidaea a tributary ally of Athens but a colony of Corinth, under siege. The Corinthians, upset by Athens
  • both Pydna and Potidaea were conquered over the winter and occupied Philip, however, did not surrender Amphipolis. He also took the city of Crenides from
  • army in battle he again leads a naval expedition to plunder the coasts of the Peloponnesus, this time taking 100 Athenian ships with him. Potidaea finally
  • march against Sulla, but died on the way, at Tidaeum or Potidaea or Mount Tisaion The commander of the army sent to Macedonia is called Ariarathes by
  • increasing conflict between Athens and several of Sparta s allies. Athens alliance with Corcyra and attack on Potidaea enraged Corinth, and the Megarian decree
  • Psaumis dies 432 Potidaea leaves the Delian League and is sieged by Athens 432 Pydna is sieged by Athens 432 End of Golden Age of Athens 431 Sparta
  • and Timotheus. With Pydna and Potidaea occupied, Philip II decides to keep Amphipolis anyway. He also takes the city of Crenides from the Odrysae and
  • Veientines. 479 BC: The Battle of Plataea, the Greeks defeat the Persians, ending the Persian Wars. 479 BC: Battle of Mycale. 479 BC: Potidaea is struck by a tsunami
  • that he has just returned from a battle at Potidaea a city besieged and conquered by the Athenians at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War. Socrates
  • particularly in charge of the reserve forces guarding the route back to Asia, and responsible for suppressing a revolt in Potidaea The invasion ended the
  • city formerly called Potidaea and now Cassandreia, was called Phlegra in still earlier times. It used to be inhabited by the giants of whom the myths are

Causes of the Peloponnesian War Flashcards by Nicholas Cokis.

Battle of Potidaea: part our commitment to scholarly and academic excellence, all articles receive editorial review. World Heritage Encyclopedia, the. Battle of Potidaea Phantis Phantis. The causes of the Second Peloponnesian War, 431 404 BCE – Part Two: Athens treatment of Potidaea and the complaints of Aegina Last. Charmides Plato Great Thinkers. Socrates and Alcibiades fought together in the early battles of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, at the battle of Potidaea. Guide to Thucydides. People also search for.

Potidaea definition of Potidaea by The Free Dictionary.

Socrates served with distinction in the army and, at the Battle of Potidaea, saved the life of the General Alcibiades. He married Xanthippe, an. Is it known in which Pelop war battles Socrates served as a. How the war begins: Epidamnus, a colony of Corcyra, is pressed by its own exiled 432, The Siege of Potidaea and the Corinthian Debate Thuc 1.67 86. New history of the Peloponnesian War eBook, 2012. The Battle of Potidaea was, with the Battle of Sybota, one of the catalysts for the Peloponnesian War. It was fought near Potidaea in 432 BC between Athens and​. PDF Socrates, Alcibiades, and Platos τα Ποτειδεατικα Does The. In what year did the First Messenian War begin, in which Sparta eventually enslaved. Whose life did the philosopher Socrates save at the battle of Potidaea?. Peloponnesian War II Open Yale Courses. Illustration depicting the Battle of Potidaea 432 BC one of the catalysts for the Peloponnesian War. Photo by: Universal History Archive Universal Images.

Peloponnesian War Series Replay: Turn 1 Inside GMT blog.

Donald Kagan, The Peloponnesian War New York: Viking, 2003, 511 pp. Dispatching a force to put down the revolt in Potidaea, Athens asked Sparta to. STRUGGLE FOR THE MASTERY OF GREECE Insight Cruises. The historian Thucydides, our principal source for the Peloponnesian War, At the time of the battle at Potidaea, he would have been only about eighteen. The Great Greek Turncoat HistoryNet. The Battle of Potidaea was a battle fought between Athens and the combined forces of Korinth and. Peloponnesian War Zero. We arrived yesterday evening from the army at Potidaea, and I sought with Shortly before we came away there had been a battle at Potidaea, of which.

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Rescuing the future Athenian leader Alcibiades during the siege of Potidaea in 432 B.C. Through the 420s, Socrates was deployed for several. The Potideia Epigram Cornell University Library Digital Collections. Given that rebellions are trivial to quash simply exert a ZOI into the space, the opening siege of Potidaea, while historical, gives a bad. The Form and Content of Thucydides Pentecontaetia 1.89 117. Sparta refused to get involved in these matters, but when Potidaea revolted from Athens, Sparta reluctantly declared the peace broken, knowing that war with.

Peloponnesian war related words: thucydides.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Purchase, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Fund, and Lila Acheson Wallace, Mr. and Mrs. Mark Fisch, … Read more. Battle of Potidaea Visually. He took part in the battle of Potidaea 432, where his life was saved by Socrates, a service which he repaid at the battle of Delium 424. As the. Socrates Philosophy in the Humanities Lumen Learning. Scarcely have had precise information. The aims of his tactical plan at the battle of. Potidaea, which involved holding back part of his forces to attack the Athenian​. Battle of Potidaea Assassins Creed Fandom. 461 395 BCE 395 BCE Lysander is killed in battle Of Lysander, Plutarch said from the Spartans who promised to invade Attica if Athens attacked Potidaea. Следующая Войти Настройки Конфиденциальность.

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Specifically he describes Socrates at Potidaea an Athenian campaign that turned into a siege of the city lasting from 432–430 BC, at Delium a large land battle. Diagrams and Illustrations Center for Hellenic Studies. Battle before. Battle after. none. Battle of Potidaea The Battle of Sybota took place in 433 BC between Corcyra and Corinth. It was one of the immediate. Category:Battle of Potidaea media Commons. Abstract: Returning from the battle of Potidaea, Socrates reenters the city only to find it changed, with new leadership in the making. Socrates. Congress at Lacedaemon. We arrived yesterday evening from the army at Potidaea, and I sought with ​Shortly before we came away there had been a battle at Potidaea, of which the. Franz Xaver Messerschmidt A Hypocrite and a Slanderer ca. 1770. Find the perfect battle of potidaea stock photo. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100 million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. No need to register,.

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At the Battle of Plataea in 479, at which the Persians were decisively. According to this view, the final pre war crises over Potidaea and. Historic Amphipolis and Potidaea sh.org. Socrates served with distinction in the army and, at the Battle of Potidaea, saved the life of the General Alcibiades. When he was middle aged, Socrates friend. The causes of the Second Peloponnesian War, 431 – 404 BCE. The Spartans launch the first operation in the game, since the first Athenian operation – the siege of Potidaea, which historically started the. Peloponnesian War: Epidamnus, Corcyra & Potidaea. At the battle of Potidaea 432 his life was saved by Socrates, and at that of Delium 424 he saved the life of Socrates. After the death of Cleon 422 he became.

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I know Im a bit late on this but I just wanted to say a huge congrats to the Athenians for their victory over the Corinthians in the Battle of. Thucydides: The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War 432 B.C. a. Amphipolis and Potidaea are both real places in the northern part of Greece, and both were the sites of major conflicts during the Peloponnesian War. Thucydides, The Greatest War in History West Chester Universitys a.edu. The Peloponnesian War 431–404 BC was an ancient Greek war fought by the Delian League. Battle of Potidaea 432 BC Athenians against Corinthians. Battle Of Potidaea by tyrone watamelon on Prezi. In 432 BC, 18 year old Alcibiades served as a hoplite a heavily armed infantryman at the Battle of Potidaea, a precursor to the Peloponnesian War. He shared.

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Media in category Battle of Potidaea. The following 2 files are in this category, out of 2 total. Battle of Potidaea 431 1.946 × 1.372 1.35 MB. Battle of. History of the Peloponnesian War I Share Libraries. They fight an inconclusive battle with heavy losses on both sides 16. MVPs were the. The Persians abandon the siege of Potidaea 128 29. Next spring. Battles of the Great Peloponnesian War Extra Credit Flashcards. Potidaea was a colony founded by the Corinthians around 600 BC in the narrowest point of the Athenians in 432 BC, and it was besieged at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War and taken in the Battle of Potidaea in 430 BC. Plato, Charmides 153a 154d. Thucydides and the Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War. A Historians. Brief ​a The siege of Potidaea was longer, from ca September October 432 to. 2013 Greek History San Antonio Classical Society saclassi. The Peloponnesian war. Battle of Potidaea. Socrates saves the life of Alcibiades. Aspasia, the mistress of Pericles. That general pro nounces his famous funeral.

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The naval Battle of Aegospotami took place in 404 B.C.E. and was the last Sybota – Potidaea – Chalcis – Rhium – Naupactus – Mytilene. Plato, Charmides, page 153 s.edu. Peloponnesian war elis darius ii thirty years peace sphacteria tegea samian war arcadia sicily dorians battle of sybota italy carthage battle of potidaea hiera. Profound Ignorance: Platos Charmides and the Saving of Wisdom. The Peloponnesian War was one of the greatest conflicts in Greek history, but how did it actually start? In this lesson, well look at the. Socrates in love: how the ideas of this woman are at the root of theco. Most intriguing is the famous inscription from a public monument in the Kerameikos at Athens to those who fell in the battle of Potidaea at the. Reading Potidaea WordDisk. WESTERN WAY OF WAR: HOPLITES. Chigi Vase 461 446 B.C. First Peloponnesian War. 457 B.C. Siege of Potidaea 432 431 B.C.

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The forty eighth year of a priesthood at Argos, the year of Pythodoruss archonship at Athens, and six months after the battle of Potidaea. Search for synonyms: revolted. The oracle responded with If Croesus goes to war with Cyrus he shall bring down a mighty 431 430 Battle of Potidaea Socrates and Alcibiades participate​. PHI 201: ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY cc.edu. Tyrone watamelon. Updated 20 April 2015. Transcript. Battle of Potidaea. Jordan Lucio. Thank you! Athen Warriors. The battle of Potidaea. The History of the Peloponnesian War Key Figures Course Hero. The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, part of the Internet Classics and six months after the battle of Potidaea, just at the beginning of spring,. Biography of Alcibiades, Ancient Greek Soldier Politician ThoughtCo. Socrates first proper engagement was at Potidaea in 432 BC – a of the Peloponnesian Wars at its height, Socrates fought at the Battle of.

Anomalies in Battles, Sieges, Going Home, and Control.

Socrates saving Alcibiades during the Battle of Potidaea. Throughout Western history, Socrates has. Socrates saving Alcibiades during the. THINKERS AT WAR – Socrates – Military History Matters. He participated in the Battle of Potidaea, where he saved Alcibiadess life. https: ​en. Battle of Potidaea. He was also at the. Battle Of Potidaea Alamy. BCE inscription of an epigram on the base of a civic funeral monument dedicated to the Athenians killed in the Battle of Poteidaia Potidaea in 432 BCE. Herodotus: Book Eight. During the period of suspicion which preceded war, ἐπεμείγνυντο καὶ παρ. Between the battle of Potidaea and the decision came the events recorded in I. Essay Example: The Father of Western Philosophy Socrates. Bg Битка при Потидея de Schlacht von Potidaia el Μάχη της Ποτίδαιας en Battle of Potidaea es Batalla de Potidea fi Poteidaian​.


Ancient Greek Military Timeline

486 BC – 484 BC – Revolt in Egypt – This forced a temporary diversion of Persia military strength. The revolt was subdued, but meanwhile Darius had died.

484 BC - 481 BC – Xerxes Resumes Preparations – Within three years Xerxes had gathered at Sardis a force of about 200,000 men, probably the largest army ever assembled up to that time. Two long floating bridges were built across the Hellespont, over which the army could march in two parallel columns. To prevent the Greek states from receiving and assistance from the powerful Greek colonies in Sicily, Xerxes made a treaty with Carthage, which agreed to attack Sicily when he began his invasion of Greece. These preparations reveal a remarkable Persian capacity for diplomacy and for strategic and administrative planning. Despite Marathon, the Greeks still feared and respected the military might of Persia, and were alarmed by reports of Xerxes' preparations. Most Athenians and most of the Peloponnesian states, led by Sparta, manfully determined to resist. Most of the remaining Greek states, convinced that Persian power was overwhelming, either endeavoured to stay neutral or supported Persia.

484 BC – 483 BC – Military Policy Debate in Athens – A lingering naval war with rival Aegina caused many citizens, led by Themistocles, to urge an increasing emphasis on sea power, particularly since he saw no possibility of matching Persian land power. The other party, under Aristides, pointed to the vulnerability of Athens to overland invasion, insisting that the largest navy in the world could not protect the city from the Persian army. The issue was resolved by a popular vote Aristides was defeated, and Themistocles immediately began a tremendous trireme-building program.

481 BC – 480 BC – Strategic Debate between Sparta and Athens – The patriotic states now disagreed on the strategy to meet the expected invasion. The peloponnesians urged the abandonment of all of Greece north of the Isthmus of Corinth they felt this 4 ½ miles corridor could easily be defended. The Athenians, however, refused to abandon their city. Themistocles pointed out the vulnerability of the Peloponnesus to Persian sea power, and insisted that the Persian advance could be successfully disputed on land and on sea much further north. The Spartans, recognising the value of the Athenian navy, reluctantly agreed to Themistocles' strategy.

Caracalla

480 BC – Spring – The Persian Advance – The Persian host crossed the Hellespont and marched westward along the Thracian and Macedonian coasts, then south into Thessaly. In direct command, under Xerxes, was Mardonius. Just offshore the great Persian fleet kept pace. According to Herodotus, the fleet consisted of approximately 1,500 warships and 3,000 transports.

Greek Defensive Measures. Northern Greece was abandoned without a blow because holding the passes south of Mount Olympus required too many men. The next suitable defensive position was the defile of Thermopylae. At the West and Middle Gates of the defile, the Ledge, probably not more than 14 feet wide, provided perfect defensive positions where a few determined hoplites could indefinitely hold off any number of the more lightly armoured Persians. To Thermopylae went Spartan King Leonidas, with about 7,000 hoplites and some archers. Save for Leonidas' bodyguard of 300 men, few of these were Spartans. The failure of the Peloponnesian states to send more troops to hold Thermopylae is evidence of their half-hearted interest in carrying out any defence north of Corinth. To prevent the Persian fleet from attacking or bypassing the sea flank of the troops at Thermopylae, the Greek fleet of about 330 triremes was stationed off Artemisium, on the north-eastern coast of Euboea. In nominal command was the Spartan Eurybiades, though Themistocles, with nearly two-thirds of the total Greek naval strength, exercised a major voice in the councils of war. As the Persian fleet approached, the forces of nature took a hand severe storms inflicted great damage on the Persian fleet, which lost nearly half of its fighting strength. Apparently the Greeks did not suffer so seriously.

August ? - Battle of Artemisium – An indecisive naval conflict took place off Artemisium in two cautious engagements on successive days, with few losses on either side. The Greeks were prepared to continue the battle more decisively on the third day, but on hearing the news from Thermopylae they sailed for Athens.

August ? - Battle of Thermopylae – Leonidas had carefully and soundly prepared for defence. With his main body, about 6,000 strong, he held the Middle Gate. He had posted a force of 1,000 men high on the mountains to his left, to cover the one forest track which led around the defile. As expected, the Persians tried to force their way through the pass, but the Greek hoplites repulsed them. For three days the Persians vainly tried to break through then a Greek traitor told Xerxes of the forest track across the mountain behind Thermopylae. Xerxes promptly dispatched along this trail the “Immortals” of his bodyguard, who quickly overwhelmed the Greek flank guard in a surprise attack. Though Leonidas sent about 4,500 men to block the Persian envelopment, they were too late, and were crushed by the Immortals. The Thebans, and perhaps some of the other Greeks with Leonidas, now surrendered. But the Spartan king and his bodyguard fought on courageously till all were killed.

August – September – Persian Advance on Athens – All the Peloponnesians retired behind the fortifications of the Isthmus of Corinth. Themistocles, however, refused to withdraw his fleet as the Spartans requested, but instead used the vessels to ferry the population of Athens to the nearby island of Salamis. The remainder of the Greek fleet reluctantly agreed to stay and fight.

September – Persian Occupation of Athens – Xerxes' army, which had suffered few casualties, had been augmented by contingents from Thebes and other northern Greek states. The Persian fleet probably still numbered more than 700 fighting vessels, about double the number of Greek triremes. Themistocles feared a Persian blockade of the Greek fleet, while a powerful Persian army contingent was landed behind the defences of the isthmus. He therefore sent a secret message to Xerxes, saying that if the Persian fleet attacked, the Athenians would join the Persians and the rest of the Greek fleet would flee. Xerxes ordered the Persians fleet to move out that very night. While the Egyptian contingent blocked the western exit south of Salamis, the main fleet, at least 500 strong, formed in line of battle opposite the eastern entrance of the strait. Before dawn a force of Persian infantry landed on the islet of Psyttaleia, at the entrance to the channel. On the mainland, overlooking the strait from a hilltop, Xerxes sat on his throne to observe the battle which would win Greece for his empire.

September ? - Battle of Salamis – Part of the Greek fleet was sent to defend the narrow western strait, and the rest of the triremes were drawn up in a line, behind a bend in the eastern strait, waiting for the main Persian fleet. Where the Persians came around the bend, the channel narrowed somewhat, forcing the ships to crowd together, with the resultant confusion. At this moment the Greeks attacked. Manoeuvre was now impossible, superior number to no avail. Advantage lay with the heavier, more solidly built Greek triremes, carrying the whole Athenian army of at least 6,000 men. Literally hundreds of small land battles took place across the decks of the jammed vessels. Man for man the Greek hoplite was far superior to his foes. The battle lasted for seven or more hours. Half the Persian fleet was sunk or captured the Greeks lost only 40 ships. The remaining Persians broke off the fight and fled back to Phalerum Bay. A contingent of Greeks, mostly Athenians, under Aristides, now landed on Psyttaleia, overwhelming the Persians who had been isolated there.

September – October – Persian Retreat – Xerxes' army, largely dependent upon supply by sea, could no longer hold Athens. With about half of his army and the remnants of his fleet, he marched back to the Hellespont, leaving Mardonius with the remainder in northern Greece.

480 BC – 479 BC – Operations of Mardonius – He restored Persian influence and prestige among the northern states, particularly Thebes, through combinations of threats and promises. In the spring, with perhaps 100,000 men, he marched south and captured Athens again. But upon the approach of the Spartan King Pausanias, with the main Greek army from Corinth, Mardonius withdrew northward to Thebes, after destroying Athens. Pausanias followed cautiously, with less than 80,000 men, of whom about half were hoplites.

480 BC – 479 BC – Themistocles Rebuilds Athens – The Spartans, secretly pleased by Mardonius' destruction of rival Athens, unsuccessfully opposed Themistocles' pans to reconstruct the city's walls. Themistocles also improved and fortified the harbour of the Piraeus, strengthening Athens' links with the sea, and in general stimulated the city's commercial greatness.

479 BC – July ? - Campaign of Plataea – The Greeks found the Persian army holding the line of the Asopus River, about 5 miles south of Thebes. After a brief skirmish with the Persian cavalry, they advanced to a ridges running just south of the Asopus – Spartans on the right, Athenians on the left, and allied contingents in the centre. Both sides held their positions for eight days, each waiting for the other to attack. Finally Mardonius sent his cavalry raiding behind the Greek positions, destroying supply trains coming over the mountain passes from Athens and polluting the springs from which the Greeks obtained water. Pausanias decided to withdraw that night to a new position at the base of the mountains, just east of Plataea. Here he could cover the three passes from Attica and have an assured supply of water.

Battle of Plataea – During the Greek withdrawal some units lost their way in the darkness. At dawn Mardonius discovered the Greeks stretched out in three uncoordinated groups. He ordered an immediate attack. The brunt of the first Persian cavalry and archery blows fell upon the Spartans. Thinking the Spartans were about to collapse, Mardonius led the Persian infantry in a charge. But he underestimated Spartan staunchness and discipline. They repulsed the charge, then counter-attacked. A terrible struggle ensued, with neither side prevailing. Meanwhile the Athenians, to the left front of the Spartans, were engaged heavily by a mixed force of Persians, Thebans, and other pro-Persian Greeks. The allied contingents, formerly the Greek centre, who had already reached Plataea, now marched promptly back to assist the Spartans and Athenians. Those going to help the Athenians were attacked by Persian and Theban cavalry. Though unable to make any progress, these Greeks indirectly saved the Athenians from an envelopment that would probably have been decisive. As a result the Athenians, no longer harassed by cavalry, began to gain the upper hand, and pushed the Thebans and Persians back toward the Asopus. Since Mardonius had been killed in the struggle against the Spartans, the Persians began to lose heart. As allied reinforcements arrived, the Spartans redoubled their efforts, and soon the Persians were fleeing back toward the river. The Greeks followed, driving them across the stream, inflicting terrible losses. Thebes was besieged, and within a month surrendered. Greek losses were few, but probably more than the 1,360 reported by Plutarch. The Persians lost over 500,000. Victory was not due to superior Greek leadership Mardonius appears to have out-generaled Pausanias throughout the campaign. The battle was won by technical military superiority, in the first clear-cut example of the value of superior discipline and training.

August ? - Battle of Mycale – Meanwhile a Greek fleet under Spartan Leotychidas was operating off the Ionian coast. The Persian fleet withdrew to Mycale, near Samoe, where Xerxes had left a strong army. Unable to entice the Persian fleet into a naval battle, Leotychidas landed his troops and attacked the Persian army, a foolhardy move, sine the Greeks were greatly outnumbered. However, as the battle began, the contingent of Ionian Greeks in the Persian army changed sides. The Greeks won a complete victory, capturing Mycale and the Persian fleet.

Greek Capture of Cyprus and Byzantium – A fleet and army under Pausanias captured Cyprus, then returned through the Aegean and the Hellespont to seize Byzantium.

478 BC – 470 BC – Athens Continues the War – Sparta and most of the other states of European Greece withdrew from the war, but Athens, becoming ever more dependant upon overseas commerce, particularly upon grain supplies from the Black Sea regions, continued to assist the Greek cities of Asia Minor to break away from Persia. This alliance was called the Delian League. Soon the alliance became a façade for virtual Athenian sovereignty over all member states.

478 BC – 420 BC – Growing Rivalry of Athens and Sparta – Sparta was jealous of Athens' growing prosperity and power. Like other Greeks, the Spartans also abhorred Athens' increasingly autocratic leadership of the Delian League. Athenian distaste for the military regimentation of Spartan society, and for ruthless Spartan suppression of the Messenian helots, was equally strong. Thus the paradox: a democratic state suppressing the freedom of its allies, while a militaristic oligarchy became the champion of self-determination.


5th century BC

The 5th century BC started the first day of 500 BC and ended the last day of 401 BC.

This century saw the establishment of Pataliputra as a capital of the Magadha Empire. This city would later become the ruling capital of different Indian kingdoms for about a thousand years. This period saw the rise of two great philosophical schools of the east, Jainism and Buddhism. This period saw Mahavira and Buddha spreading their respective teachings in the northern plains of India. This essentially changed the socio-cultural and political dynamics of the region of South Asia. Buddhism would later go on to become one of the major world religions.

This period also saw the work of Yaska, who created Nirukta, that would lay the foundation stone for Sanskrit grammar and is one of the oldest works on grammar known to mankind.

This century is also traditionally recognized as the classical period of the Greeks, which would continue all the way through the 4th century until the time of Alexander the Great. The life of Socrates represented a major milestone in Greek philosophy though his teachings only survive through the work of his students, most notably Plato and Xenophon. The tragedians Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, as well as the comedian Aristophanes all date from this era and many of their works are still considered classics of the western theatrical canon.

The Persian Wars, fought between a coalition of Greek cities and the vast Achaemenid Persian Empire was a pivotal moment in Greek politics. After having successfully prevented the annexation of Greece by the Persians, Sparta, the dominant power in the coalition, had no intention of further offensive action and considered the war over. Meanwhile, Athens counter-attacked, liberating Greek subjects of the Persian Empire up and down the Ionian coast and mobilizing a new coalition, the Delian League. Tensions between Athens, and its growing imperialistic ambitions as leader of the Delian League, and the traditionally dominant Sparta led to a protracted stalemate in the Peloponnesian war.


Skylax was born in Chalcis, Euboea, Ancient Greece. He came to be the ruler of the Abantis Islands, as well as joining the Cult of Kosmos. Skylax the Fair was revered. Because he was a generous leader, his people happily marched to battle in his name, though attacking his enemies never interested him. His power and his vast wealth seemed to be enough to keep him satisfied. Skylax knew what others in the Peloponnesian League did not: where force failed, drachmae always won. In this way, with a massive fortune at his disposal, Skylax bribed the weaker puppet leaders in the League. For this service, Skylax prayed to Kosmos to return his lost children and wife to him. It was a prayer that would go unanswered.

In 429 BC, the Spartan mercenary Kassandra discovered his identity after finding an incriminating letter at the Xerxes Military Fort in Locris. She set sail for Euboea, and she found Skylax at the leader house in Chalcis. She gradually killed off his bodyguards before ambushing Skylax and stabbing him in the back. She then finished him off with a stab in the stomach with her Spear of Leonidas, weakening the Cult.


490s BC [ edit | edit source ]

    — Aristagoras, acting on behalf of the Persian Empire, leads a failed attack on the rebellious island of Naxos.
  • 499 BC — Aristagoras instigates the Ionic Revolt, beginning the Persian Wars between Greece and Persia.
  • 499 BC — Sardis destroyed by Athenian and Ionian troops. — Leontini subjugated by Hippocrates of Gela.
  • 498 BC — Alexander I succeeds his father Amyntas I as king of Macedon. — Potidaea is struck by a tsunami. — Battle of Lake Regillus: A legendary early Roman victory, won over either the Etruscans or the Latins.
  • 496 BC — King Goujian of Yue defeats and banishes King Fuchai of Wu, gaining a temporary hegemony in ancient China during the Spring and Autumn Period. — Temple to Mercury on the Circus Maximus in Rome is built. — The Battle of Lade, where Persians take back Ionia.
  • 494 BC — Two tribunes of the plebs and two plebeian aediles are elected for the first time in Rome: the office of the tribunate is established.
  • 494 BC — The year Rome changed from an Aristocratic Republic to a Liberalized Republic.
  • 493 BC — Piraeus, the port town of Athens, is founded.
  • 493 BC — Coriolanus captures the Volscian town of Corioli for Rome. — First expedition of King Darius I of Persia against Greece, under the leadership of his son-in-law Mardonius. This marks the start of the campaign that culminated in the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. — Leotychidas II succeeds his cousin Demaratus as king of Sparta.
  • 491 BC — Gelo becomes Tyrant of Gela. , 490 BC — The Battle of Marathon, where Darius I of Persia is defeated by the Athenians and Plataeans under Miltiades.
  • 490 BC — Phidippides runs 40 kilometers from Marathon to Athens to announce the news of the Greek victory origin of the marathon long-distance race.

480s BC [ edit | edit source ]

    Cities of Rhodes unite and start construction of the new city of Rhodes. — Leonidas I succeeds his brother Cleomenes I as king of Sparta after Cleomenes is judged insane. — Egypt revolts against the Persians.
  • 487 BC — Aegina and Athens go to war.
  • 487 BC — AthenianArchonship becomes elective by lot, an important milestone in the move towards radical Athenian democracy. — First part of the Grand Canal of China is built.
  • 486 BC — Xerxes I succeeds Darius I as Great King of Persia.
  • 486 BC — Egypt revolts against Persian rule.
  • 486 BC — First Buddhist Council at Rejgaha, under the patronage of King Ajatasattu. Oral tradition established for the first time.
  • October, 485 BC — Xerxes I succeeds Darius I as King of Persia. — Athenian playwright Aeschylus wins a poetry prize.
  • 484 BC — Xerxes I abolishes the Kingdom of Babel and removes the golden statue of Bel (Marduk, Merodach).
  • 484 BC — Persians regain control of Egypt. — Xerxes I of Persia starts planning his expedition against Greece. — The Congress at the Isthmus of Corinth ends a war between Athens and Aegina. — King Xerxes I of Persia sets out to conquer Greece.
  • 480 BC — Cimon and his friends burn horse-bridles as an offering to Athena and join the marines.
  • 480 BC — Pleistarchus succeeds his father Leonidas I as king of Sparta.
  • August, 480 BC — Battle of Artemisium — The Persian fleet fights an inconclusive battle with the Greek allied fleet. , 480 BC — The Battle of Thermopylae, a victory by Persians over the Greeks. , 480 BC — Battle of Salamis between Greece and Persia, leading to a Greek victory.
  • 480 BC — Battle of Himera — The Carthaginians under Hamilcar are defeated by the Greeks of Sicily, led by Gelon of Syracuse.
  • 480 BC — Roman troops march against the Veientines.

470s BC [ edit | edit source ]

    — The Battle of Plataea, the Greeks defeat the Persians, ending the Persian Wars.
  • 479 BC — Battle of Mycale. — Establishment of the Temple of Confucius at (modern-day) Qufu. — The Delian League is inaugurated. — Archidamus II succeeds his grandfather Leotychides, who is banished to Tegea, as king of Sparta. — King Xuan of Zhou becomes King of the Zhou Dynasty. — Battle of Cumae — The Syracusans under Hiero I defeat the Etruscans and end Etruscan expansion in southern Italy.
  • 474 BC — GreekpoetPindar moves to Thebes. — The ChineseState of Wu is annexed by the State of Yue. — Carystus in Euboea is forced to join the Delian League. (approximate date)
  • 472 BC — The tragedyThe Persians is produced by Aeschylus. — AthenianpoliticianThemistocles is ostracized. — The philosopher Socrates is born.

460s BC [ edit | edit source ]

    — Sophocles, Greekplaywright, defeats Aeschylus for the Athenian Prize.
  • 468 BC — Antium captured by Roman forces. — King Zhending of Zhou becomes King of the Zhou Dynasty of China. — Delian League defeats Persia at the Battle of Eurymedon.
  • 466 BC — The Greekcolony of Taras, in Magna Graecia, is defeated by Iapyges, a native population of ancient Apulia Tarentinemonarchy falls, with the installation of a democracy and the expulsion of the Pythagoreans. — King Xerxes I of the Persian Empire is murdered by Artabanus the Hyrcanian. He is succeeded by Artaxerxes I, possibly with Artabanus acting as Regent.
  • 465 BC — Thasos revolts from the Delian League. — An earthquake in ancient Sparta, Greece leads to a Helot uprising and strained relations with Athens, one of the factors that lead to the Peloponnesian War.
  • 464 BC — Regent King Artabanus of Persia is killed by his charge Artaxerxes I.
  • 464 BC — Third Messenian war. — The revolt of Thasos against the Delian League comes to an end with their surrender. — AthenianpoliticianCimon is ostracized. — Egypt revolts against Persia, starting a six year war. An Athenian force sent to attack Cyprus is diverted to support this revolt.
  • 460 BC — Cincinnatus becomes consul of the Roman Republic.

450s BC [ edit | edit source ]

    — Pleistoanax succeeds his father Pleistarchus as king of Sparta.
  • 459 BC — Destruction of the Sicilian town of Morgantina by Douketios, leader of the Sikels, according to Diodoros Siculus.
  • 459 BC — Ezra leads the second body of Jews from Babylon to Jerusalem. — GreekplaywrightAeschylus completes the Oresteia, a trilogy that tells the story of a family blood feud. The plays will have a great influence on future writers.
  • 458 BC — Cincinnatus is named dictator of the Roman Republic in order to defend it against Aequi. Sixteen days later, after defeating the invaders at the Battle of Mons Algidus, he resigns and returns to his farm. — AthenianstatesmanPericles' greatest reform, allowing common people to serve in any state office, inaugurates Golden Age of Ancient Athens.
  • 457 BC — Battle of Tanagra — The Spartans defeat the Athenians, near Thebes.
  • 457 BC — Battle of Oenophyta — The Athenians defeat the Thebans and take control of Boeotia.
  • 457 BC — Decree of Artaxerxes I to re-establish the city government of Jerusalem. See Ezra 7, Daniel 9 and Nehemiah 1 in Old Testament. — A thirty years' truce concluded between Athens and Lacedaemon.
  • 455 BC — Euripides presents his first known tragedy, Peliades, in the Athenianfestival of Dionysia. — Athens loses a fleet and possibly as many as 50 000 men in a failed attempt to aid an Egyptian revolt against Persia.
  • 454 BC — The treasury of the Delian League is moved from Delos to Athens.
  • 454 BC — Hostilities between Segesta and Selinunte, two Greek cities on Sicily. — Taiyuan, a city in China, gets flooded. — Athens makes peace with Sparta and wages a war against Persia.
  • 451 BC — The decemviri come to power in the Roman Republic. They enact the twelve tables, the foundation of Roman Law. — Battle of Salamis: Athenians under Cimon defeat the Persian fleet.
  • 450 BC — Perdiccas II succeeds Alexander I as king of Macedonia (approximate date).

440s BC [ edit | edit source ]

    — The Peace of Callias between the Delian League and Persia ends the Persian Wars.
  • 449 BC — Construction begins on the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens.
  • 449 BC — The Twelve Tables are promulgated to the people of Rome — the first public laws of the Roman Republic.
  • 449 BC — Romans revolt against the decemvirate. The decemvirs resign and the tribunate is re-established.
  • 449 BC — Herodotus completes his History, which records the events concerning the Persian War. — Phidias finishes a 9 meter high statue of Athena on the Acropolis. — Athens begins construction of the Parthenon, at the initiative of Pericles.
  • 447 BC — Battle of Coronea — The Athenians are driven out of Boeotia.
  • 447 BC — Achaeus of Eretria, a Greekplaywright, shows his first play. — Pericles declares Thirty Years Peace between Athens and Sparta.
  • 445 BC — Artaxerxes I gives Nehemiah permission to rebuild Jerusalem.
  • 445 BC — The Lacus Curtius is created by a lightning strike in Rome. It is consecrated by Gaius, Mettius or MarcusCurtius. — The Roman Republic creates the office of censor, initially exclusive to patricians.
  • 443 BC — Foundation of the Greekcolony of Thurii in Italy. Its colonists include Herodotus and Lysias. — Sophocles writes Antigone. — King Ai of Zhou becomes King of the Zhou Dynasty of China but dies before the year's end. — Famine in Rome.
  • 440 BC — King Kao of Zhou becomes King of the Zhou Dynasty of China.
  • 440 BC — Meron determines the two points of the solstice.
  • 440 BC — Democritus proposes the existence of indivisible particles, which he calls atoms.

430s BC [ edit | edit source ]

    — Cincinnatus again became dictator of the Roman Republic, during which he defeated the Volsci.
  • 439 BC — According to legend, Gaius Servilius Ahala saves Rome from Spurius Maelius. — Ictinus and Callicrates finish construction of the Parthenon, located on Athens' Acropolis. — The Statue of Zeus at Olympia by Phidias, one of the seven wonders of the world, is completed. — Conflict occurs between the Greek island of Kerkyra and its mother-city Corinth.
  • 434 BC — Anaxagoras tries to square the circle with straightedge and compass. — Battle of Sybota between Corcyra and Corinth.
  • 433 BC (or later) — Burial of Marquis Yi of Zeng in China. — Athens adopts a 19-year cycle of synchronizing solar and lunar calendars.
  • 432 BC — Athens defeats Corinth in the battle of Potidaea.
  • 432 BC — The Greekcolony of Heraclea is founded by Tarentum and Thurii. — The Peloponnesian War begins between Sparta and Athens and their allies.
  • 431 BC — Defeat of the Aequians by the Romans under the dictatorA. Postumius Tubertus.
  • 431 BC — The Greekphysician and philosopherEmpedocles articulates the notion that the human body has four humors: blood, bile, black bile, and phlegm, a belief that dominates medical thinking for centuries. — Athens suffers a major pestilence, believed to be caused by epidemic typhus.
  • c. 430 BC — First performance of Sophocles's Oedipus the King.

420s BC [ edit | edit source ]

    — Battle of Chalcis — Chalcidians and their allies defeat Athens.
  • 429 BC — Battle of Naupactus — Phormio defeats the Peloponnesian fleet.
  • 429 BC — An outbreak of plague kills over one-third of the population of Athens.
  • 429 BC — King Sitalkes of Thrace invades Macedonia. — Mytilene rebels against Athens but is crushed.
  • 428 BC — Sparta attempts to crush a rebellion on Corcyra, but cancels the effort when the Athenians try to intercept them.
  • 428 BC — The Greek colony of Cumae in Italy falls to the Samnites. — The leaders of the Mytilenian revolt are executed.
  • 427 BC — Platea surrenders to the Spartans, who execute over 200 prisoners and destroy the city.
  • 427 BC — The Athenians intervene in Sicily to blockade Sparta from the island. — Demosthenes unsuccessfully besieges the Corinthian colony of Leukas.
  • 426 BC — When Ambracia invades Acarnania, they seek help from the Spartans and Athenians respectively. The Athenians then defeat the Spartans in the Battle of Olpae. — Demosthenes captures the port of Pylos in the Peloponnesus.
  • 425 BC — The Athenians invade Sphacteria and defeat the Spartans in the Battle of Pylos. — Sicily withdraws from the war and expels every forreign power. Thus, Athens is forced to withdraw from the island.
  • 424 BC — The Athenians try to capture Megara, but are defeated by the Spartans.
  • 424 BC — The Spartan general Brasidas captures Amphipolis, which is a setback for Athens. Thucydides is held responsible for the Athenian failure and is ostracised. This gives him time to start writing his history book. — The Athenians propose a cease-fire, which the Spartan general Brasidas ignores. — The Spartans defeat the Athenians in the Battle of Amphipolis, where the Athenian Cleon and the Spartan Brasidas are both killed. — The Peace of Nicias puts a temporary end to the hostilities between Athens and Sparta. — Alicibiades is elected strategos of Athens and begins dominating Athenian politics.

410s BC [ edit | edit source ]

    — The Peace of Nicias is broken when Sparta defeats Argos. — The Spartans win a major victory over the Athenians in the Battle of Mantinea, the biggets land battle of the Peloponnesian War. — The Athenians capture the island of Melos and treat the inhabitans with great cruelty.
  • 416 BC — The Athenians adheres a plea of help from Sicily and starts planning an invasion of the island. - The sacred Hermae busts in Athens are mutilated just before the expedition to Sicily is sent away. One of the culprits, Andocides, is captured and is forced to turn informer. He names the other mutilators, among them Alcibiades, who are sentenced to death in their absence.
  • 415 BC — Alcibiades defects from Athens to Sparta after having learned about his death sentence. — The Athenians try to make a breakthrough in their siege of Syracuse but are defeated by the Spartans. — Demosthenes suggests the Athenians leave Syracuse in order to return to Athens, where help is needed. However, Nicias refuses and they are again defeated in battle by the Spartans. Both Demosthenes and Nicias are killed.
  • 413 BC — Caria allies itself with Sparta. — The Persian Empire starts preparing an invasion of Ionia and signs a treaty with Sparta about it. — The democracy in Athens is overthrown and replaced by the oligarchic Council of Four Hundred. This council is itself soon defeated and order is almost restored, when the Five Thousand start ruling. Early next year, they are also overthrown and the old democracy is restored. — Athens regains control over its vital grain route from the Black Sea by defeating Sparta in the Battle of Cyzicus.

400s BC [ edit | edit source ]

    — Athens recaptures Byzantium, thereby putting and end to its revolt against Athens and taking control of the whole Bosporus.
  • 409 BC — The city of Rhodes is founded.
  • 409 BC — The Carthaginians invade Sicily. — The Persian king, Darius II, decides to aid Sparta in the war and makes his son Cyrus a satrap. However, Cyrus starts collecting an army to benefit his own interests, rather than his father's.
  • 408 BC — Alcibiades returns to Athens in triumph after an absence of seven years. — The Athenian fleet is routed by the Spartan one in the Battle of Notium, which gives Alcibiades' opponents a reason to strip him of command. He never returns to Athens again. — Athens defeats Sparta in the Battle of Arginusae and the blockade of Conon is lifted.
  • 406 BC — Sparta sues for peace, but Athens rejects this.
  • 406 BC — The Carthaginians once again invade Sicily and return to Carthage with spoils of war, but also with the plague. — The Spartan king Pausanias lays siege to Athens, which makes the city start starving.
  • 405 BC — Dionysius the Elder rises to power in Syracuse. He signs a peace with Carthage and starts consolidating and expanding his influence. 404 BC — Athens surrenders to Sparta, ending the Peloponnesian War. Sparta introduces an oligarchic system, the Thirty Tyrants, in Athens.
  • 404 BC — Egypt rebels against Persian rule. — Some exiled Athenians return to fight the Thirty Tyrants and restore democracy in Athens. The are, however, narrowly defeated by the Spartans in the Battle of Piraeus. After this, the Spartan king Pausanias allows democracy to be restored in Athens.
  • 403 BC — Thrasybulus restores the Athenian democracy and grants an almost general amnesty.
  • 403 BC — The Athenians adopt the Ionian alphabet. — Cyrus the Younger rebels against the Persian king Artaxerxes II but is, however, eventually slain in battle. — After Cyrus has been killed, his Greek mercenaries make their way back to Greece, where Sparta is so impressed with their feats in and march through Persia that they declare war on the Persians.
  • 400 BC — The Carthaginians occupy Malta.
  • 400 BC — The Egyptians successfully revolts against Persian rule.
  • ca. 400 BC — London has its origins as far back as this time.

Ancient Greece


1) Spartan officer (sculpture), Hoplite 2) from Samos, 3) from Argos, 4) from Athens (Alkmaionid clan), Nick Sekunda , The Ancient Greeks

War is the father of all and king of all, and some he shows as gods, others as men some he makes slaves, others free, Heraclitus

Battle of Hysiae (or Hysiai), c. 669 BC Sparta defeated by Argos

Battle of Irasa, around 571 BC, Greeks from Cyrene led by Battus II victorious against a Libyan-Egyptian Army of Pharaoh Apries

Battle near Leucon c. 555/0 BC ? according to Herodotus 7000 hoplites of Arcesilaus II killed by the Libyans

Battle at Thyreae , 300 Argives against 300 Spartans

Battle of Alalia c. 540/535 BC, Etruscan and Phoenician against Phocaean colony in Corsica

The Greek Ionian colonies revolt is supported Athens and Eretria. Darius I, the Persian King and Pharaoh of Egypt, starts an expedition against the Greeks.

Battle of Leipsydrion 513/512 BC

The Battle of Miletus 494 BC

Siege of Lindos , a forgotten legendary Siege

Marathon, from The 15 decisive battle of the world, by Edward Creasy

Xerxes I ("The leader of Heroes") the son of Darius I, 10 years after his father was defeated in Marathon, starts a new expedition against the Greeks. From the East he attacks central Greece, from the West his allies the Carthagenians and Etruscans attack the Greek colonies in Italy. Aeschylus comments: " Now this is the battle for everything"

In the year 479 BC many Persian soldiers are killed by a Tsunami in Potidaea / Chalkidice.

Among the gods who live on mount Olympus, you're the one I hate the most. For you love war, constant strife and battle. Zeus to Ares. Iliad

Peloponnesian War, Athens and Allies versus Sparta and Allies

4 April 431 BC - 25 April 404 BC

Hoplite, drawing by Johnny Shumate

The Battle of Aegospotami 405 BC - great loss of the Athenian navy power in Aegospotami, near the Hellespont in today Turkey, Images

The Battle of Cunaxa 401 BC, A Persian-Persian battle with Greek mercenaries among which Xenophon, the author of The Anabasis.

Conon's Lion Tomb in Cnidus for the 394 BC victory

The Battle of Tamynae 349 BC

Munn, Mark H., The Defense of Attica: The Dema Wall and the Boiotian War of 378-375 B.C. Berekeley: University of California Press, 1993. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft0q2n99ng/

According to an analysis the 60000 men of Alexander's army required each single day around 300000 pounds water, 200000 pounds of grain. More than 350000 pounds of other material was necessary for the transport animals.

The Battle of the Granicus River, 334 BC - a battle in northwest Turkey,

The Battle of Issus 333 BC, a battle close to the today Syrian-Turkey border Issus

The Battle of Gaugamela 331 BC, a battle between the forces of the Persian King Dareius III and Alexander the Great in a place today in Irak. The Battle is also known as Battle of Arbela.

"Alexander deserves the glory which he has enjoyed for so many centuries and among all nations but what if he had been beaten at Arbela having the Euphrates, the Tigris, and the deserts in his rear, without any strong places of refuge, nine hundred leagues from Macedonia?"--NAPOLEON. Arbela, from The 15 decisive battle of the world, by Edward Creasy

The Battle of the Hydaspes River, 326 BC, a battle in the northwest India.

Hypaspist , drawing by Johnny Shumate

Minos just sent me, Antigenes to the islands of happy people, as I had got fatal wounds on the head and my body was pricked from spears, at the moment that the goddess of war (Enyo) encouraged me during the infantry battle against the Aitolians.

Romans versus the Macedonians and Italian Greeks

Iustum est bellum quibus necessarium

The first European to acquire elephants was Alexander, after subduing Porus and the power of the Indians after his death others of the kings got them but Antigonus more than any Pyrrhus captured his beasts in the battle with Demetrius. When on this occasion they came in sight the Romans were seized with panic, and did not believe they were animals. For although the use of ivory in arts and crafts all men obviously have known from of old, the actual beasts, before the Macedonians crossed into Asia, nobody had seen at all except the Indians themselves, the Libyans, and their neighbours. This is proved by Homer, who describes the couches and houses of the more prosperous kings as ornamented with ivory, but never mentions the beast but if he had seen or heard about it he would, in my opinion have been much more likely to speak of it than of the battle between the Dwarf-men and cranes Pausanias

One more such victory and I shall be lost!, Pyrrhus of Epirus

Battle of Arius (Seleucid - Parthian war) 209 BC


-Anthony McNicoll, N. P. Milner, A. W. McNicoll . Hellenistic Fortifications from the Aegean to the Euphrates- , Oxford University Press (May, 1997) , ISBN: 019813228X (unfortunately a very expensive book)

Peter Connolly , Greece and Rome at War- , Greenhill Books, ISBN: 185367303X

Peter Green , The Greco-Persian Wars- , University of California Press Reprint edition (August, 1998) ISBN: 0520203135

The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece - and Western Civilization- , Barry Strauss, New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004. (A selection (PDF File)


Military History Monthly 073 2016-10

he Battle of Hastings – fought 950 years ago this month – was one of the most decisive in British history. It installed a long succession of foreign rulers on the English throne. It dispossessed the entire Anglo-Saxon aristocracy of their estates. It created a bitter division between a French-speaking feudal elite and the English-speaking common people that lasted for centuries: in the 17th-century revolution, radicals still spoke of ‘the Norman yoke’. In our special feature this issue, Hazel Blair analyses the opposing forces and the course of the battle, and Jack Watkins discusses the vital contribution of William I’s programme of castle-building to the Norman consolidation of power. A critical issue arises. Was the battle a triumph of feudal heavy cavalry and the inauguration of a new era in British military history? Or was the defeat of the Anglo-Saxon ‘shield-wall’ really just down to bad luck? But there is much more this issue. Marc DeSantis takes us back to 5th-century BC Greece with an analysis of two battles that confirmed the maritime supremacy of the trireme fleet of the city-state of Athens. Also this time, Michael Freemantle explains why the First World War came to be called ‘the chemists’ war’, while Bill Wenger reports on the military career of ‘the Red Napoleon’ – the interwar Soviet marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky. Finally, Patrick Mercer continues our Regiment series by recalling the exploits of the Louisberg Grenadiers at Quebec in 1759.

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The career of the Red Army’ r s Marshal a s Tukhachevsky ha h

Chemical weapons of the t e First F r World W l War ar

ON THE COVER: The Normans won a decisive victory at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066. Credit: The Battle of Hastings (oil on canvas), Lovell, Tom (1909-97) / National Geographic Creative / Bridgeman Images

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CONTRIBUTORS THIS MONTH’S EXPERTS MICHAEL FREEMANTLE is a science writer. He is author of The Chemists’ War, 1914-1918 and Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! How chemistry changed the First World War.

PATRICK MERCER is a former soldier, journalist, and MP. He is interested in any action of the British Army or Royal Navy, but has made a special study of the Italian Campaign.

BILL WENGER JACK WATKINS served for 42 years is a writer on in the US Army military history, heritage, and before retirement. He volunteered for conservation. He is multiple tours in the general editor Iraq and Afghaniof the Encyclopedia of Classic Warfare (1457 BC-AD 1815), stan. In civilian life he is a real-estate executive and college instructor. published by Amber.

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The Norman Conquest Hazel Blair proiles the men who fought at Hastings in 1066 and analyses the battle, while Jack Watkins explores the castles built by William the Conqueror in the years following his invasion.

Chemical weapons, 1914-1918

The First World War made ever-increasing demands on chemistry. Michael Freemantle explores ‘the chemists’ war’.

Tim Rayborn on the wartime experiences of poet-musician Ivor Gurney.

Maria Earle examines the artistry of masking First World War injuries.

Background Warriors Battles Castles Timeline

Athenian Navy 42 The The Battles of Chalcis and Naupactus, 429 BC Marc DeSantis studies two battles fou by the Athenian navy in its heyday.

MHM examines art from the Second World War

Tukhachevsky The Red Napoleon Bill Wenger examines the little-known career of the Red Army’s Marshal Tukhachevsky.

54 REGIMENT The Louisberg Grenadiers Patrick Mercer recalls the role of the Louisberg Grenadiers in General Wolfe’s decisive victory at Quebec in 1759. 4

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68 MHM REVIEWS Book of the Month | 62 Nick Hewitt reviews Churchill’s Navy by Brian Lavery.

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War on Film | 68 aylor Downing reviews Full Metal Jacket.

MHM VISITS Museum | 72 Taylor Downing reviews Real to Reel: a century of war movies at IWM London.

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‘KNIGHT’ The term ‘knight’ has ancient roots in the English language, appearing as early as the 9th century as cniht , meaning ‘boy, youth, or lad’. The word appears in the 10th-century Lindisfarne Gospels, where it meant a boy who was employed as an attendant or a servant. The meaning eventually broadened to include a male servant of any age, and then became attached to the military followers of a king or lord. But the knight, as commonly understood, was more than just a servant. Adhering to a code of chivalry, he was expected to defend the Christian religion and the Church, ight on behalf of his lord, and protect the weak. The knight was also a prominent member of the feudal society of medieval Europe, having been given his land by his lord in exchange for a pledge of military service. This land produced the revenue he required to purchase the horse and weapons necessary to ight. Many years of training were needed before one could become a knight. A boy, perhaps seven years of age, would first live as a page in a wealthy household, serving meals and learning the rudiments of war. Aged 14, the boy would take service with a knight, as his squire, and would care for his horse and armour. After a few years, when his training was complete and he was deemed ready, he would himself be dubbed a knight. Armed with a sword and lance, the knight was terrifying atop his charging warhorse. He was the premier warrior of the Middle Ages. Today, knighthoods are still coveted and have been awarded to diverse igures for distinguished service and other achievements. Such figures include Winston Churchill, mountaineer Edmund Hillary, and musician Elton John.

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L E T T ER OF T HE MON T H THE GREAT DEBATE It has been good to read the two opposing viewpoints outlined in your articles on the historiography of the Somme (MHM 70 and MHM 71), but I do think that, in supporting the ‘war poet’s’ view of the Somme battles and the Great War, Neil Faulkner has been too inluenced by the 20/20 vision of hindsight. In 1916, the British Army was largely inexperienced and the British oicer corps was equally inexperienced. The Somme was a steep learning-curve, but the lessons of how and how not to wage war on a 20th-century industrialised battleield had to be learnt – and they were, but at a terriic cost in life and in the health of people like my grandfather. But what other option was there? German troops had dug in well into French territory, and most of Belgium was occupied and defended. The French and the British either had to attack to drive out the Germans or to accept that the territory was lost to an expanded Germany, and that a new frontier would be formed ater the humiliation of 1870, that could never have been acceptable to France. New weapons were as yet untried, and their impact was not easily assessed. Nobody could have foreseen how tanks would cause terror at irst, but that the Germans would soon work out efective countermeasures (for example, using ield-guns as anti-tank guns) – but they did. So the scene was set for a giant slugging-match, as the French and British tried to expel the dug-in Germans. But, at the time, was there really any other option? It would seem not.

GREEK GOLD I would like to point out a possible error in MHM 71 regarding the presentation of the David Brewer’s book Greece: the decade of war. Actually, the error is not yours, but Mr Brewer’s. In your interesting summary of the book’s contents, you refer to its statement that the gold reserves of the Bank of Greece were seized by the German Army. This is completely false. The Germans may or may not have seized minor deposits of regular money, or small portions of gold found in vaults of various bank branches (although, by then, most people would have hidden their valuables). But, although they looked for it, they never found the Bank of Greece’s reserves. As the German invasion of Greece was imminent, the government decided to transfer the gold and foreign currency reserves to Crete. The Greek Navy’s destroyers, Queen Olga and King George, left Athens on

3 March 1941 to transport them. They arrived at Souda naval base in Crete the next day. From there, the reserves were transferred to South Africa and finally to Britain, where they remained for the duration of the war. The gold was finally repatriated after the war, although – and this may be just a rumour – not in its entirety, for unknown reasons. Aris Panagiotopoulos Athens

ILLUSTRATING JUTLAND The painting of HMS Lion on the cover of MHM 70, purporting to show her at the Battle of Jutland, was probably painted after 1918, since the artist has included alterations to the ship that did not take place until after the battle. The searchlight tower in front of the mainmast was installed in 1917, and the cowl on the fore-funnel in 1918 at the earliest. S J Brophy Chester

Please note: letters may be edited for length views expressed here are those of our readers, and do not necessarily relect those of the magazine.

into the hillside during the First World War, but only ive have survived the hundred years since it was fought. The Fovant Home Guard added a further two badges during the Second World War, and another badge was cut in 1970 by the Royal Corp of Signals. All the badges are looked ater by the Fovant Badges Society. The Society has just completed a project to add a new badge to the hillside, in commemoration of the centenary of the First World War. The new poppy-shaped badge is a

tribute to the original badges and was made by volunteers nd students of rchaeology. Researchers are ow focusing on the story of the military mp in the area. Lead chaeologist Kristian rutt of the University outhampton said, ‘Archive plans and photos of the camp show us it was vast – comparable in size to a small town. ‘We hope to establish just how far the site extended across the countryside and will look for hidden clues beneath the ground that help us to understand its footprint and identify the areas that might warrant further investigation.’ The Fovant Badges project and the archaeological research are part of a project inanced by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The new badge will be oicially unveiled later this year.

Professor Pittock thinks that post-conflict propaganda, depicting the battle as a victory for the civilised man over the savage, was later used to justify imperialism. He added, ‘The Jacobite period has been strongly and systematically misremembered in order to emphasise a secure framework for the development of “Britishness”

and the British imperial state. From as early as the 1740s, historians often took their cue from the language of antiJacobite propaganda.’ Culloden has recently been published by Oxford University Press. It is part of the Great Battles series and costs £18.99. Visit http://global.oup.com/academic for more information.

CHALKY CURIOSITIES: THE FOVANT BADGES

Fovant Down in Wiltshire is adorned with a curious group of chalky symbols, cut into the hillside by soldiers waiting to be sent to the Western Front during the First World War. The signs are giant regimental badges. They were made in 1916, in commemoration of friends and colleagues already lost in the war.

What really happened at the Battle of Culloden? Culloden has been frequently presented as a battle fought by an incompetent, ill-equipped, and badly led Jacobite army wielding swords against superior, professional Redcoats armed with muskets. A new book by Murray Pittock, Bradley Professor of History at the University of Glasgow, challenges this consensus. Murray shows that Government forces actually won the battle by blade, while the Jacobites, though few in number, were professionally managed and effective fighters throughout the clash. Professor Pittock said, ‘Arguably no battle out of living memory is remembered so powerfully and so falsely. 8

A team of archaeologists from the University of Southampton are investigating the area around the badges. Using advanced geophysical survey techniques, the archaeologists are studying the badges, the site of a First World War military camp, and the location of an Iron Age hill fort.

RIGHT Professor Murray Pittock.

‘On Culloden Moor, what was in some ways the last Scottish army sought to restore the Stuarts to a multikingdom monarchy more aligned to European politics than colonial struggle. They were, in many essentials, a regular army. ‘They were outnumbered but not outgunned, and cavalry proved their downfall. My own archival research and the battlefield archaeology of the site shows that it was not British ball that brought down kilted swordsmen as much as British dragoon blades that cut down Jacobite musketeers. ‘Culloden as it happened is in fact much more interesting than Culloden as it is remembered.’

Images: Fovant Badges Society

Our round-up of this month’s military history news

10th-century unearthed Archaeologists excavating near the town of Haarup in Denmar have uncovered a larg example, dating from the 10th century, of th mighty Dane axe. These axes were frig weapons. Dane axe-hea made from iron or ste a long wooden shaft. The weapons were heavy and cumbersome, and warriors required great skill in order to wield them effectively in battle. The axe was found in a 13ft by 43ft tomb. It had been placed with the remains of a Viking warrior, who was buried next to a woman some time in the mid 10th century. Another male warrior’s remains were added to the tomb at a later date, along with a second, smaller axe. The feared Dane axe was an elite weapon – most Scandinavian warriors would have

SECRETS OF THE SOMME BATTLEFIELD The 38th (Welsh) Division sufered heavy losses at Mametz Wood during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The soldiers who fought there were accused of a lack of resolve at the time, and there has been confusion over their defeat ever since. But a new survey of the battleield landscape might help to explain it. Aerial mapping company Bluesky lew over the site and made a 3D laser-scan of the area, which revealed terrain features not visible to the naked eye. Digitally stripping the wood of trees, researchers found that the area is home to two rectangular craters, not depicted on any map from the period. The features were likely part of a quarry constructed before

ght with s and dging covered al, and goods found avation, those e were of some s were inlaid examples found by the archaeologists at Haarup were not decorated. They were made for war. The Dane axe became an increasingly popular weapon in Europe in the 11th and 12th centuries. Harold Godwinson’s housecarls brandished similar two-handed weapons at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The excavation was led by Kirsten Nelleman Nielsen, an archaeologist from the Silkeborg Museum in Denmark. Her team will continue to research the site to find out more about the 10th-century Haarup community.

the war, and may have been obstacles the troops did not expect to face. Another, less well-deined feature was uncovered, which was also not depicted on contemporary maps. This econd feature may be even more signiicant in terms of e events that unfolded in the area in 1916. Louise Bray of earhug TV, which mmissioned he scan for a ocumentary, said, A series of deep nterconnected trenches was discovered… rable on the entire Somme battlefront.’ She added that the results of the survey ‘might inally allow accusations of lack of determination on the part of the Welsh troops to be put to bed’. The documentary, titled Wales at the Somme: Gareth Thomas and the Battle of Mametz Wood, was aired on BBC One on 4 July 2016.

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First World War battleship HMS President could be restored to her former glory if a £3 million appeal to the Treasury’s Libor Fund is accepted. HMS President Preservation Trust submitted the appeal, having been denied support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The warship was launched in 1918 as HMS Saxifage, but was renamed HMS President in 1922. She is one of three surviving warships built by the Royal Navy during the First World War. Wearing dazzle camoulage, she hunted German U-boats during the conlict. HMS President was transferred from the Thames to Chatham Dockyard earlier this year, and has most recently been used as a venue for conferences and events. The Trust hopes she can return to London as a loating museum. Visit www.hmspresident.com to ind out more.

Planning for nuclear attack: the BBC at war For the irst time in its history, the BBC has given researchers access to emergency broadcasting plans drawn up during the Cold War. The War Book details how the Wartime Broadcasting System would have operated in the event of a nuclear attack. Eleven secret bunkers would have been used to house BBC staf, alongside government ministers. Each bunker had a studio, and the BBC’s headquarters would have been situated in a bunker at Wood Norton in Worcestershire. All broadcasting would have been governmentcontrolled. The BBC recorded hours of entertainment onto cassette tapes for public amusement in the event of a disaster, though these would likely never have aired as people would have been encouraged to preserve their radio batteries.

Rare Sopwith Pup displayed A rare First World War Sopwith Pup aircrat is now on display at IWM Duxford’s Air and Sea exhibition. The aircrat has recently been rebuilt using original and period parts. Sopwith Pup N6161 joined No.9 Squadron on 1 February 1917. It was lown by George Elliot on a photo-reconnaissance mission over Bruges that same day. But Elliot was forced to land ater being intercepted by German pilots Carl Meyer and Bernd Niemeyer. Sopwith Pup N6161 was captured and Elliot was sent to a PoW camp. The aircrat was lown to Nieumunster, photographed, repaired, and repainted with German markings, ater which it was involved in a collision. Some of the aircrat’s original parts were kept by Meyer, and these have been incorporated into the newly rebuilt aircrat. The Sopwith Pup will take to the skies as part of the Duxford Air Show: Meet the Fighters on 10 and 11 September 2016. The aircrat will remain on display until the autumn.

MHM BEHIND THE IMAGE July 1918. A French soldier sits with great dignity in the studio of the artist Anna Coleman Ladd [ABOVE], as he is itted with a prosthetic mask to cover facial injuries sustained amid the mechanised destruction of the First World War. We can only guess at precisely how he came to be disigured – but the groundbreaking work of Ladd and her colleagues at the Paris studio known as the Tin Noses Shop, where mirrors were banned, helped thousands of wounded soldiers return to civilian and family life ater the trauma of a conlict that let 8 million men dead. Born in Philadelphia, Ladd was a sculptor, married to a physician, who followed her husband to Paris in 1917. Once there, she determined to put her artistic talents to practical use, setting up her ‘Studio for Portrait Masks’ in the city’s Latin Quarter under the aegis of the American Red Cross. Developing techniques pioneered in London by the artist Francis Derwent Wood, who stated, ‘My work begins where the work of the surgeon is completed,’ Ladd went further than ever before in matching a subject’s mask to their original features and colouring. In a series of lengthy processes, a mould was taken of the face and then worked on to reconstruct as closely as possible the individual’s features before injury. Using observation and pre-injury photographs, another mould was then made and worked on in detail in order to produce a thin copper mask that could be silvered and enamelled. The inal stage saw the artist employing palette and skill to paint the mask in oils to match the skin tone of the wearer. Though far from perfect, these inely crated masks superseded cruder rubber replacements for noses and ears that had previously been in use, allowing a new generation of wounded veterans to face the future with a conidence they may otherwise have found hard to muster.

Image: Library of Congress Text: Maria Earle

INJURED FRENCH SOLDIER BEING FITTED FOR A MASK, PARIS, 1918

Tim Rayborn considers music and the experience of war

MENTAL ILLNESS Gurney had been sufering from mental illness before his service. He may have served in an attempt to alleviate his symptoms, but its efects remained with him for nearly 20 years, until his death in an asylum. Born into a family of modest means in Gloucester, his early interest in music received encouragement, and he became a chorister in the cathedral. As a young man, he heard the new music of Ralph Vaughan Williams and others: he was deeply impressed. Gurney was granted a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in 1911, and dived eagerly into the musical life and education that it ofered. He seems to have sufered from bipolar disorder. He had his irst real breakdown in 1913. He was well enough to take up his studies again in July 1914, but the winds of war were already stirring. He wanted to enlist, but was initially rejected because of poor eyesight. By February 1915, however, the military was easing restrictions on new recruits. He was accepted, joining the Gloucestershire Regiment as a private in the 5th Battalion, where he worked as a signaller. During this time, he began to devote himself to poetry – it was far easier than trying to write music while serving (though he would occasionally compose songs). He sent his poems back to his friend, the violinist Marion Scott, who collected them and eventually had them published. In April 1917, Gurney was shot in the arm, but the wound was not serious enough for him to be sent back to Britain. He remained on the 12

front. In July 1917, he was transferred to the 184th Machine Gun Company and, despite his eyesight, took up the position of covering his regiment with a machine-gun. He would later express guilt about killing young Germans – he saw them as no diferent from himself.

GAS ATTACK In September 1917, he was hit by a gas attack. The efects were serious enough for him to be sent to the Edinburgh War Hospital, but he dismissed the severity of the attack during his time of recovery. In a letter to Scott he wrote, ‘Being gassed (mildly) with the new gas is no worse than catarrh or a bad cold.’ While in hospital, he developed a romantic attachment to a nurse called Annie Nelson Drummond, but this did not end well. Gurney did not return to France. He spent time in Seaton Delaval in Northumberland ater leaving the hospital, but he hated it. The combination of gassing, a failed romance, and being in a place that he despised seemed to bring on a new bout of his mental illness. He sufered a breakdown in March 1918, and contemplated suicide on 19 June 1918. He did not go through with it, and was honourably discharged on 4 October 1918. Gurney resolved to return to the Royal College of Music. There he took up studies with Ralph Vaughan Williams, himself a war veteran. Gurney produced some very ine songs during this period and had his poetry published, but his mental state was deteriorating. The diagnosis at the time was ‘delayed’ shell-shock. No doubt his war experiences had contributed substantially to his poor mental health, but he was of course the victim of a long-running disorder. He was not able to complete his studies at the College and withdrew.

Image: The photograph of Ivor Gurney is reproduced with kind permission of the Ivor Gurney Trust

Ivor Gurney is better remembered today as a poet, but he considered himself primarily a composer and only took to writing poems in earnest while in the trenches. His story is especially tragic.

And there is dreadful hell within me. And nothing helps.

BIOGRAPHY Born: Gloucester, 28 August 1890 Period of service: 1915-1918 Died: London, 26 December 1937

ASYLUM Returning to Gloucester, his behaviour became worse. Ater an attempted suicide, his family had him committed to an asylum in September 1922. He spent time in various hospitals over the next 15 years. Their living conditions allowed him to continue to write poems and music, but he oten

found his surroundings conining and distressing. He escaped more than once and, in one incident, turned up at the family home of the Vaughan Williams. The older composer sadly had no choice but to phone the hospital to come and collect him, though he said that he felt ‘like a murderer’ in doing so. October 2016

In the height of battle tell the world in song / How they do hate and fear the face of War.” From the poem To England – A Note

ABOVE British Vickers machine-gun crew wearing PH-type anti-gas helmets, near Ovillers during the Battle of the Somme, July 1916.

I shot him, and it had to be / One of us ’twas him or me.” From the poem The Target

When chemical weapons were used during the First World War, their deployment was technically in violation of the 1899 Hague Declaration Concerning Asphyxiating Gases and the 1907 Hague Convention on Land Warfare. Nevertheless, both sides tried a variety of options, from tear gas and mustard gas (both intended to disable opponents) to lethal agents such as chlorine and phosgene. There was considerable unease about the idea of such weapons, and the British often justified their use as a necessary retaliation to German gas attacks. By the war’s end, gassing had caused some 1.3 million casualties on both sides, but, as in Gurney’s case, they were rarely fatal after 1915 – both sides were more prepared for them by then. Gurney was probably a victim of mustard gas. Germany had introduced it in July 1917, during the Battle of Passchendaele, where he was wounded.

Gurney was eventually diagnosed with delusional insanity. Indeed, he turned to writing new Shakespearean plays and may have believed he was Shakespeare. He died of tuberculosis at the City of London Mental Hospital at the end of 1937. Scott, along with Gurney’s admirers (who included composers Gerald Finzi and Howard Ferguson), endeavoured to promote his works to a wider audience.

ABOVE VAD nurse Annie Nelson Drummond (1887-1959), c.1916.

Dr Philip Lancaster from the University of Exeter will deliver a talk titled ‘Poet of the Great War: Ivor Gurney’ at the British Academy in London on 6 October 2016. He will be accompanied by Gavin Roberts on the piano. æ

Lying in dugouts, joking idly, wearily / Watching the candle guttering in the draught / Hearing the great shells go high over us, eerily / Singing how often have I turned over and laughed.” From the poem Photographs Gone out every bright thing from my mind. / All lost that ever God himself designed.” From the poem To God MILITARY HISTORY MONTHLY

Artwork commissioned by the War Artists Advisory Committee (WAAC) during the Second World War is due to go on display at a new exhibition in London. Established by the Ministry of Information in 1939, and chaired by National Gallery director Kenneth Clark, the WAAC hired some 403 artists to document the conlict. The committee’s self-stated aim was to ‘draw up a list of artists qualiied to record the war at home and abroad’. The exhibition takes its name from an eight-volume pocket-sized pamphlet series called War Pictures by British Artists. The series was published by Oxford University Press to help promote oicial war art at the height of World War II. The original booklets were issued in two batches, each comprising four themed titles. War at Sea, RAF, Army, and Blitz were published in 1942, and Soldiers, Production, Air Raids, and Women were issued one year later.

1.JOHN CECIL STEPHENSON (1889-1965), LOOKING TOWARDS HIGHBURY, CITY OF LONDON IN BACKGROUND. NIGHT OF APRIL 16 1941, 1944. OIL ON CANVAS

Owing to the booklets’ small size and the limitations of 20th-century printing, the artworks were reproduced in low-resolution and without colour. But the irst series was so popular that the initial print run of 24,000 copies sold out in just six months. Many other wartime illustrators drew and painted privately, their works gaining much less exposure. However, these artists added to the richness of the artistic record of the war, portraying it in a variety of styles and mediums, using diferent materials to emphasise the messages of their pictures. This October, in conjunction with Liss Llewellyn Fine Art, the Morley

Gallery in London will showcase many original WAAC pieces alongside unoicial war art from the same period. Housed in Morley College, which was home to a number of beautiful British murals destroyed during the Blitz, the display is a itting tribute to the devastating but not insurmountable damage wrought by the Second World War.

All images: courtesy of Liss Llewellyn Fine Art, including 5. private collection.

This painting records the heavy bombing of London on the night of 16 April 1941, when 681 German aircraft rained explosives on the city. Fires raged all night and many buildings were damaged, including the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral, and the National Gallery. Stephenson applied weighty, bright-red pigments to his canvas to evoke the power of the blaze, while his use of black and grey underscores the smoky chaos it created. October 2016

3 2. ANONYMOUS, WINGS FOR VICTORY, UNKNOWN DATE. LITHOGRAPHIC PROOF

Lithography was invented at the turn of the 19th century as a cheap printing technique. It is often used to print images and text in high quantities, and was commonly used to create wartime posters like this one. Wings for Victory fundraisers were held in towns across the country to collect money for new aircraft. The main body of this poster has been left blank so that the details of the next event can be added later.

3. ERIC FRASER (1902-1983), RAF PILOT EJECTING FROM HIS BURNING PLANE, 1942. PEN AND INK Public enthusiasm for flying aces was reinforced by images like Eric Fraser’s comic-book-style depiction of an RAF pilot. Drawn in thick ink, the pilot appears almost superhuman.

4. ALAN SORRELL (1904-1974), SKETCH FOR AN AERIAL VIEW OF A WARTIME AIRFIELD, c.1944. PENCIL, INK, AND GOUACHE ON TRACING PAPER Alan Sorrell joined the RAF in 1940 and his prolific art recorded everyday life in the Forces. Twenty-six of his works were purchased by the WAAC, who liked his modest, exact style. His precise pencil strokes and squaring of the page ensured that he presented this airfield accurately.

5. EVELYN DUNBAR (1906-1960), MEN STOOKING AND GIRLS LEARNING TO STOOK, c.1943. OIL ON CANVAS

Dunbar was the only female war artist to receive a renewable full-time contract with the WAAC. She was commissioned to enthuse women with depictions of their work on the Home Front. This rustic scene screams ordered production, hope, and fertility, but, for some unknown reason, the WAAC rejected it.

6. JOHN BUCKLAND WRIGHT (1897-1954), STALINGRAD, 1942. OIL ON CANVAS Buckland Wright joined the Scottish Ambulance Service during the First World War. He witnessed harrowing scenes in the trenches. His experiences affected him deeply, and this surreal, alien landscape expresses the inhumanity of the Second World War.

7. FRANCIS SPEAR (1902-1979), SAINT MICHAEL KILLING SATAN, UNKNOWN DATE. PEN AND INK, WASH AND WATERCOLOUR ON PAPER Spear was a stained-glass artist and lithographer. This design shows St Michael, the leader of God’s army against Satan, dressed as a soldier. Accompanied by Churchill’s words, ‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few’, the image commemorates the saintly sacrifice of RAF crewmen who fought in the Battle of Britain.

GO FURTHER WWII War Pictures by British Artists is on display from 28 October until 23 November 2016 at Morley Gallery in London. Address: Morley Gallery, Morley College, 62 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7HT Opening times: 11am-6pm Monday-Friday and noon-4pm Saturday Website: www.llfa.gallery Sacha Llewellyn and Paul Liss have edited and published a catalogue and essay collection to accompany the exhibition. 16

Chemists at war 1914-1918 The First World War is sometimes known as ‘the chemists’ war’. With chemicals at the heart of almost every action, this is more than hyperbole. Michael Freemantle explains. 18

LEFT Douglas Haig, British Commander-in-Chief on the Western Front. His ‘wearing-out struggle’ consumed unprecedented quantities of chemicals.

Chemists controlled the manufacture of ‘munitions, explosives, metals, leather, rubber, oil, gases, food, and drugs’.

he industrial-scale slaughter and destruction of the Great War would not have been possible without the industrial-scale production of chemicals. When the belligerents engaged in battle, they spent most of the time firing chemicals at one another, most importantly high explosives, chemical-warfare agents, and incendiaries. To fire these chemicals, they needed another group of chemical materials: propellants. Furthermore, these propellants could not be ignited without the use of yet another group of chemicals. These were the primary explosives that detonated when the gun was fired. Chemicals were not just used for killing: they were also important for the care of the sick and wounded, and for providing protection. Chemists controlled the manufacture of ‘munitions, explosives, metals, leather, rubber, oil, gases, food, drugs’, noted British chemist MAIN IMAGE The modern battlefield is suffused with chemical agents. Here we see a French heavy trench-mortar in action on the Western Front, shrouded in the smoke generated by propellant charges. www.military-history.org

Richard Pilcher in an article published in 1917. He called the war ‘the chemists’ war’. But even with the best efforts of chemists and their chemical-engineering colleagues, the chemicals required for the war effort on both sides of the conflict could not be manufactured without raw materials. Within months of the start of the war, both Germany and Britain were in danger of running out of some of these vital raw materials.

THE NITROGEN PROBLEM In his final despatch as Commander-in-Chief of the British Armies in France, Field-Marshal Sir Douglas Haig observed that the British Army owed a great debt to science and scientists. The despatch, dated 21 March 1919, noted that the rapid collapse of Germany’s military powers in the latter half of 1918 was the logical outcome of the fighting of the previous two years. ‘It would not have taken place but for the period of ceaseless attrition which used up the reserves of the German armies.’ He referred to the war of attrition as a ‘wearing-out struggle’. As the war progressed, it became not just a wearing-out struggle of men but also one

of materials, the materials being the guns and ammunition to fight the enemy, and the raw materials required to manufacture the munitions. The British naval blockade, Haig observed, ‘sapped with more deadly insistence from year to year the strength and resolution of German people’. Germany entered the war with stocks of ammunition and explosives for an intensive campaign of just a few months. By the beginning of 1915, stocks had dwindled and so Germany had to ramp up production. But there was a problem: nitrogen. The manufacture of explosives such as trinitrotoluene (TNT), nitroglycerine, and guncotton (a form of nitrocellulose) relied on supplies of nitrogen-containing chemicals, most importantly nitric acid. Nitrogencontaining chemicals were also needed for the manufacture of the soil fertilisers ammonium sulphate and ammonium nitrate. The country had traditionally imported nitrate minerals from South America as raw materials to supply most of the nitrogen it required for the manufacture of explosives and fertilisers. The blockade put a stop to the imports. Germany had to find other sources of nitrogen. MILITARY HISTORY MONTHLY

It was the first use of a ‘weapon of mass destruction’ in the history of warfare. then be converted into nitric acid, which in turn could be transformed into nitre by its reaction with potash, a mineral abundantly available in Germany. There is little evidence that Hindenburg’s chamber lye directive amounted to much. However, another solution to the nitrogen problem was on hand. Step in German chemist Fritz Haber, one of the most important chemists of the 20th century.

EXPLOSIVES FROM AIR GUNPOWDER FROM ‘CHAMBER LYE’ Urine provided one possible solution to the nitrogen problem. In early 1915, German women were surprised to see a newspaper advert addressed to them and signed by FieldMarshal Paul von Hindenburg. It read: The women of Germany are commanded to save their chamber lye, as it is very needful to the cause of the Fatherland in the manufacture of nitre, one of the ingredients of gunpowder. Wagons, barrels, and tanks will be sent to residences daily to collect and remove the same.

ABOVE Paul von Hindenburg, German Commanderin-Chief in the second half of the war. He appealed to German women to pee for the Fatherland, such was the military demand for nitrogen.

Gunpowder is a mixture of nitre, also known as potassium nitrate or saltpetre, and two chemical elements: carbon (in the form of charcoal) and sulphur. Hindenburg’s scientific colleagues knew that under certain conditions urea, a nitrogen-containing chemical in urine, generates ammonia, a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen. The ammonia could

In August 1909, Haber and a young British chemist, Robert Le Rossignol, filed a patent for producing ammonia from nitrogen extracted from air, and hydrogen extracted from water. BASF, Germany’s largest chemical company, developed the process on an industrial scale. Production began in September 1913, the ammonia being used to make ammonium sulphate fertiliser. Haber and German chemist Carl Bosch, who led the BASF team, both won Nobel Prizes in Chemistry for their work on the process. The large-scale manufacture of nitrogenous fertilisers boosted food production in Germany,

A British field-gun in action in 1918. A mix of chemicals was required for detonators, propellants, and explosives.

Poison gases Chlorine A lethal asphyxiating chemical-warfare agent prepared by the electrolysis of brine (a solution of sodium chloride in water). Chlorine was also employed to sterilise drinking water.

Phosgene Also known as carbonyl chloride, this highly toxic colourless choking-gas was used not only as a chemical-warfare agent, but also in industry to manufacture dyes and pharmaceutical products.

TWELVE FIRST WORLD WAR CHEMICALS Explosives TNT German chemist Julius Wilbrand irst prepared trinitrotoluene in 1863. In the First World War, the chemical was used as a blasting explosive in tunnelling operations and as a bursting charge in high-explosive shells. Lyddite The high explosive, also known as picric acid or trinitrophenol, was named ater Lydd, a town in Kent where it was manufactured. The British used the compound not only to ill shells, but also as an antiseptic by dissolving it in alcohol and water. Ammonal The name given to a variety of high explosives containing ammonium nitrate and aluminium.

and its people lauded Haber as the chemist who discovered how to produce ‘bread from air’. Soon after the war started, the process was employed to generate the ammonia needed to make nitric acid for the manufacture of explosives. Haber had effectively discovered a way of making ‘explosives from air’. FAR LEFT A German gas attack on the Eastern Front. LEFT Fritz Haber, the German chemist who produced first ‘bread from air’ and then ‘explosives from air’ – though later the choice became one or the other: ‘to starve or to shoot’. www.military-history.org

The explosives were used to ill hand grenades, shells, and trench-mortar bombs, and also as blasting explosives for underground mines. Amatol A high-explosive mixture of ammonium nitrate and TNT used by the British to ill shells when supplies of TNT began to run short. Cordite A British smokeless propellant consisting of nitroglycerine, nitrocellulose, and petroleum jelly. Mercury fulminate A primary explosive that detonates spontaneously and violently when subjected to shock or friction or when heated or hit by a spark. The compound was a key component of detonating compositions in fuses, grenades, bombs, and percussion caps.

As the war of attrition continued, Germany found it increasingly difficult to manufacture ammonia, by whatever means, in sufficient quantities to make explosives for the war effort and at the same time nitrogenous fertilisers for the farming industry. ‘The uncompromising alternative was to starve or to shoot,’ Haber observed after the war. Germany chose to shoot, and by the end of the war its people were starving.

FEMALE CHEMISTS On 22 April 1915, a German regiment of gas pioneers, supervised by Haber, unleashed 168

Mustard gas This oily liquid, also known as sulphur mustard or dichloroethyl sulphide, releases a vapour with a smell of mustard oil. The oil penetrated clothing, and caused painful blisters and burns. The vapour, if inhaled, resulted in terrible internal injuries. The Germans, French, and British all manufactured large quantities of the liquid for use as a blister agent in artillery shells.

Care of the sick and wounded Morphia Known as morphine nowadays, this bitter white crystalline compound was the painkiller of choice in the war. It is one of 50 or more nitrogen-containing organic compounds known as alkaloids that occur naturally in the opium poppy. Chloroform Surgeons used this colourless volatile liquid as an anaesthetic to carry out amputations and other operations on the wounded. The compound had been discovered in 1831. Chloride of lime Armies employed chloride of lime, also known as bleaching powder or calcium hypochlorite, as a disinfectant in the trenches, casualty clearingstations, and military hospitals.

tons of chlorine against the Allies defending the line at Langemarck, near Ypres. It was the first use of a ‘weapon of mass destruction’ in the history of warfare. Within a couple of weeks, British Secretary of State for War Lord Kitchener authorised the development and use of chemical weapons in retaliation for the German attack. Chemists were needed for the programme, so the War Office sent a notice to the Institute of Chemistry of Great Britain and Ireland calling for ‘men with a knowledge of chemistry’. But many chemists had already signed up for active service. Two memorials at the Royal MILITARY HISTORY MONTHLY

By 1917, Weizmann’s process was producing some 3,000 tons of acetone a year from maize and rice. Society of Chemistry headquarters in London list scores of chemists ‘who died in the service of their country 1914-1918’. It was not until late 1916 that Britain transferred all chemists in active military service to chemical duties at home. By then, a pool of qualified women chemists were already contributing to the war effort in the country’s academic, government, and industrial laboratories. In 1915, for example, the government hired May Leslie, who had graduated in chemistry at Leeds University in 1908, to carry out research in an industrial laboratory near Liverpool. Her investigations into the manufacture of 22

nitric acid enabled the acid to be produced more efficiently. Martha Whiteley, a chemistry lecturer at Imperial College London, gathered a team of female chemists at the college to tackle the chronic shortages of pharmaceuticals, anaesthetics, and other chemical products that had been imported from Germany before the war. They not only developed ways of making local anaesthetics and painkillers for military hospitals, but also carried out research for the chemical warfare department of the Ministry of Munitions on tear gases and blister agents such as mustard gas. In one experiment, Whiteley applied a tiny smear of mustard gas to her arm to determine its effect and ‘for nearly three months suffered great discomfort from the widespread open wound it caused in the bend of the elbow’. She carried the scar for the rest of her life.

ACETONE FROM GRAIN In the early years of the war, Britain not only suffered shortages of the chemical products needed to care for the sick and wounded, it was also desperately short of one of the key chemicals needed to make cordite, the smokeless propellant used by the British Army and Royal Navy to fire their guns.

ABOVE A Canadian soldier with mustard-gas burns in a military hospital in 1917/18.

That chemical was acetone, a versatile solvent traditionally obtained from pyroligneous liquor, one of the products of heating wood under airtight conditions. Cordite factories used acetone to mix together the three components of cordite: petroleum jelly and the explosives nitroglycerine and nitrocellulose. Before the war, Britain depended on imports of the solvent from Austria and the United States for most of its needs and only produced small amounts itself. By 1915, stocks of the solvent were critically low. The country now faced the prospect of failing to meet the ever-increasing demands of its armed forces for the propellant. A discovery by Chaim Weizmann, a chemistry lecturer at the University of Manchester, provided a solution to the problem. Weizmann was born into a Jewish family in Belarus in 1874. After studying chemistry in Germany and Switzerland, he emigrated to England in 1904, and six years later became a naturalised British subject. Two years before the start of the war, he showed that the fermentation of grain using a certain type of bacterium yielded acetone. Soon after the start of the war, the fermentation process came to the attention of the October 2016

British Government, and Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, asked Weizmann to scale it up. By 1917, Weizmann’s process was producing some 3,000 tons of acetone a year from maize and rice. Weizmann subsequently became known as ‘the father of industrial fermentation’. In his autobiography, Weizmann, an ardent supporter of the Zionist movement, suggests that the Balfour Declaration, which encouraged the establishment of national home in Palestine for the Jewish people, was a reward for his services to the country. In July 1919, Weizmann was elected unopposed as president of the World Zionist Organisation, and in February 1949 became the first president of the State of Israel.

DAKIN FINDS A SOLUTION Troops in the First World War frequently lived for days in rat- and fly-infested trenches and dugouts, where they were bitten by fleas and clothed in lice-ridden uniforms. The wounded sometimes had to lie on the battlefield for hours or days in filthy clothing, mud, and soil teeming with dangerously infectious micro-organisms. Micro-organisms ‘have won more victories than powder and shot’, observed Canadian doctor Sir William Osler in an address at the outbreak of the war. Various reports estimate that diseases such as dysentery, typhoid, and gangrene caused 80% to 90% of all battlefield deaths during the European wars of the 19th century. In the Great War, that statistic was turned on its head. Shelling and rifle and machinewww.military-history.org

ABOVE The iconic object of the age of chemical warfare: the gas mask – here worn by a football team of British soldiers on the Western Front in 1916.

Shelling and rifle and machine-gun fire accounted for around 80% of all battlefield deaths, disease for just 20%. ABOVE Chaim Weizmann, ‘the father of industrial fermentation’, whose services to the chemistry of Britain’s war effort were, he suggested, rewarded with the Balfour Declaration.

gun fire accounted for around 80% of all battlefield deaths, disease for just 20%. The relatively widespread availability of chemical products, such as disinfectants, antiseptics, anaesthetics, and painkillers, enabled medical officers and nurses to provide much better care of the sick and wounded than had been possible in earlier wars. Early in the war, English surgeon Sir Rickman Godlee observed that practically all the wounds of soldiers injured on the Western Front were septic. Medical officers employed a wide range of antiseptics to combat these infections. They included preparations containing chemicals such as iodine, carbolic acid, picric acid, or hydrogen peroxide. Many of these preparations, however, proved irritating to wounds, even when applied as dilute solutions. In November 1915, English chemist Henry Dakin reported that a non-irritant antiseptic solution could be prepared by dissolving washing soda and bleaching powder in water, filtering out the solid that is formed, and finally adding boric acid, a mild antiseptic powder, to the solution. The following year, Dakin and Alexis Carrel, a French surgeon who had won the 1912 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, endeavoured to improve the treatment of infected wounds. Working together in a MILITARY HISTORY MONTHLY

CHEMICAL WARFARE TIMELINE 1914 August The French use hand grenades illed with ethyl bromoacetate, a tear gas.

1915 January The Germans ire T-shells at the Russians on the Eastern Front. These tear-gas shells contained a mixture of two chemicals: benzyl bromide and xylyl bromide. 22 April The Germans attack the Allies with clouds of chlorine gas released from cylinders during the Second Battle of Ypres. The attack was directed by Fritz Haber, ‘the father of modern chemical warfare’. May The British Army distributes smoke hoods to troops to protect against chlorine gas. The hoods are impregnated with chemicals that neutralise chlorine. 25 September The British employ chlorine gas as a chemical weapon in a cloud-gas operation at the Battle of Loos. December The Germans introduce their snout-type canister gas-mask. The Germans use phosgene mixed with chlorine in cloud-gas operations against the British in Flanders. Smoke hoods ofer no protection against phosgene.

1916 January The British issue troops with helmets that protect against chlorine, phosgene, and tear gas.

hospital in northern France, they developed the so-called Carrel-Dakin method. It involved flushing the surface of the wound frequently with a gentle stream of Dakin’s solution. As the solution rapidly deteriorated, it had to be freshly prepared before use.

DOUBLE AGENTS Some chemicals of the Great War acted as double agents, killing on the one hand and saving lives on the other. For instance, both Germany and the Allies employed chlorine as 24

ABOVE British casualties of a German gas attack in 1917.

February Shells illed with a lethal poison gas are ired for the irst time in the war when the French bombard the Germans with phosgene shells at the start of the Battle of Verdun. The British begin to distribute the ‘box respirator’ gas mask, designed by English chemist Edward Harrison, to protect against a variety of gases. May The German artillery ire shells illed with diphosgene, another lethal chemical, against the French at the Battle of Verdun. 1 July On the irst day of the Battle of the Somme, the French ire shells that release highly toxic hydrogen cyanide. August On the Eastern Front, the Russians ire gas shells illed with chloropicrin. The chemical is a lung irritant and tear gas that penetrates gas masks designed to protect against chlorine and phosgene.

a chemical weapon. Yet the element was also essential for the manufacture of disinfectants like bleaching powder and anaesthetics such as chloroform. The British explosives ammonal and amatol are also examples. Both explosives contained ammonium nitrate, a compound that was also used as a soil fertiliser and therefore to feed people. Overall, the war was an unprecedented demonstration of chemistry’s ability to act as a double-edged sword. The discoveries of

1917 July The Germans ire shells illed with sternutators: chemicals that induce sneezing and vomiting. Their purpose is to force defending troops to remove their gas masks and thus expose them to lethal gases that were being ired simultaneously. The Germans begin to ire shells illed with mustard gas against the British. Gas masks ofered little protection against the chemical, as it attacked the whole body, causing blistering and severe burns. The vapour could be lethal if inhaled.

1918 16 June The French begin to ire mustard-gas shells on the Western Front. 29 September The British ire mustard-gas shells on the opening day of the Battle of St Quentin Canal.

chemists before and during the war provided a cornucopia of benefits for the armed forces and the civilian population. At the same time, the discoveries ripped open a Pandora’s box of death and destruction.

Michael Freemantle is a science writer and author of The Chemists’ War, 1914-1918 (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2014) and Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! How chemistry changed the First World War (The History Press, 2012). October 2016

he Battle of Hastings, fought 950 years ago this month, was the British debut of a new way of war, based on heavy shock cavalry. Though the feudal order had its origins as far back as the 8th century, the AngloSaxon (and, for that matter, Viking) military system had remained infantry-based. Hastings, on the other hand, was a clear-cut triumph of armoured cavalry over an infantry phalanx – and thus the beginning of ‘the age of chivalry’. At least, that is one contention. Medieval historian (and MHM Assistant Editor) Hazel Blair challenges this interpretation in our special feature. There are two related issues. First, the battle was long and hard-fought, with the Normans close to defeat as the light dimmed on that fateful autumn day. The reason was simple: heavy horse cannot break solid infantry. King Harold’s ‘shield-wall’ had stood firm through the long hours of battle. While it continued to do so, the Normans could not win. Tight-packed, many ranks deep, the front line and flanks were held by armoured thegns and housecarls who presented a barrier of shields and projecting blades to the enemy. Coupled with the shire militia of free peasants standing behind and hurling missiles overhead, the AngloSaxon line could not be broken by frontal assault. It was only last-minute accident and improvisation that finally allowed the Normans to penetrate and break up the shield-wall. The historical stakes could hardly have been higher. Yet the battle was exceptionally close-run, and the Anglo-Saxons were desperately unlucky to have lost. The second consideration is this: ‘the age of chivalry’ is an ideological construct, not a historical reality. Most Western armies throughout the Middle Ages were formed predominantly of infantry, and so long as the infantry was of good quality, discipline, and morale, it could not be broken in frontal assault by feudal heavy cavalry. The horsey military elite looked down on their social inferiors, whether in the village at home or in the army on campaign. Their propagandists – the poets and minstrels, the clerics and historians – echoed their posturing as the primary arm of medieval warfare. But on the battlefield, more often than not, the chivalry fought on foot alongside the humble archer and spearman. Of course they did: for horses are vulnerable to missiles, cannot be ridden into a solid line of infantry, and provide too unstable a platform for the effective defence of ground. There was nothing ‘obsolete’ about the shield-wall at Hastings. The Anglo-Saxons were just unlucky. Infantry have always been the essential basis of Western armies. Hazel Blair analyses the battle and the rival military systems, while Jack Watkins draws attention to the vital role of military fortification in the consolidation of Norman rule. MILITARY HISTORY MONTHLY

Norman and Anglo-Saxon Warriors Who fought at Hastings? Medieval historian and MHM Assistant Editor Hazel Blair profiles the men on the battlefield in 1066.

odern historians have debated the size of the armies that fought at Hastings, but nobody really knows how many men were involved in the battle. Nevertheless, we can sketch the roles played by some of them. There were two military systems present on the field at Hastings. The Anglo-Saxons relied

entirely on infantrymen – and a few archers – raised from the shires, complemented by a small group of trained fighters. Like Viking warriors, these men fought close-packed and on foot, in the tradition of their forebears. On the other side of the battlefield, the Norman army was heavily stratified. William led a combined-arms force that comprised infantrymen, archers, and mounted warriors.

Cavalrymen Like their stallions, those who fought on horseback at Hastings were bred for battle. Most were knights who held land in return for military service owed to a lord. They formed a highly trained mounted fighting force. The ability to fight effectively on horseback required great skill, and training for war in the saddle began at an early age. But owning and equipping horses was costly. It is likely that, while cavalrymen may have been tactically important to the battle’s outcome, they were less well represented on the battlefield than the Bayeux Tapestry would have us believe. But we know for certain that Duke William’s cavalrymen were fairly well armed. The Tapestry shows them wearing helmets and hauberks (shirts of mail), and carrying oblong kite-shields. The cavalry were well protected, but their armour was surprisingly light, and the many interlocking rings of mail afforded the wearer of the hauberk a degree of flexibility. But, although mail was designed to absorb the shock of an enemy blow, it was vulnerable to penetration by nimbler weapons, like swords and spears. The role of the Norman cavalrymen at Hastings was varied: they used swords to engage in close-combat fighting with the enemy, but they also carried lances, which could be thrown from a distance, or thrust overand under-arm to jab at infantrymen ahead of the horse. There has been some debate over the method preferred at Hastings, but hurling lances overhead would have been the most effective technique, given that the Anglo-Saxon shield-wall was positioned uphill. 28

They were arranged in three sections, one behind the other. Despite some differences in the composition of the Norman and Anglo-Saxon armies, the length of the battle testifies to the fact that they were fairly evenly matched. Their precise numbers may elude us, but we know enough to take a closer look at the men who defended King Harold and those who finally overcame them.

The Tapestry shows some cavalrymen holding lances under-arm. This would have allowed the rider to advance at some speed, while directing the full force of his charge onto the lance’s tip, for maximum impact. Cavalrymen offered medieval armies strategic options unavailable to forces made up entirely of infantry. Horses could cover ground far more quickly than men on foot. The horses themselves were also used as weapons: not only were they psychologically very threatening, but by virtue of their size they could knock down and trample even heavily armed infantrymen who had broken ranks.

Fyrdmen The infantrymen who fought with Harold at Hastings belonged to the fyrd – an umbrellaterm for the Anglo-Saxon army, composed of freemen raised from the shires. It was not a standing army, but one that could be mobilised when necessary. The type of military service owed to the King, and by whom, was related to social rank and landholding. Anglo-Saxon England was divided into shires, which were themselves divided into hundreds, and then into hides. Sources describing the exact relationship between land and military service in 11th-century England are wanting, but we know that in Berkshire, one man per five hides was required to give military service to the King when requested. The result, as historian Richard Abels has shown, was that there were two types of fyrdmen who would have fought with King Harold on the battlefield at Hastings. The first would have been the landholder himself – one of the King’s magnates. As a www.military-history.org

nobleman, he would likely have been trained in the art of war – at least in theory, if not in practice. If he was a royal thegn (a minor aristocrat who owed military service to the King), he probably also had military experience. These noble fyrdmen could afford highquality arms and armour. They are the foot soldiers in the Tapestry shown wearing hauberks with mail sleeves and calf-length mail leggings. Their conical metal helmets included nose-plates and, in some cases, neck-guards at the rear. Most of these men are depicted wearing mailed coifs under their helmets, to cover their faces and necks. They are kitted out in arms and armour identical to those of the Norman cavalrymen. Most noble fyrdmen used swords, of which several period-examples survive, and also possessed spears. They carried shields for protection (both kite- and circle-shaped examples are shown on the Tapestry), but these could be formidable weapons in their own right, when used in conjunction with swords.

If he held a large estate, the magnate would also have been responsible for the provision of men from his land, relative to the number of hides he possessed. These warriors would have been villagers, farmers, and peasants, selected for their experience, strength, skill, or youth. These men were less well armed, but their peers may have provided them with weapons and provisions before they left for battle. They are pictured in the Tapestry without mail, although some may have worn padded or protective leather clothing. The majority possessed spears, which were slightly shorter than lances. Most are not equipped with swords, although many do have shields. Some even wielded makeshift weapons of wood and stone. William of Poitiers referred to these men in action when he described the ‘deadly hail’ of missiles unleashed by the Anglo-Saxons on the Norman infantry as it made its way up the hill in the opening stages of the battle: ‘They threw spears and weapons of every kind, murderous axes and stones tied to sticks.’ MILITARY HISTORY MONTHLY

Archers Both sides possessed them, but the Norman archers significantly outnumbered their Anglo-Saxon counterparts – only one Anglo-Saxon archer is depicted on the Tapestry. Some Norman archers are shown wearing coats of mail, but most do not wear any armour: those at Hastings were likely plucked from the lower rungs of Norman society. As missile troops, they were vital members of the Duke’s army. William positioned them up front, ahead of his mailed infantry and knights, to weaken and demoralise the Anglo-Saxons with an arrow-storm before the main assault. Showers of arrows could also provide the rest of the army with cover. Medieval archers propelled their iron-tipped arrows with wooden bows. Those depicted in the Tapestry are shown drawing their arrows to their chests before shooting, suggesting that the bows used at Hastings were ancestors of the 14th-century longbow, which was drawn to the ear and could send arrows even further. Some Normans may also have wielded crossbows, capable of shooting bolts with greater power. The Norman archers at Hastings shot rapidly and with great force, as the arrow-studded shields of the Anglo-Saxons attest. Some also consider the archers responsible for the death of King Harold himself. William’s archers were even given their own specific penance after the battle, to atone for the casualties they caused. Positioned on a hill, Anglo-Saxon bowmen could have rained shot on their adversaries from above. So why did Harold fight William with so few archers? Several theories have been advanced: one suggests that Harold’s archers suffered in the Battle of Stamford Bridge, fought just a few weeks earlier, and that those who survived could not travel south quickly enough because they did not have the means to do so. Another theory posits that archers tended to reside near areas of dense forest that, as lowly warriors, they were typically recruited locally and that there were therefore fewer bowmen available to fight at Hastings, located as it was in a fairly woodless area of south-east England. There is no real evidence to support either of these explanations, but both are certainly plausible.

Housecarls In addition to the mix of well-trained and lesser-trained warriors of the fyrd, Harold was supported by elite housecarls. The line between thegn and housecarl was a fine one, with both groups constantly evolving, but it is safe to say that housecarls were men with military and administrative duties, who served in the households of Danish and Anglo-Saxon nobles and kings. Introduced to England by Cnut, they were not quite mercenaries, who owed little allegiance to their commanders other than the military aid for which they were paid, but they were in receipt of wages in return for their service. They appear to have been professional, or at least semi-professional, private soldiers, although the idea that they formed a standing army has been convincingly rejected. Their exact nature has been the subject of much debate, and while, as a group, they are not mentioned by name in the written sources that describe the Battle of Hastings, they are known to have been a feature of Anglo-Saxon households from the age of Alfred the Great. A 12th-century Danish writer explained that, The king and other leading men who have a household should show their men favour and 30

good will and give them proper pay. In return, men should give their lord loyalty and service, and be prepared to do all his commands. The men described here likely resembled the royal and noble housecarls, who arrived at Hastings straight from the Anglo-Saxon victory at Stamford Bridge. Like fyrdmen, housecarls fought on foot. They were better trained than fyrdmen, and wore superior, mailed military garb and helmets with nasal protection. As semi-professional fighters, not only would the royal housecarls have fought with Harold, but the noble housecarls might also have been responsible for supporting the fyrd by fighting along the front-line. It has been suggested that the housecarls at Hastings included those depicted in the Tapestry brandishing large, two-handed axes. Battle-axes were heavy and difficult to use – they were much larger than hand-axes, which were light and easily thrown. These frightening weapons were often employed against horses, and the Tapestry suggests that Harold’s army at Hastings comprised a special group of elite warriors capable of wielding them. October 2016

WARRIORS Norman infantrymen ‘Hastings was a battle of cavalry against infantry only in the sense that the English had no cavalry, not that the Normans had no infantry,’ wrote R Allen Brown in 1980. Nevertheless, over a quarter of a century later, Hastings continues to be painted as a victory for Norman horsemen. Yet, as the battlefield terrain was marshy and uneven, and thus not well suited to horses, the Norman infantry were more agile on the field than their cavalry, even though they could not cover as much ground, nor charge forward quite as fast. They were also cheaper to equip and maintain, so they were probably present in some number, though of this we cannot be certain. William of Poitiers mentions that Duke William placed heavily armed Norman infantry in mailed tunics behind his archers, but this is not depicted in the Tapestry’s battle scenes (the illustration on the right of a mailed infantryman is a reimagining of the biblical giant Goliath from an early 12th-century manuscript). Even King William is said to have fought on foot for a while, having had his horse killed under him. Like their saddled and Anglo-Saxon counterparts, some Norman infantrymen wore mail and conical helmets, and carried kite-shields, but it is likely that many were less well protected. They also carried spears which were both throwing and thrusting weapons. The better-off would have used swords to slash and stab at their opponents. Unlike the Anglo-Saxons, the Norman infantry did not huddle together, fixed to the ground for the whole of the battle. Fighting on the offensive, their role was more dynamic. They challenged the enemy face-to-face in the first and final Norman assaults at Hastings.

BELOW Re-enactors take to the field at the annual English Heritage ‘Battle of Hastings’.

Medieval historian and MHM Assistant Editor Hazel Blair analyses one of the most decisive battles in British history, 950 years after it was fought.

n April 1066, ‘a portent such as men had never seen before’ was observed in the sky above England. The sign was Halley’s Comet and contemporaries believed it heralded great change. In medieval accounts of the Battle of Hastings, the omen foreshadows Harold’s downfall. But was the English king really destined for defeat?

The best-known date in English history may be 1066, but we know surprisingly little about the battle that destroyed Anglo-Saxon England. When it comes to the Norman Conquest, myth and history often seem inseparable. Duke William of Normandy’s knights, for instance, have become synonymous with his victory, and the Bayeux Tapestry is packed

full of mounted warriors charging towards Harold’s line. By comparison, the English foot soldiers seem small and insignificant – as if doomed to die beneath the horses’ hooves. But despite the starry omen and William’s eventual triumph, Hastings was an exceptionally close-run battle. The duke’s mail-clad horsemen may have been a spectacle, but the strength of October 2016

Images: (centre) Alamy (right) copyright Colin Smith

OPPOSITE The Battle of Hastings changed the course of English history. But how decisive was the role of the Norman cavalry? ABOVE Harold Godwinson [LEFT], William of Normandy [CENTRE], and Harald Hardrada [RIGHT]: each considered himself King of England after Edward the Confessor died in January 1066.

the Anglo-Saxons’ defence against the Norman invaders deserves wider recognition.

HAROLD: SUCCESSOR OR USURPER? England’s economy in the 11th century was strong, but even prosperous countries are not immune to political infighting. Although Edward the Confessor led a relatively peaceful life, he was childless and his death plunged the kingdom into turmoil as rival parties vied for the English throne. The king’s closest blood relative was Edgar the Aethling, a 14-year-old boy unable to muster the strength required to fight his illness, let alone fight for the crown. The Witenagemot (an assembly of AngloSaxon nobles) thus elected Harold Godwinson as Edward’s successor. His kingly qualities had shone through during his campaigns against Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, King of Wales, in the early 1060s, and, having held the earldoms of East Anglia, Wessex, and Hereford at various times, he was considered the man best qualified to lead the country. Some Anglo-Saxons even maintained that, with his dying breath, Edward granted Harold his kingdom. To the Normans, however, Harold was nothing but a covetous usurper. They claimed Duke William was bestowed Edward’s blessing, marked for kingship because of familial ties to the House of Wessex through his great-aunt Emma, Edward’s mother. But William’s fight for England might also have been personal: Harold, the Norman www.military-history.org

chroniclers and the Bayeux Tapestry stress, had broken a sacred oath. While visiting Normandy in 1064/1065, Harold had accompanied William in his pursuit and defeat of the Duke of Brittany during the Breton-Norman War (1064-1065). He was thanked for his services in the campaign, and it was then, the Normans claimed, that he promised to support William should the bastard duke make a bid for the English throne. Trouble was also stirring to the east, as King Harald Hardrada of Norway made ready to seize Harold’s crown. Harald’s predecessor Cnut had subjugated England half a century earlier, and this, Hardrada claimed, made him Edward’s rightful heir.

NORMANS AND NORSEMEN King Harold’s men gazed across the Channel throughout the summer and autumn of 1066. The King had come to Kent from London to quash raids led by his unscrupulous brother

Tostig, and, once his sibling had fled, turned his attention to the looming threat from Normandy. According to one Anglo-Saxon chronicler, he marshalled land and naval forces ‘larger than any king had assembled before in this country’. In full anticipation of Duke William’s invasion (though, seemingly, not Hardrada’s), he had men keep watch from the Isle of Wight and stationed others along the chalky southern coastline. Having suffered two centuries of Viking raids, the Anglo-Saxons were a battle-hardened people. The King was vigilant his troops were ready – but the Normans did not come. On 8 September, believing the campaigning season over, Harold dispersed his navy and withdrew his men from their watch along the Kentish coast. They had been alert for months but had run out of provisions. And, although the King knew his rivals were still out there, probably plotting his demise, he assumed that, with winter approaching, their fervour would have cooled. He was mistaken. That day, Hardrada came ashore near York to contest Harold’s crown. With Tostig’s support, the Norwegian king harried the east coast demanding surrender, punishing anyone who dared resist.

STAMFORD BRIDGE The army Harold had at his disposal in 1066 proved itself at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, fought against the Norwegian invaders three weeks before Hastings. There, the Anglo-Saxons won a decisive victory. Hardrada – his name means ‘hard ruler’ – was a warrior-king with a fearsome reputation. Already, LEFT The Bayeux Tapestry shows Harold receiving arms and armour from William. This scene reinforces the idea that Harold was a disloyal usurper, justifying William’s outrage and invasion. MILITARY HISTORY MONTHLY

1066 TIMELINE 5 January Edward the Confessor dies King Edward fell ill in November 1065 and died in the New Year, aged 63. He was buried in Westminster Abbey the following day and was later made a saint.

6 January Harold Godwinson is crowned King of England Edward died childless, so Harold Godwinson, England’s most powerful earl, was selected to succeed him.

24 April Halley’s Comet appears A ‘long-haired star’ was seen in the sky, signifying great and imminent change. In the Middle Ages, dramatic natural occurrences were considered heavenly signs that corresponded with earthly events.

ABOVE William constructed his fleet from scratch and was ready to set sail by mid-August, but his Channel crossing was delayed by several weeks due to contrary winds. William’s flagship The Mora is shown with a papal banner flying from her masthead – Pope Alexander II supported the invasion, although whether he gave William his banner has been debated. BELOW William placed skirmishing archers in front of his foot soldiers, who are not depicted here. The duke rode with his cavalry in the rear.

in the two weeks since his landing, he had massacred Mercians and Northumbrians at the Battle of Fulford – an initial challenge to his invasion, led by Harold’s northern earls Edwin and Morcar. But the English military system was robust, and Harold’s army was tough and well disciplined. Learning of the Norwegian advance and the crumbling Anglo-Saxon resistance, Harold and his men travelled north in just five days to rout the invaders, picking up further troops from the shires along the way. Having rapidly assembled, the AngloSaxons delivered a crushing defeat to the Norwegians on 25 September. Along with several thousand warriors, both Hardrada and Tostig were slain. Few reliable details of the engagement survive. The Norwegians are said to have fought without their armour, having been taken by surprise. Some 13th-century Icelandic sagas state that the English fought with cavalry, but there is little evidence to support this and, for the most part, the historical record suggests Harold’s men fought on foot. The exact number of casualties is unknown, but both sides battled hard and the fighting lasted several hours. In the end, of the 200-300 warships with which the invaders had come to England, fewer than 25 returned to Norway.

Harold’s imminent defeat in the south must not obscure the scale of his achievement in Yorkshire. Indeed, his victory in the north is testament to the might of the force he could muster at short notice. Having extinguished the Viking threat, his position was much stronger. The reign of England’s last Anglo-Saxon king, though volatile, was at its zenith.

BATTLE The Normans set sail for England two days later. William made the voyage from St-Valerysur-Somme with a fleet of 700 newly built ships loaded with soldiers, horses, provisions, and weapons. Crossing the water, propelled by a favourable wind, his men landed at Pevensey Bay on 28 September. When Harold, in York, received news of William’s landing, he promptly made for London with those infantrymen who were able to make the journey south. There, he gathered more levies, raised from neighbouring shires, and installed a fleet of ships in the Channel to stop the Normans retreating. William sought combat and a quick victory. Assembling his troops, he led them northwards to present-day Battle, where the armies converged on Saturday 14 October. The precise location of the battlefield has not been convincingly located, but William founded Battle Abbey near the site four years later. Emerging from dense forest, their spears glistening in the morning sunlight, Harold’s men arrayed in a strong defensive position. Whether or not Harold picked the location of the fighting in advance has been the subject of much debate, but, regardless, we know that his foot soldiers benefitted from being stationed uphill. The Normans approached the battlefield from the south, with an integrated force of

8 September Harold moves inland Harold dismissed the militia he had stationed along the south coast. Hardrada lands near York.

20 September Battle of Fulford Harold’s earls Edwin and Morcar battled Tostig and Hardrada at Fulford, near York. The battle ended in a decisive victory for the Viking invaders: nearly 1,000 Mercians and Northumbrians were slain. 34

It was William of Normandy’s finest achievement, but, while decisive, his victory at Hastings was not inevitable. archers, infantry, and cavalry, arranged in three groups, one behind the other. The duke rode in the centre-rear, surrounded by his knights, his left wing manned by Bretons and his right wing by Franco-Flemish mercenaries. Trumpets were sounded at 9am. The battle commenced.

SHIELD-WALL It may have been William of Normandy’s finest achievement, but, while decisive, his victory at Hastings was not inevitable. The Anglo-Saxons employed a practised and effective method of defence that was hundreds of years old: atop Battle ridge, they stood many ranks deep, rooted to the ground, shoulder-toshoulder behind a wall of overlapping shields. Armoured thegns (nobles who owed military service to the king) and housecarls (royal and noble household troops) manned the front-line and flanks, with the weight of several thousand levies packed behind them. The Normans advanced. Proceeding up the slope, the Norman archers and infantry inflicted some casualties on their enemies early in the day: ‘On both sides the foemen raged with brandished spears,’ wrote the author of The Song of the Battle of Hastings (a controversial, but recently rehabilitated 11th-century source). But although some Norman arrows and javelins found their way behind the shield-wall, the Anglo-Saxons remained close-packed and unyielding: They [the Anglo-Saxons] met missile with missile, sword-stroke with sword-stroke… each corpse, though lifeless, stood as if unharmed and held its post. The Norman foot soldiers had little impact. Comparing the eventual outcome of the battle with that of Stamford Bridge, one might be inclined to attribute the Anglo-Saxons’ defeat at Hastings to the might of William’s cavalry. But that would be too hasty a conclusion: the reality was that the Normans continued to struggle uphill for most of the day, on a field that was uncultivated and difficult for their horses. www.military-history.org

And once in combat, the cavalry had just as great difficulty overcoming the English as their infantry. Charging with lance and sword, they would have found the AngloSaxon shield-wall impenetrable as long as Harold’s infantry maintained their formation and kept their nerve. Horsemen cannot break determined infantry in frontal collision. Horses will not ride into a solid barrier, especially one fronted by a hedge of blades. Each horseman is separated from his enemy by the head and neck of his mount. And each faces half a dozen opponents among the far more closely packed infantry opposite. The fighting lasted until dusk, the AngloSaxon line still unbroken. Why, then, does the myth of all-conquering Norman cavalry persist?

ROMANCE OF THE MOUNTED WARRIOR In The Western Way of War, Victor Davis Hanson makes two points especially relevant to this question. The first is that medieval nobles were proud of their role as cavalry. Knights were trained, high-status fighters, recruited from a political and social elite, and keen to assert their superiority over lower-class infantry. Horses, especially warhorses, were expensive to maintain, which made them suitable symbols of aristocratic power. For evidence, one need look no further then William I’s own royal seal, produced soon after the Conquest – its obverse depicts the King as a warlord: mounted, in mail, as if riding into battle. Hanson’s second point is that the romance of the mounted warrior was compounded

BELOW Though simple in its construction, the shield-wall was often the defensive tactic of choice for ancient and medieval infantrymen.

25 September Battle of Stamford Bridge Harold’s men killed Hardrada and Tostig at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Several thousand of the invaders were slaughtered. The surviving invaders returned home, promising never to return.

28 September William lands at Pevensey Duke William of Normandy arrived at Pevensey Bay and set up camp in an old Roman fort, before travelling east to Hastings.

6 October Harold arrives in London Harold rode south from York with some of those who fought at Stamford Bridge and rested in London, where he picked up reinforcements before pushing on south to meet William.

14 October Battle of Hastings William won a decisive victory after a hard day’s fighting.

25 December William is crowned King of England Despite his triumph at Hastings, England did not immediately submit to William. He faced resistance in London, but continued to consolidate his hold in the southeast. Having proven his resolve, he was finally crowned king on Christmas Day 1066. MILITARY HISTORY MONTHLY

HAROLD’S DEFEAT So why did Harold lose the Battle of Hastings? Contemporary sources report that he was forced to begin fighting before all his men had arrived on the field, but, even if this is true, the fighting lasted several hours, so it probably had little impact. Some historians have cited Harold’s recent losses at Stamford Bridge as a key reason for his downfall. But there is no evidence that his professional core was significantly depleted in this battle, and the bulk of his line at Hastings was, in any case, formed of militia raised in the southern counties. Others have questioned the adequacy of his position – although, as noted, the debate over the battle’s precise location still rages on. The problem with these explanations is that they presuppose an English defeat, when, in fact, William’s army was not invincible and Harold’s troops defended themselves successfully for most of the day. The king’s men, though wearied and somewhat diminished, were not broken. In fact, having already withstood several hours of Norman cavalry LEFT The death of a military leader could significantly weaken a medieval army by throwing it into confusion. Lifting his helmet to prove he was alive, William restored the courage of the fleeing Normans. BELOW That Harold was killed after being hit in the eye by an arrow is one of the battle’s most seductive legends. The earliest evidence supporting the story comes from a southern Italian monk called Amatus of Monte Cassino, who described the incident in the mid-1080s. Other reports state that Harold was cut down and hacked to pieces.

‘They met missile with missile, swordstroke with swordstroke. each corpse, though lifeless, stood as if unharmed and held its post.’ assaults, close-quarters fighting, and relentless showers of arrows, it seemed as though they were set to win. Their defence was such that the troops on William’s left flank began to peel away: ‘frightened by such ferocity, the infantry and Breton mounted warriors both retreated, with all the auxiliary troops who formed the left wing. Almost the whole of the duke’s army yielded’, believing ‘their duke and lord had been slain,’ wrote Poitiers. Thinking they were victorious, some of the Anglo-Saxons broke ranks and rushed forward in hot pursuit of the fleeing Normans. This was a costly error. William lifted his helmet to prove he was still alive, and led a fresh charge

when European kings and nobles battled Muslims in the Middle East with a view to recovering the Holy Land. There, heavily armoured Crusader cavalrymen led a number of successful shock charges against Saracen horsemen and archers. Lightly armed Saracens were often overwhelmed by their metal-clad opponents. The chronicler Fulcher of Chartres described Eustace Grenier’s decisive rout of the Fatmids at Yibneh in 1123 in some detail: this battle did not last long because when our foes saw our armed men advance in excellent order against them their horsemen immediately took flight as if completely bewitched, going into a panic instead of using good sense. Their foot soldiers were massacred. Saladin’s army was similarly defeated in the Crusader counterattack at Arsuf in 1191. Despite the importance of infantry during the Crusades, noble, armoured knights became increasingly linked with Christian victories. This general association, in turn, has contributed to the conventional wisdom that William’s cavalry must have trumped Harold’s shield-wall at Hastings. 36

against his enemies, slaughtering those who had descended from the hill. The English reformed their line to prevent further breaches in their shield-wall, but, on reaching the Anglo-Saxons, the Normans began to inflict heavy casualties on a line now somewhat disordered and demoralised.

‘AN UNUSUAL KIND OF COMBAT’ Even now the Normans struggled to break through. And they could not continue to fight at close-quarters without sustaining heavy losses. Their mighty warhorses were no match for the English shield-wall, which resisted the onslaught of the Norman heavy horse just as the Swabians had done 13 years earlier at Civitate in southern Italy. But because they had made small inroads against the Anglo-Saxons by retreating, the Normans decided to repeat this manoeuvre. Turning on their heels once more, they pretended to withdraw, enticing yet another wave of English foot soldiers down the hillside. Then, wheeling their horses, the Norman cavalry charged across the battlefield and butchered those who had run after them. Poitiers says they repeated the move twice, killing ‘thousands’ of Anglo-Saxons. The feigned retreat has been heavily scrutinised by historians, with some rejecting the veracity of the incident because of the intricate organisation required to carry out the operation. But given that the Normans had already used the trick at Arques in 1053, and at Messina in 1060, there is little reason to doubt the ability of William’s cavalry to employ this tactic at Hastings. Nevertheless, the Anglo-Saxons continued to hold firm. According to Poitiers, ‘an unusual

The fighting lasted until dusk, the Anglo-Saxon line still unbroken. www.military-history.org

kind of combat ensued, one side attacking in bursts and in a variety of movements, the other rooted to the ground, putting up with the assault.’ The day was drawing to a close when news spread that Harold, his brothers, and other leading nobles had been killed. Believing they had almost routed the Normans earlier in the day, the Anglo-Saxons’ morale must have plummeted. Their defence faltered. In the context of an uncertain royal succession, without their king, they were thrown into confusion.

COMBINED-ARMS TACTICS William seized his chance and charged forward with fury the Anglo-Saxons finally gave way. Spent, they turned on their heels and fled into the trees behind them, but the Norman cavalry gave chase and cut them down. Some Englishmen staged a last-gasp defence, but they too were slaughtered. It was, then, William’s combined-arms force that led him to victory: his army was more than the sum of its parts, and the ‘variety of movements’ employed by the Normans in their final assault was the key to their success. Archers shot arrows, further weakening the Anglo-Saxon mass, which had been reduced BELOW The obverse of William the Conqueror’s great seal. Medieval seals were marks of identity and authority. They were impressed on wax and then attached to documents to confirm their authenticity.

ABOVE Their line having been broken, the AngloSaxons fled. Some of them escaped the carnage on horseback, others fled on foot only to be chased and cut down by the Normans.

by the wily cavalry. And greater credit should surely be accorded to the Norman heavy infantry, who are only briefly mentioned in the sources and are not represented on the Bayeux Tapestry at all: presumably they contributed to this final assault, just as they did in the opening stages of the conflict, fighting at close range with spears and swords. Hastings has inspired more questions than it has provided answers. One thing, however, is certain: Harold, whatever his order of battle, defended himself successfully for almost nine hours against his attackers. Positioned uphill, he built around him a fortress of men who thwarted each of the Normans’ attempts to breach his shield-wall, which maintained its structural integrity for the best part of the battle. Not even the cavalry could break through. In fact, the Anglo-Saxons defended themselves so well that they began to think they had won. Perhaps they would have, had they not broken ranks to give chase. In doing so, they gave William the opening he needed to unleash the full force of his combined-arms professional army. Without realising, they ushered in the end of the Anglo-Saxon age. r

FURTHER READING Reginald Allen Brown, The Norman Conquest of England: sources and documents, Bodyell Press, 1984. Jim Bradbury, The Battle of Hastings, Sutton Publishing, 1998 reprinted by The History Press, 2010. Harriet Harvey Wood, The Battle of Hastings: the fall of Anglo-Saxon England, Atlantic Books, 2012. M K Lawson, The Battle of Hastings, 1066, The History Press, 2007. Stephen Morillo, The Battle of Hastings: sources and interpretations, Bodyell and Brewer, 1996.

1066-1087 Photo: David Flintham

Jack Watkins examines the fortifications erected by William the Conqueror in England in the years following his victory at Hastings.

hen the Normans conquered England in 1066, they lost no time in embarking on what is generally recognised as the biggest programme of castle-building Western Europe has ever seen. In fact, William the Conqueror launched it the moment he stepped off the boat at Pevensey Bay, immediately erecting a wooden fort within a pre-existing Roman defensive enclosure. Moving swiftly east, another was quickly thrown up on the cliffs above Hastings, ahead of the showdown with Harold. And following his momentous victory on 38

14 October, six miles north-west on Senlac Hill, the Conqueror marched on to Dover, where he ‘spent eight days adding to it those fortifications it lacked,’ according to Norman chronicler William of Poitiers. It is tempting to try to trace the Conqueror’s footsteps through these places on those first feverishly active weeks of his reign, but, in truth, you cannot see much of his work. Pevensey Castle is now a Romantic – though still substantial – ruin, and the sea has receded from where it must once have lapped close to the walls. Hastings Castle as a structure scarcely offers any spectacle at all, though the setting is dra-

matic. At Dover, it is unclear quite what work was undertaken: none of it is apparent within the magnificent later castle built by Henry II.

FORTIFIED NOBLE RESIDENCES What is not in doubt is that the castle, according to its purest medieval definition as a fortified noble residence, was introduced to this country by the Normans. According to Anglo-Norman chronicler Orderic Vitalis (c.1075-1142), the Anglo-Saxons succumbed to Norman rule because ‘the fortresses which the Gauls call castles had been very few’. As a result, he wrote, the English, although October 2016

CASTLES MOTTE-AND-BAILEY CASTLES

MAIN IMAGE Hastings Castle is a motte-andbailey castle that was built soon after William landed in England. Its construction is depicted on the Bayeux Tapestry [RIGHT]. The castle was rebuilt in stone in 1070 and a chapel was added. Having suffered damage during the Dissolution of the Monasteries and during the Second World War, the site is now a ruin.

‘workmanlike and courageous’, proved too weak to withstand their enemy. It is worth remembering the ‘Conquest’ in 1066 was not a mass invasion or migration of people, but rather a takeover by a select military elite of mounted warriors. Although they were few in number, William could not trust the remaining Anglo-Saxon aristocrats who had survived Hastings. He parcelled out his new kingdom among his trusted followers, who sought to buttress their fragile control over their new fiefdoms with castles. These had the tripartite function of acting as symbols of authority, as defensible strongholds, and as private residences. The English were unfamiliar with the new structures because their own fortifications had been in the form of palisaded enclosures, or walled towns. Covering vast acreages, the English burhs, as conceived by Alfred the Great, required defence in large numbers, whereas a castle could be held by relatively few men.

CONTINENTAL CASTLE BUILDING

BELOW LEFT Robert of Mortain (William’s half brother) built a timber structure at Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire in 1070. The stronghold was strategically placed to defend the northern approach to London. It underwent a series of renovations between the 11th and 14th centuries. BELOW RIGHT Guildford Castle in Surrey is not mentioned in the Domesday Book, William’s ‘great survey’ of England. So it was probably built sometime after 1086, either by William or one of his noblemen.

Castles were already common on the Continent. In the Middle Ages the first master castle-builder was Fulk Nerra, or Fulk the Black, Count of Anjou from 987 until 1040. He has been credited with building 13 castles. Fulk, dubbed by later historians le grand bâtisseur, was the first of the medieval lords to fully grasp the strategic value of

the castle for launching properly prepared cavalry assaults. He seems to have been familiar with the writings of the 5th-century Roman military expert Flavius Vegetius, who in his Concerning Military Matters stressed the value of siting fortifications along a route of communication, so that no point of defence was more than a day’s horseback ride from another. Some of Fulk’s castles still survive today – at Langeais, on the Loire, and at Loches and Montbazon, both on the Indre – all dating to the first decades of the 11th century, making them just about the earliest stone keeps extant in northern Europe. At a time when France was more a medley of rival political entities than a unified kingdom under one ruler, and thus in a state of near-constant warfare, Fulk’s Norman neighbours were cut from the same battle-hardened warrior cloth. The Norman aristocracy are known to have built castles from the 1030s onwards. As duke, William made Caen his military base, from where the castle walls still glower formidably over the town.

The most common castle-type William brought to England was the motteand-bailey. These comprised a mound (usually artificial), measuring between 16ft and 35ft, and an encircling walled ditch (the motte), topped by a tower of wood or stone, which contained a hall, a kitchen, and accommodation for soldiers and servants. This was reached by gangway connected to an outer walled court (the bailey), which contained various other domestic structures, stables, and, occasionally, a chapel. While many first-generation mottes survive, their towers – often erected quickly and made of wood – do not, although Hastings Castle is shown undergoing construction in the Bayeux Tapestry. Berkhamsted, one of the Conqueror’s earliest motte-and-bailey castles, still has impressive earthworks, even though it is now a ruin. A good example of an old motte that has been reutilised can be seen at Guildford: the early 12th-century castle can be seen built into the eastern slope of the original motte, underscoring the site’s calculated, awe-inspiring verticality. Meanwhile, Clifford Tower in York, built in the middle of the 13th century, stands on a motte raised by William the Conqueror between 1068 and 1070, during his ruthless ‘harrying of the North’.

ABOVE The White Tower in London was begun in the late 11th century. It guarded London’s main medieval thoroughfare, the Thames, and was added to and renovated over several hundred years.

STONE KEEPS The other kind of castle that William brought to England, the stone tower-keep, proved more durable. While these became the predominant castle-type in the 12th century, some were also embarked on during the Conqueror’s reign. With their thick walls, they scarcely had need of the extra defence afforded by being placed on a mound, though the bailey enclosures were retained. On completion, these castles were often coated with plaster or whitewash to preserve the stone. The White Tower owes its name to the repeated whitewashing it received throughout the Middle Ages. While the Tower of London has come to refer to the whole complex (often associated with Henry VIII and thought of as a royal prison), originally the title applied solely to William’s White Tower. Though it was probably unfinished at the time of his death in 1087, it is the most celebrated of the great Norman stone keeps, or donjons. Thanks to later additions like window enlargements and the cupolas on the cornertowers, alongside its modern use as part of a museum complex, it is harder today to gain a sense of the White Tower’s impact on the conquered people of London. But, as an 118ft by 107ft rectangle, 90ft in height, with walls 15ft thick, it remains a formidable statement of Norman military superiority. Colchester Castle, almost contemporary, was built above the vaults of a Roman temple and was even larger, measuring 151ft by 110ft. Its impact is somewhat reduced today, 40

The most impressive survivor among Norman tower-keeps is Rochester. It rises to 113ft, is 70ft square at its base, and has walls between 11ft and 13ft thick. Not only is it the tallest tower-keep in England, it is probably the tallest in Western Europe. Being open to the sky and devoid of its floors somehow only underscores the menacing quality of Rochester Castle. But its austere appearance belies the fact it would have been considered almost palatial in its day, as the round-arched arcade of the former Great Hall indicates. Rochester’s location above the strategically key River Medway was typical. Most castles stood beside a river crossing or confluence, or near a crossroads, or on high ground. And Rochester would prove the continued effectiveness of the rectangular stone keep as the decades passed. Even as castle designs were evolving in response to advances in military technology, and as experiments were carried out with circular or octagonal forms, rebels held out BELOW Rochester Castle sits on the east bank of the River Medway in Kent. It has been remodelled over the centuries, but the stone keep remains the fortification’s key feature.

in Rochester Castle against King John so firmly in 1215 that one chronicler wrote: ‘our age has not known a siege so hard pressed or strongly resisted’. In the event, having eventually broken into the bailey, John’s engineers proceeded to mine under the south-east corner-tower, succeeding in causing the wall to collapse. Even then, the rebels were able to hold out behind the keep’s internal cross-walling for a further two days before finally surrendering.

LASTING CONQUEST By the end of William’s reign, only 8% of England remained in the hands of Anglo-Saxon noblemen. Most of the land was divided between the Crown, the Church, and William’s followers. For all that the Normans won the throne at Hastings, it was the architecture of power, in the form of castles, through which lasting conquest was achieved. Castles continued to be built through the rule of the Conqueror’s successors. It has been estimated that, by the end of his son William II’s reign, there were 500 castles in England. These were deeply resented by the locals. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle groaned that the Normans ‘were burdening the unfortunate country folk with forced labour at the castles. Once they finished building them, they filled them with devils and bad men.’ But these castles served their prime military function: the fact that many never saw battle only confirms this. Rather like the nuclear deterrent, non-use might be taken as a sign of effectiveness. r Jack Watkins is a writer on history, heritage, and conservation, and the general editor of the Encyclopedia of Classic Warfare (1457 BCAD 1815), which is published by Amber.

not only by its function as a museum, but as a result of the two upper stories having been lopped off in a failed attempt at demolition during the English Civil War.

he driving force behind the creation of the navy of Classical Athens was Themistocles, who recognised that the check delivered to Persian ambitions at Marathon in 490 BC was only temporary. One day, he knew, Persia would make a second attempt to conquer Greece. In 483 BC, Themistocles persuaded the people of Athens to fund the construction of a large and powerful fleet of triremes with the proceeds from the city-state’s recently discovered silver mines in Laurium. These ships served a noble purpose when the Persians returned in 480 BC. Athens contributed more than any other Greek state to the naval war against Persia, and her force of 180 triremes at the epic Battle of Salamis exceeded the size of the next largest contingent, Corinth’s flotilla, by 140. 42

Herodotus wrote of these Athenian ships that ‘they were there for the benefit of all of Greece when they were needed’. Without the war galleys of Athens, there could have been no victory – and Greece would have succumbed to Persian rule.

A NAVY OF FREE MEN Athens used her navy to further her own imperial ambition as the 5th century progressed. She placed her reliance on trained free-citizen rowers, able to work together to propel and manoeuvre their light, fast-moving triremes to deliver powerful ramming attacks against enemy ships, and then extricate themselves to avoid counterattacks. The fleet’s primary offensive manoeuvres were the diekplous, or breakthrough, in which a force of triremes would try to push into an enemy formation, and the periplous,

The Athenian navy of the 5th century BC defeated the Persian Empire and won control of the Aegean Sea. Marc DeSantis takes a look at this supreme instrument of war in its heyday.

ABOVE A fragment of relief sculpture provides vivid detail of the design of an ancient trireme. The first-bank oarsmen depicted appear to have occupied an outrigger. The second- and thirdbank oarsmen, who occupied the lower decks, are presumably hidden by the planking of the ship’s hull. The ancient trireme was essentially a muscle-powered ram. And the Athenians were the supreme masters of naval manoeuvre.

which entailed rowing around opposing ships in order to ram them in their beams or sterns. Athens’ navy was very much a professionalised force, much as the army of Sparta was far more capable than a typical hoplite city-militia. Aboard each trireme were 170 rowers, and each was paid the fair wage of one drachma per day, which was about what a skilled craftsman could earn in a civilian trade. October 2016

all of Greece when they were needed.’ Herodotus

AN OFFENSIVE FLEET Athens lay at the centre of a maritime empire, with her fleet providing protection for the seaborne commerce that was her lifeblood. Once her Long Walls, connecting the city to the port city of Piraeus, were finished in the 450s BC, she was nearly invulnerable to outside attack. Her trading vessels, protected by the warships of the fleet, could bring her all the food that her urban population required. To pay for her ships, Athens used the tribute provided by the subject cities of her Aegean empire. She was thus able to sustain a large and robust fleet. When the Peloponnesian War broke out in 431 BC, Athens had a massive lead in sea power, and she confidently pitted this strength against the superior land power of Sparta and her Peloponnesian allies.

In 429 BC, Acarnania, in north-west Greece, was invaded by a Peloponnesian army under the command of Cnemus of Sparta. A little later, a Peloponnesian fleet of 47 ships sailed westward out of the Gulf of Corinth along its southern edge with reinforcements for his army. They had been shadowed by a small squadron of just 20 Athenian triremes moving in the same direction on the opposite side of the Gulf. This force, stationed at Naupactus, on the Gulf’s northern side, was under the command of Phormio, an experienced officer who had previously commanded Athenian ships at Samos in 440 BC, and also hoplites during the Siege of Potidaea in 432 BC. Naupactus was well situated to allow Phormio to maintain a watch on maritime

ABOVE A black-fi depicting a Greek warship. I one bank of oars, making it a pentecon 50-oared warship. But note the line of shields protecting the oarsmen.

Athenian oarsmen were neither conscripts nor mercenaries: they were lower-class citizens performing a public duty in a democratic state in which they had full political rights. The Athenian navy was therefore crewed by highly motivated free men with a stake in the system – men with the morale to master their craft and become able to execute the most difficult naval manoeuvres. The Athenians preferred to use the bronze rams at the prows of their ships to strike opposing galleys. To accomplish this required much practice, which the Athenians willingly undertook.

traffic going into or out of the city of Corinth and the Gulf. His principal mission was to prevent the Peloponnesian fleet from carrying its soldiers to Acarnania to augment Cnemus’s army.

THE APPROACH TO CHALCIS To reach Acarnania to the north, the Peloponnesian fleet would first have to cross over from the southern side of the Gulf, exposing them to an Athenian attack. Phormio had decided to allow them to sail unhindered through the narrows of the Straits of Rhium, out to the Gulf of Patras, where there was more room in which to fight, while he waited with his ships off Chalcis and the Evenus River on the northern side of the Gulf of Patras. Once the Peloponnesian ships had come on Patras in Achaea, they made a starboard (right) turn, to the north, and tried to cross to the other side of the Gulf. The 20 Athenian ships immediately sailed south to intercept them. Phormio hoped to strike the Peloponnesian fleet far from land in wideopen water where his highly trained crews could make the most of their superior ability to manoeuvre and ram. Once the Athenian ships were sighted, however, the Peloponnesians halted their passage and waited for nightfall before attempting to complete the crossing. But they were spotted by the Athenians and compelled to fight in open water.

Image: University of Texas Libraries

The Peloponnesians knew they were no match for the Athenians in a battle of manoeuvre. Many of their ships were equipped to carry soldiers, and thus not well suited to a sea fight, which they wanted desperately to avoid. LEFT The Athenian Empire in c.450 BC. The Peloponnesian War was essentially a struggle between democratic city-states under Athenian hegemony and oligarchic or conservative states led by Sparta. Most of the former were maritime states, most of the latter essentially land-based. MILITARY HISTORY MONTHLY

They therefore formed a defensive circle, or kyklos, with the prows of their ships facing outwards and no room between each ship through which an Athenian galley might intrude, thereby making the diekplous impossible. Inside this laager they placed all their smaller ships for protection, as well as the five speediest and best-handling ships in their fleet. These would act as a fire brigade and rush to the aid of any threatened sector of the circle. Phormio’s problem was clear. How could he attack the Peloponnesian fleet in such a strong position? He had just 20 ships of his own, and was therefore outnumbered more than two-to-one. Since the enemy was arrayed in a circle, the periplous could not be used, as there was no flank to turn. The only remaining choice, head-on collisions, would risk his lightly built ships on the outward-pointing rams of the Peloponnesians. Further, if he pressed hard in any one sector, he would be vulnerable to counterstrikes by any unmarked Peloponnesian ships. The solution that he hit on was to form his fleet into a line, and row around and around the enemy circle. During these revolutions, the Athenians would now and again mount feint attacks, causing the Peloponnesians to draw in a bit each time. On and on this dance continued, with the Peloponnesian ships becoming packed ever more tightly. Phormio also knew something about the local waters, and expected a wind to blow in soon, at sunrise. When this wind came, he expected the enemy vessels, too closely packed together, to collide and their formation break up.

THE VICTORY AT CHALCIS The anticipated dawn wind finally did arise, and the Peloponnesian ships smashed into each other within the restricted space of their shrunken kyklos. All was chaos as the

The Peloponnesian ships smashed into each other within the restricted space of their shrunken kyklos. 44

Image: akg-images / Peter Connolly

Peloponnesians tried to avoid collisions with friendly vessels. The orders of their captains could not be heard amid the din, and their rowers, who lacked experience, could not row properly in obedience to their helmsmen’s directions. At this critical juncture, Phormio at last chose to attack, with his galleys striking at the packed mass of enemy ships they had so ably corralled. The Athenian charge was irresistible. Several Peloponnesian ships were either sunk or disabled, and the rest of the fleet broke apart in panicked flight. Another dozen ships were captured by the Athenians as they fled. The Athenians had quite literally rowed circles around their opponents. The encounter had been a showcase for their skill at rowing and their ability to dictate when and how a battle would be fought. After this, the Athenian squadron went back to its base at Naupactus. Phormio sent word to Athens of his victory and requested that more ships be sent, for he anticipated that the Peloponnesians would again come out to fight. He was right: the Spartans were angry that the Peloponnesian fleet had been beaten by a smaller force, and wanted another chance.

ABOVE Ancient naval battles were often collisions between light, fast, well-handled ships that relied on manoeuvre and ramming, and heavy, slower, clumsily managed ships that fought defensively and relied on grappling, boarding, and, in effect, on turning a naval battle into something akin to a land battle. This imbalance was very evident in the long Peloponnesian War. Only towards its end did Athens’ enemies begin to catch up in maritime skill.

The Spartans ‘could not at all explain their defeat,’ Thucydides, the historian of the Peloponnesian War, tells us, ‘the less so as it was their first attempt at sea and they fancied that that it was not that their navy was so inferior, but that there had been misconduct somewhere.’ The Spartans failed to appreciate ‘the long experience of the Athenians as compared with the little practice which they had had themselves’. The Spartans dispatched three commissioners, Timocrates, Brasidas, and Lycophron, to determine what had gone wrong.

NAVAL BUILD-UP IN THE GULF The Athenians sent an additional 20 ships to Phormio, but this flotilla did not move immediately to join him at Naupactus, sailing first to Crete on an unnecessary secondary mission, where, because of ‘adverse winds and stress of October 2016

both sides trained for battle, each unwilling to depart from the area. The Peloponnesians were reluctant to sail into open water, where they had only recently been defeated, and the Athenians would not fight in the narrows, where the confined waters would make their manoeuvring tactics less effective. It says much about the aura of invincibility that the Athenian navy possessed that the Peloponnesians, now under the command of Cnemus and Brasidas, were unwilling to attack for several days even though they possessed a nearly four-to-one advantage over the enemy.

THE DECISION TO FIGHT Finally, fearing that additional ships would soon arrive from Athens, the Peloponnesians decided to seek battle. They sensed, however, that the crews of their ships were demoralised by the earlier defeat, so Cnemus and Brasidas spoke to them about the upcoming battle. About the last engagement, they said that of ‘preparation for it, as you know, there was

BELOW In 429 BC, the confined waters of the Gulf of Corinth was the arena in which Athens’ small fleet trounced the numerically superior Peloponnesians at the Battles of Chalcis and Naupactus.

little enough and the object of our voyage was not so much to fight at sea as an expedition by land’. They admitted that ‘perhaps also inexperience had something to do with our failure in our first naval action’. The Spartans reminded their crews that ‘you have always the advantage of superior numbers, and of engaging off your own coast, supported by your hoplites and as a rule, numbers and equipment give victory’. The men of Athens’ 20 triremes were not without their own apprehensions. Their ‘fleet’ was a mere squadron, and they could not help but fear the odds against them. Phormio knew their mood. He recalled for them that they had earlier beaten the Peloponnesians, who now ‘not even themselves thinking that they are a match for us, have not ventured [again] to meet us on equal terms, but have equipped this multitude of ships against us’. Of the enemy crewmen, Phormio reminded his own that ‘you have defeated most of them already and beaten men do not face a danger twice with the same determination’. As for his battle plan, the Athenian admiral said that he would not sail into the Straits, where ‘in a contest between a number of clumsily managed vessels and a small, fast, well-handled squadron, want of sea room is an undoubted disadvantage’.

weather,’ Thucydides writes, it ‘wasted no little time there’. In the meantime, the Peloponnesians were readying their fleet for a second battle. They sailed along the coast to Panormus in Achaea, where their army was waiting in support. Phormio also made sail, and moored his 20 ships off Molycrian Rhium (on the northern side of the Straits of Rhium). Between this city and Achaean Rhium, which lay on the opposite side of the Straits, was a stretch of water about three-quarters of a mile/ one kilometre wide. At Achaean Rhium, a fleet of 77 Peloponnesian ships anchored when they saw the Athenians do the same at Molycrian Rhium. What followed was a week-long waiting game, during which

THE PELOPONNESIAN ATTACK The Peloponnesians sailed eastward from the narrows back into the Gulf of Corinth, hoping to make Phormio think that they were making for the Athenian base at Naupactus. On their right wing, they placed their 20 best ships, in the belief that this squadron would catch the Athenians as they also sailed eastward along the coast to protect Naupactus. Phormio did indeed fear that the object of the Peloponnesian attack was Naupactus, and moved quickly along the coast with his ships in single file, attempting to reach it first. The Peloponnesians thereupon executed a rapid port (left) turn northward, bringing their fleet about so as to trap the Athenian triremes against the coastline. The manoeuvre was only partially successful, with the 11 galleys in the head of the Athenian fleet escaping. But the rear nine were caught and driven ashore. Some of these ships were taken under tow, while others were fought over by Athens’ Messenian allies, who bravely boarded them and fought the Peloponnesians for their possession. The 11 Athenian triremes not caught in the trap were still being pursued by the 20-strong right-wing squadron of the Peloponnesians. Ten of these Athenian ships found the safety of the harbour of Naupactus, and pointed their prows toward the enemy, ready to fight to the last against the approaching Peloponnesians, who were already singing the victory paean. Meanwhile, the hindmost, 11th, ship was being hunted by a Leucadian (Peloponnesian) warship that had ranged far ahead of the rest of the right-wing squadron. The captain of this Athenian galley saw that a merchant ship lay at anchor just outside the harbour. He used it craftily, as an obstacle, rowing around it, then turned on his pursuer and rammed and sank the enemy vessel. The loss of this single Leucadian ship caused the other Peloponnesians to panic. They were no longer in battle formation, having thought the battle won. Some crews had actually stopped rowing to allow the rest of their fleet to catch up. This made them perfect sitting targets. The Athenian triremes in the harbour now counterattacked, and quickly seized six Peloponnesian ships. They then took back all of their own ships, both those that been driven ashore and those that were being towed away.

PHORMIO AND ATHENIAN NAVAL SUPREMACY Both sides set up trophies to mark the victories that they had won: the Athenians for the stunning reversal of fortune outside Naupactus the Peloponnesians, less convincingly, for their ‘victory’ over the rearmost portion of Athenian squadron. Still worried about the arrival of more Athenian ships, the Peloponnesian fleet 46

sailed deeper into the Gulf and made for Corinth. Soon afterwards, the 20 Athenian ships that had been sent to link up with Phormio’s squadron before the engagement finally appeared. Phormio would prove to be one of the ancient world’s finest admirals, and his actions off Chalcis and Naupactus were marvels of naval command. The first, off Chalcis, was a masterful, almost clinical, dissection of a bigger but poorer-handling fleet by a smaller but more adroit force. At Naupactus, on the other hand, Phormio showed that he and his fleet could

Control of the sea was largely conceded to Athens until almost the end of the conflict.

ABOVE This artist’s reconstruction captures something of the chaotic character of ancient naval warfare. Fleets were close-packed for protection. The danger was of collisions and multiple pile-ups that could quickly reduce a fleet to chaos.

As for Phormio’s subsequent career, apart from a short and abortive campaign in Acarnania during the winter of 429/428 BC, he is not reported as having held any further wartime commands. Why this was so is not known. It is possible that he died not long afterward. Phormio’s memory remained evergreen among the Athenians, who placed a statue of the great admiral on the Acropolis, and gave him a state funeral when he passed away. r

recover their balance and triumph even when the action had initially gone very badly. Phormio’s victories also had wider strategic implications for the war. The Peloponnesian bid to take Acarnania was crippled because their reinforcements could not get through. The maritime trade of Corinth and the other Peloponnesian cities was also hindered by the continued presence of Athenian ships in the Gulf of Corinth. Most importantly, by demonstrating Athenian naval superiority so powerfully, Phormio discouraged the Peloponnesians from undertaking other naval efforts that might have destabilised the Athenian Empire or even brought down the intervention of Persia. Control of the sea was largely conceded to Athens until almost the end of the conflict.

Marc G DeSantis is the author of Rome Seizes the Trident, a naval history of the Punic Wars, published by Pen & Sword.

FURTHER READING Thucydides’ The Peloponnesian War (available in various editions), Donald Kagan’s The Peloponnesian War (Viking, 2003), and J S Morrison et al., The Athenian Trireme (Cambridge University Press, 2000). October 2016

Tukhachevsky THE RED NAPOLEON Retired US colonel Bill Wenger discovers hidden genius in the little-known career of the Red Army’s Marshal Tukhachevsky.

he military prisoner, stripped of rank, dejected, and severely beaten, struggled to stand before the judges of the tribunal to hear read aloud a handwritten confession smeared with his own blood. He was summarily condemned to death. Within the hour, he was taken to the basement of the infamous Lubyanka Prison in Moscow and shot in the back of the head. Thus ended, at just 44 years of age, the life of one of the first five Marshals of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Nikolayevich Tukhachevsky. Tukhachevsky was one of the most brilliant, innovative, and influential military theorists since Napoleon Bonaparte. Some military historians believe the Second World War could have ended sooner had Tukhachevsky lived to lead the fight.

Tukhachevsky was one of the most brilliant, innovative, and influential military theorists since Napoleon Bonaparte. 48

history. He encouraged his children to be independent thinkers and, as an avowed atheist, discouraged involvement in the Russian Orthodox Church. Tukhachevsky attended Moscow Military School, and in 1912 he was accepted at the Alexandrovskoye Military School, renowned for its intellectually rigorous curriculum. After graduating first in his class, he was commissioned as a junior officer in his father’s regiment, the Semyenovsky Guards. War erupted in Europe, and the young officer found himself mobilised. As he departed in September 1914, the future Marshal of the Soviet Union declared famously: I am convinced that all that is needed in order to achieve what I want is bravery and self-confidence. I certainly have enough self-confidence… I told myself that I shall either be a general at 30, or that I shall not be alive by then.

BRAVERY AND TENACITY IN WORLD WAR I Young Lieutenant Tukhachevsky exhibited excellent military instincts. His soldiers considered him the most capable officer in his regiment. He was popular with the men

ABOVE A posed photograph of Russian soldiers ‘in action’ during the First World War. OPPOSITE Mikhail Nikolayevich Tukhachevsky (1893-1937).

because he frequently took time to talk to and get to know them. Within his first five months on the Eastern Front, he was decorated six times for bravery. In 1915, he was captured for the first time. Always aggressive, he escaped. This was repeated four times until, finally, he was sent to a special camp for recalcitrant prisoners at Ingolstadt Castle, Bavaria. In Ingolstadt prison, Tukhachevsky was the cellmate of a tall, aloof French captain named Charles de Gaulle. The future President of France read German newspapers and delivered lectures to the other 150 or so prisoners on the progress of the war. After the war, Tukhachevsky and de Gaulle remained in touch, discussing the implications of the mechanisation of war. At Ingolstadt, Tukhachevsky had extensive discussions on combined-arms warfare, the use of air power, and even guerilla and counterinsurgency warfare with some of the most aggressive, progressive, and intelligent officers in the French, British, and even US services. October 2016

Tukhachevsky was born on 15 February 1893 in the village of Slednevo in Smolensk Province of north-central Imperial Russia. His family was aristocratic, but impoverished. Nevertheless, Tukhachevsky grew up in considerably better circumstances than the majority of his countrymen, who lived a poverty-ridden and benighted existence in peasant villages. His father was an intellectual, cultured man who taught his son music, languages, and

LEFT Russian soldiers of the First World War. Unusually for a Russian officer of aristocratic extraction, Tukhachevsky took time to talk to and get to know his soldiers.

literature, history, astronomy, and mathematics. He was an accomplished musician and a close friend of composer Dmitri Shostakovich with Shostakovich, Tukhachevsky played a violin that he had personally hand-crafted. Despite his many cultural refinements, however, Tukhachevsky was known to have been ruthless and brutal towards his enemies in battle. Tukhachevsky entered the Communist Party on 5 April 1918. Why would an Imperial Russian officer from an aristocratic family become a Communist? Perhaps he joined the Party because of disenchantment with the corruption, inefficiency, and failure of the old Tsarist Army. Perhaps he saw career opportunity in the new Red Army. Perhaps, as some believed, his young heart was won to the cause of the working class during an emotional personal encounter with Lenin. Whatever the reason, Tukhachevsky was henceforward, until his death, loyal to the Party, its cause, and its leaders.

RED AND SOVIET ARMY COMMANDER After becoming a member of the Communist Party, Tukhachevsky joined the Red Army, and his career accelerated remarkably. In 1918, he took command of the First Red Army, soundly defeating the White Army commanded by Vladimir Kappel by adroit envelopment and superb use of modern combined-arms. The Bolshevik Defence Minister, Leon Trotsky, made Tukhachevsky commander of the Fifth Army in 1919. Tukhachevsky led a campaign to defeat and capture Siberia from the anti-Communist White forces of

In August 1917, Tukhachevsky escaped for the fifth time, travelling north-east for over 700 miles in two months to return to the Russian lines. He found the Imperial Russian Army on the brink of mutiny and embroiled in the turmoil of revolution. The Russian economy had collapsed, the ‘Kerensky Offensive’ had been a disaster, and the German counterstroke had brought the enemy to within 300 miles of Petrograd. After the Bolshevik Revolution in November 1917, the new government, despite massive 50

German territorial gains, was compelled to make peace. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk early in 1918 ended the war on the Eastern Front.

MAN OF CULTURE AND INTELLECT Tukhachevsky was a man of considerable intellect, talent, and sophistication. He was handsome, physically strong, athletic, and well-tailored. He spoke and read extensively in French, German, and English as well as his native Russian. He was extraordinarily knowledgeable in a wide range of subjects, including

‘I told myself that I shall either be a general at 30, or that I shall not be alive by then.’ Mikhail Tukhachevsky October 2016

LEFT The Russian Revolution – the world-shaking event that allowed brilliant men like Tukhachevsky to reach the top of their professions. BELOW LEFT Tukhachevsky (third from left, looking away from camera) during the Russian Civil War.

tanks and mechanised vehicles, the Katyusha rocket system, improved high explosives, the first successful helicopter, modern communications devices, and enhanced chemical warfare munitions and employment techniques. Also developed were the concepts and equipment necessary for the creation of airborne forces by both the Wehrmacht and the Red Army – and soon, by imitation, the US Army. Tactical and operational combined-arms doctrine was tested and written in collaboration. This meant similar – though not identical – German and Soviet approaches. A young German colonel called Heinz Guderian was deeply involved in the equipment-testing and doctrinal development in Russia. Guderian would become the leading spokesman and practitioner of the Germans’ highly successful Blitzkrieg tactics during World War II. Tukhachevsky was in the forefront of these developments, incorporating the new thinking and weapons systems into his own evolving concept of ‘Deep Battle’. And he took the opportunity to learn all he could about the Reichswehr’s conception of war – in anticipation of possible future conflict between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Throughout, Tukhachevsky remained deeply anti-Nazi. Aleksandr Kolchak. In this struggle, he successfully used his cavalry to envelop the enemy’s open flanks. He used similar tactics against Anton Denikin’s White army in the Caucasus in 1920. Lenin and Trotsky called on Tukhachevsky so frequently they nicknamed him ‘The Fireman’. At the age of just 27, he was placed in command of the Western Front (comprising two, later four, entire armies). He defeated the Poles and almost captured Warsaw. He was also called on to suppress the anti-Bolshevik uprisings at Kronstadt and in Tambov Province. He invariably executed his missions with efficiency and notable brutality. In 1921 Tukhachevsky was appointed Head of the Military Academy, and in 1925 became Deputy Chief-of-Staff of the Red Army. In 1928 he was assigned Commander of the Leningrad Military District and Chief of Ordnance. He was also advancing within the Party. At the 17th Party Congress in 1934, Tukhachevsky www.military-history.org

was elected a Candidate Member of the Russian Communist Party Central Committee.

THE NAZIS AND THE TREATY OF RAPALLO The Treaty of Versailles strictly limited German military production and development. Hitler sought to evade these restrictions. The Nazis wanted to develop modern weapons and the innovatory tactics to employ them. So the Reichswehr needed a location to test them away from the prying eyes of the Disarmament Committee of the League of Nations. The 1922 Treaty of Rapallo between Germany and the USSR had resolved the economic and territorial disputes between the two countries and normalised relations. This treaty led to military cooperation between the Germans and the Soviets. It facilitated the development of many new weapons systems, among them the Stuka Ju-87 dive bomber, new

MILITARY WRITINGS Among the first of many military treatises by Tukhachevsky was The Battle of the Bugs (1920), which advocated complete destruction of the enemy rather than attrition warfare. With Future War (1928) and Instructions on Deep Battle (1935), Tukhachevsky confirmed his position as a theorist of war able to cover the full range from national strategy to battlefield tactics. It is likely that he drew ideas from the work of G S Isserson (some of which is still classified) and of J F C Fuller. Finally, Tukhachevsky, with his team of military writers, edited and published his famous, final, seminal work: Provisional Field Service Regulations of 1936. Here he codified his concept of highly mobile, flexible, and aggressive combined-arms Deep Battle. Together with generals Voroshilov, Budenny, Blyukher, and Yegorov, Tukhachevsky was named among the first Marshals of the Soviet Union in 1935. He was still just 42 years old. MILITARY HISTORY MONTHLY

Continuous offensive operations, with integrated, well-supported combined arms, were central to Tukhachevsky’s conception of war.

TOP & ABOVE LEFT Tukhachevsky was the military theorist who taught an entire generation of Red Army officers how to make war. He was, above all, the advocate of mobile, flexible, aggressive, combined-arms ‘Deep Battle’. ABOVE Tukhachevsky (second from right) and fellow Red Army generals in front of Lenin’s Mausoleum in 1935. LEFT Tukhachevsky in 1936, the year before his arrest and execution.

MILITARY THEORIES Tukhachevsky did not develop his theories in a vacuum or without historical context. Quite the contrary: he built on a long tradition of Russian and Soviet thinking and writing on military affairs. Ideas of swift attack in overwhelming numbers and the wreaking of havoc in enemy rear-areas had been tenets of the military strategy of Generalissimo Aleksandr Suvorov two centuries before. Tukhachevsky evolved his concepts in the extraordinary and stimulating climate of military intellectualism in the Soviet Union during the 1920s and 1930s. Perhaps the greatest influence on him was Aleksandr A Svechin, 52

a brilliant member of the General Staff who in 1926 published his Strategy. In this seminal document, Svechin was the first to define clearly the operational level of warfare: ‘Tactics make up the steps from which operational leaps are assembled. Strategy points out the path.’ Svechin also described the critical and essential relationship between the military and the political/national military-industrial complex. Tukhachevsky absorbed, expanded on, and vigorously advocated these concepts. Continuous offensive operations, with integrated, well-supported combined arms, were central to Tukhachevsky’s conception of war. The purpose of an offensive was to capture, disrupt, defeat, and above all destroy the enemy in the shortest time possible. Swift attack and ruthless execution were essential to victory. Defence, he argued, ‘is only a temporary expedient… employed locally while on the offensive in other sectors, or in the consolidation after taking an important objective, to gain time, cover a withdrawal, or repel an attack by superior enemy force.’ He was also an advocate of effective centralised command and control: ‘the collegial system of command was inefficient and ineffective. Commanders have to be able to think independently, and make decisions without interference from the political commissars, who are ignorant of military matters.’ Tukhachevsky favoured a broad statement of the commander’s battle objectives so as to permit initiative and independent action by well-trained and highly motivated subordinate commanders on modern, widely dispersed battlefields. Today, soldiers would recognise this concept as the explicit ‘commander’s intent’. Tukhachevsky’s great strength was that he thoroughly understood the interconnectivity and interrelationship of the strategic, the operational, and the tactical elements October 2016

THE MILITARY IDEAS OF MIKHAIL TUKHACHEVSKY æ'HHSFRQWLQXRXVRSHUDWLRQVDUHWKHNHWRVXFFHVVLQPRGHUQZDU æ'HVWUXFWLRQRIWKHHQHPLVDPHDQVDQGQRWDQHQGLQDQGRILWVHOI æ'LVUXSWGLVDEOHFDSWXUHDQGGHVWURWKHHQHPIRUFHVEFRQWLQXRXVDQGUXWKOHVVDWWDFN QHYHUDOORZLQJWKHHQHPWRUHVWRUUHJURXS æ&KDQQHOWKHHQHPWRNLOO]RQHVDQGNLOOER[HVZKHUHFRPELQHGDUPVFDQGHVWURKLP æ8VHPRELOHʼnUHSRZHURŀHQVLYHVSLULWDQGDUPRXUHGUHVHUYHVWRH[SORLWHQHPZHDNQHVVHV EUHDFKHQHPOLQHVDQGSHQHWUDWHWKHHQHPUHDUWRGLVUXSWKLVFRPPXQLFDWLRQVDQGORJLVWLFV æ'RQRWRYHUOGHSHQGRQRQHZHDSRQVVVWHPRUIRUFH%DODQFHIRUFHVDQGVQFKURQLVHWKH DSSOLFDWLRQRIIRUFH æ3URWHFWŌDQNVDQGKDUDVVWKHHQHPEUHVRXUFHIXOQHVVDJJUHVVLRQDQGLQLWLDWLYH æ$UPRXUHGIRUFHVPXVWEHDEOHWRDFWLQFRQFHUWZLWKERWKLQIDQWUDQGRWKHUIRUFHVDVZHOO LQGHSHQGHQWODVVKRFNDQGH[SORLWDWLRQIRUFHV æ:LGHOGLVSHUVHWKUHDWVWRWKHHQHPVRKHFDQQRWFRQFHQWUDWHKLVIRUFHV æ7HFKQRORJFDQPXOWLSOWKHSRZHURIVPDOOIRUFHV æ*RRGFRPPDQGHUVFDQHPHUJHIURPDQVRFLDOFODVV æ7KHFRPPDQGHUH[HUFLVHVFRQWURORYHUKLVXQLWWKURXJKKLVVWDŀ æ3URSHUFRQWURORQWKHSDUWRIWKHFRPPDQGHUUHTXLUHVFOHDUDQGVXFFLQFWH[SUHVVLRQLQFRPPXQLFDWLQJ PLVVLRQDQGRUGHUVSURSHUVHOHFWLRQRIWKHGLUHFWLRQRIDWWDFNDQGWLPHOFRQFHQWUDWLRQRIIRUFHV æ7KHEHVWUHVXOWVLQEDWWOHDUHDFKLHYHGZKHQDOOFRPPDQGHUVIURPKLJKHVWWRORZHVWDUHWUDLQHGLQ WKHVSLULWRIEROGLQLWLDWLYH æ6ROGLHUVRIDOOUDQNVXVHWKHLUWLPHEHWWHUWUDLQLQJRQDFWXDOZDUʼnJKWLQJWDVNVWKDQRQGULOOVDQGSDUDGHV æ6ROGLHUVRIWKH5HG$UPPXVWEHWUDLQHGDQGGLVFLSOLQHG æ7KHVSLULWXDOVWUHQJWKRIWKH5HG$UPLVDYHUSRZHUIXOZHDSRQ æ7KH5HG$UPLVWKHFXWWLQJHGJHRIWKH5HYROXWLRQ æ7KH5HG$UPVKRXOGQRWFRQIXVHPDVWHURIWKHRUZLWKFRPPDQGRISUDFWLFH

necessary to the successful prosecution of modern warfare. His extraordinarily broad and penetrating grasp of the entire spectrum of warfare places him at the apex of the military theorists of the 20th century.

STALIN Tukhachevsky’s influence among the Soviet military and his popularity with the public at large, together with the reach of his writings and his international connections, made him a threat. Stalin was constructing a monstrous totalitarian dictatorship, and all people of independent mind, especially those with a revolutionary past, were now under suspicion. Suddenly, in 1937, Tukhachevsky was demoted and relegated to the low-level position of Commander of the Volga Military District. Soon after that, he was arrested by the NKVD (the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs) – Stalin’s secret police. During the Soviet invasion of Poland during the Polish-Soviet War of 1921, Tukhachevsky had come into conflict with Stalin over the Soviet failure to capture Warsaw. Tukhachevsky blamed Stalin, the Regional Commissar, for failure to provide the necessary support for his attack. Thus began a history of animosity and conflict that would ultimately prove fatal to Tukhachevsky. Stalin regarded Tukhachevsky as an influential intellectual, a strong dynamic www.military-history.org

INSET This grainy image shows Tukhachevsky at his show trial – with clear evidence of beatings.

leader, and thus, potentially, a serious rival. Tukhachevsky and other Red Army officers were the victims of an elaborate state conspiracy involving the secret services of at least four countries: Nazi Germany, Czechoslovakia, France, and the Soviet Union. Germany was interested in emasculating the Russian officer corps. In 1936, Reinhardt Heydrich, the ambitious, Machiavellian chief of Himmler’s Sicherheitsdienst (SD) concocted an elaborate plot. Through a series of intermediaries of dubious credibility, the Nazis passed to Stalin’s NKVD (for a considerable fee) bogus documents that clearly implied that Tukhachevsky was a traitor. The Soviet marshal was arrested on 22 May 1937. He was accused and indicted for collaboration with the Nazis against the Soviet Union. A special tribunal of the Supreme Court presided over by the Senior Judge of the Soviet Union, Vasili Ulrikh, was convened on 11 June 1937, for the purpose of prosecuting the personnel involved in the ‘Trotskyist Anti-Soviet Military Organisation’.

The tribunal reviewed the ‘evidence’ and the forced confessions. The accused were summarily condemned to death. People’s Commissar Kliment Voroshilov signed the execution orders, which were approved by Stalin. Within hours, Marshal Tukhachevsky and the other high-ranking officers were murdered by pistol shots to the head. Stalin afterwards asked if Tukhachevsky had spoken any last words. He was told, ‘The snake said he was dedicated to the Motherland and Comrade Stalin.’ These executions marked the start of the ‘Great Purge’. It lasted into 1941 and resulted in the imprisonment of more than 37,000 Russian officers and commissars, and the death of more than 7,200. The Red Army was thus effectively decapitated by the Stalinist dictatorship. The main beneficiary was, of course, Adolf Hitler.

TUKHACHEVSKY’S LEGACY Had Tukhachevsky not been executed in 1937 would his presence in the Soviet military leadership during World War II have made a difference? It is a question that has fascinated military historians for decades. Much would have depended on the latitude and independence permitted by Stalin, who was never trusting, and always suspicious of possible rivals within the Soviet hierarchy. Stalin did not allow his remaining generals much independence until t became clear that the Soviets were in serious danger of being defeated by the Nazis. Perhaps hen Tukhachevsky would have made a difference. But his legacy remained. Though his writings were banned after his death, his ideas continued to have a profound influence. A major contribution was made to Soviet victory through the military leadership of his former students. These successful combat leaders included the remarkable Marshal Zhukov, but also others, such as Marshals Konev and Rokossovsky, and Generals Chernyakhovsky, Antonov, Pliyev, and Vatutin. They and many others employed the concepts of Tukhachevsky to excellent effect in the encirclement and defeat of the Field-Marshal Friedrich Paulus’s Sixth Army at Stalingrad, in the decisive victory of Soviet manoeuvre at Kursk, and in the combined-arms drive to, and capture of, Berlin in 1945.

Colonel Bill Wenger served for 42 years in the US Army before retirement. He volunteered for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. In civilian life, he is a real-estate executive and college instructor. MILITARY HISTORY MONTHLY

REGIMENT. REGIMENT. REGIMENT. REGIMENT.

The Louisberg Grenadiers at Quebec 13 September 1759 Patrick Mercer on the role of the Louisberg Grenadiers in General Wolfe’s decisive victory at Quebec.

GRENADIERS AND LOUISBERG The most numerous part of Britain’s Georgian Army was the infantry. A battalion was about 54

hen Benjamin West painted his famous canvas The Death of Wolfe at Quebec in 1770, all sorts of controversy surrounded it. First, it was thought to emulate too closely several depictions of the death of Christ, with Captain Hervey Smythe, Wolfe’s aide-de-camp, taking the place of the Virgin Mary, and the Colours being substituted for the Cross. Second, Joshua Reynolds advised West not to paint the figures in contemporary clothing, but to use Classical attire. In consequence, King George III initially found the whole thing too avant-garde and refused to buy it. Third, only four of the 14 people shown in the picture were actually there: Colonel Fraser of Fraser’s Highlanders, for example, could never have looked on so passionately as he was not even present on the battlefield – he was still recovering from earlier wounds. Standing in the right foreground, clutching his hands in pious misery, is another puzzle. He is a bareheaded soldier of Hopson’s Regiment, the 40th Foot, a unit that was certainly in Canada at the time, but not at this battle. Look more closely, though, and a grenadier’s ‘mitre’ cap can be seen on the ground in front of him. He is a grenadier of the 40th, and a little research reveals that he is a Louisberg Grenadier, an 18th-century ‘special forces’ unit, at the head of which General James Wolfe was riddled with musket fire on 13 September 1759.

700 strong, and consisted of conventional ‘battalion’ companies and one specially picked company of grenadiers, the tallest, smartest, and most mature men, who would be used as shock troops. With this in mind, commanders would often ‘brigade’ these specialist troops: that is, they would take the grenadiers from several battalions and band them together for a particular operation. So it was that after the fall of Louisberg in July 1758, the 22nd, 40th, and 45th Regiments all detached their grenadiers, who were then formed into a half battalion and, unusually, dubbed ‘Louisberg Grenadiers’.

ABOVE Benjamin West’s famous – and highly inaccurate – painting of the death of Wolfe at the climax of the Battle of Quebec.

The target against which these men would be thrown was the linchpin of French Northern Canada – Quebec. This great port and fortress, though, lay at the top of the St Lawrence River, the entrance to which was protected by the heavily fortified town of Louisberg. In the summer of 1745, during the War of Austrian Succession, Louisberg had been besieged and captured by the British, but it had then been returned to France under the terms of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. October 2016

Headdress Grenadiers of every country usually wore tall ‘mitre’ caps. In the case of the British grenadiers, they were embroidered in front with the regimental facing colour and royal designs, and in the rear with a grenade encompassing the regimental number.

Equipment By the mid 18th century, grenades were no longer carried, but each soldier had one pouch of cartridges on his hip and another on a waist belt for instant use. On the broad leather cross-belt, grenadiers still had a brass matchcase, a leftover from the time when grenade fuses had to be lit before they were thrown.

Weapons In the Americas, British troops mostly carried the Long Land Pattern musket at this period, as well as a bayonet and, for grenadiers, a short sword. The musket, or Brown Bess, would fire four rounds a minute in the hands of well-trained infantry. Contrary to popular belief, it was fairly accurate up to about 100 paces and had only a modest recoil.

Clothing The long-reaching scarlet coat, waistcoat, and breeches were worn in the colonies. Each regiment’s clothing was faced in a particular colour: in the case of the 40th Foot, buff. Leather belts that would normally have been pipe-clayed white were kept in their natural ‘buff’ state.

Long cloth gaiters or ‘spatterdashes’ were worn, which allowed the men to move through brush more easily and gave some protection from water to the ankles and feet. Black gaiters replaced the usual white ones on campaign. Shoes were a subject of much controversy. Square-toed and well tallowed, either buckled and worn low on the foot or laced and worn slightly higher, the troops’ shoes were not fitted to a particular foot. Instead, the men were ordered to swap them from foot to foot daily to reduce wear.

Reconstruction: Patrick Mercer

With the outbreak of the Seven Years War, the Americas once again became a cockpit. An attack on Louisberg collapsed in 1757, but William Pitt directed that another attempt be made the following year. This time the French failed to beat off the British approach at sea as they had done before, and an amphibious assault started on 8 June. Under Brigadier-General James Wolfe’s command, Hopson’s 40th Foot took part in an audacious landing and flank attack that forced the outlying French forces back into the main fortifications. There followed a sixweek siege that combined conventional tactics on land with daring operations by the Royal Navy. Finally, on 26 July, after the cutting out

One specially picked company of grenadiers, the tallest, smartest, and most mature men, were used as shock troops. www.military-history.org

of several ships in the harbour, and with the ramparts under a most destructive fire, the French surrendered.

UPRIVER TO QUEBEC But there was to be no attempt on Quebec that year instead, a series of minor expeditions were mounted against lesser French garrisons and their Indian supporters, while preparations were made for the next season’s campaigning. Here, the Louisberg Grenadiers sprang into life, with a great deal of interest being shown in their training and fitness by Wolfe. He had been entrusted with an independent command for amphibious operations against Quebec, which was to be approached from the south-east – that is, from across the St Lawrence River. With fewer than 8,000 troops, he needed to capitalise on his best and most-experienced men. Landed on the Île d’Orléans on 28 June, Wolfe quickly established batteries to fire across the river from Point Levis, and he soon after determined to assault Beaumont to gain a foothold on the northern shore. In 1760, an eye-witness account of what followed was published. While the author is not named, he is described as the ‘SergeantMajor of Hopson’s Grenadiers’. I can only assume that he was the senior non-commissioned officer of the Louisberg Grenadiers: The first push we made was on the 31 July, with 13 Companies of Grenadiers, supported by about 5,000 Battalion-men. As soon as we landed we

OPPOSITE PAGE The Quebec campaign of 1759, showing [TOP] the theatre of operations in general and [BOTTOM] the decisive battle on the Heights of Abraham. ABOVE A near contemporary reconstruction of the decisive collision on the Heights of Abraham.

fixed our Bayonets and beat our Grenadier’s March, and so advanced on. During all this time their cannon played very briskly on us, but their small-arms, in their trenches, lay cool until they were sure of their mark then they poured their small-shot like showers of hail, which caused our brave Grenadiers to fall very fast. Brave General Wolfe saw that our attempts were in vain, so he retreated to his boats again. The number of killed and wounded that day was about 400 men. In our retreat, we burnt the two ships, which we had run ashore on that side to cover our landing. Casualties were heavy as Vaudreuil, the French commander, wrote afterwards, ‘I have no more anxiety about Quebec. Wolfe, I assure you, will make no progress… He contented himself with losing about 500 of his best soldiers.’

THE GRAND ASSAULT The British continued the siege from across the St Lawrence, but as their numbers dwindled due to wounds and disease, Wolfe became even more determined to attack his enemy before the advantage of numbers shifted decisively. MILITARY HISTORY MONTHLY

THE LOUISBERG GRENADIERS AT QUEBEC The three regiments whose grenadier companies made up the Louisberg Grenadiers had very varied histories. At the time of Quebec, the old custom of calling the regiment by its colonel’s name was still in use, but so was the new regimental number which reflected when each unit was raised. Whitmore’s 22nd Foot had been raised in 1694. Designated Cheshire in 1781, they had buff facings, but due to their red ‘small-clothes’ (waistcoat, breeches, and so on), they were nicknamed ‘The Red Knights’. At Dettingen in 1743, a detachment protected King George II at a moment of great peril. In recognition, he plucked a sprig of oak and told them to wear it in their caps forever. And they still do. Hopson’s 40th Foot were raised in Nova Scotia in 1717 out of a number of independent companies specifically designed for service in the Americas. Numbered 40 in 1751, they fought throughout the American Revolution, being designated 2nd Somersetshire in 1781. Amalgamated with the 82nd Prince of Wales’s Volunteers in 1881, they were then redesignated South Lancashire Regiment. Their nickname, ‘The Excellers’, cleverly reflected ‘40’ in Roman numbers: XL. Warberton’s 45th Foot were raised in 1741 as a marine regiment, and originally numbered as the 56th Foot. Soon renumbered as the 45th, the regiment returned to England, having been fought to a standstill in the American Revolution. They were the first to be given a county title in 1781 – the 1st Nottinghamshire. Later, in recognition of their service in the Peninsular Campaign, the 45th were granted the special title Sherwood Foresters, while their nickname – ‘The Old Stubborns’ – described their conduct at Talavera in 1808. The annus mirabilis of 1759 was the high point of British power in the 18th century. While the year started with a threat of French invasion, Fort Ticonderoga and Quebec were taken in the Americas, Guadeloupe in the West Indies, Madras was secured in India, Minden was a resounding victory in Germany, and the Royal Navy triumphed at Lagos and Quiberon Bay.

So it was that on 12 September, an advanced guard rowed upstream and landed under the cliffs of Anse-auFoulon with a view to establishing a bridgehead between Montcalm’s main forces around Quebec and his other troops further to the west. The Loiusberg Grenadiers were to deploy between the 35th on the extreme right of the line and the 28th to their left, with the rest of Wolfe’s slender forces (about 3,300 in all) wheeling like a gate towards Quebec across the Plains of

‘A terrible slaughter ensued from the quick fire of our field pieces and musketry.’ 58

Abraham. The Sergeant-Major has the wrong date, but he describes the action very accurately: On the 14th we landed, at break of day, and immediately attacked and routed the enemy, taking possession of a battery of four 24-pdrs, and one 13-inch mortar, with but an inconsiderable loss. We then took post on the Plains of Abraham, whither Monsieur Montcalm (on hearing that we had landed, for he did not expect us) hastened with his whole army (consisting of cavalry as well as infantry) to give us battle. About 9 o’clock, we observed the enemy marching down towards us in three columns. At 10, they formed their line of battle, which was at least six deep, having their flanks covered by a thick wood on each side, into which they threw above 3,000 Canadians and Indians, who galled us much. The Regulars then marched briskly up to us, and gave us their first fire, at about 50 yards distance, which we did not return, as it was General Wolfe’s express orders not to fire till they came within 20 yards of us. They continued firing by platoons, advancing in a very regular manner till they came close up to us, and then the action became general. In

about a quarter of an hour, the enemy gave way on all sides, when a terrible slaughter ensued from the quick fire of our field pieces and musketry, with which we pursued them to the walls of the town, regardless of all excessive heavy fire from all their batteries. The enemy lost in the engagement, LieutenantGeneral Montcalm (who was torn to pieces by our grape-shot), two brigadier-generals, one colonel, two lieutenant-colonels, and at least 130 officers and men killed and 200 taken prisoners at their very sally-ports, of which 58 were officers. On our side were killed the brave and never to be forgotten General Wolfe, with nine officers, four sergeants, and 44 privates wounded, Brigadier-General Monckton, Colonel Carlton, Quarter-Master-General, Major Barre, AdjutantGeneral, and 50 other officers, with 26 sergeants and 557 privates. This action was the more glorious, as the enemy were at least 12,000 strong, besides 500 horse whereas we, at the utmost, did not consist of above 3,500.

THE CAPITULATION The Sergeant-Major can be excused for exaggerating Montcalm’s forces – 12,000 is about right for his entire force, but he had fewer than 4,000 before Quebec that day. The author neglects to mention, though, that Wolfe ensured terrible execution among the French by ordering each musket to be ‘double shotted’ – loaded with two balls – but he continues: We lay on our arms all night, and in the morning we secured the bridge of boats which the enemy had over Charles River, and possessed ourselves of all the posts and venues that was or might be of any consequence leading to the town, and broke ground at 100 yards’ distance from the walls. We likewise got up 12 heavy 24-pdrs, six heavy 12-pdrs, some large mortars, and the 46-inch howitzers to play upon the town, and we had been employed three days, intending to make a breach, and storm the city sword in hand. But we were prevented by their beating a parley, and sending out a flag of truce with articles of capitulation, and the next day, being 17 September, we took possession of the city, where we found 250 pieces of cannon, a number of mortars, from 9 to 15 inches, field pieces, howitzers, etc, with a large quantity of artillery stores. And with that the Louisberg Grenadiers’ job was done. Wolfe had died at the head of his hand-picked shock troops, and whilst the victory was by no means theirs alone, this corps d’elite had added another triumph to the annus mirabilis of 1759.

Patrick Mercer is a former soldier, journalist, and MP. He is interested in any action of the British Army or Royal Navy, but has made a special study of the Italian Campaign. October 2016

OCTOBER Each month, the Debrief brings you the very best in ilm and book reviews, along with suggested historical events and must-see museums. Whether you plan to be at home or out in the ield, our team of expert reviewers deliver the best recommendations to keep military-history enthusiasts entertained.

MHM REVIEWS Jules Stewart RECOMMENDED reviews The Churchill’s Navy Second Angloby Brian Lavery Sikh War by Amarpal Singh, Francesca Trowse reviews Eggs or Anarchy by William Sitwell, and Keith Robinson reviews Wings of Empire by Barry Renfrew.

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Taylor Downing visits Real to Reel: a century of war movies at IWM London.

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Watch the video: Η μάχη στα Σπήλια - The battle of Spilia (October 2022).

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