Year 11 Ancient History, Historical Investigation- Troy.

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Analyse the effectiveness of the tactics used by both sides in the Trojan War. ____________________________________________________________

The Trojan war was a ten year siege on the city of the city of Troy at the hands of the Greek forces led by a psychopathic king, Agamemnon. This conflict, which took place about 1200 B.C has become one of the most well known Greek mythology events in history. In the 13th century B.C, Troy and Sparta had stopped their wars and become allies, this was until Paris the youngest prince of Troy seduced Helen, the Queen of Sparta and left with her back to Troy. When Menelaos (The King of Sparta) found out what had happened, he vowed to conquer Troy and with the help of his brother Agamemnon he launched one of the largest military campaign’s in history. After summoning all available forces that would answer his call, Agamemnon launched over 1000 ships headed towards the city of Troy. The war consisted of many heroes such as: Achilles, leader of the Myrmidons, Ajax, the tall Salamian leader, Odysseus, the resourceful and cunning king of Ithaca and Hector and Paris the princes of Troy. Hector, was commander-in-chief of the Trojan forces . Hector was the best warrior on the Trojan side. Achilles was the immortal warrior who was the best soldier in the Greek forces and possibly the world . The numbers of the Greek forces have been said to have been as high as over 130,000, but this was most likely exaggerated and the Trojan army supposedly matched these numbers. As the forces were relatively identical in size, who would win the war would come down to the weapons used, the soldiers fighting and the tactics issued by both armies’ commanders. The Greeks had many advantages when it came to storming a beachhead. With experienced pilots and rowers, the ships could be landed in such a formation that allowed the infantry to jump off easily but still provide maximum protection for their archers while also creating raised platforms from which spears and arrows could be fired easily. The ships also gave the Greeks a psychological edge as any man would be terrified when an armada of ships is bearing down on your position . But the most important Greek resource was the quality of their infantry, the backbone of their land power. The Greeks were experienced at making fighting runs up onto the beach; the Trojans had little experience in such operations . The Greeks knew how to jump down onto shore rapidly while holding up a shield against enemy arrows. Before the Achaeans ships arrived, the Trojans set up beach defences, implanting spikes into the ground preventing the ships coming up during high tide but this did not halter the Greeks as they landed, soldiers stormed the beach. The result would have been a melee, what Homer calls “a dispersed battle” in which “man took man” and “close combat” was decided by “hand and might .”The beach landing was more of a free for all battle; it would have been a brawl, with no formations and tactics. With ships constantly coming in and men disembarking, with Trojans running forward to stop them and Greeks pushing against the Trojan defences. The Iliad mentions fifty-men Trojan platoons and hundred-man Greek companies. Once the Greeks had taken the beach they set up defences in case the Trojans launched a counter-attack . Rather than mount a direct attack on the imposing fortress of Troy, the Greeks chose instead to destroy the surrounding towns and cities which all belonged in the wider region of Phrygia. Troy depended on these settlements for its supply of provisions, reinforcements and aid . Once the Greeks had isolated Troy, the Greeks started their large attacks on Troy. Homer’s Iliad describes in detail the many battles that occurred in the Trojan War. The tactics of the war at some points, according to Homer, were more like extreme dodge ball then to the classical warfare of the phalanx...
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