Jump to content
UNRV Ancient Roman Empire Forums
  • Time Travel Rome

Sign in to follow this  
Legio X

The battle of Leuktra

Recommended Posts

That assumes the phalanxes were all important. Whilst they formed the body of the battle, there was no significant advantage to either side there. The refusement of the right flank without considering the cavalry action in between the lines makes no sense as a winning strategy. Far from it, it's rather pointless and in one respect might actually prevent a Theban victory. It was the cavalry action that swung it, as so often happens in battles of this period.

 

 

How would the Romans deal with such a tactic? They frequently did well even when greatly outnumbered in cavalry.

 

I would expect an outcome similar to Cynoscephalae, where unintentionally one side of the phalanx advanced ahead of the other, which had not yet formed up.

Or is it conceivable that the trailing echelons of the Thebans would subsequently advance and support the side of the 50-deep phalanx?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Theban advance in echelon might support on side of the lead phalanx, but it's circumstantial whether there's any benefit to that. In the case of Leuctra, no, there wasn't, because all the cavalry was facing off in the centre of the action, and the infantry action was deliberately intended as a simple push-on-push of pikes.

 

As for how the Romans might react, it's more of a case of how a particular commander would react. Some Roman generals were very gifted, many simply followed the guidelines without any talent or forethought, .

 

Okay, let's suppose I arrive at the battlefield and there's the Thebans lined up with cavalry at the front. What is he playing at? Surely the wings are more important? No matter. I'm not confronting his cavalry at all. Mine are securing the wings and will attempt to prevent the enemy horsemen from escaping the killing zone between our phalanxes. I sense a victory in the offing.

 

Warfare has often been compared to a game of chess but in relaity it's more down to trickery and guile as to who gets the upper edge before you begin. Imagine it instead as a game of poker. You know what you have in your hand. You might be able to guess how strong his hand is. Can you outplay him?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Usually, skirmish was done by light infantry that was much safer and cheaper to operate then cavalry between oposing infantry formations. Cavalry was placed on the flanks of infantry lines with Alexander (and his dad) as a major exception.

Cavalry facing off in the center at the start of the battle seems weird to me.

 

PS guy have a cookie!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PS guy have a cookie!

 

Happy 420 :thumbsup:

 

guy also known as gaius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Map of the Roman Empire

×