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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: The Arena:
Alexander the Great and his armies vs Harad Southrons

Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 29, 6:40pm

Post #1 of 6 (2433 views)
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Alexander the Great and his armies vs Harad Southrons Can't Post

Some interesting historical wars that could apply. Alexander vs Persia, vs Egypt, vs Assyria Bablylonia vs Indus kings...would have well prepared him to meet the Haradrim.....elephant experience would have helped with Oliphants.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/..._%281898-1899%29.jpg


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 29, 6:45pm)


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 29, 6:49pm

Post #2 of 6 (2425 views)
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Per Wiki re Alexander's forces [In reply to] Can't Post

Artillery

A modern reconstruction of the gastraphetes
The dramatic change in the abilities of Greeks to operate against fortifications owed much to the development of effective artillery. This had begun around 400 BC in Syracuse under Dionysius I. By Alexander’s time, torsion-powered artillery was in use. Torsion machines used skeins of sinew or hair rope, which were wound around a frame and twisted so as to power two bow arms; these could develop much greater force than earlier forms (such as the gastraphetes) reliant on the elastic properties of a bow-stave. Two forms of such ballista were used by the Macedonians: a smaller bolt-shooting type called the oxybeles and a larger stone-throwing machine called the lithobolos. The largest lithoboloi could fire stones up to 80 kg in weight. Such machines could shower the defenders of a city with missiles and create a breach in the walls themselves.[104]

Alexander the Great appears to have been one of the first generals to employ artillery on the open field of battle, rather than in a siege. He used massed artillery to fire across a river at a Scythian army, causing it to vacate the opposite river bank, thus allowing the Macedonian troops to cross and form a bridgehead.[105]

Other siege engines
In conjunction with various forms of artillery, the Macedonians possessed the ability to build an effective array of siege engines. Prominent in a number of sieges, including the epic Siege of Tyre (332 BC), were siege towers; these allowed men to approach and assault the enemy walls without being exposed to potentially withering missile fire. Equally, they meant that more men could be put on the walls in a shorter period of time, as simple ladders constrained the men attacking to moving up in single file, thus making the task of defending the walls far easier. These structures, which were wheeled and several stories high, were covered with wet hide or metal sheathing to protect from missile fire, especially incendiaries, and the largest might be equipped with artillery. The Macedonian army could also deploy various forms of suspended, metal-tipped, rams. Such rams were usually provided with a wheeled, roofed covering to protect their users from missile fire; they were employed to batter down gates or to dislodge masonry from walls and so cause a breach (this latter form was sometimes called a 'drill' rather than a ram).[106]

All of these could have been used against Oliphants.

https://en.wikipedia.org/...ient_Macedonian_army


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 29, 6:50pm)


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 29, 10:25pm

Post #3 of 6 (2409 views)
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How to fight war elephants [In reply to] Can't Post

"Porus, atop his elephant, personally led his elephant corps instead of the usual double-horse chariot used by Indian kings. The War-Elephants caused heavy losses to the phalanx, impaling many with their tusks fitted with steel spikes and heaving some before pulverizing them. Alexander commanded his Indian Contingents to end the carnage, with the light infantry which tossed javelins at the Elephants' eyes while the heavy infantry ham-stringed the Elephants with the two-sided axes and scimitars.[36] They were eventually repulsed by the dense pikes of the phallangitai, wreaking much havoc upon their own lines.[19] The mahouts were killed before they could kill their panicked elephants with poisoned rods. The remaining Indian cavalry fled among the elephants for protection, but the beasts were already out of control and would soon retreat exhausted from the field, leaving the rest of Porus's army encircled by the Macedonian horse and phalanx. Alexander sent his phalanx to attack the elephants, which were forced back on their own side. They boxed the Indian infantry and cavalry, many of whom were trampled to death. At this time, the phallangitai locked their shields and advanced upon the confused enemy.[citation needed] By this time Craterus and his force in the base camp crossed the river when the way was clear, and they conducted a chase against those who retreated. [37]"

https://upload.wikimedia.org/...%99s_troops_1685.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/...ttle_of_the_Hydaspes


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 29, 10:33pm

Post #4 of 6 (2406 views)
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War pigs [In reply to] Can't Post

"..So how could a pig possibly hope to defeat an elephant?

The world found out during the War of the Diadochi, in which Alexander the Great’s generals fought over his empire after his death. The battle in question was the Megara siege in 266 BC, in which Antigonus II Gonatus advanced upon the city with a vast army, including a great number of formidable war elephants. The Megarians had to break the siege at any cost but how could they possibly hope to defeat such a vast and mighty army?

Enter the war pig. Just let that thought settle for a moment.

War pigs.

First question, why even think of sending a pig to go and fight an elephant? Well, the Siege of Megara was not the first time that it happened nor was it originally the Megarians idea to do such a thing. Instead it was Pliny the Elder (the Roman author, naturalist and natural philosopher) who determined that “elephants are scared by the smallest squeal of the hog” which led to Romans utilizing squealing pigs and rams to repel the War Elephants of Pyrrhus in 275 BC. For the Megarians under siege, sending war pigs to attack war elephants didn’t seem nearly bizarre or dangerous enough. Instead they coated their war pigs in a flammable resin and set them on fire. The war pig had just become the incendiary pig. The Megarians drove the flaming pigs towards the massed ranks of war elephants in a screaming, squealing cacophony of angry burning pork. Despite the forceful commands of the mahouts (drivers) sat upon them, the elephants bolted. They ran back through their own ranks, crushing both man and horse and effectively crippling Antigonus II Gonatus’ forces in just a few moments.

The pig had been victorious. In the battle of war pig versus war elephant it was clear who the champion was."

http://www.historyisnowmagazine.com/...istory#.W4cemcNjPcs=

Elephants afraid of mice? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oA77tVNKtc

https://www.quora.com/...r-elephants-defeated

"Elephants cannot jump; they are too heavy for even their massive bones to absorb the shock of landing. Ditches they cannot step across, but are too steep-sided for them to safely descend or ascend will act as barriers, channelling them into the killing zone. They are vulnerable to pit traps and caltrops.

Like almost all animals, they fear fire. Jan Meyer suggested coating a pig with pitch and lighting it on fire, and allowing the burning, terrified animal to run loose. That’s fine, except that there is no guarantee that some of the pigs won’t turn around and run toward the defender’s forces. Human beings don’t hold formation very well when fear-crazed flaming pigs run at them. Fire arrows and fire pots are effective, especially if aimed at the elephant’s trunk. Elephants won’t usually cross a broad line of fire.
As several posters pointed out, long spears and pikes can pierce an elephant. Arbalests, specialized crossbows with very high tension arms (often made of steel) that needed special mechanisms to aim, could discharge larger bolts than standard bows, and drive them through the elephant’s hide and any chain mail over it."


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 29, 10:40pm)


sevilodorf
Grey Havens


Aug 31, 12:01pm

Post #5 of 6 (2270 views)
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War pigs and tactics for fighting elephants [In reply to] Can't Post

The wonderful expansive things you learn at TORN. Sounds like Alexander had it all worked out while I always felt the Haradrim (and Sauron) were just a bit too cocky with the whole “our oliphaunts are big so we’re gonna win” attitude.

Hmm wonder what kind of fan fix I coulde war itself think up to include war pigs?

Fourth Age Adventures at the Inn of the Burping Troll http://burpingtroll.com
Home of TheOneRing.net Best FanFic stories of 2005 and 2006 "The Last Grey Ship" and "Ashes, East Wind, Hope That Rises" by Erin Rua

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Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 31, 2:52pm

Post #6 of 6 (2259 views)
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I think any fight against Oliphaunts would require foreknowledge [In reply to] Can't Post

to prepare in advance if substantial losses are trying to be avoided.

Had Minas Tirith been adequately prepared for the inevitable attack, defensive ground would have been dug (at least one would think so) - trenches, spikes, and bolt firing engines (if they existed) otherwise the catapults. Fire arrows - again, if the concept existed - and certainly some wizarding fireworks - rockets and explosives.

 
 

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