Phalanx

  • Ancient Greece
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Possibly on of the oldest “battle” field movements, The Phalanx is possibly over 3,000 years old. Used with great success by Macedonian Alexander and his Armies against The Persians (Gaugamela), The Phalanx requires training to properly deploy. In theory, the tactic was devised to break up advancing Heavy Cavalry and Chariots. The weapon of choice for The Phalanx was The Sarissa Spear. Sharpened wooden spear-like stakes were used. Sizes varied according to one's “placement” within The Phanlanx Formation. The average lengths ranged from rows of 13 to 20 feet long. Made of pliable Cornel Wood (to absorb shock better), the standard formation was drawn up in a square of 8 Ranks (each with 20 men each). This created a Formation of 160 soldiers.



The Ranks were distanced at 6 to 8 foot intervals (front to back). All soldiers were also armed with Shields. The first two Ranks were made up of the most experienced or battle tested fighters (with the least trained or experienced in the Rear). Using the interlocking Shield “tactic” of placing the outer most portion of one's Shield behind or in front of the soldier to one's left or right – the effect created was a solid “wall”. Sarissa Spears could then be “rested on either the shoulder or shield to the soldier in front of one. This also provided as stable platform from which to thrust or stab at an enemy. Upon initial contact with a foe, IF the Rear Ranks were needed (3rd or 4th Rank) – would perform the same movement as the 1st and 2nd Ranks did. The use of The Phalanx Formation is often credited to King Philip of Macedon (Father of Alexander The Great). It was copied and modified by many Kingdoms and Nations (eventually evolving into “The Pike Square” and later “The Infantry Square”).