Illustration of the
Greek Phalanx Positioned for Battle
The sketch illustrates the deadly
formation of the Phalanx in ancient Greek warfare.
The Phalanx was a term used as far
back as the writings of Homer, but the deadly combat formation was
perfected around the seventh century B.C. The hoplite soldiers lined
up in single file about 8 men in each line, side by side. Their
formation was about 8 feet apart per hoplite which was open enough
for a skirmisher to pass through to the back. Just when the battle
was about to commence the men in the back would swiftly close their
line to 3 feet distance per soldier and he would speedily maneuver
the left side of his shield to cover the soldier to his left and
lock shields. The hoplite soldier could easily thrust his spear over
this wall of shields. If a soldier fell, one from the rear would
replace him. Officers and even generals would often fight in the
front line of battle to risk his life with the soldier next to him.
The Phalanx battle formation moved like one man and was designed to
swiftly force the enemy off the battlefield.
The Bible mentions a lot Concerning "Warfare"
1 Corinthians 9:7 - Who
goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who
planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who
feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
28:1 - And it came to pass in those days, that the
Philistines gathered their armies together for warfare,
to fight with Israel. And Achish said unto David, Know thou
assuredly, that thou shalt go out with me to battle, thou and thy
1:18 - This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy,
according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by
them mightest war a good warfare;
- Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned:
for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins.
Corinthians 10:4 - (For the weapons of our warfare
[are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of
The weapons man has used throughout the centuries have become increasingly
lethal and efficient killing machines, keeping pace with our development and
education. Ancient warfare can seem brutal and barbaric but it pales in
comparison to our modern battlefields and the destructive capability we have
Assyrian bowmen can rain havoc on an army when shot
simultaneously by thousands of warriors. And today we can now release
unfathomable destruction from a single Ohio Class Submarine capable of launching 24 Trident
nuclear missiles from underwater within a
4,000 mile range, with each missile carrying 8 independently targeted 100KT
By comparison, the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945
was a 13KT weapon which killed 70,000 people instantly and an estimated
140,000 due to injuries. The plutonium weapon dropped on Nagasaki on August
9, 1945 was 21KT weapon which produced an estimated 80,000 total deaths, the
lower number due to the drop site being within in an industrial valley with
some containment provided by surrounding mountains.
Living in the western world with World War II a subject in history books, and
residing in relative peace in our own lands, we can think of ourselves as sort
of a more evolved being than those we study from the past. But is this
really true? What would happen if reality suddenly changed and we became
under attack in our neighborhoods from a hostile force?
Rod Serling in his famous series "The Twilight Zone"
dedicated an episode to exploring the idea of placing a middle class
neighborhood of typical good friends under the sudden pressure of an impending attack
to see what our character would produce. It's in three short
parts on YouTube called "The Shelter".
How would our character respond if the peace we take for granted suddenly