Saturday, June 25, 2011

alexander the great or Julius caesar, which army was the better fighting machine

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Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar were both military geniuses, but by Alexander’s teaching, ambition and friendly conquering, it made him and his army a more effective and efficient fighting machine. From the time Alexander was born, he was destined for greatness. On the day he was born, things such as building caught fire. This was taken for depicting his destiny, showing that he would be strong and conquering. From the first time that Alexander set out for battle with Persia to his last fight, he was idolized. His was considered to be a god, but he still associated with his troops, when they had no water, he through his away. Julius on the other hand never physically entered battle with his troops, Alexander always led his troops at the front line. Even though these two men lived during different times, they each had some of the same characteristics. Both men were very ambitious, and well educated, each having been taught by some of the best teachers of the time. However each man had there own ideas for the new territory that they conquered. While one man tried to promote unity the other wanted to sole power.

Alexander and Julius had in common the same type of goals, however, they each had many differences. Even though some of their outcomes were similar, their methods of achieving them were very different. For example, each man wanted to be king. Julius wanted to be king so that he could be the only ruler and a tyrant. Alexander wanted to be ruler so that he could promote peace, live in unity with everybody and spread the culture of Greece around. Both of the two used their armies to achieve these goals, Alexander conquered most of the Middle East, while Julius controlled western and central Europe. It seemed harsh that Alexander would use a military force to unify Europe, however he would offer a sign of peace to any opposing forces before attacking. More often the not, captured slaves would want to stay under Alexander’s rule rather then go back to there home land. When Alexander defeated Darius, he had captured Darius’s wife and daughter. Alexander was known for his anger, but he could also be merciful. When a settlement would not willingly yield to his authority, he would take it by force. Yet when he captured Darius’s wife and daughter he showed them kindness and not cruelty. In fact when they were given the chance to return to Persia, they had wanted to stay in Greece with Alexander. Julius, was ruthless, and if faced with the same situation as Alexander, he most definitely would not be as compassionate. An important factor as to why these men were both successful was also because of the ability to speak in large groups and win the respect of others.

Before entering battle, each gave a motivational speech. Alexander used his popularity and public speaking skills to motivate his army. He would lead by example, and taught his men bravery and courage. Julius was also an excellent public speaker, and used his skills to manipulate his army into fighting. He did this to motivate his army when they wee depressed or heading into battle. This was not common by a general, because of their speaking skills, however because Julius did not enter battle with his army it should his philosophy of how he thought he was better. Alexander would lead his men, this should that he had confidence in them to defeat opposing forces. This allowed for his men want to willingly fight for him and be motivated enough to conquer opposing forces.

Most of the time Alexander was largely out numbered, yet he was still able to defeat his enemies. His success lay in his tactics, particularly the phalanx. The phalanx allowed very little openings for his enemies to attack. Not only did Alexander have a strong infantry, but because he was well educated and knowledgeable, he understood how much a cavalry was important as an offensive weapon. Cavalry could also compensate for smaller armies such as Alexander’s. Because Alex was so smart he could also adapt quickly to changing his strategies in the middle of battle. If he was not in front, charging towards his enemies, he would be over looking the fight, trying to make it in his favor. The phalanx was so effective because it allowed for maximum protection of the soldiers, while being able to win battles with ease. The soldiers were so close that each of their shields would protect them and the man beside them. They also carried large spears which would not allow for enemies to come close to them. Alexander was smart in choosing were to fight battles as well. If he was largely out numbered, he would force the fight in a small area so as not to be surrounded but to have one on one battle in which he would win.

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An aspect of strength that was also important to an army was who it was allied with. Alexander had no allies when he was conquering other cities, and when in battle, “Alexander had no friends or allies”. Julius on the other hand had allies such as Pompey and Crassus who also had strong armies. This shows that Alexander could accomplish more on his own with fewer men. He was more efficient and had the ambition to conquer all of Europe, except his men did not want to continue forward. This showed that Alexander’s ambition was very strong. Julius went to battle to defeat any threats to his power or that could over throw him. This shows that his ambition was different from Alexander’s because he was ruthless, and was a dictator. This showed in their armies because they responded in the way that there leader treated them. Julius conscripted people to join, and they were often not happy about having to leave their homes for periods of up to a year. Alexander reformed the army, making it a job with benefits. This allowed people to be happy, which meant that they would fight willingly for Alexander. Because they were more willing to fight, they would be able to travel further without more nagging, this meant that they would be able to conquer more cities.

Alexander and Julius were both very smart, and were brought up in a similar lifestyle. It was there ambitions and destiny for them to both become leaders of there time. However, as leaders they both had different interests. It was because of their interest that made one army greater the other. Alexander’s army was a better fighting machine because they were well taken care of, and led by a worthy man, who was a powerful leader. Their tactics were revolutionary, not allowing their enemies to even come close to them. Alexander never lost a battle in his time, proving that his army was superior to any other. Julius was a tyrant while Alexander promoted peace and unity. It was his ability to think quickly in battle, and his tactics such as the phalanx that made his army the best fighting machine.

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