Split thread - How/why/when did War lose its lustre?

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Efstathios
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Post by Efstathios »

When i was at the army and i went for my first watch (00.00-04.00 a.m) there was a rifle there and a knife. As i was in the navy, in most typical watches we didnt have machine guns, but rifles, m1's, these from the WWII era. In the rifle you could attach the knive. So, i was examining the knive which was old and kind of rusty, and very sharp, and i thought what would happen if i would go to war (God forbid) with a knive like this on the edge of the rifle.Even at machine guns, like the G3 or the M 16 you can attach knives.

The idea that i would have to pierce someone with that in close combat terrified me. Of course the circumstances at war are different. And nowdays they dont often use knives in front of guns. But, we are children of a different era. Our grandfathers that fought in WWII and other wars, most of them were coming mainly from villages and small cities. Most of us have never killed a sheep or a goat, or a chicken. I remember sometime ago when i was at my father's village, i went with my cousin to see as he and his wife would kill a sheep that would be the main dish for a celebration at dinner. I didnt show anything, but the sight touched me. The sheep somewhat new what was going to happen when my cousin approached it. A few seconds later it was shaking on the ground with the neck sliced, and blood coming out. His wife had a hose pouring water to clean the blood. In a few seconds it was dead.

And this is a very ordinary spectacle at villages. It is natural. Man has to eat. He kills the sheep. But if i was asked to do it, i would hesitate. I dont know if i could. It's all a matter of how you are grown up. Surely people at ancient times were more keen with swords and killing with them. And surely if they had to kill another man with a sword, it would still be difficult, but not like it woiuld be for a man today, that has never even killed a chicken.

That being said, warfare in ancient times was more immediate. You were next to your opponent. It was also brutal. Now it is not immediate. It is mainly from afar. But it is also brutal. The results of a bombing in a residential area are maybe far more brutal. You dont see it from the news. They dont show the results. Only explotions from afar, and ravaged buildings. When the bombings in Lebanon from the Israelies were going on one year or more ago, a friend of mine did the stupid thing to send me a link to a site. He isnt touched by these sights like i am. The site showed pictures of the results of those bombings. Once i got to the third picture showing a young boy cut in half and things like that, i immediately closed the site, and erased all of the internet explorer's history. And then i sweared at my friend. When i saw the news afterwards that showed the bombs going off in buildings and things like that, i changed the channel. Because it wasnt just images of buildings exploding anymore. It was the things that they dont show you.

War is never nice. It wasnt in the ancient times, and it isnt now.
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Post by karen »

I think the main reason war has come to be seen as more horrible than in the past is that it actually is more horrible than in the past.

Higher technology has made killing easier. Due to that, being a soldier, or a civilian in a warring country, is simply more dangerous and therefore more stressful than it was the low-tech days. As well, many of the old notions of honour in warfare are gone -- perhaps also casualties of technological change -- and that makes the glory pale, too.

The rise of the firearm, especially the accurate firearm, changed battlefield dynamics irrevocably. All of a sudden, any leader in the frontline was in deadly danger every moment of a battle, no matter how good a fighter he was personally. He could be instantly and easily cut down by some newbie a hundred yards away. Guns were the beginning of the end of kings and generals fighting in the frontlines as a matter of honour, extending to today's tendency for wars to almost never be fought by those who decide to launch them -- something that has done much to turn popular opinion against war.

The gun also eventually led to the demise of spectacular uniforms and bold advances. Today's infantryman dresses to hide and sneaks onto the field, hunched low, always seeking cover, as if he's ashamed of what he's doing. These may seem like superficial things, but the reputation of an activity is definitely influenced by how it looks.

Then there's explosives. Compare the situation of a travelling army. In Alexander's time, it could march through the countryside quite safe so long as no other armies were around. There was no way it could be threatened by a small number of enemies, let alone a single one. Today in Iraq, American soldiers in convoys know that any second they could be blown up by an IED operated remotely by a sole insurgent, who, because he's alone and not close to them, can easily escape... only to return and repeat later.

In fact, the ancient warrior was pretty much safe from violent death at the hands of enemies except when he was in battle -- in other words, the vast majority of the time. In Iraq, where mortars get lobbed even into the Green Zone, death can come anytime, utterly without warning. An ancient pitched battle rarely lasted more than a day; modern ones can involve combat that goes on for months at a time. These things make a very big difference in how hellish war is.

Compare also the situation of civilians. In Alexander's time, they'd come to grief if their soldiers were defeated -- the rest of the city might be sold into slavery or, more rarely, massacred. In our time, the notion that there is no honour in killing someone unarmed during battle has gone the way of the buggy-whip, and technology has made it possible to get to the civilians even when their soldiers are still fighting. Thus killing them has become a tactic, a part of a greater strategy -- e.g. Hiroshima/Nagasaki (the use of the ultimate explosive) and in fact most other cases of aerial bombardment. 9/11 is a spectacular example: through the use of technology, 19 guys armed with box cutters and minimal flying lessons were able to kill 3,000 odd civilians and massively demoralize millions more -- the demoralization done through advanced information technology, putting those images on all our TV screens. (Technology has given incredible power to someone who is willing to give up his life -- whether it be a kamikaze pilot or a suicide bomber -- whereas in Alexander's time he'd have been no more effective than anyone else on the field.)

So, if you put yourself in the mind of the average soldier: in Alexander's time, the thought of what would happen to his family if his side was defeated, if he was defending his city, was pure motivation. In our time, he has to worry about what might be happening to his family right now, while he's still fighting... a sure way to sap his will to fight (which is why it's done).

Yet another factor is that, pre-firearms, skill in combat was a major factor. Not so much today; anyone can pull a trigger that releases a spray of bullets or push a button that releases a missile. Not to say there is no skill involved at all, but it's just not on the same level. It's taken for granted that a youth of 18 who's never touched a weapon can be made into a modern M16-toting soldier, fit for combat, in a matter of months. Could he be made into an effective hoplite, hypaspist, cavalry lancer or even archer? Not a chance -- that takes years. Thus the role of warrior has become debased; there simply isn't the same craft in it, and therefore the same admiration for warriors, as there once was.

Even the value of courage is less. If you have a sword and shield and are facing another guy with a sword and shield, you have a chance; if you turn your back you're dead and so are your comrades. If a bullet's coming at you, it doesn't matter whether you face it, you're dead anyway, and your comrades don't depend on you so much. High technology enables even the scrawniest coward, if he has control over it, the power to unleash mass death... George W. Bush springing instantly to mind.

The whole dynamic of war is different, and the modern one is more random, impersonal, lacking in delineation between battle and not-battle, and conducive to a sense of helplessness. This all makes it psychologically harder to endure, and the revulsion to it correspondingly stronger.

There are other factors to the change, I think, which others have referred to, that refer to the degree of militarization of a culture, but I'll get into them in another message.

To take a stab at Amyntoros' question, I think all of this has a great deal to do with why many people who are against war and imperialism today still admire Alexander, the great conqueror. Perhaps we look back with yearning to the days when, to conquer a country and appropriate its resources, a head of state actually had to undergo arduous training and then expose his own person to the risk of death, rather than sending orders half-way round the world from a safe office. Perhaps we admire Alexander in contrast to today's scrawny, deferment-collecting warmongers, numerous enough that we have a species name for them: chickenhawks. Perhaps we admire him because what he did was incredibly difficult, whereas for today's pinstriped kings, it's as easy as a mouse-click...

Pax,
Karen
Last edited by karen on Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Ancient warfare "less horrible" than modern? I don

Post by marcus »

karen wrote:I think the main reason war has come to be seen as more horrible than in the past is that it actually is more horrible than in the past.
Inasmuch as? ... nowadays you are more likely to be cured of any wound that you might receive, or be treated quickly by qualified doctors with clean tools and anaesthetics, and have swift transport out of the war zone to where you can be treated ...

... inasmuch as? ... it is almost a requirement to get counselling after combat missions nowadays, so that post-traumatic stress is more easily noticed and treated as well as it can be; and of course 98% of ancient warfare was very much eyeball to eyeball, rather than the impersonal, never-see-the-whites-of-the-eyes warfare that we have today, in which case the incidences of PTS should, in theory, have been much higher in the ancient world ...

... inasmuch as? ... the fact that, if you aren't killed nowadays, then short of necessary amputation there is a good possibility that you will not be seriously debilitated by any wounds you receive, as opposed to the good chance that, if wounded by a sword, spear or arrow there was every chance that you would lose abilities that you would never regain ...

... inasmuch as? ... if you are killed in a combat situation nowadays, you are likely to suffer far less that you would have had to suffer if dealt a fatal wound in the ancient world ...

I guess you can tell that I am disputing the fact that modern warfare is "more horrible" than it was in the past ... :wink:

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Post by karen »

I think you've made only two discrete points, really, Marcus -- that medical care is better now, and that "eyeball-to-eyeball" warfare is more stressful than impersonal warfare.

Agreed on the first, but that won't save you from, say, a nuclear bomb. Or the long-term fear of nuclear holocaust, terrorist attacks, etc. The ancients lived in blissful ignorance of weapons of mass destruction. (I count increased generalized fear as part of the increased horror of war.) I have to differ on the idea that few wounds are debilitating today, also. Amputations are extremely common among the wounded coming out of Iraq, as is debilitating brain damage. Consider also the land mine -- a high-tech weapon specifically designed to produce debilitating injuries (it produces an explosion only sufficient to blow off the foot that stepped on it) and placed, apparently without qualms, in areas where civilians walk.

Disagree on the second. The biggest demoralizer/stressor of human beings is a sense of helplessness against danger, a sense of lack of control over their own fate. Fighting eyeball-to-eyeball, you're up against someone who's in just as vulnerable a position as you are, and in the very act of fighting him you're being proactive, and hence you feel in control until the moment, if the other guy's better than you, that he gets you. When death can come instantly from an invisible or unreachable source such as a buried IED, a sniper, a suicide bomber, a plane overhead or a nuclear warhead, no matter how well you've trained, how good a fighter you are or what you're doing -- or even whether you're a civilian, innocently working in your office or getting on a subway -- you feel relatively helpless. Heck, I haven't even gotten into chemical or biological weapons.

That's how war is conducted these days, and in my view it is indeed more horrible.

All the best,
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Post by Semiramis »

Too add to all of those horrors, the modern propensity to bomb civilian population centres including densely populated cities, towns and villages adds a unique degree of savagery to wars. For example, during Italian colonial rule of Libya, Spanish Civil war and of course Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Of course, now we have the medical technology to treat the wounded, but does a city that has been reduced to rabble, function well enough to provide medical care for those who were lucky enough not to have been killed after aerial bombing?

To go back to the "glory" aspect of war, I can see how it applies to a face-to-face combat, a firefight or a dogfight in the air. But destroying immobile targets with the push of a button from the relative safe distance high in the air is beyond me.

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Post by Efstathios »

Fighting eyeball-to-eyeball, you're up against someone who's in just as vulnerable a position as you are, and in the very act of fighting him you're being proactive, and hence you feel in control until the moment
Yes, unless he is wearing a plate armor and you dont, or he is a Spartan and you are not. Of course i understand what you are saying, and it is correct.
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Post by Paralus »

War is indeed horrible. That one can, nowadays, kill by the dispassionate flick of a switch – loosing a laser guided bomb – makes it, in some way, easier. That does not mean less gruesome.

Some of the more telling stories that come from WWII and after highlight the fact of actually killing someone you can see. The result is there before you. Killing from a distance today is a “luxury” that was not afforded the ancients. Then it was a deeply visceral and desperately personal experience. There was no choice: the man you had to kill was in front of you, the stale wine and stench of the last meal on his breath. The urine, faeces and vomit will have added their own overlay to the smell of death and fear. And you had to look at the bastard in front of you with an iron tipped spear or sarisssa.

It is an under-appreciated fact that, in any army, only a small percentage of soldiers are capable, when ordered, of killing without much thought. Many cannot. It is not necessarily something we a “programmed” to do.The next action report that details a number of unfired guns, underfired guns or guns fired anywhere but directly at the enemy, will not be the first.

This is one of the reasons, not the primary of course, that phalanxes were composed of eight to sixteen ranks. It is most definitely the reason that the “better” or more “experienced” (and better paid) were towards the front. Apocryphal or not, the telling remark, attributed to Philip at Chaeronea, as he lead the Athenian phalanx into a death trap, that the “Athenians had forgotten how to fight” is eloquent testimony to the training and professional killing ability of the “picked men” that surrounded him. Not for them incontinent pursuit; not for them a vainglorious rush into eternity; not for them wondering what it was to spit the opposite man.

These “picked men” are, almost certainly, to be identified as Philips “hypaspists”; the guards – including a noble agema – which the king fought with on foot. These men were selected for on the basis of both their physical strength and prowess (the military games in Sittacene come to mind) and their ability in warfare and, obviously, with weapons. These men were quite prepared to kill and were trained to do so.

It is these blokes that, in 316, the Antigonid phalanx faces across the battlefields of Paraetecene and Gabiene. Hieronymus (via Diodorus) describes them as “at a minimum sixty years old and many seventy and over”. This will be exaggerated somewhat but, as veterans of Philip, they will have been mostly in their fifties and sixties. Diodorus describes a corps hardened to killing and having no compunctions about it:
Eumenes’ men were victorious because of the valour of the Macedonian Silver Shields, These warriors were already well on in years, but because of the great number of battles they had fought they were outstanding in hardihood and skill, so that no one confronting them was able to withstand their might. (XIX 30.5-6)
Elsewhere Diodorus describes them as “undefeated troops, the fame of whose exploits caused much fear among the enemy”. These men had been killing for years. When they lined up against their opposites there will have been little comfort gleaned from looking upon their weathered and beaten countenances. Indeed, quite the opposite one suspects. One might easily believe the serious unease among the Macedonian phalangites in Antigonus’ army at the neat psychological ploy by their commander Antigenes:

“Wicked men, are you sinning against your fathers, the men who conquered the world with Philip and Alexander?”

Things will have been even less comfortable after the additional line that soon they (the Antigonid phalangites) would “see that they were worthy of both the kings and their past battles”.

For the ancients war was a personal and confronting experience. These blokes were both confronting and deadly.
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Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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Post by jasonxx »

Semaris

Destroying cirvilian centres is nothing new. And definately not novel to Alexander. Many argue his humane and chivoulrous ways but he was a nasty piece of work also he had to be.

Alexander did the civilian killing at Thebes and Tyre. Not out of pure blood lust but as a mere terror tactic to show those around what u get if you mess with Alexander.

It became more evident in India as it was basically the only way he could try to beat insergent Guerillas. But as time went on it only served to raise resistance which can generally happen. I would say the indiand reading Indian ancient history were pretty more warlike than pErhaps the Persians.

They kept kicking off and I think Alexander got fed up.

War is more losing its lustre by benefit people are not so ignorant any more. People maybe see further than the propoganda bull that Corporate empires and Politicians spin for alterior motives. People soldiers are the cannon fodder to prop up and preserve someones nice bank account or wealthy way of living.

Wars have hardly ever been started for good reasons. wars always get started for money power and financial gain. Alexander and the heroes are no exeption. Alexander didnt fight for freedom he fought for power and personal gloryfication. It just happens he was about the best at it. And maybe seperate from most that he actually took part.

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Post by Semiramis »

Kenny,

Point. I got caught up in the technology used to kill civillians rather than the final outcome of it, which is still the death of unarmed people. Thank you for the timely reminder.

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Post by marcus »

Hi Karen,
karen wrote:I think you've made only two discrete points, really, Marcus -- that medical care is better now, and that "eyeball-to-eyeball" warfare is more stressful than impersonal warfare.
I was only trying to make one discrete point, actually - that war isn't "more" or "less" horrible at different times in history. Personally, I don't see there being any relativity in it at all.

(BTW, I don't disagree with your comment about amputations, etc.; however, I would bet money on there having been more chance of being permanently disabled in ancient warfare than in modern, which is the point I was making. Not really a trivial discussion at all, but there it is.)

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Post by karen »

Marcus wrote:I was only trying to make one discrete point, actually - that war isn't "more" or "less" horrible at different times in history. Personally, I don't see there being any relativity in it at all.
Well, I am arguing a subjective viewpoint, yes -- how horrible is horrible is in the eye of the beholder after all. If you're contending that war is horrible, period, I agree. But I think that the reputation of war has faded in part because a lot of other people agree with me that it has become more horrible. Or more exactly, they now feel the greater horror of war, albeit without running comparisons.
(BTW, I don't disagree with your comment about amputations, etc.; however, I would bet money on there having been more chance of being permanently disabled in ancient warfare than in modern, which is the point I was making. Not really a trivial discussion at all, but there it is.)
Certainly not trivial to those who suffer it, absolutely! We can't determine this other than statistically, though, and reliable statistics for the ancient world are not to be had. But here are some interesting ones from the modern world.

http://www.ngwrc.org/ -- National Gulf War Resource Centre (emphasis mine)
The NGWRC was organized by veterans of the 1991 Gulf War who began to experience an unexplained illness after returning from the war. Troops were exposed to low levels of Sarin Gas from chemical munitions destroyed by allied forces, and to related chemicals in the pesticides and anti-nerve agents they used. They were also exposed to oil well fire pollution, depleted uranium, vaccines, other chemicals, and indigenous parasites and diseases.

Over 150,000 Gulf War veterans are now ill, most as a result of their military duty, and many report effects in their spouses and children. The NGWRC began its work as the central resource for the grassroots groups formed by these veterans and their family and supporters around the country.
We can assume that these people, having been ill for 16 years already, are permanently ill -- despite modern medical care. With the exception of indigenous parasites and diseases, which modern medicine should easily have handled, every causal factor arose from modern technology.

This is out of 1,889,000 living American veterans (http://www.loc.gov/vets/newsletters/vet ... erF03.html). So it doesn't sound like much, on the surface. But you have to remember that the Gulf War was, in tactical terms, a cakewalk for the US. They didn't invade Iraq, only drove Saddam's army out of Kuwait. The war only lasted a month, and only 145 Americans were killed and 467 wounded in combat(http://www.cwc.lsu.edu/other/stats/warcost.htm). A significant number of the victors becoming permanently ill due to their military service -- and their spouses and children also showing symptoms -- is a strictly modern thing.

Now let's look at permanent disabilities in two wars that aren't such cakewalks: Iraq and Afghanistan.

Here I was thinking that the numbers would be easy to scare up -- silly me! These are the same wars in which the American government won't allow journalists to photograph military funerals.

However, the relevant documents were acquired by George Washington University from the Department of Veterans' Affairs through a Freedom of Information Act demand, as reported here:
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl? ... /12/145238. What they show for American veterans of the current Iraq and Afghanistan wars is, roughly, that one in four have some kind of permanent disability.

That's not one in four of the wounded, who are officially counted at 27,000 or so. That's one in four of every American who has left military service after serving either in Iraq or Afghanistan. Or, about 150,000 people. These stats are a little old, reported on Oct. 12 of last year, but there's no particular reason for the ratio to have changed.

Without ancient stats, we can't compare the proportions of permanently-disabled to non-permanently-disabled veterans in the two eras. But these modern numbers are awfully high (higher than I myself thought, actually, before finding them.)
Kenny wrote:Destroying cirvilian centres is nothing new.
What is new is the access to and ease of destruction of civilian centres through modern technology. What is also new, as a result of that ease and access, is the destruction of civilian centres as a tactic of war rather than as the aftermath.

In ancient war, it was considered the right of the victors to decide what happened to a defeated city. They were seen as having earned it by winning, through superior skill and courage. The king might be merciful, or he might not. If he wasn't, the men who weren't already dead were killed, and the women and children sold into slavery (which was what actually happened with both Thebes and Tyre -- not a massacre of the entire populations). The city maybe got razed, but more frequently it was re-populated by the victors. This was standard operating procedure.

But nobody had to worry about death dropping on the women and children from the sky while the battle was still raging, because airplanes hadn't been invented. (I'm not saying the ancients wouldn't have used them if they'd had them -- I'm sure they would!) That began in World War II, and the idea was to kill and terrorize people on the home front so as to demoralize leaders and troops in the battle. (Recall that victory doesn't equal killing the other guy -- victory equals getting the other guy to stop fighting. If he gives up in despair it's just as much a victory as if he's dead.)

The ultimate extension of this is the Cold War -- two superpowers holding each other's entire civilian populations hostage. It hasn't happened yet, and may it please the Gods that it never does, but an all-out nuclear war would be the ultimate demonstration of the increase in the horror of war wrought by technology, through the death toll in billions and the collapse of civilization that it would produce in a very short time. One reason it hasn't happened yet is because even those pathologically-hardened creatures known as world leaders see how horrible it would be.

Now this is my subjective viewpoint: the capacity to trigger these events is carried around in a briefcase, known wryly as "the football," that always accompanies the President of the United States. Currently it's in the custody of one George W. Bush, who avoided military service by pulling strings to get a plum non-combat job, went AWOL even from that, has never succeeded in any position where he's had sole responsibility, and has said publicly that God told him to invade Iraq.

I find that more horrible than a thousand Alexanders with a thousand spear, sword and bow-toting armies.

Pax...
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Post by marcus »

karen wrote:Now this is my subjective viewpoint: the capacity to trigger these events is carried around in a briefcase, known wryly as "the football," that always accompanies the President of the United States. Currently it's in the custody of one George W. Bush, who avoided military service by pulling strings to get a plum non-combat job, went AWOL even from that, has never succeeded in any position where he's had sole responsibility, and has said publicly that God told him to invade Iraq.

I find that more horrible than a thousand Alexanders with a thousand spear, sword and bow-toting armies.
Certainly wouldn't disagree with any of that! :cry:

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Post by karen »

This gives me an idea for another thread: is it possible for a person to have enormous power over the known world... and retain his sanity? Obviously relevant to Alexander. When I have a bit more time I'll start it, or a mod can split off this for the beginning.

Warmly,
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Post by Semiramis »

Karen and Marcus,

I'm not sure if it's possible to figure out which is worse - being at the wrong end of an aerial assault or the sacking of a city. I wonder if this assumption that war was more 'popular' back in the anceint days than it is now, is true. Can it really be tested, as history is written by victors after all. Far from a democratic process. If one picks certain modern sources of information and leaves out others, our times can come across as terribly keen on war too.

Speaking from personal experience, it is not pleasant to be around during an aerial assault on a city. Fortunately, I was too young to fully comprehend the magnitude of the happenings. I remember the terrifying sound of bomber planes along with words like "bombs", "planes", "war" being discussed by the grown ups. My child's brain did not make the connection between those words and other unspoken words such as "death", "maiming" and "destitution".

Oddly, my fascination with airplanes (especially military ones) continued for many more years. I wanted nothing more than to be a fighter pilot. The "glory" of uniforms, logos, technology and hitting "targets" remained unrelated till my mid-teens. How does the human brain manage to comparmentalize information that way? The power of Doublethink?
karen wrote:We can assume that these people, having been ill for 16 years already, are permanently ill -- despite modern medical care. With the exception of indigenous parasites and diseases, which modern medicine should easily have handled, every causal factor arose from modern technology.
Very interesting point. Modern medicine cannot heal all the ill effects that modern technology alone can produce. Despite our knowledge about the long-term effects of radiation poisoning from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, weapons like Depleted Uranium, napalm and white phosphorus bombs are still used. To compare this to ancient practice, even the story of the Romans salting Carthage was most likely a 20th century invention. Paralus? Others with more knowledge on the topic? Gaza and Tyre - after all inhabitants were killed or enslaved - were simply resettled by Alexander, as the land itself wasn't rendered uninhabitable. I realize I am going off topic here, as we're discussing the effects on the fighters themselves rather than the population, but I can't imagine any long term physical effects on the surviving soldiers themselves from copious amounts of salt or face-to-face killing.
karen wrote:But nobody had to worry about death dropping on the women and children from the sky while the battle was still raging, because airplanes hadn't been invented. (I'm not saying the ancients wouldn't have used them if they'd had them -- I'm sure they would!) That began in World War II, and the idea was to kill and terrorize people on the home front so as to demoralize leaders and troops in the battle. (Recall that victory doesn't equal killing the other guy -- victory equals getting the other guy to stop fighting. If he gives up in despair it's just as much a victory as if he's dead.)
I'm afraid bombing civilian centers with airplanes began earlier than WWII. This is what I could get my hands on at short notice and I doubt this list is comprehensive.

1911 - Italians bomb Libya as part of their invasion.
1912 - French send six planes to "police" the part of Morocco under their colonial rule.
1913 - Spanish bomb "rebellious" villages in their part of Morocco. Over the following years Spanish use poison gas also.
1915 - British bomb villages in India's North West Frontier Province that rebelled against British colonial rule.
1919 - British attack the Afghan city Jalalabad with a 6 tonnnes of bombs.
1919 - British attack Kabul with history's first ever four-engine bomber raid. British government's offer to the Viceroy of India to use poison gas is declined.
1920 - British dispose of Somali rebel group and it's leader through aerial bombing after a 20 years of failed attempts using ground troops and "friendly" tribes alone.
1920- British bomb rebellious Arab and Kurdish villages in Iraq.
1922 onwards - British pacify rebellious villages in Iraq through use of high-explosive and phosphorous bombs, an early form of napalm, anti-personnel shrapnel, “crows feet” shrapnel designed to kill and maim livestock and incendiaries to set alight thatch rooves. They use bombs with time-delay fuses to prevent tribesmen from tending their crops under cover of darkness. On other occasions, bombing is used to punish villagers for “non-appearance when summoned to explain non-payment of taxes”.
1925 - French bomb dozens of Syrian villages and parts of Damascus.
1925 - US troops bomb Moroccan city Chechaouen and towns in a joint French and Spanish effort to quell a Berber uprising.
1926-1928 - US utilizes air power to force "regime change" in Nicaragua.
1932 - Japanese foreshadow Sino-Japanese front of WWII by bombing Shanghai.
1937 - German aircrafts bomb Basque town Guernica in during Spanish Civil war.

Apologies to all if that post was a bit depressing...
jasonxx

Post by jasonxx »

War is war is war.

Iirelevent of the periods the essence of war remains the same. Intent to kill maim and destroy and to use whatever means at your disposal to be the daddy on the block.

No one remembers the victims the innocents masacred nor the tommy that stands behind the gun. Only the leaders kings and generals whos Idea it wasin the first place.

And bottom line its human nature to keep doing it. Militiralistically or politically war is war. As many scholars would argue actual combat is basically the last resort. sanctions etc etc are the first main weapons to start a conflict if those dont work its in with the Hoplites.Imortals.Legions or tanks.

Alexander was primarily battle oriented due to limited resources and arms he needed fast sweeping victories with momentum.

Human Beings dont have the ability to live together in peace. Peace is utopia. maybe a great man could work wonders and create such a thing but it would never last. There are always those who evvy his mate or neighbour and want what he has.

Communism is an ideal way of sharing but as is proved there are people more communist than others.To explain and justify war war cant be done. Its there will always be there and its a tip of the iceberg with atrocious behaviour. Modern day technology has hundreds of thousands of degenerates watching and indulging in paedophilia.Slaves in China making western cheap goods etc etc. There are worse things than war without us even seeing it.

kenny
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