For thousands of years, the drama of human history has turned on the rise and fall of great powers. Once Rome was the sole superpower. Then in relatively modern time in the multi-polar era, twelve great powers appeared on the scene at one time or another. These twelve great powers reduced to two and then only one, the United States. The common factor between United States and the ancient Roman Empire is their superior military power and strategy. A comparison of military tactics of both these power can clarify this point further.
Military tactics of Ancient Roman Empire
The history of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire was closely linked with the organization and spirit of their military forces. The early Roman Empire, when it was vigorous and prosperous, possessed first-rate, well-equipped, and powerful armies. But the armies of later Roman Empire became weak, disorganized and torn by internal dissentions and rivalries (Stierlin, p.35).
In the beginning, the Roman army was inspired by the Greek phalanx and soldiers of Roman army were looked very similar to the Greek hoplites. The smallest unit of the Roman army was consisted of eight men, a tent, and a mule and eating equipments, this unit is called the tent group (contubernium). Ten such tent groups are joined under a disciplinary unit, called century. Century was headed by a centurion. At that time the cavalry and the officers were taken from the elite class as equestrians (equites). Six centuries combined together to make a basic fighting unit called cohort. 10 such cohorts were joined under the disciplinary unit of legion. The number of legions was different at different times (Watson, p.58).
Roman army had the best and superior weapons than their enemy. Romans emphasized on better defense. In the battlefield they advanced together with their shields in front of them, on both sides of them, behind them and on top of their heads to protect them from the any attack of the enemy (Jacko).
Romans used the strategy of replacing soldiers after very fifteen minutes from the fighting columns. With this continuous replacement, their soldiers never get tired.
In order to conquer a sieged army, they built siege towers through which Roman soldiers can easily “scale walls of the fort of sieged city.
Romans had the best and most trained soldiers. Extensive training had been given to each soldier to make the army truly undefeatable.
Advantages of Military Tactics
- These are the most advance tactics of its time
- It helped Roman army to become the best army of its time to conquer most of the known world
- The lower classes of the army was not properly and heavily armed
- Generals were taken from the upper class of the society and they were usually the relatives of the king but they were not as well trained as their soldiers
- Generals of army were very powerful, so sometimes they fought with each other for more power
- Sometimes king had the doubt that some general is much powerful and might become a danger for his throne, in such cases, that general was executed etc.
Military Tactics of United States
United States has the most superior military force of the world. It has the combination of best air and naval power to destroy any army. United States also has the most modern communication and cryptographic techniques in order to catch or jam the communications of its enemy (Wildenberg, p.700). United States war strategy is similar to Roman Empire in the sense that United States also emphasized on better defense, extensive training etc. But the difference between these two forces is that Romans were solely dependent upon their artillery while United States used all air, Naval and ground forces against its enemies.
Advantages of Military Tactics
- United States has the most powerful armed forces
- It has the most powerful and advanced weaponry
- Its communication system and gadgets are best in the world (Wildenberg, p.700)
- It has the best fighter planes, battleships and submarines and most powerful deterrent in the world etc.
- United States ground forces are not as good as their air or naval forces
- United States ground forces cannot fight in extreme weather conditions, in deserts and in thick forests
- American ground forces cannot face the guerilla war tactics efficiently etc.
Thus the above-mentioned discussion revealed that both the Super powers, the ancient Roman and United States, have some similarities in their war strategies apart from all the differences in weaponry and technology.