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OtherGround Forums >> Who were the best Ancient Warriors OG?


3/25/13 10:53 AM
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Lord Nitemare
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Uhhh, sorry dude? I don't know what to tell you? As I said, Im not very well read regarding Alexander hence me asking the question. All I know is that the gay rumors are very recent, and some say they're not grounded in any truth.  Again, this isn't me - just historians who don't believe he was gay.

 

And I'm not telling Mick he's wrong, he's supremely well read into this subject - far more than I could ever hope to be. And yes, his posts are awesome.

3/25/13 11:33 AM
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Lord Nitemare
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No contemporary source states that Alexander and Hephaestion were lovers;[6

^ again, I lack the knowledge you guys have - Im merely regurgitating the facts that I have read. And to reiterate myself, Mick is incredibly well read on he subject, and he's the reason why this thread is so awesome.

3/25/13 5:15 PM
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MickColins
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Edited: 03/25/13 5:16 PM
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"He was fucking Haphaestion? From what Ive read, that whole Alexander being a fag myth was started by Oliver Stone. Anyway,  in regards to books, I had just bought Virtues of War by Steven Pressfield - I'll try to get to it later today.

Brennus is an interesting motherfucker, was he responsible for the fall of the Western Roman Empire?"

 

Didn't start with Oliver Stone, though Oliver made the decision that Alexader was gay primarily. In the old school versions of the Illiad, Achilles and Patrolchus(sp?) were not relatives, as Hollywood made them out to be. Achilles was the top and Patrolchus was the power bottom. One writer, when describing Alexander and Hepheaestion, said Alexander was Achilles and Hephestiaeon was Patroluchus. Which was his way of saying they were butt buddies. Does that make Alexander gay? Nope. Alexander fathered offspring, had multiple wives and , at one point, traveled with a harem of women. To ancient Greeks, to be gay meant you ONLY banged men and boys. And that was viewed as suspect. Lots of historians call people gay and basically remove the context around the person. Richard the Lionheart, Alexander, Michelangelo,Abraham Lincoln,etc... have all been called gay by modern historians and academics but most of the time there is more evidence of them being heterosexual. 

 

The Brennus that sacked Rome probably fucked over the Celts, in retrospect. Brennus sacked Rome before Christ was born so he had nothing to do with the fall of the Western Empire. His defeat of that Roman army at Allia forced the Romans to rethink their military. And it made them scared shitless of barbarians. The Romans abandoned their traditional formation, which was more of a Greek Phalanx, and moved to the infantry formations that would end conquering Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.They also instituted basic armor and weapon requirements, basic training,etc... They basically realized that they couldn't beat a larger, stronger group in close quarters without changing their tactics and adopting some of their opponents. Greeks had the same problem with the Celts. They'd break the phalanx line and would fuck it up because they were big, good swordsman and were friggin' insane. They'd wear light(and sometimes no) armor and just get inside a tight formation of phalangites and tear it to pieces.

 

Some historians think the Testudo(tortoise) formation used by Greeks and Romans came from fighting barbarians like the Celts. The Celts that fought the Romans, well the ones who used shields, would link up and form a mutual defensive formation against ranged weapons. The Romans saw that and trained their guys to do it. The Romans were masters at adopting the good tactics of their enemies. Another thing the Celts would do is, if they used shields, they used tiny ones for deflection or big fucking ones. The romans saw the big ones and went from the Greek style circular shield to the one that looks like we see in all Roman movies and shows. It looks like a ten gallon drum cut in half lengthwise.  The sack of Rome installed a fear and hatred of the Celts so, when Julius Ceasar went north and started butchering towns and enslaving people who had no issue with Rome, the people of Rome were cool with it because the attack by Brennus had installed that fear into them. Even though Brennus only attacked Rome because Rome fucked with him first.

3/25/13 5:44 PM
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Lord Nitemare
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^ voted up, dude, you're the shit. 

As far as me asking questions, please don't interpret it as if I'm trolling you - I'm just genuinely interested in this shit. 

In regards to Alexander and Hapaestion, I'm not going to lie - the whole Achilles/Patroclus thing is a tad weird and I could understand why some people feel the way they do....but then again there is no direct reference to his homosexuality, except Tarn/Boagus (can't remember the name) where he kissed the dude because he was drunk. Again, you're more well read into the subject - it's just that I feel he wasn't a homo...but this is just one mans opinion.

Was Brennus the baddest motherfucker (Celts)? Speaking of which, I posted a documentary on Arminius - to state the obvious, homie was an uber bad mofo.

Speaking of Caesar, I just finished up Season 1 of Rome - it's a great show don't get me wrong - but watching  Vercingetorix die was kinda' fucked up.

i never asked you, who's your personal favorite warrior - group of warriors?

3/26/13 4:25 PM
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Lord Nitemare
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Bump

3/26/13 5:12 PM
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JkdSam
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Lord Nitemare - 

Uhhh, sorry dude? I don't know what to tell you? As I said, Im not very well read regarding Alexander hence me asking the question. All I know is that the gay rumors are very recent, and some say they're not grounded in any truth.  Again, this isn't me - just historians who don't believe he was gay.

 

And I'm not telling Mick he's wrong, he's supremely well read into this subject - far more than I could ever hope to be. And yes, his posts are awesome.


Sorry for being a dick about it. Was having a real shitty morning lol. I apologize.

3/26/13 5:37 PM
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Lord Nitemare
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^ it's all good, I'm not questioning Mick's expertise at all...it's just recent evidence contradicts the fact that he was Hephaestion's lover. The only record we have of Alexander being a bisexual would be Arrian's claim of them honoring Patroclus/Achilles before he marched into Persia ...but then again, he's the only individual to claim that had actually happened. In other words, some historians say that he created the story - mainly to impress the Emperor Hadrian (who was a fag, and did have a butt buddy). 

Again, this isn't a discussion about Alexander's homoeroticism or rather lack thereof - it's about badass Warriors. In my opinion, homeboy is the baddest motherfucker of all time. 

3/27/13 11:26 AM
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Lord Nitemare
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While we're on dis here subject

3/27/13 4:27 PM
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MickColins
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Edited: 03/27/13 4:30 PM
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"Was Brennus the baddest motherfucker (Celts)? Speaking of which, I posted a documentary on Arminius - to state the obvious, homie was an uber bad mofo.

Speaking of Caesar, I just finished up Season 1 of Rome - it's a great show don't get me wrong - but watching  Vercingetorix die was kinda' fucked up.

i never asked you, who's your personal favorite warrior - group of warriors?"

 

Brennus was good, but the Celts were always hamstrung by their organization. They were constantly infighting. The Romans figured out they could bribe and turn various groups against one another and really didn't have to worry about them. Ceasar even used that infighting as a reason he needed an army to go north and "help" a tribe aligned with Rome. Ceasar realized he could win fame and a shitload of dough by basically rolling through the various Celtic tribes. The slaves and loot Ceasar made in his destruction of those tribes made him. By the time guys like Vercengetorix realized they need to unite or die, it was too late. I always felt bad for Vercingetorix. Its an interesting question to contemplate what the world would be like if he had gotten power and united various groups earlier. No Ceasar mean no Octavian, Rome stays a Republic,etc...

 

I don't really have favorites, just groups I find more interesting. As a group, Genghis Khan's Mongols would be hard to beat unless you knew them and could prepare. It helped that he had amazing subordinates as well. The Spartans were always interesting because they were such a fucked up culture. Professional soldiers who were all about personal responsibility and liberty yet basically were state slave holders. I also always found it interesting how, when the world's first democracy went mafioso(Athens), it was the jerk Spartans who stood up to them. The Hospitallers and Templars are interesting. I liked the Hospitallers because they were, along with some medieval mercenary companies, the first modern professional soldiers in the gunpowder age. Eastern European Hussar cavalry was always interesting. Especially groups like the Poles that had wings on their armor, always thought that was cool. There are some Roman commanders like Agrippa, Scipio,etc.. that I think are cool.  There are also Eastern Roman generals like Belisarius, Basil, Narses the Eunuch,Germanus, etc.. Some guys from the British Isles like Owen Glyn Dwyer, Alfred the Great, Brian Boru, Harold Godwinson, William Marshall, etc..

 

I'm not a fan of guys like Ceasar. He was an excellent commander but he was a piece of poop. And people say "well, you can't judge people by modern ethics/morals/etc.." but lots of people thought Ceasar was a piece of shit back then,too.  Alexander was similar but I think he was a little bit mental so I don't blame him. Plus, his parents fucked him up. Its always interested me how Alexander's parents are both described as being kind of nuts. Hannibal was interesting to me because he was obviously a tactical genius but he couldn't win that war.  Vlade Tepes is interesting because its such a strange dynamic. Hes beloved in Romania yet everywhere else views him as a monster.(as a vampire or as a crazy man).

 

As a final note, one of the ways modern historians/academics will make the argument that someone is gay is by noting they did not produce offspring. And thats their confirmation bias because the reason a guy or girl might be infertile 500,1000,2000 years ago is the same today. They will also gloss over when a guy like Alexander or Richard the Lionheart produce offspring but it dies. In Alexander's case, his one legitimate son and heir was murdered before he reached adulthood.

3/27/13 4:31 PM
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Lord Nitemare
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Edited: 03/27/13 4:33 PM
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How do you feel about William the Conqueror? Bad motherfucker, or supreme douche?

....as far as Caesar goes, while Alesia was nothing less than brilliant - I don't know if he had many other decisive or rather memorable wins. If anything, I feel as if he talked his way into greatness. 

And as you said, he was a douche...and epileptic one at that.

3/27/13 4:46 PM
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sawdusk
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How do you feel about William the Conqueror? Bad motherfucker, or supreme douche?

....as far as Caesar goes, while Alesia was nothing less than brilliant - I don't know if he had many other decisive or rather memorable wins. If anything, I feel as if he talked his way into greatness. 

And as you said, he was a douche...and epileptic one at that.


you should read up on caesar then... he was strategically and tactically brilliant... one of the best ever...

perhaps more impressive than his 10 year gaul campaign, was his victories over pompey (who also had in his staff one of caesar's most trusted and successful generals who defected along with his 6K cavalry: labenius)... also considered a military genius of his time...

take into consideration he was heavily out number against pompey and was fighting against fellow romans... meaning veterans who had the same tactics, weapons, and strengths... he had no advantage other than his military acumen... what he did to labenius ultimately winning the decisive battle was brilliant for its time...

I'm not going to argue with anyone over it because its pointless, but on my list, caesar is very high on the list of greatest generals... I think the evidence supports this for anyone interested enough to disagree and do some research...
3/27/13 4:52 PM
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Lord Nitemare
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sawdusk - 
Lord Nitemare - 

How do you feel about William the Conqueror? Bad motherfucker, or supreme douche?

....as far as Caesar goes, while Alesia was nothing less than brilliant - I don't know if he had many other decisive or rather memorable wins. If anything, I feel as if he talked his way into greatness. 

And as you said, he was a douche...and epileptic one at that.


you should read up on caesar then... he was strategically and tactically brilliant... one of the best ever...

perhaps more impressive than his 10 year gaul campaign, was his victories over pompey (who also had in his staff one of caesar's most trusted and successful generals who defected along with his 6K cavalry: labenius)... also considered a military genius of his time...

take into consideration he was heavily out number against pompey and was fighting against fellow romans... meaning veterans who had the same tactics, weapons, and strengths... he had no advantage other than his military acumen... what he did to labenius ultimately winning the decisive battle was brilliant for its time...

I'm not going to argue with anyone over it because its pointless, but on my list, caesar is very high on the list of greatest generals... I think the evidence supports this for anyone interested enough to disagree and do some research...

Don't get me wrong, homeboy was a prodigy - it's just I don't necessarily feel as if he was on the level of a Napoleon, or an Alexander...but then again, it's really futile arguing. Caesar was indeed one of the greatest tacticians this world has ever seen - top 5 definitely - it's just that I don't believe he is the greatest of all time as some may believe. 

 

Great post by the way  I voted you up

3/27/13 4:53 PM
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Lord Nitemare
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....and him charging into the fray at Alesia was incredibly badass.

3/27/13 5:25 PM
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Lord Nitemare
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As many of you know by now, I'm a fan of elite military units - I found this on Command Posts. Thought some of you migh find it pretty cool.

 

3/27/13 5:28 PM
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Lord Nitemare
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ROBERT ROGERS AND THE EARLY RANGER WARRIORS
Along the frontiers of the northern American colonies, where most of the battles of the French and Indian War (1754–63) took place, “Rangers” proved indispensable adjuncts to the main regular and provincial armies, both as partisan warriors and as scouts. They were essentially backwoodsmen—hunters, trappers, militiamen, and Indian fighters—used to operating independently rather than in regimented ranks of soldiery, living off the land and relying on their knowledge of terrain and gun to keep them alive. The very qualities that many commanders despised in the Rangers—field attire that often resembled that of “savage” Indians; unconventional tactics; their occasional obstreperousness; their democratic recruiting standards that allowed blacks and Indians into their ranks—are what helped make them uniquely adroit at fighting their formidable Canadian and Indian wilderness foes, in all kinds of weather conditions and environments.
 
Battles with Native American warriors in the early 17th century had demonstrated the virtual uselessness of European armor, pikes, cavalry, and maneuvers in the dense New World forests. Although New England militia units had proven themselves courageous and adaptable during the horrific baptism of fire with local tribes known as King Philip’s War (1676–77), it was not until the early 1700s that the colonists could produce frontiersmen capable of penetrating deep into uncharted Indian territory. In 1709, for instance, Captain Benjamin Wright took 14 Rangers on a 400-mile (640km) round trip by canoe, up the Connecticut River, across the Green Mountains, and to the northern end of Lake Champlain, along the way fighting four skirmishes with Indians.
 
The “Indian hunters” under Massachusetts’ Captain John Lovewell were among the most effective of the early Rangers. Their long, hard-fought battle at Lovewell’s Pond on May 9, 1725, against Pigwacket Abenakis under the bearskin-robed war chief Paugus, became a watershed event in New England frontier history. Its story was told around hearths and campfires for decades, and its example informed future Rangers that Indian warriors were not always invincible in the woods.
 
When the third war for control of North America broke out in 1744 (commonly called King George’s War, after George II), several veterans of Lovewell’s fight raised their own Ranger companies and passed on their valuable field knowledge. Among the recruits who joined one company assigned to scout the upper Merrimack River valley around Rumford (later Concord), New Hampshire, was the teenager Robert Rogers.
 
Incessant French and Indian inroads turned the war of 1744–48 into a largely defensive one for the northern colonies. Log stockades and blockhouses protected refugee frontier families; Rumford itself had 12 such “garrison houses.” When not on patrol or pursuing enemy raiders, Rangers acted as armed guards for workers in the field. Bells and cannon from the forts sounded warnings when the enemy was detected in the vicinity.
 
At the beginning of the last French and Indian War, each newly raised provincial regiment generally included one or two Ranger companies: men lightly dressed and equipped to serve as quick-reaction strike forces as well as scouts and intelligence gatherers. The Duke of Cumberland, Captain General of the British Army, not only encouraged their raising but also advised that some regular troops would have to reinvent themselves along Ranger lines before wilderness campaigns could be won.
 
Nevertheless, it was not until after the shocking 1757 fall of Fort William Henry that plans were finally accelerated to counterbalance the large numbers of Canadian and Indian partisans. Enlightened redcoat generals such as Brigadier George Augustus Howe, older brother of William, recognized that the forest war could not be won without Rangers. Howe was so firmly convinced of this that in 1758 he persuaded Major-General James Abercromby to revamp his entire army into the image of the Rangers, dress-wise, arms-wise, and drill-wise. Major-General Jeffrey Amherst, who would orchestrate the eventual conquest of Canada, championed Major Robert Rogers and the formation of a Ranger corps as soon as he became the new commander-in-chief in late 1758. “I shall always cheerfully receive Your opinion in relation to the Service you are Engaged in,” he promised Rogers. In the summer of 1759, Amherst’s faith in the Rangers was rewarded when, in the process of laying siege to Fort Carillon at Ticonderoga, they again proved themselves the only unit in the army sufficiently skilled to deal with the enemy’s bushfighters. Even the general’s vaunted Louisbourg light infantry received Amherst’s wrath after two night attacks by Indians had resulted in 18 of their number killed and wounded, mostly from friendly fire.
 
Before the year was out, Rogers had burned the Abenaki village of Odanak, on the distant St Francis River, its warriors the long-time scourge of the New England frontier. In 1760, after the Rangers had spearheaded the expulsion of French troops from the Richelieu River valley, Amherst sent Rogers and his men to carry the news of Montreal’s surrender to the French outposts lying nearly 1,000 miles (1,600km) to the west. He sent them because they were the only soldiers in his 17,000-man army able to accomplish the task.
 
Captain Robert Rogers’ Ranger corps became the primary model for the eventual transformation of the regular and provincial army in that region. Colonial irregulars aside from Rogers’ men also contributed to the success of British arms during the war: provincial units such as Israel Putnam’s Connecticut Rangers, companies of Stockbridge Mahican and Connecticut Mohegan Indians, Joseph Gorham’s and George Scott’s Nova Scotia Rangers, and home-based companies such as Captain Hezekiah Dunn’s, on the New Jersey frontier. During Pontiac’s War (1763–64), Ranger companies led by such captains as Thomas Cresap and James Smith mustered to defend Maryland and Pennsylvania border towns and valleys.
 
3/27/13 5:30 PM
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Lord Nitemare
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Recruitment, Training, and Enlistment
 
Rogers’ Rangers, the most famous, active, and influential colonial partisan body of the French and Indian War, never enjoyed the long-term establishment of a British regular regiment, with its permanent officer cadre, nor were they classed as a regiment or a battalion as the annually raised provincial troops were. In fact, at its peak Rogers’ command was merely a collection, or corps, of short-term, independently raised Ranger companies. Technically, “Rogers’ Rangers” were the men serving in the single company he commanded. By courtesy, the title was extended to the other Ranger companies (excepting provincial units) with the Hudson valley/Lake George army, since he was the senior Ranger officer there.
 
Rogers first captained Ranger Company Number One of Colonel Joseph Blanchard’s New Hampshire Regiment in the 1755 Lake George campaign. Thirty-two hardy souls volunteered to remain with him at Fort William Henry that winter to continue scouting and raiding the enemy forts in the north, despite the lack of bounty or salary money.
 
Near the beginning of the spring of 1756, reports of Rogers’ success in the field prompted Massachusetts’ Governor-General William Shirley (then temporary commander of British forces) to award him “the command of an independent company of Rangers,” to consist of 60 privates, three sergeants, an ensign, and two lieutenants. Robert’s brother, Richard, would be his first lieutenant. No longer on a provincial, footing, Rogers’ Rangers would be paid and fed out of the royal war chest and answerable to British commanders. Although not on a permanent establishment, Ranger officers would receive almost the same pay as redcoat officers, while Ranger privates would earn twice as much as their provincial counterparts, who were themselves paid higher wages than the regulars. (Captain Joseph Gorham’s older Ranger company, based in Nova Scotia, enjoyed a royal commission, and thus a permanency denied those units serving in the Hudson valley.) Rogers was ordered by Shirley “to enlist none but such as were used to traveling and hunting, and in whose courage and fidelity I could confide.”
 
Because the men of Rogers’ own company, and of those additional companies his veteran officers were assigned to raise, were generally frontier-bred, the amount of basic training they had to undergo was not as protracted as that endured by the average redcoat recruit. A typical Derryfield farmer, for instance, would have entered the Ranger service as an already proficient tracker and hunter. He was probably able to construct a bark or brush lean-to in less than an hour, find direction in the darkest woods, make rope from the inner bark of certain trees, and survive for days on a scanty trail diet.
 
The typical New Hampshire recruit could also “shoot amazingly well,” as Captain Henry Pringle of the 27th Foot observed. Based at Fort Edward and a volunteer in one of Rogers’ biggest scouting excursions, Pringle wrote in December 1757 of one Ranger officer who, “the other day, at four shots with four balls, killed a brace of Deer, a Pheasant, and a pair of wild ducks – the latter he killed at one Shot.” In fact, many New England troops, according to an eyewitness in Nova Scotia, could “load their firelocks upon their back, and then turn upon their bellies, and take aim at their enemies: there are no better marksmen in the world, for their whole delight is shooting at marks for wages.”
 
The heavy emphasis on marksmanship in Rogers’ corps, and the issuance of rifled carbines to many of the men, paid off in their frequent success against the Canadians and Indians. (Marksmanship remains among the most important of all Ranger legacies, one that continues to be stressed in the training of today’s high-tech special forces.) Even in Rogers’ only large-scale defeat, the battle on Snowshoes of March 13, 1758, the sharpshooting of his heavily outnumbered Rangers held off the encircling enemy for 90 minutes. Over two dozen Indians alone were killed and wounded, among the dead one of their war chiefs. This was an unusually high casualty rate for the stealthy Native Americans (“who are not accustomed to lose,” said Montcalm of the battle). So enraged were the Indians that they summarily executed a like number of Rangers who had surrendered on the promise of good quarter.
 
Learning how to operate watercraft on the northern lakes and streams was another crucial skill for every Ranger. Birchbark canoes and bateaux (rowing vessels made for transporting goods) were used in Rogers’ earliest forays on Lake George. In 1756, these were swapped for newly arrived whaleboats made of light cedar planking. Designed for speed, they had keels, round bottoms, and sharp ends, allowing for a quick change of direction and agile handling even on choppy waters. Blankets could be rigged as improvised sails.
 
Additional things the new recruit had to learn, or at least to perfect, included: how to build a raft; how to ford a rapid river without a raft or boat; how to portage a whaleboat over a mountain range; how to “log” a position in the forest as a makeshift breastwork; how to design and sew a pair of moccasins; how to utter bird and animal calls as “private signals” in the woods; and sometimes how to light and hurl a grenade.
3/27/13 5:31 PM
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Lord Nitemare
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Tactics and Campaigning
 
Because the modus operandi of Rangers remained unknown to the bulk of the regular army, Rogers was ordered in 1757 to pen a compendium of “rules, or plan of discipline,” for those “Gentlemen Officers” who wanted to learn Ranger methods. To ensure that the lessons were properly understood, 50 regular volunteers from eight regiments formed a special company to fall under Rogers’ tutelage. His job was to instruct them in “our methods of marching, retreating, ambushing, fighting, &c.” Many of these rules, totaling 28 in number, were essentially derived from old Indian tactics and techniques, and were well known to New England frontiersmen.
 
Rule II, for instance, specified that if your scouting party was small, “march in a single file, keeping at such a distance from each other as to prevent one shot from killing two men.” Rule V recommended that a party leaving enemy country should return home by a different route, to avoid being ambushed on its own tracks. Rule X warned that if the enemy was about to overwhelm you, “let the whole body disperse, and every one take a different road to the place of rendezvous appointed for the evening.”
 
Other rules required that even the most proficient recruit had to undergo special training in bush-fighting tactics. If 300–400 Rangers were marching “with a design to attack the enemy,” noted Rule VI, “divide your party into three columns … and let the columns march in single files, the columns to the right and left keeping at twenty yards [20m] distance or more from that of the center,” with proper guards in front, rear, and on the flanks. If attacked in front, “form a front of your three columns or main body with the advanced guard, keeping out your flanking parties … to prevent the enemy from pursuing hard on either of your wings, or surrounding you, which is the usual method of the savages.”
 
Rule VII advised the Rangers to “fall, or squat down,” if forced to take the enemy’s first fire, and “then rise and discharge at them.” Rule IX suggested that “if you are obliged to retreat, let the front of your whole party fire and fall back, till the rear hath done the same, making for the best ground you can, by this means you will oblige the, enemy to pursue you, if they do it at all, in the face of a constant fire.”
 
Most of Rogers’ activities during the war consisted not of battles and skirmishes but of lightning raids, pursuits, and other special operations. As General Shirley’s 1756 orders stated, Rogers was “to use my best endeavors to distress the French and their allies, by sacking, burning, and destroying their houses, barns, barracks, canoes, battoes, &c.”The “&c” included slaughtering the enemy’s herds of cattle and horses, ambushing and destroying his provision sleighs, setting fire to his fields of grain and piles of cordwood, sneaking into the ditches of his forts to make observations, and seizing prisoners for interrogation.
 
When the big armies under Johnson, Abercromby, Forbes, Wolfe, Amherst, Bouquet, and others marched into enemy territory, Rangers acted as advanced and flank guards, often engaging and repulsing the kind of partisan attacks that had destroyed Braddock’s force. One imperative in bush fighting was camouflage; for Rogers’ men, green attire was a constant throughout the war. Other Anglo-American irregulars, like Gage’s 80th Light Infantry and Putnam’s Connecticut Rangers, wore brown. Some, like Bradstreet’s armed bateau men and Dunn’s New Jersey Rangers, wore gray. A few Ranger companies in Nova Scotia wore dark blue or black.
 
Green may have been their color of choice, but Rogers’ men never enjoyed a consistent uniform pattern throughout their five-year career, as the regulars and some provincial regiments did. On campaign with Rogers in Nova Scotia in July 1757, a Derryfield farmer-turned-Ranger would have been dressed in “no particular uniform,” according to observer Captain John Knox of the 46th, who added that each Ranger wore his “cloaths short.” This probably signified a variety of coats, jackets, waistcoats, or just shirts, all deliberately trimmed to make them lighter. In the field, the Rangers often resembled Indians, exhibiting a “cut-throat, savage appearance,” as one writer at Louisbourg recorded in 1758.
 
3/27/13 5:31 PM
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Lord Nitemare
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Among the many perils facing a Ranger assigned to a winter scout in the Adirondack Mountains were temperatures sometimes reaching 40 degrees below zero, snowblindness, bleeding feet, hypothermia, frostbite, gangrene, and lost fingers, toes, and noses. Deep slush often layered the frozen lakes, and sometimes a man would fall through a hole in the ice. Rogers routinely sent back those who began limping or complaining during the first days on the trail. Things only got more onerous as they neared the enemy forts: fireless camps had to be endured, unless they found a depression on a high ridge where a deep hole could be scooped out with snowshoes to accommodate a small fire. Around this were arrayed shelters of pine boughs, each containing “mattresses” of evergreen branches overlaid with bearskins. Wrapped in their blankets like human cocoons, the Rangers would dangle their feet over the flames or coals to spend a tolerably comfortable night.
 
Guarding the Ranger camp in no-man’s land or enemy country required sentry parties numbering six men each, “two of whom must be constantly alert,” noted Rogers, “and when relieved by their fellows, it should be done without noise.” When dawn broke, the entire detachment was awakened, “that being the time when the savages chuse to fall upon their enemies.” Before setting out again, the area around the campsite was probed for enemy tracks.
 
Drawing provisions, bedding, and extra clothing on hand-sleds prevented the menfrom burning too many calories and exuding dangerously excessive sweat. Expert snowshoers, they could nimbly climb “over several large mountains” in one day, as provincial Jeduthan Baldwin did on a trek with Rogers in March 1756. Aside from additional warm wear such as flannel under jackets, woolen socks, shoepack liners, fur caps, and thick mittens, the marching winter Rangers wore their blankets wrapped, belted, and sometimes hooded around them, much as the Indians did.
 
Battling the French and Indians in snow that was often chest-deep could be lethal for a Ranger with a broken snowshoe. Ironically, the green clothing worn by Rogers’ men proved a liability when they had a white slope of snow behind them. According to Captain Pringle, during the 1758 battle on Snowshoes, Rogers’ servant was forced to lay “aside his green jacket in the field, as I did likewise my furred Cap, which became a mark to the enemy, and probably was the cause of a slight wound in my face.” Pringle, “unaccustomed to Snow-Shoes,” found himself unable to join the surviving Rangers in their retreat at battle’s end. He and two other men endured seven days of wandering the white forest before surrendering to the French.
 
Given the nature of their operations, the Rangers had to be particularly disciplined with their rations. On a winter trek in 1759, Ranger sutler James Gordon wrote, “I had a pound or two of bread, a dozen crackers, about two [pounds of] fresh pork and a quart of brandy.” Henry Pringle survived his post-battle ordeal in the forest by subsisting on “a small Bologna sausage, and a little ginger … water, & the bark & berries of trees.” Also eaten was the Indians’ favorite trail food, parched corn – corn that had been parched and then pounded into flour. It was in effect an appetite suppressant: a spoonful of it, followed by a drink of water, expanded in the stomach, making the traveler feel as though he had consumed a large meal.
 
Obtaining food from the enemy helped sustain Rangers on their return home. Slaughtered cattle herds at Ticonderoga and Crown Point provided tongues (“a very great refreshment,” noted Rogers). David Perry and several other Rangers of Captain Moses Hazen’s company raided a French house near Quebec in 1759, finding “plenty of pickled Salmon, which was quite a rarity to most of us.” In another house they dined on “hasty-pudding.” At St Francis, Rogers’ men packed corn for the long march back, but after eight days, he wrote, their “provisions grew scarce.” For some reason game was also scarce in the northern New England wilderness during the fall of 1759, and the Rangers’ survival skills underwent severe tests even as they were being pursued by a vengeful enemy. Now and then they found an owl, partridge, or muskrat to shoot, but much of the time they dined on amphibians, mushrooms, beech leaves, and tree bark. Volunteer Robert Kirk of the 77th Highland Regiment wrote that “we were obliged to scrape under the snow for acorns, and even to eat our shoes and belts, and broil our powder-horns and thought it delicious eating.”
 
Things grew so desperate that some Rangers roasted Abenaki bounty scalps for the little circles of flesh they held. One small party of Rangers and light infantry was ambushed and almost entirely destroyed by the French and Indians. When other Rangers discovered the bodies, “on them, accordingly, they fell like Cannibals, and devoured part of them raw,” stuffing the remaining flesh, including heads, into their packs. One Ranger later confessed that he and his starving comrades “hardly deserved the name of human beings.”
3/27/13 5:32 PM
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cheesesteak
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The Eternians!!!!

 

 

3/27/13 5:33 PM
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Lord Nitemare
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Other Campaign Challenges
 
“We are in a most damnable country,” wrote a lieutenant of the 55th Foot at Lake George in 1758, “fit only for wolves, and its native savages.” In such a demanding environment the Rangers were constantly being pushed to their physical and psychological limits, especially when captives of the enemy. Teenager Thomas Brown, bleeding profusely from three bullet holes after Rogers’ January 1757 battle near Ticonderoga, “concluded, if possible, to crawl into the Woods and there die of my Wounds.” Taken prisoner by Indians, who often threatened his life, he was forced to dance around a fellow Ranger who was being slowly tortured at a stake. Recovering from his wounds, Brown was later traded to a Canadian merchant, with whom he “fared no better than a Slave,” before making his escape. Captain Israel Putnam himself was once saved from a burning stake by the last-minute intervention of a Canadian officer. Ranger William Moore had the heart of a slain comrade forced into his mouth. Later, he had some 200 pine splints stuck into his body, each one about to be set afire by his captors, when a woman of the tribe announced she would adopt him. Two captured Indian Rangers were shackled with irons and shipped to France, where they were sold into “extreme hard labor.”
 
Tasks that might appear Herculean to others were strictly routine for the Rangers. In July 1756, Rogers and his men chopped open a 6-mile (10km) path across the forested mountains between Lake George and Wood Creek, then hauled five armed whaleboats over it to make a raid on French shipping on Lake Champlain. On their march to St Francis, the Rangers sloshed for nine days through a bog in which they “could scarcely get a Dry Place to sleep on.” Rogers himself is said to have escaped pursuing Indians after his March 1758 battle by sliding down a smooth mountain slope nearly 700ft (210m) long. His four-month mission to Detroit and back in 1760 covered over 1,600 miles (2,500km), one of the most remarkable expeditions in all American history.
 
At campaign’s end, of course, there were rewards to be enjoyed. In late August 1758, Rogers gave his company “a barrell of Wine treat,” and after a large bonfire was lit, the men “played round it” in celebration of recent British victories. As the Richelieu Valley was being swept of French troops in 1760, provincial captain Samuel Jenks wrote with delight, “Our Rangers … inform us the ladys are very kind in the neighbourhood, which seems we shall fare better when we git into the thick setled parts of the country.” Natural wonders previously unseen by any British soldiers, including Niagara Falls, awaited the 200 Rangers who followed Rogers that year to lay claim to Canada’s Great Lakes country for England, and to win the friendship of some of the very tribes they had so often fought.
3/27/13 5:35 PM
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Lord Nitemare
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A private in Captain John Lovewell’s New England Ranger Company, 1725. In his clothing and equipment, this private exemplifies the hybrid European/Indian composition of Lovewell’s men. Note the Indian toboggan, usually made of two planks of green spruce, birch, or elm wood that were lashed together with rawhide. Image credit: Gary Zaboly/Osprey Publishing. Caption credit: America’s Elite by Chris McNab.
3/27/13 5:37 PM
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Lord Nitemare
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A depiction of Rogers’ Rangers, as they would have been seen c.1760. The green uniforms in themselves were something of a revolution, as they constituted an early form of camouflage and were an indication of the value the Rangers placed on concealability. Image credit: National Archives. Caption credit: America's Elite by Chris McNab.
3/27/13 5:38 PM
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Lord Nitemare
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Rangers conduct a perimeter defense, La Barbue Creek, 1757. The Indian tactic of two men defending a tree, with one of them firing while the other reloads, had been sensibly adopted by many white frontier soldiers. One of the foreground Rangers spits a musket ball into the barrel of his musket, which speeded up the loading process (as many as six to eight bullets could be held in the mouth). Image credit: Gary Zaboly/Osprey Publishing. Caption Credit: America’s Elite by Chris McNab.
 
3/27/13 5:39 PM
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Lord Nitemare
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Excellent marksmanship, aside from scoutcraft and daring, is what made the best Rangers. Former hunters and trappers most of them, they understood how a single well-aimed shot might alter the course of a skirmish or battle in the forest. Robert Rogers instructed his companies to practice firing at marks so frequently that at least one British commander, Lieutenant-Colonel William Haviland, scolded him, considering it an “extravagance in Ammunition.” Image credit: Gary Zaboly/Osprey Publishing. Caption credit: America’s Elite by Chris McNab.
 
3/28/13 6:32 PM
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Lord Nitemare
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How Alexander looked


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