The Elastic War Machine : The Revolutionary War

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The Elastic War Machine The Mongolian warriors of the 14th Century C.E. have been described as ruthless, skilled, unforgiving, and efficient. But what really made a bunch of united tribes practically unstoppable? Was it a Nazi-esque totalitarianism? Nationalism? Did they emulate the born into warfare states like Sparta? The answer is, well, sort of. It’s more complex than any of those. It is a combination of attributes that can be observed over the course of history in many different countries, nations, states and peoples. Great leadership, excellent training, superior equipment, knowledge of the battlefield terrain, intelligence, and countless other war necessities existed in other armies, and the Mongols too possessed these things.…show more content…
As it turns out, the horses themselves should be of note to any who thinks of a tall, sleek, Arabian stallion flying across the steppe. What is now the domestic horse, is not what the Mongols rode. The horses of the Asian steppe were short legged and stocky in comparison to today’s horses. They were strong, agile, and could cover longer distances, and traverse more rugged terrain than European horses. In form they would look closer to a donkey or a large version of the modern “miniature horse.” The horse isn’t all of the horsemanship story however. Mongols were primarily nomadic people, and herders. They grew up on and around horses, hunting with bows for survival in addition to herding. This made their ongoing relationship with their animals, and riding them a part of their life: even instinctual. It was not something that was only taught to warriors at an academy or to those with enough money, it was as necessary and common as driving a car is in America today. They were outright superior horseman by means of time in the saddle. While they did train on horseback, it is highly likely the average Mongol was a better horseman than the best horseman of their enemies. Another key component of Mongol horsemanship was weight; an average Mongol warrior was not heavily armored. This was not only more similar to how they lived in everyday life, thus making the the change to warfare easier, but it made the load on the already light and agile horses less, furthering the
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