Archive for December 30th, 2018

John Jenkins January Releases!

Sunday, December 30th, 2018

Thracians

Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting a large area in Eastern and Southeastern Europe

The Thracians in classical times were broken up into a large number of groups and tribes (over 200), though a number of powerful Thracian states were organized, such as the Odrysian kingdom of Thrace and the Dacian kingdom of Burebista.

In the first decade of the sixth century BC, the Persians conquered Thrace and made it part of their satrapy Skudra. Thracians were forced to join the invasions of European Scythia and Greece. According to Herodotus, the Bithynian Thracians also had to contribute a large contingent to Xerxes’ invasion of Greece in 480 BC.

The Thracians were a warrior people, known as both horsemen, but mainly as lightly armed skirmishers with javelins, which were known as peltasts. They were regarded by other peoples as warlike, ferocious, and bloodthirsty.

The peltast, was a type of soldier of the ancient period, which probably originated in Thrace.

Thracian peltasts were to have a notable influence in Ancient Greece.

A Thracian Peltast carried a crescent-shaped wicker shield and was armed with several javelins (akontia).

The style of fighting used by peltasts probably originated in Thrace and the first peltasts used by Greek armies were recruited from the Greek cities of the Thracian coast.

They are generally depicted on Greek vases and in other images as wearing the typical Thracian costume, which includes the distinctive Phrygian cap made of fox-skin, with ear flaps. They also usually wore a patterned tunic, fawnskin boots and a long cloak, called a zeira, which was decorated with a bright, geometric, pattern.

Peltasts gradually became more important in Greek warfare, in particular during the Peloponnesian War.

They became the main type of Greek mercenary infantry in the 4th century BC. Their equipment was less expensive than that of traditional hoplites and would have been more readily available to poorer members of society.

When faced by hoplites, peltasts operated by throwing javelins at short range.

If the hoplites charged, the peltasts would retreat.

As they carried considerably lighter equipment than the hoplites, they were usually able to evade successfully, especially in difficult terrain.

They would then return to the attack once the pursuit ended, if possible, taking advantage of any disorder created in the hoplites’ ranks.

The Athenian general Iphicrates destroyed a Spartan phalanx in the Battle of Lechaeum in 390 BC, using mostly Thracian peltasts.

In the first decade of the sixth century BC, the Persians conquered Thrace and made it part of their satrapy Skudra. Thracians were forced to join the invasions of European Scythia and Greece

According to Herodotus, the Bithynian Thracians also had to contribute a large contingent to Xerxes’ invasion of Greece in 480 BC.

Later the conquest of the southern part of Thrace by Philip II of Macedon in the fourth century BC made the largest Thracian state, the Odrysian kingdom extinct for several years. After the kingdom had been reestablished, it was a vassal state of Macedon for several decades under generals such as Lysimachus of the Diadochi.

Thracians

Roman Army of the Mid-Republic

The Roman army of the mid-Republic (also known as the manipular Roman army or the “Polybian army”), refers to the armed forces deployed by the mid-Roman Republic, from the end of the Samnite Wars (290 BC) to the end of the Social War (88 BC). The first phase of this army, in its manipular structure (290–ca. 130 BC), is described in detail in the Histories of the ancient Greek historian Polybius, writing before 146 BC.

The central feature of the mid-Republican army was the manipular organisation of its battle-line. Instead of a single, large mass (the phalanx) as in the Greek and Early Roman army, the Romans now drew up in three lines (triplex acies) consisting of small units (maniples) of 120 men, arrayed in chessboard fashion, giving much greater tactical strength and flexibility.

The Republican army of this period, like its earlier forebear, did not maintain standing or professional military forces, but levied them, by compulsory conscription, as required for each campaigning season and disbanded thereafter (although formations could be kept in being over winter during major wars). Service in the legions was limited to property-owning Roman citizens, normally those known as iuniores (age 16-46).

For the vast majority of the period of its existence, the Polybian levy was at war. This led to great strains on Roman and Italian manpower, but forged a superb fighting machine. During the Second Punic War, fully two-thirds of Roman iuniores were under arms continuously. In the period after the defeat of Carthage in 201 BC, the army was campaigning exclusively outside Italy, resulting in its men being away from their home plots of land for many years at a stretch. They were assuaged by the large amounts of booty that they shared after victories in the rich eastern theatre. But in Italy, the ever-increasing concentration of public lands in the hands of big landowners, and the consequent displacement of the soldiers’ families, led to great unrest and demands for land redistribution. This was successfully achieved, but resulted in the disaffection of Rome’s Italian allies, who as non-citizens were excluded from the redistribution. This led to the mass revolt of the socii and the Social War (91-88 BC). The result was the grant of Roman citizenship to all Italians and the end of the Polybian army’s dual structure: the alae were abolished and the socii recruited into the legions. The Roman army of the late Republic (88–30 BC) resulted, a transitional phase to the Imperial Roman army (30 BC – AD 284).

Hastati (singular: Hastatus) were a class of infantry employed in the armies of the early and Mid Roman Republic.

They were originally some of the poorest men in the legion, and could afford only modest equipment. Later, the hastati contained the younger men rather than just the poorer, (though most men of their age were relatively poor.) Their usual position was the first battle line.

The hastati were formed into 10 maniples of 120 men each, therefore 1,200 men per legion.

Battles were conducted in a similar fashion; the velites would gather at the front and fling javelins to cover the advance of the hastati. If the hastati failed to break the enemy, they would fall back on the principes.

If the principes could not break the enemy, they would retire behind the triarii, who would then engage.

Roman Army of the Mid-Republic

Enemies of Rome – Iceni

The Iceni were a Brittonic tribe of eastern Britain during the Iron Age and early Roman era. Their territory included present-day Norfolk and parts of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire,

Julius Caesar does not mention the Iceni in his account of his invasions of Britain in 55 and 54 BC, though they may be related to the Cenimagni, who Caesar notes as living north of the River Thames at that time. The Iceni were a significant power in eastern Britain during Claudius’ conquest of Britain in AD 43, in which they allied with Rome.

Increasing Roman influence on their affairs led to revolt in AD 47, though they remained nominally independent under king Prasutagus until his death around AD 60. Roman encroachment after Prasutagus’ death led his wife Boudica to launch a major revolt from 60–61. Boudica’s uprising seriously endangered Roman rule in Britain and resulted in the burning of Londinium and other cities. The Romans finally crushed the rebellion, and the Iceni were increasingly incorporated into the Roman province.

Enemies of Rome

Aztec

The TZITZIMITL or “Demon of the Dark” War-suit, was worn only by rulers and senior chieftains. It is also depicted in yellow and blue versions.

The Tlacochcalcatl or Captain of the Armoury wore this white tlahuiztli surmounted by a skull helmet with a black wig. The outfit represented the Tzitzimitl, a mythical demon who brought death and destruction to mankind.

Aztec Empire – Conquest of America

American Revolution – 2nd Massachusetts Regiment

2nd Massachusetts Regiment

American Revolution – Brunswick Grenadiers

Brunswick Grenadiers

American Revolution – Hessian Jager Corps

When the American Revolution began, the British Army was too small to overwhelm the rebellious colonies with armed might. Subsequently, United Kingdom entered treaties with a number of German principalities, which provided the British Crown with allied contingents for service in North America in return for monetary subsidies. A mutual aid- and alliance treaty between United Kingdom and Hesse-Hanau was entered in February 1776.

A Jäger corps under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Karl Adolf Christoph von Creutzburg was among the units in the Hesse-Hanau contingent

The Jägers were recruited from state foresters and other professional hunters. They were selected for their marksmanship, and were all volunteers, in contrast with the drafted or pressed soldiers that filled the ranks of the Hesse-Hanau infantry. The pay was higher than for ordinary troops. The British government especially requested Jägers for the American campaign, as they were perceived as better able to endure the North American wilderness.

Hessian Jager Corps

American Revolution

A split-rail fence or log fence (also known as a zigzag fence, worm fence or snake fence historically due to its meandering layout) is a type of fence constructed in the United States and Canada, and is made out of timber logs, usually split lengthwise into rails and typically used for agricultural or decorative fencing. Such fences require much more timber than other types of fences, and so are generally only common in areas where wood is abundant. However, they are very simple in their construction, and can be assembled with few tools even on hard or rocky ground. They also can be built without using any nails or other hardware; such hardware was often scarce in frontier areas. They are particularly popular in very rocky areas where post hole digging is almost impossible. They can even be partially or wholly disassembled if the fence needs to be moved or the wood becomes more useful for other purposes

Drums along the Mohawk

Second World War

JJD Second World War Aircraft Collection