Background: Middle Eastern War

By Mike Haran
Nov. 28, 2012

For millennium war has been fought in the Mediterranean in order to control the adjacent land. This is important to us as the Mediterranean is the cradle of our civilization. First were the Phoenicians who, pressured by Assyria, were forced westward to Carthage; Spain; and southern France. The Achaean Greeks were forced from their homelands by the Dorian invasion while at the same time the Phrygians too were forced by the Assyrians deep into Mesopotamia. Romans came into contact with the fleeing Phoenicians (now the Carthaginians), at: Sardinia, Corsica and eventually after many hardships destroyed their capital city and then spreading salt on the land so as to ensure it never re-emerged. After three hundred years or so of expansion Rome was bought to grief by a new religion, Christianity, replacing the one based upon the ancient logical deities who had given civilization its organization and sense of order. The new religion was a cousin of the various destabilizing eastern ones that have for thousands of years condemned the east to religious wars and horrible despotic regimes legitimized by religion.

During these wars armies and fleets moved about these coasts in a slow and ponderous manner at the whim of wind and friendly shores. The Persians revenged themselves for their earlier defeat by funding the Spartan navy giving them superiority in the Aegean and allowing them to intercept the Athenian grain ships en-route from the Black Sea. Centuries later as the breaking up Roman Republic fought its civil wars Antony was defeated by Octavian thus thwarting him in his attempt to starve Rome into submission by, as had Sparta in the case of Athens and the Black Sea, cutting the grain supply coming from the province of Africa (Carthage).

The more things change the more they stay the same. Sure the ranges are longer but the military concept is the same. Armies move overland supported by fleets at sea which land their on board marines who combine with the troops on land. In the coming wars the grain supply will be the oil coming from the Persian Gulf. In an imaginary scenario where the armies of the Middle East attempt to impose their religion upon the west they will need control of the Mediterranean in order to deny the ‘Christian infidel’ (who for the most part doesn’t know a thing about Christianity: nor wants to) supply bases in Italy, France and the northern shore of Africa.

Where are the death rays from space, the nuclear tipped artillery shells, and the tactical nuclear weapons? What about all of these aircraft carriers that the developing nations are building?

a) In the scrap yard of the case of former as the owners are too terrified to use them, fearing a nuclear counter attack.

b) Out of production in the case of the latter. Aircraft carriers are so expensive they would starve their owners to death long before the war ended.

The geometry remains the same. An advance in one area brings about one in another, each cancelling the other out. In ancient times ships had one tier of oars, the Pentekoster. Someone invented a way to include two tiers, the Bireme, thus giving the ship greater speed. This went a step further bringing about the Trireme. For the same of simplicity they were referedf to as ones,twos, threes etc. Someone in the fifth century or so came up with the three banked galley the Trireme. Some went further and figured how to put five men to a section of three oars giving putting into production the Quinqureme. (During the middle age it was theorized that the ships had five decks which of course was impossible). Then there were even more developments where six, seven, and maybe sixteen men were assigned to a single section of oars. Long after the demise of Greece a Roman expedition into southern Egypt found a perfectly preserved 'forty' in a ship hanger. All very ingenious but to no avail as each cancelled out the other during the wars following the breakup of Alexander’s Empire.


About the author Mike Haran: Here is the link to my new web site devoid of any connection with the above which I use as a device to publish my war games,link.



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