of these articles describes the combat formation Phalanx, for other meanings sees Phalanx (term clarifying).

Phalanx one calls a battle row, how she was usual in the antique Greek culture area in combat in particular. The word became in 18. Century from latin taken over and comes of the Greek phálagx, with which a battle row was meant. Originally one named a roller or a bar the Greek word.

Phalanx beim Manövrieren oder Formieren
Phalanx when maneuvering or forming

the Phalanx introduced the transition from single in the Greek antiquity to formation fights. The Phalanx probably became from the Spartanern in 7. Century v. Chr. invented. It consisted later ever longer becoming lance of armored Hopliten, which are enough with one originally about two meters , was armed. The Phalanx was a closed, linear formation, which consisted of several rows of Hopliten.

The Phalanx was original8 members in openly, 4 members in closed order deep. Later the list was often deeper. In 4. Century v. Chr. if it became of the Thebaner Epameinondas a new battle order, which „inclined battle order “, transforms. The problem with the linear list was that everyonePhalangit itself for its right side abandoned on the protection of the sign of its right Nebenmannes had. Therefore the Phalangen twisted itself and did not hit not parallel one on the other. In the result so usually the left wing triumphed. In order to prevent this - the first noted use of this newTactics, so Donald Kagan, became of Pagondas, son of Aeolidas, in the Peloponnesi war 424 v.Chr. with Delium/Delion (in this battle fought also Sokrates with) used - Pagondas strengthened the right wing with 25 rows, instead of the usual 8 rows. Also Epameinondas used this knowledge,in which it graduated the weak right wing 50 men deeply with elite troops opposite 12 men deeply with its opponent. Thus it could compensating the weakness of the right wing more than and achieved destroying successes. It does not seem however in such a way, as if the method inthis extreme form by other field gentlemen one took over directly.

The next advancement of the Phalanx happened under the Macedonian king Philipp II. Military successes of the Makedonen in 4. Century v. Chr. to a not insignificant part by their improvement of Phalanx tactics were justified. Those Macedonian Phalangiten carried only easy arms, whereby the Macedonian army quantity became larger strongly, since each fighter had to be responsible for its equipment. Besides a majority of the Makedonen (pezhetairoi) used one over five meters long lance, the Sarissa. In the military conflictswith the other Greek trunks the Makedonen was usually superior thereby. So that fallen opponents could not straighten up again, the rear numbers of the Pezhetairen stung likewise pointed, lower end of their Sarissa with the advance with that on them in. After death Alexanders 323 v. Chr. the been inflamed diadochus wars, in which Sarissen with a length from up to 7 meters came to the employment.

Makedonische Phalanx
Macedonian Phalanx

the combat technique in a Phalanx required an extremely high discipline. If a Phalangit let its lance fall, this knew the defeat of the entire formationpull. The Phalangiten in the rear rows had a strongly limited field of view and could only their preceding endorsers see, why death came in the fight for her always surprisingly. The Phalangiten set its left shoulder and/or. their sign in order to push their preceding endorser, whereby someto soil fell and from their own comrades to death were trampled. If an opposing sword fighter had succeeded in penetrating into a Phalanx it attacked the most sensitive parts of the body of the Phalangiten unhindered, whereby it concerned the member masses and the genital organs. An escape from onePhalanx was almost impossible. If a Phalanx remained however intact, she arranged heavy losses.

Similarly as first the Greeks fought the Romans in the battle in numerous single fights. Under Greek influence the Romans in the course of the Serviani army reform in addition over, in closed battle row happenedfight. The appropriate formation was the smallest military unit/department of (Classis) of the Roman infantry. This formation was graduated after armoring and armament of the soldiers, with the heavily armored fighters in the first rows and the easily armored in the last rows. With theirlarge Schilden educated the Romans often special formations like „the turtle (test Udo) “. Up to the fall of the Roman realm the Roman Legionäre fought in closed battle row. In the fight against Greek Phalanx formations the Roman troops were usually superior, there their battle order due to the smaller formationswas more flexible. The Romans threw first on a certain place of the Phalanx its Wurfspeere (Pila), and stormed then with twitched short sword (Gladius) into in such a way produced gap.

From the people migration time to the late Middle Ages one did not fight in Europe any longer in onewith the Phalanx comparable battle row. The battles were delivered as in Greek and Roman early period in numerous single fights. Only in 15. Century one changed outgoing from Switzerland in large parts of Europe in addition, into combat deeply echeloned Pikenier - formations to form. These were replacedtoward end 17. Century by formations, those exclusively consisted of mash ketene contactors. This linear tactics using Feuerwaffen can be regarded as modern advancement of the Phalanx. With the drastic advancement of the weapon technology in 19. Century was given up as far as possible the fight in battle row.

Call PhalanxMilitary expert today special Waffensyteme, which as autonomous, radar-guided and computer-controlled gun cannons, military large objects (for example aircraft carrier etc.) against bombardment by rockets etc. to protect are.


John Warry: Throwing acres into the Classical World. University OF Oklahoma press, ISBN 0-8061-2794-5

see also: Macedonian Phalanx, Roman combat equipment


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