i'm not sure about the origins. either they copied it from romans, or they did that ever since. can't remember any particular description from caesar's books where he mentioned anything like that though. also don't know when the shield wall was first mentioned, i'm not really into late antiquity/early middle ages...
Post by H. Ihsan Erkoc on Oct 6, 2012 11:55:44 GMT 3
Oh I see. I also suspected a Roman-Mediterrenean influence but I also don't know when exactly the Germanic peoples started using that. I wonder how the earliest Germanic peoples the Romans encountered fought (for example at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest). Guess it was more similar to the Celtic ways (though I remember reading from Caesar's "Gallic War" that he gave some differences between the two).
Nomad, rider of the ancient east
Nomad, rider that men know the least
Nomad, where you come from no one knows
Nomad, where you go to no one tells
yeah i know, but he doesn't really go into much detail regarding tactics, at least this kind of tactics. the only germanic tactics i remind him mention is the "horse-team", where mounted germanics and footsoldiers fight together and support themselves, and that the footsoldiers hang on to the mane of the horse for faster movement.
also, i think the term "shield-wall" is a bit misleading. you won't find an equation of this term in german literature, i mean it's natural that infantry in dense formation equipped with shields are automatically protected by their shields, many organized infantry armies had this kind of "phalanx" without a special term for them, like venetians and those early mesopotamian armies.
well that's a good question actually. as i said, this tactic was especially popular in northern europe, with vikings and anglo-saxons etc. just how far south this reached i don't know. eventually, all germanic footsoldiers of the migrations period must have fought in a manner similar to this.
The goths fought almost in the same manner as the late Imperial Romans did. Dacians and Celts also didn't just 'rush' in. They were not as disciplined as Mediterranean societies, but they neither did they just charge at the enemy haphazardly. They had a limited idea of the role of cavalry and well timed charges etc. They also used a lot of missile weapons, spears, javelins etc in timed volleys.
The German shield wall is very ancient, going back to Tacitus.