Persian Military Tactics

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Marathon, Greece was surrounded by steep hills and opened southwards for a road to Athens. The ideal harbourage and long, firm, flat plain between the mountains and the sea was subject to be the area in which the Persians would invade Greece in 490 BC. This invasion was led by the Persian, Datis. Although Datis was an experienced veteran, he had no real knowledge of the enemy and therefore relied on the old Athenian tyrant Hippias. As appose to Datis, Miltiades, a Greek commander, lived among the Persians at the Hellespont. Having first hand knowledge of the Persian methods of fighting, he gave the first instruction for battle, ‘contain the invading forces on the beaches and resist an advance on Athens'. He knew the Persians put their…show more content…
The Greeks being citizen soldiers fought for their homes; families; religious shrines; city states; to preserve their new democratic way of life; and their desire to be free and rule themselves without an oriental overlord. The Persian army were conscripted and therefore they were not fighting to defend their homeland. As a result of this they were often poorly trained and some only took part in the army and battles as a way of impressing the king. As well as conflicting reasons behind the victory, the Persians and Greek army adapted many different fighting strategies. The Greeks had their advantage in close range. Their weapons (2-3 metre long spears and iron sword 60 centimetres long for cutting and thrusting) were superior to the Persian's wicker shield and short spears and daggers. The Greeks also had better strategies and tactics; the charge into battle on the run through the enemy into confusion as it differed from previous fighting tactics. With a combination of their bronze helmets; bronze plated breast plates (cuirass); huge shields (1 metre diameter) and bronze greaves for protecting their lower legs, the Greek hoplites were better protected than the Persian army. The Persians were minimally protected with felt caps, tunics and armour with a surface of fish-like iron scales and
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