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The Byzantine Empire 330 a.d. – 1453 a.d. MOI. Readings  Jones, The Art of War in the Western World, pp 92-104  Preston and Wise, pp 44-54.

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Presentation on theme: "The Byzantine Empire 330 a.d. – 1453 a.d. MOI. Readings  Jones, The Art of War in the Western World, pp 92-104  Preston and Wise, pp 44-54."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Byzantine Empire 330 a.d. – 1453 a.d. MOI

2 Readings  Jones, The Art of War in the Western World, pp 92-104  Preston and Wise, pp 44-54

3 Learning Objectives  Understand the Byzantine military philosophy  Outline the Byzantine military organization  Identify tactical and philosophical innovations  Identify some of the key leaders of the Byzantine Empire  Trace succession of battles which culminated in fall of Constantinople

4 Background  330 a.d. – After invasion of Rome, Constantine I move the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantines and renames it Constantinople (modern day Istanbul)  New Empire –Survival oriented, concerned with defense rather than expansion. – Many invasion attempts, survival depended on military strength –Church had close ties with state –Economically prosperous –Centralized autocratic rule maintained

5 Military Philosophy  Defense Orientated  Due to scarcity of resources to make war, especially soldiers, great emphasis on good “generalship”  Constantly analyzed their enemies and studied all aspects of war carefully –Published studies called Treatises

6 Military Tactics  Doctrines Emphasized –Coordinated action Between weapons systems (missiles and shock) Between armies (infantry and cavalry) –Envelopment, preferred left flank  Always retained fresh reserves  Native Born Soldiers –Still had to use some mercenaries but much less than west

7 Military Tactics Continued  No code of honor –Ruses used often, not worried about morality of war –Bribery and trickery were used to coerce enemy –Used psychological warfare on enemies –Used false propaganda to raise moral of own troops  Great emphasis on archery marksmanship and constant practice in use of weapons

8 Military Organization  The Cataphract (disciplined heavy cavalry) –Symbolized Byzantine empire in same way the legions represented Rome –Well trained and drilled  Numerous/Banda (300-400 Men) –Commanded by Tribune or Drungarios –Basic level of military –Equivalent to a modern day Battalion with same organization

9 Military Organization Cont.  Turma (5-8 Numeri) –Commanded by a Trumach –Equivalent to modern day Division  Thema (2-3 Turmi) –Commanded by a Strategos –Equivalent to a Corps

10 1.Central Front Line 2.Central Second Line 3.Reserve/Rear Security 4.Close in Envelopment/Security Flank Units 5.Distant Envelopment/Screening Units

11 Military Innovations  Calvary  Stirrups-One of Most Important Inventions –5 th or 6 th century from China –Allowed man to use full force of the lance –Could stand up and gain height –Poorer riders could still perform well  “Greek Fire” –Even today unsure of what exactly its chemical composition was, kept so secret it was forgotten –Shot out of hollow tubes on ships, was like liquid fire, stuck to everything, could not be extinguished

12 Military Innovations Continued  Logistics –Known as Baggage Train  Signal Service – Messengers –Signals Corps Signal fires  Chaplain Corps  Medical Corps –Each numerous usually had a doctor, a surgeon, and 8- 10 stretcher bearers  Engineer Corps

13 Justinian  Ruled from 527-565 a.d.  Desires to reunite East and West  Felt that he was head of the Church and his wars took on character of crusades, it was his duty to suppress the Arians and convert them to Christianity  Successful reconquest in Africa and Italy –Excellent use of weaponry, mobility and shock of his horse archers –Brilliant leadership of Belisarius and Narses

14 Belisarius  529-549 a.d.  At 27 became Justinian’s bodyguard  Chosen to lead the main army  Daras (530 a.d.)  Ad Decimum (533 a.d.)  Tricameron (533 a.d.)

15 Daras  Persian Frontier 530 a.d.  40,000 Persians vs. 25,000 under Belisarius  Took and offensive defense, counted on Persian aggressiveness and built trenches around fortress of Daras  Persians eventually forced into trenches and trapped, used combined forces of cavalry and infantry to destroy them

16 Ad Decimum  Africa 530 a.d.  Justinian wants Carthage for Political and Religious reasons  Belisarius lands with 15,000 troops  Vandal King Gelimer attempts to ambush Belisarius at Ad Decimum –His planned was extremely complicated and called for 3 simultaneous ambushes –Difficult with no clocks???

17 Ad Decimum Continued  Attacks not timed well and failed  Gelimer had some successes and chances to attack but never exploited them  Belisarius rallied his troops, dispersed the Vandals and entered Carthage on September 15 th

18 Tricameron  Gelimer remaining forces harass Belisarius  Gelimer retreats to 18 miles west of Carthage at Tricameron and masses a force of 50,000  Belisarius marches on Tricameron  Gelimer again leave initiative to enemy and loses the cavalry battle  Gelimer finally surrender to Belisarius in 534 a.d.

19 Belisarius  Justinian is jealous of Belisarius and orders him back  Sends him to Sicily where he is very successful, and Justinian brings him back again due to jealousy  Sends him back to Sicily where he is again somewhat successful but is denied complete success by Justinian who refuses to send him enough support

20 Belisarius’s Keys to Success  Developed new tactics –Assumed he would have inferior numbers –Induced his enemies to attack him under his conditions –Used lack of numbers as asset, more mobile, flexible –Strategy more psychological –Knew how to provoke enemies into indulging natural instinct for direct assault –Took advantage of Persian feelings of superiority

21 Narses  551 a.d. Goths had recovered losses and Justinian needed a major effort in Italy in order to keep it  Puts Narses in command at age 73  Major Battle –Taginae (552 a.d.)

22 Taginae  Narses land in Italy with ~20,000  Gothic forces ~50,000  Narses lets Goths attack  Narses forms for battle: –8000 dismounted cavalry formed into phalanx –4000 foot archers on each flank –500 mounted cavalry behind each wing of archers as protection

23 Battle Map

24 Taginae Continued  Goths attempt to push through phalanx but are picked off by archers on flanks and sustain heavy losses  Italy is retaken  Last major battle under Justinian’s Rule

25 Maurice 582-603 A.D.  Selected as heir to the throne  Successful officer in the Military  Before taking throne, had published “Strategicon” a handbook for Field Commanders  Realigned the military structure

26 Maurice’s Military Reforms  Introduces the concept of Turma and Thema  Used unequal numbers so enemy could not calculate the numbers of the whole army  Took away Generals powers of patronage by making officer promotions above Centurion (numerous commander) a direct appointee of the Emperor  Pledged obedience to the realm

27 Maurice’s Military Reforms Cont  Introduced the baggage trains, medical, signal and chaplain corps  Cut the size of the standing army  Deployed it as central reserve and units for the frontier fortresses  Divided empire into military provinces or themes

28 Navy  By 8 th century empire had 5 fleets  Small, fast galley ships  Each vessel had two rows of oarsmen who were trained to fight  Each vessel had a group of Marines  Had bow tubes for dispensing “Greek Fire”

29 Fall of Empire  East had constant attacks from Persians and to the North were the Slavs –Military is eventually weakened  Islamic Attacks come in the 7 th and 8 th centuries which further weaken military  Basil I (867-868) and Basil II (985-1025) neglect military

30 Fall of Empire Cont.  1068 Romanus Diogenes, former General, takes control and drive Turks back in the Battle of Manzikert  Was betrayed by one of his officers and Turks envelope and destroy Byzantine force  1453 Mohammed II takes Constantinople to end the 1100 years of the Byzantine Empire

31 Byzantine Empire through its years

32 Summary Slide  Military Philosophy, Tactics, and Organization –Constant analysis of enemies, coordinated actions of armies and weapons systems, well trained Cataphract  Innovations: The Stirrup –Logistics, Signal, and Medical Corps  Belisarius Keys to Success  Narses form for Battle, very successful  Navy Innovations with Marines onboard  Fall of the Empire

33 Questions?


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