Learning from the Romans: Highly Effective Low-Tech Fighting
by David Sims
LOW TECHNOLOGY street fighting, without guns, need not be without effective weaponry. Long before there were such things as explosives or gunpowder, the ancient Romans used equivalents to the rifle, the light cannon, and artillery, which were made out of wood and metal, and either corded sinew or lever arms and counterweights to store mechanical energy. Compared with modern weapons, these older weapons had lower rates of fire and required significantly more training to achieve accuracy in the field and to reload between shots. But they were deadly against massed enemies at ranges farther than a mile, provided you had the advantage of terrain for your shooters.
We ought to be looking into these weapons, since, as far as I know, nobody has banned pieces of wood, metal, corded sinew, levers, and counterweights.
There might even be a way to emulate the shotgun, or grape-shot cannon fire, without any chemical explosive charge. It’s something for racial-nationalist military engineers to investigate. The thing to keep in mind, however, is that we want the pellets to meet the enemy at something like the speed of sound. We don’t want them to fall on the enemy like a gentle rain. So whatever we come up with, we must test it to ensure that it really will be effective.
The Roman sidearm was a short sword called a gladius. Dr. William Pierce respected the weapon so much that he metalsmithed a gladius in his machine shop at the National Alliance headquarters as an experiment. You can buy reasonable and functional facsimiles from a knife manufacturing company called Cold Steel. Here’s an ad from them:
The Cold Steel gladius-machete is designed to function as a machete. In other words, it is not one of those “decorative” swords with a narrow tang that will twist out of the handle when the blade is used to hit things. Its tang is very sturdy, solidly embedded in a polypropylene handle. The point and edges are very sharp, and the carbon steel is of good quality; the edge will last for a while.
Of course, no one should assume that he is able to use any tool competently simply because he’s seen it and held it in his hand a time or two. (Admit it, we White nationalists have somewhat overinflated egos in this regard, and our bad attitude toward training has worked against us time after time in street fights.) The Roman soldiers had to train much to become proficient in the use of their swords, and so do we.
To ensure that they didn’t lose too many men in training injuries, the Romans made “training swords” out of wood. Cold Steel makes a blunted training sword out of polypropylene. Use it while wearing protective padded “armor” to avoid injuries as you square off in mock combat encounters and simulate trying to kill each other.
Here is a commentary on how Rome defeated Greece. Perhaps we can learn something here that will help us defeat the left in America.
In any large fight with hand-held and short-range weapons (e.g. single-use spears such as the pilum), there are techniques for getting your shock troops out of the way so that your second line of troops can take their places while covering for the withdrawal and regrouping of the first line. It is extremely important that the two groups of soldiers don’t get in each others’ way as the maneuver is going on, since the enemy will take advantage of any confusion on your side. The following video discusses effective ways for rotating troops in battle.
This video is exceptionally good in describing tactical maneuvers during battle, formations for engagement, the best positioning of soldiers in a company, and the importance of organizing your fighters into small groups who know each other and their lieutenant (local officer-leader) — and who will respond instinctively to the changing demands of the local part of the battle.
The Roman writer Vegetius, in his De Re Militari I 26, tells us:
No part of drill is more essential in action than for soldiers to keep their ranks with the greatest exactness, without opening or closing too much. Troops too much crowded can never fight as they ought, and only embarrass one another. If their order is too open and loose, they give the enemy an opportunity of penetrating. Whenever this happens and they are attacked in the rear, universal disorder and confusion are inevitable.
Recruits should therefore be constantly in the field, drawn up by the roll and formed at first into a single rank. They should learn to dress in a straight line and to keep an equal and just distance between man and man. They must then be ordered to double the rank, which they must perform very quickly, and instantly cover their file leaders.
In the next place, they are to double again and form four deep. And then the triangle or, as it is commonly called, the wedge, a disposition found very serviceable in action. They must be taught to form the circle or orb; for well-disciplined troops, after being broken by the enemy, have thrown themselves into this position and have thereby prevented the total rout of the army. These evolutions, often practised in the field of exercise, will be found easy in execution on actual service.
Here is a full documentary on the Roman military. As you view it, you may want to reflect upon the fact that the Romans soundly kicked the Jews’ butts two thousand years ago, at Jerusalem (AD 70) and at Masada (AD 74).
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