Monday, 16 December 2019

Wars of the past

Andrew Stepanenko
July 09, 2019 <>
Translated by Berenkova Violetta Michailovna

Some wars of the past cause numerous doubts in circles of historical revisionists. Alexander the Great’s campaign to India through mountain ridges with average speed of 100 km a day, the two-million army of the Mongols which left no genetic traces on all sites of their way, and even the war of 1812 is impossible from the positions of military logistics. Let’s start with logistics.

The maximum duration of an autonomous horse campaign - 14 days one way. Here is a calculation.

A single fighting unit of a horse campaign consists of 2 knights, 2 pacholiks (armourbearers), 1 driver and 10 horses. The general state of affairs is the following:
For 1 knight there must be 2 horses and 1 pacholik.
For 1 pacholik there must be 2 horses.
For 5 people according to the Crimean rate there must be 1 two-horse cart for provisions.
If the dirt road is bad, a two-horse cart is loaded with 500-600 kg (I assume 550 kg).
A horse of Russian army ate 5,.5 kg of forage a day.
A soldier of the Russian Federation ate 2.4 kg of food a day.
It was necessary to provide feeding of soldiers and horses on the way back.
We do not load water on carts in our calculations, but don’t figure on casual plundering as well.
The horse moves 4.5 km per hour and 6-8 hours (I assume 7 hours) a day (it is very high workload).

Capability of such unit is 8 days of travelling, and then it is necessary to add the number of carts and drivers.
One day is for a fight, and 1 day – for the gathering of weapon and wounded men; that is, one way trip can take 3 days or on 94 km.

If to add some provision and, accordingly, two-horse carts, it is possible to move further, but, since the 31st day of the campaign, the task of the fighting supply unit becomes mathematically unsolvable. The distance limit of the campaign: 14 days one way or 441 km where daily costs for transport exceed the optimum one 12 times.

Vulnerability of such division overloaded with transport is enormous: if a driver is ill, the horse breaks a foot, or a cart needs repairing, and all column has to wait or divide into parts.
I read the description of a campaign of a Prussian general on quite good roads of Central Europe in the second half of the 19 century: it took his division 2 weeks to move for 200 km. It is 2.2 times more slowly, than in my calculation, and it demonstrates real possibilities of army movement in the 19 century. For this reason, in the 19 century a war in Europe went on, on the average, about 8 weeks, it is official military statistics.

Some part of these rates are modern: 130 years ago horses were much more smaller and physically weaker; sliding bearings were not invented, wheels were worse, carts were heavier, roads were not regularly repaired, that is why a two-horse cart could hardly pull 550 kg of payload.
Brockhaus and Ephron point out that according to horse census of 1888, 58 % of horses had height below 1 arshin and 14 vershoks at the shoulder; that is, lower than 133. Depending on constitution, the height of 133 sm at the shoulder meant from 279 kg to 450 kg of weight, and there is a certain connection between the horse’s weight and the cargo which it can transport. The height of 133 sm at the shoulder is 40 sm less, than a working horse has nowadays, in 1888 a horse carried 30 % less cargo. Having recalculated the table, I see that the border of mathematical unsolvablity of horse division supply with provisions has moved from the 31st day of travelling to the 20th. These are 9 days of travelling or 284 km one way.

These campaigns are described as horse ones, but the way from Simferopol to Moscow is 1300 km. The only one conclusion is possible: the Crimean Tatars went to some other Moscow. It is necessary to remember that on old maps you can find the Moscow gulf near the Crimea, and near Sevastopol there is the Kulikovo field which is considered situated near Moscow, well, and Marina Mniszech is moving into Moscow at the backland of sea and mountains (see the picture).

The maximum duration of an autonomous pedestrian campaign in the modern tourism is 16 days. These are the most difficult categories, and it is necessary to take into consideration that a modern tourist has hi-tech equipment and modern provision type. Just add the weapon, replace high-calorific snacks with groats, and the duration of the pedestrian transition would hardly be 4 days one way.

In practice, small military abilities of armies of the past are adequate to military requirements of feudal formations. I will show it on the example of Utrecht in the 17 century. The size of a feud approximately 30 on 40 km. Basing on this example, Europe in the 17 century consisted of 10 thousand such formations. Therefore, the whole world in Europe had to look like that (and it did) up to 1848 when local patrimonial authorities appeared based on the feudal law.

Just such size feuds were at war with each other, with corresponding armies and war campaigns. How can you get a war cause with someone who is located at a distance of such 4-5 feuds? Yes, in no way. Therefore, any campaigns exceeding 100 km were not necessary in practice. Possibilities meet the requirements.

If to accept this thesis, all overland roads had strictly local importance, so the Smolensk road, in practice, was a network of the small provincial roads, joined in a single whole in a chance way.

Military requirements of trading empires are geographically two times wider; however, warfare was in a very narrow sector, - mainly, against competitive cities standing on the rivers.

Following the results of long-term debates by the most adequate according to the cost price troop movements and army transports is on the rivers. Here is an expression “To prowl (to wiggle) as a sutler boat”. Before the appearance of steam tract prime movers, it looked like that:

After the appearance of steam tract prime movers, it looked like that:

The photo and drawing are found by the friend bskamalov.

There is a general rule: the lower the development level of the society is, the more land it requires, and, accordingly, that lower density of population there is. Tribes in Amazonia live hunting, almost do not create stocks, and any occupation of these lands by the imaginary Roman Empire is doomed to financial failure. When density of population s 2-3 people per 10 sq. km and commodity production is not developed, the transport costs will exceed the cost of the exported goods many times.
Therefore, there, where the peasantry had appeared, the situation was better, but not everywhere. In floodplains of large rivers, the density of population was enormous, and commodity production was developed, and trade possibilities were fine. However, just not far around floodplains, the peasants could hardly feed themselves, and the export cost price exceeded critical values for a merchant. In such places, the army had nothing to do.
In France, there were places where the first priests got only in the middle of the 19 century, and police - even later. The reason: bad land, that is, undeveloped commodity production; whoever entered there, would get out only with financial losses. It is necessary to consider that before scientific and technological revolution got into village (and it was the first half of the 19 century) such lands prevailed in the world. The Institute of State as we know it, cannot rise in such territories; the best thing that it is possible to do here: once a year to pass with a caravan of boats on the largest rivers and to export those small surpluses of crop. All this did all antique empires year after year saving commodity stocks and throwing excesses there where the expected margin seemed higher. It was not the state in the present understanding; it was a merchant superstructure, a trading network thrown over poor, but independent tribal formations.

It is a basic technical restriction for wars of the past: there was nobody and nothing for empires to be at war on peasant territories. Only two kinds of conflicts were possible:
1) purely peasant conflicts for meadows
2) purely trading conflicts for trading stations and cities
Mixes were possible, when local peasants stood up for a merchant with whom they had already become related, but it was a local conflict not suitable for fixing in annalistic data.

In the conditions of low density of population, it was impossible to create an army from peasants: assembly costs, transportation and feeding of people would exceed hypothetical war profit many times. To deliver recruits from the Ural Mountains to Europe would take months, and average war duration in Europe in the 19 century was 8 weeks. Up to the 19 century, real armed forces were city self-defense squads and small professional armies of feudal lords of different rank.

The Quartian army was the first Polish army created on the constant basis, and the number of people in it within the period of 90 years fluctuated between one and six thousand. It was enough for total defense of unsecure eastern frontiers. That army was very expensively – it took the fourth part of the royal incomes, and it is necessary to remember that Poland in the 16 century was a developed country, periodically even the lead region; so, hardly the other regions of Europe could show a better situation.

According to matricula 1521, structurally remained existing up to the end of Holy Roman Empire of the German nation (1806), all armed forces of the Empire consisted of 4001 horsemen and 19958 infantrymen. The figures are in accordance with the data concerning the Polish army of the 16-17 centuries. The only thing that puzzles me is absence in the matricula of any notions about military fleet of the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation.

There is a statement that armies were supplied with plundering of villages they passed by, however there is a restriction: before wide introduction of firearms tribes were armed the same way as the army, so the Roman legions sometimes perished entirely in fighting with barbarians. There is also the second restriction: even if soldiers would win, the necessary plunder would be equal to that provision they could carry in their arms. Risks in case of such plundering were quite comparable to risks of the basic fighting task fulfilment, but the ratio of the risks and plundering was hundreds, and even thousand times worse. Nobody would run risks of the basic fighting task failure in hope to benefit some sacks of groats. Therefore, there were also legends about iron discipline when the Roman cohort would not take an apple from a tree while camping on the host territory.

The empire of Aztecs reached the level comparable to the Roman one. The Mexican archives and libraries perished in fire entirely, and many facts are not clear, however it is known that Tenochtitlan possessed a network of trading stations on host tribal territories, and that city-state was at war with the twin-brother city-state of Tlaxcala with just the same network of trading stations.
In addition, the main thing: the discipline of the Aztec soldiers was iron – exactly the same, as the Roman one, and it was for the same reasons: at that level of the society development the army was not at war with village, army was interested only in competitive trading networks. I am even inclined to think that in militarily way the land aristocracy (boyars) at that stage were considerably stronger than trading aristocracy (princes) were. The peasants could have worse arms and their martial arts knowledge was poorer, but merchants were on the host land, and possessed only boats on the river. To be at war with village for the empire at that stage meant obviously to lose. Rome, by the way, regularly lost to the barbarians.

The dated and clearly described raids on peasants are not present in general. Wars usual happen not for cheap consumer goods, and for the basic production assets, and for the nomad they were cattle and pastures but not kitchen gardens. The thesis about raids as hooliganism for the only purpose to trample fields and to spoil maidens was obviously born in the course of school education: nobody was going to explain to kiddies the value of fixed capital.
No dated evidence confirmed the thesis about raids of the Tatars on Russian village for tribute gathering. The main obstacle to such tribute gathering was unreasonable transportation cost (have a look at calculation of a campaign cost at the beginning of the chapter), and there was the only one place where it was possible to take something, and the transportation cost was minimal - city markets and seasonal trade fairs, where peasants brought their surpluses.

Such raids were possible in one case: if nomad tribes were a part of some trading empire as a military caste. The Lipetsk Tatars carried out this role in the Eastern Europe. Independent war for obtaining a city is deprived by for the nomads of any sense, as a city for them was not fixed capital. Moreover, outside the limits of a trading network a city was useless - as a cartridge without a pistol.
Deletion of the customer of the nomads’ campaign on a city from the historical context pursues quite clear aims - not to show assets and not to open all cards.

In 1241-1242 the certain Mongols have walked across the Eastern Europe, mainly through the mining cities extracting gold, silver and copper. I will show the list of those cities that I have found out:
The Czech Republic: Vác, Eger, Opava, Benešov, Přerov, Litovel, Evičko, Olomouc.
Croatia: Zagreb.
Hungary: Buda, Mohács, Fehérvár, Esztergom.
Poland: Złotoryja, Lublin, Zawichost, Brest, Drohiczyn, Navahrudak, Sandomierz, Koprzywnica, Wiślica, Skalbmierz, Tursko Wielkie, Khmil'nyk, Torchok, Cracow, Wrocław, Opole, Racibórz, Legnica, Otmuchów, Kłodzko.
Romania: Bistriţa, Oradea, Timișoara, Reghin, Arad, Perg, Egreš .
Slovakia: Banská Štiavnica, Pukanec, Krupina, Nitra, Bratislava.
Austria: Neustadt.

Here is a map where I, with feasible accuracy, have marked most cities. It is curious that some visited by the Mongols cities are obviously close to modern frontiers.

The Czech Republic

It is clear that the Mongolian army bore extremely high expenses; however, having carried out the task of visiting cities, the Mongols left and did not come back any more. Synchronously with the Mongols crossing Europe, the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire arranged a campaign to Rome, - in 1241 a really small distance divided the armies.
The armies’ visiting mining cities went on synchronously with resettlement of German mountain specialists into mining cities. Let’s have a look what historians write:

The Carpathian Germans also colonized Slovakia... mostly after the termination of the Mongolian invasion in 1241. In Slovakia, they mined, basically, copper, silver and gold.
1241. In the field of German influence there were seven mining Hungarian cities (now the Central Slovakia): Königsberg (New Bana) Schemnitz (Banská Štiavnica) Kremnitz (Kremnica) Neusohl (Banská Bystrica), Bugganz (Pukanec) Diln (Banská Bela) Libeten (Ľubietová). Settlers were known as Spi š Zipser Sachsen.

Friend Ruslan Poleshuk has come up with a sensible idea: the annalistic "Mongols", most likely, started their campaign of 1241 to the Eastern Europe from Serbia, and to Serbia they returned. I am inclined to agree with this hypothesis: in Serbia there were main military warehouses, weapon workshops and some part of garrisons of the Roman Empire. Moreover, no genetic traces of these Mongols were found in Europe. Personally I in this situation would place emphasis only on the following pint: it is not who those Mongols were, the more important fact is who the customer of the campaign was.

It is entirely mythical. The most favourable sector was piracy, but without the king's bill granting the right to come into any port for supplies, and, the main thing, to deliver the plunder wholesale, the pirate’s life was very short. Closed river systems could not provide such possibilities. A merchant would not become a receiver of stolen goods and ruin his reputation of a fair person together with the risk to lose the right of the land rent under trading stations for the sake of one-time profit. Ninety present of those whom had a robber label practically carried out functions of the local feudal customs.

We see the evidence: the Crimean khan Devlet went to Tula. An experienced revisionist would have a question about military logistics at once: how did he go to Tula? If it was a horse campaign, in 2 weeks his campaign would have become unprofitable, and in 4 weeks would have cost as half of Europe.

The conclusion is that it was some other Tula and it was closer to the Crimea.
However, there is also some other variant: to glance at the titles. As a rule, the Russian emperor was also the Polish tsar, the Lithuanian prince, and the Caucasian crown prince and so on. Moreover, he was not alone: there were a lot of families, having the right to call themselves Holstein crown princes, for example. Therefore it is possible to name a campaign of some emperor Alexander I to Moscow as a campaign of the Polish tsar (or just a campaign of the Poles) to Moscow, and it will be naked truth. So if through relationship someone from the Romanovs also received a title (and the right to add it to his name) of the Crimean khan (similar situations occurred regularly in Europe) such Romanov's campaign to Tula could be easily designated as the Tatar one, and be ascribed to the Crimean Tatars. It was worse, if that Alexander I was simultaneously both the Polish tsar and the Crimean khan, so it was possible to call his campaign as the Polish-Tatar campaign to Moscow.

I constantly see such confusion in the database: the Poles mentioned participation of the Russians, in a key campaign, the Russians mentioned the Lithuanians, the Germans - both of them, and the Frenchmen would add the Germans, but would delete the Poles. So it really happened. Thus the campaign was important, but had local character, and it is absolutely clear that nobody gathered the armies from all Europe there. These were just manipulations with the titles of a commander, probably, it was all about one person.

I saw the evidence that monarchs were forced to support the interests of those regions, which interests they, as title carriers, had to protect. Therefore, if the merchants from Novgorod broke the rules and invaded with their goods some conditional Gdansk, some conditional Alexander I was obliged, as the Polish tsar, somehow to punish the Novgorod invaders - as the Polish tsar.

I will remind here that Werner von Bolland was a vassal of 43 various sovereigns from whom he received more than 500 fees in total, including 15 counties, and he himself, in his turn, had more than 100 vassals. In case of a conflict situation, for example, in a judicial proceeding, Werner von Bolland hardly used all his 500 titles, - not all of them were necessary. That title that concerned the case was necessary. Probably, this fact explains numerous so-called "duplicates" when obviously the same person appeared in the history under different names. It was not a plot; simply in different circumstances people used those names that were appropriate in the situation.

The conflict of interests described by historians as inter-regional (Tula-Tatar, for example) could be absolutely real, thus, that there were no troop shifts for huge distances. It was the local representative, who solved all problems as he had the rights to the corresponding title and obligations according to that title. For this purpose, the high-ranking people became related with each other.

This fine justification for the annalists of the past. It is necessary to understand that the Tula monk who described the “Tatar" raid, did not accompany the aggressor army in the campaign that is why we can not find the description of the campaign in the annals. Nevertheless, for this monk Tula was attacked not by Ivan Petrovich Serpuhovskiy and not Charles-Friedrich of Holstein, but namely the Crimean khan Devlet. Yes, that was the same person, but in that case, Ivan Petrovich protected the interests of the Crimean trade and attacked Tula in the status of the Crimean khan, so he was in the present state of affairs.

If regal families from different regions came to agreement, there was grooms exchange. The Russian prince came to the Horde, married a local princess and started to manage her dowry, for example, carried on in her name skilful negotiations with familiar in behavior and traditions Russian merchants. There are numerous data when a Russian prince constantly lived and worked in the Horde.
Accordingly, a Tatar prince with his court came to some city Vladimir, married a local princess and did exactly the same. What did that prince to do if some Tula broke the rights of the city of Vladimir? He had to move out with his guys, probably, with an auxiliary Russian troop to Tula and to convince townspeople that they were wrong. If not to mention in the annals the legal spouse of that Tatar prince (Vladimir princess), it might seem that the Tatar invaded Tula not closer than from Kazan or the Crimea, however, the annals are not misleading: and the Tatar took part in the raid, and his name was Devlet, and the raid was real.

The maximum duration of an autonomous horse campaign was 9-14 days one way.
The maximum duration of an autonomous pedestrian campaign was 4-5 days one way.
The duration of an average European war of the 19 century was 8 weeks.
The size of an army in the 19 century was 0.2-0.4 % of population, and the further in the past we move, the lower percentage we see.
Two basic types of military conflicts were typical at that time: local, between feudal land aristocracy and conflicts of merchant empires for trading stations - mainly on the rivers.
Some part of interregional conflicts was definitely solved locally, with powers of the plenipotentiary (relative) of the lord of the remote region, without any troop shift.

Militarization in our ideas about the past is a product of the second half of the 19 century, closely connected with the Great Social Revolution of 1848-1849 and significant repartition of the assets. I do not see any special purpose of militarization of history. I am inclined to think that it is a by-effect of replacement of matriarchal understanding of historical processes with patriarchal ones. Those rotations of property and power that go clearly on maternal lines, are simply not visible in patrilineal schemes, that is why they automatically mean power repartition.

The Russian Tatars who were in matrilineal system of relations the strong historical allies of Russian princes, in the patrilineal system could be understood only as aggressors. As a result, almost every Tatar "campaign to Russia" looks surreal as the Tatars were constantly accompanied by some Rusichi. The Russians and Tatars were not enemies, it was a conflict of competitive corporations - each consisting of the Russians and Tatars. They write that when the history of the Tatar Yoke was ordered, Russian historians refused that work point-blank, and it was necessary to invite specialists from Europe.

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