Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Fighting in the desert

  1. Mar 5, 2006 #1

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    How did armies use to fight in the desert waaaaay back in the day without water? Like, ya know, 1000 years ago. I'm watching Kingdom of Heaven and i was wondering exactly how armies had water out in the desert... especially if they wanted to have any sort of mobility with their armies.

    Who here has the answer? Find out after this message and a word from our sponsors....
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 5, 2006 #2
    There is a reason why its called a 'movie.'
     
  4. Mar 5, 2006 #3

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Yah but i think war existed before the 1800's.
     
  5. Mar 5, 2006 #4

    -Job-

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I think they had pottery back then.
     
  6. Mar 5, 2006 #5

    arildno

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    And hammers. Definitely hammers.
    That's why we only find pottery shards.
     
  7. Mar 5, 2006 #6

    arildno

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Armies were not, in general, very mobile in the old days.
    Aside from the actual fighting force you had an array of camp followers who provided a variety of services to the military.

    A general had to be most particular in both establishing supply lines, and to send out patrols to scour the neighbourhood of whatever goods were to be found.

    Because this was the standard pattern, on occasion a daring general like Caesar might commit himself to a "lightning strike" on an opponent by only moving his fighting forces away from the supply lines and engage the enemy to their surprise. However, if this type of attack failed, then the soldiers would be left without any means or places for recovery.
     
  8. Mar 5, 2006 #7
    Well most ancient cities sprung up in areas where the was a water source, so it's not too far of a stretch to think that there was an adequate water supply close to ancient battle-fields. A traveling army probably would not march through the heart of the desert, but follow the path of a river. Or stop at cities along the way for water breaks.
     
  9. Mar 5, 2006 #8
    I have to think this is the case since carrying adequate water for thousands of soldiers would be an enormous undertaking. Along with that each soldier must have had a "canteen", probably like a wineskin, of water.
     
  10. Mar 5, 2006 #9

    Mk

    User Avatar

    They could drink their sweat. A never ending source of water.
     
  11. Mar 6, 2006 #10

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Water bearers - whose job it was to get the water supply to the troops. Otherwise troops used cateens or water skins. An animals bladder or stomach could be used as a container also.

    Mobility was provided by horses or camels depending on the geography, of course.

    And likely, armies would try to secure any oasis in the vicinity.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Fighting in the desert
  1. Deserted Island (Replies: 32)

  2. Deserted Island (Replies: 10)

  3. Fight Club (Replies: 5)

  4. The bar fight! (Replies: 26)

  5. Bull Fights (Replies: 26)

Loading...