Line of battle
In naval warfare, the line of battle is a tactic in which a naval fleet of ships forms a line end to end. Its first use is disputed, variously claimed for dates ranging from 1502 to 1652, with line-of-battle tactics in widespread use by 1675. Compared with prior naval tactics, in which two opposing ships closed on one another for individual combat, the line of battle has the advantage that each ship in the line can fire its broadside without fear of hitting a friendly ship. Therefore, in a given period, the fleet can fire more shots. Another advantage is that a relative movement of the line in relation to some part of the enemy fleet allows for a systematic concentration of fire on that part; the other fleet can avoid this by maneuvering in a line itself, with a result typical for sea battle since 1675: two fleets sail alongside one another or on the opposite tack. A ship powerful enough to stand in the line of battle came to be called a ship of the line or line of battle ship, shortened to become the word battleship.
The first recorded mention of the use of a line of battle tactic is attested from 1500. The Instructions provided in 1500 by King Manuel I of Portugal to the commander of a fleet dispatched to the Indian Ocean suggests its use predated the written instructions. Portuguese fleets overseas deployed in line ahead, firing one broadside and putting about in order to return and discharge the other, resolving battles by gunnery alone. In a treatise of 1555, The Art of War at Sea, Portuguese theorist on naval warfare and shipbuilding, Fernão de Oliveira, recognized that at sea, the Portuguese "fight at a distance, as if from walls and fortresses...". He recommended the single line ahead as the ideal combat formation. A line-of-battle tactic had been used by the Fourth Portuguese India Armada in the Battle of Calicut, under Vasco da Gama in 1502, near Malabar against a Muslim fleet. One of the earliest recorded deliberate use is documented in the First Battle of Cannanore between the Third Portuguese India Armada under João da Nova and the naval forces of Calicut, earlier in the same year.
Another early, but different form of this strategy, was used in 1507 by Afonso de Albuquerque at the entrance to the Persian Gulf, in the first conquest of Ormuz. Albuquerque commanded a fleet of six carracks manned by 460 men, entered Ormuz Bay, being surrounded by 250 warships and a 20.000 men army on land, Albuquerque made his small fleet circle like a carrousel, but in a line end-to-end, destroyed most of the ships that surrounded his squad. He proceeded to capture Ormuz. While it is well documented that Maarten Tromp first used it in the Action of 18 September 1639, some have disputed this. One of the first precise written instructions in any language adopting the formation were contained in the English Navy's Fighting Instructions, written by Admiral Robert Blake and published in 1653. Individual captains on both sides of the First Anglo-Dutch War appear to have experimented with the technique in 1652 including Blake at the Battle of Goodwin Sands. From the mid-16th century the cannon became the most important weapon in naval warfare, replacing boarding actions as the decisive factor in combat.
At the same time, the natural tendency in the design of galleons was for longer ships with lower castles, which meant faster, more stable vessels. These newer warships could mount more cannons along the sides of their decks, concentrating their firepower along their broadside; until the mid-17th century, the tactics of a fleet were to "charge" the enemy, firing bow chaser cannon, which did not deploy the broadside to its best effect. These new vessels required new tactics, "since... all the artillery is found upon the sides of a ship of war, hence it is the beam that must and always be turned toward the enemy. On the other hand, it is necessary that the sight of the latter must never be interrupted by a friendly ship. Only one formation allows the ships of the same fleet to satisfy these conditions; that formation is the line ahead. This line, therefore, is imposed as the only order of battle, as the basis of all fleet tactics."The line-of-battle tactic favored large ships that could sail and maintain their place in the line in the face of heavy fire.
The change toward the line of battle depended on an increased disciplining of society and the demands of powerful centralized government to keep permanent fleets led by a corps of professional officers. These officers were better able to manage and communicate between the ships they commanded than the merchant crews that comprised large parts of a navy's force; the new type of warfare that developed during the early modern period was marked by a successively stricter organization. Battle formations became standardized, based on mathematically calculated ideal models; the increased power of states at the expense of individual landowners led to larger armies and navies. The line of battle was marked by tactical rigidity and resulted in indecisive engagements. Fleet commanders sometimes met with greater success by altering or abandoning the line of battle outright by breaking the enemy line and moving through it, by trying to cut off and isolate part of the enemy's line while concentrating a stronger force on it, or by trying to "double up" the enemy's ships.
The main problem with the line of battle was that when the fleets are of similar size, naval actions using it were indecisive. The French in particular were adept at gunnery and would take the leeward position to enable their fleet to retire d
Battle of Cowpens
The Battle of Cowpens was an engagement during the American Revolutionary War fought on January 17, 1781, between American Colonial forces under Brigadier General Daniel Morgan and British forces under Lieutenant Colonel Sir Banastre Tarleton, as part of the campaign in the Carolinas. The battle was a turning point in the American reconquest of South Carolina from the British. Morgan's forces conducted a double envelopment of Tarleton's forces, the only double envelopment of the war. Tarleton's force of 1000 British troops were set against 2000 troops under Morgan. Morgan's forces suffered casualties of 69 wounded. Tarleton's force was annihilated, with Tarleton himself and about 200 British troops escaping. A small force of the Continental Army under the command of Morgan had marched to the west of the Catawba River, in order to forage for supplies and raise the morale of local Colonial sympathizers; the British had received incorrect reports that Morgan's army was planning to attack the important strategic fort of Ninety Six, held by American Loyalists to the British Crown and located in the west of the Carolinas.
The British considered Morgan's army a threat to their left flank. General Charles Cornwallis dispatched cavalry commander Tarleton to defeat Morgan's command. Upon learning Morgan's army was not at Ninety Six, bolstered by British reinforcements, set off in hot pursuit of the American detachment. Morgan resolved to make a stand near the Broad River, he selected a position on two low hills in open woodland, with the expectation that the aggressive Tarleton would make a headlong assault without pausing to devise a more intricate plan. He deployed his army in three main lines. Tarleton's army, after exhaustive marching, reached the field malnourished and fatigued. Tarleton attacked immediately; the British lines lost their cohesion. When Morgan's army went on the offensive, it wholly overwhelmed Tarleton's force. Tarleton's brigade was wiped out as an effective fighting force, coupled with the British defeat at King's Mountain in the northwest corner of South Carolina, this action compelled Cornwallis to pursue the main southern American army into North Carolina, leading to the Battle of Guilford Court House, Cornwallis's eventual defeat at the Siege of Yorktown in Virginia in October 1781.
In the opinion of John Marshall, "Seldom has a battle, in which greater numbers were not engaged, been so important in its consequences as that of Cowpens." On October 14, 1780, Continental Army commander General George Washington chose Nathanael Greene, a Rhode Island Quaker officer, to be commander of the Southern Department of the rebel Continental forces. Greene's task was not an easy one. In 1780 the Carolinas had been the scene of a long string of disasters for the Continental Army, the worst being the capture of one American army under Gen. Benjamin Lincoln in May 1780, at the Siege of Charleston; the British took control of this city, the largest in the South and the capital of South Carolina, occupied it. That year another Colonial army, commanded by Gen. Horatio Gates, was destroyed at the Battle of Camden. A victory of Colonial militia over their Loyalist counterparts at the Battle of Kings Mountain on the northwest frontier in October had bought time, but most of South Carolina was still occupied by the British.
When Greene took command, the southern army numbered 2307 men, of whom only 949 were Continental regulars the famous trained "Maryland Line" regiment. On December 3, Brigadier General Daniel Morgan reported for duty to Greene's headquarters at Charlotte, North Carolina. At the start of the Revolution, whose military experience dated to the French and Indian War, had served at the Siege of Boston in 1775, he participated in the 1775 invasion of Canada and its climactic battle, the Battle of Quebec. That battle, on December 31, 1775, ended in Morgan's capture by the British. Morgan was exchanged in January 1777 and placed by George Washington in command of a picked force of 500 trained riflemen, known as Morgan's Riflemen. Morgan and his men played a key role in the 1777 victory at Saratoga along the Hudson River in upstate New York, which proved to be a turning point of the entire war. Bitter after being passed over for promotion and plagued by severe attacks of sciatica, Morgan left the rebel army in 1779.
A year he was promoted to Brigadier General and returned to service in the Southern Department. Greene decided, he made the unconventional decision to divide his army, sending a detachment west of the Catawba River to raise the morale of the locals and find supplies beyond the limited amounts available around Charlotte. Greene gave Morgan command of this wing and instructed him to join with the militia west of the Catawba and take command of them. Morgan headed west on December 21, charged with taking position between the Broad and Pacolet rivers, protecting the civilians in that area, he had 600 men, some 400 of which were Continentals the Marylanders. The rest were Virginia militia. By Christmas Day Morgan had reached the Pacolet River, he was joined by 60 more South Carolina militia led by the experienced guerrilla partisan Andrew Pickens. Other militia from Georgia and the Carolinas joined Morgan's camp. Meanwhile, Lord Cornwallis was planning to return to North Carolina and conduct the invasion that he had postponed after the defeat at Kings Mountain.
Morgan's force represented a threat to his left. Additionally, Cornwallis received incorrect intell
The Art of War
The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise dating from the Late Spring and Autumn Period. The work, attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu, is composed of 13 chapters; each one is devoted to an aspect of warfare. For 1,500 years it was the lead text in an anthology that would be formalised as the Seven Military Classics by Emperor Shenzong of Song in 1080; the Art of War remains the most influential strategy text in East Asian warfare and has influenced both Eastern and Western military thinking, business tactics, legal strategy and beyond. The book contained a detailed explanation and analysis of the Chinese military, from weapons and strategy to rank and discipline. Sun Tzu stressed the importance of intelligence operatives and espionage to the war effort; because Sun Tzu has long been considered to be one of history's finest military tacticians and analysts, his teachings and strategies formed the basis of advanced military training for centuries to come.
The book was translated into French and published in 1772 by the French Jesuit Jean Joseph Marie Amiot. A partial translation into English was attempted by British officer Everard Ferguson Calthrop in 1905 under the title The Book of War; the first annotated English translation was completed and published by Lionel Giles in 1910. Military and political leaders such as the Chinese communist revolutionary Mao Zedong, Japanese daimyō Takeda Shingen, Vietnamese general Vo Nguyen Giap, American military general Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. have drawn inspiration from the book. The Art of War is traditionally attributed to a military general from the late 6th century BC known as "Master Sun", though its earliest parts date to at least 100 years later. Sima Qian's 1st century BC work Records of the Grand Historian, the first of China's 24 dynastic histories, records an early Chinese tradition stating that a text on military matters was written by a "Sun Wu" from the State of Qi, that this text had been read and studied by King Helü of Wu.
This text was traditionally identified with the received Master Sun's Art of War. The conventional view—which is still held in China—was that Sun Wu was a military theorist from the end of the Spring and Autumn period who fled his home state of Qi to the southeastern kingdom of Wu, where he is said to have impressed the king with his ability to train dainty palace ladies in warfare and to have made Wu's armies powerful enough to challenge their western rivals in the state of Chu; the prominent strategist and warlord Cao Cao in the early 3rd century AD authored the earliest known commentary to the Art of War. Cao's preface makes clear that he edited the text and removed certain passages, but the extent of his changes were unclear historically; the Art of War appears throughout the bibliographical catalogs of the Chinese dynastic histories, but listings of its divisions and size varied widely. In the early 20th century, the Chinese writer and reformer Liang Qichao theorized that the text was written in the 4th century BC by Sunzi's purported descendant Sun Bin, as a number of historical sources mention a military treatise he wrote.
Around the 12th century, some scholars began to doubt the historical existence of Sunzi on the grounds that he is not mentioned in the historical classic The Commentary of Zuo, which mentions most of the notable figures from the Spring and Autumn period. The name "Sun Wu" does not appear in any text prior to the Records of the Grand Historian, has been suspected to be a made-up descriptive cognomen meaning "the fugitive warrior": the surname "Sun" is glossed as the related term "fugitive", while "Wu" is the ancient Chinese virtue of "martial, valiant", which corresponds to Sunzi's role as the hero's doppelgänger in the story of Wu Zixu. Unlike Sun Wu, Sun Bin appears to have been an actual person, a genuine authority on military matters, may have been the inspiration for the creation of the historical figure "Sunzi" through a form of euhemerism. In 1972, the Yinqueshan Han slips were discovered in two Han dynasty tombs near the city of Linyi in Shandong Province. Among the many bamboo slip writings contained in the tombs, sealed around 134 and 118 BC were two separate texts, one attributed to "Sunzi", corresponding to the received text, another attributed to Sun Bin, which explains and expands upon the earlier The Art of War by Sunzi.
The Sun Bin text's material overlaps with much of the "Sunzi" text, the two may be "a single, continuously developing intellectual tradition united under the Sun name". This discovery showed that much of the historical confusion was due to the fact that there were two texts that could have been referred to as "Master Sun's Art of War", not one; the content of the earlier text is about one-third of the chapters of the modern The Art of War, their text matches closely. It is now accepted that the earlier The Art of War was completed sometime between 500 and 430 BC; the Art of War is divided into 13 chapters. Detail assessment and planning explores the five fundamental factors and seven elements that determine the outcomes of military engagements. By thinking and comparing these points, a commander can calculate his chances of victory. Habitual deviation from these calculations will ensure failure via improper action; the text stresses that war is a ver
The Zulu are a Bantu ethnic group of Southern Africa and the largest ethnic group in South Africa, with an estimated 10–12 million people living in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Small numbers live in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique; the Zulu were a major clan in what is today Northern KwaZulu-Natal, founded ca. 1709 by Zulu kaMalandela. In the Nguni languages, iZulu means weather. At that time, the area clans. Nguni communities had migrated down Africa's east coast over centuries, as part of the Bantu migrations The Zulu formed a powerful state in 1818 under the leader Shaka. Shaka, as the Zulu King, gained a large amount of power over the tribe; as commander in the army of the powerful Mthethwa Empire, he became leader of his mentor Dingiswayo's paramouncy and united what was once a confederation of tribes into an imposing empire under Zulu hegemony. Zulu expansion was a major factor of the Mfecane. In mid-December of 1878, envoys of the British crown delivered an ultimatum to 11 chiefs representing the then-current king of the Zulu empire, Cetshwayo.
Under the British terms delivered to the Zulu, Cetshwayo would have been required to disband his army and accept British sovereignty. Cetshwayo refused, war between the Zulus and African contingents of the British crown began on January 12th, 1879. Despite an early victory for the Zulus at the Battle of Isandlwana on the 22nd of January, the British fought back and won the Battle at Rorke's Drift, definitively defeated the Zulu army by July at the Battle of Ulundi. After Cetshwayo's capture a month following his defeat, the British divided the Zulu Empire into 13 "kinglets"; the sub-kingdoms fought amongst each other until 1883 when Cetshwayo was reinstated as king over Zululand. This still did not stop the fighting and the Zulu monarch was forced to flee his realm by Zibhebhu, one of the 13 kinglets, supported by Boer mercenaries. Cetshwayo died in February 1884, killed by Zibhebhu's regime, leaving his son, the 15-year-old Dinuzulu, to inherit the throne. In-fighting between the Zulu continued for years, until Zululand was absorbed into the British colony of Natal.
Under apartheid, the homeland of KwaZulu was created for Zulu people. In 1970, the Bantu Homeland Citizenship Act provided that all Zulus would become citizens of KwaZulu, losing their South African citizenship. KwaZulu consisted in what is now KwaZulu-Natal. Hundreds of thousands of Zulu people living on owned "black spots" outside of KwaZulu were dispossessed and forcibly moved to bantustans – worse land reserved for whites contiguous to existing areas of KwaZulu. By 1993 5.2 million Zulu people lived in KwaZulu, 2 million lived in the rest of South Africa. The Chief Minister of KwaZulu, from its creation in 1970 was Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi. In 1994, KwaZulu was joined with the province of Natal. Inkatha YeSizwe means "the crown of the nation". In 1975, Buthelezi revived the Inkatha YaKwaZulu, predecessor of the Inkatha Freedom Party; this organization was nominally a protest movement against apartheid, but held more conservative views than the ANC. For example, Inkatha was opposed to the armed struggle, to sanctions against South Africa.
Inkatha was on good terms with the ANC, but the two organizations came into increasing conflict beginning in 1976 in the aftermath of the Soweto Uprising. The modern Zulu population is evenly distributed in both urban and rural areas. Although KwaZulu-Natal is still their heartland, large numbers have been attracted to the relative economic prosperity of Gauteng province. Indeed, Zulu is the most spoken home language in the province, followed by Sotho; the language of the Zulu people is "isiZulu", a Bantu language. Zulu is the most spoken language in South Africa, where it is an official language. More than half of the South African population are able to understand it, with over 9 million first-language and over 15 million second-language speakers. Many Zulu people speak Xitsonga and others from among South Africa's 11 official languages. Zulus wear a variety of attire, both traditional for ceremonial or culturally celebratory occasions, modern westernized clothing for everyday use; the women engaged, or married.
The men wore a leather belt with two strips of hide hanging down back. Most Zulu people state their beliefs to be Christian; some of the most common churches to which they belong are African Initiated Churches the Zion Christian Church, United African Apostolic Church, although membership of major European Churches, such as the Dutch Reformed and Catholic Churches are common. Many Zulus retain their traditional pre-Christian belief system of ancestor worship in parallel with their Christianity. Zulu religion includes belief in a creator God, above interacting in day-to-day human life, although this belief appears to have originated from efforts by early Christian missionaries to frame the idea of the Christian God in Zulu terms. Traditionally, the more held Zulu belief was in ancestor spirits, who had the power to intervene in people's lives, for good or ill; this belief continues to be widespread among the modern Zulu population. Traditionally, the Zulu recognize several elements to b
Sun Tzu was a Chinese general, military strategist and philosopher who lived in the Eastern Zhou period of ancient China. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, an influential work of military strategy that has affected Western and East Asian philosophy and military thinking, his works focus much more on alternatives to battle, such as stratagem, the use of spies and alternatives to war itself, the making and keeping of alliances, the uses of deceit and a willingness to submit, at least temporarily, to more powerful foes. Sun Tzu is revered in Chinese and East Asian culture as a legendary military figure, his birth name was Sun Wu and he was known outside of his family by his courtesy name Changqing. The name Sun Tzu by which he is best known in the Western World is an honorific which means "Master Sun". Sun Tzu's historicity is uncertain; the Han dynasty historian Sima Qian and other traditional Chinese historians placed him as a minister to King Helü of Wu and dated his lifetime to 544–496 BC.
Modern scholars accepting his historicity place the extant text of The Art of War in the Warring States period based on its style of composition and its descriptions of warfare. Traditional accounts state that the general's descendant Sun Bin wrote a treatise on military tactics titled The Art of War. Since Sun Wu and Sun Bin were referred to as Sun Tzu in classical Chinese texts, some historians believed them identical, prior to the rediscovery of Sun Bin's treatise in 1972. Sun Tzu's work has been employed in East Asian warfare since its composition. During the twentieth century, The Art of War grew in popularity and saw practical use in Western society as well, it continues to influence many competitive endeavors in the world, including culture, politics and sports, as well as modern warfare. The oldest available sources disagree as to; the Spring and Autumn Annals states that Sun Tzu was born in Qi, while Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian states that Sun Tzu was a native of Wu. Both sources agree that Sun Tzu was born in the late Spring and Autumn period and that he was active as a general and strategist, serving king Helü of Wu in the late sixth century BC, beginning around 512 BC.
Sun Tzu's victories inspired him to write The Art of War. The Art of War was one of the most read military treatises in the subsequent Warring States period, a time of constant war among seven ancient Chinese states – Zhao, Qi, Chu, Han and Yan – who fought to control the vast expanse of fertile territory in Eastern China. One of the more well-known stories about Sun Tzu, taken from Sima Qian, illustrates Sun Tzu's temperament as follows: Before hiring Sun Tzu, the King of Wu tested Sun Tzu's skills by commanding him to train a harem of 360 concubines into soldiers. Sun Tzu divided them into two companies, appointing the two concubines most favored by the king as the company commanders; when Sun Tzu first ordered the concubines to face right, they giggled. In response, Sun Tzu said that the general, in this case himself, was responsible for ensuring that soldiers understood the commands given to them, he reiterated the command, again the concubines giggled. Sun Tzu ordered the execution of the king's two favored concubines, to the king's protests.
He explained that if the general's soldiers understood their commands but did not obey, it was the fault of the officers. Sun Tzu said that, once a general was appointed, it was his duty to carry out his mission if the king protested. After both concubines were killed, new officers were chosen to replace them. Afterwards, both companies, now well aware of the costs of further frivolity, performed their maneuvers flawlessly. Sima Qian claimed that Sun Tzu proved on the battlefield that his theories were effective, that he had a successful military career, that he wrote The Art of War based on his tested expertise. However, the Zuozhuan, a historical text written centuries earlier than the Shiji, provides a much more detailed account of the Battle of Boju, but does not mention Sun Tzu at all. Beginning around the 12th century, some scholars began to doubt the historical existence of Sun Tzu on the grounds that he is not mentioned in the historical classic Zuo zhuan, which mentions most of the notable figures from the Spring and Autumn period.
The name "Sun Wu" does not appear in any text prior to the Shiji, may have been a made-up descriptive cognomen meaning "the fugitive warrior": the surname "Sun" can be glossed as the related term "fugitive", while "Wu" is the ancient Chinese virtue of "martial, valiant", which corresponds to Sun Tzu's role as the hero's doppelgänger in the story of Wu Zixu. The only historical battle attributed to Sun Tzu, the Battle of Boju, has no record of him fighting in that battle. Skeptics cite possible historical inaccuracies and anachronisms in the text, that the book was a compilation from different authors and military strategists. Attribution of the authorship of The Art of War varies among scholars and has included people and movements including Sun. Sun Bin appears to have been an actual person, a genuine authority on military matters, may have been the inspiration for the creation of the historical figure "Sun Tzu" through a form of euhemerism; the name Sun Wu does appear in sources such as the Shiji and the Wu Yue Chunqiu, but were written centuries after Sun Tzu's era.
The use of the strips in other works however, such as The Methods of the Sima is considered proof of Sun Tzu's historical priority. Accordin
Alexander the Great
Alexander III of Macedon known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of 20, he spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, by the age of thirty he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history's most successful military commanders. During his youth, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until age 16. After Philip's assassination in 336 BC, he succeeded his father to the throne and inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. Alexander was awarded the generalship of Greece and used this authority to launch his father's pan-Hellenic project to lead the Greeks in the conquest of Persia. In 334 BC, he began a series of campaigns that lasted 10 years. Following the conquest of Anatolia, Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles, most notably the battles of Issus and Gaugamela.
He subsequently overthrew Persian King Darius III and conquered the Achaemenid Empire in its entirety. At that point, his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River, he endeavored to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea" and invaded India in 326 BC, winning an important victory over the Pauravas at the Battle of the Hydaspes. He turned back at the demand of his homesick troops. Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, the city that he planned to establish as his capital, without executing a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in the establishment of several states ruled by the Diadochi, Alexander's surviving generals and heirs. Alexander's legacy includes the cultural diffusion and syncretism which his conquests engendered, such as Greco-Buddhism, he founded some twenty cities. Alexander's settlement of Greek colonists and the resulting spread of Greek culture in the east resulted in a new Hellenistic civilization, aspects of which were still evident in the traditions of the Byzantine Empire in the mid-15th century AD and the presence of Greek speakers in central and far eastern Anatolia until the 1920s.
Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mold of Achilles, he features prominently in the history and mythic traditions of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. He became the measure against which military leaders compared themselves, military academies throughout the world still teach his tactics, he is ranked among the most influential people in history. Alexander was born on the sixth day of the ancient Greek month of Hekatombaion, which corresponds to 20 July 356 BC, although the exact date is disputed, in Pella, the capital of the Kingdom of Macedon, he was the son of the king of Macedon, Philip II, his fourth wife, the daughter of Neoptolemus I, king of Epirus. Although Philip had seven or eight wives, Olympias was his principal wife for some time because she gave birth to Alexander. Several legends surround Alexander's childhood. According to the ancient Greek biographer Plutarch, on the eve of the consummation of her marriage to Philip, Olympias dreamed that her womb was struck by a thunder bolt that caused a flame to spread "far and wide" before dying away.
Sometime after the wedding, Philip is said to have seen himself, in a dream, securing his wife's womb with a seal engraved with a lion's image. Plutarch offered a variety of interpretations of these dreams: that Olympias was pregnant before her marriage, indicated by the sealing of her womb. Ancient commentators were divided about whether the ambitious Olympias promulgated the story of Alexander's divine parentage, variously claiming that she had told Alexander, or that she dismissed the suggestion as impious. On the day Alexander was born, Philip was preparing a siege on the city of Potidea on the peninsula of Chalcidice; that same day, Philip received news that his general Parmenion had defeated the combined Illyrian and Paeonian armies, that his horses had won at the Olympic Games. It was said that on this day, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, burnt down; this led Hegesias of Magnesia to say that it had burnt down because Artemis was away, attending the birth of Alexander.
Such legends may have emerged when Alexander was king, at his own instigation, to show that he was superhuman and destined for greatness from conception. In his early years, Alexander was raised by a nurse, sister of Alexander's future general Cleitus the Black. In his childhood, Alexander was tutored by the strict Leonidas, a relative of his mother, by Lysimachus of Acarnania. Alexander was raised in the manner of noble Macedonian youths, learning to read, play the lyre, ride and hunt; when Alexander was ten years old, a trader from Thessaly brought Philip a horse, which he offered to sell for thirteen talents. The horse refused to be mounted, Philip ordered it away. Alexander however, detecting the horse's fear of its own shadow, asked to tame the horse, which he managed. Plutarch stated that Philip, overjoyed at this display of courage and ambition, kissed his son tearfully, declaring: "My boy, you must find a kingdom big enough for your ambitions. Macedon is too small for you", an
Carl Gustav Rehnskiöld
Count Carl Gustav Rehnskiöld was a Swedish Field Marshal and Royal Councilor. He was King Charles XII's mentor and chief military advisor, served as deputy commander-in-chief of the Carolean Army, an army he assisted both in its education and development. Rehnskiöld grew up in Swedish Pomerania and studied at Lund University under philosopher Samuel von Pufendorf, he entered Swedish war service in 1673 and participated with distinction in the battles of Halmstad and Landskrona during the Scanian War, where he was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel and Adjutant-General. After the war, he was commander of several regiments and tutor to Duke Frederick IV during the Nine Year’s War, Governor-General of Scania. In the Great Northern War he was Charles XII's right-hand man in the operative organization of the Carolean Army and drafted the battle plans for the landing at Humlebæk and for the battles of Narva, Düna and Kliszów. In the battle of Fraustadt in 1706, with his own independent army, he decisively defeated a Saxon-Russian Army under the command of Field Marshal Schulenburg.
For his services, Rehnskiöld was appointed the title of Count. During Charles XII's campaign against Russia, Rehnskiöld commanded the battle of Holowczyn and the siege of Veprik, where he was injured. After Charles XII was incapacitated by a bullet wound, Rehnskiöld replaced him as commander-in-chief of the Swedish Army during the battle of Poltava in 1709, where it suffered a decisive defeat. After the battle, Rehnskiöld became a prisoner of war in Russia and spent the years in captivity together with Count Carl Piper by running a management office in Moscow to assist the other Swedish prisoners of war. Rehnskiöld was exchanged in 1718 and arrived at the siege of Fredriksten just before Charles XII was shot to death. Rehnskiöld served as commander in western Sweden and, suffering from an old shrapnel injury, died in 1722. Rehnskiöld was born on 6 August 1651 in Stralsund in Swedish Pomerania, his parents were the government councilor of Pomerania, Gerdt Antoniison Rehnskiöld Keffenbrinck, Birgitta Torskeskål, niece of Baron Johan Adler Salvius.
Keffenbrinck's descendants came from Westphalia, their seat was the castle of Rehne in the northern part of the Münsterland province. Gerdt Rehnskiöld served as a scribe in Kammarkollegium, as the authorized representative of the Crown at King Gustavus Adolphus' administrative entourage during the King's military campaign in Germany. Thanks to his efforts in the maintenance of the Swedish troops during the Thirty Years War, he became a naturalized Swedish nobleman in 1639 by Queen Kristina and adopted the name Rehnskiöld after his family seat, he was awarded the Griebenow and Hohenwarth estates in Pomerania, as well as Stensättra farm in Södermanland. In 1640, the Rehnskiöld family was introduced in the House of Nobility at number 270. Carl Gustav Rehnskiöld was the eighth of the Rehnskiölds' eleven children. After his father's death in 1658, Carl Gustav had two sisters; the government councilor Philip Christoff von der Lancken and the regional councilor Joachim Cuhn von Owstien, both close friends to Gerdt Rehnskiöld before his death, received custody over the five siblings.
The siblings suffered from financial hardship due to Gerdt’s money problems during the latter part of his life, because of inheritance disputes between the five siblings and Gerdt Rehnskiöld's third wife and widow Anna Catharina Gärffelt. The guardians had granted her Birgitta Rehnskiöld's family jewelry and 14,000 riksdaler from the heritage; as a result, the siblings complained about their guardians' way of treating them and wrote several letters of complaint to the Swedish government. Carl Gustav Rehnskiöld's brother-in-law Anders Appelman came to participate more in the upbringing of the five siblings, gave funds to Carl Gustav's and his brothers' continued education. Carl Gustav Rehnskiöld undertook home education and entered Lund University at the age of 20. Here he studied theology, history and philosophy, he participated in lectures with historian and philosopher Samuel von Pufendorf, who took notice of the keen student and offered individual lessons under his tutelage. Pufendorf left a lasting impression.
Rehnskiöld re-wrote Pufendorf's work Einleitung zur Historie der vornehmsten Reichen und Staaten in Europa, provided the manuscript with Pufendorf's personal comments, kept it for the remainder of his life. Rehnskiöld joined the Swedish Army at the age of 22, in 1673 obtained a commission as Ensign at Captain Reinhold Anrep's company in the Närke-Värmland Regiment. In the following year, he was appointed Lieutenant at the Queen Dowager of the Realm's Horse Life Regiment. In July 1675, he transferred to the Uppland Regiment, on 12 February 1676 he became an officer of the prestigious Life Guards. During the early stages of the Scanian War, Rehnskiöld served at sea with a company of the Life Guards, he was commanded ashore and, during the night between 31 July and 1 August 1676, he carried out his first military operation at Tostebro. Along with parts of his company he conquered a Danish entrenched position after a short battle; when informed of this, King Charles XI made him Captain of the Life Guards, with whom he participated in the battle of Halmstad on 17 August 1676.
Back in the Horse Life Regiment, this time as ryttmästare, Rehnskiöld participated in the battle of Lund. After his squadron commander was wounded during the battle, Rehnskiöld replaced him and lead his squadron against the enemy. Charles XI was impressed by Rehnskiöld's bravery, promoting him on the battlefield to Ma