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DeVaul

Well, the trailer above has only convinced me even more not to watch this movie. I am sure it would make a great cartoon, but it is just way too inaccurate to be taken seriously. That is too bad because this battle really happened -- just not the way they show it in Hollywood.

The hoplites (Greek citizen soldiers, like the Spartans) were heavily armoured for that time period. They had bronze helmets, bronze shields, and bronze breastplates with long spears at a minimum. They were considered heavy infantry, and their phalanx formation was impossible to penetrate by poorly armed Persians with wicker shields and light swords unless they could surround the hoplites. That is why Thermopylae was chosen as a first line of defense. A small, heavily armoured force of 1300 men could defend it quite easily.

The movie portrays the Spartans as naked savages, not highly trained hoplites, and the Persians are comparable to orcs. I also doubt Xerses dressed like a drag queen.

This movie appears to be heavily influenced by modern cartoons with slo-mo flying scenes and grotesqe monsters trash talking each other. Not worth a day's pay to watch.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Yes, isn't it all so sad?


The Hoplites were very careful, systematic fighters. Grim. I used to train in their art form: no heroics. Unless the commander asks for it. Unit cohesion is a must. And you move fowards only if you have to and the goal is to flank someone, not run straight into them.


Flanking moves are most useful when you move the other side into exposing their opposite flank to some horsemen- ie, light infantry that is very swift moving. Pincher actions are fun. I have played both roles (including being the commander, of course)


My spear was named 'Liebestod': Love ya to death in German. It was a wonderful tool for tagging people if handled correctly. Ah, those were fun days in one's youth. I will note the Spartans retired at 55. I can see why. My right arm really gets gimpy these days.

cha

Are you really saying that the US army was the best of the world at a particular point in time. The only war the US won against an enemy in the same league was against Japan and that took nukes. (The US was a junior partner against Germany, lost against the reds in Russia and Korea, Vietnam wasn't exactly a success story and Iraq is a complete disaster)

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Our military is a mess but only in the sense that all militaries are a mess when they are run by corrupt empires. This is why Xerxes lost against the much weaker (money-wise) Greeks.

This is our danger. And why I find these movies disturbing.

JSmith

"My aircraft aluminum shield was nearly indestructible but it weighed a lot more."

So much for historical accuracy... Did the Normans have aircraft aluminum at Hastings?

"Well, the trailer above has only convinced me even more not to watch this movie. I am sure it would make a great cartoon, but it is just way too inaccurate to be taken seriously."

It's only a movie - a way to piss away a couple of hours of spare time. You're not supposed to take it seriously.

"The Hoplites were very careful, systematic fighters. Grim. I used to train in their art form: no heroics."

The Iliad portrays a much earlier period of isolated combats between individual champions. Which was probably much more fun.

"Are you really saying that the US army was the best of the world at a particular point in time. The only war the US won against an enemy in the same league was against Japan and that took nukes."

There's an alternative school of thought which holds that we nuked Japan after they were already beaten.

JSmith

Oh, yeah...

"Fantasy Movie About Thermopylae Enrages Iran"

Who cares?

DeVaul

Smith, I have it on good authority that aircraft aluminum was, in fact, available to the Normans, although only the very rich could afford it.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Smith, the Spartans were not at Troy. It was the Myceans.


And they fought the earlier style; chariots and one on one.

JSmith

No shit, Sherlock - that's what I said!

DeVaul

Things are not looking good for this month:

1) The king decrees more troops

2) A hugely expensive US battle fleet still sits out at sea awaiting "something"

3) On March 8th, Israel told all its citizens to get out of all Muslim countries right away and not to travel to 40 countries

4) Israel has nuclear weapons and decrees that no other state nearby may have them

5) Iran passed a law outlawing the use of the dollar inside Iran beginning March 21st -- other countries pass similar laws

6) Iran will begin selling oil for euros sometime around March 21st

7) Russia continues to refuse to deliver nuclear fuel in violation of its contract with Iran -- which has not been terminated

8) CONGRESS HAS JUST REMOVED A PROVISION REGUIRING CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL TO ATTACK ANOTHER COUNTRY FROM THE LATEST MILITARY SPENDING BILL -- NO REAL EXPLANATION GIVEN

I have a very bad feeling about this month.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Thanks for the developing info, DeVaul. I was away nearly all day and couldn't seek this information myself.


You are most helpful.

Judah

I saw the movie, it was terrible. The 'Spartans' wore cheesy looking bikini briefs with bare chests, a helmet, and circular shields. No other armor except a crimson cloak that dragged yet was never muddy, but they carried a sword and spear.

They constantly broke the phalanx formation to hotdog one on one with opposing forces (in bullet time) and threw both swords and spears to the point where they stupidly disarmed themselves.

I thought it was perhaps, the stupidest movie I had ever seen.

DeVaul

You are welcome, Elaine. Glad I could be of help, but I do not really like to be the bearer of bad news, and this news makes my stomach hurt.

As for the movie, I did not think it would be worth watching. Sorry you lost your money, but at least you know what we do not.

Just based on the trailers, it did not look very entertaining (with that I will throw a frickin bone to Smith and admit that I also don't care if the Iranians liked it or not). The hero, and he was a hero, is pictured growling and baring his teeth like an orc. Not very noble.

I wish I could see a more accurate movie based on this battle because the real deal was quite extraordinary and King Leonid spoke some great words to the Persians, many of which form the mottos for various Greek military units even to this very day.

JSmith

"I will throw a frickin bone to Smith and admit that I also don't care if the Iranians liked it or not"

Why, thank you, Devaul.

"I wish I could see a more accurate movie based on this battle..."

When I was a kid, I used to like "300 Spartans" - haven't seen it for decades though.

http://imdb.com/title/tt0055719/

Elaine Meinel Supkis

That movie was fun, Smith. But as an adult, I find the propaganda voice-over to be extremely amusing.

JSmith

"I was infamous in the SCA ..."

I bet you were! But I have a question...

In those quasi-historical battles, are you allowed to hone a real edge on those swords, axes, etc.? I would think a battle would be a lot more interesting if you bashed someone's shield with an axe and it came through on the other side.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Both my husband and I broke our arms fighting. I was wearing a heavy gage steel arm-protection, too. It was badly bent.

JSmith

But no edges, right? A broken arm is one thing - a severed one, quite another (which was a fairly common ancient battlefield injury). That sort of thing could sour one on historical re-enactment.

Another thing I would pay money to see would be a Civil War re-enactment using real grapeshot. I've read accounts of what grapeshot could do to advancing infantry - but seeing is believing!

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