History Main / TheSpartanWay

1st Feb '16 9:12:20 AM SantosLHalper
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Natter
* Sparta was kind enough to donate their name for the trope... and hilariously serves as a {{deconstruction}} of it at the same time, which also [[UnbuiltTrope unbuilds the trope]]. Spartan training had so many washouts that, regardless of how badass individual soldiers were, an army of a few thousand elites couldn't cover much territory, suffered huge blows if even a few hundred warriors were killed, and took far too long to replace losses. Sparta actually didn't fight that many wars, and mostly spent its time putting down slave revolts or raiding weaker neighbors for slaves. On top of that, all the Spartans fielded were hoplite phalanxes, leaving them at the mercy of ''psiloi'', peltasts or cavalry, which could harass the Spartans into exhaustion or outflank them. All that training and rippling muscle won't do you much good when some weedy Theban can put a javelin through your leg from 30 meters away. The Spartan inflexibility and refusal to innovate cost them the Battle of Sphacteria (425 BCE) ''without a single enemy casualty''. Military training was more an ideal in Sparta than a practical application - they almost didn't want to go to war, for fear of ruining their "perfect" system. ** It should be kept in mind that the despite the Spartan's historic reputation was warriors, their system evolved primarily as a ''defensive'' mechanism. Sparta was essentially a society of MasterRace and SlaveRace. The problem being that their subject peoples ''greatly'' outnumbered actual full citizens. Thus a militaristic ProudWarriorRace was necessary to keep the rest of the population subservient. This meant that, for all their fierce reputation, the Spartans were better trained at beating down local civilians than engaging in extended military campaigns far from home. In many ways, their warriors were far too over-specialized, and also could not stray far from Sparta, since their main role was to keep the helots in line. This was sharply contrasted by others, especially the Athenians and later the Macedonians, who fielded larger, less specialized forces that could strike far from their home turf, allowing for conquest and colonization. *** Indeed, it can even be argued that one aspect of Spartan training - denying boys sufficient food, and beating them if they were caught stealing any more - was ''specifically'' designed for slave-suppression. After all, withholding teenagers' food wouldn't help them grow into big strong fighters, but obliging them to swipe it ''would'' make them very savvy to how rebellious helots would go about stealing supplies and weapons for use in revolt. ** Despite the problems with the system (which were endemic amongst *all* the Greek cities), it was still highly effective, and recognized as such by all the other Greek states: contemporary Greek historians noted that Spartan soldiers were often worth a multiple of the soldiers of other cities (as in, one Spartan was equivalent to three non-Spartan Hoplites), largely due to their superior training, equipment, and discipline. In fact, the 'invincible' military of Sparta only collapsed when the Spartan population shrunk so severely that it couldn't use its best formations, leading to a decline that was ultimately punctuated by the expanded role of light infantry and cavalry leading up to Alexander the Great. Even after Sparta's decline, no other Greek state dominated the battlefield for such an extended period (at least over 200 years). In fact, a fair number of historians believe that the oversea Greek colonies were initially established because moving *entire villages* of people proved more effective than trying to defend their homes against Sparta.
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* Sparta was kind enough to donate their name for the trope... and hilariously serves as a {{deconstruction}} of it at the same time, which also [[UnbuiltTrope unbuilds the trope]]. Spartan training had so many washouts that, regardless of how badass individual soldiers were, an army of a few thousand elites couldn't cover much territory, suffered huge blows if even a few hundred warriors were killed, and took far too long to replace losses. Sparta actually didn't fight that many wars, and mostly spent its time putting down slave revolts or raiding weaker neighbors for slaves. On top of that, all the Spartans fielded were hoplite phalanxes, leaving them at the mercy of ''psiloi'', peltasts or cavalry, which could harass the Spartans into exhaustion or outflank them. All that training and rippling muscle won't do you much good when some weedy Theban can put a javelin through your leg from 30 meters away. The Spartan inflexibility and refusal to innovate cost them the Battle of Sphacteria (425 BCE) ''without a single enemy casualty''. Military training was more an ideal in Sparta than a practical application - they almost didn't want to go to war, for fear of ruining their "perfect" system. ** It should be kept in mind that the despite the Spartan's historic reputation was warriors, their system evolved primarily as a ''defensive'' mechanism. Sparta was essentially a society of MasterRace and SlaveRace. The problem being that their subject peoples ''greatly'' outnumbered actual full citizens. Thus a militaristic ProudWarriorRace was necessary to keep the rest of the population subservient. This meant that, for all their fierce reputation, the Spartans were better trained at beating down local civilians than engaging in extended military campaigns far from home. In many ways, their warriors were far too over-specialized, and also could not stray far from Sparta, since their main role was to keep is of course the helots in line. This was sharply contrasted by others, especially TropeNamer and the Athenians and TropeMaker. They did suffer from BadassDecay in later the Macedonians, who fielded larger, less specialized forces that could strike far from their home turf, allowing for conquest and colonization. *** Indeed, it can even be argued that one aspect of Spartan training - denying boys sufficient food, and beating them if they were caught stealing any more - was ''specifically'' designed for slave-suppression. After all, withholding teenagers' food wouldn't help them grow into big strong fighters, but obliging them to swipe it ''would'' make them very savvy to how rebellious helots would go about stealing supplies and weapons for use in revolt. ** Despite the problems with the system (which were endemic amongst *all* the Greek cities), it was still highly effective, and recognized as such by all the other Greek states: contemporary Greek historians noted that Spartan soldiers were often worth a multiple of the soldiers of other cities (as in, one Spartan was equivalent to three non-Spartan Hoplites), largely due to their superior training, equipment, and discipline. In fact, the 'invincible' military of Sparta only collapsed when the Spartan population shrunk so severely that it couldn't use its best formations, leading to a decline that was ultimately punctuated by the expanded role of light infantry and cavalry leading up to Alexander the Great. Even after Sparta's decline, no other Greek state dominated the battlefield for such an extended period (at least over 200 years). In fact, a fair number of historians believe that the oversea Greek colonies were initially established because moving *entire villages* of people proved more effective than trying to defend their homes against Sparta. years, though.
29th Jan '16 5:36:49 PM nombretomado
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* In the SvenHassel WW2 novel ''Monte Cassino'' the 27th Penal Panzer Regiment is commanded by Major Mike Braun, a German-American and former US Marine.
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* In the SvenHassel Creator/SvenHassel WW2 novel ''Monte Cassino'' the 27th Penal Panzer Regiment is commanded by Major Mike Braun, a German-American and former US Marine.
10th Jan '16 4:46:35 PM KillerClowns
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* ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' plans for spartan training in a pit
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* ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' plans for spartan training in a pit''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'', brutal as it is, has some examples:

** then there is Dwarven "Child Care",It's like regular childcare, except with more dogs, and less care. Just dump the children in a pit and add dogs and food from time to time.
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** then there is The [[Community/DwarfFortress infamous community]]'s version of Dwarven "Child Care",It's Care". "It's like regular childcare, except with more dogs, and less care. Just dump the care." The basic version is dumping children in a pit and add small pits with irritable, semi-feral dogs and food from time food, though more dementedly sophisticated methods have been dreamed up in the forums to time.instill physical toughness and psychological numbness.
28th Dec '15 4:29:36 PM eroock
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[[quoteright:350:[[Film/ThreeHundred http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_spartan_way10.jpg]]]]
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[[quoteright:350:[[Film/ThreeHundred http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_spartan_way10.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_spartan_way2.jpg]]]]

->''The big difference between "SEAL training" and "Attempted Homicide" is that with an attempted homicide you don't expect the guy to survive and escape.'' -->--'''BadassOfTheWeek''' on [[http://badassoftheweek.com/sealteamsix.html the US Navy SEALs]]
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->''The ->''"The big difference between "SEAL training" 'SEAL training' and "Attempted Homicide" 'Attempted Homicide' is that with an attempted homicide you don't expect the guy to survive and escape.'' -->--'''BadassOfTheWeek''' "'' -->-- '''BadassOfTheWeek''' on [[http://badassoftheweek.com/sealteamsix.html the US Navy SEALs]]
28th Dec '15 4:27:54 PM eroock
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[[quoteright:350:[[Film/ThreeHundred http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_spartan_way.jpg]]]]
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[[quoteright:350:[[Film/ThreeHundred http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_spartan_way.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_spartan_way10.jpg]]]]
28th Dec '15 4:26:21 PM eroock
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[[quoteright:300:[[Film/ThreeHundred http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/maxresdefault_9468.jpg]]]] [[caption-width-right:300:[[SarcasmMode So easy, a child could do it!]]]]
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[[quoteright:300:[[Film/ThreeHundred [[quoteright:350:[[Film/ThreeHundred http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/maxresdefault_9468.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_spartan_way.jpg]]]] [[caption-width-right:300:[[SarcasmMode [[caption-width-right:350:[[SarcasmMode So easy, a child could do it!]]]]
9th Dec '15 1:42:02 PM ecuvulle6267
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* ''Film/TheHungerGames'': Implied with District 2.
5th Dec '15 4:55:09 AM NozzDogg
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* The Maduri caste of ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'''s Mars traditionally form its entire military force. They live incredibly hard lives from a very young age and continue to do so, despite being one of the higher castes in traditional society.
26th Nov '15 10:53:24 PM lorgskyegon
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* The StarTrek book series ''StarTrekKlingonEmpire'' establishes this as the way the Klingon Empire trains their soldiers. One task has the soldier dropped off on an ice sheet on [[StarTrekVITheUndiscoveredCountry Rura Penthe]] with no supplies or weapons and told to walk to the base at the north pole. [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption One that doesn't actually exist.]] This is in addition to any training Klingons receive from the own families, which likely include some very harsh parenting techniques.
25th Nov '15 7:45:04 AM Chabal2
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* The Greek text ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deipnosophistae Deipnosophistae]]'' ("the dinner philosophers") features an example of TheSpartanWay as applied to table manners: A Spartan was invited to a seafood banquet featuring urchins. Not being familiar with how they're eaten (and not about to ask one of those pansy-ass Athenians), he ''puts one in his mouth and starts chewing''. --> "What detestable food! [[MasochistsMeal I will not now be so effeminate as to eject it]], but I will never take it again."
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