The event was notice the Muslim world, however, and the following is from an Arab chronicle. The Moslems smote their enemies, and passed the river Garonne, and laid waste the country, and took captives without number. And that army went through all places like a desolating storm. Prosperity made those warriors insatiable. At the passage of the river, Abderrahman overthrew the count, and the count retired into his stronghold, but the Moslems fought against it, and entered it by force, and slew the count; for everything gave way to their scimitars, which were the robbers of lives.
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All the nations of the Franks trembled at that terrible army, and they betook them to their king Caldus [Charles Martel], and told him of the havoc made by the Moslem horsemen, and bow they rode at their will through all the land of Narbonne, Toulouse, and Bordeaux, and they told the king of the death of their count.
Then the king bade them be of good cheer, and offered to aid them.
He mounted his horse, and he took with him a host that could not be numbered, and went against the Moslems. And he came upon them at the great city of Tours. And Abderrahman and other prudent cavaliers saw the disorder of the Moslem troops, who were loaded with spoil; but they did not venture to displease the soldiers by ordering them to abandon everything except their arms and war-horses. And Abderrahman trusted in the valour of his soldiers, and in the good fortune which had ever attended him.
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It was at Auschwitz II, at Birkenau, This Day In History. In battles against the peoples of Asia, Africa, and the New World, tribal and imperial alike, there is a shared legacy over the centuries that allowed Europeans and Americans to win in a consistent and deadly manner -- or to be defeated on rare occasions only when the enemy embraced their own military organizations, borrowed their weapons, or trapped them far from home.
After Thermopylae, and with the exception of the Moors in Spain and Mongols in Eastern Europe, there is virtually no example of a non-Western military defeating Europeans in Europe with non-European weapons. From the fighting of early Greece to the wars of the entire twentieth century, there is a certain continuity of European military practice.
An examination of these battles shall show, throughout the long evolution of Western warfare there has existed more or less a common core of practices that reappears generation after generation This, 2,year tradition explains not only why Western forces have overcome great odds to defeat their adversaries but also their uncanny ability to project power well beyond the shores of Europe and America.
Numbers, location, food, health, weather, religion -- the usual factors that govern the success or failure of wars -- have ultimately done little to impede Western armies, whose larger culture has allowed them to trump man and nature alike. Even the tactical brilliance of a Hannibal has been to no avail. First, for nearly a thousand years BC to AD the military dominance of the West was unquestioned , as the relatively tiny states of Greece and Italy exercised military supremacy over their far larger and more populous neighbors. But in making his sweeping assertion Hanson also commits one of the worst faults of a historian by throwing out some straw men.
Here are Hanson's favorites:.
Battle of Tours
But for the sake of argument, and because they illustrate his technique wonderfully, let us just focus upon two of those exceptions that he cited no fewer than four times in the book, Adrianople and Manzikert. Adrianople was the site of a battle between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Goths. The Roman Emperor was killed during the battle, and the Goths moved on. A generation later they would invade the Western Roman Empire and sack Rome.
File:Steuben - Bataille de Poitiers.png
Adrianople is now the Turkish town of Erdine. In A.
The Goths, according to modern scholarship, seem to have had only around 12,, Unless you include the Goths' women and young children, who were also nearby in their wagons, and which would boost their numbers immensely. Because although he hides the fact from his non-historian readers by changing the name of the empire, his other example Manzikert was also fought by the Eastern Roman Empire, only by then they are depicted as the Byzantines. That second battle took place in By the way, Mr.
Hanson, if you are reading this, please note that although you refer to the Roman Emperor defeated at Adrianople in as Valerian pg. Hanson's second example, Manzikert, though it would be a slow march to get there, is about the same distance from the capital at Constantinople as Taranto, Italy, is from Genoa, Italy.
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And, unlike what Hanson would have his readers believe, the odds between the armies were just about even there too, though that apparently did not matter all that much. Modern scholarship suggests that the Byzantines did not lose as many men as earlier historians thought. In fact, it appears, physical loses were nearly negligible from an Empire standpoint.
What was destructive about this battle was the resultant loss of alliances for the Byzantines thereafter, and in that respect you could say that after this battle, the Empire started to crumble.
The Battle of Tours | National Review
Why, the Byzantine Empire only had a couple hundred more years about the same distance in time between us and the war of left after that. But despite Hanson's attempt to determine which battles are considered, the reality is that there were plenty of examples of the West being beaten, regularly, on home turf, during that 1,year gap in Hanson's evidence. Does anyone remember Attila the Hun? By the mids Attila was leading raiding parties of his Huns out of their new home base in what is now Hungary and into Western Europe.
Yet here we have Attila, who began to rampage and was soon burning out the Romans and the Franks in The Mongols, I should note, were not to arrive for about another years. Hanson's assertion may be because he does not know the difference between the Mongols and the Huns, but they are two completely different peoples, I assure you. In the process he and his raiding army defeated every Western force in their path, using decidedly non-European weapons and techniques, and in alone they sacked and burned the following European cities: Mainz, Cologne, Tournai, Amiens, Beauvais, they apparently skipped Trier , Metz, Reims, Worms, and Strasbourg, before turning back.
Attila later fought a rearguard fight during his withdrawal at a place near Chalons, in France. And that was just France. He really let Italy have it, and indeed that is why Venice was built on a swampy island in a lagoon: People were trying to get out of the way. Yet Hanson skips all of these, just as pretty much 1, years of history is skipped, fairly obviously because it is inconvenient. By sea. He does cede that the Muslim armies took Spain, but glosses over the fact that they then held it, a country in the heart of Europe, for more than years.
Similarly, he completely ignores Sicily and Corsica. Instead, he focused on the Crusades to make a point. Yet in the 8th, 9th and 10th centuries, the Muslim armies took to the sea and did just that, they conquered both places, sending army after army it took 75 years of reinforcements to conquer Sicily despite Mr.
Hanson's assertions, and once completely subjugated, held them for longer than the Crusader states existed in the Middle East.
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Oh, and they did this with infantry-based armies. No military historian I've ever met disagrees with a general thesis that culture contributed to, if not overwhelmingly influenced, the expansion of the West to dominate the planet from, generically speaking, the s or s depending upon who is your favorite. Culture does matter in many ways. It colors your decisions about everything from equipment to logistics to your military philosophy.
There are a lot of good books that deal with these ideas, in parts and in whole, I strongly recommend reading some of them. But as for Carnage and Culture , eh, not so much. Indeed, in his distortions, obfuscations, and general torturing of the facts in order to arrive at his preconceived thesis, Hanson is on par with historian-turned-polemicist Howard Zinn.
If you do not know of Zinn, do not regret.