BUSAN, South Korea – For four centuries, Greek city-states fought in a heavy infantry formation known as a phalanx. Armed with spears and shields, these soldiers often operated with the help of little or no cavalry and limited amounts of archers and skirmishers. Not exactly the modern day night-vision-kevlar-protected-plutonium-tipped-predator-remote-control-overhead-taking-potshot warfare that soldiers go into battle with today. This was mano y mano, baby. And Greeks were a heck of a lot more fierce than they were the other night on the soccer field against South Korea.
At any rate, the war game is being organized by local expat, Karl Randall as part of a Masters in Classical History at the American Military University, in Manassas, Virginia. Randall is looking for as many as 50 volunteers to spend a few hours doing some marching drills, a bit of individual and small group spear practice and a full scale mini-battle that involves shield pushing to bring to life a battle of how the second rank used their spears over the shoulders of the first rank to reach the opposing line.
The re-enactment will take place Saturday, June 19th, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Kyungsung University Campus, in the construction quarry, which is located halfway up the main road on campus. Cold refreshments will be provided for participants, and you will be able to keep the mock spears and shields should you wish to do battle with people blocking the exit doors on the subway.
There will also be a raffle for 15 hamburger dinners, courtesy of Sunset Lounge, in Haeundae. (Little known is the fact that Greek soldiers thrived on hamburgers and coleslaw).
Randall, a 15 year expat in Busan, has always had a love of history, and has built numerous ancient weapons over the years. For this experiment, he is hoping to gain more insight into various techniques used by Greek soldiers. “I hope to provide a fresh take on things by actually trying it out in person rather than relying on only written sources. I’m hoping to get 50 to 60 volunteers to help me out,” he said.
Both men and women are welcome to participate, although participation in the mock “combat” portion will be limited to those who can supply a full-face protection item, such as a motorcycle helmet, a fencing mask or a Gum-do mask. Spectators are more than welcome to watch the events take place.
If you are interested, you can contact Karl Randall at 010.2504.2287 or E-mail him directly at email@example.com