Does toughness still matter???

Nov 2019
138
Memphis TN
Anyone familiar with hardcore history may catch a recognizable whiff or familiarity.. just to give credit where it is due.


Does the toughness of your societies individuals and society as a whole matter anymore militarily???


Anyone familiar with modern and ancient historians will recognize the ,

“Wooden shoes walk up stairs , while silk shoes walk down”

philosophy that many historians had and some still have..

That roughneck cultures (wooden shoe) conquer empires. Get soft off the wealth and start wearing silk shoes. Then lose the empire to some other roughneck group because they got soft.... and this cycle at least seemly did seem to apply to quite a few empires....

There are definitely plenty of ancient historical examples of when one army was outnumbered and sometimes out gunned, but was just tougher than the other guy..


But there are no modern examples.. I think gunpowder weapons finally (150 years ago lol) made toughness irrelevant..

A perfect example are the horse tribes of the Eurasian steppes..

For all of recorded history, every few hundred years some charismatic leader would unite the tribes and those tough as a coffin nail jokers would just stomp the dog poop out of anyone who wanted some..

And everything from European knights, to Muslims, to Chinese and Japanese samurai too ...no one could mess with their totally mounted armies, Parthian shot and just how tough the average one was after being raised on the brutally harsh steppes..

Well all that need once guns became established... they went from unstoppable to irrelevant in 1.2 seconds..

This has led me to believe that toughness no longer matters... technology has finally made it basically a nonissue.







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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,779
Dispargum
Is toughness physical or psychological?

I think societies and states that are relatively poor but ambitious and hungry for greatness still do better over the long run than do societies and states that are rich and content.
 
Nov 2019
138
Memphis TN
Is toughness physical or psychological?

I think societies and states that are relatively poor but ambitious and hungry for greatness still do better over the long run than do societies and states that are rich and content.
Both.

That is the wooden shoe/silk shoe theory, which is contrasted with the “trends and forces” theory that says it is largely environmental.. was there a plague or disaster, exc..


Don’t you think those in Afghanistan are tougher than your average US soldier.. by a country mile????

Is it helping them any???

I don’t think it is.. maybe prolonging the inevitable


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Nov 2016
1,343
Germany
I suspect that toughness is overly heroized here and the cruel aspect of warfare is lost in these reflections.

This is the problem with historical contemplation from the armchair: one does not see the blood and hear the cries in the battles, one does not see the severed arms and pierced eyes and smashed skulls and does not see the intestines swelling out and does not hear the roaring of the dying wounded and does not see how the victors go over the battlefield and cut to pieces each surviving opponent lying on the ground. Nor does one see the victors raping and murdering the women of the defeated.

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PADDYBOY

Historum Emeritas
Jan 2007
6,518
Scotland
I think the days when a gifted general could raise and train an army that could conquer the world are long gone.
If such an army were to exist? It would probably get nuked.
 
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May 2018
936
Michigan
They certainly do matter. In spite of all modern technology, you still have to be physically strong to carry 100lbs of gear in 115 F heat in Iraq or slightly lower temps in Northern Afghanistan. Just because I'm not swinging a gladius vs firing a rifle doesn't mean soldiers don't have to march, maneuver under fire or even occasionally engage in hand-to-hand.

Soldiers always have to be mentally strong. Discipline and professionalism in the face of stress from either boredom or combat are required of any real army.
 
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Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
4,531
Japan
Toughness is still respected.
mans I do t think an Afghan is default tougher than a US soldier.
Army training usually toughens you up anyway.
 
Nov 2013
731
Texas
Anyone familiar with hardcore history may catch a recognizable whiff or familiarity.. just to give credit where it is due.


Does the toughness of your societies individuals and society as a whole matter anymore militarily???


Anyone familiar with modern and ancient historians will recognize the ,

“Wooden shoes walk up stairs , while silk shoes walk down”

philosophy that many historians had and some still have..

That roughneck cultures (wooden shoe) conquer empires. Get soft off the wealth and start wearing silk shoes. Then lose the empire to some other roughneck group because they got soft.... and this cycle at least seemly did seem to apply to quite a few empires....

There are definitely plenty of ancient historical examples of when one army was outnumbered and sometimes out gunned, but was just tougher than the other guy..


But there are no modern examples.. I think gunpowder weapons finally (150 years ago lol) made toughness irrelevant..
Toughness is always relevant (whether it's visibly relevant is a different story)
 
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