Does toughness still matter???

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,776
Australia
Toughness is more a state of mind than a physical benchmark, and is still a requirement in any society. While everyday society in the west has become much less physically demanding than in the past, it has also become far more complicated and mentally demanding than it was. One could point to the rise of the snowflakes, SJWs and professional victims in the west as a sign of our societies weakness and in some respects that is correct, however to judge the whole of western society by that standard would be a mistake.
The Japanese and to an extent the Germans misjudged the 'toughness' of the western Allies and it cost them dearly.
 
Nov 2019
138
Memphis TN
Toughness is more a state of mind than a physical benchmark, and is still a requirement in any society. While everyday society in the west has become much less physically demanding than in the past, it has also become far more complicated and mentally demanding than it was. One could point to the rise of the snowflakes, SJWs and professional victims in the west as a sign of our societies weakness and in some respects that is correct, however to judge the whole of western society by that standard would be a mistake.
The Japanese and to an extent the Germans misjudged the 'toughness' of the western Allies and it cost them dearly.


No all western societies, including the militaries are miles softer than any ancient..

Hand to hand combat now only happens if EVERYTHING went wrong... if you are face to face killing people your side is almost certainly losing badly..

For the rest of human history stabbing someone in the face WAS THE GOAL!! It was the primary way all the killing was done.

That is a mental level of toughness I’m not sure the average navy seal can match.



I think you are judging modern western society VS other modern societies.. not pre-gunpowderVS post gunpowder.


If you trained a group of navy seals to fight in a phalanx and put them up against your average Athenian phalanx.. I’m not sure they could mentally handle the up close and personal killing..


Not only srabbing people in the face repeatedly, but also staying in formation as your buddies are impaled around you..




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Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,932
No all western societies, including the militaries are miles softer than any ancient..

Hand to hand combat now only happens if EVERYTHING went wrong... if you are face to face killing people your side is almost certainly losing badly..

For the rest of human history stabbing someone in the face WAS THE GOAL!! It was the primary way all the killing was done.

That is a mental level of toughness I’m not sure the average navy seal can match.



I think you are judging modern western society VS other modern societies.. not pre-gunpowderVS post gunpowder.


If you trained a group of navy seals to fight in a phalanx and put them up against your average Athenian phalanx.. I’m not sure they could mentally handle the up close and personal killing..


Not only srabbing people in the face repeatedly, but also staying in formation as your buddies are impaled around you..




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Yes, but if you commanded a phalanx and got some greenhorns like that that, you would put them in the second and third lines, and stick with the experienced younger soldier in the first line, the business end of stabbing, while keeping your old experienced guys in the fourth to make sure the inexperienced guys had some solid support from behind, to make sure they wouldn't break and run. There was an art to the whole thing after all, and a recognition that sufficient toughness was something acquired.
 
Nov 2019
138
Memphis TN
Yes, but if you commanded a phalanx and got some greenhorns like that that, you would put them in the second and third lines, and stick with the experienced younger soldier in the first line, the business end of stabbing, while keeping your old experienced guys in the fourth to make sure the inexperienced guys had some solid support from behind, to make sure they wouldn't break and run. There was an art to the whole thing after all, and a recognition that sufficient toughness was something acquired.
That is why I specified “navy seals” and “your average ATHENIAN phalanx”..

It is our best of the best VS their average..


I did not say some modern joe average Vs the best Spartans.

Hypothetically the Seals would be used to killing, if not the up close and personal type.. the fact that there is no army used to the up close and personal killing speaks volumes imho.


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May 2018
936
Michigan
I think Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitition and Charisma are all more important.
Everyone needs a dump stat. For example, Napoleon had a high Intelligence and Charisma, but low Wisdom with a massive penalty to diplomacy checks.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,397
Sydney
toughness is totally a mental attitude
the will to proceed on one course against obstacle and impediment

there was the case of an american rock climber Aaron Ralson who slipped and had his arm jammed between rocks
after five days spend blunting his Swiss army knife trying to chip himself free , he resigned himself to die
then it came as a revelation ..he could cut his arm off !
which he did with his trusty blunted Swiss army knife ,
he reported the pain as overwhelming
having hacked off the flesh he had to throw himself sideways to break the bone , the pain rose a couple of notches
then it was done , he was free , he felt like superman
He has to walk a mile down a gully and climb a rock face to get to the path

he felt totally confident nothing could stop him , ever

 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,492
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Everyone needs a dump stat. For example, Napoleon had a high Intelligence and Charisma, but low Wisdom with a massive penalty to diplomacy checks.
On a scale of, oh, pulling a range out of thin air. 3-18, what would you say Napoleon's stats were?
 
Feb 2019
1,039
Serbia
War is a nasty business, a certain level of physical and psychological strength is required for any soldier to be effective and endure the reality of combat. This toughness is usually gained through training and experience, though there are some people that are simply more fit for war than others.

I think that warfare in the past naturally required more physical strength and agility due to the absence of gunpowder weapons and the technological limitations, for one to swing a battleaxe or to wear armour for days on end considerable psychical strength and endurance are needed.

Now, this doesn't mean that modern warfare is clean or doesn't require toughness. Going into a battle and fighting effectively, manoeuvering across the battlefield etc. requires considerable strength and stamina also. In the age of linear warfare when muskets were inaccurate after a certain range and were faulty soldiers required good discipline and skill to aim and fire them effectively, or at least more accurately and faster than their enemies. Also, going into a battle and holding fire while marching in a line certainly required discipline in itself.

This said I think that it's beyond inaccurate to say that toughness disappeared with the spread of gunpowder weapons, at least up to World War I fighting still required discipline, strength and toughness. In the modern age I would say that being a U.S. soldier in Vietnam or a guerilla insurgent in Afghanistan obviously requires toughness skill to survive and be effective.

I also think that there's partially a romantic image involved here: It's far more engaging to imagine Viking warriors fighting in a brutal melee and armies butchering each other by hand or Wellington on a horse leading a charge at Assaye while line infantry fights around him than Alan Brooke sitting in an office in London and directing a campaign in North Africa while the soldiers fight with more modern weapons.
 
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